When Do I Rewrite My Novel? (part one)

                When do you rewrite your novel? Not today, or tomorrow, or any time you’re in the middle of writing it. Here’s a short version of the truth: You can’t genuinely rewrite until the first draft is finished, so let those horses run! Why wait to rewrite? You […]

A New Year WHAT IF? Find the Beginning of Your Book in the Middle.

We often says to students, “Where do you start you story? With this, The trouble started on Wednesday.”  Begin your story on Wednesday, not on Sunday. Sunday is back story. (Be bold.  Begin with dialog, if that feels right.) When we edit manuscripts, we often see the first pages rambling around the block, shuffling their […]

Avoid an Outhouse Called the Slushpile

Several times each week a would-be writer comes to me with this complaint: ‘I’ve spent two years (or one year or three years) sending my book to agents, publishers, or producers, AND I’M GETTING ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE. I GET A FORM REJECTION. OR NO ANSWER AT ALL. I’M SICK OF IT.’

I’m tired of it, too. Where does their writing land? Simple. It’s called the slush pile. Every agent, editor, and producer has one, a stack of manuscripts in a corner, about to topple, waiting to be read. Here’s a promise—they’re not going to get read. What to do to make sure your work is read? Read on.

Your Creative Writing Checklist

Sometimes I read analyses of creativity. My experience is that they don’t help people be creative.

Reading Masters and Johnson is informative about sex. It will not give you an experience of an ecstatic act of love. Studying diagrams of waltz movements tells us what steps we should take. It doesn’t give us the feeling of a lovely dance. Reading instructions about improving you golf swing will not give you fine feeling of a good drive.

Here’s a checklist to give your creative writing wings.

Finding the RIGHT word

“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.” –Mark Twain

Become a Professional Writer

    There are three rules for becoming rules becoming a professional writer: 1) Write every day. 2) Write every day. 3) Write every day.                                                             […]

Writing Together? Miracles Happen.

  We Lived to Tell the Tale of MOONLIGHT WATER We collaborated on MOONLIGHT WATER, our latest book, just published. Our marriage survived. We even had fun writing it together. It is a miracle. Magical realism, adventure among the Navajos, bad guys, romance, starting a new life, and a peek into the other side is […]

Writers! Dump the Virgin, Toss the Whore

Let me tell you a story. When I was an undergrad, I took a class in the writing of poetry from John G. Neihardt, best known as the author of BLACK ELK SPEAKS. Though we agreed on almost nothing, I thought he was a marvelous man, and he gave me a great gift that day.  […]

Create Dynamic Characters ~ Interview Them

Interview people who don’t exist? Yes. Interview people who have been dead for a hundred years? Right. Interview people who won’t be born for another five hundred years, and then will have beakers and test tubes for parents? Exactly.

You’ll be knocked down by what you find out. Especially if you obey the first rule of interviewing—keep your mouth shut.

Just a Few More Hours!

  Just a few more hours to receive this award-winning fantasy free. A re-telling of a Cherokee myth, steeped in the mists of time, it will take you down an extraordinary path. Click Here: http://tinyurl.com/nxymadn And Enjoy! Best — meredith and win

You Are A Writer. We Are Your Toolbox

  Are you nurturing your writing dreams? What are you waiting for? Oh.  Wait… Before we go on, we have a free book for you.  It is a wonder, and here it is, 4/5 – 4/7. ZADAYI RED – click here to get it! Why the Pro Writers Toolbox? With 40 published books and fifteen […]

Choose to be Happy

Sometimes it is just that easy…

What Happens When You Really Get Wild?

“I can always get distracted by love, but eventually I get horny for my creativity.” — Gilda Radner

Watch this great clip of Gilda Radner — http://tinyurl.com/k9jfxm7 for inspiration. This weekend go out, stir up trouble, be ecstatic.

Read More…

Ten Ways To Get An Idea When You’re Stuck

I’ve done a lot of things that work to get my writing rolling and some things that didn’t work. Here are ten I like. All of them operate on a single principle.

Don’t think about the question you want answered. LET IT HAPPEN. When you get an idea, quit and go straight to the keyboard. And… Read on!

WHAT IF? An Eavesdropping Exercise — Have Fun This Friday!

A fun writing exercise:

Do you eavesdrop, make up stories about these strangers, what kind of place they live, what their jobs are, if they have kids?

Hello, you must be a writer!

Here is our Friday What IF? fun exercise. Enjoy!

Imagine

Writer’s Block? How to Kick that Boogey Man to the Curb

Remember Mark Twain’s wry comment, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Apply that to reports of writer’s block. It’s a boogey man. Seduce him, kick him in the closet, or strike up a relationship. One way or another, get him out of your unique creative space.

Let’s start by getting rid of the expression “writer’s block.” Then it won’t be such a demon.

Here are forty years worth of tips to kick that Boogey Man to the curb.

This Book is a Wild Adventure, it’s Beautiful, and it’s Free!

