Title Image: Build a Virtual Community

Build a Virtual Community

I’m the Operations Maven at DIY MFA. That role encompasses a lot of things, but the common thread—the thread I want to pick at in this essay—is my responsibility to build our community. One of the beautiful things about DIY MFA is how far-flung we are. As a community, we cover the globe. We are… Read more »

Title Image: Improve the Clarity of Your Writing

Improve the Clarity of Your Writing

As writers, we spend a lot of time thinking about our story and our characters. We agonize over plot points and think about how to create heroes and heroines that our readers will love. We meticulously review the structure of our scenes, trying to keep our readers surprised and engaged. But we often skip right… Read more »

Title Image: Using Stand-up to Start Writing Humor

Using Stand-up to Start Writing Humor

My previous installments of my humor column are Writing Humor When You Don’t Think You’re Funny and On Writing Humor as a Funny Introvert. I promised you that I would share three simple ways for all writers (even introverts) to start writing humor. Next installment will talk about the history of humor writing, so stay… Read more »

Title Image: Judge a Book by Its Cover: How to SPARC Great Cover Design

Judge a Book by Its Cover: How to SPARC Great Cover Design

Welcome to the Author Marketing Toolkit, where you can learn from 20+ years of time-tested marketing and insights expertise, translated for authors. I’m Carol Van Den Hende, an MBA and strategist who’s known for bringing chocolate when I speak at conferences (surely, we’ll get back to in-person events one day!). I’m thrilled to be joining… Read more »

Title Image: Focus on the Story, Not Word Count

Focus on the Story, Not Word Count

I hit a wall halfway through writing my debut novel. This is not unusual; as writers, this happens to most of us at one time or another. When I get blocked, it’s often only for a few days. I know all the tricks to fix the stoppered bottle of my brain: get outside, go for… Read more »

Title Image: Discovering Ekphrasis Poetry

Discovering Ekphrasis Poetry

Getting Too Personal So I don’t want to get too personal here but when I noodle around with my poetry—that’s exactly what I do. My first drafts are awkward, embarrassing, dripping with messy feelings. What comes out is the emotional equivalent of the sticky, oozy goo that comes out of the bottom of my car… Read more »