A Haunting Consequence

They say you draw what you intend. If that is true, then I expect mine will be a horrifying death. My intentions are always toward the darkness. My imagination seeks out the irrational truths that are still, in fact, true. I’m a dark fiction author, so I love those places where sanity grows thin, and… Continue reading A Haunting Consequence

Your Blank Page Isn’t a Failure

“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

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

In a Horror Movie, You’re Not as Smart as You Think

Nightmirrors #3 “Don’t do it! Are you stupid? Get the hell out of there!” As we sit on the sofa or in the theater we oft marvel at the stupidity of horror movie characters. It’s a joyous and self-righteous feeling to be “oh so much smarter” than these soon-to-be dead fools. In fact, if you… Continue reading In a Horror Movie, You’re Not as Smart as You Think

4 Ways Writing Short Stories Makes You a Better Novelist

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

Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Four—Legs, Feet, & Bonus Tips

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 the way down to the feet. But I’ll also cover some extra tips about body language for your characters,… Continue reading Using Body Language in Your Novel, Part Four—Legs, Feet, & Bonus Tips

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

Creative Pragmatism: How to Become a Productive Author

I’d imagine there are thousands of great writers out there with fantastic stories that the world will never have a chance to read. The reason being that author never publishes his or her novel. Two decades ago being unpublished might have been acceptable, what with the gatekeepers and the hoops one had to jump through.… Continue reading Creative Pragmatism: How to Become a Productive Author

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

Brainstorming Strategies for Writers

No matter what is happening in a writer’s life, the one thing you can count on is we always have an idea for a story. It may be the tiniest of seeds, but we know we can water it and have it grow into something quite magical. The problem, however, is that we usually have… Continue reading Brainstorming Strategies for Writers

10 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Small Press Publisher (Part Two)

The future of traditional publishing may lie in the hands of small press publishers. Their ability to be creative, adaptive, and flexible offers many advantages over the larger houses but as we discussed in Part One of this article, selecting a small press publisher requires some homework. For an author, nothing is worse than seemingly… Continue reading 10 Questions to Ask Before Signing with a Small Press Publisher (Part Two)

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

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

How to Find the Balance Between Showing and Telling

If you're a writer, you've heard this advice several times in your writing career: "show don't tell." But it's not as simple as it sounds, because surely, you can't show everything. No, you need a balance. And our friends over at XterraWeb have made some good points on this subject. Read on:     Finding… Continue reading How to Find the Balance Between Showing and Telling

All You Need to Know About POVs

  Ever struggle to find the right voice for your manuscript? Sometimes, it's simply because we're writing our stories with the wrong point of view. And switching the perspective could be the answer you're looking for. The question is, what are the different POVs and what do they mean? Well, Harvey Chapman, over at Novel Writing… Continue reading All You Need to Know About POVs

5 Traps to Avoid With Dialogue Tags

Dialogue can make or break your novel. The dialogue concerns aren't  just contained inside those " ", it's also the pesky little "tags" that go along with it. The Wise Ink Blog has a great article on what traps to avoid when it comes to dialogue tags. Read on: The 5 Traps of Dialogue Tags… Continue reading 5 Traps to Avoid With Dialogue Tags