The Dirty Truth About Being A Writer

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

Writing A Powerful Book Opening – Ep 06, The Writers’ Podcast

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. So . . .

Pros and Cons of Using a Pen Name

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

CHAPTER of EXCELLENCE AWARD CONTEST

Image of Chapter of Excellence with three award levels

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

Are You Really Ready to Publish Your Book? —The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 05

Knowing when you're ready to publish can be difficult. In this episode of The Writers' Podcast, we take a hard look at the ways to determine if you are ready to publish your book. We also discuss the eight questions every writer should ask and answer before they hit that publish button.     Subscribe… Continue reading Are You Really Ready to Publish Your Book? —The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 05

Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Three—Arms, Shoulders, & Posture

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, but… Continue reading Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Three—Arms, Shoulders, & Posture

Writer’s Imposter Syndrome – The Writers Podcast, Ep. 04

What is the difference between issues of self-confidence and Imposter Syndrome? In episode four, we discuss these distinctions and provide remedies to become a more confident writer.

These Ghosts Sing Bittersweet – Why Do You Write?

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!

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!

Writing Advice & Discussion—Happy 4th of July!

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!

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Two—Eyes, Pupils, & Eyebrows

Using body language in creative writing is an effective way to develop and improve your story's characters.

My Writing Quirks

  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

Traditional v. Self-Publishing – The Pros and Cons of Each – The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 03

Which publishing approach is best for you? We run down the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing and provide some insights to help authors decide which avenue is best for them.

Power Your Book Revisions by Using Macros

Revisions are a critical step in the writing process, but let’s face it, they can also just suck all the joy out of writing. Anything that can help speed up the process and increase focus is a good thing. One of my favorite tools is Macros. Unfortunately, like many writers, I was a master of… Continue reading Power Your Book Revisions by Using Macros

Planner or Pantser – Which Writing Process is the Most Effective? – The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 02

Today, we take on the highly debated subject of writing a novel through “pantsing” or “planning” and consider the benefits and drawbacks of each.

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

Five Mistakes First-Time Self-Published Authors Make – The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 01

On The Writers’ Podcast episode one, we discuss the five common mistakes first-time self-published authors make and we include some tips on how to avoid them.

How to Know if Writing Advice Is Any Good – The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 00

Welcome to our new podcast series: The Writers' Podcast If there is one thing we love more at Writers After Dark than writing about writing. . . it's talking about writing. In each episode of The Writers' Podcast, we're discussing and analyzing the writer's world - from industry news to writing advice, to understanding the pros and… Continue reading How to Know if Writing Advice Is Any Good – The Writers’ Podcast, Ep 00

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

5 Tips to Make You a Better Writer Instantly

A Writer's Path

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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Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part One—Facial Expressions

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

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

A Writer of Excellence

Kinetic: Winner of Novel of Excellence

This isn’t the first time I’ve congratulated my co-host, S.K. Anthony on receiving a writing award and I am certain that it won’t be the last. An author who doesn’t suffer from a little low confidence probably isn’t worth reading. It’s the nature of the craft, the deeply personal aspect of the creation, that makes an… Continue reading A Writer of Excellence

Purple Prose: Why It’s So Terribly Fun and How It Formed a Friendship

Purple Prose

  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

10 Things Authors Would Like to Say to Their Worst Critics

The Lighter Side of Writing

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

Why Authors Don’t Really Want Reviews

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

Keeping a Writer’s Journal

Penstricken

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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Using the Five Senses in Fiction, Part Two: Smell, Touch, & Taste

"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

Author Media Kit, Part 3—One Sheet and Biography

Fantastic information on setting up your author’s media kit!

Story Empire

ONE SHEET AND BIOToday, we continue our discussion of the author’s media kit. If you missed the earlier installments, click the links to catch up.

This post will cover the One Sheet and the Author Biography.

The One Sheet

The one sheet (also known as a sell sheet or pitch sheet) is a professional document that contains all the pertinent information of your book. As you probably guessed by the name, it should be no longer than one page.

