Podcast Interview About Being A Mother And A Writer @LaWannMoses

Podcast Interview About Being A Mother And A Writer @LaWannMoses

being a mother and a writer

I love talking about two of my most important roles: being a mother and a writer. Thanks to business and life success strategist LaWann Moses, I recently had the chance to discuss both of those roles.

I was interviewed on LaWann’s podcast More Than A Mother, talking about writing, publishing, and balancing a career with motherhood. I shared about how I almost quit writing because of how my hopes kept crashing down, how I found the will to keep going, and how I learned to become a stronger writer.

We also discussed tips for breaking into freelance writing, branching out into offering an author service, the pros and cons of traditional vs indie publishing, and why my self-paced online course Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan To Making Your Novels Publishable is a steppingstone to hiring an editor.

LaWann’s show reminds moms they can follow their dreams and be a great mother at the same time. I love that philosophy! She provides tips, tools, and strategies to help manage it all. You can listen to our interview here or also find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more.

You can learn more about LaWann at:

Website

Podcast

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

 

 

Writing Tips From A Successful Author Podcast Episode

Writing Tips From A Successful Author Podcast Episode

successful author
Recently I did an interview on the Women Entrepreneur Success Network Podcast in an episode titled Writing Tips From A Successful Author.

Marketing strategy coach Anna Paszkiet hosts the podcast. In episode 24, I share insight on the pros and cons of indie vs. traditional publishing, tips for creating characters and conflict, and discuss why hiring an editor too early can make you use up your editing budget—fast!

Past episodes focus on topics such as building an email list, choosing your target audience, using Pinterest, making excuses, setting goals, and much more.

Learn more about Anna:

Overcome The Fear Of Writing A Book And Map Out Your Success

Overcome The Fear Of Writing A Book And Map Out Your Success

fear of writing a bookMany new writers are afraid of pursuing their dream of writing a book. Even experienced authors may feel afraid when switching genres or starting a new project. If you’ve ever felt fear regarding your writing career, then you’ll relate to this helpful post from Willow Green on mapping out your success. 

By the way, Willow will be doing a live workshop in the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook Group on June 4 at 7:30 p.m. EST, sharing how to set yourself up for success and feel like your book wrote itself. You can find more information here. To participate, request membership in the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group. The presentation will be archived in the Units section.

Willow’s Insight On Fear

Writing a book was a dream for 20 years before becoming a reality. Once I wrote one, I wrote another. And now I am in the process of book three. I allowed my fear of the process to stop me from accomplishing my goal. Fear; it can be paralyzing and often times is the only thing separating you from what you want the most.

So what is this fear? What are you really afraid of? When I ask that question, the funny thing is most people don’t really know. It’s the fear of the unknown.

How many times have you procrastinated, telling yourself “I don’t know how”, or asking yourself “Will anyone actually want to read my story?”

These are some of the ways fears manifest into our reality. The stories we tell ourselves when we are unsure of the next move. You’re stuck, that’ all. Everyone gets stuck, it’s a natural part of life. The only question is how long are you willing to stay there?

There are so many ways to get unstuck and set yourself up for success. First, ask yourself if you really want to write. If yes, then let’s map the journey for success!

Mapping Out Your Success

It doesn’t matter what you want to write, the process can work for anyone who is committed to the journey.

Writing a book is a journey, not a destination. You will learn so much about yourself along the way. Just like the plot of your story, you will face hardships, adversity, and challenges that make you want to quit. You will also experience extreme highs, breakthroughs, and surprise yourself. You will read your first drafts, shake your head and ask, “did I really write that?” You will vacillate between disbelief and confusion about your words, and other times be impressed at how amazing a writer you truly are. It’s all included! You get to experience everything and it will unlock parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed. So enjoy the journey!

Set yourself up for success. Create a plan before you even start, a map. Your legend will be your reader, your voice, your message, the intention behind the journey. Then map out the steps, planning on unforeseen obstacles and hidden treasures. Have an accountability and support team to cheer you on and motivate you through the challenges, as well as be there to celebrate the wins with you.

