Friday, February 5, 2016

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 111

Another week come and gone. Not sure if I should be happy or sad about this.  Although I look forward to weekends, every time I submit another "Seven Writing Links" post, I realize I've just burned through another week without finishing my book. Argggg!

At least this week I submitted a chapter to each of my two crit groups, so I'm feeling rather productive at the moment.  Will I be that productive again next week?  We'll see.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the links.


Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 48: No Conflict Between Characters

Kristine Kathryn Rusch on Serious Writer Voice  As someone who views some of the "supposed writing rules" with suspicion, it was a breath of fresh air to read this post.

The Right Way (Or Why Breaking The Rules Doesn't Always Work)

Indie Publishing Paths: What’s Your Pricing Plan? Part Three (The Freebie Option)

Scene Structure: Scene Beginnings and Magic Ingredients

Adventures in Platform Building

The Importance of Keywords to Ranking Your Book on Amazon

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Insecure Writer and "OMG It’s Already February?"

Today is February's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month? 

Because we’re already into February!!!!!

At the beginning of the year, I promised myself I’d finish my story by the end of THIS year. It seemed like plenty of time four weeks ago, but we just entered February and I’m frantically wondering what the heck happened to January. It may seem a bit premature to be worried about end of year goals only one month into the year, but I’m an Insecure Writer, which means I'm allowed to worry as much as I want.

It’s not that I haven’t been making progress on my manuscript, but did I finish one twelfth of my story in January? I don’t think so. And while eleven months may seem like a looooong time right now, if last year was any indication, these next eleven months are going to fly by in no time.

I don’t feel as though I’ve been slacking off on my writing. Quite the contrary.  This Saturday, I’ll be attending a “practice your pitch” session with my local SCBWI group. On Monday, I’ll be meeting with one of my crit groups, and three days later, I’ll meet with my other crit group.

I just don't understand how some authors write multiple books in a year. They must be using some sort of time portal device.

On a more positive note, if time keeps moving like this, Spring will be here in no time. Yay!


P.S. Feel free to use the comment section to convince me that eleven months really is a lot of time.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 110

Man, January is passing too quickly!  Now this isn't something you'd normally hear me say, since I typically spend the winter desperately waiting for spring to return, but this year I have bigger fish to fry.  I'm trying to finish my damn book, so every day/week/month that passes without hitting that goal, or at least making a significant dent in it, leaves me irritable.

Okay, perhaps"anxious" might be a better word, since I'm not really an irritable kind of guy.  Still, my goal this weekend is to MAKE PROGRESS ON THE DAMN BOOK."  I have two crit group meetings scheduled for the beginning of February, so it's not like I don't have incentive.  Anyway, wish me luck.

Thanks and have a fantastic, productive weekend.


How to Talk with Publishers and Agents

Grow Reader Empathy By Showing Your Protagonist Feeling Vulnerable

Your NaNo Novel Is a Hot Mess! How to Edit Your Book

Quick-Tip Tuesday: The Power of Secrets

5 Tips for Getting Accepted by Bookbub

Understanding the Truth about Character Arcs

Self Publishing as a Lemonade Stand

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why Won’t Zombies Die? by David P. King

Today it's my pleasure to have David P. King guest posting on one of his favorite subject -- zombies.  

Thanks for having me, Ken! Since releasing the first book in the My Zombie Summer series, The Undead Road, I’ve been asked a lot about zombies. The most frequently asked question? Why won’t zombies die? Or rather, how come they’ve been so popular for so long? Since the zombie is my favorite monster of all time, I may be able to shed a light on this gruesome phenomenon.

For one, when dealing with a zombie apocalypse, the variables are endless. You can have any character, in any location, dealing with zombies in every way imaginable. It doesn’t matter if the monster stays the same, it’s how people deal with the situation that makes it fresh and exciting.

Secondly, the storytelling has an instant investment value to its audience: no one is safe. It’s the ultimate what if? scenario. Anyone can go at any time, or may come back to pose a new threat. How would you deal with a friend or family member who’s about to eat you? Chilling, isn’t it?

Lastly, this scenario speaks volumes to human endurance and plays with our survival instincts. A long time ago, humans had to fight or flight all the time. With modern society the way it is now, we think we live in a safer world. Maybe the zombie craze keeps our instincts on their toes?

Zombies are scary, or funny, or even necessary, depending on the point of view. For this and many other reasons, I don’t see zombies going anywhere for a long time. And with the rate of their constant evolution, their longevity is practically cemented for the foreseeable future.