This is the first, and possibly only, document someone will read after reading your news release. It should be punchy, carefully crafted and edited, and easily scanned so people can obtain pertinent information quickly.

Parts of a One Sheet (Not necessarily in this order—let design dictate composition)

  • Book cover
  • Book title
  • Purchase…

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Using the Five Senses in Fiction, Part One: Sight & Sound

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

Color Meanings for Writers

Using colors in your writing is a fantastic way to add symbolism and foreshadowing to your story. They can enrich your scenes by adding deeper meaning, variation, and  help with mood amongst other things. Be sure to check out the upcoming post on using the five senses next Monday! This chart is a little gift… Continue reading Color Meanings for Writers

Deleting the Best Part of You

“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

Articles on Writing You Don’t Want to Miss (#2)

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)

My Writing Quirks

  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

10 Ways Amazon Turned Authors into Tinder Dates

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

3 Habits of Prolific Writers

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

6 Reasons to use Chapter Titles

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.

Jed Herne: Writer

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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Creating Your Character – A Checklist

  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that characters are kind of big deals when it comes to fiction writing. They’re the heart of the story and the main reason our readers gift us with hours of their lives. Let’s face it: without characters, the reading experience wouldn’t really be electrifying. Like,… Continue reading Creating Your Character – A Checklist

Our Favorite Books on Writing

  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

Is the Shape of Your Brain Responsible for Your Genre Selection?

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?

Making Sense of Writing Advice

Lonely Power Poles

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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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The Authenticity of Writing

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

10 Things Every Serious Writer Needs

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

Parentheses in Fiction: Do They Break the Fourth Wall?

I like to use parentheses (you know, to share my extra thoughts and stuff). But only in non-formal situations (like blog-writing). In fiction, however, I avoid it like a plague. And I realize that may just be a personal preference, since I feel it would pull my readers out of the world I spent so… Continue reading Parentheses in Fiction: Do They Break the Fourth Wall?

Productivity Tips Make You An Unproductive Writer

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

Is Amazon Firing CreateSpace

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) announced their new Print-on-demand services. The announcement raises serious questions as to CreateSpace, Amazon’s POD subsidiary’s future role in the Amazon family. The details of KDP’s Print-on-demand (POD) services creates direct competition between two divisions that had formally stayed on their own sides of the house. At first glance, it hard… Continue reading Is Amazon Firing CreateSpace

How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Writing dialogue is messy. Am I right? It has so many rules, it makes me wish I’d gone with my original plan in life. I’d intended to become an all-in-one supermodel-psychologist/part-time medical researcher. What? I thought I wanted to save people, discover things, and change the world wearing a tiara and killer heels. But the… Continue reading How to Correctly Punctuate Dialogue for Novels

Horror Writing: The Limitation of Perceptions

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

Articles on Writing You Don’t Want to Miss (1)

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)

A Writer’s Public Persona and the Philosopher’s Stone

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

10 Ways Writers Are Always Working

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

7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

I’m here to help stop the madness. You know the one. The insanity that accompanies the “fun” of writing a book blurb. Attacking is more like it . . . I could stab it upside the head if it had one. But alas. Don’t let my bitterness get to you. In fact, use it to… Continue reading 7 Tips for Writing a Book Blurb

The Mind of a Writer

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

3 Ways a Lack of Research Will Ruin Your Book

I remember the first time that I was interviewed for a national publication. I experienced a mixture of nervousness and excitement. Being interviewed as an “expert” in your field is a great opportunity, but I worried I might sound dumb or unprofessional. In preparation, I did extensive homework. I made certain I had all my… Continue reading 3 Ways a Lack of Research Will Ruin Your Book

Of Gods and Monsters

Of Gods and Monsters ~ Saturday Nightmirrors Humanity is a tenacious creature. All that he sees he ultimately masters. Cities rise and fall only to be replaced by more magnificent skylines, the mysteries of nature are unraveled through technology and mathematics, and even the constraints of gravity have not held Him earthbound. The height of… Continue reading Of Gods and Monsters