When Reality Interferes With Your Goals

At the beginning of this year, I set for myself what I considered to be ambitious but achievable goals: accumulate 75 rejections and edit my second book. Of course, I wasn’t really after 75 rejections; I was hoping that I could find an agent who wanted my book before I hit that number. But querying …

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Getting to know me

Facts about me I can’t remember when I didn’t want to be an author. I wrote my first story in Kindergarten, and I still have it (thanks, Mom!). It was about a princess, a dragon, and a knight, so… not much has changed. I graduated from the University of Michigan. (Go Blue!) My favorite Doctor …

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New Year’s Goals

I ended 2017 by getting the stomach flu and eating nothing but 7-Up and white bread for three days, so we have nowhere to go from here but up! My 2018 writing goals are pretty simple: Accrue 75 rejections for Alchemist’s Mirror Finish two revision passes on my 2017 NaNoWriMo novel Of course, if I …

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How learning story structure helps me write faster

I last participated in NaNoWriMo in 2010. Since then, I’ve had two kids, quit my job, and rewritten my novel twice. Along the way, I picked up quite a bit about story structure and am now a reformed pantser (although no one is ever only a plotter or a pantser, many lean far to one …

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Words for a Cause

Happy November, everyone! For writers, the day after Halloween brings not just a candy hangover but the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Those who sign up attempt to write a whole novel during the month of November. (The target of 50,000 words is technically a little shorter than most novels, …

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A Year of Writing Dangerously

OK, I don’t know that my writing qualifies as dangerous, but it has been a year since I started this crazy experiment of being a full-time author. It’s been a while since I did a retrospective, so now seems like a good time! When I quit my day job, my counselor warned me that for …

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How to Format Your Manuscript, Part 2

Level 2: Jedi So the last post told you about font formatting and headers/page numbers. This post takes you to the next level of convenience—because that’s really what this is about. When you use the techniques Microsoft Word is expecting, you can get the application to work with you instead of feeling like you’re working …

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Format Your Manuscript Properly: How to Get Microsoft Word to Do What You Meant (Part 1)

So you’re submitting your manuscript Here’s the usual expected formatting: http://marycmoore.com/index.php/2016/01/09/how-to-format-your-fiction-submission/. But how do you get Word to do that? Level 1: Padawan I have Office 2016 on Windows 7, so your setup might look a little different. Try searching the term I give you and the version of Word that you have (e.g., “font …

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Ingredients for a Successful Writers Retreat

How to have a successful writers (writers’? writer’s?) retreat, if you’re me: A low-distraction location. My author friend and I rented an AirBnB with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room—perfect for us, because it was exactly what we needed and no more. Bonus: it was decorated with tons and tons of …

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How to finish the draft: maybe you need a deadline

I did it! It’s done! I wrote a decent draft of a whole novel! I would have celebrated, but I was too tired. You see, I was writing to a deadline—an honest-to-goodness deadline with money on the line and someone waiting to receive my manuscript. I almost didn’t make it, but, as it turns out, …

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