April 1, 2019

Writers in the Storm is having a "Writing Event" on Monday, April 15.

Write Up A Storm is a one-day sprint-writing bash on Facebook, designed to motivate and sustain your writing throughout the day. Even if that day job impinges on your time, you can participate before work, during lunch and after hours. We'll be here. Writing. Piling up word count. Supporting each other.

We'll be writing all day and keeping track of word count totals from our fabulous readers. You can post your word count in a comment that day, and we'll add it to the tally. You can post every hour if you want to and encourage others--or challenge them. Hmm, is this a WITS Throwdown in the making? We're hoping that everyone's combined word count will add up to a novella. Actually, Fae is hoping for a full-length book!

Here's a short list of simple things you can do to prepare for Write Up A Storm:

  1. If you're a plotter, work on that outline for your new idea. You don't have to finish the outline, but have enough to get you through three (or six) chapters.
  2. If you're a pantser, work your process so you've got the beginning of your story solidly ready to put words on the page.
  3. Know your characters–their motivation, their character arcs, what they want more than anything else in the world.
  4. Know what keeps your characters from getting what they want, whether it's another person, lack of something, like education, or money, or something from their past.
  5. Read to fill your writer well. Read like a reader and enjoy yourself.
  6. Mark the date on your calendar. Set an alarm on your phone.
  7. Commit to a definite number of minutes–even if it's only ten–of solid writing time.
  8. Complete any research necessary to write the section you plan to work on.
  9. Contact other writer friends to participate for support. They will thank you on Tuesday, April 16, when they look at what they've accomplished.
  10. Finish routine chores like the laundry and grocery shopping during the week-end.
  11. Pre-cook meals and snacks for the day.
  12. Read to fill your writer well. Read like a reader and enjoy yourself.

Sign up link for the event.

Are you willing to commit to writing on Monday, April 15? Are you willing to share your word count? How about sharing a tip now to help all of us get ready?

About Fae

Fae Rowen

Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak.  Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes  that she can live anywhere but the present.  As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules.

Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than the horrors of algebra lessons gone wrong.  She is grateful for good friends who remind her to do the practical things in life like grocery shop, show up at the airport for a flight and pay bills.

A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now enjoys sharing her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told.  Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow. Feedback from readers keeps her fingers on the keyboard.

When she’s not hanging out at Writers in the Storm, you can visit Fae at http://faerowen.com  or www.facebook.com/fae.rowen.

March 29, 2019

Publishing a book is a big deal. But, as authors, you already know that it requires an investment not just in time, but in your money. From editing to book cover design and, of course, your marketing efforts, it’s important to you to maximize that investment. And it should be.

And, as with all things, there are good ways to invest in your book promotion and, the flip side, not-so-good ways.  Believe me, in nearly two decades in the book marketing business, I’ve heard it all, both from authors I work with and those I meet at industry events. And so, as a cautionary tale, I’m sharing the top complaints I hear from authors in the industry, and what you can do instead or to circumvent each problem altogether. 

Some of the ways we can avoid these issues may be fairly obvious to most people. For one, any agreements you sign should clearly state any deliverables. Similarly, if anyone makes any big promises like “bestseller status,” don’t walk, run away. No one can guarantee that. Outside of those big-ticket ideas, here are some of the biggest complaints in the book marketing industry. (Click here to read more about if you’re ready to invest in book marketing services.)

Complaint #1: I Didn’t Sell Any Books 

This is the number one most common complaint book marketing firms receive. And it’s a tough one, but the reality is that no one can predict or promise book sales. As I said earlier, if someone does, run away. I 100% agree that you want to maximize your investment, and hopefully, recoup the money you’ve put into it. However, the reality is that there is often some confusion surrounding the ultimate goal of book marketing and book publicity. Because the goal is, and should always be exposure, and particularly, the right kind of exposure to the right audiences.

I knew an author who made it to Oprah’s TV show, back when it was on the air. But despite the fact that you’d think it would launch her book sales into outer space, she only sold about 150 books as a result. 