Once I created my map, both books flowed through me. I was prepared and able to navigate the emotional storms with ease and grace. I knew exactly what I wanted the reader to experience and was clear with my intention. I followed the map I created. It kept me on course and allowed me to go back, rewrite and edit without getting lost in my own story.

Clarity on the direction and steps will guide you swiftly from dream to reality! What are you waiting for?

overcoming fear of writing

More About Willow

Willow Green is an author, facilitator and intuitive coach who works with individuals and groups around the world facilitating opportunities to experience true freedom and deeper levels of love. Willow is certified in NLP, has a degree in occupational science and has lived with and trained with several spiritual guides. She has a very unique and diverse set of gifts that allow clients to see exactly what they need to empower themselves and thrive. She is the author of:

I’m Sober, Now What? Moving through the fear, anxiety and humility of LIFE on Life’s terms

Rewriting Your Reality, You Have a Choice. A Path to Enlightenment

Inside the Mind of an Addict

The Story Behind the Story (Video Series)

A New Perspective on Life (Video)

If you would like help defining your message or creating your map, apply for a discovery call at  www.GroovyWillowGreen.com.

Rewriting Your Reality Book

Rewriting Your Reality by Willow Green – Rewrite your new reality starting today. If you can imagine it, you can experience it. What if you could let go of everything you thought you knew and in the process gain more than you ever imagined? Who would you be? What would that look like? What do you desire? More money? A better job? Love? A new home? Travel? Anything is possible if you believe. Every thought, every choice, every action creates your reality. You have the power to rewrite it as many times as you wish, refining your choices each time. Offers poignant reflective exercises and questions to usher in new ways of being.

Here is an interview that Willow and I did on her YouTube channel, where we chatted about writing and book publishing.

Moms Kicking Ass Podcast – Writing And Motherhood During the Pandemic

Moms Kicking Ass Podcast – Writing And Motherhood During the Pandemic

Moms Kicking Ass Podcast

Oh my gosh, can I just say that I LOVE being called a kick ass mom! I had a great time being interviewed on the podcast Moms Kicking Ass With Rachel Friedman.

We chatted about my online course for writers, Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable, as well as the challenges of juggling working from home and motherhood during the pandemic. One topic that came up was how now is a great time to pursue a passion such as writing. Distraction and stress relief are important at times like this, and writing can help.

Here is the description of Rachel’s show: Are you ready to make some money doing what you love? Rachel is here to guide you through her simple process and teach you everything you will need to know to be hugely successful. All you need is a passion and everything will fall right into place.

Rachel received her undergraduate degree in social work from Syracuse University and her graduate degree in clinical social work from New York University. She is a certified yoga instructor with over 60,000 hours of teaching under her belt.  She leads transformational teacher trainings, and has assisted alongside some of the best in the industry. Rachel currently teaches yoga in Atlanta, GA and leads retreats for yoga and personal transformations around the world. Through her coaching program, she helps clients to shift out of overwhelm.

Listen to our interview on Apple Podcasts or visit the episode webpage.

Visit Rachel’s website and Instagram account.

 

 

 

 

6 Ways To Write While The World Is Stressing You Out By @alliepleiter

6 Ways To Write While The World Is Stressing You Out By @alliepleiter

I know that many writers are having trouble tapping into their creativity during the pandemic. Thankfully, Allie Pleiter has a book that can help with this problem, and I asked her to share some tips about writing under stress. Read on for some helpful advice from Allie. You’ll also learn more about her valuable book, How to WRITE When Everything Goes WRONGA Practical Guide to Writing Through Tough Times.

Allie’s Tips For Writing Under Stress

As the author of How to WRITE When Everything Goes WRONGA Practical Guide to Writing Through Tough Times, Ive been getting a lot of cries for help from writers these days. The crisis we find ourselves in right now can squelch any writers creative energy. New words can feel impossible, the focus to revise eludes us, and were just plain stressed.

