How To Finish Revising Your Novel in 30 Days

The other day I told you my 30-day game plan for finishing the first draft of your novel. Except what if you’re revising a novel?

Well, luckily the process isn’t totally different. But there are a few things you’ll want to do before you follow the 30-day-finish-your-draft process.

1. Start Fresh Off A Break

A really important part of being able to revise your story objectively is to get enough distance from it before you come back to do the revisions. If you finish the first draft and then just jump into revisions, you won’t have fresh eyes and won’t properly be able to judge how good or bad it is.

The best way to get into a revision is to start off fresh.

Action Step: take at least 4-6 weeks away from your first draft before you attempt to revise in 30 days. Schedule it into your calendar and actually mark down the ‘start revisions’ date so you’re accountable to it.

2. Make A Plan For What Needs to Be Done

Before you can revise your draft, you have to first:

  • Know what you have to work with
  • Create a plan of attack for working with what you’ve got

You can follow this step-by-step revision prep process here, which will walk you through exactly what to do to create your revision plan.

Be sure to categorize your notes by what you need to work on: plot, characterization, description, conflict, etc. Knowing exactly what to look for as you’re revising will make the whole process go quicker (which is great for when you want to revise the entire draft in 30 days).

Action Step: put together your revision plan by going through the revision prep process and looking at your story as a whole (or you can grab my Story Revision Kit and have checklists and resources to make it all easier on yourself).

3. Create A Schedule Around What You Will Work On and When

Once you’ve got your revision plan ready to go, it’s time to pull out your calendar and figure out when you’ll work on each piece of your revision. Go back through your categorizations of what you need to work on (see step #2) and divide them up across 30 days.

For example, during week 1 of the 30 days, you can focus on plot improvements and then week 2 you can handle characterization and character arc. Week 3 could be for layering in description and then week 4 could be copyediting and proofreading before sending to your developmental editor for notes and feedback.

Action Step: grab your calendar and your revision notes and map out exactly what you’ll work on and when.

4. Follow All of the Steps from the How To Finish Your Novel in 30 Days Article 

Before you officially start revising, be sure to go through the steps listed in the How To Finish Your Novel in 30 Days article and be sure to do all of them. You’ll need everything listed there to successfully finish your revision.

Action Step: go read the How To Finish Your Novel in 30 Days article and do all of the steps listed in it.

That’s how you get your novel revision finished in 30 days. But don’t just read this article, take action on it. Like right now. Today.

Write with a purpose, live with intention,

 

 

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

P.S. And if you want some kick-ass motivation, inspiration and accountability so you can step up and FINISH your novel revisions, be sure to check out my upcoming workshop, FINISH Your Damn Novel: 30 days of kick-ass motivation, inspiration, accountability and getting-writing-done for writers who’ve started a novel (draft or revision) and want to finish. Doors close TONIGHT at 11:59 p.m. EST so if you want in, now’s the time!! 

>> Details and sign up here

How To Finish Writing Your Novel in 30 Days

Thirty days doesn’t seem like a lot of time when you’re thinking about finishing a project you started and then put off. But 30 days is actually a lot of time! And the thing is, the time’s gonna pass anyhow. So you may as well be doing something you actually care about with that time.
 
Which is why I’ve put together this quick-start guide for how to finish writing your novel in 30 days.
 
Now I will add that this list is for writers who have already started the draft of a novel. If you’re still in the planning and development stages, you need a whole different list. And if you’re revising, you’ll need a different (although similar) list as well (the revise-in-30-days list is coming Friday!).
 

First—why 30 days?

 
Because I have a theory that when you cut down your timeline, you actually motivate yourself and light a fire under your ass that gets you out of your head (see ya later doubt!) and into action. Anytime I’ve cut my timeline down, whether that be 30 days, 10 days or something else, it always gets me moving in the direction I want to go.
 
But when I give myself unlimited time to get something done or I don’t set a specific deadline for finishing it, I end up not working on it consistently, making excuses for why it’s not done yet, and then half a year or more passes and it’s still not done.
 