And although there may be other reasons why it fell flat, it may also come down to whether or not she got the right kind of exposure. Authors often request a certain kind of target in their proposals, and get upset when we don’t include it. The reality is that we can absolutely pitch that target, but since it isn’t exactly the right market for that author, it’s often a wasted pitch.  

The big takeaway here is that exposure sells books. It often must be repeated, and it absolutely must be the right kind of exposure. And, that’s what a book marketing or publicity firm should be promising you. Exposure is ultimately the vehicle to help you get to book sales.

Complaint #2: I Didn’t Understand My Contract

As with any industry, book marketing and publicity has its own jargon. And because of that, if you’re not actively working in the industry, the jargon can be confusing and lead to misunderstandings, and yes, sometimes complaints. 

So if you don’t understand what you’re signing up for, as an author, you absolutely should ask questions. If you don’t understand something that is being sold to you, ask the person selling it. If they aren’t willing to explain it, in detail, you should move on. And, if you’re buying a program and you can only access them via email, I recommend proceeding with caution. Anytime the program is expensive or something beyond some DIY recommendations (for example, a list of bookstores or bloggers you can pitch), request specifics. And while each company may keep some of their processes proprietary, you should have no problems getting a detailed outline and specific deliverables. 

Don’t become a cautionary tale and spend money on various book promotion campaigns that you ultimately don’t understand. Whether you’re spending $500,  $5,000, or in the case of one author I spoke with –  $50,0000, make sure you know what you’re buying.

For example, in each book promotion proposal we create, we explain each strategy in detail and share the deliverables. There should be no secrets and no mystery to what you are buying. Get it all in writing. 

Complaint #3: No One Gave Me Any Updates 

You should get updates with nearly every campaign you get. Even most one-and-done programs should give you a head’s up when something is planned or completed. We do weekly updates for our bigger campaigns, but even the small campaigns, like an Amazon Optimization, get at least one update. Again, this is something that should be addressed in your contract. If it’s not, don’t sign it.  

Complaint #4: I Didn’t Get Enough Media Features or Book Reviews 

An average return for book marketing and publicity efforts is in the 5-10% range. This means that 10% (being on the high end) of people pitched respond. If that seems low, remember there are a lot of things vying for media attention. Granted, at times we’ve seen it as high as 30% – but this varies by market. 

If you’re in a highly competitive market, like dieting, relationships, or business, these are often on the lower end, but you can also pitch regional or trade media to help offset this. There are three tiers to media: regional, trade, and national. The national media is what we all know: The Today Show, CNN Morning Show, Fox and Friends, O Magazine, Redbook, etc. And the reality is that lots of people overlook trade and regional media even though they can be great sources of publicity. So I definitely would encourage you to consider including those markets, too. This could help get you more media hits. 

Regardless, the number of media hits or book reviews you get is largely out of the book publicist’s control. 

Complaint #5: I Didn’t Get the ROI I Wanted 

While this may overlap a bit with the first complaint, it’s important to note that making your money back on a single book marketing investment can be iffy. Some do, and some don’t. In fact, a study by IBPA found that on average, it can take nearly two years for a book s to see any ROI. This ultimately means that you must be in it for the long-haul. If you consider it a short-term effort, or a retirement plan, you may need to change your mindset. 

And, if you’re hiring a book marketing firm, it’s important to know that not only do things not happen overnight, but their efforts are meant to complement what you’re doing on your own. Now, your own efforts probably won’t be as aggressive as the book marketing firm you hired, but you should be doing something to add to their work on your behalf. I write about this frequently on my blog, and encourage you to check it out, but for now, it’s enough to know that like any investment, you should plan to be in this for the long-term. For some of us that will be two years, while for others it happens more slowly, and others yet, a lot quicker.   

One study I read showed that most authors market their books for around 3 months. After this time period they were discouraged and maybe broke, but either way, they stop working on their book marketing. This doesn’t have to be you. All it takes is a little planning.

So what if you’re doing a ton of work and your book still isn’t selling? Well, maybe it’s time to take a critical look at the book itself. Maybe you need a better cover. Or just maybe, you need to revisit your market. Is there an active, interested market that will buy your book? In the coaching side of my business, I work with authors frequently on these very questions and offer recommendations for how they can strengthen either their book or their approach, and sometimes both.

