Quick Plotting Tip: Write Your Story Backwards

bucketsiler: If you have a difficult time plotting, try writing or outlining your story backwards—from the end to the beginning. Writers who have a difficult time outlining, plotting, and planning their stories often benefit from this technique. You’ll need a general idea of what your story is about for this to work, and of course... Continue Reading →

Random sites for writers

A  small list of random ass sites I’ve found useful when writing: Fragrantica: perfume enthusiast site that has a long list of scents. v helpful when you’re writing your guilty pleasure abo fics Just One Cookbook: recipe site that centers on Japanese cuisine. Lots of different recipes to browse, plenty of inspiration so you’re not... Continue Reading →

The Formula for a Novel Blurb

QA Productions


There, I said that dreaded word, anathema to the genre fiction writer. Who wants their work called formulaic? Ah, but there is one formula that can be the novelist’s best friend. The blurb formula.

A blurb is a mini-synopsis, usually 250 words or less, that tells what the novel is about without going into specifics or giving away the end. Blurbs can be used in query letters to agents or editors, in promotional material, as enticements to reviewers, and, if you are self-publishing, as back cover copy and/or a description on a website.

The best way to learn how to do it is to learn from professional copy writers. The people who write blurbs for a living. Everything you need to know is on the back cover of mass market paperback novels. Here are three examples pulled at random off my bookshelf:

“Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is…

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Writing and need help? Check out this terrific list

Jean's Writing

Thanks to  Erica Verrillo over at Publishing… and Other Forms of Insanity, for providing us with such an extensive list of websites.

There is something here for every writer. There is information on queries, marketing, publishing as well as how to write a good book. So get ready because if you’re like me,  down the rabbit hole, you’ll go, once you begin to click. 

Which of the 27 websites is new to me?

  1. Agent Query.  Although I’m nowhere ready to send out queries, this will definitely go on my “hope to need” list.
  2. Free Writing Events. Yay! Who doesn’t want to submit without the added cost of submission fees? Oh yeah, this one is a definite must-read.
  3. The Grinder. Like Erica, I once used Durotrope until they became a paid service.  I can’t wait to check out this one.
  4. Jae Writer. Now this one sounds like the…

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Don’t think of rewriting as needing to suddenly make a story perfect, particularly when going from the first draft to the second. You can keep entire chunks of text from a previous version. You can make notes in your second draft, or your third, or your fourth. It’s okay to note that a line is... Continue Reading →

Optimistic Authorship



You can approach your writing with optimism or pessimism—your choice.

(Though complaints, worries, and frustrations may become more of a habit and less of a conscious decision.)

Optimism can be an asset to your authorship.

When you believe that your book will be successful, you are more likely to:

  • motivate yourself to work hard
  • stay focused while writing
  • do the necessary research
  • proofread carefully
  • put time and effort into cover design and formatting
  • put a small investment in cover design or editing
  • make a full effort to market your book
  • find a way to harness your creativity in your marketing

On the other hand, if you are pessimistic about the outcome of your book, you are less likely to put in the work needed to help make your book successful.

Thus, your outlook may pull a pivotal role in the success or failure of your book launch.

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123 Ideas for Character Flaws

thewritershandbook: Absent-minded - Preoccupied to the extent of being unaware of one’s immediate surroundings. Abstracted, daydreaming, inattentive, oblivious, forgetful. Abusive - Characterized by improper infliction of physical or psychological maltreatment towards another. Addict - One who is addicted to a compulsive activity. Examples: gambling, drugs, sex. Aimless - Devoid of direction or purpose. Alcoholic -... Continue Reading →

240 Words to Describe Someone’s Tone/Voice

smut-101: Abrasive - showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh Absurd - wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate Accusatory - suggesting someone has done something wrong, complaining Acerbic - sharp and forthright Acidic - harsh or critical Admiring - approving; think highly of; respectful; praising Aggressive - hostile; determined; forceful; argumentative Aggrieved - angry... Continue Reading →

How to add personality to your characters

Jean's Writing

Eavesdrop like a pro.

I’ll admit I’m not very good at covertly listening in to other people conversations. Although there are times when it’s impossible not to hear. Sometimes it’s hard to talk to my dining companion because I’m transfixed by a loud couple at the next table. I want to whip out my tiny notebook and make notes. But, that would be a bit conspicuous. Don’t you think?

Why do I find eavesdropping awkward?

Because I grew up in a tiny house with lots of siblings and nosy parents. Privacy was a luxury. The only place to talk or read without others listening in was down by the creek. No mobile phones then so forget about a private conversation on the one kitchen phone. Even with a cord that reached all the way to the coat closet, someone was listening.

But if I want my characters to be real, to have…

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