Editing…How Do You Know When You’re Done?

Writing your first novel-Things you should know


As many of you know, I’m in the editing phase of my novel and hope to have it ready to present to literary agents by the summer. A goal I feel to be very realistic.

Like many of you I struggle with knowing when I’m done. When will all the necessary revisions be made? I mean, how is it that we can rewrite the same sentence five times, let it sit for a few days—or weeks—and find five more ways to write it? It can be total madness.

I went to an article written by one of my favorite bloggers to see what he had to say on the subject. Jerry Jenkins has been around for a long time, and I trust his judgement completely. According to him, there are two ways of knowing when you’re done:

Trust your gut– Knowing what sounds right, what reads best, is what…

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Book Trailers – Are They Worth Creating?

Don Massenzio's Blog

When I finished my first book, someone recommended that I have a trailer made. I thought this was an interesting idea. I had seen some authors that created them and, while they did tell me about the book, they weren’t a driving factor in getting me to buy it.

I thought it would be fun to try, but since I was a fledgling author, I didn’t have the budget…or so I thought. It turns out there are talented people on sites like Fiverr and Elance that will create a trailer for your book at a low price. (Anywhere from $5 – $50)

So, once you have a trailer, what can you do with it?

I’ve used them for multiple purposes. I created a YouTube channel to give readers (and prospective readers) a place to find my trailers. I also put them on my Facebook and Amazon author pages. Finally, when…

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Metro DetroitLiteraryNetwork.com Resources for Literary Organizations & Education


If you’re looking for Metro Detroit Literary Network Resources you’ve come to the right place.

For more resources on the DetroitLiteraryNetwork.com just click this link.

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To find out more to publish, promote and market your book, check out,


RESOURCES: Metro DetroitLiteraryNetwork.com Literacy & ESL programs

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8 Highly Unusual Writing Residencies

This year, the Mall of America turns 25—and in order to celebrate itself (I suppose), the monument to American consumerist enterprise is holding a contest for a Writer-in-Residence, who will “spend five days deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words,” as well as doubling as a tourist attraction, sitting at their desk for at least four hours a day, with their work “displayed in almost-real time on a large monitor at the workspace.” Work that the Mall will then own, of course. Honestly? This is so weird that someone should actually do it. After all, just because they’ll own whatever you write during the five days you’re trapped there, doesn’t mean the experience won’t turn into a dope novel later. But in case you don’t want to write at a desk in front of tourists, here are a few other highly unusual, but definitely less frightening writers’ residencies to consider applying for (or at least, in the case of bygone programs, pine over).


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How to promote your book for a successful launch 

Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about the three phases of a successful book launch. We’ve covered the first step, which is the Attraction Phase, and now we are going to move on to the second step, the Promotional Phase. 

I’ve talked to so many authors who say, “I hate marketing! I feel so uncomfortable pushing the sale of my book! It’s so slimy!” 

This reiterates why the Attraction Phase is so incredibly important. When you have taken the time to connect with and attract the right people who WANT to hear from you and know more about your book, telling them about your book won’t be a problem. It’s a lot easier to sell to people who are already interested in what you have to say. It removes the “icky factor” of marketing


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7 Quick Writing Tips (and Editing Advice) to Bring Your Words to Life

writing coach Lisa TenerWriting Tips from Real Life

After I sent some feedback and writing tips to a client, I spent this morning editing her revised manuscript. I was thrilled to see the author’s writing improve so dramatically from one draft to the next.

Eureka! Whatever I told her, I realized I should share with you today. Every writer loves to know what she (or he) can do better to improve her writing and make it sing. These writing tips can make a world of difference in your own revisions.

Today’s writing tips all focus on making the words leap out from the page and form a picture for your readers. Whether you are writing a how-to book, memoir or even a novel, you will truly draw your readers in if you paint a scene and share stories.

read more… https://www.lisatener.com/2017/01/7-quick-writing-tips-editing-advice-bring-words-life/

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Take the book marketing challenge w/@BadRedheadMedia : How to energize your book sales in a month! #MotownWriters

30-day-brhm-marketing-challenge-with-logo_twitter-shareableAre you unsure how to market your book? Do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of author platform options out there (or not even sure what the term means)? Do you wish someone could break it down for you in simple steps?

Then this is the book for you!


Over the course of one month, Rachel provides you daily challenges containing a wealth of information, and easy to follow assignments to help energize your book sales. If you haven’t released your book yet, this book will help you set the stage necessary to build the strongest foundation possible for success.

