Friday round-up: pen names (?), quirky crime thrillers, and a SERIOUSLY productive day

Learn more about TimLots of activity this week in our ChapterBuzz author community! Our writers are truly making it happen each and every day.

Here are just a few highlights:

Award-winning author Kaitlyn Abdou is currently trying to decide whether to use a pen name or not, and your input could help! Do you use a pen name yourself? Check out the Facebook thread & give your thoughts

“If you fancy getting stuck into the first chapter of a quirky, humorous crime-thriller, I’d love to hear your thoughts.” This from Godwin Goddard, who has just added Chapter 2 for It’s All About Teddy. Have a read and let him know what you think!

Shirley Holder Platt is an author who sets her mind to something and achieves it. Recently she write 9,000 words…in a single day. You can enjoy the fruits of her labor by reading Moon Magic: Espy’s Romance. Incidentally, this book has recently broken into the Top 20 at ChapterBuzz, and currently holds the #18 spot! Start reading now

Are you a writer who wants to belong to a friendly group of up-and-coming authors? Join our author community today!

Request your invite right now:


Time is running out! This writing challenge starts in a few days

Learn more about TimI’m excited, and I’ll tell you why.

The 10K Social Writing Challenge is just about to start, and it’s my favorite time of year!

Writers from all over the world get together—via the magic of the internet—to write 10,000 words, meet each other, and trade feedback on their emerging novels.

We’re starting on Thursday, so get in while you still can!

I love seeing all of the stories taking shape, invaluable feedback comments whizzing back and forth, and confidence building as books take off and soar up the charts.

And I love handing out awards at the end of the month. Three dedicated writers will win awards for their work and be featured on this blog—are you one of them? One thing’s for sure: you won’t be if you don’t enter.

So hurry! We start first thing Thursday morning!

Sign up at:

Writing: it ain’t no spectator sport

Learn more about TimHave you heard? The 10K Social Writing Challenge is just around the corner.

That means your writing life is about to careen into the fast lane!

We’re tuning up our laptops. Tightening up our pens. Revving up our creative spirits.

Because once the clock strikes midnight on March 1st, we’re off!

Off on a race against ourselves to write every day, connect with new readers, and polish our prose with the help of our community.

Work hard, and you’ll cross the finish line with:

  • 10,000 new words written
  • A bigger readership
  • An award?

The 10K is a can’t-miss writing event. Sign up now!

As a writer, how do you overcome paralyzing self-doubt? This author knows how

Sheila M. Good, author of award-winning Hello Hell

Longtime readers may remember where we last saw author Sheila M. Good: in the cow pasture behind her house—a favorite childhood writing spot where she would spend hours filling journal after journal with essays, poems, and short stories.

Well, Sheila’s back in the news, this time as winner of the Fan Favorite Award in the last 10K Social Writing Challenge. It’s a hard-earned award reserved exclusively for novels-in-progress that ChapterBuzz readers have wholeheartedly devoured, which in this case is her current literary fiction effort, Hello Hell.

Seemingly a complete stranger to writer’s block, Sheila met the Challenge’s entire monthly goal of 10,000 words on Day 6—that’s not a typo—and without even slowing down, went on to record a final word count of 39,194 by month’s end. That’s not a typo either.

But there have been times when the words didn’t flow so freely.

“Yes,” is her immediate reply when I ask her if there was ever a time she wanted to quit. “The last five years have been a tremendous challenge for my family and me due to health issues. I was able to move past that dark time by understanding two things: One, that whatever was happening would not last forever. And two, that no one is in control of my schedule but me. I’ve learned to relax, be more flexible with the times I write, and give myself permission to not write every day.”

“Once we put our work out into the world, we’ve opened the door to both the reward of success and the risk of rejection. Do I dare? Will anyone like it?”

To be sure, time is at much more of a premium now than it was in the days of the cow pasture. “Writing, although a pleasure, still requires a significant amount of time and commitment,” says Sheila. “The biggest challenge and struggle for me is, by far, time management. My social media platforms are taking a back burner—it’s easy to get sucked into these and lose focus on one’s writing. Personally, I try to focus on my blog and Hello Hell.”

When will Hello Hell see bookshelves? “I anticipate it to be published this year, in 2018,” she says, acknowledging that she still has some work to do. “I’m mired in research right now, working hard to get the last chapters completed.”

So hurry! While it’s still available on ChapterBuzz, sink your teeth into award-winning Hello Hell right now. You can even weigh in and let Sheila know what you think.

