Inspiration

How to Improve your Life greatly with thought-provoking Questions

Hopelessness and helplessness are two of the worst human conditions if you ask me. They are closely related; siblings as it may seem. And they stand in direct opposition to a Growth Mindset. When hopelessness and helplessness reign there is no room for growth, only...

Collaboration between Fellow Authors for Greater Productivity

Being an author tends to be an isolating occupation. Though there are parts like writing itself that probably need some solitary work, other parts can be done in collaboration quite nicely. It's all too easy to get lost in our own little worlds and especially if...

A Healthy Approach to Self Care – Part 2

Not too long ago I've written an article about Self Care, where I've talked about its importance and ways to get more balance in your life. Today I want to expand on that topic, because there are a lot more things you can do to improve your life and your wellbeing. I...

A Healthy Approach to Self Care – Part 1

Self Care is something a lot of people talk about these days and it indeed is important for our overall health and wellbeing. In its essence it's the balance we all need in our lifes to be healthy and balanced. In todays day and age it's all too easy to glorify...

5 Books that Shaped my Life during my Childhood

I love books. Stories. Written escapes to distant lands and daring adventures. Maybe it was, because we weren't allowed to watch lots of TV. Maybe it's, because my mom made sure we had access to our local library. Or I'm simply a born bookworm. I don't really care for...

Motivation

Create an Alter Ego to Change your Life Forever

The new year started merely two weeks ago and I fear lots of us are probably already lost in our everyday lives. Gone are those resolutions, thoses wished for a better future. Maybe you're still fighting for whatever change you wanted to see in your life though. Or...

How to Avoid Choice Overload and Get Your Act Together

Have you ever experienced some free time where you could have been doing anything you wanted, yet failed to do... anything? Say you could have gone hiking or slacklining or cycling or swimming or you could have been reading or writing or painting or cooking... and you...

How to Use Rewards for increased Motivation

Sometimes sitting down to work can be hard. You're feeling uninspired and unmotivated. I get that. Like everyone else I'm struggling with these feelings of dread. Even when I know that I actually enjoy the act when I finally push myself to start! There are a ton of...

The 6 Pillars to Beat Procrastination

Everyone procrastinates one time or another. Putting important things off, because you'd rather watch TV seems... comfortable. Though it quickly gets out of hand if we don't get a hold of this behaviour. Before it turns into habit. Habits are hard to break, but...

The Comeback

There are a lot of reasons why you would stop writing for some time. Vacations, illnesses, stagnation and lack of motivation, a writing blockage or simply life itself. The longer the break expands the harder it usually is to start again. But it doesn't have to be....

In Search of Calmness and Boredom

I've been thinking a lot lately about this seemingly busy and frantic everyday life of ours. Even when there isn't much to do, I still feel stretched and restless. Do you know that feeling? I guess it has a lot to with me being an introvert, because I thrive on...

The 5 Minute Rule to get into Action Mode

Getting started on a task is so freakin hard sometimes! Especially if it's an important task. Or a dreaded one. I hate when I catch myself procrastinating on ...anything really, to keep myself from doing stuff that matters. Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube... even...

Challenge yourself with the Pomodoro Method

One of the biggest challenges – for me at least – is actually getting started to work. Taking the first step – starting – can be intimidating and especially if it's uncomfortable or important work it can be way too easy to procrastinate.After I finally start to work I...

The 7 benefits of reading

Before we dive into the details of writing and publishing our novels I want to put the counterpart of writing into the spotlight: reading.Reading is, in my humble opinion, one of our basic human needs. It's one of mine at least! Reading has tremendous effects on the...

Control your inner master procrastinator in 5 simple steps

I wanted to write. I honestly wanted to progress my plot and further the story. It just happened that a comfy couch and a big screen crossed my way. And don't forget Pinterest and Instagram. And a little bit of YouTube. Wait. Where did the day go?! Something like this...

Motivation – The Driving Force

Everyone has conscious and unconscious reasons that drive our actions. You'll have an enormous advantage in life, if you know what your deeper motivations are, because only when you know what drives you, you'll be able to make changes. Motivations are the reason we...

5 simple ways to finding ideas

In this world exist people whose heads explode with ideas and who possibly couldn't turn them all into books even if they wanted to. And then there are people who cannot resist the urge to write but lack a worthwhile idea. If you belong to the second group of writers:...

Organization

How to effectively Use Todoist as a Planning Tool

Todoist is an awesome and useful tool that I've been using for the past few years to manage all of my tasks. It's free to use and due to its online nature you're able to access it from wherever you have Internet access. Today I'm going to show you how I'm using it on...

