Celebrating Three Years of “142 Ostriches” (and some exciting news)
AprilDavila
by April Davila
1w ago
Three years ago, Kensington Books released my debut novel, “142 Ostriches.” It was February of 2020 and if you didn’t read any of the great reviews it’s probably because there was another story dominating the news cycle… Because of COVID I didn’t get to do my official book tour, but I met so many wonderful book clubs through Zoom. If you were among those early readers – thank you! Haven’t read it yet? Get your copy here! Today, as we celebrate the third anniversary of my first “book baby,” I’m thrilled to announce an exciting new chapter. From Page to Screen I’m delighted to share ..read more
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The Science of Reading for Inspiration
AprilDavila
by April Davila
2w ago
In the labyrinth of creativity, every writer, at some point, finds themselves at a crossroads, staring down the branching path ahead, not sure which way to. It’s a place where words refuse to flow, ideas seem as elusive as shadows, and motivation is but a distant memory. In a recent conversation with a fellow writer in my Sit Write Here online writing community, a question came up: when I’m feeling stuck and need inspiration, what do I read to find my way again? A Surprising Answer The answer, surprisingly, isn’t rooted in a specific genre or a list of curated titles designed to unlock the m ..read more
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Dealing with Overwhelm
AprilDavila
by April Davila
3w ago
If you know me at all, you know I don’t believe in “writer’s block.” It’s just a catch-all phrase we use to talk about the various reasons we’re struggling with our writing, and one of the most common things I see aspiring authors struggle with is overwhelm, which makes perfect sense to me. When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task of transforming thoughts into words, the mind can become cluttered, ideas can elude grasp, and the blank page can morph into an intimidating void. Why We Face Feelings of Overwhelm One common source of this overwhelm is the self-imposed burden of perfectionis ..read more
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Remind Us What Your Character Looks Like
AprilDavila
by April Davila
1M ago
When you’re writing a story, be it fiction or non-fiction, it is critical that the reader be able to picture your characters. The more characters you have, the more important it is to remind us. If all I know about them are their names, they will be more or less interchangeable in my brain (which creates a lot of confusion in a story). For instance: John, Bob, and Jason (which reminds me, you should always strive to be a little more creative with your names – wrote a post about that a while back). I need to know what they look like and I need you find subtle ways to remind me what they look ..read more
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The Importance of Story Structure
AprilDavila
by April Davila
1M ago
If you’ve been following my journey recently, you know that I’ve delved back into an old project, one I initiated during NANoWriMo in 2019. No outline, no plan—just an idea and 50,000 words of what I can only describe as a hot mess. As I navigate through this creative endeavor, it’s become evident how crucial structure is in the storytelling process. When people hear the term “story structure,” their minds often gravitate towards the traditional three-act structure, particularly in the realm of fiction. The hero’s journey, inciting incidents, and climactic moments (what I consider plot) are ..read more
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How to Turn Your Half-Finished Novel into a Completed Manuscript
AprilDavila
by April Davila
1M ago
I hope the start of January 2024 has been treating you well so far. Today, I want to discuss a topic that’s close to every writer’s heart this time of year: turning that half-finished novel into a completed manuscript. It took me eight years to finished my first novel, but my second novel (which was far more complex) took me only three years, and last January I started a story that I finished in just 12 months (granted, it was a novella, but still…). Point is, a big part of writing a novel is learning how to write a novel. As a writing coach, I’ve made it my mission to help writers expedite t ..read more
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Best Books of 2023
AprilDavila
by April Davila
2M ago
I read 52 books this year. Of those, I didn’t finish some of them (I’m pretty quick to put books down these days), and nine stand out as excellent reads. These are the books that stayed with me, the ones I thought back on after I’d finished reading. They are the books I’m telling my friends about. Here they are, in no particular order and with no regard to publication date. The best books I read in 2023. (each of the images below links to my affiliate account on Bookshop.org which means that if you buy a book using that link, you support this blog AND indie bookstores – win win ..read more
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The Best Ways to Write About Weight
AprilDavila
by April Davila
3M ago
Some writers may fear touching on such a controversial topic as weight, thinking it would be better to stay within the boundaries of societal neutrality. However, if you’re willing to engage in the thoroughness and empathy that writing about contentious topics requires, know there’ll always be someone who needs to read your story. It can be someone who yearns for representation or validation of their body type, especially if what they see or read about is mainly centered on skinny characters. It can be someone who doesn’t understand the struggles of their plus-sized loved one. It can ev ..read more
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A Thanksgiving Poem
AprilDavila
by April Davila
3M ago
It’s Thanksgiving once again, and I’m feeling grateful. As is tradition on my blog, I’d like to share a poem that captures the spirit of the holiday. This year’s selection is “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. Life is short, though I keep this from my children. Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways, a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative estimate, though I keep this from my children. For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird. For every loved child ..read more
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The Crappy First Draft
AprilDavila
by April Davila
3M ago
Writing a crappy first draft seems counterintuitive. I mean, who wants to invest time and effort into creating something that is subpar? But the truth is, there is immense value in allowing yourself to write a less-than-stellar initial version of your work. Here’s why: Overcoming perfectionism Many aspiring writers are paralyzed by the fear of producing imperfect work. By embracing the concept of a crappy first draft, you give yourself permission to let go of perfectionism. It frees you from the pressure of creating a flawless masterpiece from the start, allowing you to focus on generating id ..read more
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