• Word Count Is Not the Only Metric for Productivity
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 29, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    By Spencer Ellsworth, @spencimusPart of The Writer’s Life SeriesJH: Putting too much focus on word counts can derail a writer from what really matters—the story. Spencer Ellsworth shares thoughts and tips on how to be productive without stressing over word counts.Spencer Ellsworth is the author of The Great Faerie Strike from Broken Eye Books and the Starfire space opera trilogy from Tor. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three children, and would really like a war mammoth if you know a guy.Website | Twitter | GoodreadsTake it away Spencer…Continue ReadingWritten by Janice Hardy. Fiction-University.com

  • Genre Switching: Launching a Successful Career in a New Genre
    by Guest Poster on July 29, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Admit it, you’ve thought about cheating. After all, there’s so many to choose from, why tie yourself down to one genre? (Hey, what did you THINK I was talking about?) The reality is we’re always growing and changing, and sometimes that means delving into a new genre that we’re unfamiliar with writing. Maybe we go The post Genre Switching: Launching a Successful Career in a New Genre appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

  • What My Literary Heroes Taught Me about Writing
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 27, 2021 at 10:07 am

    By Rochelle Melander, @WriteNowCoachPart of The Writer’s Life SeriesJH: We can learn a lot from other writers. Rochelle Melander shares things that have made a difference in her writing, as well as her writing life.Rochelle Melander is a speaker, certified professional coach, and the bestselling author of twelve books, including Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity and the forthcoming children’s book, Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing. Through her writing and coaching, she helps writers, creatives, and entrepreneurs overcome distractions and procrastination, design a writing life, turn their ideas into books, navigate the publishing world, and connect with readers through social media. She is the founder of […]

  • The Danger of Infodumps (And How to Avoid Them)
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 26, 2021 at 11:01 am

    By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Infodumps aren’t the end of the world for a novel—as long as you keep these things in mind. One of my critique groups has two cozy mystery writers in it. While I don’t write cozies, I am writing a private detective series, which is why I’m in this group. One surprising thing I’ve learned, is that cozy readers love infodumps. They like learning about something new. They want their amateur sleuth to give them mini-lectures on the dangers of radon gas or how a proper English breakfast is made. This makes it a little hard to critique those pages, since all my instincts are screaming “Danger! Danger! Infodumps ahead!” In most genres, all that extra information is bad. However, it is a great reminder that not all infodumps are created equal. They do have their uses, and when done well, a […]

  • WIP Diagnostic: Is This Working? A Closer Look at Narrative Flow in a Sci-Fi Opening
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 24, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Critique by Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy WIP Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and we diagnose it on the site. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem. If you’re interested in submitting to WIP Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines. Submissions currently in the queue: Seven Please Note: As of today, critique slots are booked through September 11. This week’s questions: 1. Does this opening work? 2. Does this page start the story with a strong enough premise to interest the reader? 3. There is no dialogue with another human so is the internalization effective? Market/Genre: Science Fiction On to the diagnosis… Continue […]

  • Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Spouses and Partners
    by BECCA PUGLISI on July 24, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Successful stories are driven by authentic and interesting characters, so it’s important to craft them carefully. But characters don’t usually exist in a vacuum; throughout the course of your story, they’ll live, work, play, and fight with other cast members. Some of those relationships are positive and supportive, pushing the protagonist to positive growth and The post Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Spouses and Partners appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

  • Sell More Books with a Marketing Mindshift
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 23, 2021 at 9:56 am

    By Jenna HartePart of The Writer’s Life SeriesJH: Marketing is about more than selling books and sharing new releases. Jenna Harte discusses ways to shift your thinking about marketing and build your readership.Jenna Harte is a die-hard romantic writing about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. She is the author of the Valentine Mysteries, the first of which, Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. She has a contemporary romance series, Southern Heat, and a cozy mystery series, Sophie Parker Coupon Mystery Series. Romance authors can join her free writing community for support, accountability and more at WritewithHarte.Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTubeTake it away […]