Topics include:

*Twitter secrets
*Facebook page must-do’s
*Social media ideas you might not know or haven’t thought of
*Promotion, giveaways, and other book marketing secrets
*Website, blogging, and SEO tips designed just for authors

This book is a must-read and must-DO for any aspiring, new, or veteran author! Bloggers and small businesses can also benefit from this guide as well.

I have been encouraging (pleading with?) Rachel to write this book since we met years ago. Rachel is, quite simply, a force of nature, and if you take the challenge the way she has laid it out and actually do the assignments (imagine that!), you will not only find yourself with a greater understanding of social media, you will also start to sell more books.


I say enthusiastically: GET THIS BOOK AND START THE CHALLENGE. There is no time to waste. You’ll be glad you did. Seriously. Go get the book and start the challenge. I wish I’d had this book when I was promoting my first novel. It would have saved me so much time!

Lori Culwell, Author and SEO expert, Creative Director of Get Creative, Inc, a national SEO agency

When it comes to social media marketing for authors, no one knows more than Rachel Thompson. She practices what she preaches and has helped dozens of our authors enjoy significant leaps in their social media standing.

Steve Bennett, Founder and Creative Director, AuthorBytes


This book is an amazing compilation of data and resources that only someone with years of experience could pull together. As a book marketing specialist myself, I’m still blown away by the amazing content Rachel provides. If you’re writing or marketing a book, this is a MUST-HAVE.

Alexa Bigwarfe, Author Coach & Owner of Kat Biggie Press Digital Media Company



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#scbwi-mi Writer Spotlight! Wendy BooydeGraaff #michlit #motownwriters

It’s time for another Writer Spotlight on this edition of The Mitten!

Today I’m happy to welcome one of my friends (and critique partners), Wendy BooydeGraaff. Wendy was born and raised in Canada, on a fruit farm in Southern Ontario (which, she says, is almost a full degree latitude south of Grand Rapids where she lives now). She’s been in Michigan for over twenty years and is still shocked by all the snow.

Wendy writes, “Where I grew up, close to Lake Ontario, the lake effect kept us in a little warm bubble and the other side of the lake (Buffalo) got all the snow. Here in Grand Rapids, lake effect means SNOW, and lots of it. I looked it up because I thought maybe my childhood memory was wrong, but guess what? Grand Rapids receives an average of 20 more inches of snow per year than my hometown.


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Got Galleys? What They Are and Why You Need Them @writerunboxed #motownwriters

Got Galleys? What They Are and Why You Need Them

At the risk of making everybody’s eyes glaze over, today I’d like to talk a bit about one of those hands-on, practical issues that’s key to any book’s life cycle but totally unsexy: Galleys.

No, this has nothing to do with seafaring or food.

The truth is, there’s a lot about writing and publishing that’s not only unsexy but – as my French husband likes to say about certain other things – real “love killers.” (Picture husband sneering at my comfy fleece PJs and saying, “un vrai tue-l’amour.”)

But like with those PJ’s, we’ve just got to have them


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Indie Publishing is Like Yoga – Indies Unlimited


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#MotownWriters Author Feature: L. R. Gordan #Michlit #MotownLit

L.R. Gordan

L.R. Gordan

Where are you from?    

Central Michigan, currently living in Mt. Pleasant.

Tell us your latest news?

Well, I’ve got my novel up on Amazon and my website set up and ready, so that’s the big thing. I was never a huge social media person before, but I’m getting accustomed to using it more.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve enjoyed writing since childhood, and I wrote a lot of unconnected scenes all through college for my own amusement, thinking that maybe one day I would start connecting them. I can’t really give much better a reason than that I wanted to.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was 5 or 6, I believe I had series of picture books concerning cats. Then I took a rather long hiatus.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I had the very basic idea for the premise for several years, and then one night, in December of 2012, with no motive except boredom and the vague idea of doing a late, unofficial Nanowrimo novel, I sat down and wrote what became the third chapter of The Foreigner.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m not sure there is a specific writing style that I aspire to, but I have noticed that I tend towards a certain briskness and that, compared to a lot of what I read, I tend to stay a bit external to the characters (focusing on what they’re physically doing rather than what they’re feeling or thinking, and trying to convey the latter by way of the former).

How did you come up with the title?

