Writers: Should you be blogging? Maybe not.

Here’s a reprint of an article I wrote last week for the MMRWA’s Writing 101 Facebook page. Re-posting it here, in case any of my writer friends out there might find it useful!

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media lately, so let’s talk about blogging! Or, why maybe you shouldn’t.

Here are the blogging rules for authors:

1. You HAVE to have a blog if you ever expect to be traditionally published. Publishers need to know that you have millions of avid followers before they’ll even consider a contract.

2. You HAVE to have a blog if you’re indie published. How else will people find you and your books?

Continue reading

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Quirks

We all have them.

Some of us more than others.

I don’t think my quirks are particularly interesting, really. I can cross my eyes, like the lovely lady above. I tend to overshare with random strangers. I prefer cold coffee to hot. My definition of a good time is a nap on Sunday or a Little House on the Prairie rerun. I also like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

But I really like writing quirky characters. Like in Lucky in Love, my heroine is vintage-obsessed. She works on antique cars. She watches soap operas. She has an evil, one-eyed cat named Louie. She takes swing-dancing lessons. She’s got a weakness for hard-boiled, emotionally-repressed Marines.

Who sounds more interesting to you: me or Lucky? Wait, don’t answer that. Do you have any personality quirks you’d like to share? Any favorites in characters that you’ve read or written?

And bonus for writers, here are two writer references on coming up with quirks for your characters:

Personality Quirk Generator

100 Character Quirks

Happy Monday! heart

Funny

Funny. This is a word that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Especially since I’m going to be doing a mini-session on the topic of writing comedy into romance at my RWA chapter’s retreat in a couple of weeks. (What’s really funny is how terrified I am about that…)

 

I’ve written some funny stuff. To me, anyway. I go back and read parts of Lucky in Love and just giggle. But what’s cool is that in the course of researching for this class, I’ve found out why some of that stuff is so funny and how to do it on purpose, instead of just sticking words and scenarios out there and hoping they make your readers laugh. No presentation spoiler alerts here, since I’m not going too much in depth, but some of the most interesting info I got was about word choice and letter sounds. Continue reading

How to Dig Yourself Out of a Deep, Deep Hole.

I’m going to get serious here for a sec. Have you ever gotten so far behind that you’re literally rendered immobile by the sheer size of your overloaded to-do list? That’s me lately. I’m telling you, you could hand me three free hours with which to be productive, and I’d still accomplish nothing more than reading every single nasty comment below a gossip article about a celebrity I couldn’t care less about, the whole time lambasting myself up and down for not doing anything productive but not being able to do anything about it. This particular song has been on repeat for me for a long time, now, and I know for sure I’m not the only one experiencing acute mental paralysis because of it.

So, what the heck?! We’re bright and ambitious people with go-getter attitudes and mildly- to moderately-awesome organizational skills. How does this happen to us? Continue reading

Get Motivated: Three Tips for Getting Past that Blank Page

Note: This is a repost of a quickie article I wrote for a writing help site a friend and I just rolled out on Facebook. It’s geared toward romance writers, but I’m sharing it here anyway, since procrastination is universal. 🙂

Page 76 has been blank for the last 45 minutes (or the last 45 days) and your heroine is stubbornly refusing to tell you what happens next in your story. Here are a few things you might try to get those words rolling again: Continue reading

Five Things Friday: Slacker Edition

I’m back from my overly long absence with a quick shot of five random things you should know on this fine Friday.

1. Beware the cholycystectomy.

Gallbladders sometimes don’t go without a fight. I ended up with muscle spasms, a partially-collapsed lung and some other stupidly debilitating side effects. After three weeks, though, I’m mostly all good. Embarrassed to say that I got beaten up by something the size of a walnut, but mostly all good.

2. MaGM will be back next week, and will feature the fantastic Liza O’Connor

I can’t wait. She’s super funny!

3. FYI, coconuts are deadlier than sharks. 

According to the article I read, “There were 91 incidents of shark encounters last summer, Burgess said, including 76 unprovoked attacks on people by sharks.” What I want to know is, what the hell were those 15 other people thinking?

4. If you write, you should be following Kristen Lamb’s blog.

She made me give a character a conflict transplant this week. The character is still prickly, but now she’s got legitimate (and not too overblown) reasons.

5. …aww, forget it. 

I’m too tired to find another fact. Have a great weekend!