• Discipline,  Inspiration,  Motivation,  Self Talk

    10 Destructive, Cowardly Lies I Had To Discard So I Could Become A Writer

    This is one of my favorite blog posts. I’m bringing it back from 2014 because I think we could all use a fresh reminder!  We don’t get in this business to be comfortable. We get in this business because the drive to create is bigger than the drive to be accepted. It takes guts and courage to throw your words to the world. And if lies are keeping you back, then you need to put them in the toilet with the rest of the ca-ca in your life.  I’ve overcome a lot of lies to get where I am today. That alone makes me a success. Not sales, not followers…

  • Creativity

    Beginnings Are Not Just Background: Creating Good Characters A Guest Post By Sophia Ryan

      Character development should start from scene one of your novel and end when the novel does. But how do you write characters we all want to read about? Coloring your dialog with details such as gesture, appearance, tone, thoughts, and reaction helps readers get a better sense of your characters. And, if readers have a better sense of who your characters are, says author Nancy Kress in her book, Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, they might be more willing to read more of your story. There are times when you want quick, back-and-forth dialog with limited narrative, but that works best when the reader already knows your characters. In the…

  • Craft,  Inspiration

    #Top10Tuesday: Top Ten Exercises To Determine Your Raison D’Etre As A Writer by Katharine Grubb

    What Do I Write About? I firmly believe that the use of fancy French phrases (and also alliteration) makes one an excellent writer. Oh, I kid. But really, we should kinda know what we want when we set out to become a rich and famous writer. . But if you don’t know who you are, or what you want, or what you’re good at. It’s okay. You can find out with thinking and hard work.  So, I’d like to propose a few exercises to get you thinking about your purpose, or your raison d’etre. If you spend ten minutes a day thinking or writing on any of these, you might discover…

  • Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Observation

    Becoming A 10 Minute Poet: A Guest Post by Sherry Howard

    Greetings 10MinuteNovelists!      It’s time to become a 10MinutePoet. All writers are poets. When we write our prose, we search for just the right word, often searching days for the right form of a verb, or the perfect iteration of a concept. I realized that I already had poetry in me a year ago when I first explored The University of Iowa’s MOOC on poetry for the first time. I’d enjoyed their fiction writing class so much that I decided to jump into the poetry as well. (Archives have a post on the fiction writing class.) The very skills that serve us so well as fiction writers enhance our…

  • #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…

  • Discipline,  Inspiration

    How Will You Know When You Are Successful?

    Every time I go to Costco, I pass the end table where the books are and I look and I say to my kids, “Someday, my books will be there.”   In my mind, success looks like stacks and stacks of books at a wholesale store. If I come to that point in my career, then I have a tangible reminder of the success I’ve accomplished. And I want this to be the right kind of book — a novel — not a “I lived through a disaster and now I’m going to tell you my story” kind of book. The authors who have books at Costco are household names.…

  • Creativity

    The Magic That Happens When We Chase That Fickle, Unpredictable Muse

    The words have always been inside you. The words inside of you have been prodded and poked, jostled awake. They were dreaming of the melodies of a hundred poems. But now they are awake, raised their sleepy heads to hear the call of a muse. The muse is back and she has something to show you. You must have your words or you will miss it. You and your words now leap out of your slumber to stumble along, tripping and trapping, catching glimpses here and there of that voice that beckons you to follow. And follow you do. The muse leads you, sometimes along easy paths, worn down by…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Craft,  Creativity,  Cultural Relevance

    Why I Write: Literature’s Role in the Teen’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, A Guest Post by YA Author Ellen Mulholland

    Back in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a high school English geek. I was the nerdy girl who loved and debated every book we read. I was the good friend who helped with essays and theme analyses. I savored each minute of class and could have spent the entire school day reading and writing. We read the greats –Austen, Knowles, Steinbeck, and Lee. Stories about courage, love and discovery. We discussed characters’ journeys and authors’ themes. We explored friendship and family; and I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet, Gene Forrester, Tom Joad, and Scout. Inside my own middle-class upbringing, I understood that every teen embarked on…