What are the hallmarks of an amateur novelist? This is a question I get all the time and, of course, there are many answers: poor pacing, flat dialogue, a lack of believable character development. All of these things are a death kiss for any fiction writer. However, even if all of these elements are in… Continue reading Why Theme MUST be the Foundation of Your Novel by Martin Cavannagh
You know that feeling when you hear a song on the radio and even though you have never heard it before, you know straight away who is singing it? Perhaps you don’t even need to hear the voice—the music is so distinct, it could only be them. That same unique element exists in most professionals,… Continue reading Find Your Writing Voice – “Speak up, I can’t hear you!”
Having spent many long, sometimes frustrating, months writing that epic, what happens when it is finally done? You had it professionally edited and proofread—maybe—and now it is time to unleash it on unsuspecting readers. It feels good to have the thing behind you, and you can now put to bed all those characters that haunted… Continue reading How to Get Over Writing Depression
Dazzled by the brilliance of your inspiration for a new book, shaking off the urge to start pounding away at that keyboard, you’ve caught your breath and took stock of what you are really facing. Slowly, a sobering realization breaks through that dazzle: that book idea now needs to be translated into 100,000 words or… Continue reading “Plotting Your Next Novel” by Stefan Vucak
When I get into a hole while writing, to clear my head and let things sort themselves out, which they usually do, I download an e-book to review. Saying it like that, the process sounds simple, but selecting a book is fraught with apprehension and hopeful expectation. Bombarded with flashy covers and eye-catching blurbs, sometimes… Continue reading “What Drives a Book Reviewer to Drink” ~ by Stefan Vucak
Ah, what writers do! Or should I say, what writers shouldn’t do!As an editor and book reviewer, I cringe when I see a manuscript fraught with beginner’s mistakes. It is not only that the manuscript looks disorganized, if I am editing it, before doing anything, I need to hammer it into proper format, which can… Continue reading “Are You Neglecting Your Manuscript?” by Stefan Vucak
I am sure someone famous once said that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Not sure about the genius part, but in writing, the rest is certainly true. When I wrote my first novel, and I use the term ‘write’ loosely – good thing it will never see the light of day… Continue reading “Turning that Inspiration into a Book” by Stefan Vucak
I’m fond of quoting this advice from André Gide: “Throw away my book: you must understand that it represents only one of a thousand attitudes. You must find your own. If someone else could have done something as well as you, don’t do it. If someone else could have said something as well as you,… Continue reading “Write the Book Only You Can Write!” ~ by Bruce Hartman
There are lots of things authors should not do when writing, like indiscriminate shifting point of view between characters, churn out your novel without a detailed outline, frequent usage of the same word, overusing slang…there are others. What I want to touch on here is the usage of adjectives.
If writing simply meant putting words on paper or into the computer, we would all have lots more fun. However, our readers might not think too much of our efforts. All of us have spent our primary school and high school years learning English: spelling, grammar, sentence and paragraph construction, writing essays…the memories are coming… Continue reading “How to Self-edit Your Novel” by Stefan Vucak
Effective writing begins with the Four Cs—ensuring your work is Correct, Consistent, Clear, and Compelling. Though the editor is there to help the author ensure all of these, the author can—in fact, is responsible for—creating the best work possible to begin with. It takes a little extra time, but excellence can’t be rushed.
Sometimes there is so much going on in my brain, or sometimes nothing, which is not good when I need it to have something. During those time I just need to clear my head.
I think balance is the thing many people struggle with, especially women. Society expects women to be the caretakers of the family and home. But in today’s world, women usually have to also hold a job, whether it be outside the home, or like the lucky ones, working from home.
Strong or soft? Loud or quiet? Fast or slow? Like romantic pursuit, tailor your writing for those who will be seduced. You bring a dozen red roses or a bottle of Jack Daniels. You whisper “sweet nothings” or shout vitriol. You go prosaic, fluid, meandering, effusive, grandiose, or torrential or terse. Is this courtship or… Continue reading “Romancing the Audience” by Lori Stephens
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.—Cicero Our culture is so saturated with information that we can literally make ourselves ill (and crazy) from it. We are drowning in pictures, TV, billboards, books, magazines, the Internet…you get the picture. Do you know there are rehab treatment centers where people go… Continue reading “Bombard with Simplicity” by Lori Stephens
The first challenge of becoming a writer for me was the whole idea of becoming a writer. That was for clever people, I used to think. Where to begin? With a pen and paper – all right, here goes. Then came the second challenge, what was I going to write about? And the third, where… Continue reading “The Teething Problems of Becoming a Writer” by Laura Graham
People are quirky, unpredictable, emotional, and often cannot be relied upon. Governed by the environment within which they live, knowledge accumulated over years of learning, whether formal or through personal endeavor, and simply interacting with others, an individual is a complex matrix of what means to be human. Above all things, people are self-centered, always… Continue reading “How to Make Your Characters Believable” by Stefan Vucak
For those of you not already schooled in the subject, I have an amazingly insightful revelation: people in England call underwear “pants.” I’ll stop and let that sink in.
