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Category Archives: Advice

Writing Through the Valleys: The Painful Truth

By Christa MacDonald Pain, the emotional sort, is a killer of creativity. It’s hard to get the words out when your heart is breaking. Grief, angst, fear, whatever it is, nothing shuts off the faucet of inspiration like suffering. It’s … Continue reading

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Fall down, get up. Again.

By Davalynn Spencer When we hear that people have experience in a particular field or endeavor, we often equate that experience with success and only success. However, if that were the case, their experience would not be genuine. Experience bleeds. … Continue reading

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Four Approaches to Character Names

by Christa Kinde Whenever I’m invited to talk about the Threshold Series, one question keeps cropping up. How do you pick names for your characters? While it might sound like I’m dodging the question, the honest answer is … it … Continue reading

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Dealing with Ugly Envy

by Donna LH Smith Envy—according to Webster’s, it means feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantages, possessions, etc., resentful disliked of another who has something that one desires. This goes back to Commandment #10: You shall not … Continue reading

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The Book Review Conundrum

By Nora St. Laurent Authors want them because it helps sales and readers are not sure what to say in them so many don’t write them. Where do you find readers that will write reviews? We’ve heard of some creative … Continue reading

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Backups and Miracles

By Rondi Olson My laptop made a grinding noise. I held it up to my co-worker, and asked if she could hear the sound, but before she could answer, the screen went blank. I wasn’t worried, at first. I restarted … Continue reading

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Designing

By Christine Sunderland In the early stages of writing a novel, in the choosing of themes and characters, research must be done to create a grand design. In my novel-in-progress, (working title) Angel Mountain, I have chosen to write about … Continue reading

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Patience is a (Painfully Acquired) Virtue

By Linda Yezak Although my first novel didn’t release until 2011, I’ve been at this business for over twenty years. Learning to write. Learning to edit. Learning to read with an eye toward technique. Always learning. Still learning, even now … Continue reading

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Writing for an Audience of One

By Kim Vogel Sawyer If you’re old enough, you’ll probably remember Ricky Nelson crooning, “You see, you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” (That’s grammatically incorrect, by the way, but it’s how it was sung, so….) It’s … Continue reading

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The Writer in the Corner

by Chandra Lynn Smith I’ve been a professional dog trainer since 1988. A few years ago I trained a German Shepherd dangerous fear issues. I stood at the kennel, leash in hand and greeted her. She growled. For those of … Continue reading

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Penchant Toward Drama

By Shirley E. Gould As writers, we create drama, set the scene and allow it to play out to bring our characters through the circumstances that threaten their happily-ever-after ending. It’s what we do when we create stories that grip … Continue reading

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Learning the Truth About Forgiveness

by Marianne Evans One of the most daunting questions I’m asked as an author is: ‘What prompted you to write this book/approach this topic/dive into these characters?’ When it comes to my release, Forgiveness, I don’t want to offer what … Continue reading

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How to Write Synopses that Editors and Agents Want to Read

by Lara Helmling Synopsis. I imagine that some of you hear that word and decide you need to vacuum the living room. To reduce your beloved novel down to a 500-word summary is almost more than you can bear. I … Continue reading

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What’s Your Name?

By Tamara D. Fickas William Shakespeare wrote the famous line, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet” in Romeo and Juliet. This seems to imply that names aren’t important. … Continue reading

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What Can a Virtual Assistant (VA) Do For You?

By Beth K. Vogt I’ve had a virtual assistant (VA)  for almost four years now, and I have no intention of going back to the days when I fended for myself as a writer. I could easily answer the question … Continue reading

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