Death of a Pen Name

by Peter Rendell, February 7, 2019 in Book promotion

Whether to write under a pen name or under one’s own real name is a choice authors make early in a career. That choice can have unforeseen consequences. When Facebook blocked his pen name, author Peter Rendell had to relaunch his author platform and reevaluate his marketing strategy. Let’s give him a hand, because what […]

Revising Fiction : It’s Not Just About Dusting the Commas

by Marylee MacDonald, February 1, 2019 in For Writers Doing Revisions

The rough draft of my first novel needed resuscitation. If EMTs could have shocked it with a defibrillator, that might have brought it to life. Revision gave me a chance to do just that. The sad truth is that I knew how to write, but I did not know how to revise. That is to […]

Self-Doubt and Overconfidence: How They Undermine a Writer

by Marylee MacDonald in Learn How to Write

Self-doubt sneaks into our creative lives when we least expect it. Even if you think you’ve conquered this demon of creative destruction, self-doubt can wriggle away and take another form. In this post I’m going to talk about why writers and other artists experience self-doubt, and then I’ll suggest strategies to manage the stress it […]

Putting Feelings into Words

by Marylee MacDonald in For Writers Doing Revisions

Finding the right words to express our characters’ emotions is one of the biggest challenges writers face. It’s all too easy to “tell”, rather than “show”. Telling is easy. As people living ordinary lives, we all know what it means when someone feels angry, depressed, or sad. However, when we write fiction or creative nonfiction, […]

Ten Questions for Lori Lacefield

by Lori Lacefield in Ten Questions

In this column I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Lori Lacefield, for letting readers know about your strong, flawed female characters. You’ve written novels that focus on justice and its opposite.–Marylee MacDonald Lori Lacefield’s Author Tip: “I’d highly recommended taking Mark […]

The Poetry of Fiction: Michael Byers and Percival’s Planet

by Marylee MacDonald in General

Two things set good writing apart from mediocre or just plain boring writing. One is the writer’s ability to sharply observe the world and render those observations in language that’s free of clichés. The other is the author’s knowledge, and mastery, of English grammar. A few years ago I offered a novel workshop to my […]

Discoverability and New Authors: How to Find Readers for Your Books

by Marylee MacDonald in General

“Discoverability” was a new term to me, but I heard it at the Digital Book World conference, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. “Discoverability” perfectly sums up what authors feel when they finally get their book finished, edited, and uploaded to Amazon. “I wrote my book! Yeah, me! But, uh oh, now what?” […]

Ten Questions for Dave Wickenden

by Dave Wickenden in Ten Questions

In this column, I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Dave Wickenden, for letting readers know about your thrillers. You’ve written topical novels that spring from the same worries and concerns all of us share.–Marylee MacDonald Dave Wickenden’s Author Tip: “After I […]

Genuine Heroes and Heroines : Part 3

by Marylee MacDonald in Characters

What makes us care about a heroine or hero? Why do readers make the emotional investment in one protagonist and not another? In previous posts I’ve talked about flawed or dark main characters and protagonists who are average Joes or Janes. In this post, I’m going to talk about heroes and heroines whose heroic qualities […]

Ten Questions for Janice J. Richardson

by Janice J. Richardson in Ten Questions

In this column, I’m asking subscribers to share their knowledge about writing, publishing, and marketing their books. I’m calling it “Ten Questions.” Thank you, Janice J. Richardson, for letting readers know about your fun mystery series.–Marylee MacDonald Janice J. Richardson’s Author Tip: “Start with fingers on keyboard.  Ready, set…go!  Don’t agonize over the plot, wording, […]