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How to be a First-Time Novelist (without Going Insane)

Today’s guest post is by author Jenny Bravo with some great tips on maintaining (or finding) sanity:

When I first decided to tackle English as a major, I was starry-eyed and hopeful, thinking to myself, “I’m going to write a novel; I just know it.” I loved my classes, adored my teachers, and lived in a collegiate bubble where everyone had potential. For every bad critique, a good one followed close behind. No writer was left behind.

Sound familiar?

Now, almost a year out of graduation, I’m living in a new, less structured writer bubble. It’s called “The First Time Novelist” bubble. There are days when I feel I have it all together, when the writing flows and I think to myself, “This is too easy.” Then there are days when I sit in front of the computer screen, staring at the keyboard with nothing in my brain but a recap of last night’s New Girl. Continue Reading…

Do Writers Really Have to Learn All That (Yucky) Grammar?

In a word, yes. In two words: absolutely yes.

I hear groans. I hear protests. You hated English Comp in school? Old, crotchety Mrs. Snigglegrass made you dissect sentences and name the parts of speech? You got a what as your final grade?

I feel your pain. Who ever makes grammar fun and easy? Learning grammar, to some people, is as much fun as getting a tooth pulled. Or having to memorize the multiplication tables or the capitals of all the countries in the world (remember when they never changed?). Terms like dangling modifiers, predicates, participial phrases, and subjunctive mood give some people the chills. Did you have to conjugate verbs back in junior high? Do you know the difference between the past progressive tense and the past perfect? No? Do you care? More than likely, you don’t. Continue Reading…

4 Time-Saving Social Media Tips

Today’s guest post is from social media expert Frances Caballo, who has some great tips for writers on streamlining and assessing time spent on social media sites. She’s just released a new book called Avoid Social Media Time Suck, which I’ve devoured and highly recommend every writer purchase! This is just a short bit from her book:

What is time suck? It’s the hours of time you can unintentionally spend in front of your computer reviewing Facebook posts, retweeting your Tweeps, and uploading photos while your writing and maybe even your family await your undivided attention.

We’ve all lost time while using Facebook. Perhaps our only intention was to post an update and an image, but then . . . look what happens instead. You see a post from a friend who is feeling down, so you stop to write an encouraging note. Then you notice that a colleague posted a great article about self-publishing and you can’t resist the temptation to read it. You navigate to the website with the article and you find a book for sale there. You’ve got to have it. So you go to Amazon, read the reviews, and decide whether you want a new or used version or an ebook. Continue Reading…