An author once told me that hiring book marketing services was a bit like sending your kid to college. You want to get them into the best college, and get them the best education – and in the end, you hope they’ll do something with the education you got them.

Books are much the same way. As authors, we do everything we can to give your book its best foot forward. And ultimately, our market will have to decide if it’s the book they want. Yes, I know it sounds risky.  It’s because it is. But anything worth having comes with a certain amount of risk. In fact, it’s something I’ve faced myself. Not every book I’ve published has done well. Despite my knowledge of the industry, I still make mistakes. The point is to try, try again. 

And, the bottom line here as you are looking for help with your book marketing, is that a good book marketing company should be able to provide you with references, too. They should have testimonials, and you should be able to request speaking with other authors or publishers they’ve worked with. While no one can make everyone happy all of the time, and you may find one or two negative reviews, if everything else you read is otherwise great with wonderful testimonials and reviews, the odds are that the company you’re working with is reputable. Especially so, the longer that they’ve been in business.

Unless you can do it all yourself, it’s a great idea to hire a book marketing company. In fact, it’s almost critical if you want any kind of attention for your book. And ultimately, that’s what we all want. So, it’s my goal that by outlining some of the top complaints authors have, you will be empowered to make the best decisions for yourself and your book. 

And if you’re ready to see how we can work together to market your book, please reach out to me and my team today

  • Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU, is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny and AME, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.
March 27, 2019

Shirley Jump

My number-one goal as an author is to create a compelling character, one so amazing that readers will talk about him/her long after they have finished the book.

So what makes for a compelling character? Look around you at the books you read, the shows you watch. Which characters draw you in the most? Which ones have you hooked and coming back time and again?

Take an especially close look at the “unusual” characters who hook you. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. Jax from Sons of Anarchy. The Godfather. Reacher from the Lee Child novels. Sayid from Lost.

They Are a Cut Above the Rest

These are characters who don’t fit the norm. They are people who make questionable decisions yet still manage to resonate with readers and viewers (like the man who pretends to be Jack Sommersby in Sommersby). They are multi-dimensional characters who often have dark sides that are tempered by strong moral compasses, flickers of conscience and/or incredibly interesting personas (like Hannibal Lecter).

Take Jax from Sons of Anarchy, the FX channel show about a motorcycle gang in California. This is a classic good versus evil show—the “good” Feds and cops against the “bad” motorcycle gang who is trafficking in guns.

No doubt about it, the SOA gang does some very bad things. They kill people. They torture people. They run a business producing hard core porn videos. They sometimes even kill their own. They have an interesting job that is far outside the realm of the rest of us, and when you watch the show, you are part of their world. And you can’t tear yourself away, no matter how hard you try because that dark side, mixed with a strong moral code, creates a gripping show that hooks you early and keeps you hooked.

They Love, and Love Deeply

But the one thing that Jax (and all the others) has is an unbreakable devotion to family, both their blood family and their gang family. There is nothing they wouldn’t do to protect those they love, and no stone they’d leave unturned if one of their own is missing. You see quiet moments where Jax is holding his baby or talking to his mother, and you see a multi-dimensional man who is basically just trying to do the right thing. Granted, their version of right and wrong is a little skewed from the rest of the world’s, but it’s close enough that you can relate to their care and concern.

When Jax’s baby son is kidnapped, there is no doubt that he will do whatever it takes to get his child back. He does step over the line of the law many times, but as a viewer, you can see his pain and desperation and you can relate. You find yourself cheering for him, even when he does something you might not support in any other circumstance.

They Are Relatable

That’s the key to a compelling character. You can make them do the most heinous or generous things, as long as the actions are properly motivated. With proper motivation, a character can do nearly anything and the reader will be captivated because they can empathize, even put themselves in that character’s shoes. Even Tony Soprano, the famed fictional mob boss, has his moments where what he is doing is purely wrong, but you understand because he is protecting his family. In the end, that’s what Tony does everything for—his family.

