(Black) Women in Horror Month: How What We Think Horror Is About Determines Who “Writes” It (Part 1)

Outstanding and thought-provoking blog post from KC Redding-Gonzalez on inclusivity… or the lack of in horror writing.

Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues)

When it comes to Horror written by “minorities”, one has to wonder: just what are we afraid of?

During this Women in Horror Month we cannot help but look to our most obvious problem: exclusion of writers of color – especially noticeable in the volume of work not-included in the Horror genre… So here we are also in Black History Month in the United States. And here the twain will meet…

Because the off-putting drive to keep contemporary Horror tied to the white Weird Fiction of Lovecraft and not let it breathe and grow is perplexing. The message is clear: keep it clean, guilt-free, and colorless. Write for that prepubescent white male and yet produce “original” fiction – just not too original.

Why is it we still believe that no one wants to read Horror written by women or writers of color? Why is it we still believe that there…

View original post 3,484 more words

#GuestPost “Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone!

I’m pleased to announce news about my latest non-fiction guide, Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing.

Book cover

This fun and innovative book is filled with hundreds of journaling prompts that cover your childhood, friendships, beliefs and values, your career, coping with grief, fears, forgiveness, your purpose, and much more.

Whether you are experienced in journaling or completely new to the process, this book is designed to get you thinking about—and writing about—your life, relationships, patterns, goals, and some of your fondest memories. You’ll benefit from writing about these thought-provoking prompts and learn something about yourself along the way.

Journaling is a useful tool for self-discovery. In your journal, you can explore a wide range of subjects, themes, and ideas, revisit the past, and vent about anything (or anyone). In a way, you play counselor to yourself by digging deep into your innermost thoughts and emotions and writing about how you feel.

Sample prompts include:

* What are your favorite childhood memories? List at least ten, and then write about each one.

* What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you that now? If not, when did that idea change? Why? How is your current job different from the one you thought you wanted?

* Write for fifteen minutes about the changes in the last ten years of your life, and change in general. Do you embrace change? Resist it? Why? What feelings or emotions does the thought of change bring out in you?

Journaling Every Week makes a great gift for yourself or someone you care about. Order it today and start journaling in the New Year!

Read more about the book here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/journaling-every-week

Order your copy here:

Amazon

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/b5kBZA

Enjoy the holiday season, and best wishes for a great 2021!

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, 3 horror ebooks, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

In January 2021, Kelli released Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

Her horror short, “A Witch’s Wishes” was published in the Nothing Ever Happens in Fox Hollow anthology in December 2020.

 

In October 2020, Kelli had horror stories published in two anthologies. “The Uninvited” was published in Halloween Horror Vol. 2. This tale about a children’s Halloween party gone horribly wrong is one of her favorites. Her unsettling short story, “What the Peeper Saw” appeared in Madame Gray’s Creep Show anthology.

 

Earlier in 2020 Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

 

She released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance in 2019. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.

Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock and iStock to view her photos.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page and Twitter.

Visit her website/blog for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

~~~

#1DayBlogBlitz “Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish” by Bethany A. Tucker

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book cover

Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish

~ Guest Post ~

Editing is the process of making new choices. I’m not afraid of editing and I would argue no one should be. It’s this space, potentially sacred space, where you stand and survey the work of your hands and your mind and you practice discernment. “Does this produce the impact I intend?”

Don’t judge. Not yet. You’re still on the journey. It’s your work, but it’s not finished work. So it can be however it is and there’s no need to feel bad about it. Tell the little judgy voice in your brain to take a vacation. You have editing to do.

There’s something terribly exciting within this freedom of the editing process. It’s the chance to choose and choose again. Some of us get stuck in endless choosing or rather, not choosing, but that’s not true editing. That’s procrastination and fear. If you’re truly editing and not hiding, then it’s this place of creation, of refining what is being born, finalizing the brushstrokes on our painting of words.

When you find yourself meeting your soul on the page of edits, make friends with it. Listen to the nasty things it whispers. Listen and set them aside. There are nuggets to learn beneath those whispers. What you fear points to your hope. What makes you cringe can show you what you would love. Listen deeper. Listen to the passion and desire, the secrets of yourself that show up in the creative journey. Take the time to watch yourself. “Oh, I wrote that? Why did I put that in? What does that say about me?” Editing may require exploration of self, perhaps with a side of dancing with your shadow. Especially if we’re writing about ourselves, veiled or unveiled.

Give yourself the freedom to work through those emotions and deal with what arrises. Our books, especially our first book or two, say a lot about who we are. It’s like therapy, to be honest. And if you need therapy, or a good listening ear during the process, please, seek it out. Choose someone who can hold space and listen to you without telling you what your experience means. The meaning has to come from you. In this space we needs guides and words shamans, not dictators and gatekeepers. A friend will keep us honest, not tell us the right choice.

Those choices, those edits, they have to be ours. The work is ours. Guard it but don’t be precious. Because even after we turn our work loose on the world, it is still evolving. We are like Pinochio’s maker, Geppetto. We create, and then when our work comes to life, what it does after we can only guide. We do not know where it will go, or how it will be seen. It is beyond us, even if it comes from us. How anyone will respond says as much, if not more, about them than it does us.

Art is a mirror. It shows us ourselves as we create and edit it, and it shows us others as they meet it and either embrace or hate it. All we can do is create the most beautiful, the most flawless mirror we can, and then release it, taking all those skills we learned creating it with us to our next project and then, slowly, by creating and editing, and creating again, we become masters of our craft.

