We are Liz Schulte and Hadena James. Both of us are independently published authors who have spent years honing our craft. We aren’t experts, but we have a clue. (For more about us, see our Meet the Mavens page)
We are both novelists and our blog is aimed at helping novelists. That is not to say if you write short stories, you won’t find some of our information useful… you will. After all, crafting a short story is similar to crafting a novel, you just have fewer words to do it in.
The purpose of this blog is to assist other aspiring authors to hone their own skills. We’ll be discussing things like character development, plot devices, action sequences, and other important aspects of novel-writing.
We have a couple of resource pages , feel free to check them out and use them. They include editors, cover artists, book promoters and other useful things. We also have a list for where to publish your eBooks.
We love discussions, feel free to start a thread to discuss anything we post about. Since we do both individual and joint posts as well as follow-up posts, starting a discussion is a good way to get both of us involved and get our mutual or opposing view points. You can always find on us on Facebook or on here if you want to talk about something specific with one or both of us.
And to start things off, here is a list of the top 5 pieces of advice received by Liz & Hadena.
Liz’s Top 5 Pieces of Advice she’s received as a writer:
1. Finish Your Shit—This is the advice of the wonderful and humorous blogger Chuck Wendig. This is maybe the best advice ever given to new writers. Don’t worry about perfection, don’t worry about grammar, just finish your story.
2. The road to hell is paved with adverbs—Stephen King said this in his book On Writing. It is without a doubt one of my favorite quotes for writers. Adverbs weaken sentences and allow for lazy writing, checking your adverb usage is always a good practice.
3. Write every day—I honestly can’t remember where I read this, but it is wonderful advice to follow. Writing isn’t easy, but the more you write the easier it becomes. Fight laziness.
4. Show don’t tell—I don’t know who is the first person to say this frustrating piece of advice, but while annoying when someone tells you to do this, it is important. If you have trouble understanding the difference, this could help: LOL (telling) ahahahaha (showing).
5. Treat writing like a job—I don’t know that anyone told me this, but I am telling you. If you want to make a career out of writing treat it like a job. Give it the same importance and priority in your life. I believe in setting deadlines and holding myself to them.
Hadena’s Top 5 List:
1. Write for yourself. If you find others along the way who like it, so much the better. – My creative writing teacher in high school told me this. Let’s face it, if you don’t like it, how can you expect anyone else too? There is another side to this as well. If you don’t enjoy what you are writing, it becomes much harder to write.
2. Don’t be over critical of your writing, just because it isn’t perfect the first time, doesn’t mean it can’t get there. – The Concise Guide to Genre Writing (German Edition) This is the reason for drafts. If everyone wrote a perfect manuscript every time, there would be no room for growth. The rewrites and the edits not only help perfect your thoughts, but allow the cultivation of new thoughts that may perfect a scene, a bit of dialogue or the story as a whole.
3. Experiment. If you always stick with the same ideas or in the same genre, you’ll get bored and begin repeating yourself. – It’s good to force yourself out of your niche once in a while. Not only will it make for interesting ideas and new writing styles, but it will help you stay “out of the box” when you are writing your “normal” stuff.
4. Write everyday, even if you don’t want to or don’t have any ideas. The more often you write, the more you train your brain to write. – This is probably the biggest key to becoming a writer. If you write every day, it becomes routine and brains like routine.
5. Everyone needs help. Find someone to bounce ideas off of, to read your stuff before it’s done and to support you. – Not just copy editors or content editors or cover designers, but someone you know and trust to help you with ideas before you write. Or someone to talk to when you get to that problematic area and get stuck. Someone who can be honest and tell you that your characters are flat and need more pizzazz. Make sure it is someone you take criticism from well.
We look forward to hearing from you and hopefully help you in your writing journey. Happy New Year!
– Liz and Hadena!