You need to find the elements of your character that everyone can relate to. There’s commonalities among everyone—love of family, love of children, fear of failure, etc. Reacher, from the Lee Child novels, is a loner with a checkered past in the Army. He crosses the line sometimes, but that’s because he is living his life by his rules, rules based firmly on wrong and right. He does what he has to in order to protect and save the weaker among us. You can relate to him, care about him, support his actions, because in the end, he’s doing the right thing.

On Lost, Sayid, who was an Iraqi Republican Guard soldier who tortured people before he landed on the island, had perhaps one of the most reprehensible careers among the cast. But as the show wore on, you learned about how what he had to do tortured Sayid as much as those he hurt. How he paid a huge price for what he had to do, and how he would do whatever it took from here on out to protect and save his friends. Sayid is a loyal and generous man, the kind you want behind or beside you when things get dicey.

They Are Strong

Compelling characters are can-do characters. They have moments of doubt—everyone does—but they don’t stand there waffling for 20 minutes. They make a decision, good or bad, and they stick with it. Reacher, for instance, runs through a quick paragraph or two of the pros and cons of his decisions and, in the end, usually chooses the one with less cons because it’s the right decision, the one that protects or saves the most people. He is prepared to make sacrifices, even get hurt himself, as long as the outcome is the right one.

These are characters you can depend on in a crisis. They can be affable and funny (think of Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs,) or stern and almost scary (think of Dirty Harry) but in the end, if you had to pick one person in the room to have with you on an adventure, that’s the name that comes to mind. Their spirits don’t break easily, and even when everything seems lost, they forge forward. Because that’s all they know how to do. They don’t sit and wallow. They act.

Tips for Creating Compelling Characters

  1. Layer their pasts: People who have had flat, uninteresting pasts don’t make for interesting people in the present. The guy who grew up with two parents and lived in the same house all his life and had a puppy that became his best friend…blah, blah…that guy doesn’t become a Jax or Sayid or Reacher (same with female characters). Batman became Batman because of what happened to his parents. Not because he was wealthy or privileged or went to the opera a lot.
  2. Give them tough moral choices: The most interesting novel situations arise from moral quandaries, whether neither this decision or that seems totally right. Put your character into what seems an impossible situation, and make them choose.
  3. Give them something worth fighting for: A compelling character also has a compelling goal. Study the movies, books and TV shows that grab your attention and don’t let go. Why are you so hooked? What has captured your attention so thoroughly? They can be fighting for something as small as saving their home, or as large as saving the world. Will Smith’s character in Seven Pounds makes some questionable choices, but in the end, you see why and you understand. The last choice he has to make is a heartbreaker. No matter which way he goes, someone will lose, and you feel his pain as he fills that tub.
  4. Give them heroic tendencies: What makes a hero? Someone who will run into a fire when everyone else runs away. Someone who will fight, even when the battle seems impossible to win, someone who will sacrifice themselves in order to save others (think of the best heroes in movies, books and real life). Write down 5 heroic tendencies you have seen in those you admire and use those with your protagonist.
  5. Give them worthy adversaries: It’s no fun to watch the good guy battle everyone to the ground in one fell swoop. You want him or her to fight someone who is as strong as the protagonist. Whether it’s the birth mother trying to get her child back (Losing Isaiah) or the wizard who feels he was wrongly convicted (Harry Potter), you should give your compelling character and equally compelling antagonist.

What do you think? Do you have examples of other unforgettable characters for us?

March 25, 2019

It's been a hard winter. Let's celebrate spring with a little "Pimp and Promote." Of course, this always costs us some money, because we have to go out and buy lots of books. But now that it's getting nice, we can find a tree to read under!

How does this work?

To quote the genie in Aladdin, “There are a few provisos, a couple of quid-pro-quos…"

  • Pimp out somebody else’s work – this can be a favorite author, blogger, post or book you’ve read, a wonderful teacher or just someone who had profound influence on you as a writer or a person. Please limit your comments to one work.
  • Promote one of your projects that you’re excited about – a hobby, a blog, a book, or a new direction your writing is taking you. You decide. Just tell us about it in the comments! (Please restrain your enthusiasm to just one of your WIPs.) The rest of us will jump in and “ooooh and ahh” at you, and likely promote your project even further because we’re just so darn excited today.