It’s a vicious cycle.
 
I started the first draft of my second novel in November 2015. But I didn’t finish it until February 2016. And it’s not because it just took me that long. Not at all. I started it in November and then I stopped working on it for almost 2 months.
 
I was only a handful of scenes away from being finished with it when I met a mentor in February 2016 who inspired and motivated me to FINISH.
 
So I did. I wrote the rest of the first draft—as crappy as the writing may have been—and I called it done. (Don’t get me started on how long it’s been taking me for the revision, mostly because I haven’t been being consistent until the last month or so.)
 
And finishing that first draft didn’t take me very long, once I set my mind to the fact that it was DONE and it would be done that month. Yes, I still had to take the actions and do the writing, but by making the decision that it was done, the words flowed a lot easier and I got it done within the 30-day timeframe that I set for myself.
 
How did I do it? Here’s how…
 

1. Decide On A Daily Measurable

 
You don’t have to write based on word count or page count or even scene count. But you can. And you should write based on at least one of those things. Otherwise you’ll have no idea if you’re making progress or not.
 
The feeling of doing the writing is amazing and will definitely motivate you, but seeing actual progress in black-and-white will really, really motivate you.
 
Action Step: what daily measurable will you use to ensure you’re making progress on finishing your first draft?
 

2. Get Yourself Some Accountability

 
This is super important. I wouldn’t get half the stuff I get done every day if it weren’t for all of the accountability I have set up in my life.
 
I’ve got an accountability partner for the things I want to get done each week. I’ve got an accountability partner for things I want to get done each day. And I’ve also got an accountability partner for the things I want to get done each month.
 
And yes, I need this many. I need more! Because self-set deadlines and keeping yourself accountable only goes so far. At some point, you’ll need someone outside yourself to help you out. (Unless you’re someone who is super good at self-accountability. But let’s just be honest—most writers and creators are not.)
 
I see myself as a leader. And a leader doesn’t show up to an accountability session and say that they didn’t do what they said they would. Creating built-in accountability has quadrupled my productivity.
 
Action Step: who can you find in your life to hold you accountable to doing your writing? Choose someone who will actually hold you to doing what you said you would, otherwise it won’t be very useful.
 

3. Find A Writing Sprints Partner

 
Writing sprints are basically timed periods of writing where you try to get as many words written as you can. Usually you do a writing sprint with a partner or a group of people (you could do it alone with a timer if you really wanted to, but it’s not as fun).
 
All you have to do is set a time to meet up virtually (you can check in via Facebook message, email or text message), and then decide on how long you’re sprinting for. Then you’re off and writing until the time is up.
 
For example—you could decide to meet up online at Noon and then do a 15-minute writing sprint and check in. Or you could decide to sprint until 12:30 and then check in.
 
How you do the writing sprints doesn’t really matter. But doing them, and especially with a partner, is major motivation to get out of your head and into action.
 
Action Step: who can you do writing sprints with? Find someone and get some writing sprint sessions set up pronto.
 

4. Use A Timer

 
I don’t care what you’re doing—writing, reading, watching TV—almost everything works better when you have a set time for how long you’re gonna do the activity for. Using a timer for my writing and other projects has seriously changed my life and amped up my productivity in a major way.
 
I like to do things in 15- or 21-minute sessions (sometimes 31-minutes if I really feel like it), and then take a break for a few before starting the next thing. That may not seem like a lot of time to work on your writing or creating or whatever you’re doing, but think of it this way… add 21 minutes a day up over 7 days. Then add it up over 14 days. Then add it up over 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc.
 
And 365 days of writing for 21 minutes a day equals 7,665 minutes, or around 128 hours of time. Now imagine if you actually worked on your novel or writing project for 128 hours over the course of a year.
 
What you’ll find is that it’s enough. It’s enough time to actually make progress and get somewhere.
 
I’ve been revising my second novel for 15- to 21-minutes a day for the last month and I’m already more than a quarter of the way through. And I’ll be speeding things up and finishing the rest next month (more details on that below).
 