  • Fight, Flight, or Freeze: What’s Your Character’s Go-To Response?
    by BECCA PUGLISI on July 22, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Fight or flight. I think we’ve all heard the phrase. It refers to the way each person is hard-wired to react to real or perceived danger. Psychologists have recently added another option, giving us three ways we might respond to threats: we fight back, we flee, or we freeze up. This happens in life-or-death situations, The post Fight, Flight, or Freeze: What’s Your Character’s Go-To Response? appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

  • Accessing Deep Point of View Via Description—A Writing Exercise!
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 20, 2021 at 10:54 am

    By Bonnie RandallPart of The How They Do It SeriesJH: POV is a vital and powerful tool for writers. Bonnie Randall shares a fun writing exercise to sharper your point-of-view skills.Shout-out to the cable news personality who recently described a certain Canadian Premier as a “demonic hedgehog.” It didn’t just make me laugh, it also inspired this month’s column on accessing Deep Point of View via descriptions. The way an individual sees the world offers insight into how we, in turn, see that individual. In other words, a benevolent and soft-spoken anchor would be unlikely to pair demons with hedgehogs. A sarcastic wise-guy though…? It’s demonic hedgehogs all the way, baby! Think of the last time a character in your fiction was in a setting. Was the sun blistering their skin, or was it beaming? Did that same sun […]

  • Phenomenal First Pages
    by BECCA PUGLISI on July 20, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Hey, wonderful writerly people! It’s time for our monthly first-page critique contest 🙂 This contest is closed. See you next month! If you’re working on a first page (in any genre except erotica) and would like some objective feedback, please leave a comment. Any comment :). As long as the email address associated with your WordPress account/comment profile is up-to-date, I’ll The post Phenomenal First Pages appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

  • Want Better Descriptions? Describe What Readers Won’t Assume
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

    By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Writing better descriptions is easy when you take advantage of your point-of-view character. I always chuckle a bit when I write about description, because I dislike writing description. I’m much more intrigued by what characters say, think, and do than what things look like, but description is necessary to craft a well-rounded story. In some genres, it’s vital. Lucky for me, my attitude toward description actually helped me develop tricks to do the most with the fewest words possible—a valuable skill for any writer. Instead of writing a paragraph or two detailing what a room looks like, I assume the reader knows what a room looks like, then I pick specific details about that particular room, and show it through my point-of-view character. I learned this trick a decade ago from author […]

  • WIP Diagnostic: Is This Working? A Closer Look at Piquing Reader Interest on Page One
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 17, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Critique by Maria D’MarcoWIP Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and we diagnose it on the site. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem. If you’re interested in submitting to WIP Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines. Submissions currently in the queue: FivePlease Note: As of today, critique slots are booked through August 21. This week’s question:By diving into the inciting incident in the first 280 words of ch 1, will it peak the reader’s interest or is it too jarring?Market/Genre: Paranormal MysteryOn to the diagnosis…Continue ReadingWritten by Janice Hardy. Fiction-University.com

  • Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Forced Marriage
    by BECCA PUGLISI on July 17, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Successful stories are driven by authentic and interesting characters, so it’s important to craft them carefully. But characters don’t usually exist in a vacuum; throughout the course of your story, they’ll live, work, play, and fight with other cast members. Some of those relationships are positive and supportive, pushing the protagonist to positive growth and The post Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Forced Marriage appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

  • Twelve Story Ending Twists That Don’t Work
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 15, 2021 at 10:00 am

    By Rayne Hall, @RayneHallPart of the Focus on Short Fiction SeriesJH: Some twists have been written to death. Rayne Hall shares 12 endings you should avoid. Certain short story endings will almost inevitably lead to rejection. What are they, and why should you avoid them? 1. “And then I woke up. It was only a dream.” You’ve created an exciting story, and your readers sit on the edge of their seat to await the outcome… and then you reveal that none of it happened. What a let down! In my role as an anthology editor and contest judge, I’ve received quite a few of those, mostly from novice writers who are submitting their first stories. Other editors and writing contests judges are fed up with them, too. Often, when I chat with editors and judges, one of them says, “Today I got a big batch of ‘it was only a dream’ submissions,” […]

