The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Six (Series #18)

Ocean Bubbles Hello! Hello! I am excited this week! My schedule is full and I'm having to block out time to dedicate it to my different jobs. When you work from home, you never really leave your job. So when you get a half an hour you are overcome with guilt about the four "rush" … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Six (Series #18)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Five (Series #17)

Hey everyone. I didn't get any writing done this week. Isn't that terrible? Shame on me. But, I did spend that time doing writerly things. Okay, I was making swag... but someone's gotta do it! I have the cutest swag, too. What is swag? Mirriam-Webster says, " The freebie swag, sometimes also spelled schwag, dates back to … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Five (Series #17)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Four (Series #16)

Good day everyone. Well, it's night, but you get the idea. I've been writing this week about the second pinch point, or second battle. In the story, I have the MC happen to meet the crazy king who tells him that the people he thought he was responsible for killing, are actually prisoners in the … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Four (Series #16)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Three (Series #15)

Hey guys. Pretty simple post today. I was busy with client work all week and haven't had time to write a thing for myself. But, I don't want to keep you from learning about the story structure, so let me talk about the part I will be writing this week. I believe last week we … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Three (Series #15)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Two (Series #14)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com Hey everybody! Sorry I'm late this week. I've been a busy bee. I recently made new covers for my books because they weren't selling well. And those buyers were not rejecting my book based on context, they don't even know what my book says. They were scrolling through the books, … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part Two (Series #14)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part One (Series #13)

Happy weekend everybody! I just did the stupidest thing. I had some very important emails from a publisher, and they were getting lost in my overflowing email box. So I made a new folder. Then I put all my important emails from the publisher in them. THEN my email told me that the file couldn't … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Essential Scenes in Every Story- Part One (Series #13)

The Journey to a Bestseller: First Novels and My New Covers (Series #12)

Hello. Sorry I'm late this weekend. I've been busy. Learning how to do more book marketing and structure. Enjoy every single moment. That's what my calendar says for today, and it's true. Writing the novel is the journey. You know how they say it's not the destination that's important, but to enjoy the journey? Well … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: First Novels and My New Covers (Series #12)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Writing Books That Sell and Editing Like a Pro (Series #11)

Good day, friends! I have been super busy this week. I am editing the third book in the trilogy, and I have been using some techniques taught by Liz Pelletier, at Entangled Press. She is an editor that I really admire and she teaches the standard three-pass edit system. If you are interested, I found … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Writing Books That Sell and Editing Like a Pro (Series #11)

The Journey to a Bestseller: “Chapter One” and Twitter Pitch Events (Series #10)

Hello folks! I know. That title is like, whaaa? Those things don't go together at all! Well, you're right. So let's get to it. I am doing great. I went to a small writer's conference in Topeka, KS this morning and got three free ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copies) of some fantasy books. One was a … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: “Chapter One” and Twitter Pitch Events (Series #10)

The Journey to a Bestseller: Word Count, Character Sheets, and Kindle Reads, oh my. (Series #9)

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com Hi guys! It's been a busy week. I finished the second draft of my client's manuscript during the day; and worked on my book at night. Just in case you are new to this blog, I am writing a bestseller...or what I am going to do try my best … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: Word Count, Character Sheets, and Kindle Reads, oh my. (Series #9)

The Journey to a Bestseller: “Something came up” and Writing Descriptions (Series #7)

Today I want to share with you the one fact in writing: something else will come up when you are trying to write a book. For you it might be something like an emergency home project that simply needs to be done, or you could have a school paper that you must do. For me, … Continue reading The Journey to a Bestseller: “Something came up” and Writing Descriptions (Series #7)

The Journey to Making a Bestseller: One-third Done (Series #4)

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com Sorry about the weekend everyone! I was out of town for the week in small town Oklahoma and I had no reception at all. It was awesome. Fishing, and four wheelers, and fireworks, and paddle boats, and zip lines, and swimming, and hard lemonade... aah. Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric … Continue reading The Journey to Making a Bestseller: One-third Done (Series #4)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty-eight: What’s the hardest part of publishing for you? (Twitter Series #8)

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com This was a hard question. It's completely subjective. The hardest part for me might be your strength. That's why the writing community exists, and it needs to. Authors need to help each other with our own expertise. I wrote my first book with my (30-year) best friend. But when … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty-eight: What’s the hardest part of publishing for you? (Twitter Series #8)

Part two of this week’s blog: Te Solvo (A novelette by Jenn Haskin)

Te Solvo By Jennifer Haskin “I am special. I am loved. I am worth it.” Milo repeated the words from his self-help podcast, and absently straightened his suit coat. There were a few tiny clouds dotting the sky and the bright sun beat down on his head as he ambled along the sidewalk. People bumped … Continue reading Part two of this week’s blog: Te Solvo (A novelette by Jenn Haskin)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty-Six: Common Mistakes and Automatic Rejections (Twitter Series #6)

