Writer’s Tips – #NovelWriting, #Blogs to #Podcast, Making #Videos with #Canva and More!


This edition of Writer’s Tips is chock full of great posts from fellow writers on everything related to writing stories. Also included are two fantastic ‘how to’ posts on how to turn our blog posts into podcasts, and how to create videos by using Canva.


How to write the best titles for blog posts that attract attention from the SEO machines by Hugh Roberts



How to make your novel standout in a crowd of books by Deborah Jay



7 Easy tips to craft a story – Nicholas Rossis



How to make a video with Canva, by Harmony Kent at the Story Empire



Jan Sykes shared a fabulous, informative post on WordPress’s capability to turn out blogs into podcasts!



Five Common Beginning Writer Storyteller Mistakes by Anne R. Allen

Five Common Beginning Writer Storytelling Mistakes



bitmo live laugh love


Foundations of Storytelling – #Loglines – #Blurbs by Sean Carlin


Screenwriter/author, Sean Carlin wrote this gem of an article on Loglines. He states in his informative post that successful stories should emerge from a logline (elevator pitch) and outlined around the logline. This is a fascinating post from the always informative and articulate Sean, who is as generous with this replies to comments with nuggets of worthy information as he is with his succinct and in-depth posts on the various aspects of writing. Sean breaks down each stage of writing beautifully with examples.


This is the first post in an occasional series.

With the Second World War looming, a daring archaeologist-adventurer is tasked by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant—a Biblical artifact of invincible power, lost for millennia in the desert sands of Egypt—before it can be acquired by the Nazis.

On Christmas Eve, an off-duty police officer is inadvertently ensnared in a life-or-death game of cat-and-mouse in an L.A. skyscraper when his wife’s office party is taken hostage by a dozen armed terrorists.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, a resort-island sheriff finds himself in deep water—literally—when his beach is stalked by an aggressive great white shark that won’t go away.

All of the above story concepts should sound familiar—that’s why I chose them.  Yes, Raiders of the Lost ArkDie Hard, and Jaws are all popular—now classic—works of commercial cinema.  But they are also excellent exemplars of storytelling at their most basic, macrostructural levels, as demonstrated by the catchy summaries above, known in Hollywood as “the logline.”


The logline is a sales pitch:  In a single compact sentence, it conveys the protagonist (respectively:  the adventurous archaeologist; the off-duty cop; the beach-resort sheriff), the antagonist (the Nazis; the terrorists; the shark), the conflict and stakes (possession of the Ark for control of the world; the confined life-and-death struggle; the destruction of a man-eating leviathan), the setting (1930s Egypt; an L.A. skyscraper at Christmas; a summer resort), and the tone/genre (action/adventure; action-thriller; adventure/horror).  You can even reasonably glean the Save the Cat! category of each:

  • Raiders as Golden Fleece (Subgenre:  “Epic Fleece”)
  • Die Hard as Dude with a Problem (“Law Enforcement Problem”)
  • Jaws as Monster in the House (“Pure Monster”)

A cogent synopsis like any of the above allows a prospective buyer to “see” the creative vision for the movie, ideally triggering the three-word response every screenwriter longs to hear:  “Tell me more.”

Note what isn’t included in the logline:  The names of any of the characters.  Thematic concerns.  Emotional arcs.  Subplots.  Descriptions of particular set pieces.  That’s the “tell me more” stuff, and none of it is necessary—it is, in fact, needlessly extraneous—for the “elevator pitch,” so called for the brief window one has to hook to an exec before he steps off onto his floor (read:  loses interest).  The point of a logline is to communicate the story’s most fundamental aspects, and to capture what’s viscerally exciting about the premise. . . Continue Reading at Sean’s blog


Note: Don’t forget to read the comments under Sean’s article, they are also filled with tips.


Source: Foundations of Storytelling, Part 1: The Logline as Both a Sales and Writing Tool




How to write a book… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

How to Write a Book by Sue Vincent


Reblog and share

Fantastic article written by Sue Vincent — Writing and Editing from our own perspective


There are more books being written and published at this moment in time than ever before. Self publishing has opened the doors to a global sharing of imagination and knowledge, but when you pick up the proverbial pen for the very first time, it can seem a daunting task. How do you start, where does it end… and how can you define success?

There are a plethora of resources available online to help writers start, explore or hone their craft. It matters not at all what you are looking for, there is something available. Whether you want to know how to write the vilest of villains or avoid creating a histrionic heroine,  advice, good, bad and indifferent is easily located thanks to the power of the internet.

Most of this advice, it is true, is aimed at writers of fiction. There is a tendency to generalise and the term ‘book’ seems very often to come with the unwritten corollary that ‘we are talking about fiction here’. Writers of non-fiction, or of fictionalised fact, find themselves at a bit of a disadvantage where the general advice is concerned, especially as they tend to fall outside the accepted genres. Anyone who fails to fit into the genre mould or, heaven-forfend, chooses to mix them up a little, is seen as a bit odd, to say the least. As if they are more likely to sit down with a vampire for an in-depth discussion of parasitic morality and the best ways of growing garlic, than they are to offer them a passing virgin for tea.

