Tah-Dah! The Best Place to Reveal Your Story Secrets

Today we’ve got a great post discussing optimal times to reveal secrets in your story. You can check it out here.


Spring into Marketing

As you can see this week we’ll be discussing marketing for self – published authors.  I couldn’t resist the pun.

If you’re thinking about self-publishing your novel there’s lots and lots of things to consider. Self publishing is not for the faint of heart. Actually anything to do with any sort of writing and publishing takes real guts. And time.

Jami Gold’s website has a great guest post called, “The Newbie’s Guide to self-publishing.”  Great checklist of things to consider.

Another awesome writer, Janice Hardy, has several posts about self-publishing too. Her site recently had a cool name change. It’s now called, “Fiction University.”

Her site also have a guest post from Patricia Cruzan entitled, “Becoming a self-published author.”  Really informative.

CNET  has a “25 things you need to know about self publishing.”

Livehacked.com has a marketing guide.  Long, but worth the read.

Self Publishing Team is a AWESOME website for self-publishing info and tools. Check out their free monthly planner. This is useful for writers who are going traditionally published as well.

Have a favorite website, book, etc for self-publishing tips? Leave them in the comments below.


Let’s talk about twitter

Twitter is a great and fast paced social media platform that can get you connected with other writers and other people that may share similar interests. It’s also a great source for news and pop culture.  That said, new writers will often hear advice to get a twitter and jump right in.

But as great as twitter is, it can also be extremely intimidating. Twitter has its own language, millions of hashtags, and rules. How do you find people to connect with? In this post I’m gonna help get you started.

Let’s start with your username. Sure you could choose something cute or funny like funnymonkey2000, but such a username says nothing about you, expect maybe you might be prone to boogie. It’s best to use your real name or at least the pen name you plan to use. This also makes it easier for people to find you.

Okay, so you’ve created your username, now what do you tweet about?

60 dos and dont’s for twitter newbies – This site has great ideas for tweets.  Talk about your interests, but also engage with others, ask questions, promote great tweets and links, etc. But be yourself. People love to follow real people, not robots or automation.

Now let’s touch on hastags. Hashtags are like labels for tweets. People use them to connect a related conversations.  

40 hastags for writers – wonderful list of the most popular hastags for writers. You can search these hastags to find useful information. 

100 Twitter hashtags every writer should know – even more hashtags

44 essential twitter hashtags every author should know – this list includes genre hashtags

Now you know how to find people. Let’s talk about how to interact with them.

As I mentioned earlier, twitter has its own language. RT, DM, etc.  Beginners guide to twitter basics – your guide to decoding twitter conversations.

A writer’s guide to twitter – super comprehensive twitter guide. Learn about #FF!

How to get noticed on twitter – great tips on how to get more followers.

And last but not least, our lovely president is a contributor on writer unboxed. She has a handful of super helpful posts on twitter tips. Writer Unboxed. Definitely take time to check out that resource.

In the end, you have to decide if twitter will work for you. It’s okay if it doesn’t as it doesn’t work for everyone. It can easily be a giant consuming time waster if you let it. But it also can open up a whole community of writers.

Got a tip or a favorite follower?

Leave it in the comments!



Workshop Opportunities

Details for a couple of online workshop opportunities. These are not free workshops and NBWCG can’t vouch for and has no association with them, but they may be worth a look!

Title: World Building

Instructor: Renee Wildes
Fee: $25.00 – $30.00
Dates: March 3 – March 28, 2014 — 4 weeks, intensive course
Classroom: Prairie
Classifications: Writing Fundamentals, Grammar, Plot, Dialogue, Characterization, Point of View (POV), Research, Craft, All Levels
Registration: http://crw-rwa.ning.com/page/2013-onlineworkshops

Description: Creating a fully realized reality for your characters to live in and interact with can be a daunting task. In this class, you will learn how to outline the various components to create a believable world including:

– Basic parameters such as time period, location, setting and season, and character POV
Technology and infrastructure information including dwellings, communities, maps, modes of travel, tools and weapons, and clothing
– Character specific details such as family members and pets, career, and hobbies
– Character and cultural specifics including traditions, values, beliefs, mythology, politics and religion
– Natural Environment details including geological features, climate and weather, and the native flora and fauna
– Designed for serious writers of all levels, this course will include detail oriented outlines that you will fill out to create your own worlds.

BIO: Renee Wildes is an award-winning WI writer. She grew up reading fantasy authors Terry Brooks and Mercedes Lackey and is a huge Joseph Campbell fan, so the minute she discovered romance novels it became inevitable that she would combine it all and write fantasy romance. Renee is a history buff, from medieval times back to ancient Greece, esp. Sparta. As a Navy brat and a cop’s kid, she gravitated to protector/guardian heroes and heroines. She’s had horses her whole life, so became the only vet tech in a family of nurses. It all comes together in her critically acclaimed Guardians of Light series for Samhain Publishing – fantasy, action, romance, heroics and lots of critters!

Title: Alphas: Leaders of the Pack

Instructor: Robin Matheson
Fee: $30.00 – $35.00
Dates: March 3 – April 11, 2014 — 6 weeks, intensive course
Classroom: Castle Rock
Classifications: Specialty Research, Characterization, Craft
Registration: http://crw-rwa.ning.com/page/2013-onlineworkshops

Description: “You don’t like me, Bond. You don’t like my methods. You think I’m an accountant, a bean counter who’s more interested in my numbers than your instincts. … Good, because I think you’re a sexist, misogynist dinosaur.”

Judy Dench as M to Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in Goldeneye

“Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy.”
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia to Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope

Who is he and what’s her story? Using numerous examples from movies and books, award winning author Robin Matheson demystifies the male and female alpha archetype.

Topics include:

– The Basics behind Pack Mentality and the Dominant Wolf
– Key Personality Profile Traits of a Typical Alpha
– Identifying an Alpha Skill Set
– Goals and Motivations: The Focused Alpha
– Archetypal Alphas
– The Facts behind the Fiction—Historical Alphas
– Super Powers and the Alpha
– On Being a Man—On Being a Woman: The Alpha’s Emotional Vulnerabilities

As part of this special intensive workshop, Robin will also offer participants a one-on-one critique of their Alpha in a work-in-progress.

BIO: Award winning author Robin Matheson holds an honors specialist degree in Classical Civilization and English and a Master of Education. She’s taught numerous courses at college, overseas and, more recently, online courses on writing. One of Robin’s greatest passions is traveling. In addition to their home base, she and her family have also lived in South East Asia and South Africa. Visit her at www.robiemadison.com

Mid-February links

I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day!

Meanwhile, I come bearing gifts of great links.

First up, as promised, links for fantasy writers.

Mythic Scribes – Great Fantasy resource.  It has great articles, forum, and helpful tips! Their twitter is pretty active as well.

Fantasy Writing Tools and Techniques – This is a little long but has some nice tips from a great author.

Web-Writer/Fantasy – Nice article on world building tips.

The Writing Nut – The Motherload of Fantasy resources. Even has tips on making your own language.

SFWA – Science Fiction Writers Association site, the world building tips page.

Free Fantasy Maps – Yep! Free fantasy maps. There’s quite a collection! If you need a map for your story, go here!

Also, there’s apparently a map making software for writers. The map guy uses this program, Pro Fantasy.  There’s a demo. I’d recommend trying that out first before shelling out the dough.

Switching gears..

There was a great article floating around this week about 6 common dialogue mistakes. Beyond the Margins.  My favorite section was this:

How do you achieve that clear “voicing?”  Go back through your book draft after draft, layer after layer until each character’s voice is utterly distinct.  Your tools to differentiate character voices are: word choice, length of phrases, use of metaphor, beats per line, cadence and tone. 

Maybe you, like myself, needed more clarification.

Impishodea.com – On tone

Creative Writings Software 101 – More tips on dialogue

Writers Digest – What are emotional beats?

ReWriter Reword Rework – more on beats vs dialogue tags

Nathan Bransford – The almighty Nathan Bransford tips on dialogue

And last but not least, my new favorite rules of dialogue, Seven rules for dialogue.

If there’s any subject you’d like covered, please let me know in the comments.

If it’s out there, I can find it!

Getting Started

Welcome to the North Branch Writers’ Critique group website! I am one of its founding members and the current curator.  You can find me anytime @thefebemoss on Twitter and over at my blog.  I write poetry, short stories, and novels.

I am also always on the hunt for the best websites, blogs, and articles on writing, social media, self-publishing, and networking.  I’ll be posting links to great resources semi-weekly.  It’s a great big world out there and it can be hard to find the time to read everything out there.  Please feel free to comment if you are looking for a particular topic.

Now, let’s start at the beginning.

If you plan to start reading blogs it can get overwhelming quick. You need to get a feedly account. It’s a great way to organize and keep up to date with your favorite blogs, marking certain posts as read or save it for later. Even categorizing by subject.  It’s awesome!

Time to start following blogs.

One of my all time favorite bloggers is Janice Hardy.  She has a large archive to guide you through the whole writing process from outlining to revisions.  It’s worth combing through it.  Plus, she’s super awesome on twitter as well.

Another blogger you must follow is Jami Gold. She is an amazing resource! Tons of downloadable resources all for free.  I’ve spent many a hours going through her archive.

Since these two sites are rather extensive, we’ll end here for today.

Next time we’ll discuss resources for fantasy writers!