Monday, April 30, 2007

Back Cover Blurbs

Ok, since we've mastered the author bio, here's another fun, short writing assignment--the back cover blurb.

If you need help, aside from actually reading blurbs to learn how to write them, check out this advice:

How To Write a Blurb (Back Cover Copy) by Marilynn Byerly

How to Write a Blurb by Helen Williams

Happy blurbing,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Writing Your Author's Bio

I'm trying to put together my first serious bio as an author and am finding it harder to do than write a 55,000 word novel. Insane!

If you're stuck in the same boat, here are a few thoughts:

Writing Your Bio by Terje Johansen

Inventing The Author: Four Steps to a Compelling Bio by Julie Duffy

Writing an Author Bio That Will Knock The Editor's Socks Off! By Dorothy Thompson

Top Ten Tips for Writing A Professional Overview or Biography by Tara Kachaturoff

Ok, enough procrastination by posting links. Time to get writing...

Happy bio-ing!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

show, don't tell

Working on the first round of edits for my fiction short and have a few passages where the editor wants me to rewrite to show not tell...which translates to active, not passive. I'm usually pretty proud of that little stat that comes up on Word after spellchecking that says like 0% passive sentences.

So I'm learning that I'm not perfect at active v. passive. Yet. :)

Here are a few links to help if you find yourself needing to show, not tell and be active, not passive.

Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing--Passive vs. Active Voice

Writing: Actively Showing Instead of Passively Telling

Donna Sundblad's Craft Of Writing: Warning Flags: Words to Use With Caution

Happy Active Writing,

Writer's Conferences

While it does cost money, I do believe every writer should attend a writer's conference at least once (once a year if possible). The networking, the connecting and electric environment is almost an absolute guarantee to get the words flowing again.

It's hard to be able to find the perfect conference without attending first, but checking out the writer's conferences listed at ShawGuides is a good start in finding one that suits your needs (and budget).

Best of all, it's still early in the year and there are lots of conferences in the upcoming year. Get on the ball now and find a conference for you...

Happy Conferencing,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Promo Ideas II

Here are more good ideas....just because they both showed up in my inbox today!

15 Favorite Ways to Develop Your Author Platform by Patrice-Anne Rutledge

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Free Articles for Authors and Editors (lotsa links)

Keep up the promo work,

Writing With the Senses

No, not trying to parody "Dancing With the Stars" (who has time for television when there are words and stories to write?!). My friend and fellow SeriousWriter Katy just had a poem accepted for publication (woohoo...way to go girl!) and got me thinking about how similar poetry and fiction writing are...and how different they are.

I love imagery and senses in poetry. That's what drags me in and keeps me firmly riveted to the page, and often I find the same true for excellent fiction writers.

Here are some ideas on how imagery can work for your fiction...

Using Poetry to Improve Your Writing by Mika Teachout

Writing From the Senses by Judy Reeves

Writing From Your Senses by Glenn White

Happy sensory imaging!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Book Signing Tips

Good news an email from the editor working with my short story and she says she's ready to work with me and that the contract for my story is forthcoming :)

This is a new arena for me--being published in fiction. While it's only a modest short story and not a novel (yet), I'm still in novice mode in looking for information on what new writers can expect, need to do, should consider, etc.

For you pubs out there, these links might not be much but for us newbies (despite the fact that I won't have a booksigning just yet) it's always good to get an idea ahead of the game to know what to expect.

Book Signing 101 by Elizabeth Harrin (courtesy of

40+ Ways to Make Your Next Booksigning An Event by Larry James

How to Have a Successful Booksigning by MaryJanice Davidson

Quick Tips for Hosting a Successful Booksigning by Martha Reed

That should be enough to get you (and me!) excited!

Happy booksigning,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Promo Ideas

Because I'm still interested in promo ideas....

Online Press Releases: Attract Both the Media and Potential Readers by Patrice-Anne Rutledge

Heck, make it easy on yourself and visit's "Promoting Your Writing" section and just see if there are any areas left you have questions about...'s Promoting Your Writing

Happy Promoing,

Freelance Writing, Part 1

Actually, this might be a part 2 or part 3--can't remember if I've posted anything on freelancing lately...

