Why I Stopped Writing

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

A Conversation with #Author Brandon Ax — Ep. 26, The Writers’ Podcast

  In this episode, The Writers' Podcast interviews Urban Fantasy author Brandon Ax. We discuss his work, his writing methods, why he doesn't believe in writer's block, his future plans, and a whole lot more. No, seriously, a whole lot more! 😉   Thank you, Brandon, for chatting with us! And congratulations again on winning… Continue reading A Conversation with #Author Brandon Ax — Ep. 26, The Writers’ Podcast

The Art of Editing – Ep 23, The Writers’ Podcast

For many writers, editing can be a topic more painful than even writer's block. Grammar rules often seem better suited for a math class than for our beloved creative endeavors. So we brought our favorite editor, Lynda Dietz, into the studio to discuss the mysteries, misconceptions, and frustrations behind editing.   Feel free to stalk… Continue reading The Art of Editing – Ep 23, The Writers’ Podcast

The Benefits of Beta Reading – Ep 22, The Writers’ Podcast

Long before you collect reviews, distribute advanced reader copies, or finalize your edits, there is a solid opportunity to receive objective input on your novel. In this episode, we discuss beta reading and why it’s a great method to find both the positives and negatives in your story.   Subscribe to all our podcasts on:… Continue reading The Benefits of Beta Reading – Ep 22, The Writers’ Podcast

Book Reviews: Trolls and Treasures — Ep 17, The Writers’ Podcast

Reader reviews can exhilarate the writer or send them to the dark pits of despair and rejection. But in all the good and the bad, there are important clues within even the most critical reviews that can help a writer improve their craft. In this episode, we discuss how to separate the hurtful from the… Continue reading Book Reviews: Trolls and Treasures — Ep 17, The Writers’ Podcast

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

Author Signings: All You Need to Know, Part One — Ep 11, The Writers’ Podcast

  There is probably no better experience for a writer than meeting their fans and discussing their books.But today’s readers have so much to choose from to get their attention you need to put effort into social interaction. One of the best ways to both sell and interact with readers is a book fair. Unfortunately,… Continue reading Author Signings: All You Need to Know, Part One — Ep 11, The Writers’ Podcast

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

The New Art of Storytelling – Ep 10, The Writers’ Podcast

To understand how storytelling has changed and continues to evolve we need to examine it across all the art forms. In this episode, we discuss storytelling in TV shows and movies—how it has changed—and the impact on novel plots and characters. Subscribe to all our podcasts on:     

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

How Long Should Your Book Be? — A Word Count Guide for Fiction

  Length matters . . . am I right? If you don’t believe me, try reading the 200,000-word autobiography of a snail. Unless that’s the kind of kinky stuff you’re into, you’ll probably rather it was no more than two hundred words . . . no extra zeros allowed. Poor snail. The problem was he… Continue reading How Long Should Your Book Be? — A Word Count Guide for Fiction

Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . .

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 . . . My… Continue reading Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . .

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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)

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

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

Why You Should Write Your First Draft Before Outlining Your Novel

  I often say I suffer from CRD—Chronic Rewriting Disease, a term I made up because it seems at least 50% of my work needs to be rewritten. But that’s my writing process, and I accept it. Sure, I could be like many writers and outline my novel from the start . . . but… Continue reading Why You Should Write Your First Draft Before Outlining Your Novel

How to Keep Your Dialogue in Check

  Being an author sounds like a pretty awesome deal, right? Pick a simple idea, type here, type there, and act like it all happened by magic. Some of you are probably tempted to embark on this path to becoming a published superstar. And you know what? You can do it. You’ve been writing for… Continue reading How to Keep Your Dialogue in Check

Finding a Writing Routine That Works for You

How do writers find time to write? Given the opportunity, we’d allow writing to consume our world. Deadlines, plots, and ideas would overtake us, and we’d live in fantasyland while blissfully ignoring reality. But apparently, that’s frowned upon, so we live the other way around. We end up abandoning our written worlds to attend our… Continue reading Finding a Writing Routine That Works for You

Top Lessons Learned in 2016

As writers, we’re always told to show and not tell . . . So in the spirit of keeping it light and taking our own advice of laughing more, we’re sharing a few of our top lessons learned this year in a five-minute video. If that’s not showing, I don’t know what is! 😉 https://youtu.be/Nb84PngnMGc&hellip; Continue reading Top Lessons Learned in 2016

Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . .

