It Is About You—and That’s Good!

I may have addressed this topic in a blog long ago, but it bears repeating. If you see a blog post written by someone you’re in contact with and think you were the source of that blog, you could be right. And that’s good.

Say, for example, you asked a question about developing a sympathetic heroine. Then, behold! You see a blog post about that topic the next day. It could be a coincidence; the blogger may have written it well before you saw it. I’m writing this post two months before I expect it to go live.

But what if the author wrote the post because you asked a question? Rejoice! You have helped that blogger serve their audience better. If you’re asking a question, so are many others. Instead of the blogger inventing a post on toothpaste brands in publishing, the post is talking about topics that help authors.

And that’s a good thing!

Your turn:

What topics would you like to see addressed on this blog by Tamela, Bob, or Steve?

Thank you for following our blog. What other blogs do you recommend?

How can we improve our blog?




26 Responses to It Is About You—and That’s Good!

  1. Avatar
    Jean Kavich Bloom April 23, 2020 at 5:18 am #

    Tips for front or back matter pages authors produce, such as:
    *author notes
    *source citations in nonfiction

  2. Avatar
    Tom Dimauro April 23, 2020 at 5:24 am #

    Thanks for your interest in what’s on authors’ minds Tamela. As everyone knows, writing can be a desperately lonely pastime. The biggest thing I struggle with is direction or coaching. That is, “Have I developed a good story, concept, or theme? Or, am I seriously off the rails, a hopeless case?” I realize I’m talking about developmental editing but how can a writer find critical review without spending mega-bucks? Please forgive my naïveté!

  3. Avatar
    Jeannie Delahunt April 23, 2020 at 5:26 am #

    My goal is to locate an agent and ultimately to be published. So, any information that can assist in fulfilling these goals I would love to see. I am reading lots of information on this website. Also, I have enrolled in one of your bundles, too.

    Thank you for taking the time to write information that helps us to move forward. God bless!!!

  4. Avatar
    Christian W. Mosemann April 23, 2020 at 6:20 am #

    Thanks for asking – “What topics would you like to see addressed …?”

    I’m a 78 year old psychotherapist in a psychiatric practice and have been doing some writing for patients over the years. My question is, “How do you know when an article or book possibility is developed and written well enough to send to an agent?”



  5. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser April 23, 2020 at 6:40 am #

    Of course it’s all about me;
    that’s what makes it fun.
    You are all just planetary,
    and I am the sun.
    I present to you my wisdom-light
    for I am a humble star,
    and inspire what you write
    to make you what you are.
    You plod along your orbit-road
    while I gaze at you, unblinking,
    always glad to share your load,
    and glad to do your thinking.
    And I’ll ever offer schadenfreude:
    I’ve got this case of asteroids…

  6. Avatar
    Janet Pierce April 23, 2020 at 6:47 am #

    How long should a writer wait after sending an agent a query email, bio and book synopsis? Two weeks ago I sent these to an agent who was recommended to me. So how long do I wait and or what should I do next?

    • Avatar
      Elle Love April 23, 2020 at 7:26 am #

      My question is similar to Tom’s: How to find a good developmental editor.

      I’ve sent my story through several in-person and on-line critique groups. I’ve had beta readers. But I still would like a professional edit before I send my novel to an agent. Are manuscript critiques okay? Or should I spend the money on a full developmental critique before the copy ediit?

  7. Avatar
    Rhonda Delamoriniere April 23, 2020 at 6:50 am #

    I would love to hear more advice about finding an agent or if we really need one.

  8. Avatar
    Sharon K. Connell April 23, 2020 at 6:51 am #

    How about more tips on some of the pitfalls of writing. Things to look for when you’re doing your self-editing.

  9. Avatar
    Pearl Fredericksen April 23, 2020 at 7:11 am #

    Thank you for the opportunity to ask! I am wondering about whether or not to use real names of places in my novel. Is it better to disguise names of towns and cafes or offices? What about popular franchises like Macdonald’s?

  10. Avatar
    Jan Johnson April 23, 2020 at 7:20 am #

    My daughter has always sung a song to my granddaughter and now want a to create a children’s book with her illustrations. The song is
    “Goodnight Sweetheart”. She only sings three lines of the chorus and made up all the verses.

    What are the copyright Rules?

  11. Avatar
    Loretta Eidson April 23, 2020 at 7:25 am #

    I’ve seen many articles on examples of “fluff” words used in writing that should be avoided. Since we learn by repetition, I don’t believe it can be stressed enough, repeating these topics. The same goes for active voice over passive voice and show don’t tell. No two blog posts are alike, so stressing these writing tips are always helpful.

