This is where alpha readers come to the rescue! Alpha readers are the wonderful humans you are willing to trust your newborn book baby with. They’re a set of fresh eyes who can help you navigate the rough terrain of your manuscript and identify what areas need work.
Setting is not just a place in which characters are pinned down to keep them from floating off into the ether. And writing setting should not be a static description of the characters’ surroundings. If you want your setting to help forward the plot, reveal character, convey mood, or any number of other narrative functions it can perform, you need to activate it. Here are some ideas that will keep your setting from amounting to mere backdrop or scenery.
We’re very excited to feature Jonny Garza Villa, the author of “Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun” in our debut author series. Jonny’s debut novel is all about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.
Bullet journaling, when used to its maximum potential, can be a busy writer’s best friend. It can help set, track, and meet writing goals. Organize ….
In the fall of 2013, I was taking a year off from college while I tried to figure out what I wanted to major in. ….
Haven’t read Stephanie’s last post about Finding The Perfect CP? Don’t miss out! Click here to read. So, you wanna break up with your CP. ….
A writer’s attention usually falls on their hero or perhaps their villain. But too often, side characters get slapped on as an afterthought instead of being thought through and used as pillars and foundations, obstacles, and conflict generators. Here are three ways to improve your side characters.
This is a sponsored guest post. Thanks to platforms like Amazon, self-publishing is easier than ever these days for authors who don’t want to traditionally ….
For years, Katlyn was a contracted author who had little control over her books after they were published. The lack of marketing for her books after their “season” and low royalties made her feel like a failure, but when she got the rights back to her book, she had a new sense of purpose to keep these books published on her terms. Her article explores the ins and outs of rights reversion and why it is important for the long-term vision for your book.
The ability to describe is the key to great storytelling, but when it comes to depicting characters, our first impulse is often to go straight ….
On January 30, 2021, I took the plunge and pitched live to a literary agent for the first time! It was a huge rush and I’m so glad I did it….The event came and went and I ended up getting a full request! That’s not the only good thing to come out of my pitch event, though. Below, I’ve gathered the top five things I learned from pitching an agent via Zoom.
Most people might assume that once they become a parent, there is no time for writing. And if they manage to find some spare time, they are too exhausted to make any headway on a draft. I used to think the same thing. However, I have surprisingly made the most progress in my writing after becoming a mother.
Imagine this, you’re sitting in your favorite writing space, frantically scribbling on the page until you finally see it, the words you’ve been waiting to see you since you began writing: “The End.” Reaching the end of a manuscript can be a thrilling, cathartic experience, but for many, it invokes new anxieties. In this article we’ll be addressing these concerns.
Writing can be lonely (even with the supportive #writingcommunity at your back!) and sometimes we don’t realize when we fall into bad habits that hurt, not help, our writing. If you feel like something’s missing, here are five question to analyze if you have toxic writing practices that might be holding you back from realizing your full potential.
Aspiring novelists typically know they need a completed manuscript to land an agent or publisher, and certainly to self-publish their book. What they aren’t sure about is whether they need a social media presence, so today we’re answering your #trending social media questions. Let’s go!
Other than a writer’s time, editing services can be one of the costliest purchases for a manuscript. However, paying an editor will increase your final project’s value. Whether you are considering hiring a copyeditor for your fifth published book, or you are halfway through your first experience with an editor, here are five steps to help you get the most value out of your editorial experience.
When I started querying my novel, I tried to think of a way to make the inevitable rejection a fun and inspiring part of the journey. Rejection needed to spur me on rather than discourage me, and as with any unpleasant task, a little reward goes a long way.
Writing microfiction is tricky to navigate, so we’d love to dive deeper into what makes a great piece of microfiction great. Here is Kimberly Straub’s winning piece with our interlinear notes. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that the first chapter is one of the most important chapters of your manuscript. In fact, many writers argue that it is the singular most important chapter, and we’re inclined to agree. After all, the first chapter is, for many readers, the deciding factor on whether or not to continue reading.
Arguably the most iconic character this side of the 21st century, David Rose is a force of unstoppable sarcasm and sass. As writing is a roller coaster of emotions, eye rolls, and rare glimpses of vulnerability, we’ve cultivated 15 gifs full of David Rose energy that encapsulate the joys (and woes) of the writing process.
