New DIY MFA Post: How Your Protagonist’s Motivations Influence Your Story’s Themes

What does your protagonist want? That’s a loaded question, right? But it’s the central idea of my latest Theme: A Story’s Soul at DIY MFA, and it’s one of the questions that you, as a writer, should consider for your story. As the article’s title reveals, your protagonist’s goals, desires, and other motivations don’t just influence the story’s plot. They also nurture some of the story’s literary themes! And in this article, you’ll learn how to do this with your writing with the help of examples from three books and four brainstorming exercises.

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Thursday, March 26: Online Poetry Reading via Facebook (Plus, a Message of Well Wishes and Support)

Hey, everyone. (*waves hello*)

First and foremost, how are you and your loved ones doing? So many people are sick, discouraged, or anxious right now, and it hurts me to know this. But that’s the reality we’re dealing with because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Almost every aspect of our lives has been put on hold for the time being. So I wanted to reach out, say hello, and make sure you’re OK.

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New DIY MFA Post: Writing Exercises for Exploring the Theme of Man and the Natural World

In today’s edition of Theme: A Story’s Soul at DIY MFA, I’m wrapping up our re-examination of the theme of man and the natural world in a fun way: with writing prompts! Like last year’s post on writing about family, this article shares four activities that can help you explore your character’s relationship with nature from different angles. So whether you want to practice connecting the story’s plot to the setting or infusing descriptions of the character’s surroundings with her mood, you’ll find that this post will exercise your creativity and give you a new appreciation for the great outdoors.

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New Service at Heart of the Story: First 50 Pages Critiques!

Happy Friday, friends! In case you missed the news on social media earlier this week, I just announced another new service for writers: the First 50 Pages Critique!

This offering is a shorter, budget-friendly alternative to a full manuscript critique. It doesn’t cover a complete story or project, but it can still give writers a good idea of how to strengthen one of the most crucial sections of their manuscript while alerting them to potential issues in later chapters. So if you’re considering having your work critiqued but aren’t sure you can afford it at full price, this may be a good option.

(Read more after the jump.)

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Win a Critique of Your First Three Chapters from Me via Writers Helping Writers

Happy Holidays, everyone! This morning I’m excited to share a special December contest for writers:

Starting today, you can enter to win a critique of your manuscript’s first three chapters from me, thanks to Writers Helping Writers!

It’s part of Angela and Becca’s annual Advent for Writers giveaways. I’m so honored that they asked me to be part of this year’s festivities, and I already can’t WAIT to read the winner’s chapters!

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Guest Editor Again for Today’s Critiques 4 U Contest at Writers Helping Writers

Writers Helping Writers

It’s happening again: Angela and Becca of Writers Helping Writers have invited me back as the guest editor for their Critiques 4 U contest! (*happy dance time*)

In case you’re not familiar with it, Critiques 4 U is Writers Helping Writers’ monthly contest in which three writers are selected to have their story’s first page critiqued by Becca or a guest editor. It’s a fantastic way to get free feedback on one of the most important pages in your manuscript from a resource you trust, and I’m THRILLED to be back again for the November edition.

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Getting Ready for Writer’s Digest Conference 2019! (Plus, Five Quick Tips for Preparing for Your First Writing Conference)

It’s almost time for Writer’s Digest Conference, and oh my GOODNESS am I bursting with excitement! One week from now, I’ll be in New York City for this amazing literary conference that’s put on every year by Writer’s Digest magazine. And it’s going to be so much fun!

It doesn’t matter that this will be my fourth time at WDC. The thrill of learning more about the craft and business of writing, connecting with writers, reuniting with editor colleagues and my fellow staff writers at DIY MFA, and spending a few days in the Big Apple never gets old. (Oh, and N.K. Jemisin, one of my favorite authors, is delivering the opening keynote speech! Yay!) And coming from an introvert, that says a lot.

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New Service at Heart of the Story: Outline Critiques!

I have exciting news of a different kind to share with you today: I’m now offering outline critiques at Heart of the Story!

This service is perfect for writers who have an in-depth outline (20 to 40 pages) for a writing project but haven’t started the first draft yet. It’s a great way of ensuring that the structure of your story is solid, each scene has a purpose, and the main characters show a potential for growth or change.

(Read more after the jump.)

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Looking for Feedback on Your Story’s First Page? Check Out Today’s Critiques 4 U Contest at Writers Helping Writers!

Writers Helping Writers

OMG, I’m so excited, everyone! Helping out Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers for their Critiques 4 U contest back in March went really well. So guess what? They asked me to come back for this month’s contest! 🙂

If you’re working on a story or manuscript, or if you didn’t get a chance to enter the March contest, continue reading to learn how you can enter this month.

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New Interviews at Coach Daddy and SheBreathes

Hi, everyone! I’m here to share not just one recent interview I’ve done, but TWO. 🙂

First up is a #GirlsRock interview with Eli at Coach Daddy. The #GirlsRock series is dedicated to highlighting women who are doing amazing things and making the world a better place. Some of the women Eli has interviewed in the past include journalists, podcasters, TV reporters, and musicians / artists. So I’m honored – and psyched! – to be featured on Eli’s blog again. (I wrote this guest post for Coach Daddy back in 2015.) We talk about my editing / writing coaching business Heart of the Story, poetry, and my one piece of advice for women who enjoy writing.

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