Category Archives: Guest post

Guest Post: 55 Social Media Hashtags For Authors (And How To Use Them) by Writer’s Relief

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This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

Unless you’ve been living in a remote cave (or buried under a giant pile of writing research), you know hashtags serve a very valuable purpose on social media. Those clickable words or strings of words can help you follow ongoing conversations, sort posts according to interests, and expand the reach of your musings beyond your own friends and followers. Furthermore, tweets with hashtags get retweeted 55% more than tweets without them.

Boost your social media efforts and effectiveness by following — and using — this list of hashtags for writers:

Enjoy The Writer’s Journey

These “share the journey” hashtags bring the active writing community together by sharing the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the writing life.

  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #writerslife
  • #WriterWednesday

Write The Words

Every writer needs a creative boost now and then. Follow these hashtag prompts to nudge yourself and others into getting the words onto the page.

  • #1K1H (1,000 words in one hour)
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #StoryStarter
  • #wordcount
  • #writingsprint
  • #NaNoWriMo (for the November marathon)

Pose A Question To A Pro

Need guidance from a professional? Pose a question or peruse the hashtag to pick up tips and tricks from the experts.

  • #AskEditor
  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor

Gather Your Genre Group

No list of hashtags for writers is complete without a list of genre-related hashtags. Following these keywords can keep you up to date about what’s going on in the industry as well as connect you to fellow lovers of your genre.

  • #RomanceWriter
  • #Horror
  • #YA
  • #KidLit
  • #LitFic
  • #Crime
  • #Thriller
  • #Suspense
  • #DarkFantasy
  • #SciFiChat
  • #MGLit (middle grade literature)
  • #ShortReads
  • #flashfiction
  • #ChickLit
  • #WomensFiction
  • #HistFic
  • #RWA
  • #NINC
  • #SCBWI
  • #SFWA

Peruse Publication

Trying to get published can be bewildering. Follow one or more of these hashtags so you’ll be in the know.

  • #PubTip
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #SelfPub
  • #QueryTip
  • #Publishing
  • #GetPublished
  • #IndiePub

Seek A Slot

#MSWL is short for “Manuscript Wish List.” Editors and agents post the kinds of manuscripts they would most like to see cross their desks right now. For authors on the hunt for a new agent or a new house, #MSWL gives you a chance to strike while the iron is hot.

Augment Your Audience

Grow your tribe by sharing your writing with readers using the following hashtags:

  • #TeaserTuesday
  • #FridayReads
  • #MustRead
  • #LitChat
  • #SampleSunday
  • #novelines

Move The Merchandise

Hashtags are fabulous for book marketing, especially if you have a launch or a free or discounted book.

  • #freebook
  • #freebie
  • #freedownload
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #99c
  • #booklaunch
  • #BookBuzz
  • #NewBook

Harnessing Hashtags — The Right Way

Since hashtags are essentially keywords that help folks find what they’re looking for, it’s important to use them correctly. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Use hashtags specific to your message
  • Try to take advantage of the important keywords in your post’s text
  • Or, add hashtags at the end of the post
  • Don’t use too many hashtags, except on Instagram, where it doesn’t seem to matter

Once you get the hang of including hashtags in your social media posts, you’ll find that it’s an effortless way to expand your reach. Keep in mind: With the exception of Instagram, you should keep the number of your hashtags down to one or two. A Tweet or Facebook post riddled with hashtags, or followed by a river of them, looks a lot like spam.

For more writing tips and advice visit WritersRelief.com.

Guest Post: The Summer of Altoids by Donna

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Thank you to Donna from My OBT for this lovely article.

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These are the adorable miniature paintings inside used mint tins by Heidi Annalise. You know how I love tiny things, and I’ll bet these affordable, wee masterpieces smell great, too! Annalise quit her Washington, D.C. government job (can you blame her?) and returned to her native Colorado to find her bliss. And boy, has she ever found it!

” Floating between realism and impressionism, my artwork adds an element of fantasy to the natural world with heightened colors and simplified shapes. By bringing glimpses of nature into our indoor environments, we can soak up these extraordinary vistas on all of our more ordinary days, and remind ourselves to go exploring whenever we can.”

Annalise was inspired to start painting mint tins by one of her favorite artists, Glenn Dean, who uses Altoids tins to test his works before painting them on a larger canvas.

With 50K+ followers and many happy customers, this artist is living her dream and making the world a cuter, better-smelling place. I have only one question. What does she do with all those mints?

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Guest Post: How to Write an Effective Fight Scene by Doug Lewars

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Guest Post: How to Write an Effective Fight Scene by Doug Lewars

Thank you to Doug Lewars and to A Writer’s Path for this excellent article about crafting a breathtaking fight sequence.

Fight scenes are somewhat similar to chase scenes. I wrote about the latter last month. Use action verbs and use terse sentences. Real fights tend to be sloppy affairs and they frequently end quickly. In addition to punching and kicking there is frequently a lot of shoving. Staged fights are much better as reference material. YouTube is a good source of both so have a look at a few before writing them.

Although you’re probably going to be writing about a fight and not a boxing match, it is a good idea to learn some boxing terms. Things like hook, cross, uppercut and jab can be worked into the scene. Of course your actual fight will more likely be a brawl in which pretty much anything goes. So head butting, biting, elbowing, scratching, kneeing, kicking and the use of weapons are also permitted.

man doing boxing

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Mind you, the fight scene will be pretty short if both opponents are using shotguns at point blank range so the nature of the weapon will probably dictate the amount of space needed for the fight. Don’t hesitate to make use of judo and jujitsu techniques as well. It’s easy to look them up online but stay away from the terminology unless you’re creating a fight between two practitioners of a specific discipline.

