Writing Prompts

Creepin’ Cockroaches!

Who’s in the mood for a writing prompt today? Let’s make it 1,000 words of flash fiction. Better yet, if you are writing a novel, set your story in your novel’s story world. And…. GO:

This one happens to be based on a true story. Blech!

Share your 1,000 words of flash fiction based on this writing prompt in the comments below, or share it on your own blog or website and post a link below! Continue reading “Creepin’ Cockroaches!”

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Digital Marketing, eBooks, Valley of the Bees

Book #Giveaway! Enter to win one of ten free copies of Valley of the Bees #1! #VotB

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post discussing how to set up a Rafflecopter to administer a book giveaway. Well, today the giveaway is live, and I discovered that I did not add a link to the section where entrants can comment on a blog post to enter the giveaway. (OOPS!) So, this blog post right here will be the official post to comment on to enter to win a copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. Once you have posted your comment below, be sure to click through to the Rafflecopter to check off the box for commenting on the blog post.

You can also click on the Rafflecopter image below for more ways to enter.

Click here to enter!
Click here to enter!

As long as I’m updating you on what didn’t work when I set up my Rafflecopter, I might as well also tell you what I came up with as a work-around for the fact that you can’t embed the widget in the free version of WordPress. It was really simple, really. All I did was take a screenshot of the widget on my Facebook page and add the image to the blog post. Then, I hyperlinked the image to the mobile-friendly link that I got from the Facebook app, y voila! A somewhat functional Rafflecopter giveaway on my blog post. Continue reading “Book #Giveaway! Enter to win one of ten free copies of Valley of the Bees #1! #VotB”

Novel Writing, Writers on Writing

Learning a bit more and getting a bit better each day

Basic writing
Basic writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I blogged about how I have used outlines to help me write the first two books in my upcoming Valley of the Bees trilogy. Today, I would like to talk a bit about what I am doing different while writing book II.

As I mentioned yesterday, I wrote book I, With Envy Stung, in a rush. I pushed myself to write a chapter each and every day over a 16-day period. This left me with some extremely light chapters. There was no set-up or transitions for any of these chapters. Instead, I just jumped right into the action and/or dialog and got right to it. Continue reading “Learning a bit more and getting a bit better each day”

Writing Prompts

A Wednesday Writing Prompt

Write  for fifteen minutes on the following writing prompt:

Writing prompt: She refuses to admit she's not okay.
She refuses to admit she’s not okay.

Post your work in the comments below, or share them on your own blog and post a link below so we can read what you’ve written. Continue reading “A Wednesday Writing Prompt”

Blogging

What now?

Kungsleden hiking trail, in Swedish Lappland, ...
This looks like a nice place for an adventure. | Kungsleden hiking trail, in Swedish Lappland, just over the Teusa lake, south of Kebnekaise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So now, I’ve finished all of my annotated bibliography entries and have written all of my required papers this semester except for that one huge final that just won’t fit into a blog post. It’s a relief, but today I’m panicking a little because… NOW WHAT WILL I PUT ON MY BLOG?!

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell.

On one hand, repurposing content is awesome because you can kill your proverbial two birds with one pen. You gotta write a paper anyway, so why not post it to your blog too, right? On the other hand, my annotated bib entries have been admittedly dry at times. (I find them interesting, but do my readers?) The truth is, they haven’t received a huge amount of traffic compared to some of my older posts. Continue reading “What now?”

Bibliography

How to review scholarly articles on your blog

Dumbarton Rock, The Guard House - geograph.org...
For some reason, when I asked Zemanta for images of “works cited,” it gave me a bunch of pictures of old ruins like this one. Zemanta can be so helpful when generating content for your blog. Except when it’s not! | Dumbarton Rock, The Guard House – geograph.org.uk – 1380537 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not long ago, I wrote a post complaining about having to write a detailed, 10+ page annotated bibliography for a course that I have been taking this semester. It seemed like such a large amount of work to have to do for so very little reward. Well, I don’t mind telling you that I have since had to eat my own words!

I have found that this exercise not only helped me digest the articles I am reading for my final paper, but it also offers an excellent framework for organizing blog posts and generating blog content. Because I have found this assignment so useful, today I share with you a general outline for writing your own scholarly article reviews for your blog: Continue reading “How to review scholarly articles on your blog”

Bibliography

Annotated Bib: “Healing the Past through Story”

This week’s Annotated Bibliography entry analyzes an article by Judy Mullet, et al. who explore the concept of healing through revising personal life stories. You may view the full text here.

To be human is to have a story to tell. meme
To be human is to have a story to tell.

Annotated Bib Entry

Mullet, Judy H., Nels M. K. Akerson, and Allison Turman. “Healing the Past Through  Story.” Adult Learning 24.2 (2013): 72-78. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.

Psychologist Judy Mullet, Ph.D. et al discuss the personal “baggage” (72) that all students bring with them into the classroom and how asking adult students to rewrite their stories within the context of a personal narrative paper can lead to healing. The authors explore current research on narrative psychology – how individuals construct stories about their lives and “self” – and discuss ways to incorporate the research into the classroom. Their research focuses on teaching adult learners to recognize alternatives to their previous stories and look at them from a new, and in many cases, healthier perspective. Continue reading “Annotated Bib: “Healing the Past through Story””

Memes

Human beings are weird

Human beings are weird meme
Human beings are weird. We spend our whole childhoods learning not to be our weird selves, and then we spend most of our adulthoods trying to find ourselves.

So why not cut out the middleman and just let our children be who they are? Go be your Weird Self. What if that’s the only thing standing between you and happiness?

#beyourweirdself Continue reading “Human beings are weird”

Character Building

How to make the unbelievable believable

Evolution and Human Behavior cover
I don’t know about you, by my fiction writing has benefitted a great deal from studying motivation and personality theories. | Evolution and Human Behavior cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is believable? What does it mean to write a “believable” scene or character in a work of fiction that is not “true” to begin with? These are questions that fiction writers must tackle if they want readers to “buy in” to the tale they are telling.

Human beings act in unbelievable ways all the time, but it’s the motivation behind the actions that are most important. One fundamental element of writing is the study of human behavior and why people do the things they do. It’s not enough to simply tell a story about what our characters do. We must also explain why they act in a particular manner and do it in a way that will make our readers believe it.

Whenever a reader tells you that he or she finds your story or a particular character unbelievable, your first reaction should NOT be, “Well duh, it is fiction.” Instead, you should ask yourself, “What is this character’s motivation?” In other words, why is the character behaving so ridiculously? It’s not that your characters aren’t allowed to behave in an unbelievable manner. The problem is, you have to demonstrate for your reader that the behavior really is possible, or even probable, given the circumstances. Continue reading “How to make the unbelievable believable”

Publishing

Publishing 101: Honey, that’s not how it works

This gave me a chuckle. I recently saw this comment on a promotional post on the HarperCollins Facebook page.

Publishing - That's not how it works

Do people really believe that getting a novel published is as easy as commenting on a publisher’s Facebook post and asking how much they charge? Continue reading “Publishing 101: Honey, that’s not how it works”