Recent Posts

Amazon Ad Deception

Amazon Ad Deception

For most indie authors, Amazon ads are an unavoidable fact of life. But Amazon’s oversimplified reports can leave the author with the wrong impression. Getting to the truth of the numbers requires a little digging.

Takeover: Best Low-Cost Book Publicity

Takeover: Best Low-Cost Book Publicity

Author P.J. Friel talks about her upcoming takeover. Learn more about this easy and fun way to sell more books

Shameless Plugs Podcast Interview

Shameless Plugs Podcast Interview

I’m happy to announce that I am appearing again on the podcast Shameless Plugs. This time was are talking about NaNoWriMo and Your Novel, This Month.

shamelessplugs interview-www.themanuscriptshredder.com
https://www.shamelessplugspodcast.com/

I’m also happy to announce that Your Novel, This Month is now available in print!!!

Your Novel, This Month-www.themanuscriptshredder.com

If you haven’t picked up your copy, this is a great time. If you buy the print version, you get the ebook for free.

And if you are doing NaNoWriMo this month, best of luck!!!

Bad Writing Habits to Eliminate Now

Bad Writing Habits to Eliminate Now

Halloween is a good time to let bad habits die As a fantasy writer, I love all things magical, and recently I have turned that attention into researching Wiccan beliefs. (This is a purely scholarly pursuit, I promise.) One of the major Wiccan holidays is […]

Telling Isn’t Bad

Telling Isn’t Bad

“Show, don’t tell” is probably the most commonly given advice in writing, but there are places where telling is the right choice.

Romancing the Beat-Recommended

Romancing the Beat-Recommended

Romancing the Beat is a road map for aspiring romance writers. This short work by author/editor Gwen Hayes is the romance equivalent to plotting books such as Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and Larry Brook’s Story Engineering.

Here’s the blurb:

What makes a romance novel a romance? How do you write a kissing book?

Writing a well-structured romance isn’t the same as writing any other genre–something the popular novel and screenwriting guides don’t address. The romance arc is made up of its own story beats, and the external plot and theme need to be braided to the romance arc–not the other way around.

Told in conversational (and often irreverent) prose, Romancing the Beat can be read like you are sitting down to coffee with romance editor and author Gwen Hayes while she explains story structure. The way she does with her clients. Some of whom are regular inhabitants of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.

Romancing the Beat is a recipe, not a rigid system. The beats don’t care if you plot or outline before you write, or if you pants your way through the drafts and do a “beat check” when you’re revising. Pantsers and plotters are both welcome. So sit down, grab a cuppa, and let’s talk about kissing books.

For free Scrivener template and plotting printables to use with the book, please visit the author’s website: gwenhayes.com/free-stuff.

The Review:

Hayes organizes the main romance plot points into a four act structure and breaks each plot point down into their individual beats. These beats are clearly defined and illustrated with examples from popular movies. As a writer who is familiar with Save the Cat-style beat sheets, I found this format easy to grasp.

Throughout the entire book, I never found any of Hayes’s explanations confusing or filled with art-speak or the esoteric nonsense that often finds it way into writing books. This book focuses on creating feelings in characters and readers, not the writer. I was able to get the information I needed quickly and easily. In a couple of hours I had gone from knowing nothing about structuring a romance plot to having a completed outline.

I particularly enjoyed the Hayes’s no-nonsense style and irreverent prose. Throughout the book I felt like I was getting a one-on-one session with a developmental editor over coffee.

Pros-
Clear cut writing examples
Easy to understand instructions
Narrow focus. The book doesn’t ramble into tangential topics. It covers the plot points and nothing else.
Well organized. the book follows the plot arc from beginning to end without jumping around.
Entertaining to read
Bonus Scrivener template and companion worksheets

Cons
The book assumes some writing knowledge. A first-time writer will need supplementary material.

Conclusion:

Romancing the Beat is a great choice for those writers who are looking to make the jump to romance or romance writers who trying to figure out why their books aren’t working. This book will work equally well for pantsers or plotters and those who fall in between. If you are a fan of Save the Cat but are looking for a beat sheet that better describes romance novels, Romancing the Beat is a solid choice.

You can pick up a copy here: (affiliate link)

Know a writer who would love this? Share it on social media. Thanks!

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romancing the beat review-www.themanuscriptshredder.com

Amazon Ad vs. Facebook Ad: A real life comparison

Amazon Ad vs. Facebook Ad: A real life comparison

Faceoff:Amazon vs. Facebook ads Last weekend I ran a 99¢ special on my book, Your Novel This Month as part of the Prep_tober kickoff for NaNoWriMo. Since I have no mailing list and a small website following, I knew that I would need to pay […]

Staying Productive-IWSG

Staying Productive-IWSG

My secret to staying productive

Your Novel This Month on Sale

Your Novel This Month on Sale

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Your Novel, This Month, this is the time

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner and many writers will be beginning their preparation in earnest. To help kick off Prep_tober, I am offering my NaNowriMo writing guide for 99¢ this weekend only.

 

This weekend only 9/29/18-9/30/18

The sale starts at midnight Saturday September 29, 2018 EST and will close at Noon Monday October 1, 2018 EST. I know it’s slightly longer than two days, but this will help accommodate later time zones.

As always, if you do purchase, a HUGE THANK YOU and a humble plead for a review.

via GIPHY

(Yes, I want you to be honest, and no, it doesn’t need to be long.) If you’ve been banned from Amazon reviews because you are a writer, Goodreads reviews are great too!

Your Turn

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? How much do you pre-plan? Let me know in the comments.

 

My Real-life Amazon Ad-authortoolbox

My Real-life Amazon Ad-authortoolbox

Is an Amazon Ad really worth the cost? A real life look at using Amazon sponsored ads to sell self-published books