Writing Prompts

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

Book Reviews, Novel Writing, Uncategorized, Valley of the Bees

Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1

It’s official! I just set up my novel, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 for pre-order on Smashwords! I completed the first draft of the third and final book of this trilogy, and I finally feel confident that Book One will be ready for publication by its September 1st release date!

With Envy Stung cover with white border
With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is now available for download on iTunes and Kobo. It will soon be available on your Nook as well! See the links within this blog post for more info.

This is such a huge milestone for me. I have been working on this trilogy for about three years now. With Envy Stung has been critiqued and revised until I can’t imagine what else I might possibly do to make it shine any brighter. That is, until I sit down to read through it again and find a few more lines that I could write *just a little bit better.*

Update: I now have direct links where you can pre-order your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 from the retailer of your choice:

As with any work in progress, I will probably always be able to find something else that I could tweak a bit more. But, as with any other work in progress, the time always comes when it’s time for the author to let it go as it is. I feel confident that With Envy Stung has reached that stage in the writing process. The time has finally come to complete my final line edits and format the book for publishing! Continue reading “Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1”

Book Reviews, Digital Marketing, eBooks, Short Story

How to help a fellow #indie author by reading her books for #free

Rain at three, short story
“Rain at Three” is now available at Smashwords for FREE.

I just finished reading the Smashwords Book Marketing Guide in an effort to find more ways to market my books. One of the topics this book discusses is how reviews help improve a book’s discoverability. Additionally, when an author offers at least one of his or her titles for free, it increases the likelihood that readers will 1) discover that book, 2) review that book, thus improving its discoverability, and 3) purchase another book from the same author (if the reader enjoyed the free book). The guide also stresses the point that we, as indie authors, have to help each other out with this.

Anyone who has browsed the free books at Smashwords and other book distributors will know that there are a lot of garbage eBooks out there. However, if you browse long enough, you are bound to strike gold eventually. Most of the time, I know whether or not I want to read a book after reviewing the first page or two. Personally, I wouldn’t mind being the person who discovered the next big author. I definitely wouldn’t mind being discovered in this same way!

Having mulled over this information for the past two days, I have come up with a plan that I think will help both me and other as-of-yet undiscovered authors. Continue reading “How to help a fellow #indie author by reading her books for #free”

Novel Writing

The beauty of writing with an outline

bees in spring illustration
I’m thinking of using this illustration for one of my book covers, but if I do, I need to find additional illustrations for the other book covers that will fit with the theme. What do you think?

Once upon a time… I was a pantser. I wrote by the seat of my pants, outlines be damned.

Once upon a time, most of my stories went nowhere. Or they went everywhere, with no end in sight. But I was adamant that I didn’t need an outline. An outline could only make my novels predictable. I needed to allow the story to unfold on its own without forcing it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t come across as natural. Right?

Well, maybe that’s how it works for some people.

When I got to graduate school, I had to create outlines for all of my novel writing courses. I hated it.

And then one day, I decided to really push myself and write an entire story in two weeks. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I didn’t care if I wrote the “Great American Novel.” I just needed a win.

The best way to make this happen – I thought – would be to make an outline. I used Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” cycle as a guide and got to work on my 14-chapter outline (It ended up needing 16 chapters by the time it was done.) Then I sat down once a day for two straight weeks (plus 2 days) and wrote one chapter each day until the first draft was done. Continue reading “The beauty of writing with an outline”

book cover
eBooks, Publishing, Short Story

Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber

book cover
My new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents.

I am giving myself a sweet birthday present today and announcing that my new short story, Her Name was Amber, is now available on Kindle for only 99 cents!

It feels great to get back on the fiction-writing horse. I wrote this 4,000 word story in one day! (Don’t worry, I edited it before I published it! Although, if you do find any errors, please let me know so I can fix them!)

Description

Amber is finally forced to deal with her dysfunctional marriage while mourning the death of her teenage daughter. Meanwhile, an even bigger disaster looms near as the outside world struggles with its own uncertain fate. In this prequel to her upcoming novel, Valley of the Bees, author Amanda L. Webster introduces you to the matriarch of what is destined to become a powerful – yet still dysfunctional – family in a not-so-distant dystopian future.

Buy your copy of Her Name was Amber on Kindle today! Continue reading “Now available on Kindle: Her Name was Amber”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: If money were no object

For this week’s Wednesday writing prompt, I came up with one of my own. Here’s your writing prompt for the week:

If money were no object…

And my shot at it:

If money were no object, I would buy a big old Victorian house with a wraparound porch and a wooden deck off the back overlooking the woods. Maybe there would be a lazy stream ambling through the woods, with all manner of wildlife to watch from the deck.

I would only need a bedroom, a sitting room, and a bathroom for myself (for some reason, I am imagining this happening after my kids have grown up and moved on) and my cat. We would live at the top of the house, and I would turn the downstairs into a sleepy little bookshop/café. Money would be no object, so I would be happy for it to not be a busy business. In fact, if it were too busy, that would defeat the purpose of my master plan.

In the morning, I would get up and cook whatever baked concoction I was in the mood for at that day. (As I write this, I have a blackberry lemon loaf in the oven. I hate to cook but love to bake!) I wouldn’t need to make much since my shop isn’t that busy. Who wants to spend that much time in the kitchen anyway?

Blackberry Lemon Loaf
I can’t make just one loaf when I own two loaf pans. Where’s the sense in that?

I’d get the espresso bar cranked up and ready to go for my morning rush and then chat with my neighbors as they stop in to get their morning cups on their way to work. On the weekends, my good friends and neighbors would get their cups and stay, lounging around in the giant stuffed couches and arm chairs that are scattered about the place. Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: If money were no object”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: Never Lost

300 Writing Prompts
This is my new book of writing prompts.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had recently purchased a book titled, 300 Writing Prompts and that I would be sharing some of my own attempts at the prompts in this book. Here’s my first little ditty. It’s not very long because I kept it within the allotted space in the book. You can write longer if you like. Please feel free to share your own responses to the prompt in the comments below.

Writing Prompt

When was the last time you got lost? Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: Never Lost”

Writing Prompts

Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox

writing prompt meme
I got mugged this morning. He snatched my lunchbox right out of my hand.

Write on this prompt, then share your work on your blog or website. Post a link to the comments below. Continue reading “Wednesday Writing Prompt: A snatched lunchbox”