advice for writers

First Pages: Tips to Avoid Cliches and Weak Writing

September 18, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many stories “strike out” with readers in the first chapter. So our opening pages are just as critical to sales as our book cover, title, back-cover blurb, etc. Let’s take a closer look at cliches to avoid and tips to make those pages work for us.

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Too Close? 5 Techniques to See Our Story Objectively

September 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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After we complete a first draft, we might want to dig into revising right away because we’re still excited and passionate about the premise. But many writers say it’s better to do something to gain “distance” from our story first. Distance helps us see our story objectively so we can revise ruthlessly, not clinging to our intentions but seeing our story’s potential.

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Feedback: Finding Problems vs. Fixing Problems

September 11, 2014 Writing Stuff
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If we’ve ever let beta readers or critique groups give feedback on our stories, we’ve probably run into the issue of receiving conflicting advice. In fact, if we’ve ever let more than one person read our work, we’ve probably received conflicting advice. *smile* One reader may love a character someone else hates. One person may think a subplot […]

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How to Create a DIY Book Trailer — Guest: Angela Quarles

September 9, 2014 Writing Stuff
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We’re all familiar with the concept of movie trailers, but book trailers are becoming more common too. Like a movie trailer, a book trailer is meant to increase interest in a story. Where queries and back-cover blurbs pitch a story in writing, book trailers pitch a story by showing. Literally. Some publishers of big name authors will […]

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How to Make Sure Readers Don’t Close the Book

September 4, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many articles and infographics have tried to answer the question of what makes readers stop reading. They usually include a list of offenses like typos, too boring, confusing, etc. And those are all true. But a recent post took a more analytical approach to measuring problem areas. Jefferson Smith started a reading program called “Immerse […]

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When Do Writers Need a Business Plan?

September 2, 2014 Writing Stuff
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When we’re first starting out as writers, creating a business plan might be the last thing we want to do. However, a business plan can be anything we want it to be. In truth, there are far more non-business things we could include in a “business” plan than we might assume.

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Introducing the Business Plan for Writers Worksheet!

August 28, 2014 Writing Stuff
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No one will ever care about our success as much as we do. That’s why—even though we’re writers—we should think of ourselves as business people. No matter what kind of writer we are, we’ll need to make business decisions, and that’s where having a business plan can help.

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How Do You Get Motivated?

August 26, 2014 Writing Stuff
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Many times, motivation can be hard to find. Sometimes we need to sleep, relax, or play. Sometimes we’re stuck because the story is going in the wrong direction. And sometimes… What we really need is a kick in the pants.

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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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