Friday, June 15, 2018

12 Easy Ways to Support Your Favorite Writers

You know what I love about the writing community? It is full of people who are incredibly supportive. And, because writing is an incredibly vulnerable and terrifying profession, this supportiveness makes all of the difference.

One of my absolute favorite things is when a fellow reader or writer asks: "How can I help?"

I love this question because it shows how much they truly care. They take the time to ask how they can help in the most worth-while way possible. It's helped my writing journey in numerous ways and I know it has helped others, too. So, whether you are a reader or writer, if you've ever wondered how you can support your favorite writers (published or unpublished), here are some ideas:
12 Easy Ways to Support Your Favorite Writers

1. Ask. Seriously. Ask the person if there is anything specific you can help them with. Sometimes the person will have suggestions. Sometimes they won't. Maybe because they're too overwhelmed or shy or because they aren't sure what it is that you'd be good at doing. In that case....

2. Encourage. Whenever you get the chance, offer genuine encouragement. Remind them that their writing is important. Tell them that you're cheering them on. Send them happy gifs, funny pictures, or randomly email them to tell them something you really like about their writing. You can even screenshot a 5-star review they received months ago and send it to them just to remind them that other people like their writing, too. It's simple, but it means a lot. We writers are in our heads too much and can sometimes lose sight of why we're writing (or we'll talk ourselves into believing that our writing sucks), so this encouragement means the world to us.

3. Buy and read their stuff. If your writer is published, buy and read their stuff. Don't ask for a free copy (that's rude and discouraging). The money and time is appreciated.

4. Offer to beta read. If you read a lot within their genre, offer to read their story before publication to give feedback. Beta readers are SO important to writers and it's always nice to know that somebody thinks enough about us that they want to read our writing and give feedback. Not sure what beta reading is? Read the first part of this article.

5. Offer to edit. This is a time commitment and requires a specific skill set, but if you happen to have the time and knowledge? Go for it! Developmental editing is appreciated by all authors and line editing is especially appreciated by indie authors. Editing can be grueling, so knowing that we have somebody in our corner can be a huge stress reliever.

6. Review. Leave a review of their book. It doesn't have to be long or complex (though it can be). Be sure to leave the review everywhere: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever else the book may be. That being said, if you're planning to leave a 1 star review, just....don't. This post is about ways to support your writer, not whack them over the head with a giant bat labeled "I hate you and everything you do," which is basically what a 1 star review is.

7. Add favorite quotes to Goodreads. All those sentences and passages you loved in their latest book? Add them to Goodreads so that others can be in awe of them, too. It's easy (instructions are here) and really helps the author with marketing...and will also make them smile to see which parts of their book you loved enough to quote.

8. Create fanart or quote graphics. Have artistic skills? Draw some of their characters or animals or settings. Or create a pretty quote graphic to show off their pretty writing. This is a cool, personal way to help your published writers with marketing. And it's also a really sweet way to encourage and motivate your unpublished writers. It can help them visualize their story and will also make them grin.

9. Buy copies of their stories for friends (and tell the writer about it). There's nothing cooler than hearing that somebody liked our stories so much that they felt the need to go out and share them with friends. Not only is this super encouraging to your writer, but it also boosts their sales and helps them with marketing. Win win.

10. Set up a giveaway of their book(s). Set up an Amazon giveaway of their book or ebook. Again, this boosts sales and helps with marketing. And is also just super thoughtful.

11. Buy them books in their genre. Writers draw inspiration from other books. Going out and buying us a book or two in the genre that we write is like providing us with fuel. In buying us books in our genre, you have given us the means for new ideas, helped us keep up with the current market, saved our wallets, and told us that you care. All that by buying a book? #WorthIt.

12. Use your platform to boost theirs. Do you have a blog? A large following on Pinterest or Twitter or Instagram?  A Youtube channel? Use those platforms to give your writer a shout-out! Tell your followers how awesome they are. If they have a published book, find a way to tell your people to buy it. If you don't have a natural way to do so, consider working it into your own platform. That was the entire thought process behind the #ChatWithIndieAuthor podcast. And the logic behind the creation of #AuthorBookClub.  This concept also led to the creation of Phoenix Fiction Writers, a website where some of us indie authors come together to help each other with writing/marketing, review other authors books, promote others by having them on as guest posters and podcasters, and more. There are so many cool ways you can use your platform to boost your writers blog or books or social media. Speaking of which...

*smoothly segues into promoting a favorite indie author* This Saturday (06/16/2018) at 9 AM PST I will be hosting a Youtube livestream with E.B. Dawson to discuss her upcoming sci-fi novel, Under the Skin. Yep. I may or may not have written this entire post just to have a (somewhat?) natural way to plug this fun event. Look at me, following tip 12. Be proud of me.

Anyway, the info for this event is here:

Be there or be square! Not really sure what that's supposed to mean, but yeah. Show up. You can find the Youtube page here.

Have any other fun ways to support writers? I'd love to hear them! Please leave all of your ideas below!

Not going to be able to make the livestream with E.B. Dawson? No worries! If you have any questions about Under the Skin or her Creation of Jack series in general, just leave them below and I'll be sure to ask them during the stream.

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related articles:
Inside the Creative's Mind: 9 Things You Should Know
7 Tips for Balancing Your Writing with the Rest of Life

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Friday, June 8, 2018

7 Tips for Writing A Character with an Intellectual Disability

Aaaaand this month on "Hannah won't stop talking about representing disabled characters in fiction:" We're going to discuss writing characters with intellectual disabilities.

What's an intellectual disability? you may ask. Put simply, it is a disorder that is characterized by below average intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. This can affect a person's academic, social, and practical skills. It is entirely different from a learning disability, as an intellectual disability is a result of a below-average IQ while a learning disability is when a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner.