Action Step: find yourself a timer if you don’t already have one (or use this timer here). Start writing and creating by the timer. Do it daily.
 

5. Give Yourself A Deadline

 
Pretty obvious, but deadlines are a way to motivate yourself to take action. If you know something is due by a certain date, you’ll get it done.
 
But just in case you’re not great at self-set deadlines (as so many writers are not), that’s where the other stuff on this list comes in.
 
Action Step: open your calendar right now and set a deadline for when you will finish your first draft. Then use the other action steps to get it done.
 

6. Create A Distractions Checklist

 
I created a distractions checklist as a way of helping me focus. Here’s what it consists of:
 
> 10 minutes to check Facebook and/or email (set a timer to keep it to exactly 10 minutes)
 
When timer goes off…
 
> Close browser completely
 
> Turn on writing playlist
 
> Flip phone face down on the desk so I can’t see the screen (put it on silent if it’s not already)
 
> Start writing (use timer—15-30 minutes)
 
Having this checklist allows me to wind down the things that distract me so I can focus completely on getting writing done.
 
Action step: create your own distractions checklist that you can use in your writing life.
 

7. Commit to 15 Minutes of Fitness A Day

 
This could be taking a walk, lifting weights, running on a treadmill—whatever feels fun for you. When you’re committing to finish something in 30 days, it’s important that you keep up your energy.
 
Getting in some daily movement, even for just 15 minutes, is enough to do that.
 
Action Step: choose a movement-based activity that you love and do it for 15 minutes. Repeat daily.
 

8. Fill Your Fridge with Snacks that Fuel You

 
Yeah, it’s fine to have some chocolate or other snacks to munch while you’re writing. But don’t overdo it. Otherwise you’ll just feel sluggish and uninspired.
 
If you’re finishing your novel in 30 days, there’s a good chance you’ll eat several meals in front of your laptop. So give yourself an energy boost and actually stock your fridge with some healthy stuff.
 
I like to stock up with chia pudding, homemade chocolate, popcorn, raw veggies with dip and things like that. (Although lately I’ve been trying not to eat high-carb stuff, so popcorn is out for me… except for when I go to the movies 😉 )
 
Action Step: make a list of foods to have on hand when you’re finishing your novel in a 30-day period.
 

9. Join the FINISH Your Damn Novel Workshop

 
Sorry—had to plug this one right here. Because this workshop will seriously change your life if you follow along and do the work.
 
The FINISH Your Damn Novel workshop will help you become a finisher, which is pretty much the most important thing you need to be. At least if you want to be a pro writer.
 
Pro writers finish what they start. And then they take the next step. And eventually they publish. Then they do it all over again.
 
Want to be a pro? Then it’s time to step into the big leagues and finish what you started.
 
 
Write with a purpose, live with intention,
 
 
#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

Outline Your Nonfiction Book: A 5-Day Blueprint

I’m a big believer in planning, as you probably already know. I think planning and development are the most underrated aspects of the book writing process.

And the truth is, the book you write could be a million times better if you just did some planning and development first. If you spent some time thinking through the details and trying things out before committing to it or playing around with ideas rather than going with the first one that hits you.

This is true especially with fiction writing, but it’s also true for writing nonfiction.

I plan, develop and outline every single nonfiction book I write BEFORE I write it. I have a tried-and-true process that I use, to not only dig out the details of what needs to be included in the book, but then to refine them into a book that’s worthy of writing (and reading).

I’ve found that process and strategy are missing pieces for most writers. Most writers have ideas–loads of them–but they don’t always have a process for getting those ideas out of their heads and onto the page in a way that makes cohesive sense.

And this is kinda important, because if you can’t get your ideas out of your head and onto the page in a way that’s organized and flows for a reader… they’re not gonna be reading for very long.

Having a repeatable process and strategy for planning, developing, outlining and then writing my books (fiction and nonfiction) has been a game changer for me. Especially with my nonfiction. It has helped me to become 5X more productive with getting books written and published.

And it all starts with an outline.

That’s why I’ve taken the process I use to plan, develop and outline my nonfiction books and turned it into a short workbook that you can use to plan, develop and outline all of your nonfiction books.

>> Grab your copy of the Outline Your Nonfiction Book–the 5-Day Blueprint here 

Share With Us

What could you write a nonfiction book on? Brainstorm ideas in the comments. 

 

You Have A Nonfiction Book In You: 3 Ways to Pull It Out

Something I believe is that all writers have nonfiction book ideas in them. And maybe you don’t want to write nonfiction or think it’s not for you—that’s totally fine.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have ideas in you that you could write, if you wanted to.

In the digital age, I believe it’s important for authors to diversify and not just try to make a living from just one thing. I mean, sure, you could if you really wanted to, but why would you want to? 

You’re multi-passionate. You have lots of ideas and things you could be doing to make money from your writing, which would get you to that “make a living from my writing” goal a whole lot faster.

Trying to do it from just one thing, like writing novels, really limits you. It limits your reach, your audience and your potential to share your gifts and change people’s lives.

I believe that even fiction writers have nonfiction books in them. They just have to learn how to pull them out.

Now maybe you’ll decide that you do only want to make your living as a writer from one thing. That’s fine too. Whatever you want and see for your writing life is what you should be doing.

But for those multi-passionate writers who like the idea of diversifying and not having to choose just one thing… here are 3 ways you can come up with nonfiction book ideas:

1. Expertise 

You’re an expert in something. Most likely several things. We all are. It’s just that we’re so good at certain stuff we don’t think about it as something that’s actually valuable.

For example, people tell me all the time that I’m motivational. When it first started happening (way back when I was a kid), I’d brush it off. But people kept saying it. And eventually I realized—I’m an expert in motivating people.

But I never would’ve figured that out if people hadn’t been saying it to me my whole life.

You have something similar going on. There are things that you’re really, really good at. Maybe it’s a hobby you’ve had your whole life. Maybe it’s a natural talent you were born with (like writing). Maybe it’s something you’re not even aware of.

But these expertise that you have could make a great nonfiction book.

Do these exercises to pull ideas out…

> Grab your notebook and make a list of all the things you’re really good at or are an expert at (hobbies, talents, experiences you’ve had, etc).

> Ask your friends and family—what am I really good at? They’ll likely have additional answers for you to add to the list; at the very least they’ll say stuff you already have on there which will just confirm it.

2. Transformations You’ve Made

You’ve had life experiences and have overcome stuff and made transformations in your life. And that is fodder for writing a nonfiction book.

Self-help books are flying off the shelves (virtually and in book stores) because people have an innate need to learn and grow and become better. We’re always looking to improve ourselves or get better at something or learn how to do something.

So you can turn the transformations you’ve made into nonfiction books.

For example, I used to be the BIGGEST procrastinating writer in the world. It’s true. My first blog was called Procrastinating Writers for that reason. But I overcame that. I made a massive transformation and now I push everything else off and out of the way to make daily space for doing my writing. It’s now a non-negotiable for me.

That’s a big transformation—and one that a lot of writers would like to make themselves. Perfect topic for a nonfiction book (and I’ve written several).

An exercise… 

> Grab your notebook and brainstorm on the transformations you’ve made in your life—what results did you want that you didn’t have and how did you finally get there and achieve those results? what have you overcome and come out stronger on the other side? Write it all down.

3. A Unique Angle—On A Topic Or On A Book That’s Already Out There

One of the easiest ways to find nonfiction book ideas is to come up with a unique angle on a topic—or even another book—that’s already out there. If it’s already out there, that means there’s a demand for it.

For example, if you’re an expert in how to create your own recipes, you could go out there and look for books that relate to this topic… and maybe you’d find a bunch of books that help people write recipes for personal use. But maybe no one’s done a book on how to write recipes for a cookbook. Or how to write recipes for commercial use. Or how to write recipes when you’re a caterer.

That could be your unique angle that you use to write a nonfiction book.

