On Writing and Publishing

 

 So you want to write a book? Or maybe you already are and have a particular issue you want to learn more about. I kept a writer's blog for almost three years. Below are posts that cover a wide variety of topics to help writers. You can scroll down to see posts divided by topic.

Writing Basics:

No! No! Bad Writer - A Few "rules"

The Show Don't Tell Mantra

Head-hopping: How to Avoid Making Your Reader Dizzy

Prologues: Yay or Nay?

Key Ingredient to a Solid Plot

Top Five Mistakes Writers Make at Conferences

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Voice:

Voice, Voice, Voice

Author Voice vs. Character Voice

Discovering Author Voice

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Planning Your Novel:

Screenwriting Techniques For Novels

Want to Get High (Concept)? 

POV Advantages and Pitfalls

 The (Not So) Dreaded Synopsis - 5 Tips To Set You Free

 Naming Your Characters - Some Things To Consider

 5 Tips For Not Screwing Up Your Character's Name

 How To Develop a Subplot by Claire Ashgrove

 Creating a Story Bible by Suzanne Johnson

 Before Fingers Touch Keyboard: My 6 Pre-Writing Steps (and a version of Storify with links to the books and techniques I use.)

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Hooking the Reader:

 Is the First Line THAT Important? 

 The Opening Scene: A Litmus Test

 Story Beginnings: Agent and Publisher Opinions

 Creating Memorable Moments In Your Story

 Career Insurance: 5 Ways To Sell Your Next Book Before It's Written

7 Things That Make the Chronic Finisher Put Down a Book

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Drafting Your Novel:

 How to Dish Out Backstory in Digestible Bites

 Enough with the Eyebrows: Showing Emotion

Slow Writer Reformed: It Can Be Done!

The Faster I Write, the Better the Book?

 How Low Can You Go? The Important All Is Lost Moment

 Author Voice vs. Character Voice - Finding Both

 Writer Warning: Don't Get Lost in the Minutiae

He Said, She Said: Dialogue Tips

 Author Intrusion: 12 Pitfalls To Avoid

 Oh no! Melodrama! -- Avoiding the Reader Eye Roll

 Writing Teen Angst--Guest Post by Author Julie Cross

 Creating Memorable Moments In Your Story

 The Power of Weather in Your Story

Types Of Endings: Happily Ever After Or Not So Much...

 Ending Mistakes: How To Prevent Reader Rage

Is Reading the Genre You're Currently Writing Dangerous?

Should You Write That Potentially Controversial Scene?

5 Muse Abusers: How To Protect Your Creative Flow

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Characterization:

 Creating Sympathetic Characters

 Putting Your Character on the Therapy Couch

Psyc 101 for Character Development: Defense Mechanisms

 Building Character Arc: Why a Motto Is Vital

 She's a B*tch, She's a Lover: Writing a Kickass Heroine

 Creating Strong Female Characters by Sierra Godfrey

 Creating an Authentic Teen Guy's Voice

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Writing Technique:

 Thirteen Writer Woes and the Books to Cure Them

 What Kind of First Chapter Writer are You? 

 My Ten Steps to Novel Completion

 DO Get Fresh With Me: Amping Up Your Writing

 On Writing Out of Order by Elana Johnson

Plotting and Pantsing

 Four Levels of Plotter/Pantsers

 Pantsers Beware! 

 Three Ways To Avoid Pantser Pitfalls

 Plotter vs. Pantser: Pros and Cons

A Solution for Pantsers with Plotter Envy

 The Uncomfortable Pantser: When Your Method Doesn't Fit Your Personality

Character Driven vs. Plot-Driven

 Character Driven or Plot Driven? 

 How to Find Balance Between Character-Driven and Plot-Driven

 Deep Characters for Plot-First Writers by Suzanne Johnson

Plot Building for the Character Driven Writer

Handling Writer's Block:

5 Muse Abusers: How To Protect Your Creative Flow

 There Is No Such Thing As Writers' Block by Joseph Selby

 The Drug of Choice for Writer's Block: Speed

 The Longhand Cure for Writer's Block

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Writing Romance and Love Scenes:

 Love Scenes 101: Don't Be Corny or Porn-y

 Bom Chicka Wah Wah: Types of Love Scenes

 How To Amp Up Sexual Tension In Your Story

 Building a Slow Burning Romance with Janice Hardy

 Man Up: Writing Male POV

 What Makes Romance Awesome

 Battling the Romance Novel Stigma

The Anatomy of a Sex Scene

BDSM 101

How Writing Erotic Romance Differs From Writing Other Genres

Oh, You Write THOSE Books - The Basics of the Romance Genre

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Editing and Revising:

 7 Signs of Overwriting

 5 Steps From Finished Draft To Polished Manuscript

 5 Dialogue Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now

 5 Narrative Mistakes You Can Fix Now

 Wordiness: The Post in Which I Discuss Reduction of the Aforementioned

 You've Got Rhythm, But Does Your Story? 

 The Ten Stages of Revision Emotions

 Fixing Sagging Middles: Multipurpose Scenes

 Sagging Middles Part Deux: Pick up the Pace

 Overediting: Sucking the Life Out of Your Story

 Adding In Story Layers

 How Convenient! - Avoiding Contrived Coincidence

 Finding Your Novel's Theme and Your Universal Theme

 Figuring Out Where Your Pacing Went Wrong

Losing Perspective on Your Writing: Does This Sing or Suck?