~~~

SYNOPSIS

Before it’s time to check for commas and iron out passive voice, fiction writers need to know that their story is strong. Are your beta readers not finishing? Do they have multiple, conflicting complaints? When you ask them questions about how they experience your story, do they give lukewarm responses? Or have you not even asked anyone to read your story, wondering if it’s ready?

If any of the above is true, you may need to refine the structure of your story. What is structure you ask?  Structure is what holds a story together. Does the character arc entrance the reader? Is the world building comprehensive and believable? These questions and more have to be answered by all of us as we turn our drafts into books.

In this concise handbook, complete with checklists for each section, let a veteran writer walk you through the process of self-assessing your novel, from characters to pacing with lots of compassion and a dash of humor. In easy to follow directions and using adaptable strategies, she shows you how to check yourself for plot holes, settle timeline confusion, and snap character arcs into place.

Use this handbook for quick help and quick self-editing checklists on:

– Characters and Character Arcs.
– Plot.
– Backstory
.
– Point of View.
– A detailed explanation of nearly free self-editing tools and how to apply them to your book to find your own structural problems.
– Beginnings and Ends.
– Editing for sensitive and specialized subject matter.
– Helpful tips on choosing beta readers, when to seek an editor, and a sample questionnaire to give to your first readers.

Grab your copy of Edit Your Novel’s Structure today! Now is the time to finish that draft and get your story out into the world.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

~~~

Author BioBethany Tucker

Bethany Tucker is an author and editor located near Seattle, U.S.A. Story has always been a part of her life. With over twenty years of writing and teaching experience, she’s more than ready to take your hand and pull back the curtain on writing craft and mindset. Last year she edited over a million words for aspiring authors. Her YA fantasy series Adelaide is published wide under the pen name Mustang Rabbit and her dark epic fantasy is releasing in 2021 under Ciara Darren. You can find more about her services for authors at TheArtandScienceofWords.com.

Social Media Links –   theartandscienceofwords.com, mustangrabbit.com

~~~

#NewRelease “Blank Page to Final Draft” by Bryn Donovan

New from writing guru Bryn Donovan!

new release banner

As an executive editor, I often talk to writers who say they haven’t finished a novel yet because they “don’t have the discipline.”

I hate hearing that, because often, it’s just not true.

They have the discipline. They just need the structure. While there’s plenty of advice about writing fast, it’s harder to find help about planning a novel with publication in mind…or help with taking a rough draft to a final version.

Even experienced authors sometimes struggle to fit writing into their hectic lives. Planning out a schedule to write a novel is a big task in and of itself! And when people are returning to writing after a long period away from it, they can use a little encouragement and help.

That’s why I wrote Blank Page to Final Draft.

Do one step a week for a polished novel in exactly one year from now. (Or go as fast as you like!)

Blank Page to Final Draft is specifically geared to writers who want a successful publishing career—through traditional publishing, self-publishing, or both. It’s appropriate for young and mature writers alike. Buy the book—or just learn more about it—at the links below! I wrote this book in hopes of helping writers get to a whole new level!