Intellectual disabilities seem to be represented more in fiction than most other types of disabilities, which is awesome. However, just because it's done somewhat more often doesn't mean that the representation is perfect. Here are some tips for writing a character with an intellectual disability:
7 Tips for Writing A Character with an Intellectual Disability

1. Recognize the different levels of intellectual disabilities. There are mild, moderate, severe, and profound. I could explain to you the ins and outs of each of these, or you could look it up on a site that is probably more trustworthy than what I've gleaned through reading and observation. Why is it important to recognize these different levels? Because the better you understand each level, the more accurately you can represent your character. You can understand the different academic, social, and emotional challenges they face, as well different tools they can use to live their lives well (or badly, if you choose to write such a character). So figure out what level of intellectual disability your character has and then do your research (more on that later).

2. Give your character a personality. A real one. Not a stereotyped one. People with intellectual disabilities are *drum roll* people. They have likes, dislikes, opinions, and moods. Some people with this disability are nice. Some are mean. Some love to laugh. Some don't. Please, please, please take personality into account when writing your character. Don't make them a walking list of characteristics you got off of WebMD. Make them characters first, then intellectually disabled people second. It's not hard. Just put a little bit of thought into it.

3. Take world-building into account. If you're writing speculative fiction, you need to figure out how your world's rules, religions, histories, and social systems affect your character. Are they seen as cursed by a deity? Or does their disability allow them to be particularly good at a revered job?

If you're writing fiction set in this world, you may think that world-building doesn't apply, but it does. Does your character live in a small town that's very loving or perhaps very harsh towards him/her? Or do they live in a large city that is less personal but has more resources for them?

Think about how your setting changes how your character is treated. And then figure out how this treatment will affect your character's self-image, behavior, and decision-making.

4. Go with "different," not "alien" or "bad." Sometimes an intellectually disabled character can cross over into the "alien" zone where the writer depicts them as so different and bizarre that they're somehow less human. I shouldn't have to say this, but: People with intellectual disabilities are not subhuman. They're people. They may talk, think, and behave differently, but they are people nonetheless. So please don't write your character as something to gawk at. Rather, write them as human beings. How? See tip 2.

5. Understand that intellectual disability doesn't always go hand-in-hand with physical disability. While intellectual disabilities can be paired with poor motor skills, speech difficulties, and differing physical characteristics, they aren't always. This is especially the case when it comes to mild intellectual disabilities. This gets to be a tip all on its own because I've noticed that this pairing happens in like 98% of representations, so I thought it was worth mentioning. Also, bonus: Autism is different from intellectual disability. While people with autism can also be intellectually disabled, this isn't always the case. They are different, so write them as such.

6. Research thoroughly and personally. Reading a couple of medical journals isn't going to cut it. While it may give you a general idea of what an intellectual disability is, it won't give you an idea of who intellectually disabled people are. And writing characters is all about the humanness, not the research. Read blogs by people with intellectual disabilities or their caretakers. Do volunteer work that allows you to meet people with this disability. Talk. Read fictional and nonfictional stories featuring characters with intellectual disabilities, both the good and the bad. It will open your mind and allow you to write a more realistic character.

7. Remember that your story doesn't have to be super dark and depressing. Most of the books I've read that feature this disability end with the disabled character dying or ending up in a horrible position. Throughout the entire story, things are dark and twisted and depressing. While those with intellectual disabilities do face many challenges and prejudices, it would be really, really nice to see them represented in a story with a happy ending. Or middle. Or at least a story that doesn't have to do with experimentation or suicide or bullying. Or even in a story where the main focus of the story isn't their disability. After all, the disability is not who they are. It's just part of who they are. So consider coming at your story from an angle that's different from the death and despair concept that's been used so often.

Okay. I think we're done here. Now I have to ask: Are you writing (or planning to write) and intellectually disabled character? I'd love to hear about him/her! And please leave a comment below with a book or movie that you think represented this disability well. I'm always looking for more good reads!

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related articles:
9 Tips for Writing Physically Disabled Characters in Fantasy
5 Problems Within the Own Voices Campaign (And How to Fix Them)

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Friday, June 1, 2018

8 Tips for Writing a Solid Opening Line

People are very judgmental.

And, as terrifying as it is, when people start reading your book, the first thing they will judge is that opening line. If they like it, they'll keep reading. If not? Well, your book will be rejected and will probably end up in some terrible place...like the unemployment line in Greenland. Or in a Vogon poetry-reading circle. Or Umbridge's office. Or...well, you get the point.

So how can you craft an opening line that will get people to keep reading your novel? Let me sum up:
 
8 Tips for Writing a Solid Opening Line

1. Don't feel the need to write it first. Yeah, I know, I know. It's called an "opening line" because it's the first line. And "first" means the thing you do before anything else. Yeah. That's what you think. There is literally no reason to write your opening line first. Can't think of a good one? Just write something - anything - down and come back to it later. I've heard of writers who say they can't start writing their story because they can't figure out how to write their first paragraph. Don't do this. Just write the story. You can go back and edit the opening line whenever you feel like it. That's totally fine (and normal).

2. Don't just focus on the opening line. More like the opening paragraph. The reason the opening line is so important is that it sets the tone for the rest of the story. While the very first sentence can absolutely do that, it needs help from the rest of the paragraph. So yes, focus on the opening line, but make sure it has support from the opening paragraph.

3. Decide what you want the opening line to showcase. The opening line makes a statement about the story. It can set the mood, introduce a character, establish the writing style, or a mix of these things. So ask yourself: What is the main focus of this story? What makes it special and different? What makes it worth reading? If it's your writing style, you want to make sure your writing style is well-reflected in your opening line. If your protagonist is the main attraction, that first sentence should showcase him/her. If the mood of the story is interesting or if the plot hinges on a philosophical question, put that front and center. You want your reader to know exactly what they're getting into.

4. Remember that there are no rules. Don't feel that you need to follow any type of opening line formula. There is no such thing. You can open with dialogue. You can open with description, or action, or exposition. You can even start with a fragmented sentence or an unfinished thought. And yes, your opening line can be a single word. You can even open with a profanity (as proven by The Martian by Andy Weir). You are an author. There are no strings on you. Write how you want to write.

5. Write a ton of opening lines. Experiment! Write down dozens of opening lines if you have to. Piece them each into your opening page. Some opening lines sound good by themselves, but don't fit into the story. Some aren't particularly stunning by themselves, but make a stellar opening paragraph. Play around and see which one suits your fancy.

6. Study other opening lines. There are so, so many good ones. Read them and notice what it is that makes them good. A few that I've always enjoyed:

"It was a pleasure to burn." Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This is a "statement opening line." It makes a statement that immediately makes you wonder. Burn what? Why is it a pleasure? What is going on? It draws you in, sets the mood for the story, and establishes an important plot point (book burning).

"It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts." The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The first sentence isn't much on its own, but that second one? Brilliant. It establishes Rothfuss's writing style and feeds into something that is a recurring theme in the novel: Silence. It also introduces the setting (nighttime at the Waystone Inn) in an intriguing way.

"I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man." Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky jumps right in and tells us exactly who the main character is: Spiteful, sick, but brutally honest. Why is he sick? Why is he spiteful? We don't know, but we want to find out now, don't we?

"People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day." True Grit by Charles Portis. A long opening line, but a good one. We immediately get a sense of the plot (avenging a father's death), the main character's voice (no-nonsense, well-educated), and even a bit of the time period (definitely not modern).

You'll notice that good opening lines always establish at least one thing about the story. The mood. The writing style. The plot. The characters. The theme. But each opening line does it differently: Some are sarcastic, some ask questions, some make statements, some purposefully confuse, many are mysterious. The more opening lines you read, the more ideas you will get for your own. So go to a bookstore and just start pulling random books off the shelves to see what interesting new techniques lay within their pages. 

7. Remember: Friends don't lie. Your readers are your friends, so be honest with them. You opening line should not misrepresent your plot or writing style in an attempt to draw people in. That hurts everyone involved. For example: Let's say somebody presents you with a really excellent looking brownie. But it's not until after you take a bite that they explain that it's gluten-free and dairy-free, and made of avocados. It may be an excellent gluten-and-dairy-free brownie, but it wasn't what you were expecting, so it probably won't taste good to you. It's the same with books. If your opening line or paragraph makes a misleading statement, your readers will feel betrayed. Unless your story has an unreliable narrator, try to avoid this.

8. Don't panic. Some of my favorite books start out with entirely unremarkable opening lines. They're not bad opening lines per say, but they're nothing that you would end up quoting. That's fine. As long as you opening pages are interesting, you'll do just find. You don't want to focus so much on the first sentence(s) that you forget to make the other parts of your book good, too.

What are some of your favorite opening lines? Do you have any questions, tips, or tricks you'd like to share? I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related articles:
Why You Should Let Your First Draft Suck (And How to Do It)
9 Ways to Use Reading to Improve Your Writing
Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ep 9 of #ChatWithIndieAuthor: Rae Elliott

Rae Elliott writes Sci-Fi and Fantasy and hosts an amazing writing tips blog. In this video she discusses writing mother protagonists, the challenges and advantages of switching genres, her drafting process, and the horrors of formatting.


Remember: You can listen to this chat on iTunes!

You can find all of Rae’s amazing books on her website or individually here:

Fractured

Amazon

Blog

Guppies:

Amazon

Blog

Treefell: Legend of the Wood:

Amazon

Blog

Are you following Rae Elliott online? You absolutely should be. Go say hello:

Blog

Instagram

Pinterest

Twitter

When is the next #ChatWithIndieAuthorepisode? Brilliant query! Wednesday June 27th will bring us a chat with author Ryan Penland. Have questions for him? Leave a comment below or on social media using the hashtag! In the meantime, check out his website here.

Like this video and want to support my writing efforts? Subscribe to my channel or buy my short stories. Or both!

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related articles:
Ep 6 of #ChatWithIndieAuthor: S. Alex Martin
Episode 4 of #ChatWithIndieAuthor: E.B. Dawson

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Best and Worst Star Wars Movies: My (Totally Subjective) Ranking


I've been thinking about Star Wars a lot. More that usual, actually, which is really saying something. Maybe it's because the Han Solo movie is coming out today. Maybe it's because I just recently recorded a PFW podcast about writing lessons learned from Star Wars. Or maybe it's because I'm writing a prequel series and Star Wars is known for terrible prequels and I'd like to avoid being known for that same thing.

Regardless, Star Wars is on my mind so I thought, "Hey. It's been a while since you've written anything controversial. How about you publish a post about your favorite and least favorite Star Wars movies." Because that's a good way to make people angry and lose followers.

Because yeah, that's how my post-final-exam brain is operating.

Alright. Are you ready to see my list? Okay. Punch it, Chewy!
The Best and Worst Star Wars Movies: My (Totally Subjective) Ranking
1. The Empire Strikes Back

Yeah, this one is my favorite. It's got everything: Classic Han and Leia, an epic film score, less-whiny Luke, the "I am your Father" reveal. It even has that weird scene where Luke goes into a creepy cave and kills Darth-Vader-Luke, a scene that has spawned one of my favorite Star Wars theories (it's called "Bigger Luke." Look it up. It's super dumb and amazing). I love the classic feel of the movie, but also appreciate the character development that A New Hope lacks.

Bonus: Han risking everything to go out and save his buddy Luke on Hoth. Love it.

Double bonus: Lando being an idiot in general, then a slimy idiot, then a slightly nicer idiot. Awesome.

2. Rogue One

It's dark. It's gritty. And it's Star Wars. Literally all the things that I love. I know a lot of people didn't like this movie, but I love this film for the brave ending, the new take on the Star Wars universe, and the flawed characters. Except I can't watch it very often because it makes me sad....I just wanted Jyn and Cassian to be happy. And poor Bodhi. He deserved better.

Bonus: The sheer pettiness of the fact that Star Wars made an entire movie to explain the massive plot hole in A New Hope (the huge design flaw in the Death Star)? Amazing. If you're gonna fixed a plot hole, you better go all out.

Double bonus: Darth Vader in that end scene.

AMAZING. I would watch an entire movie of Vader just lightsabering people down in one incredibly long hallway. Yes, I realize that's bad. No, I don't care.

