Writing Stuff

How to Be a Better Hooker (in Writing!) — Guest: Mary Buckham

March 31, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One of the ways we create compelling writing is by creating a need within our readers to keep turning pages. So a common piece of advice is to create hooks—phrases, sentences, ideas, questions, etc.—to fuel that need within readers. Today, Mary Buckham’s here to touch on the 9 types of hooks and to answer frequent questions about hooks.

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Marketing 101: Creating a Strategy — Guest: Jennifer Fusco

March 26, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Whether we want to push our publishers to live up to their marketing promises, hire a marketing team, or do all of our promotion on our own, the best way to make sure things work out the way we want is to be informed. To help educate us, Jennifer Fusco, author and marketing expert, gives a rundown on the basic marketing strategies.

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Should We Only “Write What We Know”? — Guest: S.P. Sipal

March 24, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One truism in writing that’s often repeated is “write what you know.” But that advice can be harmful—at least for fiction writing. I much prefer the advice: Write what you want to learn about. Being open to learning new things for our writing can enrich our lives—and be fun!

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Using Examples to Learn Beat Sheets

March 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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One technique for drafting or editing our stories into shape is using beat sheets, but it can be tricky to understand how to use them. Here’s a round-up beat sheet and story structure resources that might help us understand beat sheets.

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How to Punch Up a Blurb or Query — Guest: Julie Glover

March 5, 2015 Writing Stuff
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No matter how we publish, we have to come up with a great book description. Queries and blurbs have always been my weak point, so I asked my editors at each stage of the editing process for help. Julie Glover’s here today with tips for how to go from good to great.

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The Perils of a “Dead” Genre

March 3, 2015 Writing Stuff
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It’s been almost a week since my release of Unintended Guardian, and I’ve been getting lots of questions about how I made my decisions for what to do with my books. Let’s start at the beginning: How did I decide on my publishing path? For that, we have to go back to when I first started on my writing career path.

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What Scares You about Writing or Publishing?

February 24, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Many large, life-changing events can scare us—even terrify us. We might think, “It’s a good thing I didn’t know how hard it would be, or I might not have done it.” Sometimes writing or publishing can be terrifying, yet we have to move past our fears.

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What Are Your Favorite Writing-Related Books?

February 19, 2015 Writing Stuff
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I’ve added a page to my site to list my favorite writing craft and reference books. I’ve added several books that I thought of off the top of my head, but I know I’m forgetting a bunch too. So let me share the books I thought of, and let’s see what others have to add to the suggestions.

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Should Our Protagonist Be in the First Scene?

February 17, 2015 Writing Stuff
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Most stories open with the protagonist on page one, but every once in a while, our story seems to work best if we start with another character. If we understand why the protagonist usually works best as the point-of-view character for the first page, we might be able to remake those exceptions into stronger openings.

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What’s Influenced Your Writing?

February 10, 2015 Writing Stuff
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We often talk about how reading is subjective. But we don’t usually talk about how writing is subjective as well. The genres I enjoy writing and the stories I like to tell aren’t the same that others enjoy or like to write. That’s a good thing. If everyone wrote the same genre, readers looking for something new and different would be left out.

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