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About KaraBosshardt

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    Interests besides writing? Hmm... Snorkeling, the beach, ballet (or dance of any kind), seafood, sushi, browsing the grocery store isles (the only type of shopping I actually like), trying authentic cuisine, petting stingrays, watching rockets launch from Cape Canaveral, watching movies, reading YA novels and spending time with my husband and parrots.

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  • About Me
    I write for the the fun of it. I'm here because it makes me happy. While my journey as a writer has been winding and even convoluted at times, at the end of the day I remind myself of the sage wisdom of Bob Ross: "We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” And I keep going.

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  1. Meg Latorre's "11 ways to improve your writing" are worth learning about if you're a new writer. While I find that she covers a lot of the same points that have already been addressed in other videos, there were a couple things that stood out that I think new writers should definitely take note of. Critique groups vs. beta readers - Meg takes the time to explain the difference between these and why you would find them useful during the editing phase of your manuscript. More than once she kindly encouraged writers to be open to making changes to their story upon receiving constructive crit
  2. Conflict should be at the very heart of every story you write. Its presence throughout your manuscript, or lack thereof, can literally make our break your ability to get published. Your main characters need internal conflict, they need conflict between themselves and other characters (more than just the conflict raised by the antagonist). There should also be conflict within the setting of your novel like a picturesque countryside that isn’t entirely what it seems, etc. etc. etc. Without conflict, or tension or raised stakes for the main characters, beginning with the first scene and endi
  3. I think the title of this clip is what throws you off because it uses the words "writing advice." Like Michael and Joe said, there isn't much writing advice substance to it. This clip isn't going to give you advice about the craft, but rather it's advice on an emotional level. What Neil Gaiman actually says is that this is how he "took his darkest period and turned it around." I always appreciate when famous authors allow themselves to be vulnerable and let people know what they went through in their early days, which is exactly what he does. I also think his use of the word "honest" to d
  4. Creating your author’s platform can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, and for good reason. There’s lots to worry about. What do I say about myself? What photo of me looks the best? What if I’m nowhere near close to being published? Do I start with a website first, or a presence on social media? Rest assured that all these questions, and more, get answered in my top picks of the week: #1: Your Author Platform – Is it Ever too Soon to Start? The short answer is no. It is never too soon to start and I’ll let Karen Cioffi explain why. #2: Do I Need a Platform and If So, How H
  5. While I'm not a writer of romance, nor is this a genre that I reach for at the bookstore, I can appreciate Jenna Moreci's advice. It sounded solid and down to earth. She really seems to know what she's talking about and her delivery is downright humorous. A few points she made that I very much agree with if you are going to commit to the task of writing sex scenes in your novel were: Don't make sex sound gross. Be mindful of your adjectives. Use sexy verbs. What does this moment in the book mean for your characters on an emotional level. Make sure the timing of these scenes
  6. Have you ever had a hard time figuring out what genre your story fits into? Or, maybe you know the genre of your story, but you don’t know how to structure it. Perhaps your book keeps switching from one genre to the next depending on which chapter you’re writing. If genre is feeling a bit hazy for you, or if you just want to understand it better then this week’s picks are for you: #1: Tinker, Tailor, Wizard, Spy: The Joys (And Dangers) of Blending Genre Elements W.L. Goodwater states, “When readers browse the genre shelves at the bookstore, they are looking to sign a contract with th
  7. Just like Joe, I too will probably be biased in this review, as I learned the majority of my plotting and story structure from Brandon Sanderson as well as from his friend Dan Wells, whom he mentions. While Brandon states that his advice is for those participating in NaNoWriMo, I think it can be used for just about any novel writing circumstance. I really appreciate how he goes in depth into plotting and story structure for beginners, instead of just skimming the surface like many others do. His advice to borrow your initial plot structure from a favorite movie in a favorite genre is fant
  8. Thank you, Elise, for putting into words what I could not because I was too irritated. I love that you bring up the mental health of new writers because that is for sure an incredibly important thing when you're just starting. It's such a vulnerable process in and of itself until you gain some confidence. You definitely don't need someone shouting at you on top of it all.
  9. Overall, I think this video makes some good points, but you may consider watching it through twice (or at least drink your coffee first) because it's delivery is pretty swift. "Love your characters like friends." I don't think you have to love your characters, but if you don't at least care about them then neither will your future readers, and like he says, you may not even want to write about them. Keeping a list of notes on the side of what to change in your plot is great advice because he's right, you waste a lot of time going back and forth trying to change things that may have t
  10. It’s here! The much anticipated second part to getting published. These articles will round out the information you already got in Part 1, but also give you more to consider when picking your publishing path. Ready or not, here are my top picks for the week: #1: How to Secure a Traditional Book Deal By Self-Publishing Jane Freidman brings up a lot of really good points about why, or why not, a writer should ever consider doing this. I warn you, going this route is not for the faint of heart. I’ll let Jane explain why. #2: Friday Speak Out!: No More Query Letters Why one wom
  11. I suspect that most writers have “Get Published” on their list of goals for the year. Given that this assumption is correct (and I’m pretty sure it is), I’m dedicating this week’s post and next week’s to getting published and what to expect in the process. Whether you’re looking into the traditional route or self-publishing, I’ve got something for everyone. Without further ado, here are my top five picks for this week: #1: Podcast 365. Sunrise, Sunset, and Behind the Scenes in Publishing: Hanging out with Abby Zidle Abby Zidle is the senior editor and associate director of marketing
  12. Holy sh*t! I'll be just as blunt as Alexa was in her video. I hated it. When the madness finally ended even my husband shouted to me from the other room, "Were you as annoyed by her as I was?" And he's not even a writer. Her cynicism was so loud that I couldn't hear the so-called advice she was giving. The whole video felt more like her own personal tangents rather than the constructive criticism I'm assuming she was trying to get across to her viewers. "Write the damn book" is the only thing she said that made sense out of this entire 10 minute clip. "Inspiration is for people who d
  13. Overall, I found this video to be quite positive and helpful. It's the kind I would have loved back when I was just starting on my first novel. Writing can definitely be full of disappointments, so her encouraging attitude is refreshing. I like the way she presents the info in 8 succinct steps. I also like that she didn't sugarcoat anything. "Embrace the crappy writing." Absolutely! She definitely hit the nail on the head with first drafts. "Don't edit while writing," is also a very good reminder for any writer, unless you've published a bazillion times and have become superhuman. Ot
  14. We are living in a rather crazy time right now, with upheaval intruding upon our feelings of safety and comfort, and most of all upon our ability to remain focused on our writing. I hope to give anyone reading this the opportunity to come back to themselves and reconnect to the writer inside, and to encourage you to contemplate your reasons for choosing this path to begin with. So, to start out this brand-new forum known as Kara's Cabinet of Themes and Curiosities, as well as this brand-new year, here are my top five picks for the week and in the order that I think they should be read:
  15. I agree with what you say in terms of the context here-long career of being published vs. just starting out, etc. However Stephen King wouldn't be who he is today if he never allowed himself to write the way that he does. If he'd rigidly adhered to the rules of plot structure when he was first starting out then we may not even be talking about him in this post. Take an artist, for example. How do they know which medium works best for them until they allow themselves to try multiple kinds? Any writer cannot truly find their own unique and authentic voice and style of writing until they give the
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