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Three Tips for Better Storytelling

Little girl reading to little boy with text: 3 Tips for Better Storytelling

Last time, we talked about how good storytelling can salvage even a poorly written book. As I mentioned in that post, storytelling skill is different from writing skill. Many people have a hard time defining what makes good storytelling—and that makes it difficult for us to improve. Yet I’d argue […]

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May 2, 2013

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Why Do You Enter Writing Contests?

View from diving platform high over lake with text: Are Our Expectations Too High?

A couple of weeks ago, someone (I won’t name who because I don’t want to embarrass her) asked me what score I’d received in a writing contest. I didn’t want to answer at first. I worried about making her feel bad or seeming like I was bragging. Yet I could […]

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April 25, 2013

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When Should We Upgrade to a Paid Site?

WordPress logo with text: Should We Pay for Our Site? WordPress .com versus .org

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve shared several posts about websites and blogging. I promise I’m almost done with all that. On Thursday, I’ll resume my usual balance of craft, author entrepreneurship, publishing industry, and writing life posts. (Believe me, I get as sick of ruts as you all […]

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April 2, 2013

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Dread Writing Sexy Scenes? 5 Tips for Success

Man with a bag on his head with text: 5 Tips for Writing Sexy Scenes...without Dread

Whatever genre we write, we often have to write scenes that make us uncomfortable. High on that discomfort scale for many authors are romantic scenes between characters. Whether we write romance or another genre with love interests, or whether the characters merely kiss or have sex with the door open […]

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March 12, 2013

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Branding 101: Who Do You Want to Be?

Student in hallway with text: High School Part Two? Branding 101: Who Do You Want to Be?

In the comments of my last post about watching our online behavior, some people worried about the bigger picture. Can we still be true to ourselves? Should we not express opinions at all? Would it be safer to stay offline? Let’s work through those questions in reverse order. Locking ourselves […]

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January 29, 2013

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What Writing Step Are You Afraid Of?

Dark door cracked open with text: What Writing Step Are You Scared Of?

I’ve said before that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. However, I do have several writing goals for this year. Like many writers, my big goal has to do with making progress toward being published, and that means I have to face my fear. For me, that translates into… *dun […]

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January 10, 2013

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Protect Your Wrists: Exercises for Writers

Exercise dumbbell with text: Wrist Exercises for Writers

Back in August, the keyboard I’d used for forever (about ten years) died. I tried using several other keyboards of various ergonomic configurations, but they all made my wrists hurt by the end of the day. After weeks of these inferior (to me) keyboards, my right wrist got so bad […]

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December 18, 2012

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Fan Fiction to Published Book: A Case Study

Into the Dark cover image with text: ...And the Journey from Fan Fiction to Published Book

Last time, we discussed the different options for publishing a story that had its genesis in fan fiction: name-change-only, reworking, and rewriting. Whether we believe there’s ever a “right” way to publish a story that began as fan fiction (fanfic), authors who completely rewrite their story should be recognized for at least […]

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December 13, 2012

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Can Writers Reuse Their Own Work?

Printer control screen with text: Can We Copy Our Own Work?

On the surface, this might seem like a clear-cut question. Unless we’ve turned the copyright over to another entity, it seems like we should be able to reuse our own work. However the issues surrounding what is sometimes termed “self-plagiarism” are more complicated than they might first appear. Many of us […]

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December 11, 2012

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Series vs. Stand-Alone: What Should We Work on Next?

New leaves branching from a twig with text: Should We "Branch Out" with Our Writing?

Whenever we finish a writing project, we’re told the best way to keep moving forward, especially when we’re dealing with querying/submitting nerves, is to start another project. But that brings up the question: What should that next project be? Should we write a follow up to that previous book? Or […]

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November 13, 2012

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