16 Quick character exercises

Writing
I(and many of the writers I follow) subscribe to the theory that character is the most important part of your novel. The most memorable part of a good book is almost always the characters, but it's more than that. Your characters, their emotions, actions and reactions are the driving force behind the story, even in story with a highly external plot. It's why our books so often change dramatically from the outline during the first or second draft--because we've gotten to know our characters and realized they wouldn't act the way we originally imagined. So how do you get to know your characters? There are almost as many different methods as there are writers. Hell, I'd go so far as to say there are as many ways to develop characters…
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19 Resources to help you edit that novel

Learning the craft, Writing
I originally started blogging because I wanted to share my journey towards writing success, but now I also blog because I'm dedicated to helping others build their own writing careers. I want to help you not only explore different writing methods, but to master as many aspects of the craft as you can. One thing crucial to your success as a writer is the ability to edit. This is true for writers of all kinds, and especially true for novelists. Now that it's been a couple weeks since you finished your novel, it's time to start thinking about editing. Starting before the holidays are over is probably a bad idea, but brushing up on your editing skills is always a good idea—and if you've been at this a while, you…
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Tuesday Tips & Tricks

Nanowrimo, Writing
Week three of Nanowrimo is already here and if you're anything like me, you're filled with a combination of excitement and fear. Can you actually reach the lofty goal you've set for yourself? Is your novel garbage? Will you ever actually want to look at it again? Are you going to cross  the finish line? It's completely normal to doubt yourself at this point, and it's completely normal to think you'll have to throw away your novel. In fact, I'd go so far as to say throwing away your novel is fairly standard among Nanowrimo participants. I'm certainly not trying to salvage every single novel I've written during Nanowrimo. Whatever your feelings are about your novel, you can overcome them and you can write a novel in a month. All you need…
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Tuesday Tips & Tricks

Nanowrimo, Writing
Can you believe we're already in the second week of Nanowrimo? It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun--or when you're freaking out about an upcoming deadline... With any luck you haven't actually started freaking out yet and your word count is soaring well above where it's supposed to be at this point in the month. Either way, I've got a tip, a trick and a quote that should help see you through to the other side of this crazy novel writing adventure: A Tip If you keep stopping to edit, maybe it's time to turn your monitor off while you write--or at least tape a piece of paper over it so you can't see most of what you've written. This will help your words flow more freely and…
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The Ultimate Plot Creation Resource List

Nanowrimo
Once you've figured out the basics of your world and gotten to know your characters pretty well, it's time to start thinking seriously about the plot. If your novel planning process is moving along at the proper pace, you should already have an idea what your plot looks like. Now it's time to figure out all the details. Well, not all the details. At least a few details should be figured out as you go along, because the best stories grow organically. But you do need to know the basic structure of your plot before you start writing the first draft of your novel, at least if you want to write a first draft you might actually be able to salvage someday. So I've compiled a pretty large collection of…
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10 Reasons why I love Nanowrimo

Uncategorized
Chances are you already know what Nanowrimo is--if you don't, it's explained quite well here--and you're here because you're considering participating. Or because you've already decided you're going to do it. I've been participating in Nanowrimo for nine years--this will be my tenth--and blogging about the experience for four. Most years around this time I write up a post about why you should try Nanowrimo. This year I've decided to take a different approach. I'm not going to tell you what you should and shouldn't do. I'm just going to tell you why Nanowrimo is awesome. Maybe it will convince you to take on the challenge this year, maybe it won't. Either way, your decision doesn't bother me. But if you do sign up, you should know what you're in for. So…
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3 Reasons Fiction Writers Should Consider Freelancing

Freelance Writing
Do you toil away at a day job you don't like to pay bills while fantasizing about a career as a novelist? Do you daydream about working from home and being able to sit at your computer all day--without your boss hovering over you to make sure you get the work done? Freelance writing might be the solution. Even if you love your day job and don't want to become a full time freelance writer, it's a good idea to try your hand at freelance writing. For one thing, you'll notice people think of you differently when you tell them you've actually gotten paid to write before. It's frustrating because every great novel took years to write, but people don't take you seriously if you're not published. Still, it only…
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Your Daily Marketing Schedule

Goal setting, Writing
Now that you've decided which social media networks to focus on and where you hope to make guest appearances, it's time to create a daily marketing plan for the next month. Some activities, like scheduling promotional social media posts, should be done once or twice a month for best results, but you should incorporate time for marketing in your schedule every day. Why it's important to market daily Even if your blog already has several hundred followers, even if you're selling books well or making a decent living from freelance writing, you need to market yourself every day. Word of mouth is great, but marketing your books and blog yourself is the only way you can guarantee an increase in followers. This is especially true early on--eventually you will experience…
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Before you finish that draft

Novels, Uncategorized, Writing: The Process
After an excruciating process taking anywhere between a few weeks and several years, your first--or second, or third--draft is almost finished. Your adrenaline's pumping and you're ready to power through to the finish line. As antsy as you might be to finish it, I suggest instead you pause and take a deep breath. It's time to create a plan for after you've crossed the finish line. Start by scheduling a couple says off. You can write, of course, but jumping straight from one book to the next isn't a great idea. Give your brain some time to relax and refill the creative well by enjoying somebody else's book or doing something fun. You might want to focus on stories very different from your current WIP so you can get out…
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Tactics for when you’re stuck on rewrites

Editing, Goal setting, Writing
I've spent a long time in rewrites--first working on Moonshadow's Guardian, then the second draft of my 2011 Nanovel--and the last two weeks have been the most unpleasant of all. Each day I wrote a page, maybe less, of the actual novel and spent hours entranced in other writing. Avoiding the novel itself. Late last week I hunkered down, figured out the issue causing my avoidance and worked through it. Now I'm back to work on my novel, confident I won't stall again. When you've been working on the same project for a long time it can be difficult to continue. You start to lose your enthusiasm and writing becomes like walking on hot coals. Every scene seems an insurmountable challenge. The book itself becomes a monster you avoid like…
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