Book Writing

  • How Does Your Environment Affect Your Writing?

    By Jennifer Mattern on February 14, 2013
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    This morning I woke up to a beautiful sight. I live in a wooded community, and we had snow last night. This morning the snow was still sticking to the trees. That's rare. It gets windy up here, so snow usually blows off the trees right away. The view made me think about how this environment sometimes impacts my writing. […]
  • Planning a Mini Writer’s Retreat

    By Jennifer Mattern on February 7, 2013
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    Sometimes everyday life gets in the way of writing (and sometimes writing is that everyday life). But in the former case, one of my favorite things to do is go somewhere else -- plan a mini writer's retreat of sorts. I'm doing that with my husband this weekend. We're heading to a B&B called Sayre Mansion, about an hour from where we […]
  • Why Authors Shouldn’t Try to Think Outside the Box

    By Melissa Breau on November 21, 2012
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    Creativity is defined as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. We often hear this concept expressed as "thinking outside the box." Authors, perhaps even more than other creative groups, feel the stress to be "truly creative." To avoid cliches. To add stunning plot twists. […]
  • Creating Characters from Scratch

    By Melissa Breau on October 11, 2012
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    This year I'm participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. For those of you not familiar with the acronym, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it's organized by the Office of Letters and Light. Participants begin writing on November 1st, and the goal is to write a 50,000-word  novel by midnight on November 30th. As I said, this is my […]
  • The Secret of Storytelling — From One of Pixar’s’ Masters

    By Melissa Breau on October 2, 2012
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    I don't normally write posts this long—but this time I couldn't resist. Andrew Stanton's TED talk was something every author—every storyteller—should listen to.  Andrew Stanton starts off his TED Talk with a joke. "A tourist is backpacking through the highlands of Scotland and he stops at a pub for a drink. The only people in there are the bartender and […]
  • Compacting Your Whole Plot into Paragraphs

    By Melissa Breau on March 9, 2012
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    [This post is part of a series on writing sales copy for your book—see the first piece in the series here: The Truth About the Back of your Book.] We're always told not to judge a book by its cover... but most people are referring to the front of the book. It's flip side is a different matter. Without well […]
  • Turn Your Blog Into a Book

    By Melissa Breau on January 24, 2012
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    It's happening all over the web: bloggers are becoming authors. And you can too. Publishers see bloggers as a safe bet—these are people who already have a loyal audience and a solid working platform. But you don't have to work with a traditional publisher to get your book out there; self publishing offers some serious advantages especially for the blogger-turned-author. […]
  • Should You Turn Your Blog Into a Book?

    By Jennifer Mattern on August 29, 2011
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    Are you interested in publishing a nonfiction book? Do you already have a blog in that niche? If you answered "yes" to both of those questions, you might be a prime candidate for turning your blog into a book. This is largely what I'm doing with my own nonfiction book, The Query-Free Freelancer. I used my freelance writing blog to […]
  • Managing Multiple Publishing Projects

    By Jennifer Mattern on March 8, 2011
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    Can you handle more than one publishing project at a time, or do you have to be completely focused on one thing? I fall into the former group, actually thriving when other people might feel overwhelmed. And there's no reason to push yourself to that overwhelmed status in order to handle multiple projects. You just have to know how to […]
  • Two Free Word Count Trackers for Authors

    By Jennifer Mattern on March 4, 2011
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    Do you like to keep track of your writing progress with word count trackers? Then I have two you might want to check out. These were contracted for my freelance writing site a while back, but they're equally valuable to indie authors. Whether you're working on your next great novel or a nonfiction e-book to promote your business, these tools […]