I tried to think of something pithier and cleverer for the longest time, and I have a suspicion that one day, when I am very old, the perfect title will finally hit me. Ultimately, The Foreigner was the shortest and simplest way to say what I wanted in the title, so I went with that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

First, I should clarify that I never write with the intent of lecturing readers about what they should do or changing their behavior in any way. That’s just not the part of writing that interests me. I’m not even judgmental about my characters. I’m telling a story, that’s all. That being said, there can be many layers and themes buried in any given story (don’t think your story has some kind of theme or hidden message? Read back over what you’ve written, you might be surprised). If I had to sum up The Foreigner, I would say that it is ultimately about a young woman who decides she would rather take the chance of becoming a monster than remain a victim. There’s also a running theme dealing with power of words-how words that are only slightly different can change the message’s meaning, and the transformation of the protagonist from a passive reader of narratives to a writer of them.

How much of the book is realistic?

I suppose that depends on just how much we’re willing to stretch the definition of “realism.” I do try to make everything I write “realistic” in the sense of feeling real—the situations may not be real, but they should seem like they would be if they were real.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think most writers bring something of their own lives into what they write, and I think they really should do this, even if it’s something subtle and not obvious to the reader. Obviously, The Foreigner is far from autobiographical (thank goodness), but there are certainly moments that resonate. For instance, I think that many of us, myself included, can relate to the scenes in the early part of the novel when Adeline is working as a tutor, knowing she can’t survive without her position, at everyone’s mercy and with no safe place to go.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I’m sure I’ll be leaving some out, but Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, and the novels of Victor Hugo have been huge influences. I should also cite several non-fictional history books, too. History itself can be a great inspiration for writing.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I remember being very influenced and encouraged by Hilary Mantel’s writing advice (She’s the author of A Place of Greater Safety, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies). She was one of the authors who told writers to write the book they want to read.

What book are you reading now?

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m absolutely certain that there are new authors who will grasp my interest. I can’t wait to find some time to read their work.

What are your current projects?

I’ve got several that I’m toying with at the moment, and whichever one shows the most potential first will likely be the next one anyone sees.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My editor, Julie Gilbert, has been extremely helpful and supportive ever since she agreed to take a look at my first draft.

Do you see writing as a career?

Given the success of best-selling authors, it’s inarguable that writing can be a career (keeping in mind that these stories are not the norm). I think it helps to treat writing with the same discipline and professionalism you would put into a career, while keeping the realities in mind. Short answer: keep a writing schedule and don’t quit your day job.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Oh, probably. I try not to worry too much about the content of a book after the book is done though. Now is the time to make changes to current projects, not past ones.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always loved books and stories, and it always seemed natural to make up stories of my own, even if they were just nonsensical things I told myself.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

As soon as I have something I’m sure will be included in my next project, I’ll post an excerpt on my website.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I tend to start out a story idea with scenes and images that are, at first, disconnected with each other. Then my job is to fit as many as these scenes as I can into a coherent narrative, and that, my friends, is the tricky part.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have several favorite authors, or to put it better, I have several favorite books that are written by different people. If I had to choose one thing they had in common, I would say that nothing is wasted in their books. Even the sections where there is no action or direct forward movement of the plot serve some purpose. The less I want to skip or feel like I could skip, the better. This does not mean that I don’t want any build-up, description, or sub-plots. Quite the opposite actually. I love these elements as long as it feels like the author really cared about them and wanted them in the book.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No…can I?

Who designed the covers?

My cover was designed by the fine folks at Ebook Launch

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Probably the organization of plot points, which I referred to above, and learning to simply write, trust my instincts, and then write some more rather than forcing the story to go in any one direction at first.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Many things, yes. One is that it really is a lot of work to write a book (which I already knew, but knowing is different than actually experiencing it first hand). Another thing that changed is I read differently now—I’ve started trying to think like the writer even when I read something, and I’m finding the man behind the curtain as fascinating as anything happening in front of it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I’m going to repeat what I say on my website, and what many other writers have said: For one, keep writing. It’s a bit like that old tabloid newspaper adage, “slander, slander, and something will stick. Keep writing, and you fill find something you can work with. Secondly, write the story you want to read and don’t waste time writing something in which you have no interest.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Yes. I want to thank my readers for their interest in my book. I hope we can continue this relationship in which I make things up and you enjoy reading them.