How to writeright now? Believe it or not, there are several things you can do to help yourself. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

#1: Try Small Batches In New Formats.

The trick is to pick a word count that feels doable–even if it must be tiny. One hundred words, for example, can fit on an index card. I suspect even the most traumatized of writers could manage six imperfect sentences that can be edited later. That work, once accomplished, can become the foothold for more. Can you tuck three or four cards into your pocket and set yourself the challenge to fill them? Your smartphone, a small notebook, or even email can help a small task feel small. All you need at first–maybe all you need at all–are baby steps.

#2: Change Locations.

Give yourself time in a different location in order to compartmentalize your brain space. You may not be able to go farmaybe only to the next roombut even that shift can make a difference. Ritualize it if it helps, saying: At two p.m. I go out on the balcony with a cup of coffee and do my writing,or After lunch I make myself a cup of tea and write.Remind yourself this is your time to work, and you can be fully present to whatever problems are facing you when you are done with your writing.

#3: When You Feel You Cant Escape Your Situation, Start By Describing It.

Many booksfiction and nonfictionhave been born of personal difficulties. Writing about where you are right now can prime the pump,proving to your creative self that writing is possible. As a bonus, you may also discover the seeds of a new project in the process.

Creativity is possible. You are just going to have to go about it in different ways for a while. @alliepleiter #writingtips #writingcommunity Click To Tweet

#4: Embrace The Lousy First Draft.

Brilliance is likely beyond your reacheven if you discover you work great under pressure. Tell yourself: It doesnt have to be perfect; it just has to be written.You can revise and polish your draft at another time once you get through the difficult stage of putting the words down on paper no matter how inelegant they feel. As best-selling author Nora Roberts famously said, You cant fix a blank page.

 

#5: Set A Timer.

Pick whatever span of time feels possibleeven fifteen minutes. Most of us can stand fifteen minutes of almost anything. Once or twice a day, set the timer and have at it. During those minutes, give yourself permission to be a writerrather than someone ill, caring, or coping. Starting is often the hardest part, and you may discover you can work longer than you think.

 

#6: Try Dictation.

Chances are you wont need any special equipment for dictation because most computers and nearly every smartphone comes preloaded with some form of basic dictation software. If typing feels beyond youor if you have a physical limitation such as carpal tunnel syndrome, eyesight issues, a bad back, or a broken wristclose your eyes and dictate a scene, a setting, or even a character description to get you started. Carry on dictating as long as you can. An added benefit of dictation: You cant edit or see mistakes, so theres nothing to impede your progress.

Creativity is possible. You are just going to have to go about it in different ways for a while. The gift of writing God has given you hasnt gone awayit may just be in hiding. I hope these tips will give you help to go find it. The world needs your stories!

As the author of The Chunky Method Handbook, Im passionate about creative people be more productive. If youd like to join my Chunky Method mailing list and get many more writing productivity tips, simply text the word CHUNKY to 22828.

how to write when everything goes wrong

Buy The Book

How to Write When Everything is Going Wrong: A Practical Guide to W riting Through Tough Times by Allie Pleiter – Is your muse yelling “SOS”? How do you keep the words pouring onto the page when your real life feels like it’s under attack? Every writer knows how stress and personal crises can strangle your creativity. Help is on the way in this brilliantly practical guide. Inside, you’ll find advice that:
– Gets you through the thick of your crisis
– Gives you tactics that will energize you to keep writing
– Teaches you to use your stress to inspire your writing
– And much more! As the author of over 30 books and the creator of The Chunky Method of time management for writers, Pleiter has met deadlines in the midst of some imposing traumas. With candor, insight, and the wisdom of experience, she shares practical and inventive strategies for how to stay afloat and creative amid life’s stormiest seas.

