“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” - Ernest Hemingway Have you noticed how other people seem to achieve so much more than you feel you possibly ever could? Okay, that sentence sounds very jumbled, but what I’m asking is this: Have you ever felt like a loser who can’t get anything done?… Continue reading Writing, Productivity, and Solitude
"Of all human activities, creativity comes closest to providing the fulfillment we all hope to get in our lives." – M. Csikszentmihalyi The thought that creativity can bring fulfillment is lovely, isn’t it? And I believe it’s true . . . as strongly as I believe it’s that easy AND that hard. Where does creativity… Continue reading What Makes You a Creative Writer?
I’ve been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo this year (and last year . . . and the one before that). Get my crap together and all that good stuff . . . and it dawned on me that: As an author, you'd assume I know what I'm doing. I don't! I'm winging it just like the… Continue reading The Kind of #Writer I’m NOT! #NaNoWriMo (+ Free NaNo Survival Kit)
Orchestrating a book launch is not something that comes easy for any author. Even though you now have technology on your side that helps you get in touch with your readers, nothing compares with an event where you can have them in front of you. But, when you think of organizing such events and all… Continue reading 5 Essentials for Your Successful Book Launch
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ‑ Michael Jordan So, you may not be a professional basketball player… Continue reading Your Blank Page Isn’t a Failure
I am a procrastinator. I wish this wasn’t true. It is a habit that I formed through years and have struggled to break. One of the things that I have learned helps with this is a mental trick that seems obvious, but allows me to manage most of the things I have to do. Just… Continue reading The “Just Do It” Mentality
There are quite a few statistics about artist and mental disorders. It is for sure not a requirement of the trade, but it is prevalent. Depression being a prominent affliction. Writers especially seem to suffer from it. From Hemingway to Rowling, some of the greatest authors suffered from depression. It is a tricky disorder/disease. Often… Continue reading Depression in an Artist
I know it sounds crazy to think writers would sabotage their writing, when our title alone says we’re writers. The conclusion, of course, is that writers write, and it’s a given that we love to write more than anything else in the world. That’s true, sure, but it’s not always true. Writers have to swim… Continue reading Why Do Writers Sabotage Their Writing?
I read quite a bit and while it is something I enjoy, the more you read the more you find books that fall short of your own expectations. In fact, if you are in the writing field you most likely have said at some point or in some variation, “This book got published? I should… Continue reading Writing a Scene
I sort of hated school. I mean there were some things I enjoyed, but many others had me never wanting to leave my bed in the mornings. I say this because I find it funny now that I’m an adult, I tend to be learning more than ever. I actively seek information and try to… Continue reading Writing: The More You Know
I wrote 500 words a day, every day last week! Do you know what happened? Well, I wrote 3,500+ words! Which, if you’re “into losing weight” you know that’s the same number deficit calories you need to lose one pound. And no, that’s not why you’re here, but you can see where my head is… Continue reading On Writing 500 Words a Day
I’m on a renewed trip through the literature classics—and no, a book isn’t on the list because BuzzFeed claims it to be a “Classic.” In that sense, I’m a traditionalist. I have many modern favorites that I would love to see on the list of top classics someday. But to be a classic, in my… Continue reading Doctor Jekyll and Mister Semicolon: The Strange Case of Literary Classics
***This is what my brain comes up with after 6 hours of sleep in the past 5 days. Don’t mind the rhyme, lack of rhyme, or lack of anything that would remotely makes sense. 11:00 p.m. I’m a mess, I confess. In the dark, in the light. My mind is a trap, but no, it… Continue reading An Insomniac’s Convoluted Night — A Writer’s Perspective
There are a lot of indicators that something is or isn’t working for an artist. It is a hard journey and there are really, in my opinion, three things you need to survive it. I like to call them my three Ps of writing. Passion. This one may seem easy, but I think I am… Continue reading The Three Ps of Writing
Ah February. Love is in the air . . . or at least some semblance of it manufactured by a massive holiday. Too cynical? Well we have to admit that love equals money. Valentine’s day rivals Halloween and Christmas as a top spending holiday. In 2016 estimates had the love holiday making nearly 20 billion.… Continue reading Writing Love
