Maria Murnane
Writing tip: Save deleted scenes and language
On January 9, 2017 | 0 Comments

It goes without saying that when it comes time to revise the first draft of your manuscript, much of it is going to end up on the cutting room floor. Whether it’s due to shifting plotlines, characters that no longer work, or scenes that are too long, removal is part of the process. (And of […]

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Grammar tip: How to use gerunds correctly
On January 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

If you’re not familiar with the term “gerund,” it’s a noun that is created by adding “ing” to a verb. For example: Noun: To be Gerund: Being Noun: To write Gerund: Writing While gerunds are easy to use as simple subjects (Writing is important to me) or as objects (I love writing), they can be a […]

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Marketing tip: Make yourself easy to find online
On December 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

A couple years ago I had an interesting encounter with an indie author that inspired me to write this blog post. At the time of our meeting he gave me a little postcard about the book he had written, so after I finished the blog I fished out the postcard so I could send him a […]

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Feeling discouraged about your book sales? Read this!
On December 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

I receive a lot of emails from authors who read my blog, and by far their biggest reason for getting in touch is to express how discouraged they feel about their book sales. To let all you know that you’re not alone, I thought I’d share a personal story. A couple weeks ago I received […]

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Marketing tip: Keep your email signature clean
On December 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

I receive a lot of messages from readers of this blog, which I always enjoy. Lately I’ve noticed that more and more of you are utilizing your email signatures as an indirect way to promote your work. I think that’s a great strategy and have suggested it more than once in this space, so it […]

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Twelve things you can do to help promote your book
On November 28, 2016 | 1 Comments

  I get that marketing is a foreign language to many authors, and even those who are familiar with it don’t usually enjoy it. But if you want people who aren’t your friends and family to buy your book, it’s something you simply have to do. If right now you’re saying to yourself, I want to […]

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Writing tip: A little detail can make a big impression
On November 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

In the past I’ve argued that giving your characters quirks helps make them seem like real people. The same can be said for peppering your manuscript with the occasional detail. Adding descriptive nuggets such as colors, sounds or smells enriches the picture forming in your readers’ minds, which draws them into the story. And that’s […]

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Why reading makes you a better writer
On November 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

When I first signed with a literary agent several years ago, she told me to read as much as I could because it would improve my own writing. I never forgot that advice, and while I have always loved to read, after that I began to read with a different eye. I enjoy a variety […]

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Common word mix-ups
On November 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

Today I’d like to give a little refresher course on two sets of similar words that can be a little tricky. Here we go: Imply vs. Infer To imply means to suggest or indicate something without actually saying so: After David tasted the wine, the look on his face implied that he didn’t like it. The […]

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Grammar tip: Sometimes it’s okay to use ME
On November 1, 2016 | 0 Comments

A lot of people out there are afraid to use the pronoun “me.” I think the aversion must start in elementary school, when you proudly declare “Me and Gloria are best friends!” and your mom shakes her head and says, “Gloria and I are best friends.” Mom is right because in that instance “I” is a […]

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