3. The Last Jedi

Back off, haters. This movie was great. Full of issues, but great. I'm a huge fan of Rey (shhhh. She's not a Mary Sue. Stop it), so I liked her character development. I also really enjoy Kyle Ren as an antagonist (shhhhh. He's not a Darth Vader knock-off. He's his own thing and he's great) and thought he acted as a great foil to Rey in this film. AND I liked that Luke remained the same annoying, slightly whiny character that he is in the classics because, let's be honest: He's exactly the kind of dude who would spend decades meditating on an island and still remain vaguely idiotic....Only to turn things around at the last minute.

Bonus: PORGS. Need I say more?

4. A New Hope

Ah. Where it all began. The first time we get to see Vader choke out some random dude simply because he could. The first time we see the Falcon jump to lightspeed. The first time we get to see the beloved Obi-Wan. While the characters are a bit flat at time, it's a fun start.

Bonus: Obi-Wan completely sugar coating the story of Luke's dad. Bro. C'mon. At least prepare the poor guy. Still love you, though.

5. The Force Awakens

A great introduction to a new Star Wars era. Total fan-service-y (shush. It's a word. Stop judging me) at points, but also pretty darn cool. Great new characters: Rey, Poe Dameron (gotta love the reckless pilot thing....Han Solo would've liked the dude), Kylo Ren, Finn. I loved how this movie tied in with the originals and was accessible to both old fans and new. That's hard to do.

Bonus: Getting to see the Millennium Falcon again. And also hearing Rey call it garbage. Know your spaceships, Rey. Gees.

6. Revenge of the Sith

What? It's not that bad. Sure, the acting is kinda terrible at points. But the filmscore? And Anakin's character arc (bar some of the whining...he is a male Skywalker, so whining is in his blood)? And the depth of the world-building as far as showing the Jedi as less-than-perfect? It's brilliant.

Bonus: Obi-Wan's sass. And classiness. And literally everything about this character because he is the best and why doesn't he have a movie yet that's so unfair. Ahem.

7. Return of the Jedi

Why is this so low on my list? So many reasons: 1. Slave bikini Leia. Seriously. WHY? Way take an awesome character and degrade her, George? 2. Boba Fett's death. Dude. No way would such a talented, badass bounty hunter die that way. Bad writing, bro. Bad writing. 3. Jabba's Palace. What was with the pacing there? That whole scene was way too long. We get it. Jabba is creepy. Move on. But sure, it had some really good stuff (Anakin's redemption, Luke's growing power, the Battle of Endor).

Bonus: Ewoks. Fluffy creatures that seem adorable but also probably eat Storm Troopers for breakfast. Doesn't get much better than that.

8. Attack of the Clones

Look. I don't actually hate this film. I love Obi Wan's part in it. I like the whole clone concept. And I like a lot of the flying scenes and the gladiator fights. BUT. WHY? WHY was Padme magically the same age as she was in Phantom Menace? Was it to make her and Anakin's relationship less creepy? Because it didn't work. Anakin's a total creeper. Their romance is more clunky and cheesy than the dialogue, and that's saying something. And there was just too much going on: Way too many plot lines that detracted from what should have been the main point of the film: Anakin's downfall.

Bonus: Mace Windu is pretty cool.

9. The Phantom Menace

Pod racing. That's literally all I think about when I think of this movie. Specifically little Anakin yelling, "It's working!" over and over. That's about it. If I have to think of it more closely, I just get creeped out by the whole Padme and Anakin age difference. And then my brain freaks out and tries to think of something - anything - except their relationship. Which is when I remember Jar Jar Binks and am caught between the urge to yell angrily and curl up into a ball and cry.

Bonus: Qui-Gon Jinn. He rocks. The one Jedi who seems to know that the Jedi council is really just a bunch of idiots sitting in a circle.

Double bonus: Darth Maul. One of the coolest Sith's in the galaxy. He had great moves, great music, great horns. Can't believe they killed him off.

And there you have it. What are your favorite and least favorite Star Wars movies and why? I'd love to hear from you!

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related article:
PFW Podcast Ep 5: Writing Lessons Learned from Star Wars
8 Ways To Use Movie Watching To Improve Your Writing
Why Writers Should Strive to be More Like Batman
Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every week!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support.

Friday, May 18, 2018

New or Obscure Speculative Fiction Subgenres - A Guest Post by J.E. Purrazzi


Are you looking for some new genres to read? I hope so. This post is full of great book recommendations in new, cool genres and, by the time you're done reading it, you'll find yourself wanting to read all of them. You'll also find yourself wanting to read everything ever written by J.E. Purrazzi, the author of this post. Jill happens to know more about the written word than most people. Not only does she know how to write an amazing novel, but she knows an epic amount about genres, must-reads, and books in general. So take a deep breath, get a pen and notepad out, and dive into her brilliant list of subgenres and recommended reads: 

Genre is a tricky concept. It might not seem like it. I mean, A Science Fiction novel and a contemporary romance are pretty distinct from one another, right?

Yes and no. Genre is a tool for marketers to be able to best reach their audience, but often their reach is too broad.

For instance, “Science Fiction” could mean Star Wars, or it could mean “The Martian” by Andy Weir, or it could mean “The Host” by Stephenie Meyers.

That is why subgenres exist. For example, Star Wars and books like it, aren’t just Science Fiction, it’s a Space Fantasy.

But we know about subgenres? It’s not that strange of a concept. The problem is, unlike Genre, which tends to be really stable, subgenres are constantly shifting. New subgenres pop up every day. Books tend to bleed through one subgenre into another, or fit into more than one. And many subgenres have multiple titles, or are so wide that they almost need more subgenres. Worse yet, some subgenres fit under multiple genres. Like Dystopian, for instance, wich can fit under Science Fiction, or Fantasy, or even, at times, Realism.

Despite that, I still think it’s valuable, both as a reader and as a writer, to keep up to date with the changing subgenres and to always be on the hunt for more. The better you know what tones and tropes you enjoy, the more effectively you can find the books you love, or find an audience for the books you write.

In honor of that, and because I am a speculative fiction writer, I wanted to introduce you all to a few of my favorite new or obscure Speculative Fiction Subgenres.
New or Obscure Speculative Fiction Subgenres - A Guest Post by J.E. Purrazzi
Firstly, let me define “Speculative Fiction”, since not everyone knows what that is and how I am using the title here.