When I started writing, some seven or eight years ago, I had no clue how to do it. I just wrote. There was a story in my head and it came out through my finger tips. But then I started learning there were rules. Basic rules about storytelling and characters. I read a couple books… Continue reading “Plotting Versus Pansing and What to do if You Ever Want to Sell on Proposal” by Stephanie Haefner
There are a few things can effectively ruin a writer’s day. Writer’s block, a cold shower, a tingling sense of hopelessness festering in the back of your mind. Running out of god damn coffee. But none of that matters right now. We’re here to discuss the weight class up, a problem that made you its… Continue reading “The Adverb Suddenly” ~ by J T Fisher
Creativity is a learned skill. It is something that requires practice. If you would like to be creative you cannot expect that you will naturally be so. Although, children tend to exhibit it a bit more naturally because they are willing to fail a little more than us adults. I think that the most important… Continue reading “Creativity” ~ by Corey Smith
For years I had a story line in mind for my first book. ‘Re-write the legends’ I thought, ‘it will be easy!’ I was very wrong. I would constantly stumble, falter over what colour whose eyes were. To stop forgetting minor details I tried writing them in a file titled Notes, but before I knew… Continue reading “How A First Time Author Overcomes Writer’s Block” ~ by Susan Hatton
When someone starts talking about literature, the image that comes to mind is one of old, musty books written by guys such as Balzac, Turgenjev and Dostojevski, to name but a few in that pantheon. It also conjures, or should I say dredges up, memories of dull, boring books that school systems everywhere force on… Continue reading “Science Fiction is Also Literary Writing!” ~ by Stefan Vucak
It seems like every great book needs one. We need a great bad guy, a real bastard (or bitch, as the situation warrants) that we can love to hate. It could be the guy the cops are racing against the clock to bring down in a thriller novel, but in a middle grade novel the… Continue reading “How Bad Is Your Bad Guy?” ~ by Mercy Pilkington
Rochelle Weber – CLICK HERE for an interview and book review and links to learn more about Rochelle “Off the top of my head, please encourage new authors to check Preditors & Editors before they sign with anyone for anything. They keep a list of publishers, editorial services and agents and while some may slip… Continue reading Quick Advice and Quotable Quotes From a Variety of Authors
Everybody is getting excited these days about head hopping in writing, and everybody is telling you how that kills a story. Perhaps, and then perhaps not. For inexperienced writers, it can be a trap, but if you know what you are doing, it can enhance your writing, making it more vibrant and powerful. I am… Continue reading “Point of View and Head Hopping” ~ Stefan Vucak
So, you want to be a writer, eh? I’d suggest you take up golf instead. It’s just as frustrating, but at least you get some fresh air. Still determined? I’m not going to talk about why you want to write. That’s a story in itself. You have read widely and perhaps dabbled at writing some… Continue reading “Practical Advice for Beginning Fiction Writers” – by Stefan Vucak
So you’ve finished your book that has consumed the last couple of years of your life. From the hatching of the original idea in your brain to the countless drafts, constant rewrites, book cover designing and redesigning, editing followed by more rewriting. Now finally, one beautiful sunny morning, you smile as you look at your… Continue reading “Sometimes It Pays To Be A Realist!” – by Roger Gerald Scott
Your writing blog can become the beating heart of your author platform. Social media has its place and all the different types will be covered in future posts, but twitter, Facebook (and some you may not have even heard of yet) can be ephemeral and capricious. You may have an author website as your ‘shop… Continue reading “Ten Tips for Developing Your Writing Blog” – by Tony Riches
If you haven’t grasped it yet, everything you write needs to be researched! At first glance, that’s a pretty sweeping statement. Regardless of topic or genre, an idea for a story involves, well, the story. Then come the characters, the locale, behavioral mannerisms…you get the idea. Before you start writing, you must get… Continue reading “How to Research Before Writing that Book” by Stefan Vucak