Link of the Week – Similes & Metaphors

August 21, 2018

Here is a quick, easy blog from Grammarly on the difference between a simile and a metaphor. There is even a quiz to help test you on your knowledge.


Link of the Week – Body Language

November 15, 2016

642px-olympicclubtimesdemocratheadline-2I have a confession to make. I happen to really enjoy the blog Art of Manliness. There is always some interesting articles and tips.  Last week, an article was posted that I think is useful for everyone, including authors—How To Use Body Language to Create a Dynamite First Impression. For writers, it is often important to use a character’s body language to get actions, reactions, and emotions across to the reader. How someone stands, sits, moves, and the expressions they wear are communicating signals about themselves. This articles explains what the body language is saying from head to toe. Very useful for pen monkeys.

Link of the Week – Power Thesaurus

April 26, 2016

Can’t find the right word? Do I have a site for you.CC - RF - Thesaurus

Power Thesaurus is a super easy word finder with an endless supply of synonyms and antonyms. It even has filters based on action, sounds, topics, and parts of speech.

Power Thesaurus is a fast, convenient and comprehensive online thesaurus.

It’s crowdsourced, meaning it has been built by a community of writers for writers.

Check it out! You might just bookmark the site.

Bonus Link Of The Week- Pace Yourself!

August 11, 2015

Running on our Back-To-School link this week, we thought we’d bring a link to a phenomenal workshop being offered on pacing. This is a crucial element to great writing. You lose the pacing, you lose the readers! It’s as simple as that.



***DEADLINE – August 14, 2015.  PILOT class begins online, Saturday, August 15, 2015. (More details here.)




for a limited time…


the PILOT will be open to a small group, at $100’s off the final pricetag.  This is your chance to learn what you really need to fix, after you’ve done everything right and still haven’t sold… or sold well enough.


For 15 pilot students, this will change everything.  The PILOT cost?  Only $47. 


This 8-week, advanced course is an all-new way to understand why your story succeeds or fails, and exactly how to fix it.


This isn’t your mama’s pacing.

         In fact, it’s not what you’ve been taught before, at all.


It cuts across every technique you’ve already mastered.  And it requires a new roadmap.


While all the other craft-of-fiction techniques (plot, character, setting, theme, dialogue, etc.) are about what YOU, the writer, want to create (and how to pull it off), pacing is about how driven the READER feels to keep reading.


Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew how to assess pacing, this thing that really exists only in someone else’s head, and we knew how to kick its butt?


If pacing is the reader’s reaction to your story, you can’t be asking what the questions you normally ask as a writer (like what you want to create).  Quite simply, you have to ask waaay different questions. And you have to think with a different “brain.”


The Genius Pacing Academy gives you an easy (but deep) framework for evaluating what matters to the reader and what YOU need to put on the page.


All this comes together in The Genius Pacing Academy framework.   Using the framework as a guide, you’ll decode both what you do (words on the page) and what the reader does (your story experienced as her/his virtual reality).


Exactly what’s in The Genius Pacing Academy Framework?


* 10 page-level lenses for every single scene (and every single page) you ever write.


* 3 large-scale, story-level pacing “jobs” that work for every genre and every story-form (novel, short story, even scripts).


The pacing framework takes the unknowable and turns it into a deep, powerful skillset you’ll use every time you write, brainstorm, critique, and revise.


For 15 pilot students, this will change everything.  The cost?  Only $47.  SIGN UP NOW to be one of the pilot students.  Together, we’ll revolutionize the power of your writing.  Your readers will thank you.


GO HERE. (Your secrect code is MUSE.)


Questions? I’m here to help.  Diane Holmes


Link Of The Week- Editing Editing Editing

July 15, 2014

This link is really self-serving. I’ve finished my third novel and am knee deep in the editing process.images


My first question: How come this crap sounded so wonderful in my head when I was writing it?

The answer: Because I finally figured how to turn off my inner editor and simply write the story. …well, mostly turned it off… sort of turned it off…well, OK it was a daily battle but I did succeed some of the time.


Regardless of where you are in the writing journey, at some point you will have to edit your own work. This week’s links are here to help you do that particular job. (I have not used this, but came across it and thought it might interest some of you.)aton1395l ( Do NOT read this if you are offended by crude language!!!!!) -excellent article BTW'Not bad, Mr Poe...but could you write in a love interest for the raven?'


Link Of The Week- Hear Your Book

February 25, 2014

TalkingToTheHandHave you ever wondered what your story sounds like spoken aloud? Would you like to hear how the flow of your varied sentence structures fit together? Have you repeated words?

All these questions can be answered with this week’s Link Of The Week. It is a text to speech software that uses natural sounding voices and it’s free! (There’s also a paid version but the free one is quite good.) There are a number of uses for this program, check them out.

By the way…..did I mention it was free?!?

Pole Dancing and Writing – A Comparative Post

January 15, 2014

Song of the Day: Girls, Girls, Girls by Mötley Crüe

Happy 2014!

rf getty pole dance (2)It’s a new year once again and a new beginning. New beginnings often bring in new challenges and opportunities. Anyone who knows me or has followed this blog long enough knows that I am all about seizing opportunities, owning them, and learning, growing, igniting.

