advice for writers

3 Tips for Self-Publishing Success — Guest: Julie Musil

August 21, 2014 Writing Stuff
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It’s no secret that many authors are considering self-publishing on some level. So I’m happy to host my friend Julie Musil, who’s sharing some of the pitfalls of self-publishing and providing tips for avoiding those issues. Honestly though, I think her advice is applicable to every author, no matter our publishing path.

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Are You an Expert? How Writing Changes Our Brain

August 19, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Recently, an interesting article discussed research on the brains of writers. One important finding seemed to match research in other areas, namely that experienced people think differently from those just learning the ropes. Being an expert isn’t just about knowing more.

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The Character Debate: Strong and Vulnerable?

August 14, 2014 Writing Stuff
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If we want our protagonists to seem heroic, they need to have strong traits. Yet at the same time, if we want our protagonists to be relatable, they need have vulnerabilities. This is never an easy balance, especially when clichés fill our heads about what a “strong character” means.

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Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!

August 12, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many of us find beta readers by offering to exchange our work with other writers in a “I’ll give you feedback if you give me feedback” arrangement. That structure means we have to do a good job with our feedback if we want to continue the beta buddy exchange program.

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Lessons from RWA14: Help for Slow Writers

August 7, 2014 Writing Stuff
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One of the RWA workshops I most looked forward to was Courtney Milan’s “Slow Writer’s Guide to Making a Living” presentation. Judging by the crowd, a lot of writers struggle with the pressure to write faster and the worry that our slowness will prevent us from reaching our goals.

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Lessons from RWA14: Techniques for Sales Success

August 5, 2014 Writing Stuff
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This past weekend, author Hugh Howey shared Liliana Hart’s self-publishing method, which she calls “5 down and 1 in the hole.” It’s easy to look at her self-publishing success (over 2 million ebooks sold) and chalk it up to luck. However, I heard advice that complemented her technique throughout the RWA Annual Conference.

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The Future Is Here: Self-Publishing and RWA

July 31, 2014 Writing Stuff
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When changes happen gradually, we’re not always aware of them. My every-other year schedule for attending the RWA Annual Conference allows me to see the changes in the organization like a distant relative. I hadn’t attended the National Conference since 2012 and the differences from then to now were profound.

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The Value of Failure

July 29, 2014 Over-Achieving Perfectionist
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My regular readers know I’m a perfectionist, but I try not to let it hold me back. However, facing various choices and issues in my writing career have forced me to recognize that sometimes I do suffer from a related fear. And that fear does hold me back.

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Writing Active Settings, Part 2 — Guest: Mary Buckham

July 24, 2014 Writing Stuff
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USA Today bestselling author Mary Buckham is back with Part Two of her guest post on writing active settings that keep our story flowing and connect readers to our characters. Today, she’s sharing the second biggest hurdle to writing great descriptions.

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Writing Active Settings, Part 1 — Guest: Mary Buckham

July 22, 2014 Writing Stuff
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The trick to sharing setting information (which our readers do need) without dragging down the pace is to write active descriptions. Active descriptions let the reader imagine the setting in their mind, keep them anchored in the story, and slip in information so seamlessly that they never realize they’re reading descriptions.

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