Category Archives: Writing Challenges

Every author has a hard time with something -specific scenes or characters, writer’s block, etc. See what others suggest to overcome writing challenges.

What Are Your 2016 Writing Resolutions?

Posted by January 5th, 2016

Happy New Year with Nib 625

Quick, while the new year is still fresh: It’s time to make your 2016 writing resolutions!

What’s that? You haven’t made a writing resolution for the new year yet? If not, here are some ideas:

  • Finish a draft of my novel.
  • Workshop my novel on Book Country.
  • Grow my following of writers and readers on social media.
  • Design a cover for my book.
  • Start a blog.
  • Sell more copies of my eBook.
  • Read more books in my genre.
  • Go to more readings and writing events.
  • Start a new project.

See? That wasn’t so hard. Whether or not you’ve given it a lot of thought yet, share your 2016 writing resolutions here. Here’s to writing together as a community on Book Country in the year ahead!

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NaNoWriMo: Building Good Habits by Andrea Dunlop

Posted by November 9th, 2015

Nano cloudsLast week we posted about the awesome sweepstakes Girl Friday Productions is running for NaNoWriMo participants. As we kick off week 2 of Nano, we check in with Book Country member Andrea Dunlop (social media and marketing director at GFP and author of LOSING THE LIGHT, coming from Atria Books in February 2016) for tips on making the writing habit sustainable over time.

What do you need to make it as a writer? Talent? Ambition? Discipline? An enormous trust fund that allows you to quit your day job?

Sure, you need those things (okay, not the last one, but it couldn’t hurt). But whether your version of “making it” is getting through your 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo this year, getting a six-figure book deal, or anything in between, you definitely need good habits, because without them, none of the rest of these things will matter.

What I love about NaNoWriMo is that its very concept dispenses with any precious notions of what it means to write a book. NaNo does not concern itself with airy-fairy visions of the muse alighting on your shoulder and inspiring greatness; the only goal is to reach the word count. Technically this means that you could write the sentence “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” five thousand times in a row and complete the NaNoWriMo challenge, though we all know that doesn’t end well for the author. (On a related note, if you ever find yourself saying, “You know, if only I could get somewhere really isolated and quiet where I didn’t have any other responsibilities, I could definitely get my novel done,” you should probably watch The Shining.) Continue reading

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Takeaways from “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” Panel

Posted by November 3rd, 2015

Last week’s “Building a Writing Community Online + Off” panel event at BookCourt was a remarkable chance to hear six brand reps (Pinterest, Kickstarter, Tumblr, the Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, BookCourt, and, of course, Book Country) chat about how each of their organization or platform can be an extremely useful tool for building up a writer’s network. Julia Fierro of SSWW and Maris Kreizman of Kickstarter were also able to speak to their own experience building a writing community as traditionally published authors (respectively of CUTTING TEETH, a Landmark Women’s Fiction Title on Book Country and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 90210, which we featured on the blog last week). As one panel-goer said on Twitter after the event, all these perspectives made for “Delicious brain food!”

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/finding-and-building-your-community-of-readers-tickets-18467224967

From left: Lucy Silag, Danielle Rayman, Julia Fierro, Maris Kreizman, Rachel Fershleiser, and Andrew Unger. Image courtesy of Rich Kelly via Twitter. Learn more about Rich by clicking through the picture.

We want to extend an enormous thank you to everyone who came out in the pouring rain to join in the conversation! For those of you who couldn’t make it or aren’t local, here are some takeaways from the event: Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo Prep: Plotting Your WIP with Index Cards

Posted by October 19th, 2015

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, hundreds of thousands of writers from around the world get together to cheer each other on as they write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

As someone who’s attempted NaNoWriMo for the last two years, but never quite made it to that 50K finish line, I am learning that to succeed at Nano, you’ve got to do at least a little prep work.

Here’s an idea for NaNoWriMo prep, inspired by an outlining idea I saw on a Book Country discussion thread called “How do you break out of writer’s block?”

Member and screenwriter Bret Plate offered up a strategy for outlining scenes ahead of time, so that you won’t get stuck when you want (or need!) to keep writing: Continue reading

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Dorothy Parker Quote: “I hate writing . . .”

Posted by August 14th, 2015

Dorothy Parker QuoteDorothy Parker Quote: “I hate writing. I love having written.”

What’s your strategy for getting yourself to write when you don’t want to? Share here.

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Natalie Baszile quote: “When I get too bogged down . . .”

Posted by July 31st, 2015

Natalie Baszile quoteNatalie Baszile quote

Want more writing wisdom from authors? Check out our Author Interviews.

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You Can Still Sign Up for the Book Country Buddy Program!

Posted by July 8th, 2015

We’re thrilled with how many intrepid Book Country members have signed up for the brand-new Book Country Buddy Program! Matching like-minded writers to help each other write their best books has been a lot of fun.

As this is an ongoing benefit to your Book Country membership, we want to make sure you know that you can still sign up to take part. We’re looking for writers in all genres, so that we can make sure and match everyone who’s signed up with someone who’ll be familiar with what one another is writing, and can give great feedback based on that specific knowledge.

Sign up for the Book Country Buddy Program

Why join the Book Country Buddy Program?

This is a great opportunity for writers to:

  • Get valuable, detailed feedback on multiple drafts of the same manuscript.
  • Gain a like-minded writing partner and friend on Book Country. 
  • Commit to an ambitious yet attainable writing and revising plan.

You can read more about how the program works, how to sign up, and review a sample schedule here.

