Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Write Your Heart Out Wednesday! -November 30, 2016

Write your Heart Out Wednesday!

November 30, 2016

So it’s Wednesday and that means: Write your Heart Out! This is my first official post of this kind. Be looking for these each week! As you all know, I’m still learning and studying writing craft and I must say I’m learning quite a lot! 

A book I came across some months ago and have now purchased, that I feel will be very helpful, is called Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene by Paula Munier. 

You can learn more about it and purchase it on amazon at: 

On amazon, it gets a ton of 5 star reviews. Here are just a few:

I am a voracious reader of writing books, and can say that after awhile they all seem to be conveying much of the same advice. In Plot Perfect, Paula Munier touches on many of those same topics (show, don't tell: kill your darlings: ect.) , but manages to present them in a fresh new perspective. Her brilliant case studies of published novels makes everything she teaches easier to understand. I was extremely pleased to find that among the case studies is The Maltese Falcon, which in my opinion is one of the best novels ever written. In Plot Perfect, Paula disects each of these case studies and explains, not only how the author moved the plot forward, but how any writer can do it. The techniques that she teaches are invaluable to any writer at any level of experience. If you only have time to read one writing book, I highly recommend this one. 
~ Pamela Anders

I received this book as a gift, and found it interesting, and extremely useful for new, and established writers. In fact, I'm also sharing this reference with some of my new writing friends, who are searching for writing reference books specifically designed on how to create plots that will not only grab the reader's attention, but also the publisher's attention.

Agent, editor, and author Paula Munier, delivers a very useful guide as she directs the writer on the right road in creating an extraordinary plot that will make the difference between boring or transforming your manuscript into a page-turner.

The author shows you how to create a compelling story with solid structure, through a step-by-step approach that works. In addition, she teaches how to organize, and how to captivate, by setting the right atmosphere. This reference shows you how to improve fiction, and how to also polish your manuscript, before submitting your work.

This writing reference will improve scenes and is useful for not only novels, but also for screenplays, memoirs and basically all types of writing, and all genres. Extremely helpful for all writers. Highly recommended! 
~ Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn

When I heard Paula Munier speak at a writer's conference last summer, I knew I had to get her books on writing. I have not been disappointed. I only wish I’d read them before I started writing seven years ago! I now believe her wise, clear, detailed and no-nonsense advice (both in Plot Perfect and Writing with Quiet Hands) has given me the information I need, not only to be a better writer and craft a quality story, but to get published
~ Amazon Customer

What drew me to this book was first and foremost, it’s a book that will help me delve deeper into story structure. I’m still learning more about story structure. When I was in school, I learned about a story having a beginning, middle, and end. Having a protagonist, antagonist and a climax and resolution. That’s it! Not much else was taught and when I was in high school and college, the English courses revolved more around academic writing rather than creative writing. My college offered 1 creative writing course and once the professor who taught that class moved onto another college, guess what, that class went with her. So for those of us wanting to learn how to write were out of luck. However, years later, I’ve found some wonderful books on writing craft and have learned there’s a WHOLE lot more to do with story structure than what I was taught in school. For example the inciting incident; plot points; character arc; show, don’t tell and a whole lot more! So I feel this book will be a good resource and help me to understand story structure even more and begin to give my story some concrete structuring and pinpoint where I’m going wrong. So in the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on this and many other books on writing craft that I’ve picked up.



Monday, November 28, 2016

What's Marie Reading Monday - November 28, 2016

What’s Marie Reading Monday

November 28, 2016

I’m starting something new. Each Monday I’m going to post what’s on my reading list for the week, entitled What’s Marie Reading Monday. As I’m sure you figured out, I’m a huge reader. This is actually how my love of writing came to be. I began reading at age three and well that was that, I was in love and for years I’ve had my head buried in a book.

I read a variety of genres, but I must admit that historical romance is by far my absolute favorite genre. Ever since I was in high school and read Pride and Prejudice and then again in college I was introduced to Avon Books (one of my favorite publishers!), I was thoroughly hooked! However, I also love a good thriller and suspense and two of my favorite authors from this genre are Tess Gerritsen and Lisa Jackson. I also love cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, YA, NA and children’s books.

So each week, I’ll share with you what’s on my reading list for the week and recap from the previous week and share what I thought of the books I’ve read and if I’m still reading a book, I’ll let ya know. I also am a huge reviewer and all the books I read get reviewed and I would just like to mention how beneficial reviews are to authors. We’ll get to reviews on another post. So for now, here’s what’s on my reading list this week. (Also, I’ll share the links to the book incase you’d like to purchase them for yourself, if you haven’t already!)

