Fairies, Zombies, and Agent Queries

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Elizabeth Spencer, Rambling about Writing. Mostly.
Updated: 5 days 2 hours ago

Why I’ve Never Done NaNoWriMo (But I Am This Year)

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:00am
National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is one of the most well-known writing events out there. Every November, NaNoWriMo challenges you to write a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month. People hold local write-ins in their communities, meet other local writers, and write like crazy. And it’s hugely popular. Every November, every author […]

Learning How to Market Books (Post #3): Goodreads Giveaways

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 10:00am
I finished my very first Goodreads giveaway last week, and it was was awesome. Since it’s still fresh in my mind, this seems like a great time to share what I learned. Let’s get to it! You are going to need print copies of your books. Goodreads only has one way to do giveaways at … … Continue reading →

Beta Reading Novels and the Three Kinds of Feedback

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:00am
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ve probably noticed that I looooove to break things down: “writing” isn’t just “writing,” it’s a collection of skills ranging from grammar to description to character building. You can’t just ask for an “edit,” because there are levels of edit. So it’s no surprise that I love […]

Learning How to Market Books (Post #2): Facebook Ads

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:00am
OK, first thing’s first: this is not a post about how to be successful with Facebook ads. I created my first Facebook ad last month. I’ve run a single one-month test. I’ve got a lot to learn. But if you’re an author who doesn’t know where to start–or what to even think about–maybe this will help. […]

Do authors need to read a lot of books?

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:00am
Yes. Post’s over! You can all go home now, guys. You–…what? I need to write a little more than that? Honestly, this is one of those questions I’ve never understood. “The best writers are avid readers” appears in every “Advice for Writers” forum, book, and blog ever written. But writing communities are full of posts […]

The Fixed and Growth Mindsets: How a Popular Psychology Book Applies to Authors

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:00am
First thing’s first: want a free copy of Justice Unending? Then check out my Goodreads giveaway! It’s running from Sept. 25 to Oct. 21 and is available to everyone in the U.S. and Canada (sorry, everyone else! Shipping is expensive.) Good luck! And now, on to the post! About a year or so ago, I […]

Finding Motivation for Writing: Focusing Small Successes

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 10:00am
After years of writing, I’ve learned a very strange thing about myself: when I feel like garbage, a story isn’t working, and I know it needs a lot of work before it’s “done,” the absolute worst, most demoralizing thing I can think is “but imagine what it’ll be like when it’s published!” Yes, demoralizing. It […]

Fun with Formatting Novels: How MS Word’s Styles Can Make it Easier to Navigate and Convert Your Novels

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:00am
I spend an awful lot of time in Microsoft Word. It may not be the only word processing software out there, but there’s no denying that a lot of novels get written in it–and that a lot of people don’t know the useful things it can do. So let’s talk about styles and how you, […]

Learning How to Market Books (Post #1): Mailing Lists

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:00am
So, let’s be honest. I don’t know anything about marketing a book. This is decidedly Not a Very Good Thing, because I happen to have a book published by a small press. But–and this is the part where I admit my very embarrassing life lessons to the internet, where it will be engraved in stone […]

Word Repetition Counter: A Little Tool for Writers

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 10:00am
I’m having a heck of a time coming up with a post this week. So, here! Check out this Word Repetition Counter I made! Warning: I made it in JavaScript. I’m very new at JavaScript. If you break it, I won’t be surprised. Just tell me so I can fix it. Here’s how it works: […]

On Writing a Fiction Series–and How Agents and Publishers Make for Fluid Plans

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 10:00am
I attended the New England SCBWI writing conference back in April, and one of the most intriguing panels I attended–and the one that’s stayed with me the best–was called “And Then There Were More: The Art of Writing a Series with Agent Ammi-Joan Paquette.” I’m a fantasy author, so–be it for better or for worse–series […]

All Writing is Not the Same: Why Writing One Kind of Thing Doesn’t Make You Good At Writing All Kinds of Things

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:00am
That title is a mess. It’ll have to do. As so many of my posts start, I read a thread the other day that asked “Will writing fiction improve your non-fiction writing skills?” This is a question I’ve seen a lot, in many different forms. And a lot of times, people answer with, “Sure! It […]

An Introduction to Editing: Structural Editing

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 10:00am
It’s been quite a while since my last Introduction to Editing post, so if you haven’t seen the first two, check them out! An Introduction to Editing: The Many Different Types of Edits Doing Your Pre-editing Research My last post went through the things you have to do before you make any changes: reading your […]

Review: How to Market a Book, by Joanna Penn

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 10:00am
(First, in unrelated news, check out the four-star Uncaged Book Review of my YA fantasy novel, Justice Unending! You can find it on page 98. And with that out of the way…) I have a confession: I don’t know anything about marketing. I started this blog and my author website several years ago, and proceeded […]