 

writing in difficult times

More About Allie

Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four books at a time. She is the bestselling author of over fifty titles with a twenty-year career of over 1.5 million books sold. Allie also coaches on productivity and speaks on the creative process. Visit www.alliepleiter.com. 

Get a free download of her 15 tips for writing under stress!

The International Connection Podcast: Inside A Writer’s Mind

The International Connection Podcast: Inside A Writer’s Mind

 

writer's mind

Every story is worth sharing. That’s the philosophy behind The International Connection Podcast, which aims to connect with creative entrepreneurs from around the world to share inspiring stories.

Host Jag Sandhu, a passionate young creator, says that helping people recognize their creativity has been his biggest dream. I have that dream as well, and was honored to be interviewed for Episode 42, titled Inside A Writer’s Mind. Among the topics discussed were overcoming the fear of putting your work into the public eye, dealing with rejection and negative feedback, having multiple streams of income, keeping up with technology, getting ideas, and lots more.

Here is the description of the episode from The International Connection Podcast website.

The 42nd episode of this podcast gives you a glimpse inside a writer’s mind. It features an amazing interview with an extremely passionate creative writer, Stacy Juba.

Stacy has always had a passion for writing and creating stories. In her childhood, she fell in love with the process of documenting ideas, thoughts and experiences & creating interesting stories out of them. In this episode, she breaks down her process of creating content. That’s right! Stacy describes each and every step from writing your first idea to getting your story published in detail. Our conversation also lists various ways in which one can use today’s cutting edge technology to improve his/her writing.

Stacy has successfully recognized her creative passion, which has enabled her to write stories in the genres of Sports, Mystery, Romance and even online writing courses. Her personal journey is a story in itself that inspires various other struggling writers (like myself) to take their creativity to its next level.

So, if you find yourself stuck in the process of writing and hence, want to get yourself “unstuck,” this episode is the right fit for you.

You can watch the episode here. You can also find The International Connection on Apple Podcasts. You can learn more about the show and its host at the below links:

Facebook

Instagram

Medium 

TIC042: Inside a Writer’s Mind ft. Stacy Juba

Biggest Writing Mistakes & Steps To Publishing A Book – YouTube Interview

Biggest Writing Mistakes & Steps To Publishing A Book – YouTube Interview

steps to publishing a book

I was honored to be a guest on Willow Green’s YouTube channel. We had a candid discussion about the biggest writing mistakes that beginning authors make; working with different kinds of editors and what to expect; the pros and cons of traditional publishing, indie publishing, and small presses; and the philosophy behind my self-editing course Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable.

If you’re an author, or have always wanted to write a book, we’d love to have you listen to the below interview.

Willow is an author, facilitator, coach, and creator who works with individuals, groups and businesses illuminating their experience, expertise and authenticity to build connection, trust and loyalty. Willow’s background includes an occupational science degree, Shamanic training, NLP and experiential. She owned a fitness club, authored the books I’m Sober, Now What?, Inside the Mind of an Addict, and Rewriting Your Reality, and works with people around the world shifting their energy and perspectives to unlock limitless possibilities.

Find Willow at the below sites:

Website

YouTube

Facebook

Instagram

​For more about my self-paced course for writers, Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable, visit the course webpage. Be sure to sign up for my free 5-day line editing class and to check out the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group.

Behind The Rewrite Guest Blogging Opportunity For Authors

Behind The Rewrite Guest Blogging Opportunity For Authors

Guest blog

Are you an author who would like to get some exposure on the Shortcuts for Writers blog? Then I’d love to have you participate in my guest blogging opportunity, Behind the Rewrite. This is a win-win opportunity as you get to share the post with your readers, giving them a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of your writing process. And I get to share the post with my writer followers, so they can learn more about self-editing through your examples.

You have three choices for how to approach your guest post. Please choose one of the below options.

Line Editing Before-And-After – Find a section of your manuscript that you did a lot of line editing on (50-150 words). Write an introduction giving a short overview (a paragraph or two) of the type of line edits you made. (i.e. making sentences more active, cutting vague words, using more vivid words, etc.) Then copy and paste the unedited excerpt into the blog post. Beneath it, paste the rewrite of how it reads with line editing.

