The Design of your Blog

Blog Stuff, Writing
This weekend an unexpected trip out of town without my laptop saw to it that my post didn't make it from notebook to Wordpress until now, and reminded me why I need to have back up posts scheduled here. But today, although having a back up plan is important, I'd like to talk to you about the design of your blog. Blog design is incredibly important. You want your design to draw people in and to make them want to come back. Think of your blog like an online writing profile: you want it to look friendly and professional but still true to yourself. Clashing colours, distracting background images and unusual fonts that don't read well across all browsers can all keep people from coming back to your website. Many…
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Writers are like Parasites

Inspirational, Writing
The mountain of biology homework I've been slowly climbing out from underneath may or may not have driven me completely off the deep end. In order to dig my way out from under the mountain, one of the things I had to do was research Toxoplasmosis, a lovely parasite spread by cats with world-wide influence. Somewhere along the line, as I was wrapping up this research, my highly caffeinated brain went 'aha! Writers are like parasites!' Now, before you call me crazy, here's my reasoning: 1. Writers take inspiration from other people. Just like parasites feed off of the organisms they live inside, writers feed off of the society they live inside. How many writers do you know who have based novels off of a sentence or phrase they heard…
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Guest Post: Emma Lane on Researching a Regency Novel

Guest Post, Novels, Research, Writing
Today I'm very excited to announce the first ever guest post here at Dianna's Writing Den. I thought this would be a great way to bring in the new year. Today's guest poster is Emma Lane, author of a series called 'The Vicar's Daughters Three', published by Aurora Regency, Musa's regency imprint. Researching a Regency Novel by Emma Lane Writing historical can be a challenge. My first suggestion to any would-be author is to read (and enjoy) first what you are deciding to write. The genre of Regency (1811-1820) is widely represented by well-known and respected authors such as G. Heyer, Jo Ann Ferguson, Jo Beverly, Mary Balough, Edith Layton and many, many more. Some readers are fans of B. Cartland who had a successful string of winners for years.…
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Trying to be Healthier

My boyfriend, apart from being a wonderful guy, happens to be a mover. Sometimes his clients are also trying to get rid of things, because they won't fit or for whatever other reasons. One day somebody wanted to get rid of a huge box of books. My boyfriend wanted a couple of them, but he was told if he was going to take any of them, he had to take all of them. Imagine my excitement-like a kid in a candy store--when he came home with this big box of books. There were only a couple of titles that grabbed me on my first look through, but now that I've finished those, I've realized that quite a lot of them interest me. What does this have to do with getting…
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Studying History For Inspiration

Novels, Short Fiction, Writing: The Process
A few weeks ago, I wrote a short story entitled Birth of a Vampire. It takes place in Scotland, around 700 A.D., as the last of Paganism was fading from the country. It's the first of several stories meant to travel with the vampire-Thomas-around the world and through the ages. This series of short stories is going to be my most research-heavy project yet. I'm not dreading all the legwork though-I'm excited, and I'm getting new inspiration every couple of pages. I believe that everyone should study history, especially writers. History is a study of humanity, showing our patterns and our ways of thinking. More than the names and dates, the people and the places, it says a lot about humanity as a whole. And basic human nature hasn't changed…
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