If you’re like me, you find that wanting to write and actually writing isn’t quite the same. There’s no shortage of ideas, there’s no lack of love or passion, heck, there’s even enough time to write if you truly want it. And yet, the excuses overflow so much that when you finally finish a manuscript, you’re… Continue reading 5 Things I Learned About Writing
Here are some posts from writers selling out the secrets of our lifestyle . . . because sometimes you just need to know you’re not alone. Thank you, Internet Strangers! 😉 ————— #1 ————— ————— #2 ————— ————— #3 ————— ————— #4 ————— ————— #5 ————— ————— #6 —————… Continue reading 15 Hilarious #WritersProblems Moments
Hello readers. Happy New year! I hope everyone is ready to take this year by the horns and really push yourselves. I, myself, have been very contemplative as this year has started. I spend a decent portion of my thinking time, trying to figure out this writing thing. One of the hardest parts of this… Continue reading The Six Figures of Writing
“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” I’ve always enjoyed that quote. It is attributed to, Ol’ Honest Abe. Reality is no one knows for sure if he said. I say, whoever said it was incredibly astute. There is a problem that we all face and that… Continue reading Expectation Is the Death of Happiness
You see? This is why most writers have an issue with math. One of the things about writing and rules is we know the stuff is gonna change. It changes from day-to-day, country-to-country (even in the same language, I’m looking at you, English!), it’s different according to media platforms, style guides, your mood, etc. But… Continue reading And This is Why Writers Have a Problem With Math!
Everyone is on their own journey. On this journey, there are things we’d like to see along the road, and there are things we need to find. Life happens, and even the most mundane day-to-day task is part of going along the trip. What makes it special, however, is what we choose to do from the… Continue reading The Thing You Most Want—Can You Do It?
I have always been a voracious reader. Even as a small child books have been a big part of my life. There are good books and bad books, and most of this is a matter of taste. It is interesting though that as my purchasing scope for books expands, I am finding myself having the… Continue reading Can a Self-Published Author Find Success?
Here at Writers After Dark we like to shake things up now and then! We like to go wild exploring our creativity in our writing, blogging, YouTubing, and podcasting . . . and then we need tons of breaks because: LIFE. For Raymond and I, 2018 has been . . . weird. Separately we’ve had… Continue reading Introducing: Author Brandon Ax
In case you haven't noticed, I haven't written any posts here in a long time. Nor have I been working on my books consistently. WHY? Well, it's a combination of a few of things. I felt burnt out, I'd been suffering from a terrible comparison phase, and have been stressed due to pressure from those around… Continue reading Why I Stopped Writing
Congratulations to all winners of the Chapter of Excellence awards! Every writer knows that their first chapter can make or break their story. You simply never get a second chance to make a first impression. From an amazing selection of books, these openings scored the highest points amongst our judges. They are so captivating that… Continue reading Chapter of Excellence Winners
We're taking this week to enjoy the holiday by stuffing ourselves with food! But before we do, we wanted to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. And we didn't want you to go away empty handed so here's a little laughter in our "homemade" holiday video! https://youtu.be/_HK6ni-Jlew
Hey Guys, Due to loss of power, no Internet, and damages caused by hurricane Irma in Florida, The Writers' Podcast's production has been placed on hold. We expect to be back on our regular schedule next week. Be sure to listen in! In the meantime, I'll try my hand at poetry for you. (You're welcome!)… Continue reading Bad Irma!
Authors tend to be far better at writing than they are at promoting. Often we feel uncomfortable with any communication that feels like self-promotion. But being a great writer isn’t the same as being a successful writer, which is why there four reasons even author needs a great website. They say that to a hammer… Continue reading 4 Reasons Authors Need A Great Website
As an author, this is basically what I ask my readers when they pick up one of my books. 🙂 Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . . I saw you looking. I noticed the sweet caress of your eyes—hidden behind fluttering lashes, and accompanied by a shy smile . . .… Continue reading Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . .
Unfortunately, because there is only a small market for short stories, many writers avoid penning them and lose out on an effective method for improving their writing. But Hey, far be it from me to tell you how to become a novelist. There are several great (and not-so great) books on writing. The basics are… Continue reading 4 Ways Writing Short Stories Makes You a Better Novelist
See Part One—Facial Expressions here. See Part Two—Eyes, Pupils, & Eyebrows here. See Part Three—Arms, Shoulders, & Posture here. As we know, developing a deep contrast of layers in our characters is crucial for a vivid reading experience. So in this final installment of Using Body Language in Your Novel, we’re going to continue all… Continue reading Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Four—Legs, Feet, & Bonus Tips
So here's the dirty truth about being a writer . . . A writer who is a mom that is. Or rather a mom who is a writer. Because no matter how much I try to ignore my 6-year-old twins, it turns out I can't escape them. Not even if I hide in the bathroom to… Continue reading The Dirty Truth About Being A Writer
To pseudonym, or not to pseudonym: that is the question. Personally, I’m not “me” and choosing to go with a pen name was actually a must. Why? Well, read on for that answer. But for most writers, whether to use a pen name or write under their real names could be a complicated decision. Like… Continue reading Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name
Every writer knows that their first chapter can make or break their story because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your opening chapter hooks readers, agents, and publishers or it doesn’t. In fact, the only thing more important than how you end your story . . . is how you… Continue reading CHAPTER of EXCELLENCE AWARD CONTEST
For this third installment of using body language in your novel, we’re going to focus on the upper body and ways to infuse an ordinary story with deep layers of . . . well, upper body language description O_O — I knew this experiment to write a post while tipsy would make things difficult,… Continue reading Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Three—Arms, Shoulders, & Posture
These Ghosts Sing Bittersweet Why do you write? Because of these things that I see. Visions and scenery that become kaleidoscopes of color and textures that run like movies in my mind. Because I see the splendor of this world. The great heights of joy and the deepest darkness of despair. Because I see a… Continue reading These Ghosts Sing Bittersweet – Why Do You Write?
Writers! Have a voice in the industry There is much speculation about the direction and choices of Indie authors. Often the info we receive doesn’t match up with what we are actually doing. And sometimes “surveys” seem a bit slanted toward a specific goal. Writers After Dark wants to leverage our over eleven thousand social… Continue reading Writers! Have a Voice in the Industry!
We figured the Internet might be eerily quiet this week as everyone celebrates the 4th of July, so we’re gonna keep this short. . . . But in case you’re avoiding that intense family member (you know the one), and want to read a couple articles you might have missed . . . well, we’re… Continue reading Writing Advice & Discussion—Happy 4th of July!
by Felicity Annora
Hey guys! I’m back again with my self-help posts, and this time I’m going to tell you you how to become a better writer instantly. I know it sounds like one of those bad “get-rich-quick” gimmicks that you find in commercials- and you’d absolutely right. But this time, the tips and tricks are real and they truly are things that help you improve your writing quickly.
