Facing the Kickstarter Fears: Take a Risk

Deb Lund online.

Guest post by Deb Lund Most of you know me as the author of rollicking rhyming romps like my dinobooks, Dinosoaring, and Monsters on Machines, but preparing for a retreat with Darcy forced me to finally complete a first draft of an upper middle-grade historical fantasy. But kidlit isn’t where my writing started. My writing […]

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I Don’t Want an Honest Critique

Take the Sting Out of Critques!

Fear No, don’t tell me what’s wrong with this novel. I don’t want to hear it. Minor problems? OK, I’ll fix those. But major structural, plot or character problems? Don’t tell me. Cynthia Ozick says, “Writing is essentially an act of courage.” When I get an honest critique, my courage fails me. I fear the […]

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What Next? 15 Questions to Help you Decide Your Next Writing Project


I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy of Chip and Dan Heath’s new book, DECISIVE: How to make better choices in Life and Work. You may know the Heath brothers from their previous books, SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and MADE TO STICK: Why Some Ideas Survive and […]

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12 Perfect Gifts for Writers in 2012


For the holiday season, I am asking people what Writerly Things would you buy if someone gave you $1000. Here are my suggestions for some Writerly Things. I think you’ll still have some change left over for a cup of coffee! I recently attended the Arkansas Reading Association convention and met Newbery Honor winner (x […]

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Revision Disturbs our Emotional Core


Guest post by Carrie A. Pearson To research this post, I Googled “revision in writing” which generated about 50,600,000 results in 0.36 seconds. Really? 50,600,000 results on this topic in less than a second? Why is everyone interested in revision? I have an answer: because it is so darn hard. But why? Is it because […]

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Where Did My Novel Go?

Wrought Iron Gate in front of Stephen King's Bar Harbour, ME house.

I blame it all on Stephen King, his literary shoulders are broad enough to bear the burden. Three weeks ago, I went to Bangor, Maine to visit my friend and talented writer, Terrie Whitten. A native of Bangor, she immediately drove me by Stephen King’s house, complete with a wrought iron gate with all sorts […]

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Details: Think Like a Writer


Here’s another creative writing prompt for your 750 words, a challenge to write 750 words each day to better Think Like a Writer. Read more here. Have you signed up for 750words.com yet? Or will you try doing 750 words on paper? I’ve just completed my 36th day of doing 750 words! If the first […]

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Think Like a Writer, Day 1


Here’s another creative writing prompt for your 750 words, a challenge to write 750 words each day to better Think Like a Writer. Read more here. Yesterday, December 31, my friend Charlie Woods rode his bike 60 miles and finished his yearly goal of 10,000 miles. That’s an average of 27.8 miles per day and […]

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Top 5 Writing Tips the Grinch Stole

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Movie

Grinch Tips on Character Stop that! You’re too nice to your characters. The Grinch is despicable and you know it. Did you create nice, wonderful characters? Too bad for you! No one will read it. Take a page from Dr. Seuss. Be nasty when you create characters. Try different physical descriptions, motivations, typical ways of […]

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12 Writing Fiction Checklists


Need to know how well your writing, editing and revisions are going? Here’s a variety of checklists to help you evaluate where you are in the writing process. Checklist of 17 Character Qualities 10 Checkpoints for a Scene Style: Checklist For Fiction Writers Editing Checklists for Story, Plot, Characters, Dialogue and more. A Novel Writing […]

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Story Ideas: New Education Standards Sets Topics

Ours is a business of ideas: unique, fresh, high-concept, sweet, outstanding. Without a great idea, your story has little chance of flying in “today’s crowded market.” One new source of ideas is the curriculum that is taking shape around the Common Core State Standards. In the past two years, education reform has swept across the […]

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How To Write A Picture Book: Resources

12 Updated Resources for 2011 State of the industry. First, a basic question: Are picture books dead? Not according to Karen Springen and PW. Don’t Write the Obit For Picture Books Yet, By Karen Springen, Dec 12, 2010 Writing Encouragement. Natl Pic Book Writing Week May 1-7, 2011 National Picture Book Writing Week is a […]

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7 Writing Tips from the 3 Kings


Wise Men Give Writing Tips For the last few years, Fiction Notes has offered writing tips from famous holiday or winter characters. In keeping with that tradition, we offer this year 7 writing tips from the 3 Kings. Happy Holidays! Previous Holiday Writing Tips Frosty the Snowman’s Top 6 Writing Tips Rudolph The Red Nosed […]

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Advice for Younger Writers

Dori at 21

Guest post from Dori Butler What advice would you give to your younger self? I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Always. But wanting to be a writer is probably a lot like wanting to be a baseball player. Or a movie star. A lot of people want it, but most will settle for something […]

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