Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Category: Mojo Writers Guides

“How to Write a Novel in 30 Days” now available!

"How to Write a Novel in 30 Days" coverEvery book and story I publish is a labor of love, but damn if this isn’t the Book I Was Meant to Write. I love this book. I mean it—I wish I’d had this book when I was starting out nearly twenty years ago, and I now have a copy on my shelf that I keep rereading to remind myself of lessons I’ve learned the hard way (and continue to relearn over and over and over again).

“How to Write a  Novel in 30 Days” is a short, pithy guide to writing a novel, with a bonus of tips and strategies for writing that novel in a month. It covers fundamentals of mental attitude and discipline (crucial for artists of every stripe) , and then gets into the nitty gritty of novel structure. There is no preaching, no “You MUST do it this way” or any other ridiculous requirements for the writer beyond:

Do what works for you.

And an unstated follow-up:

Open your mind to trying different things and see what works for you.

In the book, I go over Plotters (writers who outline or otherwise plan their novels), Pantsers (writers who write ‘by the seat of their pants’), and Hybrids (the majority of us who combine the two). Having been a Plotter AND a Pantser AND a Hybrid writer, I feel very comfortable talking about these different approaches.

Then we delve into just how the hell you can possibly complete a 50,000 word novel in a month. I share strategies that I have used, some of them legitimate means of moving a story forward and some of them a little more on the cheap tricks side (a girl’s gotta hit her word count somehow).

Comments from beta readers (and from attendees of the “How to Write a Novel in 30 Days” workshops that I’ve held) praise the content for providing solid help with writing a novel, as well as for inspiring writers and making them feel like this is something they can do. Which they can!

If you are looking for a compact, to-the-point writing guide for your novel (whether or not you want to write it in a month), this is the book for you!

“How to Write a Novel in 30 Days” is available as an e-book and paperback at the usual online retailers.

“How to Write a Short Story” now available!

How to Write a Short Story coverFor a few years now, I have taught a workshop on “How to Write a Novel in 30 Days” where I share the tools and attitude necessary to write a complete novel in a month. The workshop runs sixty minutes, so it covers some broad concepts in a short amount of time, from the actual physical tools you need to write, to basic story structure, to the mindset and strategies that make the process easier.

Writing a novel assumes that you know how to write a story. It took me awhile to realize that a lot of people decide they want to start writing, and well, they have read a lot of novels, so they’ll just write one of those.

And then they try to write a novel, struggle with it (“Why won’t the characters do anything?”), and eventually give up.

(I was one of those people, and I have the awful partial first draft of a YA fantasy novel to prove it.)

It can be an incredibly frustrating process, and with so many books and videos and workshops out there, it can also be frustrating trying to find a straightforward answer to “So how the heck do you write a story?”

I know about those frustrations because I went through a lot of books, watched a lot of videos, and took a lot of courses trying to find the answer to that one question.

“How to Write a Short Story” is my attempt to help aspiring writers avoid the frustration and get to the joy of writing.

In this book, I talk about the core components of a story, regardless of length. These basics are the building blocks for all fiction. Then I discuss the nature of the ‘short story’ and how it is different from a novel (not better, not worse—just different), and then wrap up with strategies to use when you get stuck with your story. These strategies also work well with longer stories, so wannabe novelists would get helpful information from this book, as well.

Looking for a compact no-nonsense guide to writing fiction, with a heavy dose of snark on the side? Look no further!

“How to Write a Short Story” is available as an e-book and paperback at the usual online retailers.

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