Skip to content

Blogs by Author All the article wrote by Susan

Nov 17

Susan Shiney

Losing the Plot: The Many Challenges of a Multi-Book Series by S.J. Howland

The learning curve for a writer who aspires to become a successfully published author is both steep, and well-trodden by those of us in the writing community. The burst of enthusiasm from an initial idea, blossoming into characters who come to life in our imaginations, and worlds that open up before us, is the gateway drug that carries us inexorably forward - until we hit that first stumbling block. For some of us, it is the realisation that the muse alone will not carry us through to the finish; writing is a hard mistress, demanding the sacrifice of time and other easier pursuits. For others, passion for the story itself fades: the ideas and the characters not strong enough to hold our own attention, dooming them in any attempt to beguile others. For many of us, however, the answer is more straightforward: we have simply lost the plot.

Nov 11

Susan Shiney

Blogging for Fiction Writers : What I Learned from my First Year

Happy Anniversary Blog!

I have posted on my blog each week for the last year. I've learned a lot in that time and I wanted to do a post chronicling it all. My very first blog article was 10 Reasons Why I Have an Author Blog. My initial motivations for starting the blog are still applicable today. Connecting more with the writing community, building up my email list, meeting regular writing deadlines, and most importantly making my writing journey real not only to myself, but to the public as well. If you are still not convinced, I recommend Should You Start a Blog as an Author in 2020 by Ignited Inkwriting, it lists some good pros and cons to consider. Shaunta Grimes also wrote a very detailed list of persuasive reasons in If You're a Fiction Writer, You Should Absolutely be Blogging.

Nov 04

Susan Shiney

Line Editing Tips: My Step-by-Step Process

Developmental Editing versus Line-Editing

I think of developmental editing as working on the macro structure of your novel and making sure the spine or the character arcs and obligatory genre scenes are fleshed out. I also worked on the structure of my scenes during the developmental edit and will continue to hone my scene structures during the line editing phase. After I finish with my initial developmental editing pass with my manuscript I send it to critique partners for feedback and ask them just to focus on the developmental issues. I discuss how to incorporate their feedback in 15 Tips for Organizing and Implementing Feedback for Revisions. Micro changes at the paragraph and sentence level are line-editing as in going line by line through your manuscript to revise them.

Oct 28

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: Kombucha Keyboardist

I parked my volkswagon bug in front of the Wyattsburgen bed and breakfast as the sun was setting. The other detectives at the precinct said I was crazy for traveling on Halloween, but I know myself and I need the rest. Relaxation doesn't come unless I totally change my environment.

Oct 20

Susan Shiney

Witte Wieven: Dutch Ladies of the Mist by Signe Maene

The first time I was introduced to stories about the Witte Wieven I was eleven years old. I remember watching a street performance of a group of women who were dancing in medieval dresses while golden ribbons tied to their wrists flew around them. My aunt was standing next to me. She’s always eager to tell you more about the history of a gargoyle on one of those buildings which you pass every day but never really notice the details of. She knows many Flemish, Dutch and French folktales and this was her chance to tell me about the Witte Wieven. According to her they are the spirits of wise women who appear as mist above fields or hills. My eleven-year-old self would have forgotten all about this the moment we passed by an ice-cream shop, but there was something special about that moment. The image of women who flew through the air as mist was one that bewitched me.

Oct 14

Susan Shiney

Creative Bookshelf Decorating Ideas

I have been cultivating my reading lifestyle more as I venture into bookstagram (here is an article about why I decided to do that as an author) and buying more books and being more thoughtful about how I use my bookshelf and thinking of ideas for decorating it. I bought this billy bookcase from ikea and placed it on top of a dresser for added height. I wanted the white one, but they were all out of it. So, I promised myself I would decorate it to give it some more umph.

Oct 06

Susan Shiney

Instagram Stories for Writers

I have been having a fun time exploring Instagram Stories for the last couple of months. Before that, I had no idea how writers could use it.

In this blog post, I will discuss what Instagram Stories is, some trends, writers that are using it well, and my strategies that I have been experimenting with. By the end of the article, you should have some clear ideas on what to post on Insta Stories.

Oct 01

Susan Shiney

How to Balance Teaching and Writing

I am sure it is hard to balance full-time work and writing with any profession, but teaching can especially zap your energy if you are not implementing tools to cope. I started off by reading Kristy Acevedo's blog post 12 Tips to Help Balance Teaching and Writing Life (Kind of), which is a great resource. I also liked Jennifer De Leon's article Patience and Courage: Finding the Balance Between Teaching and Writing.

Sep 23

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: Paisley and her Plethora of Peppermints

Paisley McKaley was so sweet. So sweet in fact, little peppermint candies fell from her at random moments through out the day. One might fall from her hair when she put it in a ponytail for P.E., or drop from her sleeve as she took notes in history, or escape from the bottom of her pants when she itched her calf in english. Russian literature tended to make her legs all tingly.

Sep 15

Susan Shiney

Aviation: A Gateway to Escape and Adventure by Raphael Relat

An escape.

This is the thing that stories and planes have in common: They allow you to escape to faraway lands, and live exciting adventures... I am not talking about modern aviation however, although mass travel did, in the words of Harrison Ford, effectively give us portals that can teleport us to every corner of the globe in a matter of hours. No, I am looking back to the early days, to when aviation was in its silver age, an age of pioneers, an age where planes were still organic machines, made of wood, fabric... and a bit of magic. Writers like Kessel and Saint Exupéry told the tales of these intrepid pilots who opened routes where no one had flown before, crossing perilous oceans and mountain ranges, challenging darkness by flying at night.