Well this year, I’m starting off with a bang. Killer editing deadlines, finishing up a novella for release in a month (give or take), and pole dancing. Yup. You read right—pole dancing.

Why pole dancing? Why not? Sure I could claim it’s for research, and I suppose in a way it is. But honestly, it’s just another fun, bold adventure I wanted to take.

And as with everything I do, it wasn’t difficult to compare my endeavors with writing. No, really.

1. Learning to pole dance is stepping out of the box (and comfort zone) and doing something fun, risky and terrifying. So it can be for the author trying out a new genre or project. Or for the newbie writer embarking on their first manuscript. Or the author about to dive into the growing new world of self-publishing for the first time.

2. Pole dancing works to strengthen your core to support the body. Just like writers need to make sure the story plot (core) is strong. A flabby plot is too weak to support the story. No sagging middles!

leg 2

Trophy Bruise
Fig. 1

3. Pole dancing creates flexibility in surprisingly many muscles. Writers need flexibility in many of their muscles, too. Think of how pliant and adaptable we have to be in such areas as time, changing storylines, writing methods, in the moving parts of character GMCs, and even where we write, to name a few.

4. Besides spinning, there are tricks that can be done on the pole that are almost acrobatic, sans the safety net. In writing, these “tricks” might equate to something as simple as a unique voice, unusual swag, or cool, cutting-edge marketing methods. Or it could mean something tougher like using technology to allow readers a chance to pick from a choice of story endings.

5. Writers hear it often—there are no new stories, only new ways and variations to tell old tales. There is one pole but many types of spins that are done on and around it. Besides putting the sexy in slinking up and down the pole without ever leaving the floor (no twerking!), I’ve learned four spins—the sit, the drag and fly, the fireman, and my most ambitious one to date, the leg hook backward spin.

thigh (5)

Trophy Bruise
Fig. 2

6. Practice, practice, practice! Pole dancing is not easy and I currently look like a not-so-graceful drunk elephant swinging wildly in a circus tent. But I will get better as long as I keep at it. This is true with anything worth doing. A writer has to hone their craft and the only way to do this is to keep writing.

7. There are a lot of “trophy bruises” that come with pole dancing. I’m kinda proud of my bruises. They are tangible evidence that I am working hard toward something I enjoy. For authors, those bruises come in the form of tough critiques, poor contest results, agent/editor rejections, and harsh reviews. Ouch! But those black and blue punches we take makes us stronger—better.

8. New students to pole dancing class set goals. What is it they want to achieve. More flexibility, be fit, earning more tips than co-workers, to tone muscles? Writers haverf getty pole dance (1) goals, too. Most want to finish, sell, and publish a book. My personal pole dancing goal? To be able to hang upside down on a pole using only my thighs. Just wait…

There you have it. How pole dancing and writing are in common. What else can you take away from this post? Don’t be afraid to try be bold. Learning something new makes you stronger. Stretch yourself. And, you are never too old to pole dance.

Comments and thoughts are always welcome.

Link Of The Week- Write To Done

November 5, 2013



I have found the best link this week! It’s doubly exciting because many of us are deep into our first full week of NaNo and we can use all the help we can get. Would you like to have a free download of a book called The Ultimate Guide To Better Writing? Yes? Well, look no more because that’s the very first thing you see when you go to this site!

How about an article on mind mapping? Done! What about finding a shortcut to polishing your manuscript? Done! This is a wonderful resource for all of us.

Hope you enjoy!

Link Of The Week

October 15, 2013

This site has been a favorite of our very own Marie-Claude for quite some time. I can see why- information for writers is stuffed into every corner! I encourage all of you to follow the link and see what’s there. Enjoy!


Can you name that writer?

Can you name that writer?

Writing: am I wasting my time?

July 1, 2013

I apologize if this is a repost for those of you who receive blog posts by email or view them via a blog feed reader. We did some reshuffling last week to ensure you don’t miss out an inspiring guest post but we are back to regular scheduling now.

No seriously, am I?

I spend painful tiny writing sessions at the crack of dawn adding 50 words to my story then another 50 and another 50 until maybe I hit 500-800 before it’s time for me to get to my day job, and I wonder, why on earth do I do that?

Do you ever get that feeling?

I question myself over and over, realist to the possibility that this manuscript is perhaps just practice. That no matter how I submit it down the ladder of agents, trad-publishers and small publisher, it might never be good enough to actually be read.

And that the 250 hrs I spent are just gone from my life.

I just sit there at times in front of the blank page or staring at lines of unedited work wondering, why continue to do this if there are no guarantees?

It’s really hard to find the answer to that question, isn’t it?

Because there are easier ways to spend our extra time, easier ways to earn a living, or be creative and certainly not something to do in a quest for fame. So why?

There are so so many people we meet who confess they have a book in them. Is it a way to express ourselves to the world? To put some order to our jumbled thoughts, inner voices and dreams.

Maybe I am wasting my time, I truly don’t know. But I could also waste it on mindless TV, Facebook addiction, hours of Angry Birds or snarky gossip with so-so friends.

At least I’ll have something out of it at the end, right? Even if its unfit for public reading!

And at least those voices inside my head will finally have found a home.

Happy Writing!

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox