Writing in Multiple Genres or Specializing

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) One of the empowering, amazing parts of being an independent author is we get to choose. That ability to choose and experiment is one of the things that drew me to self-publishing rather than trying to work with a traditional publisher. A lot of the choices we make won’t have a(…)

How to Use Layers to Create Rich Character Emotions

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) One of the least effective ways to convey character emotions is to tell the reader what the character was feeling: fear, love, jealousy, anger. Before I go on to look at how we can create a rich emotional life for our characters that will touch our readers’ emotions, I think we(…)

Dissecting Books: Reading as a Writer Part 4

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Welcome back to my series on how to dissect books to understand how and why they work. In other words, how to “read as a writer.” (Here’s where to find Part 1 [openings], Part 2 [plot], and Part 3 [characters and theme].) This week we’re going to dig down into the(…)

Writing to Market

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Writing to market isn’t a new concept, but recently it’s become one of the hot topic issues within the writing world, largely thanks to Chris Fox’s 21 Day Novel Challenge. On one side of the divide over writing to market are authors who say that writing to market is the way(…)

Dissecting Books: Reading as a Writer Part 3

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Welcome back to my series on how to dissect books to understand how and why they work. In other words, how to “read as a writer.” (Here’s where to find Part 1 and Part 2.) Last time we looked at plot. This week we’re going to think about characters and theme.(…)

Is KDP Select Right for You?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Because I was away teaching at a writer’s conference last week, I didn’t manage to share my regular monthly guest post with all of you. I didn’t want you to miss it, so I’m sharing it a little late. This month, I’m going over the pros and cons of KDP Select.(…)

Is It Important for Writers to Also Be Readers?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) As an editor and writing instructor, I have the privilege of talking to a lot of writers, at a lot of different career stages. So it’s not unusual for patterns to crop up—ideas, trends, challenges, and myths. Today I want to debunk one of the myths I’ve heard frequently of late.(…)

The Power of Contrast in Description

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Readers need description to help them imagine the story world and to keep them grounded in the story, but often it’s considered the slow, boring part. It doesn’t have to be. Done right, description keeps the pace moving and brings out our point-of-view character’s emotions, backstory, and conflicts. It can also(…)

Tools to Help Bring Your Setting to Life

A tool that I regularly recommend is The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Rebecca Puglisi. The Emotion Thesaurus helps writers with building character emotions and showing rather than telling. So I’m very excited that these two ladies have come out with a pair of books that will now help writers with describing their setting.(…)

Description in Fiction Shouldn’t Be Boring

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Description is often the unloved step-child of the writing craft. It’s undervalued and almost feared because writers tend to believe that things like dialogue and action are inherently better. We start to believe this because we associate dialogue and action with being active and interesting and we associate description with being(…)