We'll start things off by doing some P&P with the gals here at WITS...

Julie Glover:

Julie Glover, Writers In The Storm

PIMP: Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have put out some of the best writer resources with their Thesaurus series, including a recently released second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus, now with 130 entries! But I'm just as in love with their One Stop for Writers subscription service, which includes everything from story structure tools to timelines to a new character builder. Plus, you get access to all of the entries of all of their thesauri (or thesauruses, if you prefer). Check it out!

Promote: My new Muse Island Series, written as Jules Lynn with co-author Kris Faryn, has released two books with a third coming soon. Mark of the Gods and Power of the Song are currently available, and Rise of the Storm will be out April 4. Also, check out our fun cocktail parties! In the first one, we show you how to make a Pink Sands Margarita.

Fae Rowen

PIMP: I just finished a book I'd somehow missed by Zoe York, Love on a Summer Night. For a short time it's free on Amazon! She writes about men who are, or were, special ops or military or first responders, but it's not suspense. Her stories are heartfelt romances with strong women.

Promote: The second book in my P.R.I.S.M. series will be available for pre-order in September. It's taken longer than I thought it would to finish, but O'Neill and Jericho's story is a powerful finish to the first book in the series, P.R.I.S.M.: Prisoner Relocation Internment Security Management.

Laura Drake

PIMP: I have the great pleasure of critting with the fantastic thriller/suspense author. Kimberly Belle. Every book, I think she can't get better. Then came her next release, Dear Wife. Wowzer. If you liked Gone Girl, The Woman in the Window, or Harlan Coben, you'll love her books.

Promote: The second installment of my Chestnut Creek series, Home at Chestnut Creek, will be out in July — which gives you time to read the first, The Last True Cowboy! Oh, and Home at Chesnut Creek is coming bundled with a twofer — a novel by NYT and Amazon Bestseller, Carolyn Brown!

March 22, 2019

Margie Lawson

Cadence counts. Truly counts.

You probably know you should read your work out loud. But do you?

And do you read it out loud with feeling?

Most writers don’t take the time to read their WIP out loud until they’re on a final draft.


By then they’ve read most scenes at least a dozen times. Whatever they’ve written sounds normal to them, but the cadence may not be compelling.

Read my last sentence out loud:

Whatever they’ve written sounds normal to them, but the cadence may not be compelling.

Hear the compelling cadence?

The beats in the two halves of the sentence match. Sounds cool, right?

I named that structural parallelism. It makes the sentence cadence driven.

If you’ve heard me present, taken my online classes, done my lecture packets, or completed a 5-day Immersion class, you know I use examples to share my teaching points.

We’re diving in. Lots of compelling cadence ahead.

Please read the examples out loud, with feeling.

Dear Wife, Kimberly Belle, 5-time Immersion Grad, USA Today Bestseller, International Bestseller

Dear Wife will be released June 25.

1I try to focus on the Reverend’s smile, not the spiky ball of dread gathering in my gut.

Hear the compelling cadence in the last part of her sentence?

  • spiky ball of dread
  • gathering in my gut

The beats match. When back-to-back phrases or clauses or sentences have beats that match, I call it structural parallelism.

Those matching beats at the end of that sentence make the cadence compelling.

Kimberly could have written this line:

I try to focus on the Reverend’s smile and forget about the spiky ball of dread in my stomach.

Same idea. But that made-up sentence isn’t cadence driven.

2.  I pay cash and console myself with the only bright spot I can find in this shitty, shameful day: I’ve always wanted to be a redhead.

You can hear the silent BOOM! after shitty, shameful day. That’s powerful cadence.

Kimberly used a rhetorical device, alliteration, to emphasize it more.

The end of the sentence carries a strong cadence too. And a humor hit.

3.  I see the name, and a shot of adrenaline hits my veins like liquid fire.

Feel that BOOM! right after fire?

If not, read that sentence out loud again, with feeling. You’ll feel that BOOM!