  1. The Duke of Deception (The Untouchables Book 3) by Darcy Burke

  1. Saved by a Rake (Eversley Siblings Book 1) by Em Taylor

  1. Chosen To Die (An Alvarez & Pescoli Novel Book 2) by Lisa Jackson

I’m also still working on going through writing craft books, I’ll post about those on my writing craft posts, to keep them separate. So what are you reading this week?

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Author Tag - 1

Author Tag – 1

Friends, I’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos on writer tags, and I thought each week I’ll do a writer tag for all of you. You’ll get to learn more about me, and if you’d like, you can do the writer tag as well. So, I found this writer tag on Kim Chance’s video on YouTube. BTW, she is awesome, and I will be sharing more about her and her amazing videos in another post. So let’s get to the questions.

Writer Tag Questions

  1. What do you eat or drink while writing?
I’m a huge tea lover, and I’m always drinking a cup of tea. I’ll get a pic of my favorite tea mug soon. My favorite tea is Twining’s English Breakfast.
I rarely eat when I’m writing, but when I do, it’s either an Oikos Greek yogurt or some goldfish crackers (Yes, I’m SO addicted to these!).

  1. What do you listen to while writing?
I need absolute silence when I’m writing, so I don’t listen to anything.

  1. What is your biggest writing distraction?
Noise, especially music.

  1. What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you while writing?
I was going full steam ahead in my current book, and for whatever reason my mind completely blanked. Like total brain fart! So, I just got up from the manuscript and went out to make myself another cup of tea, came back sat down, and thoughts began coming in again.

  1. What's the best thing that ever happened to you while writing?
When I was researching books written during the Regency period and this one, particular author popped up. So I looked into her books, and I found one of her books that was perfect for not only my heroine, but it helped open up a conversation between she and my Hero about his deceased wife. So it fit perfectly and took the book in a new direction that I didn't intend it to go.

  1. Who you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?
OK, this is odd, but I often chitchat with my cat. I’ll ramble out thoughts on my characters or where the book is going, etc. I prefer to write alone, so I don’t really communicate with anyone. I will talk about my writing with my family, but I don’t really communicate with them during a writing session as I need 100% focus.

  1. What your secret to success and your biggest writing flaw?
Secret to Success:

I’ve not yet published a book, so I can’t claim TRUE success yet. However, in my own personal goals, I have had some success along the way. One thing I will advise you is to know your craft. I know it’s time-consuming and yes, can even cost money for books and/or courses, but invest in your career and delve deep into understanding and mastering your craft. Even when you get your book published, still continue to learn and master your craft.
Also, no matter how crappy your rough drafts might be and time-consuming life can be, dedicate a bit of time every day (at least 6 days a week, I understand taking a day off, and I always take Sundays off) to write. Even if it’s 50 words, doesn’t matter. Write something and keep at it.

Biggest Writing Flaw:

Oh many at this stage in my writing, but I’d say one thing I’m dealing with overcome at present is head hopping and hooking my readers. To solve these particular struggles, I’m going back and review all that I’ve learned thus far on head hopping and going through my manuscript and diligently changing any areas where I see this happening and trying to pinpoint why exactly I keep stumbling into doing this. For hooking (you, my readers), I’ve got an awesome book that is all about doing just that. So that’s on my reading list for this weekend!

Also, at least in my WIP, determining where to begin. Whether I should start with my H and h meeting for the first time or starting with when they are both faced with the fact that they must find a suitable mate by the end of the Season. To solve this problem, I’m diving more into writing craft and in particular “Starting your story, Do’s and Don’ts” and also conferring with a good writing friend to get her input.

  1. What inspires you? Or what makes you productive?
A lot of my favorite authors have inspired me and continue to inspire me every day. Too many to name, but to name a few: Christi Caldwell, Vonda Sinclair, Lisa Kleypas, Lisa Jackson and Christy Carlyle. Also, when I got sick a couple years ago and realizing just how short life is, this just really inspired me to go for it and write. All my life I’ve written things off and on and yeah thought about being a writer, but also thought that wasn’t a “Secure” job, or it’s a “Pipe Dream.” However, I’ve realized that it’s my dream and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I just finally made up my mind that I was going to write. I love historical romance and have always wanted to write it, and so I’m going for it!

So on the same lines, this is what helps make me productive too. Another thing that makes me productive is creating a writing schedule/plan and also, listing my goals. Now, this doesn’t have to be set-in-stone, as life happens and impacts things. However, having a schedule/plan and goals gives me something to aim for.

  1. What is one thing you do or other writers do that's annoying?
One thing I do that is very annoying, editing as I go. I MUST stop this. Yes, I am a professional editor, but I need to just write my work and edit later. This is so annoying that I do this. For my NaNoWriMo book, I wrote it all out in Word to know the word count, but ugh I couldn’t stop editing. So I came up with a plan, I’m going to write all rough drafts by hand in a three ring binder (NaNoWriMo will always be different as I need the word count). Also, another thing I do and I don’t know if it’s annoying per se, but I doubt myself A LOT, like I always think my ideas are stupid or nobody will want to read this and blah blah. I really need to work on this!