No matter what you’re writing or your level of expertise, making the reader actually feel a certain way about your writing should be a goal. However, sometimes trying to reach that goal can be elusive. I’m here to help with 5 Steps to Writing with Emotion.
While brainstorming your pitch, you may be wondering: Which details should be included in the pitch? Do we reveal the ending? Where do I even start? If this is you, keep reading.
Beginnings. They seem innocent, yet they possess the inexplicable ability to bring a writer to their knees. First lines haunt us late into the night until we spring up from bed only to greet the sun with the rhythmic pounding of the backspace key.
Expecting rejection isn’t defeatist, it’s understanding the reality of the industry. Literary agents may like your story, but they need to love it; to obsess over your characters and plots; to have an editorial vision for it. Agents can’t (or at least, don’t want to) pitch projects to editors without having a deep-rooted belief in the story.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that when so much is out of our control, there are still things we can control (like writing!). Here are my best tips on how to take control of your writing and persevere as you work towards your writing goals.
Busy would be an understatement to describe my current situation, and one thing keeps getting put on the backburner… my writing routine. If you also feel like your day job is starting to slowly replace your writing routine, don’t let it! Here are a few tips on how to keep your writing routine on the front burner.
Writing a synopsis is a challenging endeavor, but we’ve written several (and we mean several) synopses over the course of our careers and have managed to gather some wisdom along the way. Without further ado, here’s our top 10 tips on how to write a book synopsis.
The process of improving your writing through reading is cyclical: more engagement means more opportunities to see the world through a different lens, which leads to a desire to engage more. As a result, you learn to write engaging material for your readers, and who doesn’t want that? So let’s take a look at a few things you can start doing now to improve your writing through reading.
While the literary community might frown upon or call them unoriginal, I have reason to believe they should be encouraged. After all, what’s the golden rule of writing? Write what you know! What could you possibly know better than yourself?
It’s a great time to give our character writing skills the attention it deserves; people of all walks of life and identities crave representation in the stories they consume. And just as important is knowing what it takes to make your characters believable and memorable to readers.
Congratulations! You’ve written your first draft, put it out of your mind for a few weeks (or months) and are prepared to dive back into edits. You’ve got your colored pens or highlighters at the ready; your characters eagerly await your return. But where to start?
It’s time to turn that story crafted from months of blood, sweat, and tears (and love, of course) into a book on the shelves, but where to even start? If you’re pursuing the traditional publishing route, the first step is to find yourself an agent who loves your story as much as you do. In order to land an agent, however, you must craft the perfect query letter.
I don’t know about you, but self-care can be a challenge for me. It’s an oft-neglected part of our busy lives anyway, and then you add writing goals, and self-care moves ever further down the list of priorities. For the sake of all of us (myself included!), I’m here today to share my best self-care tips for writers.
My first five tips, Embrace Being a Newbie, Be 100% Certain You’re Ready to Query, Celebrate Rejections, Do Not Give Up, and Be Professional all dealt with the process itself. The final five tips, however, really focus on self-reflection. After all, writing can be a very lonely process and it’s important to know yourself and what you want out of your career before taking this next step!
Don’t judge anything that wants to live on the page. Start writing whatever comes to mind first, and don’t worry about where you start and where you finish.
Because I interact with many writers, I have a feeling that more than one person reading this right now is either experiencing their own dry spell or knows what it’s like. So I’d like to share with you some of the things that have helped me get back to writing after a dry spell, in hopes that they’ll be helpful for you now or in the future.
On July 25, 2019, I sent my first-ever query for the first book I’d ever written. I was positive it would sign in a heartbeat. Five months later, I received the 22nd rejection on that book and shelved the project. Less than half a year of querying doesn’t seem long—and in the grand scheme of a writing journey it’s merely a blip—but it was more than enough time to learn valuable lessons I needed to advance my writing career.
Ten years ago, I woke up with an idea. An idea I wasn’t sure how to make room for amidst other priorities. I wrote in starts and stops. Hills of progress. Valleys of neglect. Until one day, I emerged with a 85,000-word first draft.
First and foremost, thanks to all who submitted to our July Worldbuilding Contest! We enjoyed reading each and every piece. Due to popular demand, we ….
Your book deserves to be treated with dedicated care and attention. Whether it is traditional publishing, full-service indie publishing, or self-managed indie publishing, be sure it’s the right path for you.