What can I do/say that will get me an auto-rejection to my query? What other mistakes can I make in publishing? These are normal questions for authors. The publishing world is such a mystery, it can feel like walking in a field of land mines. No one knows where to step. I believe once you … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty-Six: Common Mistakes and Automatic Rejections (Twitter Series #6)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty-Five: Do You Take my Genre? (Twitter Series #5)

Photo by JJ Jordan on Pexels.com Many of the questions I received asked things like, “Are you interested in disabled protagonists?” “Will you take YA fantasy without romance?” And “How often do agents/publishers take a chance on an out-of-trend book, hoping that it’ll make a trend?” First of all, agents are always hoping to find … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty-Five: Do You Take my Genre? (Twitter Series #5)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty-Four: Summaries and Synopses (Twitter series #4)

Twitter question: Is it normal to be able to write a WIP happily for hours but to get major league writer's block when trying to write a summary/synopsis? Absolutely. Many of us struggle with this one. Authors think that they are moving from the creative task of writing a fictional work into a strange uninhabited … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty-Four: Summaries and Synopses (Twitter series #4)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty-three: Finding the Right Agent/Publishing A to Z (Twitter Series #3)

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com How do I find the right agent? I was asked this question by several people and I wanted to spend some time on it. I was also asked the process of a manuscript from being written to getting published, so I plan to explain how to find the right agent … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty-three: Finding the Right Agent/Publishing A to Z (Twitter Series #3)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty-two: Why Query at All/ Commercial vs. Literary (Twitter Series #2)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com The first question for this post is: Why query at all? I must say, this one stumped me. I even googled it and found no articles explaining why we query. The simple fact is publishers use agents to filter readers like coffee grounds. I’m not saying it is a bad … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty-two: Why Query at All/ Commercial vs. Literary (Twitter Series #2)

Agent Questions Volume Twenty: How Do I Get Representation? And Five More Questions (Twitter Series #1)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com I recently had a friend ask her Twitter followers what one question you would ask an agent if you could. I was surprised at the answers. I thought they might be akin to the blog posts I had been writing, but they centered around, "Why don't you love me?" and … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twenty: How Do I Get Representation? And Five More Questions (Twitter Series #1)

Agent Questions Volume Seventeen: What is a story arc and do I need one?

The story arc, also called the narrative arc, is the journey of a story and its characters from one way of life to something completely different. It is defined as the change that takes place between one cover and the other. Arcs are stories with characters that make life changes that take them from weakness … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Seventeen: What is a story arc and do I need one?

Agent Questions Volume Fourteen: When to Get an Agent

When do you start the process of getting an agent? What should my expectations be?   In my opinion, when the book is fully written, then you begin edits and research for an agent. There are different ways to do this. One, you can look up http://www.manuscriptwishlist.com, http://www.mswishlist.com, http://www.querytracker.net, etc. Search Google. You will be … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Fourteen: When to Get an Agent

Agent Questions Volume Twelve: 30 Tropes To Be Aware Of When Writing YA

Question: I write YA. How do I know what to steer away from? Answer: The following YA tropes The Brooding loner that no girl can resist OR perfectly handsome Protagonist full of angst Rebellious princesses- or clumsy princesses with weapons skills that beat the evil master.  Inauthentic dialogue- overdoing slang, dumbing-down, including trends, preaching moral … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Twelve: 30 Tropes To Be Aware Of When Writing YA

Agent Questions Volume Eleven: What is a pitch? How do you pitch? And to whom do you pitch?

This week's author question: What is a pitch? What exactly goes into a pitch, how do you pitch, and how do you decide whom to pitch? As far as a "pitch" goes, let me try to explain. When an author wants to hook an agent, they write a query letter. But when an agent wants … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Eleven: What is a pitch? How do you pitch? And to whom do you pitch?

Agent Questions Volume Eight: The Number One Thing You Can Do To Get Published

What’s the number one thing I can do to get published? What’s your best piece of advice?   Authors ask these two questions the most. Interestingly enough, they have the same long answer. But in short: Strength. Have you heard the words “strong” manuscript yet? If you’re a writer, you will. Why? That’s what agents … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Eight: The Number One Thing You Can Do To Get Published

Agent Questions Volume Seven: What Are Comp Titles and How Do I Find Mine?

Comp Titles “Comp” titles, or comparable titles, are often requested or required from agents in their queries. Mostly, I believe, because comp titles are important to publishers. Unless it is required, you do not NEED to have comp titles in your query. Let me be clear here, even if you don’t research and find comp … Continue reading Agent Questions Volume Seven: What Are Comp Titles and How Do I Find Mine?