Talk Your Book: I’ll Show You How

by Marylee MacDonald, March 16, 2018 in Apps & Software

Would it be easier to “talk your book” or to slave away for years trying to write it? A few months back my friend Gail Howard Gibson invited me to attend her book group. Although I was there to discuss my short story collection, Bond’s of Love & Blood, one thing led to another, and […]

Book Promotion on a Budget

by Marylee MacDonald, March 13, 2018 in Book promotion

Book promotion is the biggest challenge all writers face. I face it. If you’ve published a book, you face it, too. Every writer I know confronts the stunning reality that fewer and fewer people are reading books, even though we writers are pouring our souls onto the page. Prior to publication, most of us have […]

Should You Hire a Developmental Editor or a Copy Editor?

by Elizabeth Nunes, February 25, 2018 in For Writers Doing Revisions

You’ve just finished your manuscript, the one you’ve been working on diligently for what feels like forever. You know that before you submit it, you should get it looked at by an editor, but whom do you pick? Are they all the same? The first thing you need to do is to figure out what […]

Where Do Story Ideas Come From?

by Lynn Sloan in For Readers

“So where do you get your story ideas?” My old friend’s question stumped me. Recently she had begun writing short stories based closely on her own experiences, and she’d just finished reading my story collection, This Far Isn’t Far Enough. An army grunt in occupied German after World War II; a failed actor caring for […]

Heighten Tension by Raising the Stakes

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

If you heighten tension, you can transform a good book into a book readers can’t put down. That’s because we’re hardwired for danger. We register a threat when we see a shadow on a sidewalk. If a dog lunges toward a fence, we jump back. If our spouse tells us he’s having an affair, we […]

Literary Magazines: Insider Tips On Getting Published and Dealing With Rejectiion

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Ready to Publish

I’ve met many writers so focused on their novels that they’ve never explored the world of literary magazines. Did you know that some literary magazines accept novel chapters? Maybe you could convert one of your chapters into a story. When you’re bogged down in a longer work, seeing your name in print will definitely give […]

Tension: Two Easy Ways to Pack Tension in a Scene

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers

Tension is a sensation in the body. Fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals are hardwired to be on the alert. Possums play possum. An elk herd circles the calves. Octopi retreat into grottoes. Gorillas pound their chests. And, as for humans, what signs of danger raise our hackles? When we see movement out of the corner […]

Writing Models: How Close Study of Top-Notch Writers Can Up Your Game

Writing models can help you turn a so-so draft into a work of art. In the old days, before bookcases filled with how-to books that made the act of writing seem simpler than it ever is, aspiring writers learned the craft by closely studying the work of other writers. In 1971, after the death of […]

Journalism vs. Fiction: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between journalism and fiction, and why should you care? Well, if you’re a writer in this day and age, you’re likely to do more than one kind of writing. Long-form journalism often pays. Fiction rarely does. Or, at least, it can take time for people to find you and buy your books. […]

Do Women Writers Face an Uphill Battle? How Women’s Writing Communities Can Help

by Marylee MacDonald in Online communities

You’d think that in this day and age, women writers would have it made. After all, women buy more books than men. At writing conferences I’ve attended, women far outnumber men. Whether we’ve devoted our lives to our careers or families, I sense in women writers a pent up desire to explore their creativity. But, […]