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Introducing the Beta Reading Worksheet!

Question mark surrounded by text: The Beta Reading Worksheet -- What to Ask & What to Answer

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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August 12, 2014

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Lessons from RWA14: Help for Slow Writers

Snail crawling against black background with text: Help for Slow Writers

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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August 7, 2014

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Lessons from RWA14: Techniques for Sales Success

Looking down a funnel of dollar bills with text: The Keys to Sales Success

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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August 5, 2014

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Building a Character Arc: Start at the End

Train tracks ending on a beach with text: Want a Strong Arc? Start at The End

As I mentioned with the worksheet I shared last week, it’s often easier to work backward when we’re framing our story. At the very least, knowing the ending often makes it easier to see our character’s arc.

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July 17, 2014

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Blogiversary Winners & a New Worksheet!

Gift box with text: A Gift for...You! Story Development & Revision Worksheet

I can’t make everyone a winner in my Blogiversary contest, but I can give everyone a gift by releasing a new worksheet. Yay! A couple of my readers asked me to take a look a John Truby’s work and see if I could come up with a worksheet based on his teachings.

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July 10, 2014

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The Ultimate #RWA14 Conference Packing List

Stack of old-fashioned suitcases with text: The Ultimate Conference Packing List

I’m looking forward to seeing my roomies again, and I do enjoy giving workshops and meeting people, but the stress? Ugh. It’s a good thing I have my handy-dandy ultimate packing list from the last time I went to RWA National.

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July 8, 2014

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6 Steps to Balance Your Editing: Plot vs. Characters

Balance with a gold ball and a silver ball with text: Finding the Balance in Revisions

After we’ve finished drafting our story and the warm fuzzies of that accomplishment have faded, it’s time to buckle down for the next step: revising. Many of us aren’t sure where to start with revisions, even when we know something is wrong with a story. When I help authors edit […]

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June 17, 2014

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Blogging Tip: Increase Shares with Images that Pop

Balloons against blue sky with text: Let's Pop! Our Blog Images

Images help our blog post be noticed, and many social media sites (where our post might be shared) focus on images as well. So including an image with our post means that we’re not only capturing readers’ attention, but we’re also increasing the odds that our post will be shared. Great! But not all images are appropriate for our blog.

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May 20, 2014

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What’s the Perfect Job for Our Characters?

Employee Only sign with text: Finding the Perfect Job (for Our Characters)

If we write our story well, every aspect of the story will contribute to the overall picture and create an impression for the reader. There aren’t any unimportant details in a well-written story. And that means the careers for our characters shouldn’t be an afterthought either.

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April 29, 2014

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Blogging: Tips, Tricks, and Knowing Your Goals

Arrows pointing up with text: Blogging Tips and Tricks

As authors, we’re often told to blog, but we don’t hear as much about the nitty-gritty of how to do so. If we take the time to blog, we want to make sure our time is well spent. So let’s review some tips, tricks, and “best practices” for how to reach our goals with blogging.

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April 24, 2014

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