Boost your Productivity with Weekly Planning Sessions

Over the years I've tried lots of different planning routines and none of them worked as well for me as the one I'm showing you today. In essence it's defining a goal for the week and figuring out the actual steps needed to achieve it in advance, while reflecting and...

How to Use Trello to Effectively Manage Your Book Project

I'm sure you've either heard or used the software Trello already. If you didn't, it's an online tool in which you can create your own lists and lists of lists to organize your life or do whatever else you want with it. Its flexibility is both its strength and...

5 Tips for Ergonomic Working

I know that I'm stating the obvious, but we human beings are not made to sit on our butts all day long. This is common knowledge nowadays and yet you'll probably agree with me, that we are more sedentary than ever. Partly it's due to our jobs, we as authors in...

The Way to Effective Timemanagement

Have you ever struggled to find the time for certain things? Most of the time you don't need better time management, you need better priority management. If you know what is important in your life, you will be able to make the time for these things. You might say now,...

In 5 steps to an inspiring workspace

As an aspiring author you're going to be chained to your desk a veeery long time. Owning a laptop might give you some flexibility, but it's important either way to have a place to work where you feel comfortable and focused. The following aspects are the ones I find...

Tips to snap every idea and epiphany

I'm sure you know the feeling: You lie in bed or commute to work or sit in a café when it suddenly happens – a great idea lights up in your head! And when you finally get home you make the shocking discovery that the idea is gone. Vanished without a trace. Although...

Preparation

Get to know your Characters firsthand through Acting

I guess you know the usual advice to make an interview with one of your characters to get to know them better. Sure, you may learn some interesting and useful information that way, but there is another possibility that I like even more. Instead of talking with my...

How Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset influence your Characters

If you're interested in writing authentic characters - and I sure hope you do! - then you want to deal with the different human mindsets. They have tremendous impact on the way people think and act and knowing how your character ticks enables you to make their...

5 effective Ways to Hide Clues in Plain Sight

As you probably know by now I'm a huge Potterhead. I've loved Harry Potter from the moment I read the first book when I was not even 10 years old and the obsession stayed with me up to this day. It's the book series I've read the most. I even bought the audio books to...

3 Ways to Improve Your Stories through Observing People

Finding inspiration can be a frustrating task if I'm feeling stuck and... uninspired. There are times when my brain is overflowing with ideas and thoughts. Following an initial idea turns into a complete backstory or some major plot twist. I love it. This feeling is...

How to Write a Book that you Love

Writing a book is a huge and exhausting challenge and not for the faint of heart. There is no guarantee for success. None. So if you're really going to embark on this journey, it better be worthwhile. One way to ensure that you enjoy the actual process is to write a...

How to Visualize a Persons Character

Introducing characters and making them come alive is an important and challenging task. Listing character traits is unimaginative, uncreative and simply not acceptable. Your character may have a layered and deep character, but you have to pull off getting this across...

How to Up Your Pantser Game When You Dread Excessive Outlining

I actually quite enjoy writing without a plan. Pantser-style. I've done a complete NaNoWriMo without outlining anything and having no clue about where the story will go. And while this is nice as long as you know what comes next, it's soo easy to get lost on the way....

5 Roles You Need To Make Your Story Amazing

Every character plays a certain part in a novel and their importance depends on their role. You all know the main actor, the protagonist. And you know about the usual opponent, the antagonist. But do you know some more? Today we're taking a look at the five most...

Depth of Character through Flaws

Human beings aren't robots. And human beings are everything, but perfect. There is no such thing as perfection. Thank God! It's those so called flaws that make a person realistic and alive, interesting and potentially likable. But what are those flaws? Well, to make...

The Hook of your Story

Readers are like fish. Smart fish. Fish who know authors are out to get them, reel them in, and capture them for the rest of their seagoing lives. Like all self-respecting fish, readers aren't caught easily. They aren't about to surrender themselves to the lure of...

The Power of Your Antagonist

I love me a good antagonist, don't you? A powerful opposing force really makes or breaks a story, because they are so important to create conflict and tension and therefore your story arc. A good story lives off of conflict and tension and without it it's shallow,...

Intro to the snowflake method

Today I want to introduce the snow flake method to you, which is a well-known (if not the most well-known) method for plotting a story, developed by the American author Randy Ingermanson. It consists of 10 steps that build up on each other. duration: 1 hour The first...

7 ways to better research

Please don't sigh in frustration now. I know research can be a deadly tiring subject and searching books for hours simply boring. I get it. I've been there too. More than once. Research is time consuming, but who said writing a book is easy?The amount of time you need...

How to base a character on a real life person

I love diving into different methods to bring life to a new character. One possibility is to base this character on an already existing person and use this person to create a realistic character. Although you do have to be cautious with this one, because you want to...

