Another Way to Tell a Story: Sociological vs Psychological Storytelling

On the occasion of the largest pandemic in a century, you might’ve watched or re-watched Contagion, a star-studded 2011 movie directed by Steven Soderbergh about a deadly virus originating from China that sweeps the globe. The film is currently having a renaissance on Netflix due to its striking similarities to real-world events, though its more cerebral and realistic take on a world-wide pandemic resigned it to an underwhelming box office haul upon its originally release in theaters.

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Self-Care: 6 Steps to A Better Writing You!

This is me like every day at work. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I’m still going to work.

Self-care is something we could all stand to get better about. At the risk of dating this post, when there’s a pandemic happening and some leaders seems totally unequipped to handle a real-life crisis, you gotta take shit into your own hands, you know what I’m sayin’?

I’ve always been one of those people you want to be with when the ship is sinking: I will make sure we LIVE, GODDAMMIT!! I’ll find a way. Leadership can’t make a decision? Screw that. I’m the captain now.

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Social Media: What’s In It For Authors?

You said it, random guy.

Most social media platforms have accounts you can maintain specifically for a business, where you have access to a mix of features that’s similar to but not quite the same as a personal account. For instance, a business account on Facebook will let you create events, run ads, and track analytics. You also don’t have “friends” on a Facebook business account like you do on a personal account; people simply like and/or follow your page.

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Author Websites: The Essentials

Websites! Looking something like this, but better!

Every author needs a website, it’s a simple as that. It’s your central hub for everything, like your online house. Luckily for you, what’s actually on your website is pretty simple. The basics are:

  • Home (your default landing page)
  • About You (aka Author Bio)
  • Your Books
  • Blog
  • Newsletter Signup
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Author Newsletters: All Your Burning Questions Answered!

Here’s a really, really bad example of an author newsletter.

Author newsletters are one of those things that used to be super-hot when the first author stumbled upon one like the ape in 2001: A Space Odyssey found the black monolith of human evolution. But now that everyone’s got one, they’re less potent than they used to be. Who doesn’t have a black monolith they keep in their basement but now mostly use as a clothes rack, amiright?

So you might be wondering: do I need one or what? And what the hell am I supposed to do with it?

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Screenwriting Versus Novel-Writing

Don’t we all wanna be this asshole? Look how in the zone he is!

Throughout my blog posts, I often use examples from novels, TV shows, and movies. Some of the resources I cite for aspiring authors are actually screenwriting guides. Yet this website is supposed to be offering advice on writing books, not screenplays or teleplays. So why do I use non-book examples?

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4 Steps to Finding Time to Write

Come on, time. I know you’re there. Don’t play coy with me, bitch.

You know the saying, “Writers write every day”? Here’s the thing: this isn’t true. The vast majority of successful writers don’t actually write every day; maybe most days, but not every day. Sometimes they get sick, or overwhelmed with family stuff, or go on vacation, or get hit by a car, et cetera. Things come up, life happens.

The real saying should be: “Writers finish.” Successful authors finish projects, period. If you never finish, you’ve effectively done nothing. …Unless you’re writing just for fun, and then none of this advice matters anyway. BTW, good luck with that Cinderella/Batman mashup story told from celebrity shock jock Howard Stern’s point of view!

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13 Nuggets of Advice on Marketing Your Novel

It’s me when I’m trying to market my latest novel! …but without the man-hands.

I’m gonna be honest up front: I have yet to find a marketing strategy that’s worked well for me. I’ve published six novels so far, traditional and self-published, and hustled to market each one. I’ve read a bunch of books and blogs about marketing and tried lots of different tactics. Money was never a limiting factor for me (I make decent dough at my day job, though I’m not rich—#middleclassbabe), so lack of spending was definitely not the problem. I even tried hiring a company to do it for me, and the results were the same: somehow, I’m still not a bestselling author.

So, I can’t offer steps to success like my other blogs…BUT I can offer some hard-earned wisdom and advice.

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9 Steps to Constructing a Good Scene or Chapter

Don’t put that book down, girl!

You know how sometimes you’ll read an entire chapter of a book and think to yourself, “What did I just read?” Or maybe, “What was the point of that?” Well, the reason you’re asking yourself this question is because whoever wrote the chapter didn’t know how to properly construct a scene…or it’s supposed to be some kind of deep literary nonsense, though if that’s the case you’d probably think to yourself “Soooo deep…” while secretly feeling ashamed because you assume you’re too dumb to understand it.

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5 Ways to Tell If You’re a Natural Writer

But I AM a natural heart surgeon! I just choose to do other things with my hands…

Like most endeavors in this thing we call life, how good you are at something depends on a combination of natural skill and drive to improve. Notice I said how good you are at something, not how successful you are, because success depends a lot on luck…more than most successful people are willing to admit. If you’re good at something, it increases your odds of success, but you can still suck at something and be successful at it.

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A How-To Writing Website for My Mom – and You