This month, our intrepid writers brave the stare of a blank page

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

Starting at midnight on March 1st, a group of determined writers—from countries the world over—will sprint off the starting line in a mad dash to finish writing 10,000 words in one week.

From there, they will spend the month getting to know each other, reading each other’s stories, and fine tuning their works-in-progress as they get feedback from the rest of the ChapterBuzz community.

It’s all part of the 10K Novel-Building Challenge at ChapterBuzz, and if you’re a writer who wants to jump into the spotlight and pen a novel of your own, join us! But hurry, because registration cuts off soon.

In the meantime, I’ve put together a stellar lineup of articles for this issue. Let’s check them out:

If your dream is to write a novel and you’ve already taken steps to get started, author Shirley Holder Platt wants you to know that you’re probably a lot braver than you realize. “You’re one of the few who followed your dream, put action to the wish,” she writes, and then gives her advice for banishing any negative thoughts that might keep you from achieving your goal: “Simply blow them out with your breath. Take another cleansing breath. Sing the chorus of “Let It Go” from Frozen if it helps!”

Next, freelance editor Jennifer Silva Redmond wants you to get visual with your writing and use “specific, vivid, definite” words in place of phrases like “might be” and “a little bit.” Here’s how she puts it: “Finding ways to ‘up the ante’ for your characters, and using lively, visual, and exciting language gives your writing more oomph.” The rest of Jennifer’s advice serves as a good reminder that it’s usually better to get to the point sooner than later.

Then, award-winning author Tiffany S. Doran returns to writing after a stressful holiday season, and finds that her fears of being forgotten were overblown. “No matter what tears you away from writing,” she says, “you can always find your way back. It isn’t always going to be easy, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.” Tiffany even reveals what we’ve all been waiting so long to hear: that she’s already working on her next book, Haunted Memoirs, a romance novel with a twist.

Aaaaaand, action! On the cover this month is Cynthia A. Jensen, a southern California–based author who writes, as she puts it, “like I’m watching a movie in my head.” Her novel-in-progress, Starrbodies, is about a man who kidnaps a fitness guru to help his depressed sister lose weight. In her feature article, Cynthia talks about how many writing classes she’s taken (spoiler: none!), how old-time radio plays an important role in her writing, and the steps she constantly takes to push her career forward.

As the sun peeks out from behind the lingering gray clouds of winter and the snow begins to melt, put off that spring cleaning just one more day so you can kick back and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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