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books

Kobo

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Amazon INDIA


Writing Gay Romances: 4 FAQ (Part 2) by Kelli A Wilkins

Hi everyone,

My name is Kelli A. Wilkins and I write romances in every genre and heat level from mild to super-spicy. When people learn that I write gay romances they usually ask a lot of questions about “why” or “how” I write them.

To celebrate Pride month, I’m sharing four FAQ about writing m/m romances. (In the first part of this blog, I shared four different questions from readers and authors.)

 

#1: You’ve written three contemporary gay romances (A Secret Match, Four Days with Jack, and Killer in Wolf’s Clothing), which one is your favorite and why?

I love all of my romances, in all genres, but my favorite gay romance is A KIWCSecret Match. I love the setting (professional wrestling) and the characters, especially the hero, Everett. He’s a bit of a wiseass and has a crazy sense of humor, but he uses those as a defense to mask his pain. Right from the start of the book Ev is given an ultimatum: come out and be honest about who he really is, or risk losing his longtime lover, Josh.

I also love the book because of the way I wrote it. It’s not told in a traditional manner. Ev is on the road and apart from Josh for almost half the book, and we experience his relationship with Josh through flashbacks and voicemail messages. We see and feel Ev’s isolation and conflicting emotions. We also see Josh getting advice from his friends regarding his “secret” boyfriend. I won’t give away more than that, but the book is an emotional roller coaster ride blended with steamy love scenes and an inside look at the world of professional wrestling.

 

#2: Most of your straight romances have historical settings. Do you see yourself writing a historical gay romance? Could a gay romance “work” in a historical setting?

Midsummer coverCertainly! A gay romance could work in almost any historical setting. Granted, depending on where and when the story is set, the male characters might have to keep their relationship a secret, or at least be surrounded by other characters who are open minded about a same-sex romance.

Several of my straight historical romances have included gay or bisexual characters, or the characters have explored same-sex fantasies. For example, when I wrote Midsummer Night’s Delights, I didn’t know that Julian or his wife had same-sex fantasies until I started writing. (Characters sometimes like to surprise us writers!) I trusted my instincts and wrote the story that was in my head. (That book has plenty of m/m and ménage scenes, and I wrote two sequels that are even hotter, Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights.)

Two of my other historical romances, A Most Unfortunate Prince and AMUP LrgRedemption from a Dark Past also feature very important gay characters. So, as you can see, I’ve already incorporated m/m romance into historical settings. As of right now, I don’t have plans to write a full-length gay historical romance, but you never know when inspiration will strike!

 

#3: What are some basic elements that go into writing a good gay romance? Are they harder to write than a straight romance?

Let’s go back to English class for a minute. All good books (regardless of genre) need to have the same basic elements: a believable plot, interesting fleshed-out characters the readers can root for (with histories and backstories), sensory details that pull the reader into the story, and good dialogue. These elements go into every romance (and horror story) I write, whether it’s an erotic historical/fantasy, straight paranormal, or gay contemporary. Once you get the basics down, you can write just about anything; mysteries, suspense, spy novels, and even children’s books.

Writing a gay romance is really no different than writing a romance in any other genre, but some people get hung up on the idea of writing intimate love scenes, not understanding how the characters should act, or getting the story right—but that could happen when you’re writing any book, in any genre. My advice is: Just write the story. Let the characters tell you what happens and start typing.

 

#4: Are you going to write more gay romances? What’s in the works for you?
Yes, I’m currently working on the outline for a new contemporary gay romance. The story will take place over a summer holiday weekend and deal with issues of self-acceptance, recovery, and coming to terms with your past. As of now, I think it’ll be a mild, heat level 1 story. But I never know how things will turn out until I start writing! The book will probably come out in early 2021. Of course, if I get great ideas for other gay romances (historical or contemporary), I’ll write those too!

I hope you enjoyed this FAQ blog. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up on the blog section of my site: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog

Here’s the book summary for A Secret Match. I bet you’ll fall in love with the characters as much as I have. And if you want more of Ev, check out his character interview on my blog: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/post/celebrate-pride-month-with-a-chat-with-everett-from-a-secret-match

Enjoy & Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~

ASM

A SECRET MATCH

Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.

After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.

One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems—both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a manipulative boss and a tag-team out to destroy him.

Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?

