[Podcast] Novelist Jaimie Engel on Becoming a Romcom Screenwriter 3 honing the writing craft Jan 31, 2023

Burnt out from a subpar publishing experience and the COVID-19 pandemic, novelist Jaimie Engel decided it was time for a change in her writing career: from book writing to screenwriting.

Two months after completing a screenwriting course, Jaimie submitted her screenplay. And landed a contract...

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[Tipster] Unique Is Every Writer's Fight tipster post Jan 30, 2023

In this Tipster, learn how unique is every writer's fight.

Yesterday, I left Chicago at 6:55 AM and flew to Dallas for about six hours.

I was home by 7:30 PM.

I wanted a few hours with an older mentor/friend who has influenced my life in countless ways.

He thought the best way for us to spend time...

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[Tipster] How to Create Musicality in Your Writing tipster post Jan 24, 2023

In this Tipster post, we provide tips on how to create musicality in your writing--and develop your writing voice.

J.S. Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is like chamomile tea with a splash of lemon and drizzle of honey: Smooth. Sweet. Warm. Inviting.
 
Not when I...

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[Tipster] Your Writing Needs More Sacred Time tipster post Jan 16, 2023

I grew up on the dry, windy prairies of the Dakotas.


My first pair of real shoes were a pair of cowboy boots. My first pet was a Shetland pony named "Topsy."

I am rural in the deepest parts of my soul. I am proud of that.

I attended a small private high school in South Dakota, thirteen miles from...

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[Podcast] First-Time Novelist Linda Fifer on Losing Her First Draft and Her Persistence to Complete the Project 2 identifying your writing purpose 3 honing the writing craft podcast post Jan 10, 2023

It took 13 years before Linda Fifer published her debut novel The Road Between Two Skies.

At one point in those 13 years, Linda lost her manuscript and had to restart her project from the beginning.

Most “writers” would have given up after losing their manuscript. But not Linda. She...

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[Tipster] How to Grow from Nothing to Something on Social Media tipster post Jan 10, 2023

Over the holiday break, I finally reached 30k followers on Instagram, after hovering around 28k for months. 
 
And the followers keep following. As I write this, I’m nearing 31k.  
 
I suppose I’m experiencing a mini-viral moment.
 
And I do mean...

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[Tipster] Make Your Writing Goals Concrete for 2023 tipster post Jan 03, 2023

I wasn't a goal setter early on in my career.

I was 39 when I started my first small business.

And suddenly, I had to make plans for the year. Or I wouldn't make my house payment.

Goal setting became existential for me.

Today, I set three goals for five key areas of my life:
 

  • Business;
  • ...
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[Tipster] The Discipline of Learning Words tipster post Jan 03, 2023

At age 22, I received my most cherished and memorable Christmas gift: The Oxford English Dictionary (or OED) on CD-ROM.

Any nerves I had about marrying my fiancé (now husband) just a few days later were calmed by the thoughtfulness of that gift. He got me.

On numerous occasions, he heard me...

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[Tipster] ChatGPT, the New AI Chatbot, Thinks It Can Write tipster post Dec 20, 2022

I rarely wring my hands about future catastrophic events.

I've got too many of my own troubles to think beyond dinner.

With four kids, two dogs, and college tuition for one more child still to pay, I'm focused on current reality.

But maybe I should worry more.

At least about A.I. (artificial...

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[Podcast] Getting Real about the Costs of Publishing a Book 4 publishing your writing 5 promoting your writing Dec 15, 2022

You likely won’t get rich from publishing a book. Most people don’t

While we all dream of writing the next bestseller, on average a traditionally published nonfiction book sells about 250 to 300 copies in the first year. Only 500 copies, on average, for fiction.

While it’s...

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[Tipster] On Hallmark Movies and “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” tipster post Dec 15, 2022

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Except for those schmaltzy Hallmark movies.
 
People call my bluff when I say my husband is the one who watches them. It’s true. If the World Cup isn’t on this December, a Hallmark movie will be.
 
My husband says he likes them...

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[Tipster] Know What You Don't Know tipster post Dec 02, 2022

You've probably heard some version of the phrase, "You don't know what you don't know."

And that's the absolute truth at the start of a writing project. For every writer.

You don't know what you don't know.

You have an idea for a project. You think the idea is fresh. But you worry that others may...

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