M.L. Keller

72 Flips | 3 Magazines | 5 Likes | @katrinalya | The Manuscript Shredder: Better writing, editing, and publishing

Citing Photos in Wordpress from Adobe Spark

Why cite Stock Photos?<p>As writers we want and should get paid for our work. Photographers feel the same. So if this is true why do so many of them …

Adobe

Outlawed openings: can they work?-author toolbox

Dreams, Flashbacks, and waking up<p>CAn you make an outlawed opening work?<p>Most writing advice blogs will tell you to never use dreams, flashbacks, or …

Writing

Your Novel This Month Release Day

Cue Panic, It’s Release Day<p>So I’ve finally started listening to everyone and put out a book based on my website. Your Novel, This Month is a …

Writing

Working with a Cover Designer

What it’s really like to work with a Cover Designer<p>This week I am excited to talk with the author P.J. Friel on her experience working with …

Writing

Using Enneagrams for Character arcs

Enneagrams are a great tool for creating character arcs<p>Author P.J. Friel clued me into a great tool for developing character arcs: Enneagrams<p>The …

Psychology

50 Vague Phrases that have No Business in your Query

Vague phrases are killing your query<p>Vague wording is the number 1 problem I (and many other editors) find when critiquing queries and Twitter …

Is Overused I-Construction making your MC a narcissist?

Narcissistic prose will ruin your story<p>While it isn’t my personal preference, the current trend favoring first person POV is deeply ingrained in the …

Writing Rebelliously

This week’s shredding was an absolute mess. Three chapters with no transitions, no actual scenes. It was written in a stream of consciousness memoir …

Plot Convenience

Why Plot Convenience is bad<p>This week’s shredding is from a first draft. The author was having trouble making the opening work and wanted a second …

How to Write a Book: The Complete Guide

You have a book inside of you. Perhaps you have a great story idea. Maybe people have told you, “Your life should be made into a book!” Or maybe you …

Writing

Scene Structure

This week I was working with a friend who was considering a professional line edit and wanted my opinion if the cost was worth it. Normally, I …

Writing Logical Pitches

Whether on Twitter, blog contests, or in a query, effective pitches must tell a logical story<p>I shred tons of pitches. Most of them fall into four …

Creating Higher Stakes

Simple tips for creating more tension in your manuscript<p>One of my favorite things is beta reading. Picking a story apart, trying to figure out why it …

Unlikable Protagonist

Tips for Writing Fantastic Jerks<p>The last few books I have read all suffered from the same flaw: an unlikable protagonist.<p>Having the jerk at center …

Getting Out of an Editing Loop

Editing loop:<p>How to identify it, how to get out, and when to let a project go<p>Feel like you are stuck in an editing loop? How many times have you …

Bending the Timeline

Don’t mess with your reader’s sense of time<p>Time marches ever forward, and so should your story, but too often writers unintentionally bend the …

8 Effective Book Marketing Strategies

Learning About Marketing<p>guest post by Ronel Janse van Vuuren<p>The past couple of months have been a steep learning curve. I was shoved from my placid …

How to avoid introducing too many characters

Don’t introduce all your characters in the first chapter<p><i>I’m ready.</i><p><i>Well, I’m pretty sure I’m ready. This is not my element, but I’m intelligent,</i> …

Amnesia as a plot device-authortoolbox

How to use amnesia as a plot device<p>Recently I was slogging through an ARC (and I do mean slogging) trying to figure out why I can’t get into the …

Query Swap Returns

Query Swap (#QuerySwap) Twitter event<br>Coming June 1, 2018<p>It’s Query Swap time again<p>To help you polish your query, I’m hosting Query Swap (#QuerySwap) …

Eliminating Word Crutches

Overused words will ruin your prose<p>Every writer has words or phrases that habitually show up in their work. Like a verbal tick, writers insert them …

Beta readers: When to Ignore Them

Writing by Committee<p>When betas take control of your novel and how to get it back<p>Beta readers are one of the biggest issues beginning writers have. …

Creative Writing

Realistically Introducing Magic-authortoolbox

Making Magic feel Real<p>Introducing your readers to your magic system takes careful consideration. Don’t blindside them with the supernatural. Prepare …

Writing

Free Scene Planning Worksheet

Create better scenes with a scene planning worksheet<p>Thinking about winging it for NaNoWriMo? You could end up staring at a blank screen with nothing …

A Pantser tries to Plot

<i>This is a reprint of an essay I wrote three years ago about NaNoWriMo. I’ve learned a considerable amount about plotting in the interim, but it still</i> …

Opening Action: how to make it work

Making your opening scene work is more than just starting with an explosion. The opening action sets the tone for your entire story. Make sure yours …

Reclaiming the Creative Drive IWSG

Finding the will to write<p>This is my post for The Insecure Writers Support Group: a monthly blog hop therapy group for writers.<p>(<i>If you’re here for my</i> …

Avoiding Stage Directions

Stage Directions<p>What they are, why they are bad, and how to fix them<p>In a play, stage directions are the non-dialog actions the actor must perform. …

Scene and Sequel: Making them work together

“Scene and sequel” doesn’t have to be mysterious writer talk. This simple formula will help you create the lean exciting plotlines readers crave. By …

Using Character Motivations in Plot Chains-authortoolbox

Why do your characters do what they do?<p>People may not always behave in a logical manner, but when you are planning out your stories, your characters …

Creative Writing