4. There’s an explosion of movement and voices, of passing plates and scooping spoons, of people tearing into the heaping platters like they haven’t eaten since last week.

Look how Kimberly Belle constructed a strong sentence about people eating dinner. She made that sentence carry power. And part of that power is the compelling cadence. She used structural parallelism: of passing plates and scooping spoons.

Part of that power is due to her use of alliteration. She used alliteration twice. I call that double alliteration:  passing plates, scooping spoons.

Home at Chestnut Creek, Laura Drake, 2-time Immersion Grad, Cruise Grad, RITA Winner

Home at Chestnut Creek will be released July 30.

The night sounds come alive. Water burbles over the rocks, speaking a language I can almost understand. There's a lone frog somewhere close, croaking a ballad, hoping to get lucky on a Saturday night. A coyote yips somewhere in the hills. Another joins him. Crickets start up a chorus. Smells come alive too, the plants releasing the breath they held through the hot hours of daylight. The creek smells of dank, cold places.

Beautifully written. Beautifully cadenced.

Laura Drake played with balance and sentence length and themed words and phrases too.

Theme:  Almost understand. Lone. Come alive. Releasing a breath. Dank, cold places.

The Last True Cowboy, Laura Drake, 2-time Immersion Grad, Cruise Grad, RITA Winner

Remember:  Read every example out loud. With feeling.

1.  I tighten my muscles, my stance, and my resolve. I know I sound like an ungrateful witch, but I can’t afford risks anymore. I have more than my heart to lose.

Margie-Grads know Laura Drake used the rhetorical device anaphora (Triple Beginnings) in the first sentence. It’s one of many rhetorical devices that makes cadence carry power.

2.  The irritation I pushed down rises like Nana’s bread. This is not high school. I’m not that girl.

You can hear the power of the cadence. You can feel the power of her conviction.

Evil’s Ultimate Huntress, Jenn Windrow, 5-time Immersion Grad

1.  Something sparked in my mind, similar to the sire bond, but stronger. So. Much. Stronger. The urge to bend to Xavier’s will. To crawl to him. Beg him for forgiveness. To be everything he wanted me to be. Subdued and subservient and scared.

Hear how Jenn Windrow played with cadence?

She played with sentence length. And frags. And what I call a Period. Infused. Sentence.  

So. Much. Stronger.

She also used two rhetorical devices:

1.  Alliteration – A lot of alliteration. But it’s not too much. It’s just right.

2.  Polysyndeton – She used polysyndeton with alliteration. I call it poly-alliteration. 

Subdued and subservient and scared.

When polysyndeton is written well, it creates an interesting cadence.

The cadence in every sentence boosted you into the next one. And her poly-alliterative frag at the end was smart and powerful and cadence driven.

2.  An angel, a vicious bodyguard, and the Queen of All Vampires were squatting in my living room. Touching my things. Petting my cat. Having just come from the meeting-from-hell, I wasn’t feeling chatty, but I doubted telling them to remove their hineys from my home would allow me to live through the night.

Look how Jenn Windrow set up the order and length:

  • An angel
  • a vicious bodyguard
  • and the Queen of All Vampires

Creating stair steps from short to long makes the cadence sound right.

She also used structural parallelism:  Touching my things. Petting my cat.

Using structural parallelism in the middle of that paragraph gave it an interesting cadence boost.

The last part of the last sentence carries a compelling cadence too.

3.  Two Paragraphs:

On the scale of Kurt Barlow in Salem’s Lot to Damon in The Vampire Diaries, I’d put you somewhere around David from The Lost Boys.”

That had to be the most obscure reference ever, and what was even worse, I understood every word. I spoke proficient Nathan.

I love the brilliance and cadence and humor hits.

The last two sentences carry almost matching beats. And the last sentence completes the compelling cadence.

The blog is getting long. I’ll share a few examples from Darynda Jones and Elizabeth Essex, but I’ll cut back on my analysis.

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave, Darynda Jones, 2-time Immersion Grad, NYT Bestseller

1.  “What? I would never humor you. I’m not that humorous. You totally earn your keep. And pretty much mine as well. And probably a little of Reyes’s, too. He’s a bit of a slacker.”

