Saturday, October 1

And the Winner of the Better Fiction Blog Tour September Critique Contest is...

We've reached the end of the first leg of the Better Fiction Blog Tour. Hard to believe it's been a month already. I'm happy to announce the winner of the August 10-page critique contest (by the magic of random numbers) is... 

Wendy Pearson


Congratulations, Wendy!

I've contacted you through email, so if you don't receive it, please let me know.

Don't worry folks! There's still one more chance to win a critique. Check out the full blog tour list for the schedule for October, plus any posts you might have missed from the August or September legs of the tour.

Friday, September 30

Blog Tour Stop: 5 Reasons Your Revision Isn't Working



Hi gang!

Today's stop on the Better Fiction Blog Tour visits the gang at Writers in the Storm, offering 5 Reasons Your Revision Isn't Working (with another chance to enter to win a ten-page critique). Come on over and say hello!

In case you missed them, here are the other stops so far on the tour:

Thursday, September 29

"Going Wide" Part 2 - Gaining Traction on Kobo

By Angela Quarles, @AngelaQuarles

Part of the Indie Author Series


Last month I started this series with information on how to upload your book to the various vendors and distributors. This month, I'd like to explore one of these vendors: Kobo. I've been direct with Kobo ever since I debuted my first novel in September 2014, but it's really only been in the last six months that I've averaged more than $20/month there.

Soo.. a little less than two years. Which I know for some it's hard to let go of the KU income for something that takes that much time to get going, but for me, I decided early on that I was going to be on all platforms for several reasons and that I was in it for the long haul.

Wednesday, September 28

The Writer’s Life: How to Juggle Multiple Tasks and Thrive

By Rochelle Melander, @WriteNowCoach

Part of the How They Do It Series


Being a productive writer used to mean writing quickly and getting one to two books out a year. But these days, authors wear multiple hats and juggle multiple jobs--from actual jobs that pay our rent, to being our own publicist, designer, editor, and publisher. Rochelle Melander visits the lecture hall today to share some tips on how to live the writer's life without losing your mind. Please help me give her a warm welcome.

Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach, helps entrepreneurs and professionals write business-boosting books. Her latest book—Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It)—offers more tools and tricks for writing your book fast. Sign up for her Plot Your Write Life challenge and learn how to design your ideal writing life. To learn more about the Write Now! Coach, visit her site.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound

Take it away Rochelle...

Tuesday, September 27

Blog Tour Stop: 5 Reasons Planning for NaNoWriMo Can Help You Hit Your 50,000-Word Goal



Hi gang!

Today's stop on the Better Fiction Blog Tour stops at Write Now! Coach, sharing 5 Reasons Planning for NaNoWriMo Can Help You Hit Your 50,000-Word Goal (with another chance to enter to win a ten-page critique). Come on over and say hello!

In case you missed them, here are the other stops so far on the tour:

On Balance vs. Burn-Out

By Bonnie Randall 

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


I was vending my novel at a Word On The Street festival this past weekend, and had the great fortune to share my table with marvelous children’s author Amelia Lionheart. Amelia does a whopping 96 signings/year, attends schools for lectures, works at her day job, and (of course) continues to craft fiction for her young audience. As a writer I was humbled by her hectic calendar, yet as a counselor our conversation made me think about balance—what we take on versus what we are capable of, and how we weave that trite concept ‘self-care’ into the intensity of all we do and commit to. So, if you are a writer who has ever
  • Got slammed by a flu or a cold immediately after a big signing or event.
  • Battled anxiety
  • Fell prey to depression.
then maybe you could use a little balance. The reality is, the body will say “No” when we push ourselves beyond capacity, and there are twenty-four hours in a day for a reason. So let’s deviate a little this month from talking craft, and instead talk balance and how to get it—or at least approach it. Some suggestions for your reflection:

Monday, September 26

Turning Real Life Events Into Novels

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Last week, a reader emailed me a question about fictionalizing real life events and people. It’s a topic I don’t think I’ve actually discussed here before, and one worth diving into, as writers pull from the real world all the time. But there is a difference between inspiration from a writer’s life, and basing a novel on real events.

Great events and people tend to inspire stories. We can’t help but imagine the inner workings of a situation, the twists of a potential plot, and the reactions of the people involved. It’s only natural for us to want to take that spark and develop a story around it.

Sunday, September 25

Writing Prompt: The Story Starter: Well, That Escalated Quickly

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt is a story starter, so take the element provided and turn it into a story of any length you choose. If you’re stuck on size, I suggest aiming for 1000-2000 words.

In honor of the many memes that use it:

Write about a situation that starts off as a minor problem and then quickly escalates into a major ordeal.


Write whatever this triggers, and use these details however you wish. Put them together, use them separately, make one a detail in a scene, whatever inspires you—run with it.

Saturday, September 24

Real Life Diagnostics: Where to Put Your Dialogue Tags

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

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 I 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: Six 


Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through November 5.

This week’s questions:

1. Do you always have to say 'said he', 'said she'? In my own mind this sounds incredibly repetitive, even if you vary the verbs used (f.ex. replied, muttered etc).

2. Is it clear who is speaking if I do it 'my way' as per below?

3. How do you handle the position your speakers are in? I tend to try and make things 'visual' - which means that I often find myself describing the looks between people, the gestures etc. Is this not too much?


Market/Genre: Unspecified

On to the diagnosis…

Friday, September 23

Better Fiction Blog Tour: How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: Your 4-Week Success Plan



Hi gang!

Today's stop on the Better Fiction Blog Tour stops at The Write Life, where I'm sharing How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: Your 4-Week Success Plan (with another chance to enter to win a ten-page critique). Come on over and say hello!

In case you missed them, here are the other stops so far on the tour: