Learn How To Write A Novel - Writing Classes and Workbooks

Starting to Write?

40 video/audio lessons that take you step-by-step from idea to finished novel, taught by an award-winning, best-selling novelist and nationally acclaimed writing teacher. Easy, understandable, foundation elements essential for every genre. Learn Skills, Secrets and most of all... Story.

Rewriting and Editing?

A great book isn't written. . .it's rewritten. Learn how to analyze and fix your novel’s problems with this unique “self-editing” system. . .then arm yourself with over 40 Advanced Fiction Classes and rewrite your story into publication.

Ready To Publish?

You’ve worked too hard to quit now. Your story is nearly ready, but now it’s time to sell your novel. Learn the steps to creating a powerful proposal, secrets to pitching, the key elements to your marketing plan, a social media primer and how to create rabid reader fans. It’s time to ignite your career.
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Stick with it!

Just a quick writing tip today . . . Stick with it.

I’m back from New York City after attending the annual RWA Convention, celebrating with my author friends their accomplishments (aka, Beth Vogt’s final in the RITAs!), upping my writing skills and seeing the sights!

One event stood out in my mind, however, as a highlight—and that was seeing aspiring, soon-to-be-published author Kimberly Buckner win the Golden Heart award for her Long Contemporary manuscript.

I’ve known Kimberly for years—she’s a long time member of My Book Therapy, but more than that, I know Kimberly for her willingness to do the hard work. Kimberly is going to have an amazing career. How do I know this? Because she’s been at this for a while, dug into learning, is willing to take critiquing, is always asking questions and is someone who focuses on honing her skills. Yes, she’s also super fun to hang around with, but Kimberly has grabbed onto the belief that publishing isn’t magic, it’s hard work—and she’s a soldier.

Here’s her awesome—best-of-the-night—acceptance speech.




The moral of the story?  Stick with it.  You CAN Write Something Brilliant!

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The Nitty Gritty of Your Characters

Rachel HauckI’m about to walk out the door on my way to the airport.

I’m heading to NYC to meet up with the great and lovely Susan May Warren at the Romance Writer’s of America conference.

Looking forward to seeing Beth Vogt, Lisa Jordan, Kimberly Buckner and Elaine Clampitt (PJ Riley) as well.

So, this will be short and sweet.

In the throws of writing your novel, remember that characters are discovered as much as they are planned.

We teach a lot about planning a character here at MBT — wound, lie, fear, greatest dream, etc.

But it’s not until they characters start talking that things come alive.

This is why I harp on, “Tell the story between the quotes.”

If your characters aren’t talking — and moving — we can’t get a mental or emotional picture of them.

Neither can the reader.

I’m working on The Wedding Shop and while I have developed characters “on paper” the moment they start moving on the page, and talking. I discover things.

The things I discover MUST fit into my over all plan, but wow, they teach me who they are as I write.

This is the nitty gritty of your characters.

Some characters are more alive to you than others.

I always have a hard time with the present-day heroine when writing slip-time stories.

She’s the least alive to me so I have to work harder to get a feel for her.

To discover her nitty gritty.

In the end, she’s usually a pretty strong character.

I’m not going to give you 5 points on how to discover your character’s nitty gritty.

I’m going to tell you to write the next scene.

And the one after that…

Pause, ponder, think.

Turn off the music, the social media, the TV.

Do some research.

Then write the next scene.

The nitty gritty of your characters lies between your first inspiring thought of who they might be and the last word you write in the manuscript.

You discover more about them every time you rewrite and edit.

I know a lot of people do not like to rewrite but it’s in those phases the characters really deepen. Where you find symbols and metaphors.

Stick with it.

You’ll get there. Trust me.

Go write something that will eventually be brilliant.

Hubby’s put my suitcase in the car. Time to go. Forgive the typos.


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Things You May Be Doing that Wreck Your Online Presence

For writers today, an online presence can mean the difference between success and failure. But if we’re not doing it right, we may be our own worst enemy. Today I want to share 10 ways you may be wrecking your social media presence.

  1. You have an inconsistent social media presence—I’m not talking about taking weekends off, but on spending consistent time building your online presence. This includes showing up on Twitter and Facebook with reasonable regularity, and keeping a regular schedule for your blog posts.
  1. You over-promote—The promotion I’m talking about is SELF promotion. Use Edie’s 5 to 1 rule—for every 5 social media updates, you’re allowed one additional update about yourself.
  1. Your website doesn’t have social share buttons—I don’t know how much time I’ve spent on your sites looking for your twitter handle or trying to follow you on Facebook. Most people won’t spend more than three seconds. That’s not long.
  1. You engage in Hashtag overload—Hashtags are great, and using them CORRECTLY can net you a lot of new followers. But correctly means no more than two per update. When you up your ante to three, the results begin to drop off.
  1. You use auto-responders—Is there anyone out there who likes to talk to computers? Not me. Beyond that, we’re a pretty savvy group. We can tell an auto-respond message from a real one.
  1. You’re obsessed with the numbers—Social Media growth takes time. Shortcuts bring more trouble than help. As long as you’re seeing growth, you’re doing well.
  1. You don’t utilize a scheduling program—Personally I prefer Hootsuite. It keeps me visible online without having to spend hours a day tied to the Internet.
  1. You’re guilty of hogging the stream—This means you post three or more updates in a row. You’ll find that behavior will encourage people to unfollow and unfriend you in droves. Spread out your updates and keep your connections happy.
  1. You try out every new platform that appears—No one can do everything well. Focus your energy on Facebook and Twitter. With these two platforms you’ll hit almost 100% of your audience. After that, no more than one or two more. Focus, focus, focus.
  1. You send out game invitations—This is a personal one for me. I used to get so many game requests I finally made it a hard and fast rule that I do NOT play games on Facebook. I’ll give anyone a pass for the first invitation you send, but after that, I will immediately unfollow anyone who sends me another one.

Now it’s your turn, what turns you off when it comes to social media? Is there something that leads you to immediately sever a connection? Share, so we can all see things from a different perspective.

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