How to be a Writer and a Mom

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Ok, you just did something really hard. You might be getting back on your feet after having a baby or after stepping on a race car that your precious child left on the kitchen floor. Either way, your responsibilities and the calls for your attention just increased enormously, but for the sake of yourself and of your family, you are striving to keep doing what you love.

Session Goals, Space, and a Set Time are the elements that can help you keep writing even as your life is being turned upside down. What makes these things important is that they all clear the way for you to be able to get down to writing. If you’re looking for tips on content, check out our Character Development, Plot Development, and World Building sections on the menu above.

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Flat vs. Round Characters: How to Write Them and When

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Writing is a balancing act of complements and contrast. When you’re strategic in your placement of flat and round characters, you can create a focused, textured story that feels grounded in reality no matter how many dragons crawl through its pages. Let’s begin with looking at what flat and round characters are.

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How To Win At Writing After A Conference

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The writer’s conference: There’s little more exciting than the thought of surrounding yourself with a hundred or more people who love words and books as much as you do, and getting to spend anywhere from an afternoon to an entire week learning about the business and how to become better at your craft.

For me, anyway, there’s little more exciting than a good conference. What’s never so good is the re-entry afterward. The introverted side of my personality starts kicking back in, my brain is happy but also exhausted from all of the information I’ve squished into it, and I usually just want to sleep for a few days.

From what I’ve heard from many other writers, this isn’t uncommon. And while it’s enticing to curl up in a cave and hide, the time right after a conference is golden, and we should do what we can to use it well. So here are my best tips for re-entry. Continue reading

How To Super-Charge Your Story With Energizing Word Sprints

Mondays.

We all have them. They’re those days when it’s hard to even drag yourself out of bed, much less write all the words you know you need to write.

Sometimes, ‘Mondays’ don’t even show up on Mondays. But you know them when they come creeping up on you. So, how do we fight them? By exercising our creativity, even if it’s against our will at first.  Continue reading

How to Make a Splash in the Waters of Indie Publishing

How to Make a Splash in the Waters of Indie Publishing | The Spinning Pen

Once upon a time…

…there was a group of young and promising writers. They had great ideas, finished manuscripts, and starry eyes filled with hope of Bestseller’s Lists. The only question was, what should they do next?

Does this story sound familiar? The last time we were with our intrepid writers, the group had come to a fork in the road, and we followed the friends who took the path toward traditional publishing. Now, as promised, we return to our friends who decided to explore the indie (also known as self-publishing) route. Let’s follow them down to the docks. Continue reading

How to Write a Book (And Finish It) by Teen guest, Elizabeth Pau

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Most aspiring authors have been at the point where they have twenty different, brilliant ideas for book plots and try to write every single story all at once.

Or maybe some of you have an idea for one book and start writing without a plot or any sort of idea of where the book is going to end up  you just have a few ideas of what you want to include in your book.

The problem with these tactics, is that:

  1. If you start too many stories at once, you will end up mixing the characters’ personalities and possibly even confusing the plots (not to mention no one has time to finish 17 different novels)

and

  1. If you write a book with tons of events with no real goal in mind, your readers are going to be very confused.

Or maybe those tactics work for you just fine. In that case you can stop reading this right now.

But for those who want to write a book but just aren’t sure how…  

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Adding Love to Your Writing? Check out These Tips!

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Happy Valentines Day!

In the spirit of Valentine’s I’d like to write about how to incorporate love into writing.

First make sure everyone in your book is drop dead gorgeous, then make them witty, have super strength and intellect—basically make them amazing. And then have lots of steamy scenes.

JUST KIDDING.

There won’t be any shirtless men with abs, or smoky eyed women with luscious locks of hair here. If you’re struggling to write romance try Bumble. We’re not covering JUST that sort of love here, but rather, love on a broader scale.

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How to Find Your Way in the Realm of Traditional Publishing

How to Find Your Way in the Realm of Traditional Publishing | The Spinning Pen

Once upon a time…

…there was a group of young and promising writers. They had great ideas, finished manuscripts, and starry eyes filled with hope of Bestseller’s Lists. The only question was, what should they do next?

Our intrepid writers set out to explore their options: should they go indie and self-publish, or try the traditional publishing route? While a couple members of the group chose to investigate the self-publishing path, this narrator decided to follow the group who went toward the traditional path first. (Check in with the indie group here!)

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