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…Continue
Added by Jill Jepson on May 18, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments
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.…Continue
Last week, Catharine Bramkamp talked about…Continue
Added by Zetta Brown on May 19, 2015 at 11:37am — No 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…Continue
Despite what the glamorous life of J.K. Rowling may imply, being a writer does not a rich person make. It is a profession of passion, with an average salary at best.
So when you are faced with the personal expenses of promoting your book, you have to get choosy about where your dollars will be spent. An abundant budget would be nice, but most authors are faced with the strategic decision of where to put their marketing money, and when to do it.
While there are free ways to grow…Continue
Sometimes I go on the Internet when I should be writing. I know, it’s a startling confession, but it’s true. (Even now, I have my email screen open alongside my Word doc, so I guess I should just close it...wait...J Jill has a sale...)
What I tell myself in these situations is that I am looking for…Continue
Added by Cindy Eastman on May 16, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments
As a country, we grapple with more than our share of discrimination challenges—where people of color, LGBTQ folks, and people with disabilities (to call out only a few of the bigger groups) feel its blow every single day. And while it’s frustrating at best, and often devastating, at…Continue
Who is the real me?
Everyone's personal story has drama, but most people don't see their life play out on a made-for-TV movie. In 1990, I watched one of the biggest stories of my life on television, and the experience gave me a whole new opportunity to reflect on who "the real me" was.
As a child, my adoption was never concealed from me, but neither was it openly discussed. I was happy growing up in Texas with my mother and grandparents, but at age ten I began having terrible…Continue
Added by Shannon Kincaid on May 11, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments
The comma indicates the smallest break in sentence structure of all the punctuation in the English language, but that doesn’t mean it’s always user-friendly. Some people are prone to overpunctuating with commas, crafting staccato sentences that feel too formal or too choppy, while other people write entire paragraphs without a single comma in sight, creating stream of consciousness–type writing that’s equally anxiety-provoking and vague. As with most things, moderation is the ticket where…Continue
In my last blog post I wrote about whether or not inquiring after overdue submissions was worth it or whether it would incite the ire of managing editors everywhere. My mind wasn’t exactly changed after writing that piece, or after reading…Continue
I have been very lucky by having guests…Continue
Added by Zetta Brown on May 12, 2015 at 7:30am — No Comments
For my newest book (Wait for the Rain, which came out in February), my publisher and I were torn between several cover options, so my editor suggested we narrow it down to two and then put it out to my fans to vote. Needless to say, I was thrilled by this idea, and my fans loved it too! I asked them to weigh in by a certain date via my…Continue
There's a lot that goes into creating a quality blog post or online article. You've got to think about SEO (that's search engine optimization, or how people are going to find your article when they "google"), your keywords, your headlines, when to use an H1 or an H2 ... and this could just as easily…Continue
In honor of Teacher’s Appreciation Week, which was May 4-8, here’s a list of qualities some of the best writing teachers share. They may not be the first thoughts that enter your mind when thinking about studying writing, but teachers with the personality traits listed below make excellent writing guides. Don’t…Continue
Six years ago this month, I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder’s journalism school without really knowing what my journalistic future would hold. Throughout J-school, I would be encouraged to find local stories in the community, ended up writing about all kinds of people:…Continue
If you write and publish, you know that thick skin is required. Writers, all of us, are an insecure lot. Even the most talented and prolific writers I coach and edit crave validation, need to hear those magic words: “Yes, it’s good.” But even when it’s good, if you’re exposing any…Continue
Remembering the unkind words of former teachers.
Going over all the disappointments you’ve suffered.
Telling yourself you don’t know how…Continue
I love hearing great speakers present a well-crafted message. I especially love presentations when the speaker is an author whose books I've read. Even if we've never met, it feels as if we have a connection. I’m eager to hear my favorite authors speak because their message has already intrigued, entertained, or inspired me.
So when I learned that Lysa TerKeurst was scheduled to speak at an event about an hour down the road, I knew I would…Continue
Whenever possible, I suggest making a concerted effort to have at least one copy of your book with you wherever you go. You never know when you're going to come across a potential reader, so it's best to be prepared. I've sold (and given away) many books over the years simply because I had a copy with me. The reality is that most people will go their entire lives without meeting an author, so when it happens, they are often excited to buy a signed copy. Why? Because even if they…Continue