Another example… like a decade+ ago a book came out called, He’s Just Not That Into You. It was all the rage with women who were so happy to finally have a better understanding of men and how they think and why they behave like they do.

Soon after another book came out… Be Honest—You’re Not That Into Him Either. This book was a riff on the other book and was written to help women raise their standards and stop dating or going after men who are like the men described in the other book.

Is there a book out there that you could write a riff on?

Some exercises…

> Grab your notebook and make a list of topics you could write a nonfiction book about—then think about different angles you could take on that same topic. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can.

> Go to the bookstore (or on Amazon, but the bookstore is a fun excuse to grab a coffee and wander through the stacks) and look at what books are selling right now—could you write a riff off of one of those books and add another perspective to the discussion. Grab your notebook and brainstorm book riff ideas that you could write.

I hope you can see now that you DO have nonfiction book ideas in you—you just have to know how to pull them out. Complete the exercises and if something sparks your interest and pulls at you to write it… DO IT!

 

Share With Us

What’s one nonfiction eBook that you could write from all of the ideas you brainstormed? Share in the comments.

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 And if you find an idea that you just LOVE and want to get written and published NOW, my upcoming workshop: Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days, will help you make it happen!! This is an action-taking workshop that will light a fire under your ass to get that nonfiction eBook written and published, so you can grow and expand your readership, change people’s lives, and make money in the process. 

We kick things off on March 13 and doors open to the public on Monday March 6 at 1 PM EST. Get on my email list to be the first to know when the doors open… and you’ll also get a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1.

15 Tactics to Sell More Books

The biggest complaint I hear from authors is this: it’s so hard to sell books!

And while marketing and selling books can sometimes be a challenge, it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, you can actually have fun with marketing.

Hold up! Did I just say “fun” and “marketing” in the same sentence?

Yep. Because as my Kindle coach so wisely says, marketing and selling is just teaching people the value of something.

Looking at it from that perspective, it makes marketing seem much more doable, doesn’t it? And I feel like it gives it a purpose, other than making money (even though that’s a big part of it). Because when you realize that when you’re marketing your books, all you’re doing is trying to show someone the value of why they need to read it.

It has definitely made me feel different about my book marketing efforts, that’s for sure. Now I see that it’s my responsibility to get my books out there and in the hands of writers and reader who need them. And it’s doing my audience a disservice to not market my books to them so that they know they exist.

Reframing things is a great way to shift your mindset around the parts of being an author that you don’t enjoy as much. 

I get emails on a weekly basis from people who follow me, asking me to teach more stuff about marketing. A lot of people tell me I’m a natural marketer. And while that may seem like it’s true, this isn’t a skill I was born with. I spent 7+ years doing online marketing for publications and corporations. Which means I learned how to do it.

And if I can learn how to do it, so can you.

I’ve put together an audio training + workbook on 15 Tactics to Help You Sell More Books. These are some of the best tactics out there for making more book sales.

Some are simple and others take more work. All of them will help you sell more books.

>> Grab the FREE audio training + workbook here 

Share With Us

Which of the 15 tactics will you implement first? 

Pro Writer Mindset Podcast, Ep. 7: An Interview with Author and Story Coach, Devlin Blake

Listen on  iTunes or Stitcher

Guest Bio:

Devlin Blake believes that craft matters and that great stories need structure and rhythm. Learning structure early in her publishing career changed everything for her. And now she coaches emerging horror and suspense writers on everything from craft to pacing to doing away with writers guilt. Devlin is able to write four books a year thanks to the systems she’s created in her writing life. Get free access to her best systems for writing your novel in between work, life and family here.

Show Notes:

I randomly met Devlin Blake one day while I was hanging out in a Facebook group. We bonded over the fact that we’re both story coaches who had our lives and writing careers changed by finding story structure, and now we help other emerging authors with the same thing.

