Blog Posts

Books of 2022: Ratings & Rankings

Wow. 2022 was BOOKED for me. I had a goal of 50 books and exceeded that by 10 for my grand total of 60 books read. Today, I present you with my rankings and ratings of all 60 books. Please keep in mind that this is all a matter of preference and my personal opinion.…

15 Holiday Tropes + More

I, personally, am trash for tropes and believe they make the world of fiction go ’round. But love ’em or hate ’em, there’s something about holiday tropes that hit a little extra. This article is dubbed “holiday” as it centers on the tropes we often see in rom-coms around the winter holidays. But I will…

When A Plotter Goes Pantsing

How Your Writing Style Can Impact Your Writing No, I did not spend November running amuck around my peers pulling down their pants. However, I did spend this past NaNoWriMo doing something that might have been just as uncomfortable. I wrote a story by discovery writing. I have always self-declared my writing style as a…

How to use Sanderson’s Laws of Magic to Build a Better (fantasy) Story

Coincidentally, this is not in reference to the Hocus Pocus Sanderson Sisters, but instead is a system of three laws developed by fantasy author, Brandon Sanderson. I first heard of the Sanderson Laws of Magic while listening to the Writing Excuses podcast (which is a podcast I recommend to newbies and seasoned writers alike). As…

11 Most Common World-Building Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

When creating a whole new world, your goal is to build something that’s unforgettable! Shining, shimmering, splendid, should just be the tip of the iceberg. It can be a lot of fun to dream up ideas about alien spacecraft or magical laws. World-building is an opportunity to let our imagination run rampant and go BIG!…

Add Tension and Build Suspense with Try/Fail Cycles

In the first imaginings of our stories, we often have an end goal in mind. Character X is put into situation Y and comes out changed (whether that’s for better or for worse depends on whether it’s a positive or negative character arc). Our story would be rather short if the goal you set for…

Instagram for Writers – With Guest Author S.E. Schneider

This month’s guest article is written by my fabulous critique partner who is absolutely incredible, the lovely S.E. Schneider. She brings us her unique insights on storming the Instagram platform and taking no prisoners! With close to 13k of her own followers, she knows a thing or two about being a writer on Instagram. Instagram…

How to Write a Story that Stays Interesting

When thinking about our favorite books, these are usually the ones you simply cannot put down and read over again with equal levels of delight. Our favorite stories are ones that hold our interest and captivate us from start to finish. The middle of a story is often the hardest to keep interesting, there is…

How to Write Satisfying Enemies to Lovers

This trope is hands down one of my favorite writing tropes, probably out of all of them, but definitely out of the romance tropes. What I’ve discovered is I’m not alone in finding such enjoyment and satisfaction in watching sworn nemeses shed their differences, find common ground, and fall in love. The keyword here is…

Writing a Slow Burn Romance- With Guest Author C.A. Farran

We are continuing our February romance articles with a guest article from the lovely, C.A. Farran. She is fresh off of two releases. In January, she released her debut novel Songs of the Wicked, and just a few days ago we released the Forbidden Delights dark fantasy anthology. C.A. Farran writes such beautifully vivid and…

How to Write an Irresistible Love Interest Readers will Swoon Over

As per my longstanding, one-year February tradition dictates, I’ll be spending this month doling out articles about love. Or more accurately, writing romance. What better way to kick off this series of articles than with our stone-cold smoldering love interest? We’re talking, leaving our hearts in a melty puddle of milk chocolate. We’re talking, sending…

How to Write a Whiteboard Scene

You might be scratching your head at this topic. We all know the scene I’m talking about. It’s most commonly found in heist stories, but it’s any scene where characters discuss the plan before setting off to do said plan. This strategy meeting sometimes involves the use of a literal whiteboard or chalkboard to write…

The Books I’ve Read During 2021

Ratings and Rankings This week, I’m doing a different post than my regular writer content and giving something for the reader. I feel strongly that good writers are avid readers. A good friend recently asked if I had an article ranking the books I’ve read during this past year. I hadn’t planned on one, but…

Best of the Guests

Tips from 2021’s Guest Authors Since it’s December, we’re wrapping up yet another great year. This year was especially fun for me because it was the first year I had a guest author featured on the Newbie to Novelist blog once a month. All of these authors are so talented and inspiring, so naturally, I…

Writing About Food

Between Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas cookies, I just about spend all month thinking about and eating food. I don’t know about you, but devouring a good book leaves me feeling hungry. This is especially true if the author incorporates devilishly mouthwatering food descriptions into their prose. Food is my love language. It’s one of my…

8 Things to Try When You Get Stuck While Writing

Writing a book is hard. Whether you’re a plotter, pantser, or something in between, there might be a time when you get stuck. This most often happens somewhere halfway, which is why writers affectionately call the midpoint of writing a book the “murky middle”. This makes sense. You have an idea that you’re excited about…