For example, Harai Goshi is a sweeping hip throw. Even the term ‘sweeping hip throw’ is probably too technical. It would be better to describe some – but not all – of the technique. The reason you don’t want to describe every last step is that your story will slow. Rapid pacing is critical in a fight seen.

Therefore, for the example above, you might write something like, ‘As Frank rushed at him, Jerry pivoted left, shoved his right thigh in front of Frank, twisted forward and slammed him to the ground.’ If you look up the actual judo move you’ll see that I’ve left out at least 80% of the technique but the sentence flows and that’s all your reader is looking for at this point.

Make use of sensations in the fight. ‘Frank grunted’, ‘Harald groaned’, ‘Tony yelled’, ‘Marty felt a stab of pain in his …’, ‘Something warm ran down the side of his face’, ‘He smelled the scent of roses as he lay panting for breath’, ‘The club seemed to grow as he tried to dodge’, ‘Bile filled his mouth’.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Guest Post: Plot Backward to Move Forward with Your Novel by Janice Hardy

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Guest Post: Plot Backward to Move Forward with Your Novel by Janice Hardy

Thank you to Janice Hardy and to Writers in the Storm for this excellent article on plotting the novel.

Unless you’re playing with a non-chronological story structure, plot unfolds as time marches on in a novel. It starts when the problem is discovered (more or less), and ends when the problem is resolved. But just because the story is in chronological order, doesn’t mean we need to plot it that way.

I’m currently working on the outline for a novel a bit outside my normal genre. It’s still science fiction, but it’s a detective novel at heart, with all the twist and turns and plot requirements that entails. Information needs to be revealed in the right way, otherwise my plot might feel too rushed or too slow, and some of the logic leaps my detective has might not make sense. This holds true of most stories, regardless of their genres.

Luckily, there are pinch points I know I’m going to have, such as finding the body, uncovering the killer, revealing key secrets and clues. These clear moments are “destination points” for me to plot toward.

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Pantsers just write their way there and see what happens, but I’m a plotter, and I need to have a solid outline in place before I begin a novel. When I can’t find my way forward, I skip to the end and go backward. Because of those destination points, I know exactly where I need to be.

With a genre as structured as a mystery, this is even easier. For example, I know my detective will discover the killer’s identity at a certain point. So I start there–what specifically reveals this? What clue leads him to this discovery? How does he find that clue? What is he doing when he discovers this clue? At each point, I figure out what had to have happened to get him there.

Let’s look a little closer.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Guest Post: Focusing Your Novel with a Journalist’s Trick by Andrea Lundgren

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Guest Post: Focusing Your Novel with a Journalist’s Trick by Andrea Lundgren

Thank you to Andrea Lundgren and A Writer’s Path for this excellent article on writing the novel.

Okay, perhaps it’s more of a tool than a trick, but journalists have been using the “Who-What-Where-When-Why-and-How” format on hard news pieces for well over a century (to judge by the sort of articles they write, where each of these items are addressed), and I’ve found the six questions are equally useful when writing a novel.

Because, like journalists, we’re writing a story about something that happened…it’s just that it happened in our imagination. The standard six questions can be used when brainstorming your next story, focusing your editing, or trying to come up with a blurb (which is rather like a very short news article about your novel, without the ending disclosed).

  • Who. This may seem obvious, but a lot of times, authors need to clarify whose story they are telling. Is it the young lad who’s just learning to swing a sword? The hardened veteran? The king? The spy for the other side? The woman who’s hiding her identity so she can fight alongside her countrymen? If you use first person narration, it should be very obvious who the story belongs to, but when you’re using third person omniscient or third person close, with many different character points-of-view, this will become critical and a bit more of a puzzle for you, the author, to solve. The novel can’t belong to everyone or the reader will get confused, so you have to latch onto a “Who.”

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Now, you might have a story that features multiple characters as the “Who,” like The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia, but picking out a Who, even if it’s only on a scene-by-scene basis, will help ensure you don’t head-hop. And you might try writing a “group story” from one character’s POV just to see how it feels. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from Edmund’s POV would be a deep, heart-felt story of redemption while the same plot from Lucy’s POV would highlight the agony of losing Aslan. (And you wouldn’t have to shut the other characters out of your tale; you’d just focus on one or the other as the main character of the story.)

  • What. This is the sentence or two that is the heart of the story (and should probably appear, in some form or another, in your book’s description/blurb). In the case of The Lord of the Rings,  it’s the journey to destroy the ring of power despite the evil forces that lurk in every corner of the realm. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, it’s about discovering a world where it’s always winter, never Christmas…or perhaps the struggle against the temptation of being a king when it means betraying your family and friends.

The “What” can be the hardest question for an author to answer because, for us, the story is made up of so many scenes. It’s about the bath at Frodo’s house, the betrayal of Gandalf, the chase by the ring wraiths…and we can get bogged down in the details until we can’t see the big picture of what 0ur novel is about. But, if we don’t answer the “What” question, our story can spiral into a long, wandering tale without any focus, and writing a blurb can be well nigh impossible (save for something vague about “A tale of friends as they walk through the joys and sorrows of Middle Earth).

To continue reading this article, click here.