The Foreigner













More From The Author: http://www. catscoffeeconspiracy.com/

Purchase The Foreigner @: https://www.amazon.com/dp/ B01MG59X3Y






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17 Changes Indie Authors Can Expect in 2017 #motownwriters

The world of book marketing is moving and shaking. Part of my job is to make sure to I keep my finger on the pulse of what’s working well, what’s transforming, and what book promotion tactics will soon go the way of the dodo bird. So what changes can indie authors expect in 2017? Although these predictions are educated guesses, I think you’ll find many of these things evolving this year
Read more…


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Secrets of Artemis: Blog Tour & Review @authorckbrooke




Secrets of Artemis
(Teen Goddess #1)      secrets-of-artemis
C.K. Brooke
Genre: YA Romantic Mythology
Release Date: October 29th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Not even the god of gods could command my heart not to love…
In Ancient Greece, the goddess Artemis was venerated as a maiden huntress, swift with her bow
and arrows, and eternally chaste. But could there be more to her story? Perhaps Lady Artemis had envisioned quite a different destiny than the one her father, Zeus, had chosen for her. What if she hadn’t merely pined after the giant huntsman, Orion, but had secretly partaken of a forbidden romance with him? From prolific fantasy writer C.K. Brooke comes an original divine novel,
in which Artemis’s classic myths are retold as never before, in her own voice, as the young goddess sets the record straight and reveals the true account of her immortal life–and love.
Motown Review
This goddess has a story to tell; and she wants to set the record straight by telling it herself–the other’s, have it all wrong!
When she was far too young to understand, Artemis’s father, Zeus (god of the sky, lightening, thunder, law, order and justice)  bestowed upon her several gifts–along with a curse.
The story started off slow but soon propelled into the island of  Crete intrigue. C.K. Brooke’s storytelling captures those who are the least knowledgeable or interested in Greek Mythology, while also pleasing those who are fans of Greek Mythology.  Artemis has a giant crush–literally. Stop! Wait! This can’t be. What about Artemis’s, chastity? It probably is in the wind with her custom silver arrows as the fearless goddess of the hunt risks everything, going against her father’s wishes and her brother’s advisement; falling in love with her hunting partner and only friend.
I enjoyed reading Secrets of Artemis; I’m anxiously anticipating the titles to follow. The story is well rounded, evoking a range of emotions. My interest never waned, I read the book from cover-to-cover in just a few hours. Not being astute with Greek Mythology, I found the glossary pretty handy; a great addition to the novel. I will definitely place the book on my readers advisory list as I give the Secrets of Artemis (Teen Goddess #1), 4 books out of 5.

About the Author

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. There’s tons to check out at the new CKBrooke.com, so come and see what she’s up to! Check out her V.I.P. Readers Club (Subscribers get a free eBook!)

C.K. Brooke

C.K. Brooke

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#CreativeMich Vol. 2 N. 70 (02/07/2017) Detroit comedy series premieres tonight; Ferris, MSU video game design programs help tech firms compete; and more