Top 5 Changes – Rather than pasting a before-and-after with line editing, you can do a post talking about your larger-scale edits. Tell us about five things you changed and why you made those changes. Each explanation should be at least a paragraph. For example, did you flesh out your protagonist? Add more obstacles in the middle? Cut your prologue? Change your characters’ names? Delete sections to improve the pacing? Add more description? Do more research and add authentic details? Give us a summary of five things you rewrote and your reasons for each change.

Deleted Scene – Share a deleted scene (up to 500 words). Preface it with an explanation of at least 3-5 paragraphs. Explain specifically why the scene didn’t work as written and when you realized it. Did you totally delete the scene, or did you heavily rewrite it? If you rewrote it, give us a summary of what you changed and how this was an improvement. If you cut out the section without rewriting it, how did cutting it improve the book? How hard was it for you to cut?

Whichever option you choose, at the end of your post be sure to include the following:

 

  • If this book is published, share the title, blurb, and Amazon link at the bottom of your post.
  • If it’s an unpublished WIP, then please mention that in the post. You’re welcome to promote one of your published books below that post. Share the title of the published book, blurb, and Amazon link.
  • A short bio, link to your website, and links to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. (if applicable). Please paste this beneath the book blurb.
  • Send the post to stacy@stacyjuba.com as a Word attachment. In the subject line, put BEHIND THE REWRITE FROM (INSERT YOUR NAME) Also attach a jpeg of the book cover you’re promoting. Size should be 600 by 900.
  • Is there a specific time-frame you’re hoping this post will run to coincide with a book release or blog tour? I run these posts weekly, in the order they are received, so you will be scheduled for the next available date. Unfortunately, I can’t change the schedule around to squeeze in a blog tour or a book release. However, if your book release or blog tour is a few months away, and you want me to hold onto your submission until then, I don’t mind delaying the publication.
  • I will let you know when the post will run, and will tag you on social media. I can’t wait to read about the behind-the-scenes of your rewrite process!
Get Some Book Publishing Tips On The Boss Lady Investor Podcast

Get Some Book Publishing Tips On The Boss Lady Investor Podcast

Are you ready to write a book but don’t know where to start? Are you wondering about the pros and cons of traditional vs. indie book publishing? Do you want to gain some book marketing tips so that you can increase your royalties?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I invite you to listen to my interview on The Boss Lady Investor Podcast. Host Krista Goodrich interviewed me about the inspiration for my books as well as the ins and outs of writing, publishing, and marketing. We discussed lots of book publishing tips to help new writers as well as experienced authors.

boss lady investor

Krista is the author of the book, The Boss Lady Investor: You Don’t Need a D!*k to Understand Money. If Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad and Rachel Hollis’s Girl Wash Your Face had a baby, this book would be it! This hilarious take on personal finance for women will get you learning and laughing at the same time. Ready to get out of debt? Grow your retirement? Increase your savings? Build a life of wealth, so you can do the things you REALLY want to do? The Boss Lady Investor: You Don’t Need a D!*K to Understand Money is the go-to book for women looking to understand personal finance, saving, debt, investing, real estate, and more. 

This entertaining and relatable book explains, from a woman’s point-of-view, how to understand the stock market, plan for the unexpected, and build yourself to a level of wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Jam-packed with ideas, information, and real-life examples, The Boss Lady Investor will get you started on your way to financial freedom. Want to have a wildly successful life? Then get ready to dive into this book and take the reins on your financial future.

You can tune in to The Boss Lady Investor Podcast to hear sneak peeks of chapters from the book, interviews with down-to-earth Boss Ladies, and all the great advice and tips Krista couldn’t fit into the book.

My episode, #24, will motivate you to get out there and write if that is what your heart desires. It will also give you my candid feedback on where to go for support, book promotion tips, and how to deal with rejection. Listen here.