How to Use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for Character Creation

Do you know the Myers-Briggs type indicator? Carl Gustav Jung, who was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, defined different character types to categorize peoples inner workings. According to him each person has certain natural tendencies, which define how a person...

How to Use Pinterest for Character Inspiration

Finding initial inspiration for a new character can be a daunting task. Sometimes I have a more or less vague impression of a new person forming. For my current project I had the notion of an average boy who's more on the introverted side, but I couldn't quite picture...

World Building – The Time Investment

This article is aimed particularly at authors who need a fictional world for their novel. As I've mentioned in the introduction to world building, creating a story world is an endless project and no one has eternity to waste. Especially when your novel waits for you...

World Building – An Introduction

Having an authentic world in which your story takes place is obviously incredibly important and  especially for fantasy and science fiction novels plays creating a world on your own a big role. Nothing is set in stone here and you're welcome to get inpiration and take...

Characterdesign

Get to know your Characters firsthand through Acting

I guess you know the usual advice to make an interview with one of your characters to get to know them better. Sure, you may learn some interesting and useful information that way, but there is another possibility that I like even more. Instead of talking with my...

How Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset influence your Characters

If you're interested in writing authentic characters - and I sure hope you do! - then you want to deal with the different human mindsets. They have tremendous impact on the way people think and act and knowing how your character ticks enables you to make their...

3 Ways to Improve Your Stories through Observing People

Finding inspiration can be a frustrating task if I'm feeling stuck and... uninspired. There are times when my brain is overflowing with ideas and thoughts. Following an initial idea turns into a complete backstory or some major plot twist. I love it. This feeling is...

How to Visualize a Persons Character

Introducing characters and making them come alive is an important and challenging task. Listing character traits is unimaginative, uncreative and simply not acceptable. Your character may have a layered and deep character, but you have to pull off getting this across...

Depth of Character through Flaws

Human beings aren't robots. And human beings are everything, but perfect. There is no such thing as perfection. Thank God! It's those so called flaws that make a person realistic and alive, interesting and potentially likable. But what are those flaws? Well, to make...

The Power of Your Antagonist

I love me a good antagonist, don't you? A powerful opposing force really makes or breaks a story, because they are so important to create conflict and tension and therefore your story arc. A good story lives off of conflict and tension and without it it's shallow,...

How to base a character on a real life person

I love diving into different methods to bring life to a new character. One possibility is to base this character on an already existing person and use this person to create a realistic character. Although you do have to be cautious with this one, because you want to...

How to Use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for Character Creation

Do you know the Myers-Briggs type indicator? Carl Gustav Jung, who was a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, defined different character types to categorize peoples inner workings. According to him each person has certain natural tendencies, which define how a person...

How to Use Pinterest for Character Inspiration

Finding initial inspiration for a new character can be a daunting task. Sometimes I have a more or less vague impression of a new person forming. For my current project I had the notion of an average boy who's more on the introverted side, but I couldn't quite picture...

Worldbuilding

World Building – The Time Investment

This article is aimed particularly at authors who need a fictional world for their novel. As I've mentioned in the introduction to world building, creating a story world is an endless project and no one has eternity to waste. Especially when your novel waits for you...

World Building – An Introduction

Having an authentic world in which your story takes place is obviously incredibly important and  especially for fantasy and science fiction novels plays creating a world on your own a big role. Nothing is set in stone here and you're welcome to get inpiration and take...

Plot & Outline

5 effective Ways to Hide Clues in Plain Sight

As you probably know by now I'm a huge Potterhead. I've loved Harry Potter from the moment I read the first book when I was not even 10 years old and the obsession stayed with me up to this day. It's the book series I've read the most. I even bought the audio books to...

How to Write a Book that you Love

Writing a book is a huge and exhausting challenge and not for the faint of heart. There is no guarantee for success. None. So if you're really going to embark on this journey, it better be worthwhile. One way to ensure that you enjoy the actual process is to write a...

How to Up Your Pantser Game When You Dread Excessive Outlining

I actually quite enjoy writing without a plan. Pantser-style. I've done a complete NaNoWriMo without outlining anything and having no clue about where the story will go. And while this is nice as long as you know what comes next, it's soo easy to get lost on the way....

5 Roles You Need To Make Your Story Amazing

Every character plays a certain part in a novel and their importance depends on their role. You all know the main actor, the protagonist. And you know about the usual opponent, the antagonist. But do you know some more? Today we're taking a look at the five most...

The Hook of your Story

Readers are like fish. Smart fish. Fish who know authors are out to get them, reel them in, and capture them for the rest of their seagoing lives. Like all self-respecting fish, readers aren't caught easily. They aren't about to surrender themselves to the lure of...