So without further ado, here they are:
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How ’bout you and I get physical today? *Kat blows a kiss* Don’t worry; I’m not trying to be inappropriate with you (any inappropriateness happens naturally, there’s no try here, it’s all “do”—ask Yoda). I’m only trying to share some of my notes on getting physical. Or rather helping you add some layers to your… Continue reading Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part One—Facial Expressions
We’ve all been tempted to set our characters in clearings beneath azure skies. And then, hopefully, after clearer heads prevail, we recognize the overly ornate, sickly sweet and thick text and get back to the real writing. For Memorial Day, or whichever day you’re reading this, SK and I decided to post our original… Continue reading Purple Prose: Why It’s So Terribly Fun and How It Formed a Friendship
Hey, remember earlier this week, when we discussed book reviews? Well, on this episode of The Lighter Side of Writing, SK and I cover the ten things that authors would love to say (but don't) to our worst book critics. So go ahead and grab four minutes of writer's therapy below. https://youtu.be/kISVYsBAUqI
If you’ve reached the point in your writing where you’ve pressed <Publish>, my guess is that you believe that you have just released one of the best books “ever.” Regardless of the genre, yours stands above the masses because it is well-written, smart, insightful, and a host of other accolades that should - if there… Continue reading Why Authors Don’t Really Want Reviews
There are a some folk out there who will tell you that if you don’t keep a journal, you are doomed to never, ever be a writer of any kind. In fact, you will probably fail miserably at everything you ever set your hand to, both in business and at home. Others just get very snooty about the ‘right’ way to keep a journal (as if writing something simple like ‘I ate chips for my tea. That’s all I can think of to write’ means you have failed at journaling, and therefore, failed at life).
Obviously, that’s a load of poppycock.
However, even if you’re not the sort of person who normally bothers to keep a journal, you might find it useful as a writer to at least keep a writer’s journal— especially if you’re working on a large writing project such as a novel.
‘Oh nooo!’ I hear you…
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"I was afraid that by observing objects with my eyes and trying to comprehend them with each of my senses I might blind my soul altogether." —Socrates I say let's blind our readers' souls with our stories! What? Seems legit to me. *shrugs* As an author, your job is to transport your reader into the… Continue reading Using the Five Senses in Fiction, Part Two: Smell, Touch, & Taste
Good writing is like enjoying a hot cup of chocolate on a snowy morning. It activates all your senses: sight, smell, touch, taste buds, and even sound. I was going to say it’s like sex, but this is a daytime gig, and my mommy reads this, so . . . hot chocolate anyone? 😛 As… Continue reading Using the Five Senses in Fiction, Part One: Sight & Sound
“Every dream, every possibility, and every journey –real or imagined - begins with two words, “what if…” You know, I’m only here so we could talk. So pull up a chair and sit down because we have much to discuss. “What?” you ask. Well, everything really. Hopes, dreams, the things we want, those we can’t… Continue reading Deleting the Best Part of You
We're all busy and sometimes you just can't read everything that gets posted on a blog. So this is our second installment of "Articles on Writing You Don't Want to Miss" in which we provide a list of some of our past articles you may have missed the first time around. 5 Expensive Book Services… Continue reading Articles on Writing You Don’t Want to Miss (#2)
You know how my writing process works? Via miracles. Seriously. I'm a pantser so when an idea hits me, I sit down to write, and I wing it. If I start trying to figure out the plot, structure, or the why of things I stress out and confuse myself. Once it’s written, then I… Continue reading My Writing Quirks
Book publishing has always adapted to an environment shaped by the accelerated pace of technology, and no one has pushed these changes more than Amazon. As such, it is the first port of call for independent authors. If you can write it, you can publish it. Simple as that! So needless to say, Amazon has… Continue reading 10 Ways Amazon Turned Authors into Tinder Dates
Prolific writer is one of those terms that is difficult to nail down. The word prolific just means: productive, abundant, or creative. In other words, we may “know it when we see it,” but the meaning is subjective. It’s a quality that requires comparison. And by comparison, history has delivered some very prolific authors. Interestingly,… Continue reading 3 Habits of Prolific Writers
I’m a big fan of the chapter and subchapter titles. Sometimes writing them is more fun than writing the actual story. In this article, Jed spells out all the reasons it’s a great practice.
Chapter titles won’t magically make your story a bestseller, but they can give your novel extra depth. Here are 6 great reasons to use chapter titles.
1. They show off your creativity
Chapter titles are an excellent chance to show off your wordsmithing. Creative, interesting and fitting use of chapter titles will set stories apart. For example, The Shipping News, a story with strong maritime elements, uses knot-related chapter titles like “strangle knot,” “love knot” and “a rolling hitch.”
