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 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

Living the writing life isn't always easy.

Last week, I shared ten encouraging truths I believe every writer should know — truths that help us banish writing doubts, find confidence in our skills and abilities, and stay motivated when writing gets tough — but they weren't all the truths I had to share. You see, sometimes we need a little tough love to push us forward.

Today, I have ten hard truths to share with you — truths that may not be so pleasant to hear, but must absolutely be heard all the same. I share these truths not to discourage you from writing, but to break down the misconceptions and false beliefs that may be holding you back from living your very best writing life. So, let's get started, shall we?

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Ten Truths Every Writer Should Know

We all need a little encouragement from time to time.

I don't know about you, but never do my writing doubts hit harder than when I'm trying to pursue a big goal or I'm working under pressure — two things you're likely experiencing now that we're a few days into National Novel Writing Month.

But even if you aren't trying to write 50,000 words 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 ten encouraging writing truths today! Shall we dive in?

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The Third Act: How to Write a Climactic Sequence

Writers, it’s time to go out with a bang!

Today, we're back with the third and final installment in our mini-series on the 3-Act Story Structure. Each article in this series builds upon the last, so make sure to check out the first two installments before diving in: 

All caught up? Fantastic!

Today, we’re diving into Act Three of the 3-Act Story Structure. Tension is thick. The final conflict between your protagonist and antagonist looms on the horizon. How can you ensure you write a finale that will blow readers away? Let’s get started with today’s breakdown!

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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?

Worried your book isn't exciting enough to maintain readers' interests?

Back in the day, I constantly struggled to write past the first few chapters of a manuscript. I knew who my protagonists were, what they wanted, and how their journeys would end, but how in the world did one fill in the gaps? I hadn't a clue, and because of that struggle, I set aside dozens of unfinished drafts, telling myself I just wasn't good enough to be a writer.

Fortunately, that all changed when I discovered the power of story structure—specifically, the 3-Act Story Structure!

The second act of this popular storytelling blueprint makes plotting the dreaded middle section of your book a breeze, or at least a heck of a lot easier than it was before. How so? Let's discuss just that in today's second installment of our three-part blog miniseries on the 3-Act Story Structure!

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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.


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

There’s no right way to outline your novel.

That’s something I quickly learned when I first joined the online writing community and something I later discussed in depth in our article on finding the outlining method that best works with your creative process. Outlines can be powerful drafting tools, you see, but we all have draft in different ways.

Today, I’m going to tell you a little about my own outlining and drafting processes so you have a better understanding of both what works for me and what may or may not work well for you. Sound like a plan? Let's jump 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 are called epigraphs, and they can include a short quotation, saying, poem, or paragraph of prose. Including an epigraph before some or all chapters in a book isn't a necessary ingredient for baking up a brilliant story, but they can be useful for several reasons.

What do those reasons include, and should you include an epigraph (or maybe several of them) in your book? Let's dive into today's quick and dirty breakdown!

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How to Title Your Novel

Choosing the perfect title for a story is tough. There's no real process to it, no formula. Or is there?

Despite being one of my most requested articles, I delayed writing this piece on titling because I never quite knew what tips to offer. The whole process seemed so subjective! But the other week I had a revelation; there's far more of a science to choosing the perfect book title than I'd suspected.

After studying book titles pretty intensively these past few weeks, I realized that whether a book is plot- or character-driven often has a big impact on how it's titled. Sounds strange, right? But the data doesn't lie, writer. So if you're struggling to choose the perfect title for your latest story, buckle in. You're going to love today's breakdown.

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Should You Write a Character-Driven or Plot-Driven Story?

Character vs. Plot. What drives your story?

This is a question that pops up from time to time around the writersphere, so I thought it was well-past time we discussed it here on the She's Novel blog. Sound like a plan, Stan?

If you've been following along for a while now, you probably know how much I stand behind the idea that characters are always more important than plot–or rather, that you can't have a strong plot without first having amazing characters. 

But having amazing characters that lend themselves to a strong plot isn't quite the same as knowing whether your story is character- or plot-driven. Need a definition before we dive in deep?

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