Tag Archive - writing tips

Nailing Genre by Studying Successful Authors

I’m going to talk a bit about craft in some of these Writing for Life posts since they are off topic from the course I’m running this year (The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction, which runs Wednesdays). And really, this topic has as much to do with marketing as it does with actual writing craft. And for some, it’s a controversial topic.

Although there are some who oppose studying, deconstructing, mimicking, or breaking down (it’s called many different things) another writer’s work, I wholeheartedly encourage it. When I studied one particular novel last year to get a feel for a genre I had never written in, and then ran a blog post about my process (which went viral through the Internet writing world), in the midst of tremendous support for what I’d done, I had a handful (three or four) people go on the warpath to attack what I did. Continue Reading…

5 Writer Goals to Help You Avoid Overwhelm

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do to be a writer? If so, join the club. Sometimes the writing journey feels overwhelming. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish the mind-boggling amount of things we writers feel must get done in order to grow not just as writers but in order to establish our place in the publishing world.

Years ago, all an author had to do was write a book and send it off to a publisher (one handwritten copy at a time!), and if her manuscript was accepted, the publisher did all the work of publishing and promoting. Now, authors have to be writer, marketer, publicist—and sometimes publisher—in order to make strides to become known and to have their books sold and distributed. Continue Reading…

Play for Pay: Leisure Yields Ideas for Marketable Stories

Today’s guest post is from my inspiring author friend Karen O’Connor:

On days when ideas and words are scarce, I no longer force myself to sit at my desk and stew about it. I get up and do something else. I meet a friend for an early-morning hike. I walk with my husband around our community. I prune and water our plants. I write in my journal.

Out of the “something else,” ideas for books, essays, stories, and articles come to me more easily. I’m always surprised, even though this practice has never failed me. The more relaxed and rested I am, the more quickly my mind delivers the kind of material I can turn into marketable submissions. For example:

Squeeze the Moment: Making the Most of Life’s Gifts and Challenges (Regal Books) was largely written in my mind as I walked each day along the beach, months before I put my thoughts on paper. Continue Reading…

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