2.  “This is so frustrating. We’re looking into her death with no idea why. No idea what we’re looking for. It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack the size of Kansas.”

3. After one hundred years cooped up inside the vacuum of space, I needed to get out. Stretch my legs. See the world. Or well, half a block of Elm Street.

Love the cadence and flow. Love Darynda’s humor hits too.

Mad About the Marquess, Elizabeth Essex, 2-time Immersion Grad

1. But Lady Quince Winthrop seemed impish and open, uncensored by society’s opinions. How damnably, dangerously refreshing.

2.  Three Paragraphs:

“Have you always lied so well, lass? Or have I just forgotten?”

It was the hint of actual admiration in his tone— at least it sounded to her a little like admiration— accompanying the affront that almost made her answer truthfully. Almost.

But she did not. Because she was not suicidal. And because lying was a skill she had cultivated as carefully as an exotic seedling in one of her father’s meticulously tended glass houses. A skill she had mastered out of necessity. A skill as necessary to survival within society as breathing. Or finding the right dressmaker. The trick lay in adding just enough of the truth.

Every sentence by Elizabeth Essex is beautifully cadence driven. She plays with cadence like a kitten plays with yarn. She teases it out, tugs it in, and makes it ripple then pull tight.

You did notice the compelling cadence in my paragraph above. Right?

Just checking.

I hope these examples motivated you to read your work out loud and helped you train your cadence ear.

One more teaching point.

Finesse the cadence in everything in your writing world. Synopses. Query letters. And verbal pitches too.

Small changes can have a big impact. Cadence can make the difference between a fail and a sale.

A big THANK YOU to Multi-Immersion Grads Kimberly Belle, Laura Drake, Jenn Windrow, Darynda Jones, and Elizabeth Essex. If these examples impressed you, check out their books.

Want to learn more about how to make your cadence compelling?

Check out Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More, an online course I created that’s taught in April by Becky Rawnsley.

BLOG GUESTS:  Thank you so much for dropping by the blog today.

Please post a comment or share a ‘Hi Margie!” and you’ll have two chances to be a winner.

You could win a Lecture Packet from me, or an online class from Lawson Writer’s Academy valued up to $100.

Lawson Writer’s Academy – April Classes

  1. Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More – Instructor:  Becky Rawnsley Teaching Margie Lawson’s Course
  2. Revision Boot Camp – Instructor:  Suzanne Purvis
  3. Story Structure Safari – Instructor:  Lisa Miller
  4. Writing the Romance Novel – Instructor:  Shirley Jump
  5. Crazy-Easy, Awesome Author Websites – Instructor:  Lisa Norman
  6. Battling the Basics: The Essentials of Writing – Instructor: Sarah Hamer
  7. Diving Deep into Deep Point of View – Instructor:  Rhay Christou

Please drop by my website to read course descriptions and register:  www.margielawson.com

I’ll draw names for the TWO WINNERS on Sunday night, at 8PM, Mountain Time and post them in the comments section.

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I always have such fun blogging for WITS.  Big squishy hugs and THANK YOUs to the brilliant WITS gals!

About Margie

Margie Lawson—editor and international presenter—loves to have fun. And teaching writers how to use her deep editing techniques to create page-turners is her kind of fun.

She’s presented over 120 full day master classes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and France, as well as taught multi-day intensives on cruises in the Caribbean.

To learn about Margie’s 5-day Immersion Master Classes (in 2019, in Palm Springs, Denver, Dallas, Cleveland, Columbus, Kansas City, Atlanta, and in Sydney, Melbourne, and Bellebrae, Australia), Cruising Writers cruises, full day and weekend workshops, keynote speeches, online courses, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit: www.margielawson.com

Interested in attending one of Margie’s 5-day Immersion classes? Click over to her website and check them out.

Interested in Margie presenting a full day workshop for your writing organization? Contact Margie through her website or Facebook message her.

Margie’s newsletter is going out next week. Sign up on her website, and you’ll be in a special drawing for a 5-page deep edit from her!