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advice for writers

Branding 101: Be Google-able

Pen resting on signature line

If someone does a Google search on our author name, will they find us? This issue comes up more frequently now as writers want to know if they should have a website and/or blog before they’re published.  That’s a complicated question that doesn’t have an easy answer.

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June 2, 2011

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Do Stories Need a Theme?

Disney's California Adventure theme park

Earlier this week, Julie Musil had a great post about how to create story endings that resonate.  I almost wrote an epic comment to her post, but decided to save my wordiness for here.  And I get to use one of my vacation pictures—Disney’s California Adventure theme park, get it? […]

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May 26, 2011

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Re-Envisioning: How to Fix Big Problems with Small Changes

Stack of pipes reflecting light like a flower with text: Revisions: Find a Different Perspective

We’ve heard of rewriting, revising, and even re-imagining, but what does “re-envisioning” mean?  I recently came across the word in a great post by Juliette Wade about how to redo a scene without rewriting. When a scene isn’t working, it’s tempting to blame the scene and get rid of it. […]

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May 24, 2011

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What Disneyland Can Teach Us about World-building

Puzzle of globe

First, I want to thank J.A. Paul and Rachel Firasek for their guest posts.  I had fun with their interviews and I hope you all did too. Yes, I’m back from a fun, exhausting trip to Disneyland.  And yes, my vacation inspired a blog post.  You’re not surprised, are you? […]

May 17, 2011

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Make Your Antagonist a Force for Good

Sinister man

Wait…what? Well, we want to make our antagonist good for our story anyway.  *smile* Kristen Lamb has been running a fantastic series on antagonists (Part One, Part Two, Villains, Balancing Evil, Inner and Outer Demons).  She shares more gems than I can capture here, so definitely check out her posts. For […]

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May 5, 2011

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What’s in a Name?

Shadowy figure in a hallway

When we first get an idea for a story, the characters who will populate that story often start out shadowy and vague.  Either before the writing process (if we’re plotters) or during the writing process (if we’re pantsers), we have to develop those characters into something solid and colorful.  We […]

May 3, 2011

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“What’s Your Book About?”

Forked road

Do you dread that question?  If you tell the cashier at the grocery store you’re a writer and they ask what your book is about, do you have an answer? All writers who want readers have to be able to answer that question.  Whether it’s our brother-in-law at a holiday […]

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April 21, 2011

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Learning and Blogging and Writing—Oh My!

Balancing rock piles

Fantasy: To become an author, we just need to have a great idea, write it down, and then agents, publishers, and readers will all magically appear. Reality: Nothing like that. Becoming an author isn’t simple.  Oh no.  We have what seems like a never-ending list of things to learn and […]

April 19, 2011

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How Much More Do You Have to Learn?

Penrose never-ending stairs optical illusion from the movie Inception

In my last post, I lamented how it’s hard for us to see our learning curve and know how much more we have yet to understand.  I wanted to know how close I was to that elusive “destination” of knowing everything I need to know about writing. *pshaw*  Silly me for […]

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April 7, 2011

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Can Karma Help You Become a Better Writer?

Arrows in a circle

Yesterday, author Jody Hedlund had a blog post about why most writers are blind to their own faults.  The first reason she mentioned really resonated with me: We naturally view our work through our maturity level. When we first start any new project, writing or otherwise, we don’t know what […]

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April 5, 2011

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