Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Dark Side of Digital

By Dario Ciriello

Part of the Indie Authors Series 

The Indie Author in the Data-Driven Digital Age

On my darker days, I wonder—and I imagine you do, too—whether I’m not just wasting my time with this writing gig, when I could be doing something that’s a lot less work and maybe a whole lot more fun. Hiking, strumming my guitars, playing games. Maybe even abusing substances to dull the pain that comes with the territory.

For most writers, and perhaps especially indies, we write because we want to be read. Money is nice, but I bet the vast majority of us are at least as interested in exploring characters and telling stories as we are in making some extra money; and though we might dream, the reality of making a decent living from our writing is, let’s be honest, likely to remain just that—a dream. And I’m okay with that.

But who’s reading?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Know Someone Who Needs a Little Revision Motivation? Tell Them About the At-Home Revision Workshop!

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Only three days until the At-Home Revision Workshop begins. If you have any friends who might need a little motivation to get their revisions started, please let them know about our workshop while there's still time to get some of the prep work done. The more the merrier!

Or if you frequent any writing forums, please share the At-Home Revision Workshop link with writers who might be interested in the free play-along-at-home workshop.

Leave no writer behind.

Follow the Leader: Moving From Scene to Scene

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Before I dive in today, just a heads up that my monthly post is up over at Pub Crawl, where I'm discussing the benefits of volunteering as part of an author's marketing plan. Come on over and say hello.

Moving on, this week we have a Refresher Wednesday, taking an updated look at a trick to see if your novel is moving smoothly from scene to scene. Enjoy! (First published on August 20, 2010)

Back when I was writing my third novel, Darkfall, I was skimming my chapters and trying to work out how to better weave all my various plot threads together. Since it was the last book of the trilogy, there were four major plot ideas that all had to be tied together and wrapped up, and I wasn't happy with how they were weaving together. Things felt too unfocused, even though I liked what was happening on a scene by scene basis.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Writing Workshop: Janice Hardy at the Dahlonega Literary Festival: 10 Ways to Kick Your Writing up a Notch

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

WHAT: Writing Workshop
WHEN: March 28, 2015
WHERE: Dahlonega Literary Festival, Dahlonega, GA
TIME: (TBD) 

Come on over to Dahlonega, Georgia at the end of March for my writing workshop at the Dahlonega Literary Festival. Come for the ten tips to kick your writing up a notch, stay for the great weekend of panels with a variety of authors across genres. (And the fried Twinkies)

If you've never been to the Dahlonega Literary Festival before, give yourself a treat and go. It's a great event in a charming mountain town, with lots of friendly people. The always fabulous gals from FoxTale Books (voted the Best Bookstore, 2103 by Atlanta Magazine) will be on hand to sell books, and authors will be available to sign them.

This year's line up:

Raymond Atkins | Susan Boyer | Mark Braught | Jackie K Cooper | Lynn Cullen | Delilah S. Dawson | Jessica Handler | Molly Harper | Kevin Hearne | Kathryn Hinds | Ann Hite | Vicki Lane | Erika Marks | Man Martin* | Frances Mayes* | Cherie Priest | George Weinstein

And Special Appearances by:

Tanya Long Bennett | John D. Cressler | Janice Hardy | Robb Helfrick | Renea Winchester

Monday, February 23, 2015

Revision Prep: Create a Revision Plan

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

We’re down to the final week before the At-Home Revision Workshop begins. If you’ve been playing along at home, you should have already filled any plot holes or missing research in your novel, and created your editorial map. Odds are you already have a pretty good idea what general revisions you want to make in the novel, and where they fall. (And If you don't know what the manuscript needs yet, that’s okay, that’s what next month is all about).

Since we have a lot of information to cover in a short amount of time, it’s helpful to have a revision plan to guide us.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Real Life Diagnostics: Does This YA Sci Fi Prologue Work?

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: Five 

Please Note: As of today, RLD slots are booked through March 28.

This week’s question:

Does this opening work on, not just a basic level, but also create enough intrigue and mystery to drive people to read on?

Market/Genre: YA science fiction/thriller


On to the diagnosis…

Friday, February 20, 2015

Revisionist Attitude: Mentally Preparing for Revisions

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy


Today's Refresher Friday....with the at-home revision workshop just a week away, let's take another peek at how to mentally prepare to revise our novels. Enjoy!

I was talking with a writer bud once about something very nice my editor had said about me in an interview. This let to general talk about revisions and why I found it easy to revise, even when those revisions were a pain in the butt. I kept thinking about it, because I know from talking to other writers that revisions are rough on a lot of people.

But they don't have to be. Revisions are just the next step in the writing process.

Here are a few things to remember the next time you're faced with revisions:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Creating An Author Business Plan: Choosing Your Stories

By Marcy Kennedy, @MarcyKennedy

Part of the Indie Author Series


Last month we started writing our Author Business Plan Summary by setting our author goals. Now that we’ve laid the foundation through deciding on our goals, it’s time to take the next step and decide on what type of books we plan to publish.

A couple reminders before I start.

First, in my last post, I recommended that if you’re writing both fiction and non-fiction books that you write one business plan for fiction and a separate plan for your non-fiction to make your life easier. So when we’re talking about types of books here, I don’t mean whether to write fiction or non-fiction.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Finding the Right Balance With Your Stage Directions

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Before I jump in today, just a heads up that I'm visiting the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog today, asking the question: do you have a late blooming novel? Come on over and say hello!

No matter what type of novel you’re writing, at some point you’ll have to describe how the characters move about and interact with the world—the stage direction. Like the theater, you’re directing how your “actors” move on the stage (or the page in this case).

Sometimes the direction is basic, such as “she walked across the room.” Other times, it’s a complicated fight scene involving six guys and a eight-legged monster. Or it’s a show of emotion, like when someone “curls into a ball and cries.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Avoid Overwriting – Subtle is More Sophisticated

By Jodie Renner, editor, author, speaker

Part of the How They Do It Series


Please help me welcome our newest Fiction University Faculty member, Jodie Renner. She joins us today to share some tips on how to avoid overwriting. Look for her regular monthly articles with the Indie Author Series on Thursdays. (And don't forget to check out the contest on her blog for one of 15 writing and marketing books)


Jodie Renner is a freelance editor and the award-winning author of three craft-of-writing guides in her series An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Fire up Your Fiction, Writing a Killer Thriller, and Captivate Your Readers. She has also published two clickable time-saving e-resources to date: Quick Clicks: Spelling List and Quick Clicks: Word Usage. When she’s not reading or editing compelling fiction, Jodie enjoys combining her two other passions, photography and traveling.

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

Take it away Jodie...