Speculative Fiction: A category of books that require imagination or speculation as opposed to “Realism” which assumes the constraints of the real world. Usually Science Fiction, Fantasy, and some Horror fall into these guidelines. Though books tend to fall on a spectrum and sometimes don’t fit entirely into one category or another.

And now, let me introduce you to some of my favorite new or obscure genres that fall into the Speculative Fiction category.

Animal Fantasy:
How many of you have read “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White as a child? Or who has read “The Animal Farm” by George Orwell in school?

These books belong to a subgenre of Fantasy known as “Animal Fantasy”. Usually used in children’s books and movies to great effect, it really is underestimated. There are not a lot of solid tropes associated with animal fantasy and it is quite a broad genre. Sometimes it takes place in an alternative version of the “real world” or it might be a totally different universe. Sometimes there is only one animal, sometimes it’s an entire cast of them. Sometimes you will see animals behaving as people. Other times the only difference from typical animals is that they speak.

But whether it is in a children’s book, or in a darker, adult tale, there are a lot of things that the presence of talking animals can bring to a story.

Nonsense: The “Nonsense” Subgenre is a collision between Speculative Fiction and comedy. Often taking form in some kind of Satire, the “Nonsense” subgenre derives humor from the out-of-place happenings in them, especially when those happenings are treated in a cavalier way. Comedic writings in general, will use an overtone of “Nonsense” to add a lighter tone to their books, even if they don’t fully fit into the category.

Nonsense books often use dry humor, a light tone, and take a very unique look at otherwise dark events. They are not just for humor alone. Many “nonsense” books use this style to face very dark themes in an endearing and comforting way.

Cyberpunk and Biopunk: The world has become familiar with Cyberpunk as of recently. It’s still relatively obscure but most of us would recognize what it looks like if we saw it. The reason why I include Biopunk in with it is because, even though we can argue that the very first “Science Fiction” book was a Biopunk book, Biopunk is just emerging and still often looks a lot like Cyberpunk, It often blends in with it, as writers test the new boundaries of the subgenre.

Cyberpunk and Biopunk both deal with the blending of humans and technology. Cyberpunk specifically with the concept of human colliding with machine. Biopunk with the effects technology has on the biological. Basically, expect a lot of really cool cyborgs and mutants. Both deal with the near future, often one that is dark or dystopian (thus the “punk” element), and usually on earth in an urban setting, though this is starting to change. Themes like “What is humanity?” “Technology is a double-edged sword” and “can we play God and get away with it?” are very common with dehumanization at the core of its storytelling.

Most people think “Blade Runner” almost exclusively when they think of Cyberpunk so the subgenre has very quickly stagnated. But as technology starts emerging that make these genres more and more a reality, these things are starting to change. And finally Cyberpunk is starting to reach out of the “Noir” setting and cliche “detective” storyline to take on new questions.

NobleBright Fantasy: NobleBright Fantasy is the answer to contentions caused by “GrimDark” Fantasy, a subgenre that emphasises darkness, death, and nihilism.

NobleBright, like LIT RPG and Biopunk, is in its infancy. Because of that, it's hard to nail down. Right now, it is more of a movement than anything. It’s an attempt to bring heroism, meaning, and maybe a bit of escapism, back into our fantasy books.

While GrimDark ignores the concept of good and evil and applies “morally gray” characters throughout the whole story, NobleBright clings to some modicum of right and wrong. While GrimDark denies us an escape into fantasy, filling the pages with rape, torture, murder and hopelessness, Noblebright tends to stay a bit more on the “light reading” side.

That isn’t to say that NobleBright doesn't use any of these tools. But what Noblebright does is present a clear picture of Good and Evil (even if it’s not a simplistic depiction) and gives a solid, positive message through the narrative. And often, because it’s calling back to older values, NobleBright uses classical “medieval” fantasy structure. Though it isn’t a rule for the genre.

Noblebright also tends to stay a bit on the “cleaner” side. While there might be some minor violence or some swearing, mostly this fantasy tends to stay pretty “light”. Probably the most important aspect of NobleBright, however, is the presence of a real “hero.”

Antiheroes don’t cut it in this genre.

Because of the themes and values, most Christian fantasy tends to fall in the lines of NobleBright fantasy. Most MG fantasy could be called NobleBright as well.
There are many more wonderful subgenres we could explore. As I said, they are always growing and changing. New subgenres are popping up daily as readers look for new ways to find their favorite books, and writers and publishers look for ways to provide them. What are some of your favorite subgenres? What tropes would you love to see turn into their own subgenres? And if you are a writer, where do your books fit? Or do they straddle a few?

I told you she knows a lot about writing. I'm curious: How many have you read of the books she listed here? I've read 26 and am feeling rather proud of myself. Leave a comment below and tell us which ones you're read! 

After you do that, be sure to follow J.E. Purrazzi everywhere to get more of her awesomeness: 


Also allow me to steer you towards her recommendations page on her website. She keeps a list of awesome indie published books there. It's organized by genre and it's glorious. She'll even make you a personalized list of book recommendations if you ask nicely. How cool is that? 

And that concludes our book nerd post for today. Be sure to follow Jill, subscribe to her site, read her books, and say hello!

Related articles: 
12 Fiction Genres You've Probably Never Heard Of
A List of Great Self-Published Books You Should Read (Part 1)
A List of Great Self-Published Books You Should Read (Part 2)

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#ChatWithHannah Ep 11: On Inspiration vs Copying, Continuity Errors, POV, and More

Today we talk about being influenced by an author vs copying them, how to fix continuity errors during editing, when it’s okay to introduce a new POV to a story, and how to avoid info dumping during conversations. I also mention how I’ve sold my soul to Disney, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

BONUS info: I will be at Comic Con Revolution on May 19th and 20th. I’ll be with my fellow Constant Collectible writers. We’ll be at booth COS4, so stop by, say hello, get a signed copy of my stories, and talk to me about your favorite nerd things. I’d love to meet you!



Blog posts and videos referenced:

Stealing Another Writer's Work vs Being Inspired by It
#ChatWithIndieAuthor: Aria E. Maher

Psychological horror story recommendations:
The next #ChatWithHannah video is coming out on June 20th, so leave a question below or use the hashtag on social media to get answers.

