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NaNo Prep: Are You Ready to Start Drafting?

October 16, 2014 Writing Stuff
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It’s almost time for NaNoWriMo, when thousands of writers will try to cram 50,000 words into a 30-day deadline. If you’re doing NaNo and anything like me, you might be freaking out a little as November nears. Although this is my third year with NaNo, this will be my first time doing it “for really-real.”

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OnDemand Workshops & Blogging Basics

October 14, 2014 News
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On social media, I often encourage people to ask me questions. That’s not a superficial platitude. I am pathologically helpful, so when a reader asked for my advice about blogging, specifically how we would start and when we should get started, I decided to do a mega-link post with all my tips.

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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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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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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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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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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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