The Stuff

All of our stuff—plus the stuff we have to say about others’ stuff.



Fill Your Plot Holes

As much as I am in love with my current work in progress, I am aware that it has a few major problems.  This novel truly is my tester novel, where I am making every writer mistake out there from spending too long on the first draft to under-developed characters to impressively poor world building.

Now that you all want to hire me to market your novels as well as I am marketing mine, let’s continue.

I have learned so much from making these mistakes, and though it is taking me some time to work through this novel, I know it will be worth it in the end.

My most recent round of editing has focused on filling potholes.

I mean, plot holes….see what I did there?..?..?  Okay, moving on.

Since I initially wrote this story without an outline (big no-no, I would not recommend this) my plot was holier than a nun at a golf course.  There were small plot holes, large plot holes, confusing plot holes and plot holes with the potential to turn into plot twists.

After navigating the treacherous plot road of my novel and carefully filling all the holes I could spot, I’ve learned quite a few techniques that I want to pass on to you wonderful readers. ...

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Conquer the Writing Blues

In general, writing is not a particularly joyful occupation—not all the time, anyway. Writer’s aren’t circus clowns or cheerful mascots. A large portion of our job involves digging into painful emotions and memories.

Once that’s over, we get to take out our highlighters and edit those raw emotions. We put aside our humanity and shape them into something like literature, ignoring the fact that just moments ago we were bleeding them onto the page.

Then, after we’ve deluded ourselves into believing the worst is over, we submit those words for publication and allow others to judge them. Rejection is part of a writer’s daily life.

It’s no wonder the blues can sneak up on a writer and catch them in a stranglehold. Here are some tactics I’ve tried to stave off the blues (and some others that might just work). ...

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Organize Your Writing Space

Whether it’s the new year or time for spring cleaning, reworking your writing space is an easy way to improve your productivity and help you stay focused on writing. Decluttering your desk and office space removes distractions, and creating a dedicated area for non-computer work helps prevent burnout caused by sitting at a desk all day.

Check out this infographic from Omni Paper for tips to organize your work space so you can worry less about your desk and more about your work in progress. ...

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Avoid Writing Burnout

On the first day of a new year, everyone is setting resolutions. Write more. Write every day. Get published. But not all resolutions stick. We’ve all been there. You write every day for the first month, setting new word count goals and feeling great about your writing. But then it happens—burnout. Suddenly, all you want to do is sit on the couch and binge-watch Netflix. Writing begins to feel like a chore.

What went wrong?

Writing burnout happens for several reasons. Let’s take a look at the causes so you can set resolutions that stick and help you achieve your writing goals. ...

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Get More From Social Media

It’s the end of the year, so why not take a little downtime (haha, what’s that) and clean up your author bios and social media accounts? Is it worth the time? Well, let me put it this way: don’t you want to connect with readers, aka people who will buy your book? Additionally, clean up time is a great way to update old links, outdated graphics, and any other information you need to be on top of for ultimate SEO and exposure.

As we’ve discussed in the past, many writers follow only other writers and then complain at the amount of “Buy my book!” spam they receive. To stop that from happening, unfollow all but the writers you interact with regularly.

What about Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and LinkedIn? Your Amazon Author Central Page and Website About Page? We’ll cover those, too. Let’s get started. ...

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Santa Loves Writers

It’s almost Christmas, and all the good little writers are huddled by the fireplace with cups of hot cocoa in their hands and plot lines dancing through their heads. The stockings are hung, and come morning, they’ll be filled with presents or coal.

The writers think about the year that’s past. They’ve been good. They were nice to strangers and ate all their vegetables. They held doors open and didn’t cuss too loud at rush hour. Their stockings will surely be filled with presents. But…

There were the characters. The ones they killed. The ones they tortured (emotionally and physically). Some characters were sent to hellish wastelands. Some were trapped inside their own minds. Some stories ended happily, but every character was tossed into the flames. And the little writers watched them squirm and struggle—only to toss in more firewood.

Not to worry, dear writer! Santa promised not to punish us for torturing our characters because writers do so many other things right. Here’s why Santa loves writers. ...

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