New Post at Writers Helping Writers (Plus, I’m on Hiatus Until August 29th)

Writers Helping Writers

For my latest post at Writers Helping Writers, I wrote about one of the most important tools in a writer’s toolbox. It’s just as important as more obvious “tools,” like vocabulary, industry knowledge, and strong work ethic – but it’s also incredibly challenging to master. If you haven’t guessed it yet, this “tool” is confidence. And today, I share my most recent struggle with confidence in my craft as well as tips on how to create your unique way of rebounding after setbacks or being overwhelmed by doubt. It’s more personal than my past WHW articles, but I hope that readers will still find it encouraging and informative. Continue reading

New Post at Writers Helping Writers on Using Real-World Locations In Your Stories

Writers Helping Writers

Oh, am I EXCITED about my new Writers Helping Writers post. ūüėÄ

This week, as part of the site’s Resident Writing Coach Program, I share some insights about using real-world locations¬†in our stories, either faithfully for historical or contemporary genres or as inspiration for fictional worlds. And since one of the reasons why I attended¬†the Iceland Writers Retreat was to do hands-on research for my story’s setting, guess which country I used as an example? ūüėČ Continue reading

New Post @ Writers Helping Writers on Editing with Text-to-Speech Software

Writers Helping Writers

I’m back at Writers Helping Writers this week with a new Resident Writing Coach post. This time, I talk about text-to-speech software, one of the newest tools in my editing “toolbox”. This standard function in most¬†word processing programs and computer operating systems can read¬†aloud pre-selected portions of text, including (ta-DA!) your manuscript.¬†ūüėȬ†(Read more after the jump.) Continue reading

Another Change in My Blogging Schedule, and the New Path Forward

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(*disappointed sigh*)

This wasn’t the post I was hoping to share with you today.

Some of you might recall¬†from this post 2¬†weeks ago¬†that I’ve had to cut back on my blogging recently. This has been on all fronts: visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs, replying to comments here, and (most importantly) writing my own posts. Typically I had time to prepare posts about 1 or 2 weeks in advance¬†of their intended date.¬†This explains why I’ve still been able to post new articles despite not having much blog-writing time. But today, the trickle-down effect¬†has finally won out.

So, the new Chronicling The Craft I’d been planning to post today to celebrate 10,000 words on The Novella? It’s not done. And a return to the Character Evolution Files with File No. 15? That won’t happen soon, either. In fact, apart from my commitments to DIY MFA and Writers Helping Writers, I don’t know when I’ll be able to return to a “routine” blogging schedule.

But I’m not quitting this site. Nor am I going on a hiatus. So, let me briefly explain¬†why this change came about and how life at this site will change in response.

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Looking Back on 2016… and Looking Ahead to 2017

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Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the December holidays and had a fun, safe end to 2016.¬†ūüôā

Looking back on the year, one of the words that comes to mind is “growth.” This site especially was booming. Thanks to all your shares, likes, and comments, 2016’s stats in terms of page views and visitors doubled 2015’s. And that’s despite¬†the fact that I slowed my blogging schedule to once a week.¬†I may be the one who writes and runs this site, but you, the readers, deserve much of the credit.

So, thank you for stopping by and coming back, for sharing your thoughts and offering feedback, for spreading the word and celebrating milestones with me.¬†But most of all, thank you for encouraging and inspiring me. Yes. You inspire me¬†to be not only the best writer I can be, but also my best and fullest self. And for that, I’m truly grateful.

So, let’s get to the annual year-end wrap-up, along with some quotes that reflect my feelings about 2016¬†and my hopes for 2017.
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GoFundMe Campaign for Iceland Writers Retreat Begins Today

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I’m sharing some AMAZING news with you today – and asking for your help in making a dream come true, and an incredible learning experience be within reach.

(*takes a deep breath*)

Today I’m starting a GoFundMe¬†campaign to fund¬†a trip to the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat, with the hopes of raising $3,500 USD¬†by February 4, 2017. After the jump, I’ll share links to the retreat and the campaign page so you can see the cost breakdown, perk levels (yes, PERKS!), and so on. But first, let me explain why I want to go and why I need financial assistance to do¬†so.

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First WHW Resident Writing Coach Post Is Live!

Writers Helping Writers

My first post as a Resident Writing Coach at Writer Helping Writers is live! I decided to offer¬†tips on an aspect of the writing process that all¬†writers struggle with: our “inner editor.” You know, that voice inside your head that can make you question your every writing-related decision and discourage you¬†to the point of distraction. But¬†our inner editor doesn’t always criticize or doubt us. In fact, its advice can sometimes be helpful. It’s all a matter of recognizing when and¬†why¬†we should¬†listen to it.

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Rock The Vault: Celebrating the Urban and Rural Setting Thesaurus Duo (A Guest Post by Angela Ackerman of Writers Helping Writers)

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Oh, am I excited for our latest¬†guest! Angela Ackerman is one half of the duo at Writers Helping Writers (her co-blogger is the equally awesome Becca¬†Puglisi). And not only do they run¬†one of my favorite websites dedicated to the craft of writing, but they’re also the authors of the best-selling Thesaurus collection – all of which have become instrumental parts of my writing process. Today, these ladies are releasing two new additions to their collection, and I couldn’t be happier to have Angela tell you more about them. Read on!

As we storytellers sit before the keyboard to craft our magic, we’re usually laser-focused on the two titans of fiction: plot and character. Yet, there’s a third element that impacts almost every aspect of the tale, one we really need to home in on as well: the setting.

The setting is so much more than a painted backdrop, more than a stage for our characters to tromp across during the scene. Used to its full advantage, the setting can characterize the story’s cast, supply mood, steer the plot, provide challenges and conflict, trigger emotions, help us deliver those necessary snippets of backstory… and that’s just scratching the surface. So the question is this: how do we unleash the full power of the setting within our stories? Continue reading