Do Editors Have Different Styles?

Ask the Editor Series, Q5 Q: Do Editors Have Different Styles? A1: Contrary to popular belief, editors have an amazing sense of style! It’s not all pursed lips and cat-eye glasses, you know. A2: Ohhh, that. This is every bit as complicated as you’d think, but the answer is “sort-of-yes,” and here’s some reassurance for… Continue reading Do Editors Have Different Styles?

How Do You Know If You Have a Bad Editor?

Ask the Editor Series, Q4   Q: How do you know if you have a bad editor? A1: Their style guide is I’m OK – You’re OK. A2: This happens on occasion, but if you’re on top of things, it’s not as complicated as you’d think. Let’s face it, with the whole idea of internet… Continue reading How Do You Know If You Have a Bad Editor?

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

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

4 Reasons Authors Need A Great Website

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

#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 . . .

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

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

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!

#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

#MotivationalFriday – #Quotes to Live and #Write By

#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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

Amazon’s Little Secret—A Treat for Independent Authors

Just when you thought Amazon couldn't do more for independent authors, it slaps us with KDP Print. A new Print on Demand service right on your KDP dashboard. The release of KDP Print happened back in September. But why haven't you heard of it? Well, they've kept it under the radar because it's still in… Continue reading Amazon’s Little Secret—A Treat for Independent Authors

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

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

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 . . .

In the Land of Public Religion Writing Time is Sparse

I originally penned this little holiday rant a few years ago. But as most people take the holiday season to lavish in thankfulness, I thought I’d speak for those of us with a healthy love-hate relationship to the holiday distractions…sure, I might burn in hell or come back as a goat for this piece…but hey,… Continue reading In the Land of Public Religion Writing Time is Sparse

5 Benefits of Going the Self-Publishing Route

New writers, old timers, bloggers, my mom, your neighbor—anyone, would be thrilled to sell their novel to a prestigious publisher. The sense of pride almost . . . almost . . . makes up for the pressure and anxiety attacks that comes with such contract. It’s lovely, it really is. But thanks to the ever-changing… Continue reading 5 Benefits of Going the Self-Publishing Route

10 Signs You’re A Lazy Writer

So, SK and me are just returning from our cruise and motivation has not yet caught up to us. We decided we'd keep it simple and funny today, but we promise to get our sh#%t together sometime this week. SK says, if you don't think this is funny then drink three Pina Coladas and read… Continue reading 10 Signs You’re A Lazy Writer

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

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

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

8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part Two)

Although self-publishing has eliminated the “gatekeepers,” for the Indie Author, the question often remains, “Am I ready to publish?” The decision may ultimately come down to the personal objectivity of the story’s merit and confidence in one’s abilities, but there are eight guidelines an author can follow to ensure at least a modest level of… Continue reading 8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part Two)

8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part One)

Throughout the 20th Century, book publishing was a gated industry. With few exceptions, if an author wished to publish a novel he or she needed to endure the rite of passage. Agencies and ultimately publishers decided if a book had merit and sale-ability. If the content and writing were good enough, the publisher ensured the… Continue reading 8 Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Publish (Part One)

A Writer’s Journey

I always wanted to be a writer. Not a journalist, not a laureate, just a guy who wrote the types of stories that people enjoyed reading. I remember, as a child, the feeling of awe I experienced looking at all those mysterious symbols on the pages of the book my mother from. I remember sitting… Continue reading A Writer’s Journey

Are You Too Smart to Write Fiction?

People read fiction for enjoyment. An understatement? Sure, but an important consideration if your goal is popularity. The ability to draw others into another place or time and to create, in their mind, the experience of “being there” is an incredible talent. And like most amazing and beautiful things the genius is in the simplicity.… Continue reading Are You Too Smart to Write Fiction?

The Author’s Silent Affirmations

  By Raymond Esposito An author’s desire for affirmation isn’t an issue of vanity. Diaries and journals are for private thoughts, but stories, those are written with the intention to share. And in sharing, writers expose a part of themselves. The reader’s response (as much as we’d like to deny it) is, therefore, essential. Who… Continue reading The Author’s Silent Affirmations

Inspirations

By Raymond Esposito People always ask writers the wrong question. They want to know “where do you get your ideas?” And we respond with answers that we believe might make some sense to the non-writer. Because we can’t speak the truth of it. Because the truth would reveal the subtle lunacy of our thoughts. Honesty… Continue reading Inspirations

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

Procrastination IS Creativity

  By Raymond Esposito Non-writers don’t understand. I don’t expect them to, what with all their activities, and errands, and family time--most taking place in that overly “people-ly” world. That world without dragons, without princesses, without grand love stories, creepy monsters, or superpowers. If they lived in “our” world, then they would appreciate that procrastination is… Continue reading Procrastination IS Creativity

How to Quit Writing Bad Scenes

Feeling stuck with your writing? Rufi Thorpe shares some tips on how to get over the bumps on the road holding you back from your amazing scenes! Check it out: How to Quit Bad Scenes: Writing Tips from Rufi Thorpe Sometimes I write a scene and it’s bad. Even after two published books, I am… Continue reading How to Quit Writing Bad Scenes

Me Can Self-edit

You’re a pretty talented writer. I’d bet a paycheck that you have some fairly witty shit going on in your novel. You’ve weaved a wonder of smart scenes, foreshadowing, and thematic allusions. You’re an author—the master of the narrative. And being that smart, well it makes it damn tempting to self-edit those very “limited” mistakes… Continue reading Me Can Self-edit

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?

The Decline of Ebooks? It’s not what you think

There is a celebration going on in the traditional publishing world. A danse macabre over the decline of e-books. It’s being touted as “digital fatigue” and a cursory glance at the numbers might appear to support the claims. According to a Publisher’s Weekly report, a survey conducted by the Association of American Publishers shows a… Continue reading The Decline of Ebooks? It’s not what you think

Gender Gap in Publishing? Yes, there is.

By Raymond Esposito Studies, specifically those conducted VIDA, a “non-profit founded to raise awareness of gender inequality issues in literary culture,” find an under-representation of females in publishing (books, articles, newsprint). By one account, males account for 75% of published material while females account for only 25%. Advocates for women suggest a bias in book… Continue reading Gender Gap in Publishing? Yes, there is.