Having interesting chapter titles is also helps create a good beginning to your story. Combined with a gripping story title, an interesting opening chapter title (as opposed to ‘chapter 1’) gives you more chance to hook readers and show them why your novel is a special snowflake.
2. They establish theme
Chapter titles are a golden opportunity to establish the mood, tone and atmosphere of the following chapter. Light-hearted, jokey and comedic titles will…
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Regardless of how long we've been writing, we both feel the same way: if we're not constantly learning, we're just rusting away. So one of our favorite past times is to learn as much as we can about our craft. Evolving as a writer isn't just studying grammar and structure; it's also about becoming an effective… Continue reading Our Favorite Books on Writing
They say you should write what you know. For many writers, dare I say most, the genre they write in is the one that inspired them to become a writer. For me, that is dark fiction. My mother was a fan of horror movies, and I had early exposure to the Universal Classics, Twilight Zone,… Continue reading Is the Shape of Your Brain Responsible for Your Genre Selection?
Now, I don’t want to begin all my blog posts about writing with various self-deprecating jokes about how my advice is just as poor as everyone else’s, but please take anything I say with a heavy dose of salt, because I like all people may be mislead, wrong, or secretly trying to trick you so that I can succeed in writing where others have failed (yeah, nah),
Writing fiction is a daunting task, and part of that daunt is making sense or the myriad of advice out there. I hope this post might offer some help in making sense of it all, I plan on presenting a broad guide for interpreting advice and then a rundown of how to assess the source of advice you may have received.
What gives me the right to dispense such advice? Well I’m no hotshot author, but I am a qualified psychologist (nothing on…
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There are few career choices as authentic as that of a writer. It requires a passion that is fueled almost entirely by one’s own internal motivation. In the early years, that period when development occurs, when style emerges, when a genre is chosen, the writer operates with little feedback and with almost no social validation.… Continue reading The Authenticity of Writing
Sure there is a lot of subjectivity when separating “serious” writers from the rest. Heck, you might even believe “serious” writing is defined by how much time you devote to it or where you’ve published. Those things may count, but in the third installment of The Lighter Side of Writing, we are giving you the definitive… Continue reading 10 Things Every Serious Writer Needs
Productivity is a cultural obsession. You can’t toss a virtual rock without hitting an article or App that “helps improve productivity.” Indeed, we want to maximize our efficiency, and we’d all love to get more done, but for creative endeavors, such as writing, much of the productivity advice works against you. That is, trying to… Continue reading Productivity Tips Make You An Unproductive Writer
A few years ago I gave up on the idea of being a horror writer. Not, of course, the content or story themes but the limitations implied by the “horror writer” label. The problem with horror is the genre’s definition is too subjective and the expectations too expansive to satisfy. Consequently, a horror story will… Continue reading Horror Writing: The Limitation of Perceptions
When you’re stuck with your writing, or just plain bored out of your skull, there’s nothing better than to pursue some motivation. Whether it’s via Netflix, reading, or researching all those cool "how tos" on writing, it all works to get your writerly blood pumping. So we thought we’d share a few of our most… Continue reading Articles on Writing You Don’t Want to Miss (1)
Fiction writers have a long and rich tradition of being the unofficial historians of social and political conditions. You can learn much about early twentieth-century midwestern America from Faulkner, or the Spanish Civil War from Hemingway, or the social constraints of the Victorian era from Thomas Hardy. These “learnings” are less about dates and events… Continue reading A Writer’s Public Persona and the Philosopher’s Stone
Being a writer means your brain didn’t come with an on/off switch—it came with a dial. We can turn it down, we can turn it up but we can never shut off the creativity. In fact, because our ideas come from all the things around us, we never really stop working. We collect, we sort,… Continue reading 10 Ways Writers Are Always Working
Stay with me! . . . Beyond the screaming crowd and motors roaring, all the driver hears is the continuous pump of his heart. A flash of green catches his eyes, fueling his senses, as he slams on the gas pedal. From zero to a hundred in less than six seconds, he's immersed in the… Continue reading The Mind of a Writer