• How to Avoid Info Dumps

    Avoiding Info-Dumps

    Ever read a book where all the action stops so the author can explain something? It might be how the magic in a world works or the point of view character's back-story or even how the character met someone or why a place is important. These are info-dumps.

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    Networking as a Newbie Author

    I found 10 Minute Novelists as I was finishing my first book. Well, I thought I was close to done, then I started sharing my work with friends from 10 Min and realized it could be so much better. In four months my story went from I’d be embarrassed now if I’d published it, to a good first book (although I’ve learned so much since then). Why do I share this when I’m talking about networking? Because as the old adage says, “Iron sharpens iron.” You cannot be a good author if you don’t take time to learn from those who’ve been in the field. You can start the process…

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    Positivity for Writers

    I recently read the book Positivity by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, and it changed how I think about my writing process.  She defines Positivity as  affirming, constructive, helpful, and/or optimistic thoughts, actions, or feelings in our lives. Dr. Fredrickson, who has researched this subject for the past 20 years, categorizes it as those moments in which we experience joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. As a writer, those are the moments when my writing comes alive.  The best lines get written. I learn something that makes a character more real. Why is it so hard to stay positive? Dr. Fredrickson compares negativity to a spiral slide-…

  • Marketing

    Creating a Social Media Calendar

    For those writers building platforms, a social media calendar is a must.  Essentially it is a place to decide when and what you will post across your platform. You can also use it to analyze content productivity.  The first thing you need to decide is if you’re going to use an online interface or an Excel or Google spreadsheet. Online interfaces like Buffer, Postplanner or Hootsuite are great options if you only have a little bit of content or you want to pay for help with things like posting at optimal times, analytics of post engagement, etc.  For most writers this comes down to what they can afford. Either way…

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    The Value of a Good Book

    During a recent conversation, a few author friends were grumbling about how hard it is to sell books. Readers ask us all the time to put our books on sale or to give them away for free. And there are people who simply can’t afford a full price book, but the majority of people can. They just choose to spend that money on other things. Changing the attitude on books and their value How do we get readers to value books? Well first we have to acknowledge that books take time and effort to create. Most authors spend at least 4-5 months, more often a year or more, writing a…

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    NaNoWriMo-The Three Week Slump

    The week three slump! How to keep going when all you want to do is quit. So, you’ve got stuck and don’t know how to keep going to the end? Well, if you’ve come this far you better keep going. You can make it. Unless this is your first NaNoWriMo ever and you just decided to become a writer, you’ve heard that the first draft will be awful and that it’s normal. And it is, so don’t worry about how it looks or sounds at this moment. Channel your inner JK Rowling and write down all the things that you probably never will put in your book. Just keep writing……

  • #MondayBlogs,  Observation

    You should Write What You Know, or should you?

    Write What You Know – debunked (by this author) by Sheri Williams As a writer you hear so many rules and regulations, then there are the suggestions and the idioms. And of all of these, my absolute least favorite is “Write what you know!” The thing about this particular “rule?” It’s pointless. (Most writing rules are) Writing what you know would leave the world full of the most boring books ever. Let me ask you this? Does Stephen King have intimate knowledge of sentient, murderous cars? Or killer dogs? Or killer clowns?  Does J.K. Rowling really have such an in depth knowledge of magic and the magical world? Did J.R.R.…

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    365 Writing Club-Daily Writing Challenge

    365 Writing Club is a free subgroup of 10 Minute Novelists that challenges writers to write DAILY and it will change your writing life.  Don’t believe me here are just a few of the comments from current members. “For years, I tried to build a daily writing habit. This group gave me the freedom to let go of perfection and just focus on putting my thoughts out there. My writing practice has real energy and momentum now. I can feel the difference in my skill. I’m like an athlete who has practiced her shots so often that she can depend on herself to deliver them accurately.” -Christine Hennebury “I can’t…

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    Procrastination Queen-Laying Down My Crown

    That’s me, Queen of Procrastination. Sadly I wear the crown proudly most of the time. I know all the tricks to not have time to write, yeah you read right, to NOT write. Sounds like a chore, right? For me it feels like a chore, and I don’t like to do chores. Every time I should do something I automatically no longer want to do it. Procrastination is my biggest obstacle when it comes to writing, I don’t prioritize it high enough. I even clean house before writing, and I hate doing chores, really hate it. The other day I cleaned my bathroom, something I’ve been putting f for a…

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    Social Media Etiquette-Manners Matter

    Today I am going to talk to you about something that you may, or may not, have already had to deal with—social media etiquette. As a writer who is either already in the public arena, or who wishes to be, social media etiquette is going to be extremely important. Why social media etiquette matters… I’m sure you’ve heard of branding in relationship to being an author, but this goes even further. Social media etiquette is important because how your fans, and the general public, see you is most likely going to equate to clicks and hopefully sales. If you’re like me, then it grates a little  to know that you…

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    Panning for Gold-Finding Your Best Ideas

    Ideas are a dime a dozen for us creative types. Often they come in the most inopportune moments or lead us on bunny trails mid-scene. And yet, when we go to decide what happens in the next scene, we often find our brains zone in on the obvious or worse go blank. Finding our best ideas for a scene is like panning for gold. We have to sift out the 90% that is just dirt and then analyze the last 10% to determine what is fool’s gold and what is real gold. Being time crunched writers, we need to learn to do this as efficiently as possible. So here are…

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    Writing for Submission-Tailoring Your Story

    If the step to publish your first book feels to big, start small with e-magazine submissions. Many of us dream of writing a great novel, but when it comes to submitting our work to a publisher, the process can feel daunting. The idea of writing an entire book and then waiting weeks if not months to hear back about our submission can often lead to discouragement. But there are other ways to get our feet wet. As the days get shorter and the nights colder, it’s tempting to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea. That’s what I tend to do every winter.…

  • Genre

    Details Make the Story-Genre Specific Research

    The story’s magic is in the details, and details come from good research. It may seem like common sense that a writer should and must do research for any story containing experiences or places the author has not experienced. However, it can be a step that is sometimes skipped in favor of just getting the story written. No matter what genre you are writing, this is a mistake. When I first started writing, I was straight up romance all the time. In that vein, my shelves were lined with romance novels not only because I loved to read them, but also as research for what I was writing. The novels…