Category: Story

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8 Ways Self-Sabotage Disguises Itself to Block Your Creativity

Once you embark on building your author life, you’ll find that self-sabotage is an insidious beast. It disguises itself as a number of different, seemingly innocuous feelings and scenarios that ultimately block your creativity. So what do you do about it? Obviously, we all want to nip self-sabotage in the bud. Anything that gets between you and your books needs to hit the road–right? … Read More 8 Ways Self-Sabotage Disguises Itself to Block Your Creativity

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5 Author Life Accomplishments Worth Celebrating

Author life has its ups and downs, like so many things in life. Let’s face it: writing a book can be a long road, especially if you’re just starting out or don’t write fiction full-time. It’s easy to lose focus on our writing goals, so we need milestones and celebrations to keep our focus and our energy on track. Sure, there are major milestones … Read More 5 Author Life Accomplishments Worth Celebrating

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5 Steps to Pick Your Next Fiction Project

Not long ago, I was invited to be the guest author at a writing retreat. When I put up a poll to the forty-some attendees of the retreat, giving them options as to topics I could teach, the one with the most responses (by far) was – How Do I Know What to Write Next? This is a multi-layered decision making process, but there’s … Read More 5 Steps to Pick Your Next Fiction Project

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How to Make Your Villains Multidimensional

We’ve all seen it in the movies and on TV: the boilerplate villain, often faceless, sitting in a large leather chair with a fluffy (yet menacing) white cat in his lap. The image is so ingrained in our entertainment that we all instantly understood the joke the first time we saw Dr. Evil in Austin Powers. (Okay, I may be aging myself with that … Read More How to Make Your Villains Multidimensional

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The Benefits of Talking Through Your Book While in the Drafting Stage

During the drafting stage of writing your book, it’s highly beneficial to talk through your ideas with someone familiar with your genre. This can be a bookworm friend, editor, or even a coach. As writers, we often find ourselves working in a vacuum, stuck in our own heads. Once we’ve firmly planted ourselves inside our own brains (keep your hands, arms, and legs inside, … Read More The Benefits of Talking Through Your Book While in the Drafting Stage

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Hiring a Developmental Editor: What You Need to Know

Throughout your story creation process, you’re going to come to specific waypoints that will direct you toward your next steps. Working with a developmental editor to flesh out your worldbuilding, characters, and plot is one of these important stages. All authors have their own nuanced approaches to writing and no two processes look the same from start to finish. But having an extra set … Read More Hiring a Developmental Editor: What You Need to Know

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Edit Levels: What They Are and Why They Matter

Over and over I see people agonizing over word choices and commas before their story is figured out. Or beta readers marking copy edit style edits when the author doesn’t yet know if their story works–or if the scene the reader is editing will even make the final cut of the novel. This is why it’s important for an author to know what to … Read More Edit Levels: What They Are and Why They Matter

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Why Releasing While You Write Kills Your Creativity

Are you releasing your book while you’re in the process of writing your first draft? If so, you could be killing your creativity and stunting your book’s progression from idea to full story.  Self-published authors have a lot to consider, from book concept to publication. That means it’s a little too easy for us to get ahead of wherever we are in the publishing … Read More Why Releasing While You Write Kills Your Creativity

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Five Things I Learned from Story Genius

I love STORY GENIUS by Lisa Cron. I recommend it for everyone who is a writer or wants to be a writer. But I especially recommend Story Genius for those authors who want to be traditionally published, receive requests for full manuscripts from agents and/or publishers, but keep getting pass letters. This book will help you gain that final layer so necessary for great books. … Read More Five Things I Learned from Story Genius

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Thanks, Tips: Know your Genre

Welcome back to a segment called Thanks, Tips, where I break down vague publishing advice and make it more transparent or actionable for you.  This installment looks at the phrase Know Your Genre and helps you to understand what it means and how to do it. Phase One The simplest iteration of this is you have to know where your book fits in the … Read More Thanks, Tips: Know your Genre

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Just Show Up: Build Better Writing Habits in 2020

When it comes to writing, like most other things, you can’t build a writing habit by starting at the outcome. This is the time of the year when exuberance mixes with social pressure, and people lay a crazy expectation on themselves that is both unrealistic and unsustainable. I’m going to write two thousand words a day for all of 2020! Wait. What? No birthdays, … Read More Just Show Up: Build Better Writing Habits in 2020

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Pep Talk: Unleash your Creative

I’ve read a ton of pre-published manuscripts, and it’s been amazing and interesting, but here’s what is lacking in so many instances – creativity. Seems crazy, right? Like, someone wrote and entire novel, what more could you possibly want? Creativity. Creativity in the way a character sees the world. In the way the world sees the character. Bonus if those two things work against each … Read More Pep Talk: Unleash your Creative