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Add Some Great First Lines to Your Author Toolbox

You know what’s the hardest part of writing a book? Besides the writing and the outlining and the scene construction and editing and . . . okay . . . every other part. This bit is really the most intimidating, I promise. The hardest part is making yourself start. Prevailing advice, endless online articles, and the image of the latest huge seller, hang over your head like a constant cloud. And the cloud isn’t merely decorative. As your mind goes…

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Friday Favorites Will Set You Up on a Date*

* A virtual date, with a fictional character. I mean date in the metaphorical sense here. Sorry. Didn’t want to get your hopes up to Match.com standards here. Look, I can barely people on the best days and setting other humans up with dates is WAY out of my skillset. I’m incredibly lucky to have a man who not only gets but encourages my crazy. (Give a mechanic a shot, they make pretty awesome partners, is my best real-life advice.)…

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The 10 Totally Made-Up Commandments of Querying

This is an Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Since I’m currently querying and fielding nothing but rejections, I’d like to share the pain. Odds are good that some of you are in the trenches with me. The optional August question is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey? Querying. Avoid querying, if at all possible. No, I don’t mean that. It’s just the bitterness talking. Really, what I mean is: don’t query before your manuscript…

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Books That Lived Up to Their Hype

Watching a book get smeared all over popular culture is a bit anxiety-inducing for me. When a book has legions of adoring fans, I want to trust them. I really do. They must like it for a reason, right? It’s popular and everyone seems to love it. But will I love it? Is it too hyped? Does it deserve all the praise? Wait, did yet another person just rate it five stars on Goodreads? Every bookworm knows this feeling. It’s anticipation, mixed…

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Learn to Write Well by . . . Watching Movies?

Wait, what? Did I seriously just tell you to sit down and waste time watching a form of media that has nothing to do with meeting your word count goals? . . . yes. With some caveats. I don’t mean “watch a movie every day” or “ignore your writing to watch your favorite film” or “binge that Netflix show ’cause some random writing advice on the Internet said to”. Don’t do that. Media responsibly, and etc. etc. No, what I…

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Author Toolbox: Tell Me How to Show

This post is part of the author toolbox blog hop, created and hosted by Raimey Gallant. Click on the link to join in with over thirty other authors and receive their pearls of wisdom on a monthly basis. Do you know how to tell, at a glance, that you’re dealing with a new, inexperienced author? Telling. When the writing is chock-a-block full of telling, it’s a gargantuan, neon clue blaring out: This author is still learning. This author is hacking…

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Books Reward the Bookworm

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means it’s time for the monthly blood & ink sacrifice to the shade of William Shakespeare! #authorlife #amwriting Haha, wait. *Double checks calendar* No, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Sorry. We sacrifice on Saturdays. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is all about being real with your struggles and insecurities, without fear or worry. Unburden and know that your online support group is here. We post on the first Wednesday of…

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Nevada: The Start

Welcome to the Silver State! A lot of my books are going to be set in Nevada, describing it in detail, loving all of its quirks (there are lots.) It’s a place full of contradictions, but empty of people. The terrain goes from high mountain dryness to arid, rocky sand. Although there is a lot of variation from end to end of the state, most of it is variations between different kinds of desert. Water is a precious resource, and…

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No Filter

Did you know there’s such a thing as “filter words” when writing? I did not, but now thanks to the Tunnel of Rejection that was 2017, I do. In the course of a) submitting my manuscripts to RWA contests for judging and b) having my bits chopped off by the Axe of Editing the awesome staff at eXtasy Books wields, I have learned the stuff they teach you in creative writing. So take writing classes, is the lesson here. Alternate lesson: If,…

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