The #ChatWithIndieAuthor interview with Rae Elliott releases on May 30th, so leave questions for her below! Just make sure you mention that they’re for her and not me. In the meantime, check out her website here.

Like this video and want to support my writing efforts? Subscribe to my channel or buy my short stories. Or both! 

Related articles: 
#ChatWithHannah Episode 4: NaNoWriMo Tips, Favorite Movies, and Overcoming Writer's Block

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon Affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Don’t Write Every Day: 9 Ways to Rest and Rejuvenate - A Guest Post by Beth Wangler

This post is brought to you by my blog, Beth Wangler, and irony. Why irony, you ask? Well, Beth's post is all about the importance of resting and rejuvenating. She is kindly and epically guest posting today because I am off doing the exact opposite of resting: studying for finals, working, and generally being a ball of stress wrapped in tiredness. HOWEVER, this post did help me calm down a lot, so I'm beyond pleased to be able to share it with you. Kick back, relax, and soak in indie author Beth Wangler's wise and entertaining advice: 

If you’ve spent more than two minutes on the writer side of the internet, you’ve probably come across this advice from such masters as Ray Bradbury and Stephen King: “Write every day.” We writers tend to parrot this. These words of advice pass from person to person, gaining weight with repetition.

At this point, if someone made a 10 Commandments for writers, this would probably be at the very top.

I agree with the heart of this writing advice. The surest way to at anything is practice. Also, if you don’t write, you’ll never finish your WIP (and by you, I mean myself).

We should take this rule by its heart, not by the letter. In the indie world, where most of us work one or more day jobs in addition to writing, taking this advice as a law is dangerous. It leads to the two most common kinds of posts I see on Twitter: the “I’m terrible for not reaching my word count and don’t deserve to call myself a writer” post, or the “I’ve reached near-zombie status from habitually sleep deprivation, but why am I so tired and disheartened?” post.

If we keep up at this pace, we’re in danger of writing ourselves into an early grave. Just like the need for food, water, and air, the need for rest is built into who we are as humans. Pretending otherwise is unhealthy. Death by overwork may be rare, but overwork has other negative health consequences. It also saps our creative energy and robs us of our joy in our stories.

In her recent article on keeping deadlines, Hannah mentioned the importance of taking breaks for productivity. There are different kinds of breaks with different levels of refreshment. Binge watching entire shows, playing Candy Crush, or scrolling through Pinterest may be the easiest break activity, but I often find them less refreshing than I expected. Sometimes I’m more drained after these mindless “rests” than I was before.

To help make your rest as restful as possible, I’ve come up with nine ways to really rest and rejuvenate when you take a break from writing.
Don’t Write Every Day: 9 Ways to Rest and Rejuvenate
1. Read Books

I’m starting easy. If you’re a writer, chances are I don’t have to convince you to read. Read a silly book just for fun. Read a classic and bask in the prose. Read a non-fiction book on a topic you find fascinating. Escape into another world for a while.

Even as reading refreshes you, it will also help you be a better writer. You’ll learn what to do and what to avoid. Read books in your preferred genre, but also branch out. Try new things. Reading widely will help you better understand the world and the many kinds of people in it.

2. Visit Local Nature

Maybe being outside comes naturally for you. I usually get caught up with computer screens and desks and forget to see the sun most of the time. This is a pity, because few things are as refreshing as going somewhere where nature surrounds you, taking a deep breath, and really looking at the world.

Local parks, plant nurseries, hiking trails, beaches, mountains, zoos, and observatories are great places for this. Go to familiar and new places. Have a picnic. Go for a walk. Take a hike. Surf or scuba dive.

The latter of these also count as:

3. Exercise

I’m not particularly fond of this one myself, but exercise is healthy. Moving our bodies helps them function better. Bodies functioning better keeps us feeling better. Feeling better keeps us happier. Happier writers write more.

Also, physical activities can be a breath of fresh air to a cluttered mind.

I’m far from an expert on this one, so I’m just going to brainstorm. You can: Go to the gym, train for a marathon, walk around the block, start or continue playing a sport, hike, swim, do yoga, or...yeah, I’m out of ideas, except following Pooh’s example. If you have more ideas, let us know in the comments!


4. Laugh

Laughter is the best medicine, as they say. One simple way to refresh yourself is to take a break from taking things seriously. Look up corny jokes or bad (by which I mean, awesome) puns. Watch that movie that always has you rolling on the floor. Call up that friend who puts a smile on your face.

I have a Pinterest board of humor, creatively titled “For When I Need to Laugh.” My rule for the board is that I only pin things if they made me literally laugh out loud the first time I saw them. This can be a more refreshing use for Pinterest.

5. Make a Spectacularly Delicious Meal

In the rush of life, it’s easy to grab whatever’s handy. Food is a necessity, and so we may end up treating it as just another box to tick. There’s something very therapeutic about slowing down enough to mix your ingredients together with care into a truly yummy masterpiece. Baking also counts.

6. Community Service

Doing something big or small for others may seem like work, but you might find it very restorative. It takes your mind out of the cares of your own world, gives you a tangible way to make an immediate impact on others, broadens your compassion, and opens your eyes to unexpected blessings. Schools, shelters, libraries, national parks, museums, and more are good places to start.

7. Enjoy Non-Writing Creative Things

Experience someone else’s creativity. Visit an art gallery or museum. Attend a dance recital or orchestral performance at your local theater. Eat at the restaurant of an acclaimed chef near you.

You can also invest in your own neglected hobbies. You know what these are better than I do. Don’t let that love die because you are chained to your keyboard or notebook.

8. Talk to Humans

I know, most of us are introverts. I am one, myself.


The thing is, we still need human interaction. Desperately. Humans are social creatures. For every introvert I’ve met, there’s been a consensus that meaningless interactions are draining, but rich and deep interactions are rejuvenating.

Yeah, it’s hard sometimes. But don’t be like Mr. Darcy. Practice anyways. Good conversation is a skill that can be learned, you just have to be willing to:

9. Try Something New (and Scary)

This can be as simple as drinking a new tea or as big as travelling to a new country. Doing something new gives you more experience (which makes you a better writer), fills you with a sense of accomplishment, and empowers you to conquer fears.