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • You can “write” your books faster if you speak them–until I interviewed Devlin I never even considered dictation software, but her success with it has inspired me to give it a try.
  • Your first draft should tell, not show–I loved this advice, because when I write a first draft, it’s often the bare-bones story and not much else. She says that’s a good thing and she believes your first draft should be just the bones of the story, and then when you revise you find places to turn telling into showing.
  • Finding balance with writing, working full-time and having a life–even though I no longer work a traditional day job, this was advice I’d wish I had back when I was still working a job and trying to figure out how to write books and not become a social hermit.

Devlin also runs a free Facebook group for emerging horror and suspense authors. You can join her group here.

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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments. 

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, and share it using the links below.

2016 Year In Review

I seriously still can’t believe it’s the end of the year. Where the hell did 2016 go?!

That being said, it was an INCREDIBLE year for me. My best so far. I’m finishing the year not only having completed so many of the goals I had, but feeling SO damn proud of myself for how much I stepped up this year and kicked ass.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know the kind of year I just had!

But it’s always good to do a check in and really take inventory of what you managed to do this year (and what you didn’t). So here’s my 2016 Year In Review:

What I Accomplished

  • Wrote 9 books–published 7 of them (5 on Amazon, 1 as a freebie eBook on my website, 1 as a long blog post).
  • Hit #1 on Amazon 3 times with 2 different books
  • Fully replaced the income I used to make at my day job with my business income (first year I’ve done this!!)
  • Participated in my first multiple day live event (with Larry Brooks!)
  • Guest posted for Copyblogger
  • Sold 2,300+ books in 31 days
  • Was the first American guest on the U.K. podcast, Self-Publishing Journeys
  • Connected with big-name people in the writing industry
  • Launched my first podcast, The Pro Writer Mindset
  • Up-leveled my mindset and created a new reality for myself
  • Created supportive writing habits that stuck
  • Continued changing writers lives through my books, workshops, digital products, free content, and my 1-1 coaching
  • Kept up with my daily mindset practice and have now taken it into overdrive
  • Attended a live event in the writing industry (TRIBE Writers!)
  • Signed on to work with two of my dream mentors
  • Took massive leaps in my business and in my writing career
  • Stepped up to be the writer and author I’ve always wanted to be
  • Learned A SHIT TON!
  • Began trusting the Universe to show up for me and keep showing up for me
  • Launched my membership site, the Bestselling Author Mastermind
  • Changed my thinking BIG TIME
  • Wrote 20+ emails a month to my community
  • Continued to grow the membership of my free Facebook group, the 1% Writers Club

There’s probably SO MUCH MORE that I’m not even thinking of (because I honestly did a fuck load of stuff this year!). But this is the bulk of it. Whew!

And I’m not even tired! I’m energized and ready to keep going!!

What I Left Undone

With everything that does get done, there are always things that don’t get done. It’s what sacrifice is all about. And every choice you make has one.

For me, these are the biggest things that got left undone this year:

  • Didn’t achieve any of my fitness and health goals
  • Didn’t publish my second novel
  • Dishes… oh so many dishes 🙂

While I’m not happy about the things left undone, I realize that it’s OK. Because a whole lot of other things did get done. And way more than I left undone.

Looking Into 2017

As usual, I have some MASSIVE goals for the New Year–stuff I’m really, really excited about. And while I’ll have lots of little goals for the year, I like to choose 3-5 BIG goals for the year. My big goals for 2017 are:

  • Publish novel #2
  • Write a screenplay
  • Get healthy (fitness and food goals mixed into this one)
  • Write a memoir
  • Double my income from 2016

I’m taking on some stuff this year that’s totally outside my comfort zone. It’s going to be another year of massive achievement and massive growth. I’m looking forward to it.

I don’t know about you, but this is the first year where I’m ending December feeling like I killed it!! Like I seriously kicked ass and like I took advantage of every minute I could.

I know there are things I could’ve done better (’cause aren’t there always?) but overall, I’m insanely proud of myself and of how hard I worked this year, how far out of my comfort zone I pushed myself, and how much I leaned on the Universe for support.

I know 2017 is going to be an even more amazing year thanks to the momentum I built up this year.

How’d your year go? Are you landing where you wanted to? Or are you finding yourself feeling disappointed for another year gone by without achieving what you wanted to?

