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Thursday, August 6

Getting the Word Out About Your Book Release

By Sherry Howard, @SherLHoward

Part of The Writer's Life Series


JH: Book releases have gone online for 2020, and getting the word out about your new book requires a slightly different strategy. Sherry Howard shares an overview (and a few tips) on where you can share your good news.

Sherry Howard lives with her children and silly dogs in Middletown, Kentucky. Sherry is the author of the picture book ROCK AND ROLL WOODS, with a starred Kirkus review. Her poems and stories have appeared in multiple journals and anthologies. She also writes for the educational market, with about a dozen books. Her middle grade book, SPIRITS AMONG US, releases in October.

Sherry Howard | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Take it away Sherry...

Tuesday, August 4

How to Drive Through the Muddy Middle of Your Novel

By Jodi Turchin, @jlturchin

Part of The How They Do It Series


JH: The middle of a novel sucks many a writer down into its murky depths. Jodi Turchin shares six ways to make it through when the story gets muddy.

Jodi Turchin is a Young Adult novelist represented by Dawn Frederick at Red Sofa Literary. She’s also a photographer, a high school English teacher, an adjunct college professor, and a former actress and director.

Website | Twitter

Take it away Jodi…

Monday, August 3

Navigating (and Writing in) a Corona-Colored World

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy 

It's not easy getting back to a normal writing routine when everything else isn’t normal. Here are some things to help you find your writing mojo again. 

Apologies to all for the last few months. I haven’t been posting much because, like most of the world right now, I’ve been distracted and and fighting to be productive in any way. I had to let a few things slide, and blogging was one of them.

The last five months have been challenging for me and my family. I have two members of my household at high risk of death if they get sick with COVID, so we’re been in full-on lockdown since March. We’re fortunate to all work from home anyway, so it hasn't been too hard to shift to staying put all the time.

We’ve all had good and bad days, and struggles over various aspects of self-quarantine. I think some of the struggles came from the uncertainty of when this would be over and the hope that all we had to do was sit tight and wait it out.

Well, there’s no “waiting it out” anymore.

Saturday, August 1

WIP Diagnostic: Is This Working? A Closer Look at Creating Tension in an Opening Page

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

WIP 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 WIP Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines.

Submissions currently in the queue: Two

Please Note: As of today, critique slots are booked through August 15.

This week’s questions:

1. Is this a strong enough hook?

2. Does the "voice" read as a 12-year-old?

3. Does the last paragraph contain too much internal exposition and veer into "telling"?

Market/Genre: Middle Grade

On to the diagnosis…

Thursday, July 30

7 Ways to Deal With Burnout

By Bethany Henry

Part of The Writer's Life Series


JH: Burnout is a bigger problem now than ever. Bethany Henry shares tips on how to overcome and prevent these stressful times.


Bethany Henry writes fantasy novels and blogs about writing and wellness at bethany-henry.com. When not writing, she can often be found on the frisbee field, drinking tea, or reading picture books with her two little girls. Sign up for her email list for weekly posts on writing craft- along with fun extras like quotes and freebies.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Email List

Take it away Bethany...

Tuesday, July 28

How to Weave Setting Into a Deep Point-of-View

By Bonnie Randall

Part of The How They Do It Series 


JH: A sense of place can transport a reader to your story's world. Bonnie Randall shares tips on how deep point of view can enhance your novel's settings. 

The art of Deep Point-of-View projects everything within a scene through the unique lens of a character. Deep POV incorporates the goal / motivation / current conflict into this projection, but is also mindful of many other variables that make up the character, including:
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Geography
  • Era/Generation
  • Education / lack thereof
  • Profession
  • Beliefs
  • World View
  • Values
  • History
  • (And others).

Sunday, July 26

Are You Looking for a Critique Group or Partner?

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

It's Critique Time Again! The 2020 Summer Group is now open!

So, this morning I realized I'd completely forgotten to re-open the group on July 1 like I usually do. I blame the ongoing distraction of Corona brain. I never thought I'd need a calendar reminder to do this, but clearly, I do. I'll set one for January right after I'm done here.

Without further ado...

Back in 2013 I started a Yahoo Group called "Janice Hardy's Critique Connection" to help writers connect with like-minded folks looking for critique groups or partners. It was designed to help people find long-term, quality writing partners, not just places you can toss up your work and get quick feedback.

It went from a one-time event to annually, and now to every six months (I open it up every January and July). It's switched to Groups.io now, but it's the same group.

If you're looking to join or create a critique group, add more to your existing group, or find a critique partner, odds are you'll find someone here.

Saturday, July 25

WIP Diagnostic: Is This Working? A Closer Look at Show, Don’t Tell in an Opening Page

Critique By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

WIP 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 WIP Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines

Submissions currently in the queue: One

Please Note: As of today, critique slots are booked through August 1.

This week’s questions:

1. Does the beginning sound too adult?

2. Is there enough of a hook in the scene?

3. Is this beginning being shown or told?

4. How would you describe the narrative distance?

5. Based on its beginning, and the information in the included note, do you think it would be an appropriate story for 7th and 8th graders?

Market/Genre: Young Adult

On to the diagnosis…

Thursday, July 23

How to Create a Free Book Trailer Using Adobe Spark

By Chrys Fey, @ChrysFey

Part of The Indie Author Series

JH: Creating a book trailer is a lot easier than you might think. Chrys Fey explains step by step how to bring your book to the "little screen" with Adobe Spark.

Chrys Fey is the author of the award-winning book Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads Blog | Newsletter

Take it away Chrys…

Saturday, July 18

WIP Diagnostic: Is This Working? A Closer Look at Revising Your Opening Scene

Critique By Maria D'Marco

WIP 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 WIP Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines. 

Submissions currently in the queue: Two

Please Note: As of today, critique slots are booked through August 1.

This week’s questions:

1. What writing aspects are most needed to add/delete from this scene? (i.e. More showing, more intriguing issue/problem to start, action, pacing, clearer storyline? etc.)

2. What does/doesn’t work with this scene?

Market/Genre: Romantic Suspense

Note: This is a revision of a previous submission.

On to the diagnosis…