Tag Archives | Lisa and Laura Roecker

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE! Rewards offered.

Heather Kelly WANTS you!

Enter a fun contest creating Wanted posters for your favorite books! Post them to your blog. Then link to the bloghop on Heather’s blog!

I believe there will be rewards.

Wanted: Futuristic sci-fi story about a teen girl with a secret power: the ability to mind jack or control minds. Dangerous. Proceed with caution.

Wanted: A fun, charming YA about a girl with a disastrous prom night and how she lived to tell the tale.

Wanted: A hilarious but moving YA mystery starring a spunky sleuth who lost her best friend and is out to find out why!

Wanted: YA short stories and excerpts filled with swoon-worthy male leads from Indelible Indie books.

Head on over to Heather’s and help promote your favorite books!

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And the winners are…. (And some thoughts on blogging.)

Wow! What a week. I had a ton of fun working my way through the blog hop and getting to know my fellow Indelible authors a little better.

Welcome to all the new followers on the blog, twitter, and through readers! And a big thank you to everyone who posted on their blogs and tweeted and supported us.

And now onto the winners!

The winner of THE LIAR SOCIETY is Denise Z.!

The winner of an Indelibles author’s ebook is Susan @ the Book Bag!

And if you haven’t checked the Indelibles blog, Chris Fenimore won the Kindle Fire. Yay!

And now let’s talk about blog reading trends. And you.

What makes you click through?

Are there certain hot topics that seem to take up most of your blog reading time?

I definitely read the blogs in my feed even if I don’t comment on them. But when I’m scanning Twitter, I go through phases.

At one point, I was reading all about query letters. Trust me, I don’t need to read another one as long as I live. There cannot be new info on those things that I don’t already know. (Now knowing and applying are completely different things.)

I’ve been through the story structure phase; and, of course, the result of all I learned and how I learned to apply it to my writing came out on the blog in the form of Plot Busters.

Last spring and summer, I was reading all about the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing and agents becoming publishers. I was fascinated! And that all came out on the blog this past summer.

So much is changing.

So much has changed.

But in a lot of ways, some aspects of writing have stayed the same.

Most recently, I’ve been reading about formatting, coding, and HTML. Oh and throw in marketing and promoting for good measure.

What about you? What have you been reading and does it influence what you blog about?

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To blog or not to blog about writing.

Okay, the whole thing started with this post by Kristen Lamb. Sacred Cow Tipping – Why writers blogging about writing is bad. Read it.

The gist of it says that by blogging about writing you only reach a small percentage of the population. You want to be reaching readers. Her one example made perfect sense: a paranormal author who blogs about wine and cooking.

It’s easy to read Kristen’s words and immediately scorn the blog you’ve put so much time into. A hot flush races across your skin as you realize you’ve been doing it all wrong.  You can’t blog about writing anymore! So maybe you better start watching soap operas – and fast! Or pick up knitting. Something. Anything.

I’m pretty sure that strategy won’t work either.

So is Kristen wrong or right?

She’s neither, just a little misunderstood. Blogging about writing is different than a pure writing blog. My takeaway is that she encourages your blog to be about you. Don’t limit your blog to just writing tips all the time. Be yourself. Include parts of you that you want to share. Funny stories. Book reviews. Your travels. Your research for your stories. Be you. Let your voice shine through. If you’re passionate about cute little green inch worms then blog about it. Or not.

No one can argue the success Jody Hedlund has had and her blog is primarily about writing. But she puts herself into each and every post. There is a difference.

I write for children and teens. Most of my targeted audience won’t read my blog unless I sell a book on the bestseller list or win an award. And then they’ll look me up to fill out a book report. So my next target would be teachers and librarians and moms. (No thanks. I’m not becoming a mommy blogger no matter how cute I think my kids are.)

I can think of a handful of authors who naturally embrace Kristen’s approach. Lisa and Laura Roecker (hilarious) blog about pop culture with self deprecating humor. But they are entertaining. Kirsten White used to blog about nothing in particular, but again, is extremely witty. And Elana Johnson not only has posts on writing but her blog is full of heart. She’s Elana. And those bloggers reached higher heights of followers through getting agents, giving back, book deals and almost dying (Kirsten).

So if you blog about nothing or pop culture or soap operas or cooking you better be ready to entertain. Or you won’t gain many followers even if they are potential readers. But the same holds true when blogging about writing. And entertaining doesn’t have to mean funny.

I return to the motto I uphold when blogging: unique, useful, and updated. Use your slant, your voice, your approach to any topic, even if it’s writing.

That’s what I think Kristen meant. Don’t dig yourself into a “writing” hole. #ofcourseicouldbewrong

Here are some great links to check out.

And Roz Morris answers my questions on the subject in this blog post. (How will she promote her fiction when she blogs about writing?)

Roni Loren recently wrote an incredible post on ten things she’d do differently. (In reference to her blogging journey) (Incredible post!)

The Bookshelf Muse wrote a terrific post about knowing your audience.

Livia Blackburn writes Author blogging: you’re doing it wrong.

And of course this brings up another scary question: How effective is blogging? Um yeah, that will be for another time. Maybe next Wednesday.

What do you all think? Are you going to start blogging about your lifetime obsession with the Smurfs? Make me laugh and I’ll read it.

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Writing past our weaknesses and why we should do it.

In my break down of the first chapter of FIRELIGHT, I talked about stretching the moment. And I realized two things: how powerful this can be and it has always been one of my weaknesses as a writer. Yep. I admit it.

As I write and as I go to “stretch a moment” doubt plagues me.

Will readers care enough about my character or should I go on to the next beat?
These details seem kind of trivial and I’m not supposed to have fluff in my work.
Don’t readers skim paragraphs like this?
I don’t want to lose the attention of a reader on the first page, I’d better move on.

That way of thinking is all wrong. And it comes down to lack of confidence, which is like poison in writing and spreads quickly through out the pages. The importance of a beat determines how many words you spend on it.

Why should a writer learn to “stretch a moment”?

  • Instead of killing suspense, it actually creates more.
  • Instead of boring a reader, it draws them into the character so they make a stronger connection.
  • It allows time to bring in sensory details and internal conflict.
  • It signals to the reader that this scene is important and they’ll want to read more.

A great example is the first chapter of THE LIAR SOCIETY by the Roecker sisters.

They open with a tremendous hook: Her email didn’t move or disappear or do any of the creepy things I’d expect an email from a ghost to do.

And then Lila milked this moment to absolute perfection. Their whole first chapter is filled with Kate’s reaction to this email, her physical responses and internal conflict. Kate pulls out the memory box and goes through mementos. She remembers. She laughs. She cries.

After this first chapter I felt connected. I cared. And I was 100% behind Kate when she decides to solve Grace’s supposed accidental death. Without this tender moment being stretched over the entire first chapter, I would not have cared as much. I now had a stake in Grace’s life and death.

What does this mean for me?

I’ll make a pass on my current wip just to stretch out the moments that are emotionally important. I’ll look at major plot points and also the turning point of each scene.

If I can face my giants – you can too!

What are your weaknesses? How do you write past them?

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