Hope you find these book publishing tips helpful!

Creating Fiction With Ease: Imperfect Manifestor Podcast Interview

Creating Fiction With Ease: Imperfect Manifestor Podcast Interview

 

creating fiction

Would you like to create ease when writing or editing your fiction? Then check out my interview on the Imperfect Manifestor Podcast where I discuss the most common mistakes that authors make in their early drafts as well as the inspirations for my own books.

The Imperfect Manifestor Podcast explores the ins and outs of mindset and how powerful it is. The host, Nicole Jordan, is a mindset coach and strategist who wants to share all that she knows about how to harness the power within you while getting a little help from the Universe. While there is a practical side to what Nicole talks about, there is a lot of spiritual content that includes the Law of Attraction (and the other 11 laws) and the communication you can open to the subconscious mind. With the weekly shows, you can learn, in user-friendly language, how to tap in to what you desire most.

For my episode, the emphasis was on creating fiction with ease so that you can save time and money. We focused on practical tips for improving your self-editing skills, and also discussed my online course Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan to Making Your Novels Publishable.

If you’re a beginner or intermediate writer and want to find out what flaws your manuscript might have, give it a listen while you’re folding laundry or driving to do errands. It is also available on Apple Podcasts.

Also explore Nicole’s past episodes for topics including overcoming limiting beliefs, taking control of your time through freelance writing, and finding what motivates you.

Around the web:

Join the Imperfect Manifestors Facebook Group

Visit the Imperfect Manifestors Facebook Page

Follow Nicole on Instagram

 

How To Name Your Characters – Tips Every Fiction Writer Should Know Plus A Free Guide

How To Name Your Characters – Tips Every Fiction Writer Should Know Plus A Free Guide

how to name characters

Writers will often tell me that they don’t know where to start with writing or editing their story. One good place is with something that looks deceptively simple—naming your characters.

Below, I’ve included six questions you should ask yourself when picking your characters’ names. I’ve also listed seven sites to help make this task easier and uploaded a video that gives a tour of each site.

Want a PDF of the questions and the character-naming sites? Sign up here for a free Tips for Naming Characters Guide.

I want to hear about your character names in the comments and how you selected them, along with links to the books we can find them in!

But first, let’s discuss why names are so important. Regardless of whether you’ve finished your draft or are in the early stages of writing the book, it’s important to assess whether your name choices do the story justice.

What’s In A Name?

Think about famous fictional characters like Katniss Everdeen, Albus Dumbledore, Bridget Jones, Luke Skywalker, and Sherlock Holmes. Or how about Fudge from the Judy Blume books, or Ponyboy Curtis from The Outsiders? Can you imagine any of those characters with a different name? Neither can I.

I give a lot of thought to naming my characters, especially the protagonists. Let’s take my chick lit novel Fooling Around With Cinderella. I chose Jaine for my reluctant theme park Cinderella as it symbolized the transformation of a “Plain Jane” into her new role as princess, and more importantly as a confident young woman.

My mystery novel Sink or Swim is about Cassidy, a reality show contestant grappling with her newfound fame and the attraction of a stalker. As a child, I got hooked on reruns of The Partridge Family and remembered reading about David Cassidy’s mobs of fans and his devastation when a teenage girl was killed in a gate stampede at one of his concerts. That always stuck with me. When I was outlining my novel, the name “Cassidy” popped into my mind, and it felt right as it represented the downside of fame. Even though my readers probably wouldn’t make the connection to David Cassidy, naming her that helped to reinforce the theme in my mind. 

When I was growing up, I also loved watching reruns of Charlie’s Angels. My favorite angel was Kris, portrayed by Cheryl Ladd, and I’d imagine that I was a private detective, too. That’s why the protagonist in my first mystery novel, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, is named Kris. Once I gave my character that name, I found it much easier to write about her as I was tapping into my love of women sleuth stories.

