Words of advice:
1. Write everyday (even if it is only a paragraph).
2. Read, read, and read. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. Know what is happening in your genre and feed your soul.
3. Guard your writing time.
4. Be consistent.
5. Spend a little time on social media each day. Build a supportive community. Be generous.
6. Have your work professionally edited–by more than one editor (content and line-by-line editors).
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King
Other Words for SAID & WALK
Click here for the BLOG post and a free PDF for personal use.
I keep a journal with me most of the time to jot down the perfect line when I think of it. I insert tabs to help keep myself organized.
Allusions & References
Words & Phrases
Of course, this is what works for me. Find what works for you.
2. Be a generous retweeter.
3. Follow people back (the real people, not the robots).
4. Do NOT Direct Message (DM) people unless you have a question specifically for that person–not even to say thanks for following. Thank people publicly (you may get retweeted and pick up more followers, too).
5. Have some “retweet bait.” You need non-threatening tweets that people can retweet while they get to know you: quotes, giveaways, writing advice articles, trivia, etc.
6. Tweet something personal. This does not mean over-sharing (you can keep your toenail fungus to yourself). You should however, share updates on your writing (like your new word count), or if we should go see the movie you just watched. Humorous events are always faves.
- Twenty-two Lessons on writing from Stephen King.
- Article: “Self-publishing a Book: 25 Things You Need to Know” via CNET Considering self-publishing a book? CNET’s David Carnoy discusses the ins and outs of what it’s all about.
- Article: A great comprehensive overview “Self Publishing Tips & Costs” by Duke Diercks.
- US Copyright Office. You can apply for your own copyright, it isn’t hard.
- Author Central Links. If you want an author page on Amazon, you need to manage it. Here are the links and instructions for the following sites: U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan.
- QR Code Generator. Don’t pay to have someone do it for you. This is easy and free!
- 3 Reasons I Love Pinterest–and why you should be using it as a writer.
- Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet. Need to know what size to crop your photo make it fit on your Twitter profile? Check this out.
- Room Planner. Once in a while I need to map out a room to make it concrete in my head.
Two benefits: 1. You won’t give wonky description as to who is where 2. You have a cool extra to post.
- Realistic Travel Times–by sea, air, and land.
- Air Travel. Are your characters traveling by private plane? How long does it take to fly from Paris to Prague? You can figure it out here and keep your timelines intact. Do the research–even for fantasy novels. Remember, we want the audience to buy into the story. Don’t distract with unrealistic settings.
- “How to Respond to Negative Reviews” by Beth Revis. Click here. I LOVE this article!
- Commonly used publishing lingo: Writing Terms & Abbreviations.
- An amazing list of resources from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
- Word Count 101: How many words are in a novel, novella, novelette, and much much more.
- Planning on writing a book with someone? Read this article for some great tips: “How to Collaborate on Writing without Killing Each Other” by Josh Bernoff
- Inflation Calculator: If you are writing a period piece, this will help you figure out how much money was worth at the time.
- Do you have weapons in your story? Check out A Writer’s Guide to Weapons site. Do revolvers have a safety? Is a switchblade the right choice?
Templates, Formatting, & Graphic Design:
- How to format your manuscript article by Jodie Renner . This will save you (and your editor) time and frustration.
- How many spaces after a period?
- Book Interior Template. If you are going to be formatting your own book, save yourself hours of grief and write directly into the template. Create Space has a wonderful set of free templates (my publisher even uses them). Make sure you choose the size that is standard for your genre. I use the 5.5 x 8.5 template for Young Adult Lit.
- Book Cover Template. Generate a free Photoshop book cover template. You need to know how many pages your book will be in order for the spine to be the correct size.
- Fonts. Make sure all of the fonts you are using are free for commercial use. Font Squirrel is one of my favorite sites because they are all “free for commercial use.” I also love dafont.com, but you need to be careful, shareware is not always free for publishing use.
Grammar and Style:
- Quick reference guide for CaPiTaLiZaTiOn.
- Using Numerals in Text: “Eight or 8?”
- Have you ever been reading a book and thought, “If they use that word one more time, I’m (fill in the blank).” I certainly have. Here is a wonderful tool, it counts the Word Frequency. They also have a Phrase Frequency Counter. Even NY Times bestsellers can have this problem. Edit! Edit! Edit!
- This is an Adverb Detector. It is working from a list of commonly used adverbs, so you will need to decide if you actually used the word as an adverb. Is it the end of the world to use an adverb? No, but as with everything, use in moderation. Always ask yourself if it is redundant or clarifying.
- Good writers include sensory detail. That means that they tap into taste and smell, as well as, sight and touch. I have compiled a Tastes & Aromas Cheat Sheet on this blog post.
- Here are 8 Tips to help make your dialogue sparkle.
Naming Your Characters:
- My blog post on naming characters: What’s in a Name?
- Behind the Name: First Names. Give your novel more depth by choosing names carefully. Find out about the etymology here.
- Behind the Name: Surnames (Last): History of last names divided by nationality.
- Patron Saints names and their patronage.
- Name Generator for character names and a personality profile based on Meyers Briggs (so fun!).
- Name generator based on gender and nationality.
- Fantasy Name Generator. Okay, this is just for fun, but once in a while I need to take a break.
Find some good writing blogs to follow:
- Molly Greene: Need instructions on how to start a blog? Twitter tips? Grammar? Great resource all around.
- Tamar Hela: I use Tamar’s editing services, but she also writes a great blog with tips and tricks.
- Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tricks.
- Jami Gold: Great worksheets on developing your story, characters, and more.
- Russel Blake: Writing advice and what is happening in the publishing world.
Other Words For…
Now some people argue that you shouldn’t use synonyms, especially with the word “said”. Here is a great article on Arguments for Using Synonyms.
- Other Words for Whisper and Went Blog Post and printable PDF for personal use.
- Other Words for SAID & WALK Blog Post with printable PDF.
- Other Words for Asked, Replied, Sat, Was, & Laugh Blog Post with PDF.
- Other Words for LOOK
- Words for Tastes & Aromas: Add sensory words to your writing.