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Write Like a Pirate

Ahoy, scallywags—er, mateys! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, savvy?  A Bit o’ History In 1995, friends John Baur (AKA “Ol’ Chumbucket”) and Mark Summers (AKA “Cap’n Slappy”), decided to create this quirky, fun holiday dedicated to celebrating pirate culture. Ever since then on September 19 each year, everyone, […]

Character Profiling — Are You Missing the Spark?

By: K.J. Scrim Do your characters seem to be missing that spark? Are they feeling flat as the paper they are being written on? Maybe you need to do an in-depth profile of that character. You already did one? You might consider refreshing it. Get into your character’s mind Character […]

A Chat with Carol Berg, Fantasy Fiction Author

An Interview by Deborah L. Brewer Fantasy Fiction explores magic and supernatural elements, set in imaginative worlds. When we think of Fantasy, series such as J. R. R. Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, naturally come to mind. But the Fantasy genre encompasses […]

Can You Spare a Few Minutes?

By: Margena Holmes When I decided to write this blog I thought, “How can I—a person who doesn’t manage her time very well—write this?” Well, like a true writer, I researched! Writing—any kind of writing—takes up a lot of time with planning, writing, or editing. Some people have oodles of […]

Five Tools for Your Writer Toolbox

by Trista Herring Baughman These days one needs a little more than pen and paper to get their stories out into the world and their readers’ hands. There are lots of great author tools out there, but I’ve found these five (which I’m about to discuss) are the minimal essentials […]

Marketing for Introverts – Part 4: Guest Blogging

Reaching Readers Without Leaving Your House By Donna Schlachter So far this year we’ve covered three topics related to Marketing for Introverts—Reaching readers without leaving your house. They are: Connecting with readers where they are (February); Facebook and other social media (April); and Newsletters (June). Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity […]

A Chat with Fleur Bradley, Children’s Middle-Grade Fiction Author

An Interview by Deborah L. Brewer What’s not to love about middle-grade books, so full of curiosity and can-do spirit? Writing for middle-grade readers is a great way to introduce children to a lifelong love of reading and a great market for book sales, too. In the United States, in […]

Making Your Presence Known

By Margena Holmes As an author, it’s not enough to just have a website for your books. To make your name and work known, you need to have a social media presence, too. But how does one do that? And with so many different ones, where do you start? Here […]

Contemplating Copy Work

By Deborah Brewer What author’s work would you emulate? A simple copy work exercise could be your masterclass. Over the centuries, students of writing have hand-copied sales letters, poetry, scripture, legal documents, and even passages from scientific journals. Not to plagiarize, but to learn. Copying prose and poetry longhand is […]

Overcoming Writer’s Block

By Trista Herring Baughman Many writers experience writer’s block, a feeling of being stuck and unable to move forward in their story. While some writers don’t believe it exists, others dread it and find it frustrating. The positive aspect is that regardless of whether it is real or perceived, it […]

Going Wide-ish

by Jeff Schmoyer You may have heard the term “going wide” regarding self-publishing. This means making your title available in as many places as possible, rather than taking an easy (sort of) route and only publishing on Amazon. Amazon can get your masterpiece into the world in eBook, softback, and […]

Change and Grow – 6 Small Changes

By Deborah Courtney   If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. — Gail Sheehy   Growth and change feel uncomfortable. Because of that most people avoid them. Like the plague. And they end up on a path that feels meaningless and repetitive. […]

Mind Mapping Your Story

by Trista Herring Baughman What is Mind Mapping? At some point in your school days, you learned about mind mapping. You might have tucked the knowledge away, back in the warehouse of your brain on a dusty shelf, or perhaps you still use it today. If it’s the former, let […]

Marketing for Introverts – Part 3

 Reaching Readers without Leaving Your House – Newsletters By Donna Schlachter Back in the day, newsletters were printed, folded (or stuffed in an envelope), hand addressed, and mailed to recipients. “Desktop Publishing” was a term bandied about when computers got involved, instead of mimeograph machines. And now, most newsletters are […]

Paragraphically Speaking

By Deborah Brewer As writers, we dream of readers lost for hours in our carefully crafted story worlds. But if we don’t master the paragraph, we may lose our readers to confusion. Fine-tuning a paragraph can be frustrating work, but it’s the writer’s job to communicate clearly, not the reader’s […]

I Wrote Every Day for One Year—Here’s What I Learned

By Margena Holmes A writing coach friend of mine, Christine Whitmarsh, has a daily podcast called Your Daily Writing Habit, where she gives tips to follow to establish good writing habits. Her pillars that she focuses on are writing fundamentals, productivity, and mindset habits. In March 2022, I decided that […]

A Chat with Bryan Cohen

Hello, Dear Readers,  Let me tell you about an amazing resource I stumbled across a while ago, but just really dove into: The 5-Day Author Ad Profit Challenge. The challenge coaches authors on how to run Amazon Ads to make a profit. You learn by doing. This means you go […]

Logline, Pitch, Blurb, and Synopsis – What Are the Differences?