Even research has changed. It is no longer exclusively the preserve of those happy to spend hours poring over dusty tomes… an unsafe practice at best for writers who have, as a species, a tendency to get lost in their pages. All it takes, these days, is a few clicks of the mouse and a world of knowledge opens in front of your eyes.

Grammar and punctuation may be corrected and polished by both the well-researched writer and the many programmes that are out there… though my own opinion of them is equivocal. Commas, like salt, may be sprinkled to taste while debates rage about the use of the Oxford variety.

You can learn all the rules and break them with impunity as long as you have found your own peculiar voice as a writer… except where spelling is concerned. There, you must conform, but the digital documents you create will nudge you in the right direction… sometimes. Unless the typo is a real, if misplaced, word. Or until it decides you should be using American English whether you like it or not. It is bad enough proof reading a manuscript in your own language, without having to check to see whether or not autocorrect decided to teach you another.

Then, when you have completed the book, done the editing, proofed it, rewritten and agonised over it, polished and proofed it again, you find that there is so much excellent, and often conflicting, advice out there about what to do next. You have to learn about marketing and promotion. You are reminded that cover designs and layout must be decided upon, you should think about getting a professional editor and sending the book to beta-readers… but the most important reader of all is usually dismissed as being unfit for the job.


It is true that writers generally make terrible editors and proofreaders of their own work. Continue Reading , . 


Source: How to write a book… | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers – Emmagc75’s Blog

 post it

My book! My poor book is in a sorry state of a compilation of pages of handwritten stories with assorted temporary chapter headings labeled by slapped on post-it-notes.


I’ve been writing this book for the past year, and by far, it’s been the most challenging of all my books to write. With all that life has been dishing out to me in the past year, my 2 months away this winter, and health issues upon my return, I feel my book calling out to me, yet I have other pressing issues to contend with until I can go back and give it the attention it so desperately needs.


I’ve been so busy trying to keep up with reading blogs, and putting out blogs on events of my life, writing tips and reviews for some great books I’ve read, but I’ve neglected to talk about the subject of my next book.

Lately I tend to forget I’m a writer, but merely a person on auto pilot just doing the daily grind and the minimal appearances on my own blog and social media to try and keep things together until I can focus full time on my writing again.

DG quote guilt bleed out CH

I’m writing a sequel to my memoir, Conflicted Hearts. This is a book I knew I’d be writing one day, after my mother passed away. I left Conflicted Hearts open for much that wasn’t said because I felt held back about going deeper into issues in fear about my mother reading it. It took a lot of guts on my part to publish a book about my life ruled by a narcissistic mother who was still living.

I remember having the book ready to publish and sitting on it for a good month of worry about publishing it. If it weren’t for the urging of my siblings to get it out, I may not have summoned the courage to do so.

DG quote buried the guilt CH

I knew I also had to experience my innermost feelings I’d go through after my mother’s passing to be able to write my truth, and assess and analyze what made my mother behave as she did. I wanted to interview family members, find an understanding, not only to share my story, but hopefully to help make sense of things for others who have lived with a narcissist parent.


I don’t write to condemn, nor avenge, but merely to find an understanding.


There are plenty of books and websites that deal specifically with narcissists, and because I read so much about it, I never felt compelled to talk about it more on my blog. Oh sure, I’ve been thinking about running some articles about narcissistic mothers, and being that I’m a victim of one of those mothers and write books about, I probably should be writing more about it here. But what spurred this thought in me was an article I came across on Emma’s Blog, Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.


Origin of article content by Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Expert on the Narcissistic Personality


Before I began reading the post, I found the images posted before the article on that blog captivating, particularly the last one which reminded me that many narcissistic parents become parents for their own self-serving reasons. If you read Conflicted Hearts, you’ll find that my mother had fully intended to get pregnant out of wedlock in order to snag my father into marrying her. And so I was born.


When I read the post, it hit home with me word for word. I had lived it all; every single trait related in that post, I had lived, except for just one: my mother didn’t demean me by calling me ugly or stupid – I attribute that to the fact that she never had the time of day for me, so name calling was insignificant.


There were plenty of significant points in the post I nodded my head in agreement with as I took in every word. Some that resonated with me significantly were:

  • They pit one child against the other.
  • When we are little we must do what we have to for survival purposes.
  • One of the reasons for the narcissistic
    mother’s horrendous cruelties besides her own self hatred is that she is
    exceedingly jealous of her daughter.
  • And then there are daughters that do it all on their own.
    They leave home, find a job, work hard, find ways to educate themselves
    and become independent.

Below, you will read an intro to that post. Please click on ‘continue reading’ for the rest of the article.


Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–You Are Not Alone


“When you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother you feel like you
are screaming underwater and drowning at the same time.
Many daughters don’t realize for years the truth about this woman who projects hatred on to you daily. If you are scapegoated among the siblings, your childhood is exceedingly harsh. You are at the mercy of a sadistic, cold
mother. On the outside there are acquaintances and friends of hers that
think she is the best human being on the face of the earth. She is so
devoted to her children despite her outside career. She works constantly
on this external image to make sure that everyone knows how wonderful
she is. . .” Continue Reading 

Source: Narcissistic Mothers – Emmagc75’s Blog  Original content from Linda Martinez-Lewi PH.D http://thenarcissistinyourlife.com/you-scream-narcissist-accuses-you-of-losing-control/ 

Are you a victim of a narcissistic parent?



Who’s Reading Your Books?

 My point of view

Writers have to keep in mind who their target audience is. These questions remain tucked in our minds while we write, to give us a sense of who our words are geared towards. Are we just sharing our words randomly to see who’s ears they fall upon, or are we aiming specifically to a target genre?


In writing memoir, we are writing our truth and most likely, our audience will be readers who enjoy memoirs, autobiographies, and most importantly, the subject of what the theme of the memoir pertains to. But there is also a small other category of readers – a mixed bag I’ll call it, and some of those readers are people we know – people we may never have considered that would read our books.


What surprises me is when I find that people in my real-life circles have read my book – people I’d never have thought would even have the interest. I came across three of those people recently at my sister’s 50th birthday party.

Conflicted Hearts Cover SMALL revised

When I published my first book, Conflicted Hearts, I was proud and scared at the same time. Not only was I bearing my soul to the world, but people who have known me for decades, yet never knew my intimate details now had access to them if they chose to read. My mother was also still living at the time of publication, and although she was already bedridden, her feisty, angry temperament had yet to decline. I was afraid she’d find out about the book and that was just one more fear I had to worry about regarding my mother. But I proceeded to publish anyway after much deliberation. That process became part of my ongoing learning how to overcome the guilt I seemed to always carry when it came to my mother.

Meanwhile, back at the party, and a little backstory:

Growing up in my pre-teen and teen years, I looked after my younger siblings while my mother tended to her desires of staying in the limelight and keeping a very active, social life thriving. My brothers had a group of friends that were always at our house, the central hangout, and those friends remain as close family friends today. To me, they were like extended family and like having more brothers to watch my back. They are still very close with my brother Robbie, and I occasionally run into them at family social gatherings. What surprised me was that with my brother’s decision not to read my book, for his own personal reasons, it never dawned on me that his friends couldn’t wait to devour my book.

I was sitting in my sister’s backyard this past weekend, mingling with old friends when Lawrence, one of my brother’s friends, sat down beside me and proceeded to recite intimate parts of several chapters of Conflicted Hearts to me. I was shocked to learn of his great interest in my book while simultaneously laughing with him at his analysis and depictions of my stories. He was eager to reminisce about my family events and wasted no time in teasing me about my ‘scandalous indiscretions’ as he had described them. We laughed and talked about the writing of the book, and after getting over the initial embarrassment I felt about him closing in on so many personal details, I actually felt flattered that he had taken in almost every word and event in my book.

Not long after Lawrence and I were chatting, two more of the group of Robbie’s friends joined us and began chiming in about my book and how they loved and related to it. Shane was quick to point out that he went beyond downloading the ebook like the others, and ordered himself a print copy. Lawrence chided Shane that he had to one-up the guys or maybe he just had to buy a copy because he liked my author picture on the back of the book. The whole discussion became quite comical.

After the lengthy book discussion, and after I got over my surprise and back into my comfort zone, I began to feel proud that these guys had taken the interest and time to read my book. Other than immediate family and close friends, I’d never considered how many people that know me personally would actually read my book.

Near the end of our ‘bookchat’ Lawrence repeated his hysterical summation to me on my chapter about what happened to me in Greece. He informed me that he is awaiting a sequel to my book, and asked if I would include him in it. He suggested I put him in some exotic locale and call him Alejandro (complete with tongue roll). I laughed hysterically and warned him that he should be careful what he wished for.

I have actually been working on the sequel to Conflicted Hearts for the past year and a half. It will be a book of unfinished things, and words said and unsaid, after my mother’s passing. There certainly aren’t any exotic locales in that book, but perhaps I may mention Lawrence in it as he related an interesting story to me at the party about my mother.

Is it any easier to imagine anonymous people reading your memoirs as opposed to someone you know?

Floor Show – #First #Draft Manuscript finished

Floor show


As I stood back and admired the round, large carpet which lay on the living room floor, I noticed how neatly I had placed the piles which covered the outer circumference of the carpet.  It looked as though it was a giant clock on the floor, but in place of the numerals, there were papers and too many piles to actually resemble a clock.

In some strange sense, I suppose it could have been construed as a clock, for the pages were filled with time.

These pages are my first draft of my memoir.  I couldn’t help but just stand and look down at my creation for a moment with an overwhelming sense of pride.

Oh yes, I have a ways to go now, but alas, the story is out of my head.  I have birthed it and now have only to help it grow and shape its future.