How about you?

Are you ready to buckle down, write 10,000 words, and possibly win an award for your work-in-progress? Join us for the 10K Social Writing Challenge, starting March 1st. Get in while the gettin’s good!

In Sheila’s words:

I believe most writers, particularly new ones, struggle with putting their work out into the world. Once we take that step, we’ve opened the door to both the reward of success and the risk of rejection. Do I dare? Will anyone like it? What if…?

Doubt can be paralyzing, but the best way to overcome doubt is to do it.

Bold emphasis is mine, showing how strongly I agree with Sheila on this last point. Thank you, Sheila, and congratulations once again.

Let’s put your work out into the world! Join us for the Challenge

Wanna try your hand at being a novelist? 3 reasons you should

Learn more about TimNot everybody is cut out to be a career novelist. But you have a sneaking suspicion that you are. Today I lay out three reasons why this may be the life for you!

If you’re still on the fence, one way to wade into the shallow waters of novel writing is a writing challenge. If you haven’t joined us for the 10K Social Writing Challenge yet, we’d love to see you there!

So, how do you measure up with this list?

1. You love to write. Well, duh. There’s just something about telling a story, and creating characters and entire worlds using only words. If tiptoeing into your writing nook at dawn, pouring a steaming cup of coffee, and tapping out an exciting passage straight from your imagination as you watch the sun come up appeals to you, then you’re in the right business.

2. You have ambition. Of course, you need to stick with it. Some novels are written quickly (A Christmas Carol took about 6 weeks), others take a long time (10 years for Gone with the Wind), but either way, you need to be able to see it through to the end. If you’ve got determination and grit, and you don’t enjoy giving up, you’ve got a bright future.

3. The life of an author appeals to you. Do you mind people constantly asking you questions, like where your ideas come from? Are you up for spending time at bookstores signing copies of your books, over and over, for crowds of fans? Can you handle reading a review of your own work? If being in the public eye and still constantly coming up with ideas for more stories is your thing, then you’ll do very well here.

My guess is you can’t wait to get started. But if you’re going to put all that effort in, you might as well end up with the best novel you can, right? The 10K Social Writing Challenge starts March 1st, and is open to novelists of all skill levels and genres. And it’s free. Get in now!

Your mission, novelist: write 10,000 words

Learn more about TimYour mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write 10,000 words in March.

Mission Impossible? Hardly.

If you can write 350 words a day, you can be successful in the 10K Social Writing Challenge, and move that much closer to achieving your novel-writing dreams. March promises to be the month where you make solid headway on your book.

In addition, you’ll meet other writers. Get valuable feedback on your work-in-progress. And start building that all-important readership…so that when your novel hits the shelves (sooner than you might think!), you know you’ve made it the best it can be, and your readers can’t wait to get their hands on a copy.

You could even win an award! In addition to raw writing ability, we’ll be recognizing involvement and how much your work resonates with readers.

Sure, it’s a challenge—hence the name—but I know you’re not one to shy away from dedication. As a novelist, you know when it’s go-time.

So don’t miss out! This invitation will self-destruct on March 1st, with or without you.

Accept your mission here:

A “quick-start” writer’s guide: 3 things you should do TODAY

Learn more about TimHave you been procrastinating lately when it comes to writing? Need a little nudge to get you going in the right direction?

Here’s a quick-start guide to buckling down:

1. Set a goal. This could be a goal for the day, week, month, or year. How ambitious are you? Be realistic, but stretch your comfort zone. One effective—yet simple—way to set goals is to think about exactly what you want, and when you want it. Work backwards from there, and you may find that your goals will almost set themselves.

2. Recognize the incredible power you have. We writers often take our skill for granted. “Big deal,” you may think. “Can’t everyone write?” NO. No, they can’t. As someone who has the incredible power of language at their disposal, you have the unique ability to create an entire world with the stroke of a pen, and captivate readers with the words you choose. Even among writers, fewer still are actually writing novels, so you have much more of a chance than you think at standing out in the crowd.

3. Challenge yourself. Writing 10,000 words in a month is, ahem, a popular goal. The upcoming 10K Social Writing Challenge is a great way to challenge yourself and show the world you mean what you say when you set a writing goal. Think about where you’ll be at the end of March: 10,000 words farther along, and possibly even an award-winning writer!

Achievement in writing doesn’t have to be complicated. If you truly believe you have something great to offer, and are willing to take the steps to create it, you’re already most of the way there!