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....

How to Use Your Travels to Make Your Story Sparkle

~ By Rachel Magee Vacations. We all love them. Just the sound of the word can bring stress relief. We plan, research, save for and dream about them all year long. And when the time gets near, we go shopping, buy new outfits and struggle to cram them all into our over-stuffed suitcases. No? Just me? Well, moving on, then. If you’re anything like me, you’re never truly on vacation from writing. I may get away from the norm, but my creative mind is always spinning. Vacations fill me with inspiration for new stories or ideas for my current...

2017, Shakespeare, and a Dose of Inspiration

~ By Rebecca Grace Allen Let’s be brutally honest here: 2016 totally stunk. As a writer and, well, a human, I struggled on every level. My creativity shuddered to a halt. I hit a massive writers block. My relationships suffered. I gained ten pounds. There were times when I wondered why I was doing this whole writing thing in the first place. Then I remembered, it’s because there are stories bubbling up inside me that I have to tell. Stories that I hope will be timeless, ones that will live on beyond me. And sometimes, to write that kind...

Diving Back Into My World

~ By Melina Kantor Note: This post was written in August, 2016.  Confession: A few days ago, I opened my WIP for the first time in. . . Well, I don’t know how long it had been. But let’s just say it had been long enough that when the document opened, I swear I heard a creak. Like all of us, I’ve been busy with a lot of regular life stuff (new rescue puppy, busy schedule, etc). But busy I can handle. What’s hard is that I now write for my day job, and after work I just can’t...

The 5 Podcasts to Inspire and Motivate Every Writer

~ By Liat Behr Podcasts are a hands-free way to learn new things, especially when you’re on the go. Think of them are your own personal radio show, custom-tailored to both your interests and time-slot. If you aren’t yet listening to them, you should be. Here are my favorite 4 podcasts that will inspire and motivate every writer. Magic Lessons With Elizabeth Gilbert You don’t necessarily have to be a writer to enjoy this podcast. But you do have to be an artist – or one who embraces a creative life. This podcast is #1 on my list for...

Where I Get My Hero-spiration, a.k.a. The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Supernatural

~ By Rebecca Grace Allen I have been a fangirl of the CW’s Supernatural for years. If you don’t watch the show, or never got past some of the more gory, monster-of-the-week episodes, I am sad for you, because in my opinion, it’s one of the best-written shows out there. It’s about Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers who hunt all things evil in an attempt to save the world. Played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, the two characters were the inspiration for my heroes in the first two Portland Rebels books. Want to know why the two...

My Five Gifts to Aspiring Writers

~ By Marilyn Brant  Note: This post originally appeared here.  Dear Aspiring Writer: A recent conversation I had with a multi-published novelist friend made me think of you…and how difficult, stressful and frequently frustrating it is to break into this “challenging” (read: “OMG, it’s so chaotic and insane…why do we DO this to ourselves?!”) industry. How we need so much emotional bolstering and moral support (and, also, boxes of chocolate truffles and pitchers of margaritas…) from friends and family to see beyond the soul-crushing rejections or reviews, the steep learning curves, the unpredictable publishing changes and the banquet of fear/insecurity/self-doubt...

Reality Check [REPOST]

~ By Becke (Martin) Davis When I was a schoolgirl, I held one truth to be self-evident: that I could write. I might suck at a lot of other subjects, but give me a creative writing topic or even an essay, and I knew I could pull off an A. I’m not a schoolgirl anymore, and in place of essays I now write blog posts. I sweat those as much as algebra these days – not that there’s been much call for algebra in my adult life, thankfully. Along with a lot of my childhood beliefs that were tarnished...

How I Prepare to Write Fast — Character and Plot [REPOST]

~ By Jade Chandler So all of us have different styles of writing, and I am naturally a quicker writer, words flow, sometimes faster than my 60wpm fingers can type. Other times, not so much. So this year I added to my prep work before typing my first sentence. I hope you find something you can use among the tools I’ve found that help me best. So I write romance, steamy to erotic usually, and I believe character rules in romance, not that I ignore plot. So first I get to know my characters. I use up to three tools,...

You Go! [REPOST]

 ~ By Laura Florand When Melissa first approached me about writing a post for this blog, I wanted to talk about craft. I wanted to talk about texture, which is one of my personal “things”. (I think it’s a huge benefit to authors to get out from behind their computers and go out into the world and absorb as much texture from it as they can, so that it will underly their writing. I could go on and on about it, but…) But then I thought about how many times I’ve heard a writer say, “I came back from that...

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