Category: writing

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To goal or not to goal?

Hi guys! It’s a whole new year, and we’re planning all sorts of good things for you, but today, I wanted to touch on goals. Back to… Today seems to be the day for us to all be back at ‘work/writing/life’. The holidays, however, they were, are over and I’m on the fence about whether to goal or not to goal. I do, but I know others on the team don’t, so I thought I’d...

How the three laws of robotics apply to writing and planning

Today is National Sci-Fi day, and while we’re not on Sci-fi this month (that’s later in the year) as our featured support genre, for advice Mondays, I thought I’d share a bit of a thought experiment. First though… We’re a nation – or half of one – proud of our ignorance https://t.co/3I5AMHu7Ia — Valerie Douglas #fantasy #thriller #romance (@ValerieDouglasA) January 2, 2020 Today would be Issac’s 100th birthday, and there’s little denying the impact he...

The 2018 Anti-retrospective

Where the Benevolent Dictator consolidates all the 2018 ‘retrospectives’. Okay, first, I know it’s fashionable to bash the ‘Zon, I love you guys, but really, get over it. Bashing doesn’t help. Amazon’s primary concern is its customers, NOT its suppliers. Readers not authors. At least they still pay better than traditional publishers. On the other hand, some books do better on some sites than others. Amazon got burnt one too many times by authors who...

A Writers Plan – yes, you need a plan

So, why do you need a plan? Once upon a time, the unspoken rule for submitting to a traditional publisher was that you should have at least three books completed, and that still holds true for any writer. Why? It shows you’re a serious writer Readers like to see a writer they like has more than one book in them Each book is a learning experience, as you get the books back from beta readers...

Submissions open!

We are now taking guest posts for three of our blogs, and we’d love to see our readers and members join in.  If you’d like to guest post with us, all of the details are here! The main rule of submitting to the blogs are that they CANNOT be fluff, no use posts that promote you.  We are very keen to keep the quality of the blog high, therefore all posts should be your original...

How to write a novel

W. Somerset Maugham said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” Instead, take the advice of the pros: Just write How do you learn to write? Learn from the best – Read Read in your genre and out of it. Read everything. Learn to love words. Anyone who tells you how to write is lying. There are many people, writers of all kinds, who write books and blogs about how to...

The Myth of Reviews and Sales

A lot of people will tell you that book reviews determine whether a book sells or not, that reviews with four or five stars sell books. While reviews help, that’s not what sells a book. What sells a book is good writing. A storyline that captures their imagination, characters readers care about – heroes they want to root for and villains they understand. (Even the villain wants to be the hero of his own story.) It’s really...

Anyone who says there is one way to write is almost certainly wrong.

In other words, there’s no formula for success as an Indie writer. There will be plenty of people who will tell you different, some will even offer you solutions, software, or fixes, that they promise will make your book great. They will be wrong.     Somerset Maugham said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” That is the truth. There is no magic wand (if there were more...

Editing 101 – Self-editing for self-publishers

In the first of a series of articles, Valerie Douglas talks Self Editing – we’re storing them on our pages, so they don’t flow away in the blog stream 😀 One of the first things they should tell you in writing classes or seminars is that in a novel, it’s all about the action. It’s about doing things. Show don’t tell. People don’t ‘begin’ to do things, they don’t ‘start’ to do things, they DO...

Self-Editing 101

Spelling – Even the best spellers make mistakes. Use a software program like Grammarly or WordWeb (both of which have free versions.) Both may catch other errors in word usage – like affect vs. effect – and both do offer a thesaurus so you can find a better word or correct one that’s overused. One of the first things they may or may not tell you in writing classes or seminars is that in a...