Advice for Aspiring Authors (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Today I am pleased to host author Kimberly Daniels, who is sharing some of her best advice for aspiring authors. Be sure to read to the end for information about her book, SAVED BY YOU, and find out how to enter her giveaway to win an Amazon/B&N gift card!

Kimberly Daniels Tells Aspiring Authors…

Diving into that world of writing and (gasp!) committing to becoming an actual published author can be both exciting and utterly frightening. The idea that your words, your very own stories will be out for anyone to see and experience is a scary thought. The good reviews and those pesky one and two-star reviews can really wreak havoc on your psyche. My advice to aspiring authors is to silence all that noise. Stay true to your words, your stories. No matter what agents, publishers, and reviewers say, remember that those stories are your very own masterpieces. Most importantly, write simply because you love it.

Check out the book

Saved by You

by Kimberly Daniels

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Cole Stevens thought he was finally given a second chance in life. With the woman he always loved now by his side, an adopted son who felt like his own since the day he met him, and a baby on the way, Cole could finally see his forever. And then his past showed up on his doorstep, threatening to take it all away.


Now forced to relive painful memories and bring dark secrets to light, Cole begins a downward spiral that leads him back to the place he spent years trying to escape. As the pain of his past collides with the present, he finds himself lost again, fighting for his family’s future. How can he find the way back in time for his forever to be saved?

Read an Excerpt

I let go of him and he falters back. Dusty wraps his arms around me to pull me back and Camryn is begging me to stop. Her voice registers, sinking through the fury that just consumed me, and my head snaps up realizing where I am. Camryn’s hands are over her mouth and I can see her fighting back tears. And that’s when I see him, my little superhero, crying and shaking at Camryn’s side. My sweet little boy, my Gavin—how could I let myself get to this point?

I reach out to him and he shudders back, sinking into Camryn even more. At that moment, my heart shatters, seeing that my son, the one I vowed to protect, is afraid of the menace I just became. My gaze travels to Camryn and I see the pain in her eyes, which I am sure I put there. “Take him home, away from me.”

She reaches her hand and grasps my wrist, pulling me with her. “Come home with us.”

I pull my hand away and begin to back away from them. “Take him home without me. Right now, he’s afraid…of me.” I can’t bear to stay here and look at what I did to Gav and Camryn, to see that the old Cole has never really left. I rush off the beach, away from my family, the ones I disappointed again with my thoughtless actions. I try to grasp the realization that I’m no longer the superhero Gavin once thought I was. Today, I became the villain.

Kimberly Daniels is Awarding a $10 Amazon/B&N Gift Card to one lucky winner. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Meet Kimberly Daniels

Kimberly Daniels is a middle school English Teacher who took the advice of her students to pursue her writing hobby as a career. When she’s not at her laptop dreaming up new happily-ever-afters, she can be found glued to the TV or Kindle consumed with a new show or book addiction. She lives with her husband and two daughters in in the suburbs of Philadelphia, spending weekends at basketball games, softball fields, and dance recitals.


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How a Pantser Became a Plotter

Every now and then, you come across an article or some other resource that talks about how to begin writing a story. Some people swear by outlines or long synopses, while others believe you should just start writing and see what happens.

The first sort are known as Plotters. The second sort are known as Pantsers.

Up until about two or three years ago, when I decided that I was going to “get serious” about this writing thing, I was a bonafide Pantser. I would sit down at the computer (or in the early years, with the spiral-bound notebook and mechanical pencil) start at the beginning, and write until I reached the end. Occasionally I would jump ahead and write out a scene that came later in the narrative. (I may or may not have spent a fair amount of time doing this during my Intro to Computer Science class in college.)

This method worked well for a while. After all, when I started rewriting the “magnum opus” in 2005, I pantsed my way through about 3/4 of the manuscript, typing along in Microsoft Word. Then one day, I realized I was spending more time thinking about what was going to happen than actually writing it. So I decided it was time to try outlining the remaining major plot points.

The hour and a half I spent to make this outline was well worth the effort (and also killed some time while I waited for the hubs to pick me up from one of my teacher certification tests). Outline in hand, I completed the first draft of the “magnum opus” within a few weeks.

Shortly after this, I downloaded WriteWayPro, a writing software program that allowed me to organize my manuscripts by chapter and scene. (Happily, it sorted the “magnum opus” automatically when I imported it). I’ve since moved on to using Scrivener, which works the same way. But the moral of the story is that I learned that plotting was not the enemy and could, in fact, help me stay on track.

I still pants to a certain degree when starting a new story. Sometimes this is due to having a little Plot Bunny nibbling at my ankle. Other times it’s because I don’t know whether or not I want to pursue a story idea. But I’ve learned that by taking the time to either outline or write an extended synopsis, I save a lot of work for myself on the drafting end of things.

Every writer needs to find a method that works for them, and for many, pantsing will always be the way to go.

As for me, I know I’ve been converted. Now that I have a contract for a series, I have to plot the next three books, or I’ll never get them done. It’s all about time management at this stage in the game.

Writing Advice from the Masters

If you can’t trust famous, genius, iconic writers to give you good writing advice, who can you trust?

30 excellent bits of advice from some of the world’s greatest writers: