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October 2020 #AuthorToolboxBlogHop: My (Condensed) Preptober Essentials for NaNoWriMo

Hallelujah! Fall is finally, finally here and after months of miserable summer heat, my writer heart is singing praises for this beautiful October weather. I don't know about you, but my creativity always goes into hibernation in the summer and reawakens in the fall. Perhaps it's my minds way of preparing for what I like to think of as the writer's version of a marathon. Yes, that's right. I'm talking about NaNoWriMo. If you've never heard of National Novel Writing Month, I'll give you the gist. Every November, participants undertake a complete rough draft of a brand new novel. In order to "win," your manuscript must reach 50,000 words. And while the prize consists mostly of bragging rights and a general feeling of achievement, Scrivener does offer a 50% discount to verified winners. While this year will be only my second to participate, I resolved after last years win to commit every year going forward. For me, NaNoWriMo is a perfect excuse to dr…

July #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop: Writing My First Spec Script for Television

Happy blog hop day everyone and thank you so much for stopping by mine. By the time you're reading this, we will be well into the month of July and I will have officially begun my Camp NaNoWriMo project. I'm writing this post at the end of June while preparing my plan of attack over the next 31 days in which I plan to write my first ever spec script for television.


If you're not familiar with Camp NaNoWriMo, you can check out this blog post where I go into more detail. In essence, it's a month where writers worldwide dedicate themselves to a particular project of their choosing. But personally, I like to think of it as a giant pause button. NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo have become my sole excuse to put down my novel with its seemingly endless revisions and pause for a month to focus on something new. Somehow doing so under the established framework of NaNoWriMo is easier for me than simply picking a random month of my own choosing, which I know I would never do if left…

The Twitter Cheat Sheet: 7 Helpful Tools for Writers

Welcome, writer! Let me start off by immediately confronting what I believe to be the single biggest misconception when it comes to writers and Twitter. In this post I won't be giving marketing advice or tips on hashtags to build your author platform. (Although if you have any good ones, please feel free to send them my way.) It's easy to get sucked into the belief that social media is only good for establishing and maintaining a brand. For this reason some people often get overwhelmed trying to be on too many platforms at once and end up quitting everything altogether or never venturing beyond Facebook. What these writers fail to understand are all of the benefits and resources they are missing out on.


Once I began to see past the stigma of social media as nothing more than a marketing device, I was able to notice a lot of tools available to writers utilizing the specific strengths of each individual site. In this post I'm going to be talking specifically about Twitter an…

#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop 15 Critical Questions to Ask Your Beta Readers

Happy blog hop day, everyone! I hope that your writing has been both fun and inspired. While I missed last month's hop, I have been in the thick of what will (hopefully) be my final round of revisions before querying my current novel. Hooray!

In case you missed my video recapping my first beta reader experience, my novel has undergone a couple of major changes these past few months due to the feedback I received. It was an incredible learning opportunity for me. I truly believe that, thanks to my beta readers, I was able to resolve issues that would almost certainly have come back to bite me during the querying process. Whether I was saved from agent rejections remains to be seen, however, through this process I learned things about my writing and this story specifically, that I would not have otherwise. And for this reason, I highly recommend reaching out to beta readers before considering querying agents.


That being said, I wanted to gather my thoughts into a post that could be …

April #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop: Music Playlists to Inspire Your Writing

Music has greatly enhanced my writing over the years. Whether a moving instrumental score or moody lyrics to a breathtaking melody, music can stir emotions that inspire not only my prose, but often, entire storylines and help me get unstuck. Since I've been curating my favorite writing music for awhile now, I thought it might be fun to share some for this month's Author Toolbox Blog Hop topic.

I know what a lot of people are saying. There's no way I can write in anything but a vacuum of complete silence. And I hear you. It's rare that I'm able to actually draft alongside music. But while everyone is different in terms of their ideal writing environment, I find that music is something that can be fit into one's writing routine in creative ways.
Ways to integrate music into your routine (outside of your writing space):Listen in the car. Driving has been a fantastic way for me to connect with music and identify the emotions I want to convey in my writing, even if …

#AuthorToolBoxBlogHop - 20 Writing Exercises to Get Unstuck

From time to time, it's inevitable that in between those days of ever-flowing creative genius, writers are bound to hit roadblocks. Whether big or small, tiny bits of dialogue, or entire scenes and chapters, sometimes it can feel like an impossible task to carry on. We're just stuck. And while we will eventually work through it, I've discovered through my bouts of feeling stagnant, that there are often ways to accelerate our creative process.


For this month's Author Toolbox Blog Hop topic, I'm compiling a list of 20 creative writing exercises to get unstuck.

1. Try another scene and come back later. A number of things could be affecting your ability to write a certain scene, including your emotional state, health, sleep, etc. Sometimes the answer is to simply take a break and return when you're in the right frame of mind.

2. Take out a sheet of paper and write by hand. Writing by hand is known to engage the entire brain, which is why journaling is so often recomm…

February #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop: 15 Relationship Archetypes to Inspire Your Next Story

In honor of February, I wanted to dedicate this month to relationships. More specifically, how to write relationships in fiction. And while we may not all be writing romance, relationships are a vital element to any work of fiction. How our characters interact and what bonds them is key to writing a story that draws readers in and keeps them invested in what happens to these characters.
In this post I've compiled a list of 15 different archetypes that you can use to jump start the relationships in your story. And while of course not all relationships are romantic, I made sure to include platonic and familial relationships that can add another layer of complexity and strengthen your plot.
I like to think of archetypes as building blocks that function as a foundation that you can work upon to design elaborate and unique story ideas. Using examples of established concepts that have worked in other stories has been incredibly helpful to me in learning what works in storytelling and wha…