At any rate, I'm working on the final draft of an online course I'll be teaching for the Hearts Through History RWA chapter in June on how to take the plunge from fiction to freelance writing and am at the point of searching out quality freelancing resources to include in my lectures (I sound so smart when I say that!).

One great site for writers--not just the freelancing aspect--has a treasure trove of articles on freelancing & that'll be today's resource. Whether you've never considered freelancing, have given it a passing though, are just starting out or want a bit of a new angle to pursue, check out the freelance articles at (where else?!)

Freelance Writing 101 Articles at

Happy, happy freelancing,


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh, and on the subject of writer's block...

Whether I believe in in WB or not, here's a thoughtful article on ways to get you back in the game if WB or something else has sidelined your creation of creative prose....

To Write or Not To Write, That Is The Question by Mayra Calvani (courtesy of Absolute

Good advice. Now what's stopping you?

Happy unWBing and writing,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fun Double Duty

Back from vacation with a renewed sense of purpose, ambition and a host of new goals...(I think I need a nap)...just in time to share a neat site with you, for the heck of it!

When I first checked out the list of 500 fun things to do, I was mildly entertained. Some of these I already do on a somewhat regular basis, some looked, well, for breaking out of a rut or seeing things from a different perspective, or heck, just screwing around.

But I also thought--these might make some interesting "what-ifs" for short stories or scenes for your longer novels in progress. Imagine the character, the setting, the situation and backstory..use them as a prompt...or story-starter...however you choose.

Any way you do it, it's fun. C'mon, check it out...

List of 500 Fun Things to Do

Happy fun-discovering,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Oh, my gosh...Writer's Block

Funny title, I know. But for those of you who know me in real life and those of you who've read my blog from the day of the Writer's Loft, you know I totally abhor the term "writer's block". THere is no such thing. Just because I don't know what to cook for dinner doesn't mean I have cooking block, right? I hate, hate, hate "writer's block", don't believe in it, don't ascribe to any solution.

The main reason is simple: We are writers. We are good with words. We can adequately name what's in the way of our writing and stopping progress...such as depression, sensory overload, description issues, lack of ideas...etc...writer's block is too blessed generic.

So, lately, I've been suffering from...writing doesn't matter block. Lots of little things in real life affecting my perception of the importance and love of my writing...hence few blog posts and almost no writing on the personal level, even toward the deadlines I've had. How to help get out of those funks? Read on:

Women's Writers (lots of stuff...)

To Beat Writer's Block, Personify It!

Writer's Block at Wikipedia (interesting overview and suggestions)

Breaking Through Writer's Block by John Warner

Top 10 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block by Ginny Wiehardt (at

Happy unblocking (and it is...)


Monday, April 09, 2007

Author Interviews for Insight

When asked whether they became a writer or were born a writer, many authors say they've just had a natural love of writing, words and storytelling from a young age. Since I'm no different, I have always been fascinated by reading interviews with authors (even ones I've never heard of) because in these interviews, it seems I always discover a nugget of myself in their words (well, not always, but it's still a voyeuristic writing pleasure to get their thoughts).

I've been reading a lot of interviews lately for fun, so I'll share a few links where great interviews with authors can be found. No, not how-to on writing, but still..valuable insight in their own right.

The Paris Review Interview Archives

Exclusive Author Interviews at

Spike Magazine's Interviews

Happy reading..may something spark your interest!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Show, Don't Tell

First, a note: apologies for not posting (almost) daily as I promise in the blog header. Sometimes, life gets in the way...

Today's resources are articles on one of our favorite writer mantras, one we've heard countless times regardless of our status as a beginner or a NYT Bestselling author: Show, Don't Tell.

I always thought I was good at least better than the average bear. I've been working with an editor on a short story she's considering, and, as it turns out, I am (toot, toot that horn)--but I've still got stuff to learn.

Since I'm learning, you might as well join me...

Tara Harper's Show, Don't Tell, The Story

Robert J. Sawyer's Show, Don't Tell

The Lifewriters Digest's Show, Don't Tell

Jessica Page Morrell's The Power of Description

Just try to make sure the details and showing you include in your work are necessary to the story...(oh, it sounds so easy!)

Happy showing not telling through details!