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Kellie McGann: Editor, Becoming Writer, 100 Day Book, Winter Writing Contest 2016
Member since March 4, 2015

Kellie McGann is the founder of Write a Better Book . She partners with leaders to help tell their stories in book form. On the weekends, she writes poetry and prose. She contributes to The Write Practice every other Wednesday.

Website: http://writeabetterbook.com

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3 Reasons to Write Your Story as Roman à Clef

For years I have written nonfiction. I’ve studied memoir, creative nonfiction, narratives, journal writing, and essays. I’ve even written three nonfiction books. But for my next project, I decided to try something different. That is when I was introduced to roman à clef.

“Roman à clef” is French for “novel with a key.” It is a “novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction.”

In other words, roman à clef is something that the author has seen or experienced but portrays the story as a fictional tale.

5 Grammar Hacks for Writers Who Hate Grammar

I see this in comments on The Write Practice all the time. “I want to be a writer, but I know nothing about grammar.” I don’t have a degree in English or Journalism, either.

I am, though, a writer. For those of you who have decided you are a writer too, you don’t need a degree in English or be an expert in grammar. There are a few grammar hacks I’ve learned that have helped me.

Book Editing: How to Survive the Second Draft of Your Book

The next few months I’ve dedicated to finishing the book I’ve been working on for nearly two years. Inspired by Joe’s latest post, I’ve made the commitment to revise the second draft of my book.

I believe, though, the second draft is the hardest. Actually, it’s the worst. All the content of your book is sitting right in front of you like a huge slab of marble mined from your imagination, and you’re expected to take the formless hunk and turn it into Michelangelo’s David.

In finishing the second draft of three books and as I’m embarking on finishing this next one this fall, I’ve compiled these tips for the both of us. Here’s all I know about book editing and surviving the second draft.

Here’s How to Focus on Your Writing
by Kellie McGann in Here’s How to Focus on Your Writing
09:00 am on August 16, 2017

Over the weekend, I was working on a book project. I’ve been working on it for almost a year and desperately need to finish it. But when I sat down to work on it, suddenly everything became more interesting than the writing on the screen in front of me.

I stared at the wood table for too long, before picking up my phone and texting back everyone I hadn’t in the last six months. I stared out the window, got a refill on my coffee, and then finally wrote maybe thirty words.

Do You Need a College Degree to Be a Writer?

I’m a full-time writer with no English degree. (I’ll tell you a bigger secret, I actually don’t have a degree at all.)  And after doing this for a few years I’ve realized that you don’t need an English degree to become a writer.

I’ve been writing for The Write Practice for about two and a half years. I started as an amateur and recently launched my own writing business. So really, I am the poster child for how you really CAN make it.

(I’m still not completely sure how I made it, but I’m going to spend the next couple posts sharing what I did and how you can make it as a writer too!)

Prologue, Introduction, Preface, or Foreword: Which Is Right for You?

I’m currently working on my fifth nonfiction book and starting is always the hardest part. There are just so many options.

Should I write a preface? A prologue? An introduction? Should I find someone to write a foreword? Should I just start at chapter one?

If you’ve ever found yourself asking these questions, you’re not alone! And you’re in luck! I’ve asked these questions too and found some answers.

Let’s talk about the difference between each these and figure out which is best for you.

4 Reasons You Should Never Write Alone
by Kellie McGann in 4 Reasons You Should Never Write Alone
09:30 am on April 12, 2017

Imagine the quintessential writer: introverted, glasses, coffee in hand, sitting alone at a small desk, while poking their fingers on a keyboard.

We all have preconceived notions as to what being a writer looks like, but whatever your idea of a writer, I can bet that one trait is uniform across the board. You probably imagine your writer alone, the Stephen King type, secluded, perhaps in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Interestingly enough, being a writer alone is nearly impossible, and after being part of a writers group for almost a year, I’ve learned I could never do it alone.

Best Book Writing Software: The 6 Documents You Always Need Open as a Writer

If you’ve been around The Write Practice long, you’ll have noticed we’ve recently talked a lot about which book writing software you should use. While I’m a strong believer in “use whatever works for you,” I’m also a strong believer in Scrivener.

So today, instead of giving you more reasons why I think you should use Scrivener (because there have already been plenty…) I’m going to tell you which tabs/notes you’ll want to create and have open while you’re writing.

Even if you don’t use Scrivener, you’ll want to have these as separate documents or pages on Word or Google Docs (or whichever writing software you use).

How to Unlock All Five Senses in Your Writing

As writers we are especially aware of the five senses. We use the five senses to transport our reader into the scene we are describing. However, I propose, that we are not using the five senses to their full potential. You see, I didn’t used to give the five senses much credit when it came to my writing. But the truth is, the five senses have a power to connect with our readers in a deep way.

Want to Double Your Success as a Writer? Do This

One of my greatest excuses on days that I don’t write is I just don’t have time. Have you ever said or thought that? Well, in fact, the opposite is true. Here’s the thing about writing: If you don’t write when you don’t have time, you won’t write when you do have time.

No, it’s not easy to write on the days when you feel like you just don’t have time. But it is possible. The secret to finding time and maintaining successful writing habitsis to set an intention.

This New Characterization Technique Could Transform Your Writing

Characterization is one of the most important aspects of writing good fiction. Characterization is what gives authors the power to sway their readers. It’s how you get your reader to fall in love with—or despise—the characters in your book.

Let’s look at a characterization strategy that will pique your readers’ curiosity. I call it the Eyepatch Technique.

Top 8 Foods and Drinks for Writers
by Kellie McGann in Top 8 Foods and Drinks for Writers
11:10 am on October 26, 2016

For successful writers, there are three main components you need to really write: productivity, creativity, and inspiration. Without any one of these three, you’ll find writing difficult, but when they come together, you will find your writing will be better and maybe even a bit easier.

The things you eat and drink can have a significant effect on your writing. If you’re lacking productivity, creativity, or inspiration, pick one of these writing-enhancing foods and drinks for a boost.

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