By Catherine Dilts Logline, pitch, blurb, synopsis. At some point, you will be required to develop short descriptions of your fiction work. You may find the differences confusing until you understand the purpose of each tool. LOGLINE Logline is also called the “elevator pitch,” or “hook.” It is the briefest […]

Misconceptions of Self-Publishing

By: Margena Holmes In this day and age, there are many ways a writer can become a published author. There’s the traditional way of submitting your work to agents and publishers with no promise of getting accepted. There are independent publishers, where you submit your work and with it being […]

Two Different Approaches to Conference Attendance

By Catherine Dilts My daughter and I embarked on a grand new adventure – collaborative writing. We’re finally digging into that crazy speculative fiction novel we’ve talked about for years. But this article isn’t about our writing project. It’s about our different approaches to attending PPWC 2023. This will be […]

April is National Poetry Month!

By Trista Herring Baughman In 1996, the Academy of American Poets established the largest literary celebration in the world, known as National Poetry Month, to celebrate the integral role of poetry and poets in our culture. This holiday is celebrated in the U.S. and Canada. There are so many benefits […]

Rewriting, and Rewriting, and Rewriting…

By Deborah Brewer Writing a novel or even a short story is no small task. A writer has to accept that after that first creative rush of putting their vision into words comes the hard part of crafting it into a coherent, polished work of fiction. On the internet, one […]

Dear Writer, You Need a Hobby

By: Kim Olgren Stephen King does jigsaw puzzles, plays guitar, and bowls. Emily Dickenson loved baking. Agatha Christie traveled with her husband. E. Cummings painted. Jackie Collins is into soul music and photography. Hobbies. Every writer could use one or two. “Why would I need a hobby? Don’t I have […]

Why Pikes Peak Writers Conference?

By Jenny Kate, Director Pikes Peak Writers marked their first conference 30 years ago. Yep, we’re turning 30 in April! At this conference, we’ll actually have an attendee who has attended every single conference since that first one. We’ll also have several PPW members who were around to help stand […]

Write a Novel – Submit to an Anthology

By: Kathie Scrimgeour   What?  At first glance, it makes no sense to write a novel and submit it to an anthology. After all, anthologies are short writings, and novels are long. Here is the long and short of it (pun intended), do both at the same time. Here are […]

Working From Your Future

By J.T. Evans When faced with a deadline, many people wait until the “crunch” at the end to get things done. This usually involves sleepless nights, loads of caffeine, and stressed-out nerves. There’s a way around this. I call it “working from your future.” In essence, don’t front-load the work […]

Read an eBook Week is Coming!

By Trista Herring Baughman Hello, Dear Readers! I want to take a moment to let you know about Read an eBook Week. It is an annual holiday celebrated the first (full) week of March. Its purpose is to inspire readers to grab an eBook and writers to choose eBook platforms […]

A Writer’s Room is More Than a Place

By Deborah Brewer I have enjoyed visiting a few writers’ home museums on my travels. Samuel Clemens’ (Mark Twain) study, in Hartford, Connecticut, sports a billiard table. One does need some non-writing time to think. Ernest Hemmingway’s study in Key West, Florida, feels like a tree house. An elevated gangway […]

Marketing for Introverts – Part 1

Connecting with Readers Where They Are By Donna Schlachter Extroverts—don’t roll your eyes and tune out. You can get something from this new series, too. Introverts—stop rolling your eyes. Marketing is something that needs to be done if you want your books to sell, your message to reach its intended […]

Gaining CON-fidence at Comic Cons

By Margena Holmes Like most authors, I’m an introvert. I will figure out a way to not have to talk to people face-to-face, preferring to email or text people rather than even talk on the phone. So going to a Comic Con is probably the last place an introvert like […]

Recipe for a Cozy Mystery

By Trista Herring Baughman Frost-covered windowpanes, a warm snuggly blanket in my favorite sitting spot, and a steaming cup of cocoa can only mean one thing (at least for this article’s purpose)–Winter is here!–and that always puts me in a cozy mystery mood.   I love cozy mysteries: Murder She Wrote […]

Copyright and Song Lyrics

Name That Tune – But Don’t Quote the Lyrics

By: Deborah Brewer – Songs and poems are very much a part of our lives, so it’s little wonder we might want to include inspirational songs in our stories. Their words are part of our culture; they resonate in our hearts. May you name that inspiring tune in your story? […]

Pikes Peak Writers Anthologies

CONGRATULATIONS to 21 Amazing Authors!