On the 9th, 10th and 11th of March — Sunday, Monday and Tuesday — we’d like to gift you with the award-winning book SO WILD A DREAM. (http://tinyurl.com/kzbuluq)

It’s a present and also a reminder of early spring. A time of new beginnings. Read this book, savor it, and imagine a world that is fresh, new, teeming with possibilities. Then rejoice. We are still surrounded with possibilities!

Main Character Sam Morgan secures a job as a hand on a riverboat, and the adventure begins. His crewmates are an assortment of rascals, rapscallions, and borderline crooks, among them an educated Delaware Indian, a scam artist, a wily riverboat captain, and a former prostitute who may be more dangerous than any of her companions. In their travels up and down the rivers, the crew experiences a multitude of adventures.

WHAT IF? Friday: Find Your Beginning in the Middle? Try It!

Win often says to students, “Where do you start you story? With this, The trouble started on Wednesday.” Begin your story on Wednesday, not on Sunday. Sunday is back story. (Be bold. Begin with dialog, if that feels right.)

When we edit manuscripts, we often see the first pages rambling around the block, shuffling their feet and staring up into the sky. Then we discover the first sentence, and perhaps an opening paragraph, on page fifteen. Eureka!

Start Writing Now. Just Do It.

Every day of your life there is a story, sitting in your lap or curled inside your heart, that is waiting to be told. There is also love, food, dancing, joy, and mysteries to be part of. But that is another story.

You be the midwife. Birth the story. Breathe life into it. If you’re not doing that, then we ask you:

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

SEO: Ten Little-Known Tips to Increase Book Sales

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When you post a blog, or add to your website, you want to optimize your content so that Google, and other search engines, can find you – that’s what SEO is about. Here are simple tips that we’ve learned from experience and a few of The Big Boys.
We’ll walk you through them – no problem. Let’s sell those books!

What if? Friday. How to Start Your Book.

We’re starting March out right. We’re going to give you a series of helpful cues each week. It’s called WHAT IF? Friday. We could call them exercises, but that word sounds like work. Call these jumper cables for your writing, or Kiwi juice for your imagination – we’d prefer that.

Your first WHAT IF? is about beginnings. The beginnings of stories, to be exact. Here are the tools. Now, let your imagination off the leash!
Filed Under: Creativity and Writing, How to start a book, Pro Writer's Blog, WHAT IF? Friday, Writing Exercise Tagged With: , , , , ,

Writers, Do You Need a Website? Here are the Facts.

You are a writer. Do you need a website? Well … Do you want to sell books? Have a great time with your readers? Then, yes, you need a website. Don’t be scared! We’ll walk you through options and some easy tricks and tips. What’s up next for our friends, writing crazily? Find out!

The Reason NOT to Market Your Book

Read on for the real-deal about social marketing …You have weighed the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing and you’ve taken the leap. Congratulations! Now you just sit back and wait while folks beat down doors to grab your book. Not happening? We’re here to help change that.

Mark Twain’s Dare

    “The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.”  — Mark Twain

Three Big Publishing Secrets and Surprises

  Our current wrap-up on print versus indie publishing will hold some surprises, and every element is important in your decision-making process.  So, listen up, and read the entire blog, plus the past blogs, before you make up your mind about which path to choose. Stay with us.  We’ll continue to chime in on this […]

Are You A Natural-Born Surgeon?

Some years ago, at a party, a neuro-surgeon and I were chatting. He eventually got around to saying with a self-confident smile, “You know, Win, I think I have a book in me.” I was dumbstruck. Like most of us, I thought of the perfect rejoinder only the next day. “Yeah, Larry, and I think […]

Why You DO Want Indie Publishing

You want to jump right in and get your books in front of an audience. You want readers, and the excitement of a career doing what you love most. You want to be noticed, and admired. Here’s an exciting list of why you should dive into the digital river and let it sweep you along. […]

Why Go With A Traditional Publisher?

Today I play devil’s advocate. Meredith and I are big fans of indie-publishing, or self-publishing, for lots of writers under lots of circumstances. But since we let the case for self-publishing be made in good style by guest bloggers Kaitlyn Davis and Aaron Pogue, we need to speak for traditional publishing now. I’ll address points […]

Celebrate Chinese New Year’s with a Free Book

The Red Hot Empress is free, it’s yours and it’s red all over. It’s our gift to you from Saturday, January 25, through Tuesday, January 28. Join us in a spirit of joy and prosperity! Kick back and Celebrate Chinese New Year’s a little early with Meredith Blevins’ book of magic, wild eccentrics, and one boy’s […]

Our Joint Baby Book, Out of the Nest

Meredith and I just sent our 35th book to our editor. It is finished, fini, that’s all she (we) wrote. It’s the second that we’ve, entirely, written together. Macmillan (TOR Books) will publish it next January. An emotional moment for us, pushing that SEND key. So, it’s out of the nest, good-bye baby book. Do […]

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