Tag Archives: writing tools

Member Spotlight: Meet Alex Maher

Posted by December 8th, 2014

Book Country Member Spotlight: Alex MaherWelcome Alex Maher to the Book Country Member Spotlight! Alex lives in Australia with his family. His most recent project on Book Country is THE INVISIBLE PEOPLE, which was an October Editor’s Pick. Alex shares what drew him to writing horror, and the mistakes he made when he first started writing. Connect with Alex on Book Country.

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Janet Umenta: What were your favorite books in school?

Alex Maher: Hmm, tough one. At school, we were forced to read all kinds of stuff that I was not interested in. I can’t honestly remember reading anything at school, novel wise. Home was different.  I was quite a bookworm for fiction as a kid.

The first ‘real’ novel I read was LORD OF THE SPIDERS by Harry Harrison. I was about eight or nine. I loved it. I then went on to read other adventures/fantasy. Stuff like BATTLE CIRCLE and the big four ‘Tolkiens,’ but then I found SciFi. By age twelve, I was into Niven and Pournelle. FOOTFALL and LEGACY OF HEOROT come to mind. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Andreé Robinson-Neal

Posted by December 3rd, 2014

Member Spotlight: Meet  Andreé Robinson-NealWelcome Andreé Robinson-Neal to the Book Country Member Spotlight! Andreé is currently workshopping FROM REALITY’S EDGE, which was featured in the Waiting to Be Discovered section in October. She recently published AFTER with Christine F. Anderson Publishing & MediaConnect with Andreé on Book Country.

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Janet Umenta: NaNoWriMo 2014 ended last week. When you finished NaNoWriMo 2013, what did you do afterwards?

Andreé Robinson-Neal: When November 2013 ended, I celebrated making my word count. By November 27th, I had passed the 50k word count and was thrilled. And then I panicked. After all, I was ‘finished’ — now what? I had a mess of words on a page that had made me bleary-eyed for the past month. I set them down and concentrated on a few other things before getting back to the business of editing it.

JU: How does being an editor influence your writing process?

AR: I know that editing has helped me in more ways than I can describe. I see things that make me think, Wow! That was a great image — I felt that character’s experience! and then there are things that make me think, Wow! I hope I never do that! Editing certainly keeps me on my mental toes because I have to research things to make sure I am offering the best advice to a writer. I don’t just write things like, ‘Consider revising this sentence — it is unclear.’ I like to offer support by saying why something is unclear or indicating what I think the writer meant so he or she can take that information into consideration during the after-edit review. Continue reading

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NaNoWriMo: 5 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Posted by October 29th, 2014

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: 5 Tips for Overcoming Writer's Block

What happens when you’re in the middle of completing your daily word count for NaNoWriMo, and you hit a wall? Writer’s block is never fun, but it’s especially panic-inducing when you’re trying to write 50,000 words in one month. Waiting around for “inspiration” to come can be both time-consuming and frustrating. Here are 5 tips on how to get through writer’s block:

Do a Ten Minute Free Write Session

When trying to find the perfect words, you can get stuck and lose momentum in your writing. Remember, the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to just write the first draft. Doing a free write session, where you write non-stop for a set period of time, can help keep the words moving. Even if you end up writing something entirely different from your story during the free write, at least you’re still writing! You might even come up with a phrase or idea that you can use in your story later on.
Continue reading

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1 Weird Trick For Creativity by Adam J. Kurtz

Posted by October 28th, 2014

1 page at a time We’re happy to have Adam J. Kurtz on the Book Country blog! Adam is the author of 1 PAGE AT A TIME : A Daily Creative Companion, published by Perigee Books. With NaNoWriMo 2014 coming up, we all need a boost of creativity! You can download a free page from the book at adamjkurtz.com

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Many people struggle to be creative. We see creative people and their work around us and compare ourselves. We don’t know how to be creative, or worse, we did once, and now we’re feeling blocked, bored or unsure.  Tired of this happening to you? Continue reading

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Preparing for NaNoWriMo – The Five-Line Outline by Julie Artz

Posted by October 21st, 2014

Preparing for NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo doesn’t leave much room for preparation. Try the following five-line outline method to help you survive the insanity that is NaNoWriMo without completely flying by the seat of your pants. 
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Step One: Create your logline

The first line of the outline is the logline. It covers the main character, what s/he wants (goal), what stands in his or her way (obstacles), and what will happen if s/he doesn’t reach her goal (stakes). Two great articles to guide you are Writing a Killer Logline and Writing Killer Loglines.