After reading over 150 well-written submissions, the editors have selected the final stories for Pikes Peak Writers’ third anthology, Journeys into Possibility.   Congratulations!! Alicia Cay In Her Reflection April Benson The Journey Robert Spiller The Road to El Tesoro Jean Alfieri How Far is Heaven D.J. Davis Past Possibilities Barbara […]

The Devil in the Details

By Barbara Nickless First Published August 7, 2018 “If you want to get shot,” the SWAT leader said, “go ahead and reach for that gun.” I froze, my hand inches from the pistol lying on the counter. Minutes earlier, I’d been full of bravado. Talking smack with my fellow drug […]

New Year, New Editor!

Hello, Dear Readers,  Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Trista Herring Baughman; I’m the new managing editor for Pikes Peak Writers’ Writing from the Peak. I’ve been a contributor to the blog for a little over a year. I’m a children’s book writer, Air Force wife, and homeschooling mama. I’m also […]

A fond farewell!

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers, A new year is once again here, and I hope that all of you are looking forward to writing success in 2023. What are your goals for the year? Will you start a new project and work on it for the entire year, or finish one that has […]

Be a Gifting Writer

The Gifting Writer

By: Deborah Brewer We sometimes hear of the gifted writer, but what might it mean to be a gifting one? The practice of writing is a gift to ourselves, as we are relieved by catharsis or swept up in the joy of creative flow. But when we write to publish, […]

Creating a Novella. It's a Wrap!

Crafting a Novella, Part 10

 Wrapping It All Up Into a Nice, Neat Package By: Donna Schlachter What better time of the year to “wrap up” a series than in December, that month of gift-giving? For some, it will be a review of the series in capsule form. For others, perhaps you joined the series […]

Mood and Brussels Sprouts

A Whole Mood

By: Deborah Brewer A short video plays on social media: A pigtailed girl watches with wide-eyed panic as the ice cream from her cone topples to the ground. A pack of mini-poodles swoops in to claim the mess. The girl bursts into tears. Comments follow: “Mood” “A whole mood” “Totally […]

Character's Names and Occupations

Choosing Names and Occupations that Enhance Your Novella

Writing a Novella, Part 9 By Donna Schlachter As we’ve discussed before, novellas have fewer words than novels, which means that each and every one must count. This includes—or perhaps is even more critical—when it comes to selecting names and occupations for your characters. Character’s Names For example—and please forgive […]

A cornucopia of Inspiration

A Cornucopia of Inspiration

By: Deborah Brewer – As a writer stares at a blank page or a mangled plot, it may feel like there is a dearth of good ideas. Yet there are ideas everywhere, a veritable cornucopia of inspiration, waiting to be noticed and incorporated into our tales if only we could […]

Be a NaNoWriMo Rebel

Why I’m a NaNoWriMo Rebel

By: Kari Redmond – What is NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, will soon be upon us. For the entire month of November, writers around the world rally to write at least 50,000 words during the 30 day span. This equals out to be 1,666 words per day. The […]

Have a Stine-tingling Halloween!

A Chat with R.L. Stine

By: Trista Herring Baughman – Back in May, I had the privilege of attending Shreve Memorial Library’s Children’s Book Festival. This was only my second big event to attend as a Children’s Author and I was excited. Even more exciting was the headlining author, R.L. Stine! If you’re a true […]

How to Create Interesting Characters

Crafting a Novella

By: Donna Schlachter – Character Descriptions and Attributions – In a shorter work such as a novella, you can’t spend too much time describing what a character looks like. Some authors take the path of not describing them at all—simply leaving it to the reader’s imagination. However, others, while trying […]

From the President

  By: Kim Olgren, PPW President – Is it a sunset, or a sunrise? For some, it’s both as they move out of one chapter and into another. One thing is for sure. It’s sure a beautiful image for the header of our soon-to-be-unveiled shiny new website. One of the […]

Character arc goes beyond story structure.

Character Arcs

By: Donna Schlachter – This month we’ll take a look at how to create a Character Arc for the main characters in your story, usually the Hero, Heroine, and Villain. Secondary characters can have a character arc, as we’ll see below, but that most often stems from a main character’s […]

I met some real-life superheros at PPWC2022

My Fantastic Journey

Editor’s Note: Jen Wolf was one of several recipients who received scholarships to attend the Pikes Peak Writer’s 2022 conference. She shares many of the lessons she learned over the course of just a few days that all of our readers can gain insights into. If you missed PPWC2022, you […]

Harmony and Conflict belong in the same story

Harmony and Conflict – Different Sides of the Same Coin

By Donna Schlachter – Boy finds girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy marries girl. The end. Boring! Anybody who’s ever told a joke knows that to keep the listener or reader interested, there has to be a problem, a question, or a problem raised so that the twist/conclusion/punch […]

Be a walking advertisement for your writer friends!

Helping Author Friends

By: Trista Herring Baughman Occasionally, I witness a rallying call to support local businesses. It’s a nice gesture, one I’d like to see more often. I prefer to shop local when I can: farmers’ markets, locally-owned specialty stores, mom-and-pop restaurants, etc. I don’t think authors generally come to mind when […]

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