Wherever you’re at is the perfect place–there’s never any reason to judge or berate yourself. Your life is unfolding in perfect timing.

But it never hurts to get some clarity and self-awareness around what’s working and what’s not. So you know exactly what to focus on in the coming year.

Share With Us

What did you accomplish this year that you’re most proud of? Share in the comments.

 

The FREE “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks Read and Discuss Event Series

The new year is upon us, and with it a refreshing sense of what’s possible. A whole new 365 days to do with whatever we desire.

And one of the things I like to do every year, is re-read my favorite craft book, Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks.

But this year, I wanted to do something different. This year, I’m inviting you to JOIN ME.

I hosted a 7-day livestream series where we read and then discussed the sections of Story Engineering. (Video replays below) 

Why did I choose this book? Because the information in it changed my life. It took me from writing in circles to writing actual stories that were cohesive and worth publishing. It helped me get my debut novel, SoundCheck, out into the world.

It’s the only craft book that ever spoke to me and that finally made me really understand story structure and how to use it. (I was lucky enough to have found Story Engineering back when it was an eBook on Larry’s site called, Story Structure–Demystified.)

Not to mention it’s a best-seller, and Signature recently named it #3 Best Books on Writing.

And if you are following along, I highly recommend you also do the following:

1. Buy (or borrow) a copy of Story Engineering by Larry Brooks (it’s available on Kindle and in print)

2. Download the Story Engineering Reading Guide that I created to go with this event

The Story Engineering Read and Discuss Series

Additional trust-building content (will add the rest as I go, since I’m doing it live on my business Facebook page–and then sharing the replay into my free FB group):

Day 1 Livestream: Part 1 and 2 in Story Engineering 

Day 2 Livestream: Part 3 in Story Engineering 

Day 3 Livestream: Part 4 in Story Engineering 

Day 4 Livestream: Part 5 in Story Engineering up to “Foreshadowing”

Day 5 Livestream: The rest of Part 5 in Story Engineering 

Day 6 Livestream: Part 6 in Story Engineering 

Day 7 Livestream: Parts 7 and 8 in Story Engineering 

BONUS Live Call

Larry Brooks and I did a live Q&A call, to wrap up the Story Engineering series (Note: I forgot to hit record for the first few minutes of the call so it starts right into the content with Larry)

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The Pro Writer Mindset Podcast, Ep. 6: An Interview with Memoirist Marion Roach Smith

Listen on  iTunes or Stitcher

Guest Bio:

Marion Roach Smith believes that everyone has a story to tell. The author of four books, all of which contain a large degree of memoir, her most recent book is The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing—and Life, an irreverent, quirky, provocative product of the countless memoir classes she has taught for more than a decade.

Under the name Marion Roach, she is the author of The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning and Sexual Power of Red Hair; the co-author with famed forensic pathologist Michael Baden, M.D., of Dead Reckoning; and of Another Name for Madness. A former staff member of The New York Times, she has written for The New York Times Magazine, Prevention, The Daily News, Vogue, Newsday, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart Living, Discover, and The Los Angeles Times. Since 1998, she has taught classes in writing memoir and now does so both in person and online. She can be found at MarionRoach.com.

Show Notes:

I had the pleasure of not only hearing Marion speak on memoir writing at the 2016 TRIBE Writers Conference, but I also was lucky enough to sit at a table with her for three days. She is FANTASTIC and has so many incredible insights about writing memoir.

Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:

  • Memoir is about moments of transition and transcendence–this is one of my favorite pieces of memoir-writing advice Marion shared. I’ve always thought memoir was a genre I’d never touch, and now she has me thinking about writing a memoir (listen to the episode to hear the topic I’m considering!)
  • Write from a place of phobia–I loved hearing her say this, because I’m someone who overcomes fears by facing them head-on.
  • Read above you–rather than reading at the level you’re used to, if you want to learn how to write better, you must read above you, by finding authors who are better writers and studying what they do.

Be sure to check out Marion’s book–The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing and Life, available now! 

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