So go forth and rest. Your story will still be there when you come back. Your word count is not your measure of value. You are important and you are an author regardless of what anyone else does. You have my permission to not write every day.

What things do you find truly refreshing?

Beth Wangler is one of my favorite people. After reading this post, I bet she's now one of your favorite people, too. Not only is she a fellow indie author and Phoenix Fiction Writer, but she also happens to have one of the most charming, wholesome social media presences in existence. You'll want to follow her: 


Website | Novella | PFW Page | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 


After you follow her, be sure to leave a comment below! And do yourself a favor and follow tip 1 by reading The Weavers' Blessings. It's an amazing, charming, magical fairy tale novella that is perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating. 


Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related article:
7 Tips for Balancing Your Writing with the Rest of Life
9 Tips for Dealing With Writer's Burnout

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every week!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support.

Friday, May 4, 2018

6 Tips for Writing Fantastic, Original Fairytale Retellings - A Guest Post by Grace

Today is one of the greatest days of 2018 for two reasons:

1) It is May the 4th, so we can get our Star Wars pride on. Not that I don't always do that, but it's nice to have a day where we're all unified by our love for space ships and Wookies and bounty-hunters-who-should-never-have-died-in-movie-number-3. Ahem. Sorry. Still bitter about that last one.

2) Today brings us a guest post by Grace from Bard on Pilgrimage. And when I say "us" I really mean you because I've already had the privilege of reading, laughing over, and being provoked to thought by this post. Grace is an epic writer, great blogger, and huge nerd. She has kindly volunteered to be the first of three people who have stepped up to fill in for me during these next three weeks as I battle Microbiology finals. So let's hear some loud, enthusiastic, pod-racing-from-the-Phantom-Menace-style cheering to welcome her!


Originality is overrated.

Now before you throw me into the sarlacc pit, hear me out. Depending what source you read, there are only a limited number of plots out there—1, 7, 9, 20, 36. One glance at your personal library should tell you there’s going to be some recycling going on. But you don’t usually see it lauded until you come to the fairy-tale retellings. (Other stories get retold too, as soon as they enter public domain—that’s how we got zombies invading Pemberley—but let’s stick to the not-quite-as-macabre side of things.)

So maybe you struggle with compelling plot structure. Maybe villains aren’t your strong suit (*swallows guiltily*). Or maybe you just want a quick side project, and a fairy tale sounds like fun. Retellings let you blatantly rip off an existing story, right? Nothing could be easier!

Amazing. Every word of what you just said was wrong.

Fortunately for you, you have this post to put you on the path to the Light Side—I mean, help you start your fairy-tale retelling.

6 Tips for Writing Fantastic, Original Fairytale Retellings

1. Do read the original. The beginning is the very best place to start. Know your material. This is not an option. There are plenty of great sites out there that provide fairy tales for free—as well as any variants from other cultures. Read the variants too! They may have some interesting twists that your readers won’t be expecting. Read, take notes, analyze what’s going on. The more you can find the roots of what’s going on, the easier it will be to swap up things like setting or character roles, because you won’t lose sight of the meaning. More on that later.

2. Don’t follow the Disney version verbatim. Your readers will know you did not do your homework. Gaston may be a good foil to the Beast, and Rapunzel’s healing hair was pretty handy, but unless you have a fresh reason for incorporating that detail, it might just be an easy way out. We want to read your story. If you look to Disney for inspiration, study their strategy of putting an original spin on old fairytales, but don't use them as source material.

Or fairy tale retellings, either.

Although . . .

3. Do feel free not to feel free. Take as many or as few liberties and twists as you want. If you want Snow White to be a scientist in an asteroid mining facility, go ahead. If you want her to be a medieval fantasy princess, go ahead. The little mermaid can be a mermaid or an android; Beauty can be a medic or a merchant’s daughter; mirrors can be people, dwarves can be cats, fairy godmothers can be inanimate objects or plot developments or actual fairies. Do steampunk, do contemporary, do culture- or gender-swaps. Play with viewpoints, motivations, character roles—or don’t. It’s up to you. As long as the story stays true to its most important roots (again, more on that later), the branches and leaves are all yours. And on that note . . .

4. Don’t compare your ideas to others’. Yes, the Lunar Chronicles are amazing. Yes, Gail Carson Levine has fairy dust in her fingers. Yes, Kyle Robert Schultz is the inimitable overlord of the Afterverse (and really should be the one writing this post, who am I kidding here). But that’s a white rabbit hole you don’t want to fall down. No one else can envision your story just like you want it. You may love their voice, you may admire their sense of humor, you may die in envy of their plot twists multiple times a day—but they didn’t have your idea. You did. It’s your messy, adorable, incorrigible little brainchild, and the foster system doesn’t accept brainchildren. You get to bring it up and help it grow and mature, and eventually you can show it off to the rest of us like the proud parent you are. If you want to read this story, then you need to write it.

5. Don’t forget to develop your characters. This is huge. The original fairy tales use a whole ton of archetypes, a word which here means “flat characters with one defining characteristic that makes them very hard to use in today’s literary world without modification.” Gentle, pure maidens and swashbuckling princes (or plucky peasant lads) may be all well and good in Andrew Lang and the brothers Grimm, but your retelling faces a different market. Readers today reasonably expect certain things from their stories, including round, dynamic characters. So consider things like motivations, flaws, and arcs carefully. This is one key way your retelling can engage an audience and set itself apart from all the other versions out there.

And yet where it really matters, retellings are actually all the same:

6. Do keep the original theme (at least one, though there may be more). That’s the real reason we retell fairy tales. The revolting Beast and gentle Beauty are classic characters, but the chord that resonates with us is the importance of seeing past appearances. A formidable tower and yards of golden hair may be iconic images, but the delicate balance between protection and isolation soars beyond them. And of course, the great triumphant theme of good conquering evil rings out over all. No matter how dark things get, no matter how many stars fall from the sky, the tales as old as time will never stop shining—and your retelling can perpetuate the light of that ever-new hope.

