How Small Decisions Can Make Huge Story Impact – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Fae Rowen

We all make hundreds of decisions every day, whether it’s to go one more day without washing our hair or deciding what we’re going to read. Most of those decisions are routine and unremarkable. But I bet you can remember a seemingly unremarkable decision that had a big impact on your life.

This is true of your characters as well. There are important decisions that can affect the entirety of your character’s life. Four particular areas carry a lot of power in guiding your main character through the story: motivationbackstoryconflict and character arc.

Decisions that show motivation

What if… In the beginning of your book your character makes an unpopular decision. We’ll say it’s to quit school. Your reader may not agree. It’s even better if your reader doesn’t agree. You can get them to change their minds and their hearts.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

How to Write Compelling Emotional Triggers – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

Lisa Hall-Wilson

Writing emotional triggers, while optional, will take your writing to all-new levels of emotional connection for readers. This is a shortened sample lesson from my 5-week masterclass on writing in deep point of view.

In my book Method Acting For Writers, I talk about writing emotions in four layers: primary emotions (instinctive, knee-jerk, unthinking emotional responses), emotional triggers (optional), secondary emotions (thinking emotional responses to primary emotions), and behavior (what those emotions force the character to DO).

Don’t Google primary and secondary emotions—the clinical definitions are too nebulous to be a helpful template. In the context of fiction writing, whether an emotion is a primary or secondary emotion has more to do with what’s fueling the emotion.

Anger is almost always a secondary emotion—we’re angry because of/or in response to something.

But take attraction for instance; this can an instinctive response the character has no control over (a primary emotion), but it can also be a feeling that develops over time with familiarity (a secondary emotion). Thinking of emotions this way ensures the WHY is built-in for readers.

Read the rest of this post HERE:

Indie Publishing 101– Part III – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

Piper Bayard of Bayard & Holmes

In Indie Publishing 101 – Part I, we discussed the shifting paradigm of the publishing world, what it takes to be an independent publisher, and how we produce quality, publish-ready manuscripts. In Part II of the series, we looked at what is involved in the actual production of a quality indie book—layout, artwork, ISBNs, and copyright registration.

In both of those posts, we noted that the publishing world is shifting sands, as in a sandstorm. As if queued up to give us an example, the day after Indie Publishing 101 – Part II was published, the US Copyright Office sent me an email saying it is increasing its rates from $55 to $65 to register a manuscript.

Today, we review those final steps of independent publishing—actually publishing our books and sending them out into the world.

1. Publishing

We have our edited manuscript, our beautiful layout, our amazing cover, our required ISBNs, and our secured copyrights. Now, we’re ready to publish.

Check out the rest of this post HERE.

Indie Publishing 101 – Part II – From the Writers in the Storm blog

Piper Bayard of Bayard & Holmes

In Indie Publishing 101—Part I, we discussed the shifting paradigm of the publishing world, what it takes to be an independent publisher, and how we produce quality, publish-ready manuscripts. Today, we will look at what is involved in the actual production of a quality indie book.

1. Layout

Pretty books don’t just happen. The visual layout of the book must be designed, paying special attention to font, spacing, and the overall visual aesthetic. We put countless hours into the quality of our content. It is just as important that it be easy to read.

Read the rest of this post HERE:

10 Ways To Lead Yourself To Writing Success – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

Successful Writer

Before Christmas, someone at my day job sent around an article from Inc that I’ve been pondering ever since: “How Can You Be Sure Someone Has True Leadership Skills?” The article offered twenty examples for the corporate crowd, and several of them offer life-changing opportunities for writers to lead themselves right down the path to success.

According to the article, these skills and habits are quickly changing the game of leadership development. Effective leaders are encouraged to “break up positive leadership actions into bite-sized daily activities, or ‘micro-actions.’” Basically, they’re proving that micro-actions have the power to make BIG change.

Dang, that sounds powerful, doesn’t it? We’ve got to get in on some of that!

Powerful Micro-Actions for Writers

Read the rest of this post HERE.

The Rights Way: A Quick Guide to Image Copyright Issues – From the Writers in the Storm blog

by Melinda VanLone

Are you an indie author about to create or commission a cover? If so, most likely you’ll be using images to design your latest best seller. Did you know that those images have copyrights? Even if you found them on the interwebs like litter on a street corner, they still have rights. It’s that fact that gets a lot of authors in trouble.

It’s never a good idea to pull an image directly off of a Google search because you can’t be sure where it’s coming from, who has the rights, whether they’ve released them, or whether they are still very much the property of the creator.

To keep yourself protected from potential legal action, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Read the rest of this post HERE.

12 Survival Tricks for a Creative’s Anxiety – From the Writers in the Storm Blog

by Lori Freeland

Anxiety. The word alone is enough to set off a tingle in my fingers, a tightness in my chest, and a worn-out mantra—Breathing is good. Passing out is bad—that rarely works. 

And I’m not alone.

I’ve read so many posts from authors dealing with health problems related to or caused by anxiety—especially in the last few years. The push to perform and market and put more and more out there seems to be ramping up to an almost impossible level, for indie authors in particular. 

What’s really frustrating is that the very things that make us good writers—empathy, sensitivity, being observant, and of course the power to picture in IMAX the very worst thing that could happen in any situation—are the same things that fuel the anxiety.

From the fear of not being able to meet deadlines to not being good enough to straight-up failure, there’s A LOT to worry about. We even worry about the good things! Praise easily leads to pressure.

Sadly, all that yuck doesn’t just stay in the writing part of our lives. It leaks over into everything, and random moments can set it off.

Driving in the rain makes me shake. Claustrophobia in a crowd tunnels my vision. Restlessness spins my thoughts until my mind won’t shut off and I can’t sleep, I can’t focus, I can’t function.

And worse, when I get that way, I can’t write. Like not at all.

Anxiety might be one of the least understood stalkers of mental health. Especially to people who’ve never experienced it. Broken bones, people understand. Even a broken heart gains a sympathetic nod. But anxiety can get brushed off as being all in our heads.

Read the rest of this post HERE.