• Craft,  Motivation,  Nanowrimo

    Top 16 Close-Talking, Double Dipping Tips to Succeeding At Nanowrimo!

    Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. For 30 days in November every year, hundreds of thousands of writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words on paper. In a perfect world, these words would be brilliant and profound. It’s far more likely that the words are a big hot mess. If you are participating, this is the perfect time to organize your ideas and get ready! The objective is to write as much as possible, you know, yada, yada, yada, not to be beautiful doing it. Sign up here so you can participate this November! I believe that the objective of 50K words in 30 days is doable for…

  • Craft

    More Questions To Ask After That First Draft Is Done

    Your first draft is done! And trust me when I say this, it is not ready to be published!  How do you know this? No one writes a perfect first draft. You don’t either. Before you let your mom, your best buddy or the pizza guy read this draft, make sure it’s the best you can make it. Here are questions you can ask about this draft. Go on! Take your time to think about it! Make notes!  Each change you make will probably be for the better. And if you are serious about getting this published, then you’ll be far more marketable and competitive in this saturated markets. Your pizza…

  • Self Talk,  Uncategorized

    Five Awful Things My Work-In-Progress Says To Me And What I Say Back

    I have a work-in-progress and I think it hates me. Every day I sit down with this project, set my timer, turn on the music, spend way too much time thinking about font, size, and color, and then work at least an hour. When I sit down with it, I feel it come alive. It is a non-fiction book, so it’s not like it’s alive in the sense of genre or character. It’s alive with the ease (or lack of ease) that comes with the drafting and sculpting of each chapter. At times, it feels like it’s fighting against me.  Some days, it is sterile and compliant; I’m the boss.…

  • Creativity

    10 Writing Prompts To Help You Unstick Your First Draft

    Sometimes drafting that story stinks. You’re all excited in the beginning, you can’t stop writing! But somewhere you get stuck. And you may want to quit. Keep in mind, your purpose in writing the first draft is to just get the raw material of a story. You don’t have to create a masterpiece. You don’t even have to be all that coherent. In fact, what you’re doing wrong may be stressing you out. Instead, just write down what comes to your head. Don’t self-edit. Don’t go backward. Just put down word after word.   1. Describe what everyone is wearing. This is especially for your girly-girls. Go into detail about the…

  • Uncategorized

    A Writer’s Guide To Ruthlessly Killing Your Darlings

    You need not worry about your browser history; this post is about killing figuratively.  In the world of writers, killing your darlings means getting rid of those story bits that need to die, even though the author may have fallen in love with them. But in the world of writers, the author who wants to write well, should be ruthless when it comes to removing the unwanted or unsightly from our manuscripts. Here’s how: Obliterate your Prologue. In one swift move, hit select all and delete. It’s gone. You probably didn’t feel a thing. Why? Most prologues are unnecessary. Prologues often assume your reader needs to be spoon fed every little…

  • Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Beginning Badly: Eight Awful Ways To Start A Novel

     In the beginning . . . It’s the first page of a brand new novel. Will it be a good beginning or a bad one? Within reading the first two sentences, you’ve already made a decision on whether or not you’ll keep reading. Your reader has too. If they have picked up your novel, they may be turned off by what they read if you have one of these eight awful beginnings. Your main character is asleep, dreaming. Why is this bad? Sleeping is passive. Unless the action of the entire novel is based in dreams or sleeping frequently, this is an amateur move. Take out the dream sequence completely and…

  • Craft,  Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Does Your Backstory Make Your Readers Stabby?

