Features (2,062)

Avoid Tangents in Your Story

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…


Added by Maria Murnane on April 15, 2014 at 8:52am — No Comments

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

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.”…


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

Self-Published Authors Don’t Need a New Term

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…


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

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

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…


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

Why Are the Casseroles Always Tuna?

My book, Breathe, will be birthed in one month and I have a long list of things to do to prepare for the big day (get rid of my wrinkles, learn how to apply makeup, order a cake, etc.). This list often wakes me up at 5 a.m. and won’t let me go back to sleep. And so it was…


Added by Kelly Kittel on April 11, 2014 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments


As a New Yorker, born and bred, I feel entitled to kvetch, and I may have never kvetched more than in dealing with the fate of my Paris memoir. But for once I have something to kvell about: Breathless now exists as an…


Added by Nancy K. Miller on April 10, 2014 at 10:00am — 3 Comments

From the First Self-Publishing Summit to a First Self-Published Book: Part I

Really? A book designed and controlled by the writer? A conversation between Kim Chernin and Renate…


Added by Renate Stendhal on April 9, 2014 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

[REALITY CHECK] - Marketing Plan 101 by Kathleen Kaska

This week, mystery buff and successful mystery author Kathleen Kaska shares her tips on how to create a marketing plan and how to create one before you publish. Why? Because having one prepared--even if it's just a preliminary plan--will be of service to your future publisher and can…


Added by Zetta Brown on April 9, 2014 at 7:30am — 11 Comments

[PATH TO PUBLICATION] Working with a Developmental Editor

In high school, I wanted to break out of my wallflower role and participate in the social life some had told me would be the pinnacle of my existence (not true, I would later discover, but that’s another story). Athletics seemed to be at the core, yet I feared fast-moving balls, could not balance all…


Added by Elizabeth Enslin on April 8, 2014 at 10:00am — 12 Comments

Quirks make characters real

In a previous post, I talked about character arcs. This week, I'd like to delve into the characters themselves. I like to give mine little quirks. Why? Because I think quirks are what make people real, and I want my readers to think my characters are like real people.


Here's an example: I've written four novels with the same protagonist, and once in a while she tells corny…


Added by Maria Murnane on April 8, 2014 at 8:06am — 2 Comments

What Editing Taught Me About My Own Writing

I thought that overseeing my writing group’s anthology as a self-published book would interfere with my own writing. Instead it made me a stronger writer. 


Two years ago I proposed to my group the Write On Mamas that we self-publish an anthology of our essays. To sweeten the deal, I…


Added by Janine Kovac on April 7, 2014 at 12:00am — 11 Comments

[SWP: BEHIND THE BOOK] The Social Media Conundrum

I am one of those people who thrives on intimate conversation. My favorite sort is one-to-one, preferably barefoot, feet tucked under me on a couch, coffee cup in hand. If it’s a dinner gathering, I like small groupings of four, six people, max. But compel me to attend a large, loud cocktail party? Just the…


Added by Jill Smolowe on April 6, 2014 at 7:30pm — 11 Comments

[NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS] Should You Get a PhD in Creative Writing? The Pros and Cons

While networking at AWP in February, I attended a panel titled "What's a PhD in Creative Writing Worth?" Following are answers from four writers with PhDs in Creative Writing from various universities:


Will Donnelly

MFA from…


Added by Meghan Ward on April 3, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

[DIARY OF A MEMOIRIST] My Memoirs Made Me Jewish

In the year 2000 I received a phone call from a real estate broker who informed me that I had inherited a small plot of land on the outskirts of Jerusalem from my paternal grandparents. The phone call led to years of research and traveling because it opened the door on a family history I knew nothing about. What I found―and didn’t find―ultimately made me want to write a…


Added by Nancy K. Miller on April 3, 2014 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

6 Tips For Independent/Self-Published Authors

It’s a known fact that the publishing industry has gone through sizable changes in the past years.  Downsizing, eBooks, POD, Kindle, Amazon . . . with all that's occurred, a lot of people (of which I am one) now lack faith in the traditional publishing model. Let’s face it: they are definitely behind the…


Added by Heather Jacks on April 2, 2014 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

Hello, nice to meet you all.

I’m Elizabeth Isadora Gold. I’m a writer, a teacher, a mother, and a wife, in no particular order. About two months ago, after over a decade of “being a writer,” I sold my first book. The Mommy Group: Freaking Out, F**king Up, and the First Two Years will be published by Atria Books in early 2016.…


Added by Elizabeth Isadora Gold on April 2, 2014 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

Sex and the Single Writer

Here's something funny. The cover quote on Erica Jong's groundbreaking Fear of Flying calls it "the most uninhibited, delicious, erotic novel a woman ever wrote." That was in 1974 and the praise came from John Updike.

Fast forward thirty-four years to when Updike - no stranger to erotic writing – won a…


Added by Meg Bortin on April 1, 2014 at 10:00am — 10 Comments

Leveling the Playing Field—Why All Book Reviews Should be Pay-for Reviews

Like a lot of things in book publishing, the system by which books get reviewed operates on an antiquated system. In other words, books get reviewed how they’ve always been reviewed, which means that: (1) the system has yet to catch up to the times; and (2) there’s a propagation of the idea that an…


Added by Brooke Warner on March 31, 2014 at 10:00pm — 21 Comments

Spring Resolution #2: Get Marketing!

In my last post I encouraged you to sit down and write at least 500 words a day. For those of you who already have a book in hand, now it's time to get marketing!…


Added by Maria Murnane on April 1, 2014 at 8:42am — 5 Comments

[SWP: BEHIND THE BOOK] One Month from Publication and I’ve Figured Out What's Important

As of this writing, I am one month from the publication of my first novel, The Rooms Are Filled. My To Do list grows ever longer, several planned events loom over me like a Most Embarrassing Moment waiting to happen, and I’ve started acting like a hyper version of myself.…


Added by Jessica Vealitzek on March 29, 2014 at 9:30am — 32 Comments

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