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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Remember This One Thing During the 2015 Writers Contest Season

Tis the season … to find out if you finaled in a writers’ contest or not.

Ah, writers contests. We enter them with such high hopes, sending our formatted manuscripts or published books off to be judged. Numbers are tallied, comments are written, and decisions are made.

And then you find out through that longed-for phone call that you are a finalist – hopes satisfied! Or you find out through a long day of silence that you are not a finalist – hopes dashed.

There’s a lot that can be said when you final, and just as much can be said when you don’t. HaPpy DaNcEs happen on Facebook pages and friends commiserate with you in comments. I’ve done my fair share of both.

But recently I listened to a podcast by Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia, that put the whole rigmarole of writing contests into perspective. No, he wasn’t speaking at a writers conference. But when he said “Everyone wants to be friended, followed, liked, and mentioned” I knew the topic would apply to writers.

We all know how social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ — plays such a huge part in a in a writer’s life, and that reality only ramps up during contest season. Do you have something to announce? Does your friend? Who’s celebrating? Who’s not?

Andy Stanley said a lot of good things during his podcast, but it was this one Scripture verse that put it all in perspective for me:

A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. John 3:27 NIV

This statement was spoken by John the Baptist when his disciples were upset that his followers were leaving him to follow Jesus. John knew who he was, what his purpose was – and he was content with what he was doing. Whether his followers stayed or left –whether he was followed or unfollowed – that was all up to God.

Now put John’s statement in context of your life as a writer, right now, in the midst of contest season:

A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. John 3:27 NIV

You can only final in a contest if that’s God’s plan for you. (Beth’s paraphrase.)

If you do final in a contest: Congratulations, and thank God that finaling was part of his plan for you at this time. What are you going to learn from it?

If you don’t final in a contest: Hugs. And know that this, too, was part of God’s plan for you at this time. What are you going to learn from it?

 

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Refreshed and Ready by Donna K. Rice

Spring conference season presents opportunities for writers to hone their skills and reconnect with industry professionals and friends. For me, it’s also a time of refreshing. The Mount Hermon Writers Conference in the California mountains above San Jose is a favorite. The beautiful location combined with excellent teaching means several days of glorious immersion in the writing life.

A few years ago I almost gave up and quit attending conferences. My ideas were flat, I felt like I was wasting time and money, and I doubted my calling to write. I left one conference deflated and ready to pack up my writing books. Then came Mount Hermon. Since I’d already paid for the conference and plane ticket, I decided to go and enjoy some time in the redwoods. I arrived with no agenda. That’s when God can do His best work isn’t it?

As I sat in my room and reviewed my registration packet, the seed of a new book idea formed. I perused the class schedule with renewed interest. God healed the ache of despair with inspiration. Just as promised in Jeremiah 31:13, He turned my mourning into joy. Purpose filled my heart again.

I’ve attended many conferences, both for writing and legal education. Over the years I’ve discovered how to squeeze the most out of each conference without hitting overwhelm and exhaustion. Every gathering offers a multitude of classes and sessions to attend. Going to every session however, is usually too much.

Since that fateful spring, my writing journey is different. I’m not yet where I want to be, but God continues to open doors and provide opportunities to learn and grow. Mentors have come into my life through the Christian Writers Guild and My Book Therapy. The thing I said I could never see myself doing—fiction writing—I’m now doing. And loving it! My nonfiction writing is better because I’ve learned to craft stories. At Mount Hermon, God found me sorrowing over the loss of a dream, vulnerable, and at last ready to be molded into the writer He wants me to be. He began the process of refreshing my soul. Now, each spring I return to that place and embrace the work God wants to do in me so we can write together.

I encourage you, my writing friend, to find a place of refreshing in your writing career. Whether a conference, a favorite project, a sanctuary of worship and prayer, or your writing nook, the place doesn’t matter. The important thing is to let the walls fall, the ones you’ve built around your ideas about writing, and explore God’s plan. Let Him refresh your spirit and inspire you in ways you can’t imagine now.

~*~

Donna writes women’s fiction and is represented by Sue Brower of the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. She’s a licensed minister, conference speaker, and estate planning attorney. She also works with GenderSave, a nonprofit seeking to empower women and girls at risk from gendercide practices in India. Contact Donna at donnakrice.com.

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Google Penalizes Sites that aren’t Mobile Friendly & Other Digital Spring Cleaning

@EdieMelson

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in South Carolina spring is definitely here. And with it comes the inevitable urge I have to throw open the windows and get my house back in order.

But this time of year isn’t just a good excuse to shine up my house, it’s also a good time to do some digital spring cleaning. There are some changes on the horizon that we all need to be ready for, and it’s important to freshen up our social media pages on a regular basis.

So let’s get to work!

Item One: Recent Google Changes

This one’s important, so listen up. As of April 21, 2015, Google began penalizing websites and blogs that are not mobile friendly. And it’s not a small penalty either. When someone searches for something—even on a regular computer—if the site isn’t mobile friendly it will show up much lower in the rankings. Here’s a link to Google’s announcement.

If you’re not sure if your site is mobile friendly, you can use the Mobile-Friendly Test that Google has set up.

For those of us with Blogger sites, we’re in good shape. Blogger is owned by Google and was modified to be user friendly several years ago. But for those with other sites, and with self-hosted sites, I recommend you check and see if your site passes the test

Item Two: Check Your Links

Another thing that can drastically affect your search engine ranking is the presence of broken or dead links on your blog. The negative affects are more pronounced if the links are on one of your main pages. They’re slightly less of an issue if they’re buried within an old blog post.

I recommend taking a few minutes and clicking on every live link on the main page of your site. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it’s important that these links work. First because of the search engine issue, but also because a dead link irritates and frustrates your audience.

Item Three: Update any Social Media Changes

If you’ve added a new network to your list of go-to social media sites, be sure there’s a link to follow/friend you on it.

Item Four: Tidy Up Your Blog’s Sidebar

It’s easy for things to get out of order in your blog’s sidebar. But these gadgets/widgets are vitally important when you’re growing an online presence. Make certain they’re in the order of importance you assign them.

It’s also important to toss any gadgets/widgets that are no longer relevant. Spring cleaning isn’t just about organizing, it’s also about getting rid of the junk that’s accumulated.

Item Five: Give Your Site a Facelift

Spring is a good time to update the overall look of your site. This could be a minor font color change, or a major overhaul. If you’re thinking about making a few changes, I’d say the time is right.

All of these may seem like minor tweaks. But each one can have a major impact if it’s in disarray. Now it’s your turn. What digital spring cleaning tips do you have to share? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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