Audio stimulation can help a ton with writing–I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s worth bringing up again. Reading a draft aloud can help you find mistakes that you never could have caught otherwise, and playing appropriate music can bring your writing to life in ways that you’ve never imagined. BookTrack is a digital platform that … More BookTrack Review: Books with Soundtracks?
Online Indie writing conference IndieReCon ended last night with a bang, and I have a ton of stuff to write about and to implement for my own books. The whole conference is still available online here and will be added to the archives shortly if you want to catch up, though some of the best … More IndieReCon: The Aftermath
I hadn’t heard of IndieReCon until only about a month ago, but I’m glad I did–and I’m looking forward to sharing all kinds of indie and self-publishing goodies with you over the next week! Before I get into that, let me explain to you what this event is and why I think it will be … More IndieReCon 2015: Information and Press Release
I’ve self-published several of my own novels, but as a reader I usually cringe at the thought of reading those written by others. As a writer, the self-publishing world is full of promise, excitement and adventure. As a reader… it’s nothing more than a dump of rejected and amateurish failures of wannabe writers who can’t … More 5 Ways to Make Your Indie Novel Stand Out
They say never to judge a book by its cover, but everyone does that anyway. I remember one time stepping into a bookstore and being hypnotized by a glamorous, holographic and glittery cover to a new fantasy novel that I had to buy, regardless of the writing quality or story itself. But if you go … More Don’t Begin Your Novel Like This!
One of the most challenging parts of writing in the fantasy genre is creating the universe. You could spend years designing the cultures and backgrounds to your novel before putting pen to paper, but you need to monitor the world constantly to keep it as consistent, full, and detailed as possible while keeping it grounded … More 10 Facts about Your Fantasy Universe (You Don’t Know Yet)
Introducing the perfect writing formula! Three steps to writing and publishing the novel of your dreams! Ingredients: 2 cups flour 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup sugar 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup cold water Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees … More 3 Steps to The Perfect Novel!
How long should my book be? It’s a silly question, or so it seems. What does length matter so long as the story is well written? I have by turn either obsessed over novel length or ignored it entirely, but I do think that it is a topic worth covering. There are expected lengths for … More A Note on Novel Length
A few years ago, I found myself staring tensely at my computer screen, fingers hovering over the keyboard as I wrestled with a problem that every conservative writer must face when trying to keep fiction realistic. One of my characters was going to swear. And I did not want to write a swear word. What … More Sex, Swearing, and What You Don’t Want to Write
Routines are popular among creative writers, and for good reason. They enforce the habit of writing and help you stay productive and consistent in your work. But they’re also tragically easy to fall out of, and finding a routine that works for you can take a lot of time and energy that you would rather … More How to Set up A Productive Writing Routine
That’s it. I’ve had it. I’ve seen her too many times on the big screen, small screen and in the pages of otherwise awesome books. I’ve even seen her in some of my own writing. The Strong Female Lead is dominating Western culture, and she needs to die. I’m not saying that your main character can’t … More Why Your Strong Female Heroine Needs to Die
What font is right for your novel? Is it better to mess around and find something new or go with your computer’s automatic settings? Do you want different fonts for hard copies, ebooks, and submissions, or is there a one-size-fits all? I’ve been fascinated by fonts ever since I started typing stories on my parents’ … More Fonts, Typefaces, and Your Novel
From the fan-fiction loving high schooler to the serious literary master, almost every writer has a graveyard of stillborn novels. It just happens. Some stories don’t work out. Some run out of steam only a few pages in. Some survive the drafting but fall apart as soon as you begin editing. Some just die on … More Stillborn Novels (And What to Do about Them)
Some people say writers’ block doesn’t exist. It’s an excuse for laziness, one of the weakest reasons why not to write. But I know better. The past few days especially have been hard for me. I’m finally moving on from my NaNoWriMo book as it enters the advanced editing and less creative stages, and I … More 5 Ways to Kill Writers’ Block (After It’s Started)
It’s amazing how many people have started writing a novel at some point in their lives. There always seems to be a stack of papers in the attic or a mysteriously titled word document that could have been a book, but there were too many reasons not to finish it: “No one wants to read … More 14 Reasons You Need to Finish Your Novel
Song, poetry, and regional or foreign accents are only a few of the tough calls you have to make in the process of writing a novel. Do you include them or don’t you dare? Little effects and “writing within writing” can bring your imaginary world to life that much more, but it can also give … More Why Your Readers Will Never Know You’re A Bad Writer
Like it or not, your novel fits into a genre. Even if it’s not so-called genre fiction. And your genre (and knowledge of that genre’s market!) will play a huge part in your success as a writer. It’s easy to feel like genres are just another way of categorizing novels and putting them into boxes, … More Genre Matters: What’s Your Market?
A novel can only be as perfect as the person (or people) who write it, and no matter how incredible a work of fiction can seem, there are mistakes, bad choices, and strings left untied. Fortunately it’s possible to learn from past mistakes to do better in the future, so I thought I’d jot down … More My Biggest Novelling Fails
A few days ago, I received my discounted copy of my latest book from Blurb. Blurb, though usually known for their excellent photo album printing service, has recently started to reach out to self-publishing writers and now prints traditional paperbacks as well. They provide their free writing and formatting software, BookWright, on their site and … More Blurb And BookWright Double Review
Writers don’t know when it happens, and usually only dedicated readers will notice, but one of the greatest tragedies that can befall a novel is when the plot lets down the characters. I don’t mean when bad things happen to the hero–I mean when a fascinating character is bursting with potential… and then falls flat. … More When Bad Stories Happen to Good Characters