How to Publish Your Novel With Pride (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, our topic was how to publish with pride.

Nowadays, writers face so much pressure to publish, to publish often, to publish as a career, or to publish in a certain way. But guess what? All of that pressure is meaningless! Because if we aren't publishing with confidence, why are we publishing in the first place–right?

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How to Create a Dynamic Story That Will Blow Your Readers Away

Have you ever read a book that just fell flat?

The author didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. They created strong characters, killer conflict and a clever plot, beautiful scene descriptions, and so on. But still the book fell short for you, and you just can’t place your finger on what could have made the story more dynamic. 

“Eh, it was just a bit formulaic,” you say when a friend asks how you enjoyed your latest read.

Today, I’m here to make the case that disappointing stories aren’t the result of sticking too closely to story structure (or to any other established writing techniques, for that matter), but rather sticking too closely to the basics of those techniques. 

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How to Finally Wrap Up Your Novel Project (a #StorySocial recap)

Hey, there! Did you know that I host a weekly Twitter chat for writers called #StorySocial?

It's true!

#StorySocial takes place every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, and each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we discussed how to *finally* wrap up our novel projects, and it was a blast.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries, m'dear!

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Read & Written: A Peek Inside My Writing Life (January 2017)

Welcome to the new Well-Storied, writers!

This is the very first blog post I've published since She's Novel became Well-Storied on January 31st, 2017. Writing blog posts feels pretty familiar, but at the same time, there's something freeing about this one in particular.

Now that I've refocused and streamlined my online presence, I feel like I'm finally creating at 100%, with all my mental energy and excitement focused on just one thing at a time. Can you smell the possibility in the air, friends?

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Seven Things Editors Wish Authors Knew

As an editor, I have encountered countless authors, and they usually have the same questions or concerns. I have compiled a list of seven things editors wish authors knew, so your process of working with an editor is as smooth as possible.

 

1. Book Us in Advance

Writers frequently ask me when they should book me, and I always tell them as soon as possible. Editors tend to get booked out weeks, if not months, in advance, and you want to ensure that you are on your ideal editor’s schedule at the right time.

Also, if you have a deadline with your editor before you even write your novel, you will be motivated to finish it. There is nothing like external motivation to make sure you get your book done.

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How to Regain Focus When Plot Bunnies Attack

We all face doubts and distractions from time to time.

But one of the most common distractions writers face is by far those pesky plot bunnies, a.k.a story ideas that pop up when you're already working on a project. And of course, those story ideas lead you down bunny trails of possibility.

Which is why plot bunnies are both a blessing and a curse.

To know that your imagination is fired up and ready to go is always wonderful, but when too many story ideas plague you, it can be difficult to stay focused on your current project. Your brain idealizes your new plot bunnies, making your drafting and editing start to seem pretty boring.

But obviously we can't chase down every plot idea that comes our way. We'd never finish writing a book! So what do we do to overcome the plot bunny overwhelm and get back to writing?

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Ten (Hard!) Truths Every Writer Should Know

It's time for pie again. And this time, you're really gonna need it.

So, friends. Last week on the blog, I shared ten encouraging truthsevery writer should know. Truths that help us banish our doubts, bolster our self-confidence, and encourage our inspiration.

But that week is not this week. No, siree! 

This week, I'm sharing ten hard truths. Truths that may not be so pleasant to hear, but that absolutely must be heard all the same. Which is why you should probably cut yourself that slice of apple pie before digging in today's post. 

Believe me, pie makes everything better. *passes you a plate*

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Ten Truths Every Writer Should Know

Are those pies in the blog image making you hungry?

Mhmm...I could really go for a little dessert right now! NaNoWriMo is in full swing and, of course, that much writing always lends itself to snacking on a few extra sweets for motivation. Ya feel me?

Now I don't know about you, but never do my writing doubts hit hardest then when I'm trying to pursue a big goal or when I'm working under pressure–two things you're likely experiencing now that we're a few days into NaNo.

But even if you aren't trying to write 50k this month (or if you're reading from the future. Hello!), we all need some encouragement as we make our way through this crazy, messy writing life. That's why I'm bringing you 10 encouraging writing truths today!

Shall we dive in?

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The Third Act: How to Write a Climactic Sequence

Ready to talk structure, folks?

Today, we're back with the third installment in our October mini-series on the 3-Act Story Structure. Hurray! If you need to catch up on the importance of structure and how to outline acts one and two of your story, click on these babies below:
 


All caught up? Great!

In today's blog post, we'll dive into the third and final act of our novels. Tension is thick and a huge conflict between the hero and villain lies on the horizon. Now it's time to get your readers there–and make the big moment as climactic as possible! 

But before we jump right into the climactic sequence, let's break down a few third act basics.

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Have You Created Characters or Caricatures?

Welcome back to our mini blog series, writer!

Every Friday in the month of October, we're breaking down a topic that will help us create irresistible heroes and villains. Need to catch up on the series before we get started?

  • Click here to learn The #1 Key to Creating Relatable Main Characters!
  • Click here to learn The #1 Key to Creating Believable Villains!

All caught up? Fantastic!

In today's series installment, we're going to talk about how to create truly well-developed characters–characters that seem so real that readers often forget that they aren't.

So are you ready to say goodbye to paper-thin caricatures and hello to irresistible and unforgettable characters? Let's get started with today's tips!

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The Second Act: Is the Middle of Your Story Dragging?

Struggling to get your hero from the hook to the climax?

Back in the day, I used to begin writing stories with a passion...only to have that passion sputter out and die when I had to figure out the dreaded middle. It was rare that I continued writing when times got tough, so I have a countless unfinished drafts tucked away.

