Blog

7 Ways to Make Yourself a Better Writer in 7 Days

By Marcy Kennedy (@marcykennedy) I wanted to take a quick break from posts on writing craft topics and instead give you a list of fresh techniques to help you become a better writer. Do one of these each day in the coming week, and you’ll improve as a writer in ways that can’t be learned(…)

How to Use Your Logline, Tagline, and Pitch to Create a Stronger Story

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Most of us think of a logline, tagline, and pitch as marketing tools we write after we’ve written our story so that we can use them to land an agent or as our book’s cover copy. We’re doing it backwards. If we wait until we’re done with our book, any problems(…)

Creating an Author Business Plan: Our Marketing Plan

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) The marketing section of our author business plan is unique in that we need to think about our overall marketing strategy as well as the specific marketing activities we’re going to use for each individual book we produce. It’s important that we look at it from both levels. Doing so provides(…)

6 Clues You’re Overusing Internal Dialogue in Your Fiction

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Internal dialogue is one of the most powerful tools in a fiction writer’s arsenal. It’s an advantage we have over TV and movie script writers and playwrights. It’s also one of the least understood and most often mismanaged elements of the writing craft. As writers, we each tend to either overuse(…)

The Secret to Destroying Episodic Writing in Three Easy Steps

By Marcy Kennedy (@marcykennedy) One of the main causes of the saggy middle syndrome many books suffer from is episodic writing. Episodic writing also makes our books feel slow to the reader. “What’s episodic writing?” you might ask. Episodic writing is when your story is composed of a series of loosely related events. Those events(…)

50 Years Ago This Island Didn’t Exist

By Marcy Kennedy (@marcykennedy) Welcome back to my unbelievable real life feature. One of the great myths is Atlantis–the advanced civilization whose island sank into the ocean. Although Atlantis is a myth, an island actually exists in our world that appeared and is now disappearing. Surtsey formed between 1963 and 1967 from volcanic eruptions off(…)

I Have a Love-Hate Relationship with Pictures

By Marcy Kennedy (@marcykennedy) Turns out I have a love-hate relationship with pictures. I love them because they grab important moments and help keep memories alive. I find great joy in looking back at pictures from times past. I hate them because, in the last couple of years, I’ve noticed I look older in them(…)

Creating an Author Business Plan: Our Competitive Analysis

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) We’re down to the final pieces of our author business plan. (If you missed the previous sections, you can start back at the beginning with setting our goals, choosing our stories, identifying our audience, running our business, and crafting our product plan.) Today we’re tackling the competitive analysis. Traditionally, the competitive(…)

Do You Believe in Second Chances?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Long after I finished reading the books and watching the movies, the character from the Lord of the Rings trilogy I couldn’t stop thinking about wasn’t any of the plucky hobbits, Viggo Mortensen’s ruggedly handsome Aragorn, or Gandolf with his words of wisdom. It was Gollum. Born a hobbit-like creature named(…)

10 Writing Mistakes that Kill Your First Chapter

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) I’m teaching at a writer’s conference this week, so instead of one of my in-depth posts, I thought I’d create a quick checklist for you. Here are 10 writing mistakes that kill your first chapter (in no particular order). Get them before they get you! #1 – A Boring/Generic First Line(…)