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Blog Posts

[Breakfast with the Muse] 4 Compelling Ways to Write Emotion

Posted by Jill Jepson on May 18, 2015 at 7:30am 0 Comments

One of the easiest things to write badly is emotion.

Long after a writer has learned to create interesting characters, construct strong plots, invent believable settings, and come up with convincing dialogue, she might still be writing sentences like, “Marissa felt really, really angry” or “Jake was happy as a clam.”

It wasn’t until multiple writing teachers had commented on my tendency to describe my characters’ feelings with boring words like “cheerful” and “depressed” that I began to make a serious study of how excellent writers depict emotions. What I found was that, while writing emotion may be easy to screw up, it’s also easy to fix, if you know a few simple techniques.

Here are four ways to depict emotion in your writing, with examples from some of the best writers…


[TIPS OF THE TRADE]: What makes you smile -- and why it matters

Posted by Ellen Cassedy on May 20, 2015 at 6:00am 1 Comment

It all began with a clarinet.

I played the clarinet when I was a girl, but after the audition for college orchestra went badly, I put the instrument away in a closet (a series of closets, actually), and didn’t touch it again for three decades.      

Then one day my friend Josh told me he was in a bind.  His daughter’s bat mitzvah was coming up, and he’d lovingly arranged a little piece for it.  But the clarinetist in the ensemble (age 12) had decided she didn’t want to play after all.  Could I fill in?



[REALITY CHECK] - What NOT to Do With a Podcast Guest - Catharine Bramkamp

Posted by Zetta Brown on May 19, 2015 at 11:37am 0 Comments

Last week, Catharine Bramkamp talked about how to book guests for your podcast.

Continuing with our mini-series on podcasting, this week, Catharine will address something that I'm sure causes any podcaster the flop sweats, embarrassment, and loss of face: how to handle--and avoid--disasters.…


[SWP: Behind the Book] The Stories We Need to Tell

Posted by Ellen Bravo on May 15, 2015 at 5:00am 15 Comments

When I started the search for a publisher for Again and Again, a high-profile friend referred me to a big-name agent (we’ll call him Mr. Big). “He wants women writers,” she told me. “Your novel is just what he’s looking for.”

Mr. Big worked the old-fashioned way: no electronic submissions. As directed by his website, I sent a single-page query via snail mail. Six weeks later I got a one-paragraph reply in my mailbox asking for the first fifty pages, which I shipped immediately. Another six weeks went by before I got the request for the entire manuscript, and at least another six before I got a call from this agent’s assistant. “I loved your novel,” he said, “and so did my colleague, also a man. We’re sure the big guy will love it, too.” [Really, that’s what they called him.] “I…


Community Blog

The Top 4 Reasons Self-Tanner Rules

With summer just around the corner, it's no doubt that most of us are prepping for the wardrobe change from sweaters and long johns to tank tops and sundresses. Although fashion is one thing about the warmer weather that gets me excited, I also end up with a small amount of anxiety about weather or not my "bod" is prepped for parading around in the associated revealing attire.

But, if you're anything like me, you know that one of the simplest tricks in the…

FoodFic Look at "I Am Number Four"

When we first meet our hero – Number Four – he’s Daniel James of South Florida. But not for long. You see, Four is literally the fourth of 9 Lorien Garde who are hiding on Earth from Mogadorian hunters until their…

Gank In Her Tank - from my memoir Here Is Everything Fine

VI. Gank In Her Tank

“Gank! Gank in my tank!” she screamed.

I thought these were the words I heard, anyway. It was only five am, and I was between wakefulness and dreaming, dreaming that Mom and I were at the movies. I don’t remember what the movie was but in the dream Mom was well, she had hair and was laughing and eating Jujubees. I didn’t want to wake from it, but then…

3 Way to Choose The Best Colour Lipstick for Your Complexion

As women, we tend to fall into two different categories when it comes to lipstick: those who love it and wear it all the time, and those who feel overwhelmed by all of the options and choose to avoid it altogether. 

Do not fret if you find yourself in the second category as I have taken the liberty of compiling the 3 key tips that will ensure that you select the best colour of lipstick for you, without fail, each and every time. 

After starting…

Interview with Joan Schweighardt, Author of ‘The Accidental Art Thief’

 Joan Schweighardt is a former indie publisher who now works as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. The Accidental Art Thiefis her fifth novel.

Connect with Joan on the web:

Website Twitter / …


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    Latest Activity

    Brooke Warner commented on the blog post 'What Indie Authors Can Do about the Book Industry’s Discrimination Problem'
    "What you cut and pasted here is pretty on par with what I think of as normal industry rates. SWP charges $60/hour for copyediting. Obviously this is a tricky space because it can get a little subjective, and some editors are helping authors and…"
    57 minutes ago
    Jane Hanser commented on the blog post 'What Indie Authors Can Do about the Book Industry’s Discrimination Problem'
    "Here's a question for you, Brooke. On average, how much time, how many hours, does SPW spend editing - Developmental editing and Copy editing - the books that it publishes?"
    1 hour ago
    Jane Hanser commented on the blog post 'What Indie Authors Can Do about the Book Industry’s Discrimination Problem'
    "Thanks for your response, Brooke, and for clarifying. it's very difficult to self-judge ones own work/grammar. Even the best of writers cannot. And that assumes that all indie writers know all the rules of grammar and punctuation, which is a…"
    1 hour ago
    Laura McNeill liked Christelle Lujan's blog post 3 Marketing Scenarios Where Authors Need to Pay to Play
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