Creative Industry News
Detroit actress gets TV break by joining ‘Detroiters’ – Detroit Free Press – 02/06/2017
TV review: Inside jokes makes ‘Detroiters’ better – The Detroit News – 02/06/2017
‘Detroiters’ wants to buy metro Detroit fans a beer for its premiere – Detroit Free Press – 02/06/2017
Detroiters stars Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson are best friends in real life, and on TV – Uproxx – 02/06/2017
Teen finds she loves creating video – The Alpena News – 02/06/2017
Lady Gaga world tour to hit Little Caesars Arena – Detroit Free Press – 02/06/2017
Reality based: Video game design educational programs help tech firms compete in VR/AR – Mi Biz – 02/05/2017
Metro Detroit businesses, agencies get creative for Super Bowl – Crain’s Detroit Business – 02/05/2017
These 8 College Startups To Compete At SXSW – Nibletz – 02/05/2017
10 very Detroit things to watch for in Comedy Central’s ‘Detroiters’ – Detroit Free Press – 02/04/2017
Detroit filmmakers bring the world together for new movie ‘Train Station’ – Detroit Free Press – 02/04/2017
New season of ‘Wardens’ on Outdoor Channel features Michigan Conservation Officers – Midland Daily News – 02/04/2017
Michigan culinary students compete in ice carving contest – MLive – 02/04/2017
Microsoft’s move boosts Detroit’s credibility as tech hub – Detroit Free Press – 02/03/2017
Traverse City Chef Wins Season 16 of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ – 9 & 10 News – 02/03/2017
‘Detroiters’ gets Motor City details (and buddy-comedy bonding) right– Detroit Free Press – 02/03/2017
‘Detroiters’ strives for authentic feeling – Detroit Free Press – 02/03/2017
Local ‘Detroiters’ premiere party announced – The Detroit News – 02/03/2017
Film festival expands to show 60 filmstrips – Broadcasting Cable – 02/03/2017
Big Sean strives for balance on new album ‘I Decided’ – The Detroit News – 02/03/2017
Brighton 3rd-grader appearing in horror movie ‘Eloise’ – Detroit Free Press – 02/03/2017
Pontiac Creative Arts Center’s Black History Month artists share their stories – The Oakland Press – 02/03/2017
‘X Games Aspen’ Provides Learning Opportunity for Ferris Students – The Torch – 02/03/2017
Hello, this is "Let’s Talk GR Music" – The Rapidian – 02/02/2017
Comedian CP promises you’ll see Detroit in ‘Detroiters’ – The Detroit News – 02/02/2017
Vibrant Cinema visits Southwest Michigan thanks to the Kalamazoo Film Society– The Western Herald – 02/02/2017
Carol Halsted, a driving force in Detroit’s dance world, dies – Detroit Free Press – 02/02/2017
109 will lose jobs as Alamo Drafthouse Cinema closes; patrons saddened – MLive – 02/01/2017
Local hip-hop artist creating original U-M music – Battle Creek Enquirer – 02/01/2017
Big Sean talks new album, Eminem, Kanye West – Detroit Free Press – 02/01/2017
First episode of ‘Detroiters’ hits web before Tuesday debut on Comedy Central – Detroit Free Press – 02/01/2017
Mo Pop will be back in Detroit – Detroit Metro Times – 02/01/2017
Film celebrating engineering to debut at metro Detroit theaters – Crain’s Detroit Business – 02/01/2017
5 movie-specific film festivals for hardcore fans – AJC – 02/01/2017
The International Film Festival will show more films than ever before – Central Michigan Life – 01/31/2017
“When I Shoot Film Today The Set Seems to Move Faster”: DP Nancy Schreiber on Moving from Film to Digital Throughout Her Career – Filmmaker Magazine – 01/31/2017
The 20 Monroe Live Q&A: A ‘long overdue’ venue that hits the ‘sweet spot’ in Grand Rapids music scene? – Local Spins – 01/31/2017
Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh & Rory Cochrane Board ‘White Boy Rick’ – Deadline – 01/31/2017
MFDMO shifting priorities to growing Michigan’s economy – The Peninsula News – 01/31/2017
The 21 Best Michigan Game Design Schools – Game Designing – 01/06/2017
Upcoming Events
Feb 8 Women in Tech panel – Grand Rapids
Feb 9 – 12 Central Michigan International Film Festival – Mount Pleasant
Feb 10 WYCE Jammie Awards @ The IntersectionGrand Rapids
Feb 15 Michigan House Warming Grand Rapids
Feb 15 Detroit Chamber Digital Marketing Boot Camp Detroit
Feb 16 – 19 Central Michigan International Film Festival – Mount Pleasant
Feb 18 Keys To Working As An Indie Filmmaker – Detroit
Feb 25 Detroit Movie Magic Tour – Detroit History Tours
March 4 14th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival– Kalamazoo
March 9-19 LaughFest Grand Rapids
March 12 Women’s Film Festival– Oakland University
March 24 Music Takes Action – Ferris State Unviersity, Big Rapids
March 29 Jay and Silent Bob Get Old presented by The Freep Film Festival – The Fillmore Detroit
March 30 – Apr 2 The Freep Film Festival – Detroit
April 7 – 9 color-forwardtofriend-48.png
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Submission Deadlines
March 1 Vidlings & Tapeheads Film Festival
March 27 The Eclipse Awards
"Do you have a news article? Would you like your short film featured in a future bulletin? Want to be added to our distribution list? Drop us a message on ourFacebook page.

That’s A Wrap! Don’t forget to use the hashtag and join the conversation #CreativeMich

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You should update Kindle for PC right now #motownwriters

Kindle for PC allows you to manage your e-book collection and read any of the titles you have purchased on your home computer or tablet. Amazon has just issued a monumental update that includes typesetting enhancements, search improvements, and a text-to-speech feature which allows the app to read some e-Books aloud to you
Read more…


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