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Blog Posts

Avoid Tangents in Your Story

Posted by Maria Murnane on April 15, 2014 at 8:52am 0 Comments

When I was writing my first novel, I was so excited to be WRITING A NOVEL that I ended up writing a lot of scenes that had nothing to do with the actual plot. But I didn't care because it was so fun to be WRITING A NOVEL! When I finished the first draft I was so thrilled to see my own words on the page that I didn't consider that readers might be confused by the superfluous scenes sprinkled throughout the manuscript. found them entertaining enough to include simply because I'd written them. That was enough for me.

Tangents leave your readers scratching their heads

My agent, however, had other ideas. She had me cut out several scenes, gently explaining to me that, although mildly amusing, they had nothing to do with the…


[SWP: BEHIND THE BOOK] What I Learned About Using Song Lyrics While Writing "In the Shadow of Lies"

Posted by Mary Adler on April 12, 2014 at 2:00pm 4 Comments

Somet imes, a song enters my mind and becomes the soundtrack for the scene I’m writing, particularly if the scene includes Oliver--the main character of my new book In the Shadow of Lies--who shares my love of music. Early in the book, he sits in the dark listening to Billie Holiday sing “Gloomy Sunday.” If the reader knows the song, she knows something significant about Oliver and may begin to wonder what has caused him to seek comfort in that song.

Music evokes a mood, creates the feeling of a certain time and place. I wanted to create that three-dimensional experience for the reader, so I quoted some lyrics, wove them into the narrative. But once the manuscript was revised and edited, and my brain cleared, I began to wonder whether copyright law permitted me to use them.

What I…


Self-Published Authors Don’t Need a New Term

Posted by Brooke Warner on April 14, 2014 at 10:00pm 10 Comments

A couple weeks ago I had an article published in Publishers Weekly about third-way publishing, something I’ve blogged about here at She Writes. A lot of the comments, especially those that stirred me up, had to do with terms—who gets to call themselves what; how She Writes Press is or isn't different from self-publishing. The article was timely because just one week later, Amazon's John Fine spoke at the Publishing for Digital Minds conference in London, where he noted that the term…


[BODY, MIND & SPIRIT] Why Writing Isn’t Selfish Navel-Gazing

Posted by Bella Mahaya Carter on April 13, 2014 at 8:00pm 4 Comments

Recently, in my writing class, one of my students apologized because she’d spent her thirty minutes of writing time scribbling what she described as “nothing worth reading.” This woman is a wonderful poet, fiction writer, and English Department Chair at one of the most prestigious private schools in Los Angeles. Everyone in our class knew that although she felt “off” that night, chances were better than decent she’d written something worth listening to—despite her disclaimer that it was “just a bunch of selfish navel-gazing.”

Of course, her writing was nothing of the sort. Though her writing was a bit gloomy and dark, it was also introspective, insightful, and deeply moving. When she finished reading, the room was silent. No one wanted to break the spell woven by her words.



Community Blog

Author G.X. Chen Announces The Release Of Her Latest Highly-Anticipated Mystery Novel ‘The Mystery of Moutai’

April 15, 2014 (LOS ANGELES, CA) - G.X. Chen announced today that her latest mystery novel The Mystery of Moutai is now available for sale on Amazon.


In The Mystery of Moutai, a teenager returns home from school to find a gruesome scene: the apartment he shares with his mother,…

[Making the Leap] Singing Like Amy

When I was younger, like in high school younger, I used to sing a lot. I wasn't all that bad, back in th’ day. Of course, when I sang with the school choir, I sang with my choir voice. When I sang alone in my bedroom using the hair brush as a microphone (oh come on, you did it too, admit it), I tried to sound like Barbara Streisand or…

Blog Giveaway...

May I be so bold as to ask this favor?…

Seeing the Joy in Affliction by Michael Shelley


Seeing the Joy in Affliction Title: Seeing the Joy in Affliction
Genre: Religious
Author: Michael Shelley
Publisher: iUniverse
EBook: 128 pages
Release Date: October 8, 2004
ISBN: 978-0-59577-656-6…


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    What's the absolute best use for new writing material?

    Started by Francine Huss in General. Last reply by Anna Miriam Keller Feb 28. 7 Replies

    My first book is currently in production with She Writes Press for publish date of April 2014. Meanwhile, while writing Book 1, I completely deleted a whole last section of the book, a continuation on how to use everything in the book on a daily…Continue

    She Writes Press News: Announcing Hysterical, by Rebecca Coffey

    Started by Caitlyn Levin in General. Last reply by Renate Stendhal on Saturday. 3 Replies

    There are several serviceable biographies about child psychoanalyst Anna Freud, who lived from 1895 to 1982. But as a fictional memoir, Hysterical…Continue


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