Thanks David, and if you guys enjoy zombies as much as he does, be sure to check out his latest book, The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer: Part One.  But don't wait too long, the ebook will only be on sale for 99 cents in the Kindle store between Jan 25-29th.  And don't forget to enter the contest located after the book blurb.

Title: The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer: Part One
Publisher: Dashboard Books / CreateSpace
Ebook Release: January 2st, 2016
Paperback: January 26th, 2016
Cover by Steven Novak
Edited by Reece Hanzon

Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Berretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.

After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.

Praise for The Undead Road:

"For me, zombie stories are never about the killing. They're about the survivors and how people deal with the apocalypse. To this undead end, David Powers King has come up with the most original spin on zombies I've ever read." - Michael Offutt, author of Slipstream and Oculus

Contest Details:

Visit and leave and comment and/or tweet about The Undead Road (at least once) for a chance to win a free ebook. One out of every 10 comments and tweets is a winner! Use the Twitter Button below to ensure the author will see your tweet. Thank you!

And don't miss David's other stops during his Undead Road blog tour:

Alex Cavanaugh         Jan 25th
Donna Hole                 Jan 25th
Chemist Ken               Jan 26th
Elana Johnson             Jan 26th
Nick Wilford               Jan 26th
Susan Gourley             Jan 27th
Tara Tyler                    Jan 27th
Kristin Smith               Jan 27th
Lidy Wilks                  Jan 28th
Elizabeth Seckman      Jan 28th
M.J. Fifield                 Jan 29th
Michael de Gesu         Jan 29th

About the Author:

David Powers King was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to be a writer. He is the co-author of the YA fantasy novel WOVEN, published by Scholastic. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He currently lives deep in the mountain West with his wife and three children.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 109

Nothing much going on at our house this week.  The kids are prepping for the end of semester finals, and the wife and I are slowly beginning to pack away all the Christmas decorations that have been lying around the house for the past couple of weeks.  If only we could get winter out of the way this easily!

But best of all, I made progress on my story.  My CPs will be happy.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the links.


How To Succeed at Building Platform Without Really Trying

7 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Author Blog And How To Fix Them

How to Subtly Boost Your Dialogue’s Power With Body Language

The Perils of Self-Publishing

Scene Structure and Character Arc

The Single Biggest Mistake Self-Published Authors Make
Hint: trad-pubbed authors need to worry about this too!

Midpoints: A Breakdown

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Whose POV Is It Anyway? The Character's Or Yours?

Being a beta-reader for some of my writer friends has been a fantastic way of improving my writing skills over the years. Not only do I learn how other authors use certain techniques, but when I find what I believe is a problem with their manuscripts, simply trying to explain why I believe there’s a problem is often just as beneficial to me. It forces me to collect my thoughts in ways I wouldn’t have done on my own.

For example, last year I was beta-reading a fantasy story and I realized the main character wasn’t being proactive enough. He just kind of drifted along with the story. It wasn’t that the story wasn’t moving forward, but the character wasn’t driving any of the action. Something would happen, and then he’d react, then something else would happen and he’d react again. It was almost as if the character was just waiting around to see where the story took him.

And as I was explaining my concerns to the author, it hit me that I was guilty of same thing in my writing. I wasn’t writing my character as if he were part of the story, I was writing him as if he were watching the story from the outside--as if he were sitting in the theater and experiencing the movie in the same way as the audience. In other words, I was having him act as if he were reading the story instead of living the story.

Now it’s fine for a character to be reactive (as opposed to being proactive) during the early parts of the story, especially when he doesn’t understand the world he’s just been thrust into, but by the midpoint reversal, the MC is definitely more proactive.

In hindsight, I guess my mistake wasn’t terribly surprising. I write my stories as if I’m watching them unfold at a movie, which is the way many authors do it, but I have to keeping reminding myself that the MC isn’t seeing the story from my POV.

It’s not good for your characters to be along for the ride. They should be driving the car.

Do you have problems keeping your characters out of your POV?


Friday, January 15, 2016

Seven Writing Links -- Volume 108

Nothing exciting happened say this week, other than settling into my new job.  A little reading, a little writing.  What more can a writer wish for?

Have a great weekend and enjoy the links!



How (and Why) to Write a Logline For Your Story

5 Ways to Tell if a Subplot is Leading You Astray

Author Newsletters: 6 Tips for Smart Strategies

How To Find The Heart Of Your Character

What You Need to Know About Show, Don't Tell 
Because we can never hear enough about Showing and Telling.

How to Set Up a Website

There was an error in this gadget