Sunday, March 29, 2015

31 Steps to a Better Novel

Sometimes you just aren't sure of what to do next. Your first draft is done, but you are nervous about passing it on to a reader or editor or even a family member.  Janice Hardy's Ficton University has a multi-step process that will help you get the most out of your novel so that you can move on with confidence.

At-Home Workshop: Revise Your Novel in 31 Days

Don't let the name on the link scare you off. No one is timing you.

Take as long as you need.  Writing isn't a race, although sometimes it may feel like that.  The goal is to reach the end and this process is a decent road map to get you started.

Here are the first five steps:
  • Day One: Analyze the Story Structure
  • Day Two: Analyze the Character Arcs
  • Day Three: Analyze the Scene Structure
  • Day Four: Clarify the Goals and Motivations
  • Day Five: Clarify the Conflict and Tension
From the site: "These steps are intended to guide you if you’re not sure where to start, motivate you on those days when writing is tough, and encourage you to keep writing by breaking the process into manageable pieces."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Authors Supporting Our Troops

This is a wonderful project organized by Armand Rosamilia to support the military personnel stationed away from home.  If you have a spare book or two lying around that you wrote, it would be awesome if you could autograph it and send it to the project.

  1. Author-signed books for the troops. The number coming in has slowed down a bit.
  2. Soldier addresses in remote areas willing to take in books and pass them out to their unit. We are down to our last couple right now.
  3. Donations for the massive shipping bill. I would appreciate it if you shared the latest ‪#‎ASOT2015‬ shirt, as all profit goes towards the shipping and you get something cool in return.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Leaving Tracks

Yeah! You've created a website at one of the managed sites like or blogger. Maybe you went the Facebook or Google route instead. Regardless of how you did it, you now have a presence on the internet where your readers can find you.


Then something happens. You want to move from wordpress to blogger, or maybe it’s time to host your own site on your own virtual server somewhere. What happens to the fans who have bookmarked your site?

You don't want to lose them, and you don't have to.

I’ll use The Independent Writer’s Support Group as an example. It has a blogger address of That address is a subdomain provided free from blogger. It also has the address of This one was purchased through a domain registrar. It costs a little bit each year, but it can be linked to any internet address I control. Today it points to the same address as

Now, whenever the address of this site is shared, I use the address. In fact, except for examples, I never use the address. Now if someone links to and later I move from blogspot to wordpress that link will still work. I can change it to point to the address of my new website. The address will still be pointing here, and that won’t be good if I no longer have access to this site.

Is it foolproof? Nope. You can have links to articles that might change, and if someone bookmarked that article they won’t find it. They will find your website though, and If they can find your website, they can find you.

There are a few other reasons why you should consider a custom domain.
  • It will probably be shorter, and therefore easier to remember.
  • It looks more professional.
  • When you include the address in the back of your book, you won’t have to change it later.
  • If you want to, you can set up email for your domain name. author@mywebsite looks better than author@hotmail (yahoo, gmail, or any of the other free email services)

There are lots of ways to get a custom domain. Google now offers them at You can also go through sites like or

I used Namecheap when I decided to get a custom domain for It has a good history of customer support with extensive on-line help. It would not only register my domain name, but I could host my website and manage my email all through the same management module. It worked well for me, but if you talk to five random people about the provider they went with, you are likely to get five different answers, and each of them will be happy with the results.

Do you have to get a custom domain? If you are serious about building an audience, then yes, you should.  But, you don't have to. J.A Konrath's A Newbies Guide to Publishing blog is a blogger site listed as He also has which is his main site, and from there he provides a link to his blog that points to the blogspot address.