As for other writers, nothing annoys me. I’m so inspired and proud of all of you for going for your dreams and giving all of us such wonderful books to read!

  1. Are you willing to share something you've written?
Yes, absolutely and I will be sharing an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo soon. Once I get more of my first Wexford Sister’s book written, I will share that with all of you too.

So there you go. This has been a lot of fun, and if any of you have any more questions for me, please send them my way. You can message me on FB (Marie Greaves), email me at or comment below. Also, any of you wanting to do this tag, have fun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Writing Craft Study Guide

Writing Craft Study Guide

Ok friends, below is my tentative writing craft study guide. I’ve created this myself utilizing books and other resources available to me. I've already been studying for a few months now, but due to illness I had to take a break. So I'm now back to it full steam ahead and I thought I'd share with all of you my attentative guide. 

Each week on what I will call Write Your Heart Out Wednesday (as this will branch into posts about my writing and well anything about writing), I will be sharing with you an update on what I’ve studied thus far and just anything about writing that I feel might be helpful or of interest.

Some of the books and resources I’ve chosen are garnered toward my particular genre and my particular series that’s coming up. Once I’m done reading a book, I will post a review on it and give you all a little more in depth info on what I really felt about the book. I will also share my honest thoughts on whether the book helps or doesn’t help enhance my writing. So, my study guide is as follows and of course, always subject to change.

November 27 – 3

-        Nail Your Story (Finish reading)
-        Writing Active Hooks: Book 1
-        Writing Active Settings: Book 1
-        Writing Active Settings: Book 2

December 4 – 10

-        Find your Story
-        Slow Your Prose
-        The Art & Craft of Writing Secret Advice for Writers

December 11 – 17

-        No Plot, No Problem
-        Start Writing Fiction - +Possible Online Course
-        Techniques of the Selling Writer
-        Understanding Show, Don’t Tell

December 18 – 23 (Break the 24th & 25th for Christmas)

-        Writing the Bestseller: Romance and Commercial Fiction
-        Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel
-        Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure
-        Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting

December 26 – 30 (Break the 31st and 1st for New Year’s)

-        Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & View Point
-        She Sat, He Stood
-        1001 Questions to Help Flesh Out Your Character *Begin to flesh out your                     characters for first Wexford Sister’s Book*
-        Write Great Fiction: Dialogue

January 2 - 7

-        From Where You Dream + Youtube Videos

*Monday January 2 watch Episodes 1 – 3
*Tuesday January 3 watch Episodes 4 – 6
*Wednesday January 4 watch Episodes 7 – 9
*Thursday January 5 watch Episodes 10 – 12
*Friday January 6 watch Episodes 13 - 15
*Saturday January 7 watch Episodes 16 – 17

-        The Regency Companion Book
-        Jane Austen’s World
-        Jane Austen & Food
-        What Jane Austen Ate & Charles Dickens Knew

January 8 - 13

-        McGraw Editors, Writers & Proofreaders
-        McGraw Proofreading Handbook
-        Perfect English Grammar
-        Editing Course

January 15 - 21

-        England History From Charles II to James II
-        England a History (have to get)
-        Research several YouTube history of England & Regency Period                              Documentaries

January 22 - 28

-        2000 Words to 10,000
-        Outlining Your Novel (Begin Outlining)
-        ABC of Self-Publishing
-        Successful Self-Publishing
-        Author Platform Building Blocks

January 29 - 4

-        Take Off Your Pants (Structuring Your Novel)
-        Structuring Your Novel *Begin structuring your novel*
-        Building Your Book for Kindle
-        Write, Publish, Promote
-        Self-Publishing with Amazon Box Set (Have to get)

February 4 - 11

-        Catch up on any leftover reading
-        If all reading is done, review and touch up outline.

-        Begin rough draft

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Update on NaNoWriMo 2016 - Woot back to writing!

Woot! Well I’m back to writing and so far I’m now up to 12,054 words. My story has been just flying out of my fingers. It’s taking some interesting twists and I’ve also got another character who came out of nowhere. She’s added quite a nice new dimension to the tale. I must admit, this story is my first to have literally gone by the seat of my pants, all of my other stories I’ve sat down and thought them out, outlined them and really created quite a lengthy amount of information on them. Even how they will end and bits of the dialogue.

