Book Review: 90-Days To Your Novel

    Can you be a novelist in just 90 days? Many well-known authors write their novels in just weeks according to 90 Days to Your Novel – A Day-to-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book by Sarah Donet.   Can it be you? It all depends on your commitment to your project. 90 Days to Your Novel will require you to push yourself to invest two to three hours per day for the twelve weeks. At the end of the twelve weeks you will have a first draft of your novel but be warned, this book does not guarantee a great end product, only that you will have your draft finished.   Can reading a self-help book really create a bestselling book? Not a chance. What this book will do is breakdown how to create your outline as well as give you different techniques for writing. Do you know the difference between the Note-Card Technique vs. the Signpost technique? If you are new to writing novels, probably not and in the end, it really isn’t that important to know the difference. The most important thing you will take from this book’s Part I is figuring out how you want to start your writing process. What you are comfortable doing. What it’s called really doesn’t matter.   Part II is the “90-Day Writing Challenge”. The book advises you to not start reading the rest of the book until you can commit to the scheduled two to three hours a day for writing. When starting this book, your first three weeks are mixed with assignments that don’t necessarily pertain to your novel on the surface but if you really think about what you are writing, eventually you could incorporate those events, people or places into a scene of your story. An example of this is assignment #1, which is to brainstorm as many memories as you can on people, places and things from earlier moments in your life.   It’s important to remember in your first three weeks you are in the brainstorming, chart making and outline designing time period. If this wasn’t your first novel, you could probably skip over the first three weeks but really if you have already gone through the novel-writing process, you don’t need this book. It isn’t until week four that you start getting into your novel so you will need to have the patience to stick to your schedule.   Do you really need an assignment based, step-by-step guide to write your novel? Maybe, maybe not. It’s all about your commitment to your project. Your success of writing your novel has nothing to do with the how-to book you read. It has...

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Heron’s Path by Alethea Eason: (sample)

Check out this sample from the upcoming young adult fantasy novel Heron’s Path by Alethea Eason: — — — On a hot day in September I found Celeste’s clothes scattered all over the barn, one shoe upside down next to Papa’s forge and the other inside a milking pail. Her yellow dress hung from a ladder like a bird suspended in midair. I pulled the dress down by its hem and three tiny blue feathers, nearly the same shade as my sister’s eyes, drifted down to the dusty floor. I caught one of them in my hand; I stood there puzzling over what might have happened that morning to make her run off again. I felt alone, as though a wind had come up and peeled Celeste from the earth. I told myself that she was playing the same old game she’d scared us with so many other times, but this loneliness—so odd and new—followed me like a ghost as I ran outside and shouted for Papa. I was afraid he wouldn’t come; I’d find our cabin gone, and I’d be without any family at all. Papa searched the woods. I took our dog, Rufus, and ran up and down the river bank. When I found no trace of her I followed Papa into the trees where there were more shadows than seemed right. I didn’t dare go in very far and kept circling the places Celeste and I knew well. I heard Olena’s voice in my head telling me stories. Her words dripping slowly the way honey falls from a spoon. Her stories always made me uneasy. She believed in ghosts, the last traces of the Old Ones, who were a part of the breath and spirit of the rocks and trees, of the river Talum, and the surrounding woods. But the wei-ni-la, the darker ones, were the shadows to really fear. They were ancient too, and lived in the empty spaces of the woods, filling them with whispering. All afternoon Celeste’s name echoed through the trees as Papa and I called for her. Finally, his shouting changed and Rufus started to bark furiously. I was so tired my legs were shaking. I was running on legs that wouldn’t work. When I finally found them, Papa was half way up a steep gully with Celeste draped over his shoulder. Her hair, a skein of golden thread unraveling almost to the ground, was the only thing that covered her. I thought she looked newly born or newly dead. “Is she all right?” I asked. My lips were dry and hurt when I spoke, and my words felt like spittle as they came out of my mouth. All Papa could...

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Don’t Hide From Your Story!

It wakes you up in the middle of the night. It nudges you on the drive to work. Inside of you, somewhere in the dusty recesses of your mind, an idea is itching to be brought to life. You have a story waiting to be told, a story the world needs to hear. So why are you sitting here reading this post? In the time you’ve been Tweeting, updating Facebook statuses and surfing the internet, you could have written the first paragraph of your next best-selling novel. This is the problem all writers face at one time in their lives. Having the chutzpah to write every day come rain, snow, sunshine or zombie invasion is no small order. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to learn how to psyche yourself up to write. Here are a few ways you can do that: 1.) You will never have the time to write. Make the time. Pencil it in your calendar. Set an alarm. Stick a post-it note to your bathroom mirror. Do whatever it takes to get it done. 2.) It’s okay to write crap. That’s what first drafts are for. Even Stephen King writes first drafts. Say what you need to say and get it out. You can clean it up on the rewrite. 3.) Reward yourself. Writing is hard work. Recognize your accomplishments and use that as motivation to move forward. 4.) One day at a time. You will not write the best American novel in a day. Break down the project into smaller, bite-sized bits that you can achieve a day at a time. Don’t try to swallow an elephant. 5.) Build community. Stay in regular communication with writers and other creatives that motivate and inspire you. Feed off of each other’s energy. Spur each other on to greatness. (But remember, spending five hours chatting and zero time writing does not count. That, my friends, can be filed under procrastination.) Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Happy Halloween!

Many thanks go out to Mavinga for creating this scary monster for us! Be sure and check out more of his artwork, don’t forget to always be Disturbing! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Short Story Competition Winner

Excerpt from: “The Dove” by Laekan Kemp   It’s dark.  A car passes by, the first one in hours.  It throws light against the truck and slides it between the steel hinges and the door.  In that second it highlights my crouching frame and reflects the shadows of the crate’s bars against my skin.  I feel a faint wave of air brush my ankle, someone fanning out their skirt.  There’s a soft knocking towards the mouth of the truck like fingernails tapping against one of the metal walls.  I feel the heat of moist eyes against my cheekbone and I pair them with a stifled panting coming from the crate facing mine.  I hold my breath and listen to the other bodies in the truck, absorbing the cold, the quiet. To read more, check out our book here. Copyright Notice: This story is cannot be reprinted without permission from Spectacle Publishing Media Group, LLC. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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