April Favorites and Giveaway Announcement

Hey, guys!

Over the course of the month of April, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs. It’s really something I’m trying to get better at, as I’m so busy keeping up my own writing. It’s easy to forget how much you can glean from reading others’ work, so as April draws to a close, I’d like to share with you some of the best posts I read this month. I hope they will inspire and encourage you all as much as they did me.

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Also, as I’m guessing most of you know, today I will be announcing the three winners of my recent Five Page Critique Giveaway, so stay tuned for that! I’m excited to see what you guys have to share!

Book Review: Unspoken

Books

Kami has known Jared her whole life as the imaginary friend inside her head—but what happens when he turns out to be a real boy?

 Author: Sarah Rees Brennan

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery

Rating: 2/5

Ages: Best for ages 15 and up

Summary: [from Goodreads] Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Find Out What’s Killing Your Hero

Heroes are some of the most important characters in fiction. In order to have a compelling narrative, you have to have one. And, if all goes well, he’ll be a great character who will fascinate your readers and keep them enthralled in his story. But sometimes, all does not go well.

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As a reader, nothing frustrates me more than a hero who is overshadowed by his friends and allies. After all, I’m inside his head. This is his perspective, so I want to be interested by him. Why are there so many stories out there where some other character seems to steal the hero’s thunder?

The #1 Question to Ask Before You Write Romance

Romance is a difficult subject, and very few people write it well. Too many authors pass it off as the ultimate fix for a flat novel and forget to determine whether it actually has a place in the story. If it does, they usually forget to ask one very important question.

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Sam and I have been going through an amazing relationship class at our church, and we’ve learned a lot about each other, and what makes relationships actually work. Most importantly, we’ve learned what to do—and the number-one thing to remember when things get tough. Then one day it occurred to me; if you want to write powerful fictional romances, this is part of the secret.

The First Five Pages: Critique Giveaway

Hey, everyone!

For those of you who don’t know, I do some freelance editing alongside my own blogging and writing. It’s something I really enjoy. I love to help people make their writing look and sound great. If you have a story to tell, it deserves to be the absolute best it can be, right? Your voice deserves to be heard.

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I’ve been talking a lot about fine-tuning the techniques in your stories lately, and since I like you guys a lot, today I want to offer you a chance for some personal feedback on your work. That’s right—I want to help you, so I’m offering three five-page critiques for free!

6 Reasons to Find Yourself a Brainstorm Buddy Today

Writing is hard work. How many of you could figure that out on your own with no help at all? It can get kind of exhausting to think up entire worlds, and sometimes you need a break. But other times, what you need is a Brainstorm Buddy.

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I’ve been going through a bit of a tough period with my writing lately. The creative juices haven’t been a river, to say the least. In fact, it’s not really unlike the last time I struggled with this. It still happens, folks. I’m no perfect writer, and neither are you. I battled this for a while before I realized that something important was missing. I needed a Brainstorm Buddy.

Called to Write: Victoria’s Story

You know those days, weeks, or even months when the creative well is running a little low, and you aren’t seeing returns for your grueling efforts? Those days where you just aren’t motivated–the ones that make you question yourself and your calling? Because let’s face it; we all have those days. Sometimes we wonder, “Is this really what I’m supposed to do?”

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Today I have the privilege of featuring award winning speculative author, Victoria Grace Howell in a guest post where she will be sharing with us the incredible story of how she discovered and pursued her passion. I hope you will all be encouraged by what she has to say.