  • Plot Your Way Back from an Unruly Idea
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 14, 2021 at 10:00 am

    By Kristin Durfee, @KristinDurfeePart of The How They Do It SeriesJH: Finding the plot in your idea can sometimes send you so far off track you lose the idea. Kristin Durfee shares tips on wrangling an idea back on track.Kristin Durfee is the author of The Four Corners Trilogy (Black Opal Books), MASS (Orange Blossom Publishing), and Touch (Voyage Literary Journal) as well as short stories for adults appearing in several anthologies. She resides in Central Florida and when not enjoying the sun with her husband, son, and two quirky dogs, you can usually find her on a run, horseback ride, or wandering around a theme park.Website | Goodreads | Facebook| Twitter| Take it away Kristin… Continue ReadingWritten by Janice Hardy. Fiction-University.com

  • Selling Short Fiction, Part One: The Basics
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 13, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    By José Pablo Iriarte, @LabyrinthRatPart of the Focus on Short Fiction SeriesJH: There are a few things you ought to know before diving into the short story market. José Pablo Iriarte answers questions writers often have with short fiction.When my spouse and I give presentations to conferences and writing groups, I’m usually the grumpy one who wants to focus on craft more than business, because I believe no gimmick or pitch is going to make you a selling writer if your craft is not professional grade. That said, I’ve seen enough red flags in magazine practices, in contest submission guidelines, and in assumptions expressed by new writers to make be feel that we definitely should talk about the business side of things, when you’re a short story writer. You might have a sense, from reading Fiction University and from other […]

  • What’s Your Character’s Love Language? (And Why Does it Matter?)
    by Writing Coach on July 13, 2021 at 9:27 am

    By Alli Sinclair Creating characters can be an exciting time for writers, but it can also cause headaches if we don’t understand what motivates them or how they should react to certain situations and people. Aside from doing questionnaires and asking the right questions, there are other ways we can dig deep into our character’s psyche so The post What’s Your Character’s Love Language? (And Why Does it Matter?) appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.

  • Do or Do Not. There is No Try: Clarifying What Your Characters Do
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 12, 2021 at 10:00 am

    By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy The word “try” can send all the wrong signals to your reader. Characters “try to” do a lot of things in stories. They try to get up, they try to hide, they try to hold back tears. But what the writer really means, is the character got up, they hid behind the couch and were found anyway, or they blinked back tears welling in their eyes. The “try” isn’t describing the action, it’s describing the motive, which is another form of telling, not showing. The trying weakens the writing, and isn’t putting enough of what’s actually happening on the page for readers to understand the action. Not that “trying to” act is a bad thing. If the motive is more important than the action, “trying” works just fine and conveys what the author wants readers to know. But more often than not, […]

  • WIP Diagnostic: Is This Working? A Closer Look at Narrative Flow in an Opening Scene
    by noreply@blogger.com (Janice Hardy) on July 10, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    Critique by Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy WIP Diagnostics is a weekly column that studies a snippet of a work in progress for specific issues. Readers are encouraged to send in work with questions, and we diagnose it on the site. It’s part critique, part example, and designed to help the submitter as well as anyone else having a similar problem. If you’re interested in submitting to WIP Diagnostics, please check out these guidelines. Submissions currently in the queue: Five Please Note: As of today, critique slots are booked through August 14. This week’s questions: 1. The main threat hasn’t materialized yet, but do you get the sense that something interesting might happen soon? In other words, does it pique your curiosity enough to keep reading? 2. Is the POV character’s voice coming across? 3. How is the balance between […]

  • Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Master and Apprentice
    by BECCA PUGLISI on July 10, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Successful stories are driven by authentic and interesting characters, so it’s important to craft them carefully. But characters don’t usually exist in a vacuum; throughout the course of your story, they’ll live, work, play, and fight with other cast members. Some of those relationships are positive and supportive, pushing the protagonist to positive growth and The post Relationship Thesaurus Entry: Master and Apprentice appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS®.