Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


Round of Words – 80th Day

In the final round of 2011, my successes stood out so obviously. I finished a whole novel in a month and a half – I didn’t think it could be done. So with this round, my expectations were running high.

But with the distractions of life and more importantly, the pressing need to get my written stories in a finished product form, I had little inspiration for a new novel. So what do I have to show for my 80 days? Well the braid gives a clue because things really came together in this round!

  1. A cumulative idea that draws my three novels together in such a tight way, that though the stories stand alone, readers will delight in learning “the rest of the story” as they go along. I’m so excited about that!
  2. Along with the connection to my stories came a marketing plan that I didn’t expect but have been searching for.
  3. A niche idea! That word, when referencing marketing has created such a conundrum for me. But all of the other plans have sparked a great idea that has me excited down to my toes. Find out after April Fools Day!

So though I don’t have a whole new book to show from this 80 day period, I’m well on my way to recreating my favorite three into a series and discovering a doable marketing plan that will allow me to start shopping these ideas soon.

Special thanks to all of the ROW80 folks who have given such enthusiastic encouragement. What a wonderful group you are and I’m so honored to be counted among you!

Wow! Is it any wonder I’m feeling encouraged! And this only includes the last half of the round! Whoosh! If you need support and cheers for your solitary work at the story in your head – and anything that goes along with it – look no further than ROW80! New ROWnd starts in a couple of weeks. Click the link to learn more and visit one or two of the folks above – spread some smiles back at them. And tell ’em Marji sent ya! 🙂

J is for …

Indie Author Lee Carver presented information about
Self-Publishing at the recent DFW Ready Writer meeting.


I have a writer tip. When I first started this gig almost 10 months ago, one of the first things I did was do a search for local writer groups. I knew there had to be some out there! And I found several in and around the metroplex. Yea!

DFW Ready Writer president, Janice Olson

Then I looked at when they met, boo. I’d barely missed every meeting and had to wait several weeks for another chance. My first was a critique group on the east side. It was nice, but not social, so I kept looking. I wanted to find that unique group of folks that I could not only grow with, but connect with, too!

Authors Lena Nelson Dooley, Leann Harris, and Margo Carmichael

I found DFW Ready Writers. They’re the local chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. At the first meeting I met highly successful authors who were kind and encouraging. I even found not one, but two critique groups, each with it’s own flavor of focus. I don’t always get to go to both every week, but I never regret going when I can. They have stretched me so much!

Authors Lynne Gentry and Jane Thornton

And taught me. Not only writing techniques – just listening to their mastery does that – but also publishing insight as many are well-published authors.

And the best part about them is the connection. I really like these gals (mostly gals) and they like me right back and miss me when I’m not around. How cool is that?

So my tip is this. Find a group of like-minded writers. You don’t have to share a genre to be like-minded. The groups that I’m in write in all types – Amish, fantasy, YA, historical, suspense, contemporary romance, even children’s books. We don’t all write the same genre, but we all share the same goal of glorifying the Lord. 

And once you’ve found that group, join them. Both feet. Be willing to put yourself out there and maybe even get your nose tweaked a bit. You’ll grow as a writer and as a professional. 

Oh, and if you’re anywhere near the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, I hope you’ll consider visiting our next meeting. You can find out more information at this link!

Your turn! What’s the best writer tip, or life tip, that you’ve ever gotten?