And that struggle? I blamed it on anything and everything: writer's block, rotten story ideas, the notion that I wasn't good enough to be a writer...

But the truth of the matter was that I simply had no idea how to structure a story! So, of course, I was struggling. Thankfully, I've long since learned about the magic of story structure. 

In the month of October, we're breaking down the 3-Act Story Structure, the most popular structure found in film and literature. It's also the structure I now use to plan every one of my novels, and I adore it.

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The #1 Key to Creating Believable Villains

Hello, writers!

Welcome back to the second installment of our October mini-series on creating irresistible heroes and villains. Today, we're diving into the great villain debate, a.k.a. how to create villains that are realistic and believable rather than stereotypical.

Picture this for a moment:

The tall creepy man, twirling his mustache or twisting his hands, cackling as he looks down at the captive hero and begins to reveal his evil plan. "But why?! Why would you do such a thing?" our hero shouts.

And the villain launches into his epic monologue, sharing his sad backstory and his plan for getting vengeance on all those who have hurt him...

That's quite the cardboard cutout of a good villain, isn't it? Flimsy, no substance, no realism.

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The First Act: Nailing Your Novel's Opening Chapters

Ready to discover the power of story structure? 

Now, don't frown at me. 

I know story structure doesn't sound like the most exciting thing in the world. Well, not to everyone anyway. Personally, I'm kind of a structure freak, so I AM SUPER EXCITED FOR THIS BLOG SERIES.

*ahem* 

Apologies. Got a little excited there. Back to business...

Over the next four weeks, we're going to break down the 3-Act Story Structure. But first, let's talk about why structure is so important. After all, one of the biggest complaints I hear about structure is that it's too rigid, that it makes stories sound old and recycled.

But that's not the case, not if structure is used well.

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The #1 Key to Creating a Relatable Main Character

Welcome to a brand new mini blog series!

With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, it's about time we got around to pre-writing our projects. 

And of course, I want to help you guys prepare to the best of your abilities, which is why I'll be running two mini blog series this October: one on creating irresistible heroes + villains and another in which we'll explore the 3-Act Story Structure.

Sound like fun? 

Let's get started! Today, we're going to talk about the key to creating relatable main characters.

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My Outlining Process: How I Prepare to Draft My Novels

Alright, alright friends. How's everyone doing today?

If you've been following along with my writing journey over on my author website, you may know that I spent the second half of September working on outlines for the remaining novels in my Books of Maveryn series–and will continue to do so this month as well. 

All of this outlining certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by you folks! 

Over the past 10 days or so, I've had a dozen requests to write up a post on my personal outlining process. Well, friends? You ask and I answer. Today, I'm going to break down the step-by-step process I use to outline all of my novels. 

Ready to dive in?

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How to Build Your Author Brand (start selling more books today!)

Hello, writing mavens!

Sooo...I have to apologize to you. In our most recent post on why you should treat your writing as a business, I mentioned that a new post on building your author brand would be going live on Friday. 

Well, Friday came and went, and I did not publish that post. I'm sorry! Life got a bit overwhelming this week, but I'm back. And I've brought our author branding post with me. ;)

If you want to build a career as a novelist–or even a successful side hustle–treating your books as a business is paramount. We talked about why in last week's post, but now it's time to take action. The key to effective book selling and marketing is a brilliant author brand.

So let's begin building your own today!

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How can you make a living as a writer? Here's your starting point...

Oh, look! A new post in our author platform blog series has finally arrived. Hurray!

Today I am thrilled to be back with a brand new blog post for you. Our topic? Treating your writing as a business–or more specifically, why treating your writing as a business is your first step to full-time writing success. Sound like fun?

Before we dive in, it's important to note that you absolutely do not have to write with the intent to make a full-time income–or even a part-time one. If you simply want to write for the fun of it, that's fantastic! 

And that should be the basis of any writing habit anyway, no matter your intentions. So good job!

But if you plan to publish for profit–no matter how much profit you intend to make–the secret to selling books starts in recognizing that you aren't just a writer anymore. You're a small business owner.

Not convinced?

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How to Choose the Perfect Pen Name

Well hello there, writers!

It's time to talk one of my MOST REQUESTED TOPICS EVER. Seriously, the question of pen names has popped up in my inbox and social media notifications a hundred times over since I launched She's Novel.

So it's about darn time I wrote a post on them, eh? I thought so, too!

As you probably know, a pen name–a.k.a. a pseudonym–is a fictitious name that an author uses when publishing their books. There are a ton of different reasons why an author might use a pen name, which we'll get into in a bit, but first there's something I need to say:

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Should you include an epigraph in your novel?

Have you ever noticed the small quotations at the beginning of a book or its chapters?

Those, my friends, are epigraphs!

Including a short quotation, saying, poem, or paragraph before the first chapter of your book or at the top of each chapter isn't a necessary ingredient for baking up the perfect story, but including an epigraph(s) can be useful for several reasons. 

Shall we break them down?

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How to Title Your Novel

Struggling to title your novel, eh?

I've been right there with you, friend!

Finding the perfect title for your latest novel is almost never easy, but–believe it or not–there is a bit of a science to it. Just like understanding story structure and studying it in the novels you read can help you better plot your own novels, understanding and studying book titles can do the same!

I've avoided writing this post for so long–despite the fact that it's one of my most requested articles–simply because I didn't understand the science behind titling myself. 

But the other day, as I contemplated changing the title of my current WIP, I had a revelation! Whether a story is character-driven or plot-driven has a HUGE impact on how books are titled. Crazy, right?

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