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 . . . My… Continue reading Dear Reader, Let’s Go on a Date . . .

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 is Messy

Personally, I like thinking I can organize every single detail of my writing. I love the idea of outlining. I love the idea of knowing exactly which word to place in front of another. Realistically, I'm a big fail on that. First, because I'm a pantser. Second, because no matter what, writing can be a… Continue reading Writing is Messy

3 Storytelling Mistakes to Avoid

So, you wanna write a novel? That's fantastic. You should! There's a reader out there who cannot wait to read what you have brewing inside that head of yours. Heck, I'm interested in your book. Storytellers are naturally intrigued by the many possibilities that our creative peers have to offer. And because of this, we're… Continue reading 3 Storytelling Mistakes to Avoid

5 Reasons Book Covers Can Make or Break Authors

We’ve all heard the saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and of course, I agree that you shouldn’t judge people by their appearances alone. But should this idiom apply to actual books? As a book cover junkie, I usually pick up a book based on the cover, read the synopsis and go from… Continue reading 5 Reasons Book Covers Can Make or Break Authors

Making Your Character Relatable

  There are two types of writers: plot-centric and character-centric. No matter which you are, you still have to portray relatable characters, or else, why should I care as a reader? Laura from Boats Against the Current shares some of her thoughts on creating a great character. Check it out!   What makes a character relatable?… Continue reading Making Your Character Relatable

3 Things Every Writer Should Stop Doing Immediately

  Writing.   It's one of the most difficult heartachey types of careers you can pursue. The glamor, fame, and financial richness is lacking, to say the least. But that feeling of fulfilled satisfaction and passion that comes along with the job is absolutely priceless. And a true writer would have it no other way.… Continue reading 3 Things Every Writer Should Stop Doing Immediately

Every Story is a Love Story

Romance. Horror. Mystery. Suspense. Action. You name the genre, they're all love stories. Well . . . to some extent. In this video, Raymond and I discuss this very topic. A little tipsy, I might add . . . so this conversation is interestingly peculiar. Usually, we disagree just on about everything writing-related. He writes… Continue reading Every Story is a Love Story

Why You Should Use a Developmental Editor

If you've ever wondered whether or not having a developmental, substantive, or content editor is beneficial, the answer is yes. Sure, you could get by with beta readers. But only if they do what a content editor or even the right critique partner can do. Choose your preferred name; the benefits are the same. Editor Lynda… Continue reading Why You Should Use a Developmental Editor

A Complete Guide to Query Letters

Is the query letter standing between you and your dream of signing a traditional publishing deal? Well, then you've landed on the right article!  Author Jane Friedman has some excellent advice for you. Read on!  The Complete Guide to Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests The stand-alone query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: To seduce… Continue reading A Complete Guide to Query Letters

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

3 Rules Every Writer Should Break

  I like rules. Rules exist to keep chaos at bay. Personally, I don't like chaos. But sometimes my naughty side comes out to play, and I find my toes dipped in dangerous waters. Funny enough, the exhilarating change of pace can make way for amazing possibilities. Take writing for example. There seem to be… Continue reading 3 Rules Every Writer Should Break

Men and Women: How We Argue

        Providing readers with a great emotional experience is often at the top of a writer’s list. Creating unrealistic situations, characters, or scenes is basically failing at story telling. When writing a romance, for example, we want our readers to feel like they’re actually falling in love themselves. And when writing an… Continue reading Men and Women: How We Argue

Are Audiobooks Really Outselling Print Books?

What is it? The increase of audiobooks popularity has caused an uproar in the book industry. Over the past year, they’ve started outselling print books, and many publishers are in disbelief. Why is it important? While self-published authors are giving traditional publishers a run for their money, the unlikely contender of audiobooks has risen to… Continue reading Are Audiobooks Really Outselling Print Books?

Is Barnes and Noble Changing the Self-Publishing Game?

What is it? Self-published authors will soon have the opportunity to see their books on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. Why is it game-changing? This decision, not only opens doors for indie authors everywhere, but it's also the first move to offer real competition to Amazon. How is one Amazon bookstore to compete against… Continue reading Is Barnes and Noble Changing the Self-Publishing Game?