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News — writing encouragement

NaNoWriMo: The last mile

Amy Leibowitz nanowrimo running writing writing encouragement

Technically, the last third of National Novel Writing Month doesn't start until Wednesday. But who's counting?

My son runs cross-country in the fall. (That's him in the picture above. He's a tall, skinny white boy wearing a purple and white school uniform, running across a stretch of grass, with cars and trees in the background.) For varsity and JV, this is a 3-mile run (5k), usually through a town park. The terrain can be anywhere from nearly flat to multiple steep hills, open fields to dense trees. Running doesn't stop just because of...

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Writing tips: "show, don't tell"

Amy Leibowitz show and tell tips writing writing advice writing encouragement

Everyone's heard "show, don't tell" at least once. It gets passed around in workshops, classes, and critique groups. It takes other forms, too. Sometimes it's labeled as "spoon-feeding" or "info-dumping," depending on the genre. It's probably the most common piece of writing advice ever given.

It's also the most meaningless.

"Show, don't tell" has a somewhat unfortunate history. It may be anti-communist propaganda, and it definitely has

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When Reviews Go Bad

Amy Leibowitz Blog marketing politics reviews self care social media writing writing encouragement

Reviewing is a tricky business on both sides of the coin...there's a particularly delicate balance between reviewers and authors when it comes to small presses, indie books, and niche genres.

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Target Audience

Amy Leibowitz own voices writing encouragement

This might be the most basic, important question for a writer to ask, whether spinning a yarn about mythical beasts or typing out a memoir: Who is your target audience?

"Anyone who wants to read it" is certainly a valid answer, but the difficulty there is that it might be too generic to develop either your characters or your story. Some pitfalls of this include making a book on a social issue (like police brutality or homophobia or intimate partner violence) feel like an educational tome. It can become less of...

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Post-Election Mid-NaNoWriMo Encouragement

Amy Leibowitz current events nanowrimo writing encouragement

We're halfway through NaNoWriMo, and in the U.S., we're a week out after one of the ugliest election seasons in my memory. Whether it's from word count or feeling disheartened at the election results, you're not alone.

Bear with me, I'm going to quote the Bible. Trust me, this is significant, and I'm not using it to beat anyone over the head. I'm finding encouragement anywhere I can get it, and I think you'll understand why I find this relevant to us in the author/reader/book community right now.

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