Here’s the logline from my 2013 NaNoWriMo project:

When lightning fries the village well pumps, Elías must redeem himself in the eyes of both Elders and family by journeying through the ruins of Andalucía to find help before their water supply runs out.

Writing this summary of your story before you begin will help focus your idea enough to get started. Don’t worry if you tweak it as you work—this logline has been through multiple revisions in the past year! Continue reading

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4 Reasons to Go to a Writer Conference by Noelle Pierce

Posted by October 17th, 2014

Noelle PierceIf you’re a writer and you’re trying to decide whether to go to a regional or national conference, then my advice is to go. Granted, my experiences are limited to conferences related to the romance genre, but I think some things are going to translate no matter what genre is represented. Whether it’s a national or regional conference, there are going to be pros and cons—and I feel in most cases, the pros will outweigh the other.

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What conferences can give you:

1.  Networking with other writers at various stages in their careers. A conference is one of the best places to meet a critique partner or mentor. It’s also a place to be with like-minded individuals. I cherish those few days a year where I can walk up to virtually anyone and have something in common with him/her. Continue reading

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New Top Rated Books for October!

Posted by October 16th, 2014

October 2014 Top Rated Book Country

The reviews don’t lie! Ten new highly lauded books in the Book Country community are featured in the Top Rated section of the Read and Review page. Find out why these books are so good and get inspired! Continue reading

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Great Waiting to Be Discovered Titles!

Posted by October 9th, 2014

WTBD October 2014 We’re excited to share with you 10 new manuscripts featured in the Waiting to Be Discovered section! We’ve selected a great mix of genres, including Young Adult, Science Fiction, and Nonfiction. Be sure to leave awesome feedback!

If you are wondering what’s the best way to leave feedback on another member’s manuscript, this blog post can help: Dos and Don’ts for Giving Feedback on Book Country Continue reading

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Come Down Off That Ledge—Self-Promotion Can be Fun!

Posted by October 8th, 2014

Andrea Dunlop on Book Country promotion

Let’s take a moment to discuss the oft-used phrase “self-promoter.” It’s unclear in the Kardashian-takes-all world whether this phrase is meant as a compliment or an insult, but the idea of promoting oneself gives most authors I know the heebie-jeebies. We all know that it’s necessary to advocate for your own work, especially in today’s overcrowded publishing landscape, but how do you do that without becoming a bore or a Bragosaurus rex?

Being a writer is a lifetime commitment, and it involves more than just putting pen to paper. The following are some ways to promote your work that won’t feel like a chore to you or your readers. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Kelley Mork

Posted by September 24th, 2014

Book Country Member Spotlight: Kelley Mork

We are happy to have Kelley Mork on the Book Country Member Spotlight! Kelley’s New Adult book WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER was featured in the Top Rated section in August. Kelley shares why she favors free writing and her advice to writers starting out on social media. Connect with Kelley on Book Country. 

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Janet Umenta: The New Adult genre has really taken off in the past few years. What do you love about New Adult and what led you to write in this genre?

Kelley Mork: What led me to write New Adult?  It was a total fluke!  I had never heard of the term “New Adult” until I started exploring the best category to put my story into.  When I read the definition (New Adult focuses on characters that are around college age (18-25) tackling the everyday “being an adult” issues.) I realized that not only was it a fit, but I had been reading books like this for quite some time!  I’d always assumed the books were “general fiction” or “romance”, but just with younger characters.  Continue reading

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