I Have a Big Anniversary Coming Up.

Headshot-Kate

By Kate Hilton On May 7th, it will be exactly two years since I self-published The Hole in the Middle. I remember it vividly. I was excited and proud and absolutely terrified. Self-publishing took every bit of courage that I had, pushed me far beyond the limits of what was comfortable or familiar, and changed my life. Self-publishing was also the smartest career move I could have made to establish myself as a writer. Sometime around my 40th birthday, I decided that I wanted to write a novel. I wanted it badly enough to hire a babysitter and write on Sunday afternoons for a three hour block, for three years, until I had a book that was ready for a wider audience. And then I set about submitting it to agents. For a lot of my life, people (notably my mother, but others as well) have … [Read more...]

GMC: The Swiss Army Knife of Writing Tools

52 Ways

by Chris Mandeville One of the best things I ever did for my fiction writing was determine what my main character wants, why she wants it, and what’s in the way of her getting it. Figuring this out helped me know my character better (obviously), but also helped me to plot more effectively, build tougher villains, raise the stakes, and increase tension in my story. And I accomplished all this through the use of one tiny but powerful tool, “GMC.” I guess you could say GMC is the Swiss Army Knife of writing tools—compact, multi-functional, indispensable, and fits neatly in your pocket. I never leave home without it. And now you can have one, too. But it’s not sold for a low, low price via a very special television offer that’s only good for the next ten minutes. No, it’s available in … [Read more...]

CALLING ALL ROMANCE AUTHORS!

RomanceWritingLIFE_Logo-Crop

    Publishing giant Mills & Boon, high-street bookseller WHSmith, online eBook retailer Kobo along with the self-publishing platform Kobo Writing Life have partnered up to the end of offering  the Romance Writing Life competition. The winning novelist will be awarded the grand prize of a publishing contract with  Mills & Boon, including both print and digital release. The book will be jointly promoted by Kobo, Mills & Boon and WHSmith. Second and third prize winners will be awarded the brand new Kobo Glo HD. Authors will submit a synopsis and first chapter of their romance novel, up to a maximum of 5,500 words, which will be reviewed by a judging panel.   Romance Writing Life was created in the hopes of discovering talented new writers … [Read more...]

Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do: An Author’s Explanation

book magic

Most people who don’t write think they have a basic understanding of what it is to be a writer. A writer writes books. A writer toils over her manuscript. A writer tells stories. A writer uses her imagination. Though these things are true of writers, it hardly scrapes the surface of what being a writer really means. Given the long hours, possible misery, minimal praise, and general neurosis that comes of living the writing life, maybe it’s time we talk a little about what’s so fantastic about being a writer, and why we crazies are so intent on following this crooked and meandering path. We are Explorers As writers, we get to explore parts of the world others only dream about. From the safety of our desks we wander dripping jungle paths, sail around the world, fight in battles long … [Read more...]

Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It

Chris Mandeville

by Chris Mandeville Welcome to “Tools for Writers,” a new semi-regular feature of Kobo Writing Life. I begin this series by sharing a tool that can help in any stage of fiction writing. I’d like to say it’s my best-kept writing secret, but that would be a lie. The “secret” is a basic pattern found over centuries in narratives around the world that’s come to be known as “The Hero’s Journey.” It’s a structure so fundamental to fiction, it was embedded in my subconscious before I could read, when my dad told me bedtime stories. This structure was then cemented by the books I grew up on: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games. (Okay, you caught me — I was already grown up for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.) When … [Read more...]

Muffle Your Muse

muffle your muse

By Sean Platt Of course authors want to sell books. Unfortunately — even though the advice is long in the tooth — doing so isn’t as simple as “write what you want and readers will find you.” Too often, conventional writing advice will suggest that writers simply follow their muse, to write from their hearts and wait for the readers to come. But most authors who have been writing for a while know the folly of blindly following that advice. You have to write for readers first if you expect commercial success. And yet, the opposite advice, that you should only write for the crowds and never with your passion, is potentially even worse. Sterling & Stone, the publishing company I run with my two storytelling partners, David W. Wright and Johnny B. Truant, has published more than … [Read more...]

One Fictitious Moment: Writing Historical Fiction

As a huge fan of historical fiction, Angela Misri thoroughly enjoys writing about her detective Portia Adams as she strolls the streets of 1930s London. But there are some tricks to writing in a time period that are not your own. Check out this video for a few timely ideas: Watch for more writing videos on this blog, or you can subscribe to Angela's Youtube channel One Fictitious Moment. Angela Misri is a Toronto journalist, writer and mom who has spent most of her working life making CBC Radio extraterrestrial through podcasts, live streams and websites. The latest book in her A Portia Adams Adventure series releases on March 24th, 2015. Check out Angela's website to learn more about the Portia Adams series. … [Read more...]

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