    Backstory? Oh yes, you’ve been working on that character’s backstory for months! You’ve written thousands of words of backstory! You know how his parents met, how he got that scar on his pasty white tuckus, and why he gets all shaky and whiny when he’s served enchiladas. This is all important stuff you told yourself as you dumped it out into the first chapter of your work-in-progress. It sets the stage! The readers can really know him! This will make the story richer! Your character’s backstory may have bored your reader to tears. They left after the second or third page. They want a story: they don’t want genealogical report or long-winded…

  • Craft,  Inspiration

    7 Ways To Keep Your Buzz & Write Drunk — By Elaine Bayless

      “Write drunk. Edit sober.” Easy enough, right? It means to write without boundaries, loose and wild and out of control. Thoughtful word selection and complex grammatical decisions belong in the world of editing. And yet, how often do you “lose your buzz” and start editing right in the middle of writing? How do you write drunk? During Nanowrimo each year I see dozens of people falling into the editing trap when they should be writing. I get it: I’ve been trapped by those some concerns too. But nothing kills the possibility of finishing your work faster than accidentally falling into editing mode. Here’s 7 ways to keep your buzz…

  • Craft,  Reading

    The Diary of A Beta Reader: A Guest Post by Sara Marschand

    Guest blogger Sara Marschand explains her thought processes while she beta reads. A beta reader is often the first or second set of eyes a manuscript gets. Their purpose is to spot holes in a manuscript and communicate to a writer, who maybe a little myopic, that changes need to be made.  For the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of beta reading for many authors. Much of my feedback highlights awkward sentence flags and unclear story parts. Sometimes it’s a setting that can’t be visualized, other times it may be a whole scene that doesn’t fit the narrative. Logical errors are the easiest to spot. One author described…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Nanowrimo,  Work-In-Progress

    Top 10 Ways You May Be Doing National Novel Writing Month All Wrong

    by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist Is it really November? Is it really time to start that non-stop frenzy that requires 50,000 words in 30 days? It is! Congratulations to all of you who are attempting it this year! And to those of you who have tried, get discouraged and possibly think you are on the road to failure, just consider this:  you may be doing it wrong.  1. You think every word you write is golden. Um, your nano project is a first draft. Please, for the love of all that’s publishable, type this sentence ten times —> MY NANO PROJECT IS A FIRST DRAFT. The solution? Just plan…

  • #MondayBlogs,  Perils of a Mom Writer,  Time Management

    How To Write In 10 Minute Increments The Messy Way

    My timer and I have a love/hate relationship.  Ever since I started calling myself the 10 Minute Writer, back in 2006, I’ve realized that either I’m racing against the timer, or the timer haunts me for my lack of skill and speed.  During the first minute, it’s like priming the pump, I just write words, any kind of words. During the second minute I may think of a metaphor and I get it down quickly. The third minute could be a silly stretch of the metaphor (I always want to stretch my metaphors as far as they can go). And my fourth minute is the second guessing of that metaphor…

  • Time Management,  Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day

    TODAY IS RELEASE DAY! Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day is NOW Available!

    Today I release my first non-fiction book, Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day!  You can purchase it or see the reviews here!  This is the story of how I got the contract — it’s a great one!  Also? I created a Facebook group for writers who have no choice but to write in 10 minute increments! Wanna join over 1000 writers worldwide as we encourage each other to pursue our writing dreams?  Click here!    Are you a blogger?  Would you like to help promote this book? Leave a comment! I’d love to work with you!

  • #MondayBlogs,  Motivation,  Work-In-Progress

    Neurotic Thoughts On My First Traditionally Published Book (Or The 9 Month Long Battle With Inner Voices)

    In 2014, I wrote and submitted my very first traditionally published book (and you can pre-order it here).  The process of drafting, editing and submitting was nothing less than a constant fight with negative inner voices. I was a mess. But it’s done. And I’ve survived. I’ve written and published a book before, but the first one was self-published. When I self published, I realized I had this huge ocean of grace — all the mistakes, all the decisions, all the vision, all the glaring spelling errors are mine alone. No one else was invested. The stakes were low. I joined the ranks of thousands of other writers who publish their…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Work-In-Progress

    How To Describe An Object And Why It Matters In Your Novel

    It’s pity that I don’t hold murder weapons on my desk. If I did, I could describe them and stick them in my work-in-progress. This is what I do have: I have a cobalt glass heart that I use as a paperweight. My husband’s cousin, Robin gave it to me. It’s been over 15 years since she’s given it to me and I can’t not think of her when I see it. This glass heart could be a weapon if I needed to be. It has little value other than who gave it to me. I also have a lamp, a cardboard coaster from a beer garden in Germany, four…