 

Order A Secret Match here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FERW65A

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/md6rZb

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/a-secret-match

 

 ~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than Kelli A Wilkins100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In January 2020, Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

She released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance in 2019. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.

Kelli has authored two online writing courses: Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas and Fiction Writing for Beginners. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins and iStock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins to view her photos.

Kelli posts on her main Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and she created a Facebook page for her Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Follow her on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor and visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

Writing Gay Romances: 4 FAQ (Part 1) by Kelli A Wilkins

Hi everyone,

My name is Kelli A. Wilkins and I write romances in every genre and heat level from mild to super-spicy. When people learn that I write gay romances they usually ask “Why would you write one of those? You’re not a man or gay.”

I generally respond with “Why shouldn’t I write gay romances? I wrote a vampire romance, and I’ve never been a vampire.” (That quiets them down for a while.)

I get a lot of questions about “why” or “how” I write gay romances. To celebrate Pride month, I’m sharing four FAQ about writing m/m romances. In the second part of this blog, I’ll share four more questions from readers and authors.

~~~

#1: You’ve written lots of straight romances. Why write gay romances?

Why not? I’m a writer. And as a writer, I write whatever romance book comes to me, whether it’s a contemporary, historical, paranormal, or gay romance. My stories are about people who meet, fall in love, and overcome obstacles to be with one another.

This basic philosophy applies whether the characters are same-sex, different sex, or space alien and earth girl. Love is love and romance is romance. I’m not married to one specific genre or heat level. I go where the story and the characters take me.

When I wrote Four Days with Jack, A Secret Match, and Killer in Wolf’s ASMClothing I trusted my instincts and wrote the story that was in my head. Although all three books are contemporary gay romances, they’re very different.

In A Secret Match, a big part of the storyline centers around Everett dealing (or rather, not dealing) with his sexuality, and his (un)willingness to be open about who he really is. Ev has been in a committed relationship for years and is afraid that if he doesn’t come out, he’ll lose the love of his life. He’s also worried about his career. How will the world view a gay wrestler? Will there be backlash if he comes out?

David from Four Days with Jack has never come to terms with his sexuality. He’s been lying to himself for years about his orientation and hiding his true desires. David has always loved his gay best friend (Jack) and has fantasized about being his lover, but he lacked the courage to admit his feelings—until now.

KIWCThe main characters in Killer in Wolf’s Clothing are comfortable with their sexuality, but have other issues to deal with (like shapeshifting and a serial killer). This erotic paranormal is a fun look at the werewolf legend and blends romance, mystery, danger, humor, and sizzling love scenes.

 

#2: How do you write the gay love scenes in your books?

I approach a same-sex love scene the same way I would if I was writing about a hetero couple. When I write a straight romance, about half of the scenes are written from a male point of view, so I’m used to writing in (and thinking in) a male “voice” anyway.

There’s not much difference in writing a story from two male points of view. Writing a love scene isn’t only about the gender or the anatomy of the characters—it’s about creating a believable, intimate scene where two people express their love for each other.

Each character in each book is unique, so the love scenes are always approached from different directions. In Four Days with Jack, David is introduced to a world of new experiences. Everett and Josh’s first kiss in A Secret Match is a tender and sweet moment; and the first time readers meet Deke from Killer in Wolf’s Clothing they realize he’s anything but shy.

 

#3: What’s the hardest part about writing a gay romance?

The answer to this might be surprising, and no, it has nothing to do with bedroom activities. The hardest part about writing a same-sex romance or m/m love scene is pronouns.

As I’m writing, I’ll dash off something like: “He ran his hand down his chest and…” Wait, what? He ran his own hand down his own chest? No… I have to pay extra close attention when revising or editing a same-sex scene. Too many “his” references and the reader doesn’t know who is doing what. Better to say: “He ran his hand down Kevin’s chest and…”

 

#4: Are you concerned about what people will think about you writing gay romances?

Not in the least. People will think whatever they want. I realize that not everyone wants to read the same type of romance. Some readers love historicals, others only read contemporaries or paranormals, and that’s fine. But if readers are turned off to me as an author just because I write gay romances… well, that’s too bad, see ya.

When I wrote my first gay romance, I considered “what people would think” about the book and me writing it—for about three seconds. Then I reminded myself that I’m a writer, and I create the characters and scenes that make up the book.

I don’t worry about what people might think of me writing about two male characters kissing, going to bed, or making dinner. Basically, the story needs to be told, and I’m the one telling it. As a writer, I’ve made up all sorts of things: an erotic Bigfoot story, a historical Viking tale, detailed ménage scenes (in all combinations), and a first-person vampire love story.

Writers need to turn off their internal editors and forge ahead with the story as it should be (and needs to be) told. If we constantly worried about what grandma would think about our writing, or if we were afraid to open up and let the characters (and the story) take us into the bedroom, we’d never write anything except G-rated fables.

Now more than ever, I’m just as proud/PRIDEful of my gay romances as I am of my straight romances. Why? Because I’m a romance writer—and in my books, everyone deserves to be in love and live happily-ever-after with whatever partner they choose.

And that’s the way it should be… in fiction and in real life. Here’s the book summary to my first gay romance, Four Days with Jack. I hope you’ll check it out. I fell in love with the characters, and I hope readers will too. It’s got a good blend of humor, drama, and plenty of hot love scenes!

I hope you enjoyed this FAQ blog. Stay tuned for Part 2, and don’t forget, you can catch up on all of my blogs on the blog section of my site: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/blog

Enjoy & Happy Reading!

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

FDWJ

FOUR DAYS WITH JACK

When David invited his best friend on vacation, he never expected them to fall in love…

Spending four days in a tropical paradise with Jack is a dream come true. For years, David has lived a lie and denied his romantic feelings for Jack. Now that they’re together in an isolated Caribbean resort, he finally admits what he really wants—to be Jack’s lover.

Jack has been in love with David for years and is encouraged by his desire to explore a sexual relationship. He’s more than willing to introduce David to the life he has always fantasized about. Their sizzling nighttime encounters confirm David’s long-hidden cravings, but what will happen when they leave the resort?

Will David come out and start a new life with Jack? Or will he go back to his old ways and risk losing the best friend he ever had?

Order Four Days with Jack here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FTMWHL        

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bo6Rap

Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/four-days-with-jack

 ~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than Kelli A Wilkins100 short stories, 20 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In January 2020, Kelli published Love, Lies & Redemption, a western romance set in 1877 Nebraska. This novel blends a sensual love story with mystery and danger.

She released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance in 2019. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.

Kelli has authored two online writing courses: Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas and Fiction Writing for Beginners. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins and iStock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins to view her photos.

Kelli posts on her main Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and she created a Facebook page for her Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

Follow her on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor and visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

#GuestPost “Set New Writing Goals for 2020” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Set New Writing Goals for the New Year

By Author Kelli A. Wilkins

www.KelliWilkins.com

Happy New Year!

It’s January and everyone is talking about making changes and setting goals Kelli Wilkinsfor themselves. And why not? We have brand-new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come.

But do you find yourself gazing at your new calendar and wondering, “How is it 2020? Where did last year – or decade – go? I had all those plans…”

If so, don’t stress out. Not everyone accomplishes every goal they set for themselves. Take some time to look back at what you achieved last year and start thinking about this year. Evaluating your writing goals and setting reasonable action steps now will help you get on target for 2020.

Keep in mind that everyone’s writing career and writing goals are different. Think about what you want for you. Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest?

If you write magazine articles, are there any major publications you’re targeting? Start brainstorming ideas now, make a list of places to send queries, and check out potential markets for their latest submission guidelines. (It’s also time to be thinking 3 to 6 months ahead and plan those spring and summer articles.)

Is the writing part going fine, but you need to develop (or enhance) your online profile and/or marketing? Are your blog, website, and author page(s) up-to-date? Should they get a refresh (or a major overhaul) for the new year?

Make a list of all you want to accomplish in the next few weeks and months. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track.

If you’re determined to write a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.

If you want to learn more about the writing process, why not check out my online writing class?fiction writing banner Fiction Writing for Beginners is designed for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing.

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners gives you all the tools you need. Visit the course page and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

Not interested in an online course? On a budget? How about an ebook? Check out my non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. It’s only $2.99.

you can write cover

The book is designed for writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started. Each chapter targets a specific aspect of writing and includes tips and fun exercises.

If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:

Amazon

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4AqYN4

 

Enjoy the New Year!

Kelli A. Wilkins

~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A WilkinsKelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In November 2019, she released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in August 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.

Her historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.

 In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