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On Getting Feedback:

 Why Your Mama Doesn't Count as a Beta Reader

 Ingredients of a Great Crit Partner

 Structuring a Critique Group Online

 Types of Critique Partners

 Questions to Ask Beta Readers

 The Query Critique Group

My Thoughts on Critiquing

 Death by Critique - 6 Tips on How To Avoid It

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Selling and Publishing Your Novel:

Querying:

 Should You Query That First Novel? 

 The Single Best Piece of Query Writing Advice I've Ever Heard

 What Will Make an Agent "Gong" Your Query

 What Will Make An Agent Gong Your Pages (Part 2)

 Query Writing: How Brief is Brief? 

 The Query Critique Group

 Pitching Your Novel

 Top Five Mistakes Writers Make at Conferences

 The (Not So) Dreaded Synopsis - 5 Tips To Set You Free

 Writing Contests: Should You Give Them a Shot?

 The Evolution of Rejection & What You Can Learn From It

 How I Got My Agent and How Blogging Played a Role

 Why I Chose Traditional Publishing--And How to Decide Which Path Is Right For You

Book Prices: Why a Good Story Should Be Worth More Than a Cheeseburger

 The 5 Emotional Stages of a Book Launch

Can A First Novel Find a Publisher? 10 Do's and Don'ts to Increase Your Chances by Anne R. Allen

Pseudonyms - Should You Take On a Pen Name and How To Pick the Right One

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On Being a Writer:

 Saying "I'm a Writer" - The 6 Stages of Responses from Others

Losing Perspective on Your Writing: Does This Sing or Suck?

 Giving Yourself Permission to Suck

 The Ten Commandments of the Successful Author

 Don't Be a Poser: Write What You Love

 Five Tips On Being Naked In Front of an Audience (AKA Being Published)

 Writer Under Construction - 10 Things I'd Do Differently

 5 Surprising Things I've Learned Since I've Sold

The Beauty of Books: Why the Literary vs. Genre Debate Isn't Necessary

Book Prices: Why a Good Story Should Be Worth More Than a Cheeseburger

 3 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Published Authorhood

The Book Review Debate -Should you post negative reviews of other authors' books?

 Why I Walk Away From Bad Reviews

Authors Interacting with Readers Online - More Controversial Than I Thought

Navigating the Authorial Landmine of Reader Forums

From Debut to Multi-Published: What I've Learned In My 1st Year as a Published Author

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Building a Platform, Promo, and Social Media:

Branding:

 Creating An Author Brand: Why It's Not Really About the Book

 The Author Bio: Six Important Components

 Five Ways To Guard Your Brand

 Why Only Focusing On Your "Target" Audience May Hurt You

White Knuckling Your Author Platform: How to Reign in Social Media Pressure

Author Websites:

13 Steps to Creating an Author Website Readers Will Love

Author Websites: Layering Yours With Sticky Extras

The Professional Online Presence

All About Web Space for Authors

Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story

 Under the Hood: How I Built My Author Website

Blogging:

 What Do READERS Want From an Author Blog? 

 How to Win Followers and Influence People

 Building a Following: The Four Types of Bloggers

 The Life Cycle of a Blogger - Ten Stages

 Get the Best Bang for Your Blog

3 Core Components of a Blockbuster Blog

Enough With the Quid Pro Quo Blogging Etiquette - Free Yourself

 5 Signs You're Having a Blog Identity Crisis & 8 Ways To Fix It

 Are You Hiding Behind a Wall on Your Blog?

Investment vs. Payoff: Is Blogging Worth the Time?

Guest Blogging:

 Guest Blogging Etiquette: Let's Make a Deal

Social Media:

 Twelve Ways To Scare Away Twitter Followers

 Authors on Twitter: The Danger of Being Too Clique-y

Facebook vs. Twitter: Where The Readers Are

 Want Private Inspiration Boards? Alternatives to Pinterest

 Follow At Your Own Risk: Why My Social Media Shouldn't Have To Be G-Rated

Social Media Overload: How Do Authors Reach READERS?

Interacting Online:

 Killing the Mystique: Can You Know Too Much About Your Favorite Authors?

 Authors Interacting with Readers Online - More Controversial Than I Thought

 Building Writer Karma

 Don't Be THAT Writer

Promotion:

 6 Ways to Promote That Won't Make People Want To Punch You in the Face

 Five Promotion Tips for the Shy Writer by Lindsey Bell

 The Post In Which I Rant About Blogging, Platforms, and the Pressure on Writers

 3 Reasons Why Coercing Readers Into Newsletter Subscriptions Is a Bad Idea

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The Most Popular Posts

1. Bloggers Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Pics on Your Blog - My Story

2. What Will Make an Agent "Gong" Your Query and  What Will Make An Agent Gong Your Pages

3. The Ten Commandments of the Successful Author

4. The Ten Stages of Revision Emotions

5. Twelve Writer Woes and the Books to Cure Them

6. Top Five Mistakes Writers Make at Conferences

7. The Life Cycle of a Blogger - Ten Stages

8. The Author Bio: Six Important Components

9. Want to Get High (Concept)?

10. The Post In Which I Rant About Blogging, Platforms,and the Pressure on Writers

11.  Twelve Ways To Scare Away Twitter Followers