10 Reasons Why Writing a Novel is Like Running a Marathon

Happy November! This means we are just kicking off National Novel Writing Month. If somehow you’re unfamiliar despite my preptober posts last month, it is when insane people, myself included, participate in this annual event to write a novel (50,0000 words) in one month. It’s truly a test of endurance and motivation. In tandem with…

Preptober Week Three: World Building and Extras

So far, we have focused our preptober efforts on the dual arm of plot and character, but those are not the only two considerations while planning a story. This week is to prep all the remaining details that are pertinent to your story. Planning out the rest of this “stuff” includes world building, but it…

Preptober Week Two: Characters

Welcome to the second week of Preptober! This week, I’m focusing on developing my characters. Believable characters are unique and three-dimensional, but there’s a lot to consider. Each character has specific attributes, like appearance, personality, and a backstory, that make them relatable. A character’s motivations inform their actions and decisions, creating the narrative arc of…

Preptober Week One: Concept and Outlining

Happy week 1 of Prep-tober! Throughout this month, I’ll have a theme for each week to help you prep for NaNoWrimo. Week 1 – Concept and OutliningWeek 2 – CharactersWeek 3 – World Building and ExtrasWeek 4 – Organization and Time Management If you are reading this and wondering what the heck is Preptober? I…

Why Show vs. Tell is So Important: With Guest Author Melissa Frey

This month’s featured guest author is the lovely and talented, Melissa Frey. Not only has she indie released multiple books, with her latest release published last month, she is also a superior resource for writing craft and development. She hosts writing mastermind courses, and there is even one all about this very topic of “show…

Publishing in the Summer: with Guest Author Zara Hoffman

Summer might be winding down, but some of you might be wondering if this is a good time of year to publish their work in progress. The answer might vary depending on if you’re an indie versus a trad author. I’m excited to share this amazing guest post all about publishing during the summer, by…

Book Marketing like a Bad-Ass with Guest Author Cathrine Swift

Fresh off of releasing her debut novel, Let it Reign, Cathrine has done her homework in the world of book marketing and it has paid off, big time! I’m excited to have Cathrine featured on the blog to share some of her pearls of wisdom she had gathered when plan her marketing strategy for her…

5 Ways to Use the Emotion Thesaurus

One of my favorite writing craft books/resources has got to be Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi’s The Emotion Thesaurus. It truly is a Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. Creating authentic and engaging emotions in your narrative can help evoke emotions in your reader, which will create a stronger connection to the story and a better…

All You Need to Know About Critique Partners – Q&A

Recently one of my critique partners (CP) and I completed full read-throughs of each other’s novels, and so I have the joy that are CPs on the mind. I’m very fortunate to have two close critique partners that are always there to read my work––including novels, novellas, query letters, and even drafts of articles or…

Tips for Adding Humor Part 2: Types of Humor

A couple weeks ago I wrote up an article with plenty of insights about injecting humor into your narrative. One of those insights happened to be identifying types of humor that you find funny. Since there are a number of different types of humor, I decided to make your life easier and condense them into…

Tips and Ideas for Creating Holidays

Holidays are fun whether they are real or imagined. Fictional holidays tend to pop up often in science fiction and fantasy genres. The inclusion of holidays can round out details of world building, provided a point of connection between the reader and the story, and act as a plot device. As a festive fanatic and…

Tips for Adding Humor to Your Storytelling

I am not funny. Humor is subjective, so perhaps there’s someone out there that thinks I’m hilarious. Regardless of whether I’m funny or you’re funny, understanding how to write humor might be pivotal to our (commercial) writing success. This doesn’t mean you have to write comedy or comedic fiction. I wouldn’t even know where to…

5 Tips for Setting (Achievable) Writing Deadlines

Last year I posted an article that focused on how to keep yourself on track with your writing goals when nothing or no one is keeping you accountable. When I posted that article, I was in quarantine, furloughed from my job, and had a lot more free-time than I do presently. With a full-time job,…

Literary Agents and Where to Find Them

If you’re pursuing the traditional route of publishing, then your world will slowly revolve around query letters and literary agents. Initially, I was going to compare finding an agent to dating, using the timeless analogy that it takes a number of bad dates (rejection letters) to land on the one that’s meant to be. But…

Writing Action Scenes: With Guest Author Matt Romeo

When we hear the term ‘action scene’ we often think fight scenes, car chases, and explosions. But the truth is, action scenes can have all of the above, but it’s not a requirement. However, there are a few things that you will always want to consider and include when you sit down to write an…

The Art of Writing Badly

If you’re hoping to up your word count, write a first draft faster, and improve your writing prowess, it behooves you to learn to write badly.   I want to stress that writing badly does not mean you are a bad writer. Obviously, we want to write our stories the best way we can. We…

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