Can you identify with any of these?


I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sounds they make as they fly by.  -Douglas Adams

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.  Truman Capote

Nothing, not love, not greed, not passion or hatred, is stronger than a writer’s need to change another writer’s copy.  Arthur Evans






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Love this…

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I never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I’m one of the world’s great rewriters.

I find that three or four readings are required to comb out the clichés, line up pronouns with their antecedents, and insure agreement in number between subject and verbs…My connectives, my clauses, my subsidiary phrases don’t come naturally to me and I’m very prone to repetition of words; so I never even write an important letter in the first draft. I can never recall anything of

You write that first draft really to see how it’s going to come out.

James A. Michener


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Cynthia Robertson recently tagged me to participate in an authors’ blog tour on the process of writing. Cynthia is not only an excellent writer, book reviewer and editor; but also a perceptive critique partner and good friend. She was the driving force in setting up the Arizona Novel Writers Workshop, which I think is one of the best critique groups in Arizona. Her blog is always insightful, so take the time to head over there and check it out. You can also follow her on twitter @Literarydaze. Continue reading

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NoiseTrade: Build Audience While Boosting Your Mailing List

Diana Douglas:

I’m going to look into this. What do you think?

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

noisetrade What if I told you there was a cool new way to share your work with the world that could help you build audience, boost your mailing list, and make money at the same time?

Welcome to NoiseTrade.

The idea is simple. Authors can upload ebooks (and audiobooks) and NoiseTrade’s community of readers can download them for free – for as long as the author wants. There is a tip-jar, and you can suggest a figure, but it’s not compulsory.

So it’s pay what you want, but with a killer twist. In exchange for the download, the reader provides their email address to the author (in full knowledge they will be contacted in future).

In other words, it’s a smart way to boost your mailing list, with the possibility of making a little money on the side too.

NoiseTrade is quite well established in the indie music scene

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When I used to work as a graphic designer, most people outside the industry had a glamorized image of what the job entailed. I find the same thing is true when I tell people I’m a writer. The image doesn’t fit the reality. So what makes a writer a writer? Here’s my take on it.

  1. You forget that the characters in your book aren’t real.
  2. You forget that the characters in your head aren’t real.
  3. You carry on conversations with the characters in your book. Out loud.
  4. Your neighbors think that you’re weird.
  5. Every notebook in the house belongs to you, even if you have to steal it out of your grandson’s backpack. (In my defense, I put it back after I tore out the pages I used and he never even noticed it was gone.)
  6. Your best friend breaks their leg and as they writhe in pain, you take notes because you might need it for your novel. (I didn’t do this, but I’m pretty sure that if the occasion arose, I would.)
  7. You critique everything you read.
  8. You critique everything you watch on TV or at the movies.
  9. You drink tons of coffee. Or alcohol. Or eat lots of chocolate. Or (in my case) gummy worms.
  10. Your butt is numb.
  11. You realize you can no longer spell due to years of relying on spellcheck.
  12. Halfway through your work in progress, you come up with a fantastic idea for a new novel. And you want to start working on it NOW. Instead, you make a few notes and go back to your WIP.
  13.  You decide that flipping burgers or working in a little cubical somewhere would have been a better career choice because you suck as a writer.
  14. You realize you don’t suck as a writer.
  15. You don’t give up.






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10 Dialogue Tips To Make Your Novel Shine

Originally posted on Writers In The Storm Blog:

Dialogue_Photopin By Shannon Donnelly

Great dialogue can make or break a novel.

This view may stem from growing up watching a lot of 1930’s screwball comedies. Zingers fly with rapid fire and everyone talks. A lot. But the importance of dialogue really sank in when I wrote A Proper Mistress. I went for a lot of dialogue in that book and it went on to be one of my best selling romances.

We all know great dialogue when we read it—and the best dialogue seems effortless. But good dialogue takes work, sometimes needing multiple edits and thinking it over and totally revising a scene. It also takes a few key ingredients.

1) Give Your Characters Unique Voices.

Can you tell who is talking without any tags to make this obvious?

You have to get your characters talking in order to find their voices. And each character needs a distinct voice.


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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a few random and occasionally bizarre facts about February 14th.

When the Egyptians mummified their dead for burial, they removed every organ but the heart because they believed the heart was the only part of the body necessary for the trip through eternity.

Condom sales are 20-30% higher around Valentine’s Day.

Valentine candy “conversation hearts” have a shelf life of five years. (I don’t know how they figured this out. Conversation hearts last about 15 minutes in my house.)

“Quirkyalone Day” is celebrated on February 14 as an alternative to Valentine’s Day. It is geared toward people who “resist the tyranny of coupledom.”

The symbol of the ribbon, which often adorns modern-day Valentines, is rooted in the Middle Ages. When knights competed in tournaments, their sweethearts often gave them ribbons for good luck.

Pope Gelasius established Valentine’s Day in A.D. 500 in an attempt to appropriate the ancient pagan Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia, into Christianity.

According to Welsh tradition, a child born on Valentine’s Day would have many lovers. A calf born on Valentine’s Day, however, would be of no use for breeding purposes. If hens were to hatch eggs on Valentine’s Day, they would all turn out rotten.

The saying “wearing your heart on your sleeve” is from the Middle Ages. Boys at this time would draw names of girls to see who would be their “Valentine” and then wear the name pinned on their sleeve for a week.

During the 1700s in England, a girl would pin four bay leaves to her pillow and eat a hard-boiled egg, including the shell, on the eve of St. Valentine’s Day. Supposedly, if she dreamed of a boy that night, she would soon marry him.

In 1653, English puritanical leader Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Realm and, subsequently banned St. Valentine’s Day customs. Valentine’s Day wasn’t observed again until Stuart King Charles II was restored to the English throne in 1660.

You’ll find these facts and more at:


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