Hidden Traps by Judy L Mohr

Reviews and Mixed Emotions

Well… As every writer knows, reviews are important. However, reviews seem to be a fickled beast. If one was to receive a large number of 4- and 5-stars, someone like me starts to question how many of those reviews were posted by friends and family. The odd negative review actually gives merit to those high-ranking reviews. On the flip side, if you have a large number of negative reviews, readers will begin to steer clear of your book (possibly even future books), and sales will go down. To complicate matters, if your book has hardly any reviews at all (good or bad), people are leery and unwilling to try their hand at something new — especially from a new, untested author.

Let’s not forget that getting reviews is a mission and a half.

For my book, Hidden Traps, I didn’t quite know what to expect, and now I feel all confused and uncertain.

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Email

Fan or Scam

Recently, I encountered a new type of email scam. Well, it actually found me by way of my inbox, but the nature of the scam was beyond laughable. It’s triggered by someone subscribing to my newsletter.

Rest assured that my mailing lists have not been tampered with in any way. This scam originates from the subscriber end. Let me set the stage.Read More

#NaNoWriMo Validation Tricks

We are approaching the end of the month, and the validation window for NaNoWriMo is now open. To be a winner on the NaNoWriMo site, you need to clock in at 50,000 words, at least. However, sometimes, the validation process of those 50,000 words can be a little tricky, especially if you were a NaNoWriMo Rebel.

Perhaps you didn't work on a new project, but continued on the project that you have working on for the last few month. (I did this.) Maybe you were working on multiple projects at the same time, all in different files. (Guilty as charged.) It's conceivable that the allure of editing drew you in, for whatever reason, and you needed to work your writing hours away with your editor's hat on. (Um... Yep. That was me too.) Or maybe you decided to divide your creative energies between writing and something else, like drawing. (Nope, this one wasn't me. I can't draw to save my life.)

Whatever the reason that a pure copy/paste of 50,000 words into the validator on NaNoWriMo is not feasible, there are some tricks that you can play to make your life easier.

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Refueling the Writing Muse

We are approaching the middle of the NaNoWriMo season, and it's about this time of the month when some writers start to run out of steam. Whatever motivation they had when they embarked on the challenge has begun to wane. It's time to refuel the muse, so we can keep going.

Here are 9 different methods that could help you get back into the flow of writing.

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This #NaNoWriMo, don’t focus just on word counts.

As the clock clicks over into November 1st, writers around the world will embark on the NaNoWriMo challenge.

No doubt, some of you are wondering what NaNoWriMo is. Well, as a writer, you commit yourself to writing 50,000 words in one month — you commit to writing a complete first draft of a novel. For some, it is a daunting goal, but as someone who has taken part in every NaNoWriMo and CampNaNoWriMo event since 2014, I can tell you that it's worth the challenge and effort.

Every year, without fail, there will be a few who work at insane rates, pumping out 50,000 words within the first few days. Some even achieve this within the first 24 hours. No, I'm not exaggerating. Within my home region, there is always at least one, frequently two or three, with another two or three who hit 50,000 words within the first week. However, I actually feel sad for the ones  who rush to pump out those 50,000 words in such a short time, because in my opinion they have totally missed the point behind NaNoWriMo.

The real goal of NaNoWriMo is to spend an entire month writing your novel, aiming to complete it. If you finish early, you go back and flesh out some of the scenes. And if hit 50,000 words early but still haven't finished the novel, you keep going until you've written the words The End. You write every day, forming a habit for writing that will carry you through into December and beyond.

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NaNoWriMo is just around the corner

It's that time of year again. November is almost here. For some, this means that the holiday silly season is about to begin, but for many writers, November is an extremely important time of the year. November is NaNoWriMo.

For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, although, it really should be international. Basically, writers commit the month of November to their writing, aiming to write a minimum of 50,000 words within one month. It may sound like a lot of words to some, but the first Harry Potter is 76,944 words.

NaNoWriMo is FREE to join, but the benefits of the program go beyond the prizes that winners get at the end of the month. The community of NaNoWriMo is huge — truly international. There are motivational posts from established writers (like Grant Faulkener, Neil Gaiman and Brandon Sanderson, just to name a few). You have access to the community forums, and there are events that are run within local regions.

To join, just go to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up. To get access to everything, you just join, but if you want to be in for the prizes at the end of November, don't forget to specify a project.

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Scott Pack’s How to Perfect Your Submission

Followers of this blog will know that I don’t do book reviews — it’s something that I just don’t do. However, I’ve noticed that the list of recommended books is growing. Hence, I should probably at least explain why those books are on the list. Some are obvious, like the dictionaries and style guides. Some are…not so obvious.

So, let’s start with one of the first books I had put on that list. I’m talking about Scott Pack’s How to Perfect Your Submission.

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No Junk Mail

Save Me From Spam Hell

So, there is this website that is offering something free and you want it. Let's face it, free things are always good — well, most of the time they're good. However, the moment you sign up for that free thing, handing over your email, you know you're going to be giving the owners of that email list permission to send you spam. You don't want that. So, what is a girl to do?

Easy. Use an email specifically intended for nothing but spam.

But for writers, it's not a simple matter of spam versus general communications. You also have administration details, submissions and blog subscriptions. The email inbox of a writer can quickly become a nightmare. Important emails can become buried without you even realizing it.

Do you want to fight the email crazies? Well, here's how.

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Coffee

Author Interviews on Radio – Guest Blog from Jessie Sanders

Writing takes a community, sharing ideas, and supporting one another. So, when we get approached with an article that shares hard-earned knowledge, we couldn't be happier to pass that information.

Today's post is written by Jessica Sanders — host of Jessie's Coffee Shop on KLRNRadio.

Radio Interviews with Kitty and Fido

Hi, let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica or Jessie for short. I host an internet radio show (podcast) where I invite authors to talk — yes, verbally talk — about their books and writing style. I give each author 50 minutes, more or less, to discuss their book.Jessie's Coffee ShopNow, what do I feel makes an interview?

  1. Have your book blurb handy. You'd be amazed how many authors can't tell me their book blurb off the top of their heads.
  2. Have your social media contact information printed out and ready to reference.
  3. RELAX! Most author interviews aren't hard hitting and filled with gotcha questions (at least mine aren't).
  4. Have a bottle of water next to you.
  5. Listen to an episode of the show you've been invited to participate in.
  6. Yes, it's your episode, but leave room for comment from the host, so listeners don't wonder if the host fell asleep at the microphone.
  7. Be in a quiet environment. I can work with many things, but you sitting in the local cafe at lunch time won't make for good audio.

Now to elaborate...

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Words Can Cut Like Knives

As writers, we carefully craft our sentences to use the perfect word to say what is it that we want to say, creating the exact image in a reader’s mind. There are times when writers have been known to spend days to find those perfect words. Yet, there is one aspect of our writing lives where many writers don’t take the same care with words as they do their stories.

I’m talking about the posts that writers put on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The rush to get the post out there can sometimes land us in situations where the words cut like knifes.

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