...Okay, that’s quite enough forced Star Wars references for one post.



Good luck with your retellings, and May the Fourth be with you all!

The force is strong with Grace, isn't it? If you want more of her amazing writing, head on over to her blog. But not before leaving a comment below and telling us either:

A) Your own fairytale retelling tips

B) Your favorite retold novels

C) The best Star Wars joke you can think of

Or all three, honestly. No go forth! Be one with the 4th, for the 4th is with you.


Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related articles:
9 Different Descriptive Settings to Use In Your Fantasy Novel (Without Using Forests)
9 Epic, Underused Mythical Animals for Your Fantasy Novel

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Why Writers Need Deadlines (And How to Set Them Up)

Note: If this post seems familiar, it's because it's an expansion of a newsletter I sent out a while ago. Cheating? Maybe. But I spent about 30 minutes yesterday writing a blog post only to realize I'd already written on one the exact same topic over a year ago (this one, in case you care). So I'm re-purposing a newsletter article to save my time and sanity. Sue me. 

As a creative, got-no-strings-on-me, hippy type of person, deadlines weren’t really something I’d ever considered setting on purpose. They just…happened. I have a weekly deadline for my blog posts. A monthly deadline for my Youtube channel. Deadlines for WriteOnCon work. I didn’t notice I’d set them up until they were entrenched in my brain. By the time I finally took notice of them, I realized: These deadline things are actually really helpful.

So I decided to try it for my daily writing life.

I set a deadline for my completion of The Stump of the Terebinth Tree, a project that I couldn’t ever seem to complete. And you know what? I finished it two days before my deadline. I set a deadline for Colors of Fear and I actually finished it on time rather than completing it two days before the set release date (because yes, that’s the type of thing I do….It’s hard being me).

In short, deadlines have been amazing for me. I think they'd help you, too. Not convinced? Here are 4 reasons you should set deadlines:
Why Writers Need Deadlines (And How to Set Them Up)
1. It increases productivity. I know what you're thinking. "But Hannah. I'm already fairly productive." So? Just because something works doesn't mean it can't be improved. Deadlines allow you to write consistently. Even if you don't feel "inspired." Even if you're sick. Before you know it, you'll be able to write whenever you want. All those stories you never thought you'd never get around to? Well...Honestly, you'll probably never be able to get to all of them. But at least you'll be able to complete more of them than before. How cool is that?

2. It leads to some great ideas. "But forcing myself to write means that my writing is forced and stilted and just no good," you whine. Shush. Just....Shush. When you have to write by a deadline you're force to just put anything on the page. Anything. This somewhat panicked, just-get-something-down state leads to less inhibition. You write down things that you generally wouldn't allow yourself to. Sometimes these ideas suck. Which is totally fine because that's what editing is for. But other times? You spit out crazy cool ideas that you'd never have thought possible before. It's awesome.

3. It prepares you for the publishing industry. When you traditionally publish, publishers and agents and editors want you to stay on the shelves. They want you to stay relevant. To do that, they need you to keep cranking out books. Yep. That's how traditional publishing works. Sure, you don't have to follow those rules, but your second publishing will be a lot harder if you don't. And if you indie publish? You don't absolutely need to crank a new book out every 18 months (which is standard for traditionally published authors), but you do need to continue to write something in order to keep eyes on you. That means you'll be having to write newsletters, blog posts, short stories, etc on a fairly regular basis. Yep. Publication is hard. Start training for it now so you can go all Rocky Balboa on the publishing world when your time comes:
It has just occurred to me that a decent portion of
my followers probably haven't seen this movie. Now I'm sad.
Have I convinced you to give deadlines a shot? I hope so. Let's move on and talk about game plans:

1. Be realistic. But also harsh. You need your deadlines to take everything into account: How much time you have, how fast of a writer you are, what your day job is like, etc. If you get sick a lot, know that your kids are starting soccer next month, or have a stressful transition going on at work, add that into the equation. Don’t overburden yourself. But then again…do put yourself under some pressure. You want your goal to be attainable, but also rigorous enough to force yourself into being structured about your writing process.

2. Don't set too many deadlines. Let's say you have three writing projects going. Choose the most important and set a hard deadline for that one. Under no circumstances are you do move this one (Unless the zombie apocalypse starts or something equally horrendous happens, in which case: Dude. You do you. Take care of yourself.) What about the other two? You're probably better off setting soft deadlines or no deadlines at all. Deadlines can be hard to balance, so unless you have experience with them and know that you're good at them, start out with only one or two. Do you hear me? Don't over do it.

3. Schedule your writing time. Yep. I’m harping on this again. Schedule a time to write each day/every other day/week/whatever-you-can-pull-off and stick with it. This is really, really important.

4. Keep track. Set a goal and then figure out what you have to do each day to meet it. How many words do you have to write? How much time do you have to carve out? Do the math and then stick to the numbers. Yeah, numbers. We're writer, but we can't avoid numbers completely. That'd be nice, though, wouldn't it?

5. Reward yourself. Every day that you stay on track, give yourself a little treat. Me? When I have a deadline to meet, I choose to allow myself to watch Netflix a bit each night if I write that day. Yes, that means I don't get to watch anything if I don't write, so it is also a bit of a punishment. But it works.

6. Give yourself breaks. What? Isn't this counter to everything I just said? Kind of. But not really. While deadlines are good, they can also be stressful if you had to set up something super rigorous, if you're not used to working by deadlines, or if you're doing them wrong. Give yourself days where you don't write at all. Give yourself the wiggle room to push your soft deadlines back a few weeks. And absolutely don't feel like you always need to have deadlines. It's healthy to have stretches of time when you have zero.

As scary and non-creative as deadlines seem, they are very important if you want to make healthy progress in your writing life. So here’s my challenge to you: Pick a writing project. Give it a deadline. Even if it’s just: "I’ll complete three chapters this week." Now stick to it.

Go on. Confront the problem. Fight! Win! And get in touch with me when you complete it. I’d love to hear how it goes.

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


9 Tips for Dealing With Writer's Burnout

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday!

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!
Google Analytics Alternative