What a Blog Can Teach You

Thursday, October 1, 2009
Tomorrow is when the real fun stuff starts on my blog, but I got all nervous yesterday, worried I put too much pomp and circumstance in my announcement that my blogs would be oh-so-wonderful this month. I thought I better do something this morning, except.... Eek. I didn't have anything planned for today.

So, we'll just have to see how this goes. Cross your fingers.

Lately, I've been diving into the blog world, reading other people's posts, and I've learned so much, I just have to share with you all the wonderful things a writer can learn from other blogs.

Marie Devers has named her blog Booknapped with the motto "Ideas so good, I stole them," which I thought was an excellent plan. So, today I'm BLOGnapping, and stealing everyone else's ideas.

From Nancy J. Parra's Sunday, September 27, 2009 post on her Blog, This Writer's Life, I learned some insightful advice about how a writer should deal with all the story ideas they accumulate. She says:

"Story ideas are everywhere. The key is to discover which ideas have the potential to become books that will sell. The only way to know that is to study the market place."

Jessica Nelson shared some wonderful advice about writing the male point of view on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 post in BookingIt:
"The male ego… [is] apparently…one of the most important factors in a man's thought processes. He's sensitive and his ego is tied to his self-respect."

After watching the movie, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, here’s what Jackie Bannon taught me on her Sunday, September 27, 2009 post in Chaotic thoughts from Ms. Quirky:
“They said (and I'm paraphrasing here because you know how I am at remembering things): In a relationship, the one that cares the least has the power.”
I figure this can be helpful in writing just about ANY romance story.

Sherry Dale Rogers made me want to start up creating middle grade fiction in her Monday, September 28, 2009 blog, Excuse me, does this blog make my butt look big when she said:
"[Middle Grade fiction] is when most children begin to develop a great interest in character recognition, as in they are in self-discovery mode. Kids really get hooked on characters at this age."
It'd make me more excited about writing if I knew my readers were really excited about my characters.

Tess Hilmo really knew how to boost the writer in me on her Tuesday, September 22, 2009 blog post in Tess Hilmo" when she announced:
"I want an actual career as an author. I'm willing to work, to push, to fight my own insecurities and laziness. I'm willing to listen, and try and learn. I'm hungry. Are you?"

Ashley Ladd taught me that a male character's speech patterns are typically shorter than a female's in her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 post at Happily Ever After when she wrote:
"The thrust of this edit is my hero's speech patterns. His sentences and his thoughts are too long, like a woman's.”

I thought Megan Rebekah was pretty smart on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 blog Megan Rebekah Blogs...and Writes when she made a great point about putting name brands in your story:
"Like everything with writing, it's a matter of balance. Used correctly, brand names can connect a reader with the characters."

Natalie Bahm made me think back and appreciate a few of my past educators when on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 blog Natalie Bahm, she said
"When I decided to try writing a few years ago I remembered this teacher and others from college who had been positive about my writing. The encouragement they gave me years ago was enough to pull me through months of self-doubt when I was starting out. Did you have a teacher, parent, youth leader, etc. that helped you believe in your ability to write?"

On her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 blog, Talespinning, Tricia J. O'Brien knew what she was talking about when she said:
"Every novel starts somewhere. The author's job is to snag readers with that opening and keep them captivated. Those first lines should be enticing or arresting. They should evoke the tone of the book, be compatible with the theme and storyline."

For improving dialogue, Robyn Campbell described a wonderful exercise on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 post in Putting Pen to Paper:
"An exercise I learned some time ago. I forget where. Strip one of your existing dialogues, so much that you take out the original scene. Ask someone to create a list of four or five details from your world. He might choose a detail from several different settings. He might use senses. Have him write this on an index card. Tape it to your computer. Rewrite the original dialogue and use these

Beth Revis detailed a new revision plan she came up with in her Thursday, October 1, 2009 post on Writing it Out, which went a little something like:
"Here's the simple version of the revision plan: Readers.
-Alpha reader: read as I was writing, usually between 25-50 pages a week.
-Beta readers (2): read after I finished writing and had done a rough revision on my own.
-Gamma readers (2): read after I polished the manuscript.
[And the result] The key thing that worked in this revision process is that I was able to have the readers work and focus on different things in the manuscript."

Linda LaRoque really helped me out with description scenes in her Sunday, September 6, 2009 post on Linda LaRoque's Musing when she said:
"Description should enhance the characters and have a direct affect on the plot of your story."

And Sandy K. Marshall gave wonderful advice about blogging in her Sunday, September 27, 2009 post at Sandra K. Marshall's Blog when she said:
“In today’s world having a website and a blog is a necessary tool for promoting yourself and your books. This blog will show everyone the type of person you are when they read it.”
...which means you now probably have all realized... I'm nothing but a thief. Sigh. But at least you know now about some of the insightful authors I've been following lately.

See you tomorrow.


  1. :) You are definitely NOT a thief. I have read your writing, remember?

    But thanks for including me in with all of these wonderful writers. Glad you liked the post. I'm heading to the blogs you mention that I haven't read yet. Thanks for the links.

    I'm loving these posts of yours too. Can't wait for tomorrow. :0)

  2. Thank you, Robyn. I don't know how you do it, but you always make me glow.

    After posting all these excellent quotes, I was once again amazed. Even if I came away from the posts I read with just one line of advice tucked away in my head, the things I learn still builds quickly.

  3. Gosh, I wish I was as smart as I sound. ;) Thanks for including me. I, too, learn so much from other writers who blog. It's like going to school without tuition.
    What you did today is so cool. I enjoyed each of these and picked up some new tips. Really liked the one about male voice; very interesting to think about. Thx twice.

  4. Awesome! I can't wait to check out all these great blogs and posts. After my daughter's softball practice, after my two edits.

    BTW, Happy October! I love this month. It's one of the three best months of the year (the other two for me is November and December).

  5. LOL Booknapped is an awesome title! Thanks for sharing all these blogs (and mine). I can't wait to check them out later! They sound great.
    I thought your other post was fine, btw. :-)

  6. Yay! I'm so glad you found my post helpful!

    And now there are a ton of links here that I'm excited to look through... off to click!