A Snowy, Holiday Writing Prompt

Hello, Contemporary Romance Fans! May the holiday season bring a lot of warmth, light, and good stories into your lives! We’ll be back in 2018 with posts that’ll help you kick-start your writing in the new year. But we’re not going to let you go without a writing prompt. Ready? Things are going really well for your protagonist and her new guy, and she’s been having a great time snuggling on the couch, drinking hot chocolate, and daydreaming. And then it snows, and everything is beautiful. She’s looking forward to a huge holiday dinner and is hoping to share...

Staying Sane as a Debut Writer

Do As I Say, and Not As I Do. ~ By Laura Trentham  I imagine every book has its own challenges, but your debut book is a special breed. Not only is it the first time you’re sending your words out for the masses to read, but it’s an unknown. Expectations are sometimes far from reality. I pinged a special group of women for input—the Golden Heart class of 2014, the Dreamweavers. If you’re every lucky enough to final in the Golden Heart, you come to understand these other women are kind of like your graduating class. All of you...

Reentry and Giving Yourself a Break

~ By Melina Kantor We hear it all the time. BICHOK. Want to be a writer? Write.  Writers write every day.  And of course, all of that is true. But I’ve got to confess something. I just finished a first draft of a story. I sat my butt down and put my hands on the keyboard for several hours for 29 days and won NaNoWriMo. For a month, my dogs were neglected. My refrigerator was empty. My nice gel manicure slowly peeled off, leaving me with broken nails. I was exhausted. And people were talking about starting revisions on December...

About Characterization. . .

~ By Mellanie Szereto I love stories with three-dimensional characters, both main and secondary. They draw me into the story, and I’m invested in their journeys. What makes a fully developed character? Characterization. Yes, the reader should have a general idea of the character’s physical traits, but I don’t necessarily mean a specific height, weight, eye color, and hair color rundown. Unless he/she is being described for a police report, these characteristics should be worked in without making the description obvious. Just as important as what the character looks like is how her life experience has influenced who she is,...

Tips for Proofreading Your Manuscript

~ By Liz Dempsey Well done to everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo, no matter how far into the process you made it. If you managed to get a whole book drafted, then you’re now at the stage of revising your work—either for a second draft, or in order to send it to your editor. Here are some tips to help you see your manuscript with fresh eyes and catch those embarrassing mistakes we all make. Bear in mind that proofreading your own work can be challenging. Your over-familiarity with your story may mean that you tend to skim over...

Giving Up

~ By Laura Trentham  I was discussing TV shows with my hubby the other night. He wanted me to binge watch a show with him. I told him I did not have time to pick up another show. His response? “You have the time; it’s just not a priority.” Well…he’s right. My free time is limited these days, and I’ve cut back on certain things. I went from stay-at-home mom with plenty of time to volunteer at the school and watch TV to a full time writer on deadline while trying to do all the a stay-at-home mom stuff...

Writing Sprints Make a Difference

~ By Leigh Duvan When you hear the word Sprint your first reaction might be to think of Olympic Runners or Track & Field Events – you know like the 100-meter dash. Sprinting is associated with “going fast” and the actual verb definition is: run at full speed over a short distance. Today we’re going to take the sprint to another level – a writing level. A few years back when I started writing “for real”, I came across a group of writers who would “sprint” together. The more I learned about writing sprints, the more I fell in love...

Writer’s Block

~ By Mellanie Szereto What happens when an author’s creativity slows to a tickle or stops altogether? Besides PANIC, Writer’s Block is the most common term for the condition. What are the causes? What’s the cure? Lots of issues can lead to writer’s block, but one of the most frequent causes is burnout. Authors tend to write every day, usually eight or more hours a day and close to three hundred sixty-five days a year. A few days away can recharge the brain and allow the mind to focus on something else. Writing inspiration often comes from observing—people, nature, etc....

NaNoWriMo – Why You Win Even When You Lose

~ By Leigh Duvan There are only a few days left to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2017. You may still be on the fence about NaNo or thinking there’s no way you can win, so why bother even doing it. Today I’m going to tell you in Nike form to JUST DO IT! Sign up! Unless you’re going to be hiding under a rock for the month of November, there’s no reason not to be a participant. I’ll even make it easy for you. Here’s the sign up link: https://nanowrimo.org/ Now, before you think I’m crazy, hear me out....

What Does It All Mean?

The Confusing World of Editing and Proofreading ~ By Liz Dempsey For the new writer, understanding the function of the professionals involved in the process of readying your book for market, and the terminology used by the editing and proofreading world, can be daunting. It doesn’t help that often the same job comes with several different titles. To help you get your head around it all and decide which type of editor and proofreader you need, here is a quick guide. Editor—Content/Developmental/Substantive/Story These are all pretty much the same thing. This type of editor will help you sort out...

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