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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.