Writer Wednesday–Blog Crit

Laura Barnes was gracious enough to critique my blog last week and I wanted to share her blog with you guys today.

Click HERE to see her critique of my blog.

Laura does a great job of assessing a blog’s aesthetic appeal, informational content, design, and scope.

I IMMEDIATELY implemented many of the suggestions she gave me.

You can sign up to get your blog critiqued too!

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Deb’s up for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic. Stop by her blog and say hi! Check out her dragons figures too–she designs and molds them herself.

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Writer Wednesday–Being A Worthy Beta

So I’m beta reading a project from a new writer friend I met through the interwebz. I offered to read her novel because I’d read other work by her and was really curious to see more. (Kind of self-serving, eh?) Anyway, I read the first sentence and was BLOWN AWAY. Then the second sentence was just as FAB. And the third, fourth, fifth, EVERY SENTENCE was GREAT! Strong verbs, powerful descriptors, clear actions, crisp dialogue, dynamic characters–it was ALL there!

“Geez, I’m not a worthy beta,” I thought. “How can I possibly give a helpful critique when I’m so impressed with the writing that I don’t think anything needs changing???”

OK, every writer DREAMS of a beta saying: “I LOVE IT DON”T CHANGE A WORD!!!” But really, is that realistic? I mean, shouldn’t there be something I could point out that may need work?

*sigh*

(Truthfully, I’m developing some thoughts for the writer to consider, but really, changes are not necessary. At. All. I pretty much have only stylistic comments rather than critical ones.)

What do you do when you’re so impressed with a beta project that you’re at a loss as to what to offer for a critique?

(Photo credit)

(Photo credit)

Check out Lydia’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog response to if non-writers have found/commented on her blog!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–Who Else Is Watching You?

This month, Lydia asks:

Outside of your writing friends, do other people (work, family, friends) know you blog? What do they think of it? Have you ever been hit with a, “Hey! I read your blog today!” from someone you never expected to read it?

FANTASTIC question, Lydia!

When I first started writing (over 3 1/2 years ago now!), I didn’t tell anybody. Back then, I wasn’t sure where my writing was going. I had dreams, of course, but really it was a way to destress, do something creative, and it was FUN!!!!

Then I joined QueryTracker’s forum and met a bunch of fantastic people! With time, I became comfortable enough to start this blog. It was slow going at first, but as the months passed it developed into what you see today.

My blog posts are connected to Twitter and Facebook and since I’ve friended some co-workers, friends, and family there, they’ve seen the links. Much to my surprise and delight, my blog has spread from writer friends to people in my “real life” circle.

It’s been nice to see them “like” a post and even comment on them!

What’s more, they whole-heartedly support my endeavors. They send “*hugs* and chocolate” when I get a rejection and they send “CONGRATULATIONS! and SQUEEEs!!!” when I announce accomplishments.

Even better, it’s hard for me to go a day to two without someone asking me about my book and my short story!

SO. COOL!

How about you? Any non-writerly peeps find your blog?

Writer Wednesday–Writer’s Road and Indie Chat

There’s a LOT of chats happening on Twitter. It can be daunting and overwhelming to decide which ones to join. There’s YALitChat, MGLitChat, Scriptchat…oh hell, just check out this LINK (from @inkyelbows) for more.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve “attended” two writer chats on Twitter:

#Indiechat (Tuesdays at 9pm EST)

#WritersRoad (Mondays at 9pm EST)

I have learned SO MUCH that I plan to stick with these two. PLUS, the peeps on there are SUPER SUPPROTIVE and eager to share their experience and knowledge of the biz (and in a way I can understand!).

What chats have you been to? Which are your favs and why? Ever thought about starting your own chat?

Be sure to check out Deb’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of Prologues–Love ’em or hate ’em?

Writer Wednesday–How Do You Review?

So, I’ve been watching my writer friend, Kendall Gray, on her journey of self-publishing. I’ve been lucky enough to read an ARC of INHALE, the first novel in her JUST BREATHE trilogy and, man, I just want to shout it out to the world how AWESOME Kendall’s writing is.

If you don’t believe me, check out the book trailer HERE.

Awesome, right? Seriously, you need to pre-order the entire series NOW. *waits while you go to Amazon*

*squints at screen to make sure you’re at Amazon’s website*

Okay. Glad you’re back.

What makes me love INHALE so much?

The characters are clear. They are goal-directed (sorry, that’s a psych term, but you’d be surprised how many characters are just wandering around their novels like post-lobotomy schizophrenics). They have faults. There’s great smexy scenes. There’s a TON of action and conflict.

All those things keep me reading on. It keeps me thinking about the characters when I’m not reading. I even picture myself hanging out with the main characters, Gavin and Zoe. In Australia. On the beach. Yeah. And heck, if I can picture myself hanging out with the characters, that means their writer has made it into my inner circle of favorite authors.

(Pssst, that includes YOU, KENDALL!!!!!!)

We know books sell based on word of mouth (yes, there are other things, but go with me on this one). So, I wanted to review INHALE. I wanted to support Kendall.

I wanted to really capture how I felt and why it was important for me to recommend INHALE to other people.

…And then I realized I kind of suck at writing reviews.

Why?

I worry about writing spoilers. I worry about sounding trite or saccharine. I worry about rambling aimlessly (sort of like what I’m doing now). I worry about not conveying the essence of my reaction.

So, I wrote about what I liked (as I just did above) and left it at that. Better to be short and sweet, than ambling and confusing, no?

Still, I feel like my review fell short.

*sigh*

Now I open the forum to you.

How do you review? Is there a certain template you follow? Do you only write positive reviews? Or do you “tell it like it is?”

Check out Lydia’s response to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog topic of the uses (or misuses) of Prologues!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–To Prologue Or Not To Prologue

This month, I ask:

The Prologue: Love It or Hate It? Are there times when it’s necessary to have a prologue?
 
Before I started writing for realz, I actually LOVED prologues. I didn’t care if they were directly connected to chapter 1 or note. It didn’t bother me if the narrator was completely different from the main character. Hell, I didn’t even mind if the prologue captured a different century, planet, or plane of existence!
 
Then I learned about the RULES.
 
And The Prologue (to me) died.
 
They weren’t allowed. Agents didn’t want to see them. Writing forum members swayed newbies away from them.
 
I was like, “Okay, no prologue. No harm, no foul.”
 
(I try to go with the flow.)
 
Then I saw newly published books (touted by the writing world as AWESOME! FANTASTIC! MUST READ!) WITH prologues!!!
 
I was like, “HUH? I thought they were a no-no!”
 
Listen, when I read a book for enjoyment, I still like prologues. I don’t skip over them. I don’t “tut-tut” them.
 
But I don’t include them in my stories. And I don’t really know why.
 
What about you? Prologues: Love ‘Em Or Hate ‘Em?
 
Tune in next week for Lydia’s take on Prologues.
 
 
 

Writer Wednesday–Battling Social Networking Overload

I’ve been on the social media highway for about three years now. It all started with QueryTracker, then branched out to RallyStorm, then to Facebook and Twitter, and finally, my blog. I’ve spent countless hours on each site, chatting with other writers, learning techniques, learning how-to’s and don’ts, all the while watching the network grow and branch out in directions I’d never thought possible.

And now there’s even MORE avenues to get connected!

Klout, Google+, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and now Pinterest…

How can I possibly keep up!!!!!!

*flails* *runs into wall* *passes out on floor*

So, folks, how do you keep a steady pace on the social networking highway without running out of gas? How do you find time to do real life things, like, gee I don’t know, WRITE??? 😉

This week for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog, Deb answers the question of what inspires her.