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Friday, February 23

Come See Janice Hardy at the Coastal Magic Charity Book Signing


By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

If you happen to be in the Daytona Beach, FL area this weekend, I'll be at Coastal Magic meeting folks and signing books--including my brand-new Blood Ties, as well as the new targeted editing books.

I'm one of over 50 authors in the fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal genres, so there are a lot of great books to be found--and great authors to meet.

I'm attending the convention as well, so look for me and say hello!

Here's more on the signing and the convention itself. I believe there are still some day slots available for anyone who wants to attend.

Just look at this line up:

Thursday, February 22

10-Great Strategies to Secure & Monetize Your Author Visit

school visits, making money as an author,
By Jaimie Engle, @theWRITEengle

Part of the Indie Author Series


Author visits are a great way to build your brand and cushion your cash-flow. If you are a good speaker, you can:
  • Teach at conferences
  • Speak at community events
  • Share at school visits
  • Keynote at all of the above

Wednesday, February 21

A Handy Tip for Crafting a Seamless Plot

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

When it comes to writing, I’m a plotter. I like to figure out my story and how it will unfold before I ever start writing. But I’m also a pantser when it comes to characters. I do little work on them beforehand, and prefer to discover who they are as I write.

Because of this, I’m constantly running into moments where my characters say or do things that have zero groundwork in the draft to support them.
  • They have feelings about the problem they didn’t have at first.
  • They have resources or skills that didn’t appear before.
  • They reveal backstories I had no idea existed.

Tuesday, February 20

How Shame and Vulnerability Can Connect Us to Characters

By Bonnie Randall

Part of the How They Do It Series (Monthly Contributor)


Brene’ Brown said “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

Hold onto that quote. It is going to be an important anchor as we dive into some character analysis and contrasts between two highly successful pieces of Domestic Noir: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and The Wife Between Us by the literary team of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

Each of these novels has much to be proud of, and each has an enthusiastic fan base. For the purposes of this article—on how shame and vulnerability can connect us to characters—it will be very clear that one of these novels just didn’t cut it for me. In that, I beg you to remember that reading is a subjective experience, and that my opinion is merely one grain of sand on an endless beach.

Now here we go.

Monday, February 19

The Difference Between a Revision, a Rewrite, and a Redraft

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Before I dive in…I’m guest posting over at Writers in the Storm today, talking about The Benefits of Writing a Novel “Just for Fun.” Come over over and say hello.

My current work in progress is one I keep going back to. It’s been written, revised, and redrafted more times than I care to count, and as I’m doing yet another pass on it, I realized I approach it differently depending on what “stage” it’s in.

I have multiple drafts and plotlines of this novel, so I have dozens of favorite scenes and subplots. I have beloved characters who have appeared in one version, but not another. I even have versions where I cut one point of view character out entirely.

Sunday, February 18

Writing Prompt: The Free Write: Moving On

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt is a free write, so take the seed below and run with it. It doesn’t have to turn into anything (unless you want it to, of course), just let the words flow and see where they go.

Write down this opening sentence and follow it wherever it goes:

Moving boxes was the last thing...


Write as much or as little as you’d like.

Saturday, February 17

Real Life Diagnostics: Is it Clear What's at Stake?

Critique By Maria D'Marco

Real Life Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and we diagnose it on the site. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem.

If you're interested in submitting to Real Life Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: One 


Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through February 24.

This week’s questions:

Is it clear on what's at stake? Do you start to get a feel for the character? Would you want to read more? 


Market/Genre: Fantasy

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, February 16

Five Traits to Help You Create Your Character's Personality

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week's Refresher Friday takes another look at using established personality traits to help us build well-rounded characters. 

Creating a character is more than choosing a name and making a list of physical details. Who they are and how they act plays a much stronger role in how a novel unfolds than what they look like. There are dozens of ways to develop the inner depths of a character, and one way is by understanding their personality.

Psychologists over the last sixty years have broken personality down into five traits that influence how a person interacts with the world. These traits can be beneficial to writers, helping us determine how our characters might interact with our story worlds.

Thursday, February 15

3 Ways to Get Book Covers on a Shoestring Budget


By J. Kathleen Cheney, @jkcheney

Part of the Indie Authors Series 

JH: Another new indie author is joining the faculty this month! Please help me welcome J. Kathleen Cheney, who'll share her tips and thoughts on indie publishing this week every other month.

J. Kathleen Cheney taught mathematics ranging from 7th grade to Calculus but gave it all up for a chance to write stories. Her novella “Iron Shoes” was a 2010 Nebula Award Finalist. Her novel, The Golden City was a Finalist for the 2014 Locus Awards (Best First Novel). Dreaming Death (Feb 2016) is the first in a new world, with the books of The Horn coming out in 2017, and the sequels to Dreaming Death in 2018

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr |

Take it away JK...

Wednesday, February 14

Three Ways to Making “Revising Your Novel” Easier

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

I’ve been a busy gal lately. Not only have I released a new novel (Blood Ties), I’ve also made some changes to my writing books.

Based on the popularity of my targeted writing guides (such as Understanding Show, Don’t Tell and Understanding Conflict), and at the requests of writers and readers, I’ve applied the same concept to my Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft. It’s now easier to get the exact help you need for your manuscript.

For those who still want one compete guide to revising their novel, the original Revising Your Novel is now an omnibus containing the full “series.” But for those who just want to work on a particular area, you now have three, targeted options: