3 Ways You Can Learn to Write Description from Reading Bad Accommodation Reviews (& a review of Captain Whidbey Inn)

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Description is important when writing. It helps characters and settings come to life for readers eyes.

When I was away for my writing retreat in Oregon, I read some of the reviews from the Captain Whidbey Inn, where I stayed. It was on the dot and quite hilarious, because it was frighteningly true.

1. Truth

Make your readers see the truth as though they are there.

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2. What’s it smell like? Look like? Hear like?

The senses are important, because those will help people relate to your story world.

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You have to admit sleeping on doorknobs is quite descriptive.

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Cyber Bullies & Rude People

Cyber Bullies & Rude People (1)One thing really bothers me.

Mean people.

And what bothers me more than ever is when that bully acts like they are better than others.

Just recently, I saw a person get completely picked on, on Twitter.

This bully was actually a published author. That appalled me. She was being rude and talking meanly about other people and about others behind their backs. (on social media… which isn’t even really behind their backs… as they could go to her wall and see what she wrote about them.) It really made her look unprofessional. I’m still in shock over how she acted. Shame on her.

It disgusts me when people act this way. Why do they think they can tear people down? Have you ever wondered this too?

It’s really sad.  [Read more…]

What You Can Learn About Marketing From Vegas (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly)

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I was just recently in Vegas. I looked out the hotel window of Ceasar’s Palace. All the neon lights lit up the night sky. The Bellagio fountains went off in sync to a song and hundreds of people walked the Vegas strip. It got me thinking about marketing. What could make a bunch of people come from all over to a small oasis in the middle of a desert.

The big M word.

Yep, MARKETING.

Have you ever felt like your brand is a small oasis in the middle of a desert, just waiting to be found? If so, read on. You will find out some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Vegas Marketing.  [Read more…]

I’m Thankful For…

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Today is Thanksgiving.

When Thanksgiving comes around every year, I find myself thinking about everything I am thankful for.

I am thankful for… 

1. My life. That I get to live, love, and experience everything that I am living.

IMG_62562. My Fiance. He encourages me and completes me. I am so Thankful for him and that he is my man. :)
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3. My family. They have always been there for me.
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4. Friends. It’s so nice to have friends.

5. I am thankful for words. Life changing words. And that I get to work with them daily. [Read more…]

7 Tips on Finding Your Beta Readers

7 Tips on Finding Your Beta ReadersI get a lot of questions about how I found my beta readers.

So, I thought I’d share that with you all.

How I Found My Beta Readers

1. First off, make a list of people.

2. When people (readers) tell me they are interested in reading my book (I write them on the list.)

3. Then I put up a beta reader application on my blog. You get really awesome warrior beta readers this way, because they are actually applying. Check out my beta reader application for The Mason of Hearts here. I found this step so helpful. (Once you have all the applications in, write all the applicant names on your list.)

4. Go through your list. Decide who is making the cut. I think it’s important to keep your beta reader number down. Keep it smaller

5. Send the applicants an email that made the cut.

6. Keep them in the know! Send them email updates.

7. Make sure they are dedicated. Otherwise, they might not be the right readers for your book.

If you liked this post, check out my post on getting your Novel Beta Reader Ready (Plus there is a FREE Beta Reader Questionnaire for you there.)

My Beta Readers Are Awesome! Love them!

Some of them have been updating me, with pictures! How awesome. Here are some. I hope you all find some amazing beta readers too!

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Have you ever had beta readers? If so, how’d you go about getting them?

The #WritingHarvest Twitter Chat Is Tomorrow!

Be sure to join the fun #WritingHarvest Twitter Chat.

It will be tomorrow! November 22nd, 2014 at 1 PM (CST) with the theme: Writing Through The Holidays.

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 Twitter Chat Housekeeping: 

1. Make sure you use the hashtag (#WritingHarvest) in every Twitter Post, so everyone can join in the fun.

2. Have Fun and enjoy the Twitter Chat!

Can’t wait! Hope to see you there.

10 Tips For Hosting A Twitter Chat (& An Invite To My Next Twitter Chat)

SodaIf you don’t know what a Twitter Chat is, check out this post first. 

1. Find a perfect hashtag. Make sure the hashtag isn’t being used.

2. Pick a date.

3. Get the word out. (It’s smart to make sure you have enough time to advertise it so enough people hear about it.) I started advertising and getting the word out about it about 4-5 weeks before I scheduled the Twitter Chat.

4. Start planning for it. Start by, writing up a page of questions. Aim for at least 10-12 questions that relate to your topic.

5. Make sure it is under 140 characters. That is – make sure your question is under that amount so you can include the hashtag and so others may retweet it, if they like. [Read more…]

Deal with Critics? Taylor Swift Style {Writer’s Edition} Shake It Off Parody

2Have you ever dealt with critics, naysayers, and people who doubt your potential? Have you ever been asked, “When are you going to get a real job?” I’ve met a few people who have told me this and I was thinking about a post to write on this very topic.

I think as writers, we are very emotional and caring people. It hurts when people don’t believe in us. I am thankful to have people around me believing I can do what I am doing, but sometimes It can be hard when you meet a Critic, Naysayer, or Hater – because they will be harsh.

When ever I turn on the radio I hear “Shake It” by Taylor Swift. Yes, it is catchy. You can’t just not sing along with her. She has a great way of telling people to not be bothered by the things people say. So, read this Shake it – the writer’s edition. Yep, Taylor Swift was my muse for this. It was kind of fun. Now turn on her song and sing along to it with these lyrics…. (This is a parody. Not her awesome original.)

You’re a Writer? Are you publish-ed?

That’s what people say mmm… that’s what people say mmm…

Being a writer, isn’t a real job.

At least that’s what people say mmm… that’s what people say mmm…

But I keep typing, can’t stop, won’t stop writing.

It’s like I’ve got these stories in my mind and it’s gonna be alright

‘Cause the critics gonna judge, judge, judge, judge.

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Buttttt, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

Shake it off, just… just shake it off

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Are YOU NaNo-ing? (Some Awesome NaNoWriMo Writing Information)

Are you doing NaNoWriMo, this year?  

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Experiencing A Novel Writing Intensive.

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Me, Robert Dugoni, Pam Johnson (Steven’s assistant & editor) and Steven James

I recently got back from a novel writing intensive with acclaimed authors Steven James and Robert Dugoni. It was amazing. The intensive was held on Whidbey Island in Washington, which was a beautiful place for a writer’s imagination to go wild. Or as Anne of Green Gables would say, “So much scope for the imagination.” I love quoting her. 

© Devin Berglund

© Devin Berglund

I learned so much!

The intensive was definitely intense… but, why would they name it an intensive if it wasn’t going to be intense? [Read more…]