Justice (Deck of Lies, #1)

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The Tower (Deck of Lies, #2)

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Death (Deck of Lies, #3)

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Judgment (Deck of Lies, #4)

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Hope's Rebellion

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Writing Like Truman Capote

As you can probably tell, I'm fascinated with the process that other writers use. I read their bios and interviews so I can look back at their lives and successes...and see if I have anything in common with them. But if I want to start writing like Truman Capote, I’m going to need to get a whole lot weirder.

Down When I’m Loaded

Truman Capote never started a new writing project on Fridays. And if you think that’s weird, you ain't read nothing yet. To call him eccentric is far better than he deserves. By most standards, the author of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood" acted like a straight-up nutjob. Writing like Truman Capote is possible in the literal sense. To get started, lie down.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: Do You Use That Too Much?

It's quite possible that you're using the word that too much in your books. To find out, read today's throwback Writing 101 tip. 

Find out if it's raining thats all over your books, because you may discover that you're using too word way too much.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writing 101: Why Your Characters Need a Hobby

When the characters in your book feel more like real people, it’s a lot easier for readers to relate to them. That makes it a lot easier for readers to like your books. It sounds like a simple formula, but it’s not. That’s why it works to use little tricks throughout your books to humanize characters. This is why your characters need a hobby.

Humanizing Your Characters

All of your characters should be three-dimensional. That means they have hopes, dreams, fears, regrets, habits...and yes, hobbies. The more of this kind of everyday stuff you can integrate into your character, the more real they will feel. But you can’t give a character a hobby just for the sake of doing it. Everything you put in your book should be in there for a reason, and that includes the hobby that you humanize your character with.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Writing 101: Setting the Stage

I read about these women in Burma, once. They put these coils around their necks in order to stretch them out, starting from birth. The old women in the village have these long, extended necks with coils wrapped all the way up. I’m not from Burma, so it’s hard for me to comprehend why anyone would do this, but they think that long necks are beautiful. When you’re an author, you have to set the stage for your readers so they can understand your characters. If I’m from New York City, I may not understand what it’s like to be a farmgirl from Kansas or one of those women from Burma. It’s your job to make me understand that. Do it by setting the stage.

Staging the Scene

In the medieval era, the Church officially believed that women did not have souls. Women were not human beings. They were pieces of property, and their worth could be measured against something like a cow or a piece of land. It’s hard for a modern-day woman to understand that world, a world in which women did not often speak their minds and were not welcome to pursue the skills that interested them. Women were not often writers in the medieval era; most of them could not read. So if you’re going to write a book that’s set in that time, you’re going to need to make sure that I as the reader can understand it.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why Virginia Woolf Walked Away From Life

Virginia Woolf was the product of a broken home, and was raised with her stepfather and several step-siblings. From an early age, she was highly emotional and had trouble coping with the various tragedies that life tossed her way. But Virginia found a way to escape the pain of her mother's untimely death, the tragic shock of her sister's unexpected death and the other sad events that occurred in her life: books. Se was given full access to her father's library, and here she fell in love with the written word. Here, she became Virginia Woolf, the author.

Being Blue

Like lots of authors, Virginia Woolf started publishing her own books. She and her husband purchased a printing press, mostly as a hobby, and pretty soon they turned it into a business. She published several novels using the press.

Virginia Woolf was a prolific writer. She wrote several books in the span of a few short years, and received recognition in her own time as a talented woman of letters.

It sounds like a happy story, doesn't it? Her life was marked by death as a child and young woman, but she discovered a love of words and found her own voice as an adult. She took matters into her own hands, like all the greatest self-published authors, and she made the world notice her. But the story of Virginia Woolf is not a happy one. Like so many others in her family, her story ends in tragedy.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

1,000th Post Celebration: 999 Writing Tips, But This Post Ain't One

Jade's Blog has come a long way since we first started in 2011. Together, we've explored punctuation rules and grammar tricks, literary techniques and self promotion. Several guest authors and friends of the blog have stopped by to offer their insights and share their stories. And now, it's time to celebrate all of that -- by giving some free stuff away.


Thanks for visiting the blog, whether this is your first visit or your 1,000th. Jade's blog has always been a place for indie and self-published authors, and hopefully it will be here for another 1,000 posts. But without reading, there would be no writing. So to celebrate today's milestone, let's give lots of books and other stuff away!

The Deck of Lies

                                                    FREE sample                        FREE wallpaper

Hope's Rebellion 

                                                      FREE sample                          FREE wallpaper

Song of the Sea (Saltwater Secrets, #1)

Now with an exclusive sneak peek of Book #2! 

                                                      FREE sample                          FREE wallpaper

$5 Amazon Gift Card

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Writing 101 Redux: Further vs. Farther

It's not always easy to remember all the different rules of grammar, and that's why you need this throwback Writing 101 post about further and farther. 

Find out how to tell the difference between them, and you'll always use further and farther the right way.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Writing 101: The Unexpected Outcome

It’s a pretty classic story: the underdog team claws and fights their way into the big competition, only to face off against a much more powerful opponent. Against all odds, the underdogs pull together and carry the day. Unless they don’t. Sometimes, the story ends with the unexpected outcome instead. The hero doesn’t always have to win, but if you don’t write the unexpected outcome the right way you aren’t going to win, either.

When the Hero Loses

Look, good guys don’t always finish first in life. The inspiring underdogs don’t always win, the hero doesn’t always defeat the villain, and sometimes the unexpected outcome is the result. But when the unexpected happens and the hero loses, you've got to be really careful about how you end the story.