So this is really new territory to me. I’m not sure yet, whether pantsing will be my style of writing, as I still feel a bit more comfortable outlining and knowing what’s coming. However, I do like the freedom that my mind is just letting lose and writing what comes in it. No matter how odd it sounds now. The story is simply being born and growing. Although, too early to tell, I have a feeling I will be a bit in between pantsing and plotting.

So, today I’ll be continuing to write and taking time to study writing craft! I hope all of you who are doing NaNoWriMo are having a great time and keep going, we’ve still got a few more days left!



Monday, November 21, 2016

Writing Craft: Part 3 - Writing Books & Resources: Part 1

Writing Craft: Part 3

Writing Books & Resources: Part 1

Friends, first a brief update. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather the past week or so and so I didn’t get as much writing done for NaNoWriMo. However, I’m feeling a bit better and intend to get back to writing. I don’t know if I’ll get to the 50,000 word count goal, but that’s OK. I’ve got a good start to this book and intend to just keep on writing.

Whilst I’ve been under the weather, I’ve had time to read and study writing craft. I’ve come across some wonderful YouTube videos and I highly recommend them for both aspiring and seasoned authors. The first bit of videos I’ve been watching are from author Stefanie London. Until I’d happened upon her video, I’d not yet heard of her. So not only have I found some great resources and information, I’ve also been introduced to a new author (to me, at least) and will now be looking into purchasing some of her wonderful books. Thus far, I’ve gained some wonderful information on writing craft and the publishing world. I’m still contemplating whether to self-publish or go the traditional route. I must say, just from gut feeling, right now I’m actually leaning toward both. I’d like to try my hand at some publishing companies but I’d also like to self-publish as well. However, more on that at a later date, I’ll be sure to keep you posted! Back to Stefanie, I highly recommend her videos, she provides some wonderful advice, but also shares some of her top reads and some fun videos such as makeup tips; she was a professional makeup artist. Please check out the links below to learn more about Stefanie.

You can find Stefanie’s videos at:

To learn more about Stefanie visit her at:

I also have been reading some wonderful writing craft books and well I must admit, some I’ve read just aren’t working for me. Doesn’t mean they are poor or won’t work for you. They just weren’t what is best for me and my career. Or perhaps, right now just isn’t the time for them at this phase in my career too. I’ve held onto them and will revisit them at another date. In the coming days, I will be sharing with you more about those I have found helpful thus far. Right now, the book I’m finishing up reading is entitled Nail Your Story: Add Tension, Build Emotion, and Keep Your Readers Addicted (Growth Hacking For Storytellers #2) by Monica Leonelle. I will be having a complete review and my personal thoughts on it coming later this week. However, thus far it is awesome and a great resource for both aspiring and seasoned authors!

So, although I haven’t been able to write much later, I have been continuing to delve into writing craft and what a wonderful venture it is, I absolutely love writing and am enjoying all of the information out there on writing. I must admit, at first it can be a bit daunting as there is just SO much info out there and sometimes it’s hard to weed out what’s helpful and what’s not (each person is different, as are their careers, genres, etc.) So I hope my sharing what’s been going on with my journey will be able to help others.

Thanks so much for all of your support and for now, I’m back to watching some more videos. I’ll be back with some more updates later this week!



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo 2016 - The Duke's Winter Bride

Woot! 2,079 words today! Lost in writing-land :) Total count in the past couple days is 4,360. If I can do this everyday, I might have this novel ready before the month ends. Ahh then we enter wonderful editing land! NaNoWriMo is awesome! I hope all of you who are doing NaNoWriMo are having just as much fun!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - Yes, I've Entered!

Well, I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo this year. However, a story came to me last night and just kept growing this morning. So I figure whilst the juices are flowing and the muse speaks, I must answer. So I entered NaNoWriMo under Author Marie Greaves. It's going to be a historical regency romance novel. For now, it's titled The Duke's Winter Bride.

We shall see what becomes of this!

Have you entered NaNoWriMo? If so, feel free to connect!

Best of luck and have a great November of writing! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy National Author Day!

Today is National Author Day and it's such a wonderful day to celebrate. Authors and books inspire and touch so many lives in so many ways. I know from personal experience how many books and the authors have touched and changed my life. Reading books takes me first to another world, allows me to slip into another person(s) life and all the struggles and joys they are going through. I get to walk with them as they solve problems, overcome obstacles and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The characters and stories invoke hope and enlightenment.

Yes, most books I read are fiction. However, most fiction is based in some truth and many are based on historical events and individuals from the past who have made an impact in some way.

How have books impacted or touched your life?

So many authors have inspired me to begin my career as a writer and their words have affected my life in so many other wonderful ways. I thank them all and congratulate them on this wonderful milestone in their lives and writing careers. Thank you for the talent, love, dedication and creativity you give to the world.
I hope one day that my words will inspire and touch lives as well!

Happy National Author Day!