Once you get hooked on writing, it's funny how the world shrinks. The publishing arena is relatively small, and you're likely to bump into the same people on a regular basis.
Several years ago I despaired of finding an "in-person" critique group (now I'm a member of four!). I discovered a group of young adult writers online, and joined the group for a year. That's when I met Jill Williamson. She's an amazing critiquer, and I learned so much from her and the rest of the group. I was a total newbie, yet each of them were kind and helpful. And then she co-wrote a study guide with a friend from my small town. Small world indeed.
Back then, Jill was running two books through the group. I joined in on the very tail end of critiquing her book By Darkness Hid, which went on to receive a Christy Award, and is followed by two more books in the series. The other book is just now being released, and is titled Replication. It's waiting on my Kindle (it's a hardship to share my Kindle with my husband--he always grabs it first!).
I love Williamson's website. When I develop a 'real' one, I'll be using a few things I've learned from her site. But today, I'm highlighting a three-part series Williamson wrote on brainstorming new stories. Here are the posts:
Part One-Brainstorming a story before you write: coming up with a great premise.
Part Two-From premise to characters: developing your characters and their motivation.
Part Three-It's time to plot: the what and where of plot points.
Yesterday, we were discussing how to connect with readers in a personal way. Reading Williamson's blog, it's evident that she does this well by corresponding, using social media, and school visits. Want to add a few ideas of your own?