Not every name has to have a deeper meaning, but it does need to fit your character and story.  This goes for your supporting cast also. I’ll use baby name books and online name directories to get ideas, then choose the one that fits best. Usually a few will jump out at me, and I’ll go with the one that “feels right.” I’ve also been known to change names in mid-story.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering names for your characters.

tips for naming characters

6 Character Naming Questions

1. Is there a story behind why your character’s parents chose that name?

We had a fascinating discussion in the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group about why our parents named us what they did and how we got our nicknames. I started the discussion because I wanted everyone to think about how they might apply this question to their characters, especially the most important ones. If you’re a member of the group, you can look for it under Characters in the Topics section and add the story behind your name.

2. Does the name fit the character’s background—what is the character’s age, ethnicity, and geographic location?

This goes a long way toward making your characters and story world believable. For example, according to the Social Security database, the top boy and girl names in 2018 were Liam and Emma. In 1918, the top names were John and Mary. If your protagonist’s grandfather was born in 1960 and is from an Italian family, Angelo would work better than Aidan.

3. Does the name fit the genre and time period?

If you’re writing a historical novel set in medieval times, a girl named Zoe doesn’t fit the era, but readers should accept Millicent, Alice, or Eleanor. If you’re writing a vampire novel, Tobias may resonate with readers more than a name like Chuck

4. Is the name easy enough for readers to pronounce?

If your audience keeps stumbling over it, this doesn’t make for a relaxing reading experience. This is particularly important for a character who appears a lot such as your protagonist.

5. Did you avoid using names that sound too similar?

Limit how many names start with the same letter such as Adam, Alex, Andy, and Annette as readers may get confused. Also limit having too many names with the same ending sound (Sandy, Cindy, Danni, Bennie), that rhyme (Dawn and John), or that have the same number of syllables. (Jen, Sam, Tom.)

how to name your character

6. Did the character’s name shape who he/she becomes or reinforce any qualities?

I took this quite literally in Fooling Around With Cinderella. A supporting character was named Tiara by her quirky parents, and she embraced it. Guess what she collects? Tiaras. This can also be more subtle. Is your character Harmony calm and peaceful? Or, is she the opposite of the hippie parents who bestowed it upon her? Is your character Jagger rugged and macho?

According to George Lucas, Darth Vader—the name of Luke Skywaker’s father—can be traced back to the Dutch and German words for “Dark Father.” We don’t find out about the family relationship until The Empire Strikes Back, but we met Darth Vader in the original Star Wars film. How’s that for foreshadowing? In more Star Wars trivia, Luke Skywalker was originally named Luke Starkiller, but Lucas changed it because he thought Starkiller sounded too aggressive. Good choice!


I’m a diehard fan of the TV series Supernatural. When I started watching it, one of the first things that struck me was the boys’ last name. Dean and Sam Winchester. Since Winchester is associated with guns, that is the perfect surname for a pair of badass monster hunters.

7 Helpful Character Name Generators

Now that we’ve established why names are important and what you should consider, let me give you some helpful resources. It can be hard to pluck the perfect name from thin air, but luckily you have plenty of options to find inspiration. In the below video, we’ll tour seven sites to help you find the perfect name.

Below are the sites covered in the video. Remember, you can sign up here for a PDF of my free Tips for Naming Characters Guide, which includes the questions and name sites included in this article in a handy download.

Random Name GeneratorThis generator contains English first and last names based on the database of the US Census. If you need to come up with a quick name, try this one.

Social Security Popular Names Database – If you’d like to search popular names by year, then check out the Social Security database.

Name Generator Fun – You can find a slew of real names and fantasy names arranged  by category. Need a princess name? A superhero name? How about a unicorn name? You’ll discover all that and loads more.

NameberryFrom Avery to Zephyr, Nameberry is the complete guide to thousands of baby names. You can browse by style such as cool names, names with interesting meanings, historic and vintage names, and more. The creators of Nameberry also have a book out called Beyond Ava & Aiden, offering hundreds of innovative lists of baby names. You can check it out on Amazon here

Behind the Name – Discover the etymology and history of first names including African, European, Biblical, Ancient & Medieval, Literature, and more. 