  12. Avatar
    M. A. April 23, 2020 at 7:30 am #

    In a recent Q & A, Steve Laube talked about how writers will pitch different projects to him in the same meeting: a novel, a non-fiction, a devotional, etc. He said that writers need to decide “what they want to be when they grow up.” I’d like some clarity on why writing in different genres is discouraged. As ideas come to me, some seem a good fit for a devotion, others for a worship drama, others for a longer work. It seems that by focusing on only one area of writing, some potentially good ideas could be lost if they don’t fit in that area or, by forcing an idea into something that isn’t a good fit, the result is a poorly developed piece of writing.

  13. Avatar
    Brenda Poinsett April 23, 2020 at 8:38 am #

    I would like to see you offer in a blog some help for identifying the needs of readers. I am a strong biblical writer and want to share what I’ve learned but it is hard for me to link it with a particular need. I have an academic background that’s more oriented to here’s the information, here’s the truth. I didn’t have to worry about motivating the students to learn because they knew they would be tested over the material.

  14. Avatar
    Roberta Sarver April 23, 2020 at 9:34 am #

    How does a person get beta readers?

  15. Avatar
    Kay DiBianca April 23, 2020 at 9:38 am #

    I’d love to see recommendations for podcasts that interview debut authors.

  16. Avatar
    Felicity April 23, 2020 at 9:54 am #

    What are your thoughts on writing some short stories before you jump into your first novel?


    What do you see as the upcoming trends in fiction? Do you think chick-lit will ever make a comeback?

  17. Avatar
    Tamela Hancock Murray April 23, 2020 at 12:45 pm #

    Thank you so much for all your suggestions! I’ll try to tackle these questions in future posts.

  18. Avatar
    Linda Riggs Mayfield April 23, 2020 at 4:32 pm #

    Thanks for asking!

    For everyone: PLATFORM. I read a lot of conflicting ideas about the importance of having a substantial platform– (1) it used to matter more but its importance is declining, but also that (2) a writer must have at least 5K followers on social media to even be considered for agent representation, and (3) some kinds of social media “count” more than others. Is a writer wise to stop writing and concentrate on platform?

    For Bob: You’ve been a successful writer in several genres. Is that possible for someone starting out today?

  19. Avatar
    Melanie April 24, 2020 at 3:37 am #

    I’m a former crime reporter and trauma survivor with lots of counseling writing a suspense novel. I’m trying to balance Christian fiction guidelines with the speech and behavior I’ve seen in police stations and at crime scenes. I’ve come up with some of my own ways to show through action that a cop is angry or frustrated, but can you guide us to some books where cops sound like cops without the swear words? I’m not a big fan of, “ he swore softly under his breath,” which I see a good bit. Also, is there such a thing as a character being too angry with God, as long as she turns back to him well before the story ends? Basically, just a blog about balancing the realities of criminals and detectives with the needs of Christian publishing.

  20. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D. April 24, 2020 at 9:53 am #

    Tamela, a blog posting on the difference between showing and telling would be superb. I am constantly mixing them up. Thanks!

  21. Avatar
    Barbara Harper April 24, 2020 at 11:17 am #

    Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions! I asked on a recent Publishing Q&A webinar about the timeline or order of events from writing to publishing. The answer veered into a (very helpful) discussion about choosing the right kind of beta readers, but never really answered the question.

    So we write and rewrite and edit and polish our manuscript while working on our platform. I’ve read that we should send our work to an editor before submitting it to a publisher. Does that come before or after sending it to beta readers? Do we need to have endorsements before submitting or after? Should we have any extras, like a dedication page, foreword, and/or afterword on hand before submitting? Any help along these lines is much appreciated.

  22. Avatar
    Courtney Sherlock April 24, 2020 at 9:01 pm #

    I’m a bit late in commenting, but if you see this, I’d love to learn more about the system behind categorizing books, specifically fiction. I want to write a book that fits well in a category, and make sure a book I’ve already written fits into a definite category, but I feel like I’m missing a lot of specifics.

    Also, I’ve learned from this blog that it’s important to stick to a genre so your readers know what to expect from you. What are acceptable parameters for staying “in your genre”? Are deviations like, from fantasy to post-apocalyptic, or romance to historical fiction still too different?

  23. Avatar
    Barbara Harper September 24, 2020 at 7:15 am #

    If you’re still taking questions, one just came to mind. If an author crowdsources–asks his or her Facebook followers or blog readers for help in brainstorming–does the author owe anything if he or she uses an idea presented in that way? I have seen some do it as a contest. They’ll ask for ideas for the book title or a character’s name, and if they use one, they’ll give that person a free, signed copy of their book when it’s published. I think in that case that’s all the reader expects. Sometimes in an acknowledgements section, I’ve seen an author thank someone for a title idea or specific help with some detail of their story. Should anything else be done legally? Since the author is asking for ideas, is he or she using someone else’s intellectual property if they use one of the ideas? Or since they asked and the reader offered freely while clearly understanding the author’s intent, is it enough to reward them with a copy of the book or a mention?

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