 Kelli released a Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She also authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins and iStock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins to view her photos.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.

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What to Do After the First Draft

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by Katie McCoach

Your fingers hurt. Your eyes burn. You haven’t had anything to drink except coffee for the past few days, weeks, year. You are pretty sure you haven’t slept a full night without dreaming about characters and plot lines.

You are certain you will never type again. Because you finally finished writing the first draft of your novel. Phew!

No matter how many times an author finishes the first draft of a novel, they know this is only the beginning of the writing process. So what do you even do after you write that first draft? What comes next? Where do you even begin the process of revising, rewriting, sharing, and more?

via What to Do After the First Draft

#GuestPost “You Can Write—Really” by Kelli A. Wilkins

Want to Learn How to Write? Don’t miss You Can Write—Really!

By Kelli A. Wilkins

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coverIf one of your goals is to write a novel or a short story this year, you’ve come to the right blog.

When people learn that I’m a writer, they often tell me: “I want to write a book, but…” and then they go into long-winded explanations about why they can’t write it. Usually they don’t know where (or how) to start, or they say they don’t have the time.

Well, I’ve got a solution for all that.

And as an author of more than 100 short stories and 19 romance novels, I’m often asked: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips? Can you help me?

Sure I can!

One day I started thinking about everything I’ve learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.

Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my years of experience as a writer, advice I’ve received over the years, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus easy writing exercises to get you motivated.

I’m an eclectic writer, and that means I write everything—short horror fiction, full-length romance novels, science fiction, and non-fiction. People are always asking me, “How can you write in so many different genres and styles? What’s the secret?”

It’s really not that difficult. Why? Because the basic mechanics of good storytelling are universal, no matter what genre you write. Every fiction story contains the same ingredients: an interesting and engaging plot, characters the reader cares about and roots for, supporting details, and background that draw the reader into the story.

Once you have the basics down, you can write—really! Here are a few quick tips and writing exercises:

TIP: Set aside an hour a day to write. Not sure you have an hour? Consider writing on your lunch break or during a commute. Get up an hour earlier or schedule time after dinner. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. You can also write in two blocks of 30 minute sessions.

TIP: Keep a pen and paper (or a voice recorder) with you at all times to note bits of dialogue you overhear, something strange, funny, or creepy you see, or anything else that captures your attention and could be used for a story.

EXERCISE: Write three to five dialogue exchanges where two characters meet for the first time. What do they talk about? What is happening in the scene or around them?

EXERCISE: All characters want something, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a new car, to escape from jail, to eat lunch, or to finish a big project on time. Brainstorm five things your character wants, large or small. Here are some examples: woman wants to escape her abusive husband; man wants to bury a body; private investigator wants to find a blackmailer; fifth grade kid wants to get away with cheating on a math test.

Here’s the book summary:

You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction

Have you always wanted to write?

Are you looking for an extra boost of motivation?

 

Do you have a great story idea, but don’t know how to develop it?

If you’ve always dreamed of writing and getting published, but have no idea where or how to start—THIS is the book for you!

You Can Write—Really! is an easy guide designed for beginner writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started.

Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins takes you step-by-step through the writing process, covering the basics of plotting, editing, revising, and submitting. She explores ways to get your creativity flowing, explains where authors get ideas, and shows you how to create interesting characters for your story.

Contains helpful tips all writers can use, PLUS fun writing exercises to get you motivated!

 

Ready to write? Order your copy here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00THWLFQU

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4AqYN4

 

Happy Reading (and Writing!)

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~

 

Kelli WilkinsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In January 2019 Kelli released the second half of her new flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

She also released her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.

If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.

 

CATCH UP WITH KELLI

Here’s a full list of where you can find Kelli on the web.

Website: http://www.KelliWilkins.com

Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins

Facebook Historical Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Facebook Contemporary Romances: https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1965702023664339/

Facebook Gay Romances: https://www.facebook.com/GayRomancesbyKelliAWilkins/

FREE READS: http://www.manicreaders.com/KelliAWilkins/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kelliwilkins2/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelli-a-wilkins

Books2Read: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nkvddR/Kelli-A-Wilkins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins

iStock: https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb

Teachable Online Writing Course: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/