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Reader Question: When English Isn’t Your First Language

Today I’d like to tackle a reader question from Evgeni Puzankov related to selling writing to English-language publications when English isn’t your first language. Can you do so successfully? “The question that plagues me throughout my adult life is whether one can actually make it in anglophone writing biz, while not being a native. I’m Russian and still live here. My mother sent me to … read more

The Snowflake Method for Outlining a Novel

It’s no secret that when it comes to tackling large writing projects, I’m a planner. I work from outlines for nearly everything I write (even this blog post). I’ve tried several outlining strategies over the years. And ultimately I’ve taken bits and pieces of each strategy to customize my own process. Last year, I came across someone on the NaNoWriMo forums talking about The Snowflake … read more

Novel Planning Tools and Worksheets

We recently talked about preparing for NaNoWriMo during October, and I shared some of my own plans such as using the Snowflake Method for this novel’s outline. Today I’d like to share some of the best resources for helping you plan your NaNoWriMo novel (or any novel for that matter). Here are links to character planning resources and some of my favorite more general tools … read more

Prepare for NaNoWriMo: 5 Tips for October Planning

Last year was the first year I took part in NaNoWriMo. I participated mostly as a challenge that I could document here on the site. It went well. And I’m doing it again this year, although I’ll be following the traditional rules rather than last year’s “rebel” approach where I combined a few projects that I needed to work on anyway. This year I’m working … read more

Quick Tip: The Pomodoro Technique for Authors

One of my favorite productivity tools in my freelance writing and blogging work is a timer. I use something called the Pomodoro Technique which breaks down my work into small, manageable periods of time. It’s a great way to stay focused and push yourself to see how much you can do in a short stretch. And it turns out, it works well for writing books … read more

Kristen Weber on Developmental Editing for Your Fiction

One of the biggest benefits of indie publishing is the freedom it allows authors to assemble the perfect team to develop and represent their books. That includes bringing in the right editors. But what kind of editing help do you really need? You probably know that copyeditors and proofreaders can help you catch things like spelling and grammatical errors. But what about consistency and making … read more

Writing Fiction: Series or One-off Titles?

Recently we’ve been talking a lot about writing books, including Karen Wiesner’s recent release on writing fiction series. Today I’d like to delve a bit further into the decision we make as authors between pursuing a one-off novel versus looking for series potential. Both have their place. So let’s look at the pros and cons of both. Here are some of the most obvious upsides … read more

Weekend Reading: NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is officially here. I’m taking part for the first time as a way to push myself back into my fiction writing projects after my recent extended leave. Whether you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo this year or you’re just thinking about writing a novel at some point in the future, these resources are worth checking out. Feel free to share your … read more

Cohesive Story Building by Karen Wiesner: Coming Soon

We’ve been talking a lot this past week about Karen Wiesner’s latest writer’s reference book, Writing the Fiction Series. Today I’d like to share some information about another book you should keep an eye out for. The rights to her book, From First Draft to Finished Novel, have reverted to her, and Karen is set to release a new version of the book through another publisher. The new release … read more

Review of Writing the Fiction Series by Karen Wiesner

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a fan of the previous two writers’ reference books from Karen Wiesner — First Draft in 30 Days and From First Draft to Finished Novel. So I was thrilled when she sent me her most recent release for writers, Writing the Fiction Series.  This was a timely read for me. I’m gearing up to take part in my first NaNoWriMo, when I’ll finish … read more