The Essential Guide to Writing Your First Draft


You’ve sat down, know your characters, have a plan for writing, the plot is nailed down, and you’re itching to get started.

The first sentence comes out and…. sounds like a preschooler wrote it.

You try again, delete your second attempt, and then switch to paper and pen. That will help! Several crumpled papers later, your waste bin is starting to fill but not the pages. How do you get that perfect intro sentence? How do you set the mood, capture beauty, or develop your style?

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Proven Ways to Kick Writer’s Block


No motivation. No inspiration. No magical words flying from keyboard to paper. Writer’s block, that ominous, horror story creature haunting you from the deep dark caverns of despair.

Don’t let it take you prisoner.

Here are some ways to fight back.

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The Best Writing Advice I Ever Recieved

I once spent a year learning the art of chopping in China.

Why you ask? Why not! Actually it was a cultural misunderstanding as I was under the impression I’d be learning to make Chinese food. You can imagine my disappointment and horror when my teacher brought in a live duck and slit its throat it in front of us the first week of school. This was not what I signed up for.

Life experiences

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Four Critical Tools for Editing Your Way to Success


What comes to mind when you think about the editing process? If the mere word “Editing” makes you want to hide under your comforters, or find a boat and sail off the face of the earth, I understand. Or maybe you’re a super planner and love the editing process and have all sorts of handy excel charts mapping your progress.

No matter what your feelings are regarding the editing process, there are tools and tips that can help.
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How to Write Hair-Raising Suspense



While reading—it keeps us turning the page with sweaty hands.

While writing. . . sometimes it’s just downright a pain.

If I can cause my reader to grow a few extra gray hairs from my writing, I count that a success. *I apologize ahead of time to any of my readers hoping to keep their luscious colorful locks hair.* Here are some of the basics for adding suspense I use.

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Don’t Ring the Bell Yet


Writing is hard.

Exhilarating, rewarding, life giving? Absolutely! Sometimes though, it’s just straight up a pain. What is it that separates published authors from the hundreds of thousands of wannabes? I think a little illustration might help.

Recently, I was put through intensive spine shaping therapy due to a back injury. What does that mean? Everyone, including myself, was most curious to know.

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The Practice of Writing

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Good writing comes from two things. Lots of reading and lots of writing. There’s just no getting around it. But you hopefully already knew that.

Our Feature Friday author Kim Vandel, recommended writers to “read, read, read.” I used to be one of those types who would find time to write but rarely to read. Then one day, I stumbled upon something one of the most prolific writer, Stephen King, wrote. He said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”

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How to Write Amazing Action

aIt’s hard to write believable action when the most exciting thing you’ve done this year is spike your cat’s water bowl.

I say this because I’ve had a pretty action packed life and the action I’ve lived, I can write. One of my most infamous memories is of being attacked by gang members a couple years back. Thanks to that encounter, I can now say with confidence black eyes are not my style, a broken nose isn’t as flattering as I’d hoped, and hard as I try, I can’t rock stitches.

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Get Organized. Get Writing.

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stunning lifestyle imagery for modern creatives… check out another scenery / perspective

Quick poll.

How many of you when you roll out of bed in the morning find your house and writing project in perfect order?

There’s a rich aroma of rainforest coffee wafting through the quiet and dark house as you sit down to your clean desk and boot up your laptop. You pull up your documents and immediately your fingers start flying over the keyboard. No hunting around for your charger, no searching for that character chart you filled out yesterday, or your hand drawn map—it’s all there and ready to go.

If “that’ll be the day…” is your response, this post is for you.

Getting organized is often the bane of a writer’s existence. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few helpful tips I’ve picked up along the bumpy writer’s road.
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