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Writing tips

Life with a Pen Name

Life with a Pen Name

For one year now, I’ve had a second name. A pen name, or as I like to joke, an alter ego (I write mystery novels, so it totally works). I’ve learned a lot in a year, and today I’d like to reflect on some things I’ve learned about life with a pen name (and if you […]

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Is Strong the New Cliche?

Is Strong the New Cliche?

“Strong female character” is a phrase we’ve heard time and time again in the past few years. Whether it’s a movie or a book, there’s a push for strong females. And for good reason. After years of wallpaper women, it was a fresh breath of air to see women with personality, with strength and spunk. But […]

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How to Manipulate Your Readers

How to Manipulate Your Readers

Really, that title should be a warning because you never  want to manipulate your readers, unless you have a very awesome outcome planned along the way. Manipulating your audience is kind of mean, and today we’re going to talk about how a wonderful TV show, Castle, went downhill, manipulated its viewers, and met a dismal end, so that way […]

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Pitching Your Sequel (or Threequel)

How to Pitch Your Sequel

Writing the back-cover copy for your book (also known as your pitch) can be hard. Summarizing a 60,000-70,000 (or more) novel in three or four paragraphs? Besides titles and character names, pitches may be the worst (psstt, Christine at Better Novel Project has a fabulous post on the process). If you think the first book […]

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The Mini Plot Structure

Back at the end of the year when I did reader surveys, I saw a few people specifically request craft conversations. Writing craft is an interesting thing (and Kristen at She’s Novel is basically the queen of craft talks), and despite the fact that I have a minor in Creative Writing, I don’t really feel […]

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Organizing Your Series with Evernote

Organizing Your Series with Evernote

Since I graduated and moved back home, I’ve been in an organizing storm. Every day, I’m working on organizing something different, and oftentimes it feels like I make a bigger mess before I actually get organized. Organization doesn’t just mean physically, but digitally. Lately, I’ve been really working on organizing my book series, setting it […]

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How To Use News in Your Fiction

How to Use News in Your Fiction

As a contemporary fiction writer (my book takes place in December 2015, but that’s not entirely relevant), I’m constantly looking for inspiration. Because my book takes place in a time frame that’s so close to the present (Double Played takes place in the summer 0f 2016), I often find my mind drawn to one major source […]

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3 Tools I’m Using to Plan My Next Book

Over the weekend, I finally finished the first draft of Double Played. Considering I wanted to have it done before the beginning of the year, it was about time. Just because the draft is done, that doesn’t mean I’m done with the book. I still have plenty of things to do on it, mainly involving edits. Heavy edits. But […]

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How to Weave Your Story Into Your Sequel

If you’ve finished your first book, you ought to be working on your sequel. Your second book is a fun, yet completely new challenge. Unlike the first story where you have a fresh slate, a sequel requires coming up with something totally new – but staying true to the original story. Personally, I’m finding that […]

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