Reedsy Character Name Generator – Kickstart your story with this random name generator that has 1,000,000+ names to inspire you. Sort using filters such as language, gender, medieval, and fantasy. 

Fantasy Name Generators – Fairy names, vampire names, gargoyle names, evil names, unicorn names, knight names. I could go on and on. It also offers other sections such as place names. Need to brainstorm the name for an arcade, bakery, magic shop, space station, or forest? How about an African town or a steampunk city?

Conclusion

If you’re thinking about writing a book, are in the middle of a WIP, or working on edits, make sure you’ve given careful consideration to names. It will enrich your story, help readers connect with the characters, and you may even learn a thing or two about your fictional cast.

How do you choose character names? Leave me a comment with one of your character names, why you chose it, and the retail link if it’s in a published book.

If you found value in this post, I’d love it if you would share it.

 

Never Send Your First Draft To An Editor & Other Advice For Writers

Never Send Your First Draft To An Editor & Other Advice For Writers

I had such a fun time chatting with fellow writer Kat Caldwell, host of the podcast Pencils&Lipstick, and giving advice for writers including my number one tip: NEVER SEND YOUR FIRST DRAFT TO AN EDITOR.

Even your second and third drafts may not be strong enough, as let’s face it, editors are expensive. You should only send your best work so that you’re not paying someone big bucks to catch flaws you could’ve caught yourself.

Unfortunately, many writers don’t know how to self-edit their early drafts. Kat and I discussed why I created my new course Book Editing Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Plan To Making Your Novels Publishable, a class geared toward beginner and intermediate fiction and creative nonfiction authors. It’s the course that I wish was available when I started writing as it would have saved me a lot of time, money, and aggravation.

 

Blood, Sweat, And Tears!

Speaking of aggravation, Kat and I also discussed our “blood, sweat, and tears years.” We were aspiring writers in the 1990s, before indie publishing took off, before Kindle, and before the INTERNET! We talked about how new authors today have so many more options than Kat and I did when we were starting out, and how wonderful it is to have writing groups and classes available online so you don’t have to drive to them.

It was fun talking with someone who remembered trudging to the post office to mail a thick yellow envelope with a self-addressed stamped envelope inside, and then the mixed feelings when your SASE eventually wound up in your mailbox. It was probably a rejection, but. . .maybe there was a slim possibility it was a publishing offer with some editing notes???

Rejections From Editors You Want To Pay?

We also fast-forwarded to the present and discussed how as a freelance editor, I’ve worked with beginner authors on 3-4 drafts of their novels, and even then the manuscripts weren’t ready for publication. They wished they could have afforded more rounds of developmental editing, but needed to save money for copyediting and cover design. That was before I created Book Editing Blueprint, which would have saved them money on those early drafts. Kat was telling me about freelance editors she’d come across who wouldn’t even accept beginner writers as clients. These editors tell writers that the manuscript needs a lot of work before they can take on the author as a client, leaving the writer confused. Wasn’t that the point of trying to hire an editor? To make the manuscript better?

Even though there are more oppportunities for authors nowadays, learning the craft is just as important as it was in the 1990s. I hope you enjoy our candid conversation about the writing life, sprinkled with lots of advice for writers. The first 40 minutes discuss the ups and downs of my writing journey and what led me to this point in my career, and then for the rest of the podcast we talk about Book Editing Blueprint and the common mistakes that writers make.

Pencils&Lipstick is for anyone who is a writer, reader or looking for encouragement to develop their creativity. Kat interviews writers, entrepreneurs, artists, and many others. You’ll get audio samples of new books coming out, and she tackles life issues that plague us all.

You can also join her Pencils&Lipstick Facebook group, a growing community where creatives come together to encourage and connect.

To listen to our interview, click here.

 

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