Intro to the snowflake method

Today I want to introduce the snow flake method to you, which is a well-known (if not the most well-known) method for plotting a story, developed by the American author Randy Ingermanson. It consists of 10 steps that build up on each other. duration: 1 hour The first...

Writing

How to Get the Most out of Writing Challenges

Writing is some serious labor and it's not always easy to get yourself to start. Using writing challenges to push yourself forward can be highly effective. There are many different options to choose from and you can try them out one after another if you wish. You can...

A Statement to Write First and Edit Later

Todays topic is one that most of you probably heard about before. There are different ways to actually write your first draft, but I'’m a huge advocate for writing your first draft without editing what you write. Let me explain my reasons. First and foremost we’'re...

Better your Craft with Daily Writing

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Will Durant I guess most of us have heard this phrase at some point and I'm rather fond of it to be honest. It leaves room for improvement, for change and for betterment. And it puts fate in...

First Aid for Writer’s Block

It doesn't matter if you're an author, a blogger or a journalist: No writer is safe. I have already been caught by it a few times. They mostly lasted only a few days, but there were times when it went on for weeks and I was scared that I would never be able to write...

The 3 different Point of Views

The Point of View defines from which angle a story is told and what the story teller actually knows. There are three major perspectives: First Person Limited / Multiple Third Person Omniscient Third Person For each of these you have to remember that the author is not...

In 4 Steps to The Ideal Reader

Did you ever spend a minute to think about who you're writing your book for? Having an idea of who your target audience is, is extremely valuable. You'll be able to write clearer and more enticing, because you'll know what those readers expect. Having a specific...

Deus ex Machina

Deus ex Machina. Maybe you've heard the expression before, especially if you've been looking into literature or movies. If you don't quite know what it is, keep reading.Deus ex Machina is Latin for "god from the machine". Its origin is antique theatre, where a god...

Introduction to the National Novel Writing Month

You always wanted to write a book, but couldn't get started? Give NaNoWriMo a try! NaNoWriMo stands for 'National Novel Writing Month' and happens to be our lovely November. Since 1999 this event takes place every year and brings creativity to those cold and rainy...

Technical

Simplified Software for focused and undistracted Writing

I don't know about you, but I'm someone who easily gets distracted. One way I've learned to cope with this is to minimize all distractions around me as much as possible. This may mean to unplug from the internet or to use browser extensions that block enticing...

Editing

A Healthy Approach to Handling Rejection

Rejection is hard. Even cruel at times. We're social beings and want to be respected and accepted by other people. Rejection of our work feels especially devastating, because of all the blood, sweat and tears we put into it. Rejection though is a natural part of our...

Important Questions to Ask Your Test Readers

In the article on how to find test readers I've introduced the idea of a catalog of questions you can ask your test readers to get specific information out of them. If that list was not extensive enough and you want additional ideas and questions you'll find even more...

How to Cut unnecessary Fluff to Elevate your Story

We all have to be veeeery selective about each and every scene we put in our stories. There is a fine line between telling a comprehensive story with all necessary information and backstory versus blowing things out of proportion by including scenes and information...

How to find test readers

Your draft is finished and edited? Then you're finally ready to search for some test readers, who will take a really close look at your work and give you brutally honest feedback. Two words: organizational blindness. You know your work by heart, because you spent hour...

Testreader

Important Questions to Ask Your Test Readers

In the article on how to find test readers I've introduced the idea of a catalog of questions you can ask your test readers to get specific information out of them. If that list was not extensive enough and you want additional ideas and questions you'll find even more...

How to find test readers

Your draft is finished and edited? Then you're finally ready to search for some test readers, who will take a really close look at your work and give you brutally honest feedback. Two words: organizational blindness. You know your work by heart, because you spent hour...

Publishing

The Pros and Cons of Selfpublishing

Deciding between the path of traditional publishing or the way of selfpublishing is one important decision. Therefore I'll try to shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of selfpublishing. If you want to know more about traditional publishing, you can go here....

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

The choice between traditional publishing and self publishing is not as easy as it may seem to be. Both possibilities have their advantages and disadvantages and of course I recommend to take a good look at each factor. Here is the list for Selfpublishing.Publishing...

Publishing – the Options

You're holding your finished draft in your hands? Congratulations! You're one of few who can put an END underneath your book. If you haven't celebrated your success yet, do it now! Clap on your own back, you did a marvelous job. We're proud of you! Now... do you want...

An Introduction to Digital Book Covers

The book cover makes or breaks your book. This is a hard fact that you have to be aware of. The cover is the advertisement for the book and if it doesn't grasp the readers interest in a matter of a split second, then it won't sell.The cover has to convey the context...