Don’t hesitate to write to us with any and all questions you may have about the Book Country Buddy Program. Simply email support@BookCountry.com, or post a question on this discussion thread.

 

 

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Upcoming Q&A with Book Country Member Marshall Ryan Maresca, Author of A MURDER OF MAGES

Posted by June 30th, 2015

Q&A with Book Country Member Marshall Ryan Maresca, Author of A MURDER OF MAGES

Book Country member Marshall Ryan Maresca’s new fantasy novel, A MURDER OF MAGES, comes out July 7th! A MURDER OF MAGES was picked up by DAW Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Marshall’s debut novel, THE THORN OF DENTONHILL, was workshopped on Book Country and published by DAW Books last February.

Marshall has been wonderfully supportive on Book Country. He shared awesome tips about the world-building process on the Book Country blog.

Marshall will be answering questions about querying, writing, and the publishing process on July 8, 2015. This is a great opportunity to learn what it’s like being a published author!

Post your questions in the discussion thread: Q&A with Book Country Member Marshall Ryan Maresca, Author of A MURDER OF MAGES.

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About Marshall Ryan Maresca

Q&A with Book Country Member Marshall Ryan Maresca, Author of A MURDER OF MAGES

Connect with Marshall on Book Country and on Twitter. Visit him on the web at blog.mrmaresca.com. Marshall is represented by Mike Kabongo of the OnyxHawke Agency. THE THORN OF DENTONHILL is on sale now. A MURDER OF MAGES comes out July 7, 2015.

 

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Forty-Eight Hours to Publish My Book by Book Country Member Len Webster

Posted by June 17th, 2015

Forty-Eight Hours to Publish My Book by Book Country Member Len Webster

Book Country member and best-selling author Len Webster shares the final days before the publication of SOMETIMES MOMENTS. Len workshopped SOMETIMES MOMENTS on Book Country.

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48 HOURS TILL PUBLICATION

With forty-eight hours to go before I published my third romance novel, SOMETIMES MOMENTS, I found myself considerably overwhelmed. To the point where I wanted to throw up. Not like a little. Like I got wasted just before 10PM on New Year’s Eve and ended up in a disgusting and highly unlady-like puking fest.

Forty-Eight Hours to Publish My Book by Book Country Member Len Webster

 

 

 

 

 

True story?

You’ll never know.

When it comes to publishing, time has been both my friend and my enemy:

Friend: I am excited that all the work I put into writing and editing SOMETIMES MOMENTS would finally result in a book.

Enemy: I still have a million things to do, but not enough time before the release to do them.

Damn, time.

WHAT I STILL HAD TO DO:

Create promotional pictures and keep a careful eye on my pre-order sales.

I also had to tell my brain to stop overthinking “No one will like it!” thoughts and replay some “Someone will love SOMETIMES MOMENTS!” ones in my mind before I fell asleep. Continue reading

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EXCLUSIVE: Book Country Member Alex Rosa Interview with Best-Selling Author Cora Carmack

Posted by June 16th, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Book Country Member Alex Rosa Interview with Best-Selling Author Cora CarmackWe are SO excited to have Book Country member Alex Rosa and author Cora Carmack on the Book Country blog! Cora is the New York Times and USA best-selling author of the LOSING IT, RUSK UNIVERSITY, and MUSE series. Alex Rosa released her debut New Adult novel, TRYST, in March, and Cora wrote a wonderful blurb to promote the book: 

“Brother’s hot best friend? A steamy friends with benefits arrangement? What more could you want? Tryst is a fun, tantalizing read!”

Below, Alex and Cora discuss Cora’s new RUSK UNIVERSITY series, book boyfriends, writing, and cats. 

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Alex Rosa:  Antonella DeLuca (a.k.a Nell) is the third girl you’ve introduced as a main character in the RUSK UNIVERSITY Series.  All of your leading ladies have had incredible, strong-willed personalities. Dallas in ALL LINED UP has the will to find herself and get out of her father’s shadow, and Dylan in ALL BROKE DOWN is a passionate activist who tries her best to do what she believes is right and fair. Now we have Nell in ALL BROKE DOWN. What does she bring to the table for this series? What makes her a standout? Is there anything that makes Nell a personal favorite for you?

Cora Carmack: Nell is one of my favorite heroines I’ve written to date. She’s incredibly smart and more than just a little anti-social. Her focus is on her education and accomplishing her goals as quickly as possible. And now she’s about to graduate from college early without ever having what’s considered a “normal” college experience. I love Nell because she just says what she’s thinking, and it’s often quirky and out there and awkwardly honest. I think a lot of book nerds will be able to see themselves in her.

AllPlayedOutCoverAR: Mateo Torres in ALL PLAYED OUT seems like quite a character (and a hot one). I’m eager to find out what demons this possibly perverted (in a good way) hunk have. What’s your favorite thing about Torres, and what do you think makes him book boyfriend material?

CC: I love that Mateo feels like a real guy that I could know. Yes, he’s sexy and sweet, but there’s something so down to earth and genuine about him. He’s the class clown, the shameless flirt, the funny guy who’s always the center of a party. I think we’ve all known guys like him. But by getting into his head, we get to see the fears and insecurities that fuel his outlandish personality. And it just makes him incredibly human.

AR: As a writer, you’ve created these great leading men in your books. But who is your ultimate book boyfriend as a reader? The one who made you swoon first.

CC: The one who made me swoon first? The first time I remember being truly obsessed with a book boyfriend was with Jace from MORTAL INSTRUMENTS. He was so snarky and funny with a bad boy edge. Sexy + funny will always hook me. Continue reading

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