Jean’s Writing—the third of our links to writer sites

Jean Cogdell posts tips and information useful to fellow writers on her blog at jean’s writing. She has written three children’s books and a daily journal. She also has had items published in a variety of magazines. She’s been writing for a while, but she doesn’t say how long. She does say this about her age, “Although another year has passed, in my mind, I’m not a day over 35. However, I’m old enough to remember The Beatles sensation. And every time I pass a mirror my mother reminds me of my age.” So that might be a good clue.

Like most bloggers, she adds a personal touch in curating items from others. Nothing wrong with that, it’s the only way you’ll ever get to know new people and see their stuff—other than doing a topical search. So let’s see some excerpts with links to read more. NOTE: Some wonderful images have been deleted to shorten this item. Likewise, slight editing (such as moving links to other parts of the excerpt) has been done to shorten the sample. See the items at Jean’s site to get the full value of her color formatting and images that make the posts more readable than those of some other bloggers.

Here’s one for readers and writers:

Jean explains why it’s important to leave a review of a book you read?

“It helps a writer? Yes, of course. But there is more to it than that.

When we eat out, we leave the wait staff a tip. Even if the service is lousy, we leave a tip. Might be small, but we leave something behind. The staff worked hard to provide the meal, and our tip our acknowledgment. We may never return to that restaurant again, but that’s okay.

The same thing holds true for a book. The author works hard to produce a product for readers to enjoy. Some will enjoy the story more than others, but everyone should leave behind a tip (review.) Short and sweet, or long and eloquent, leave a review it doesn’t matter.

Don’t know what to say? Here’s a tip: read what others have said and to get ideas, to prime your thoughts into your own words.”


Do you understand how to flesh out your ideas? From How to Take Your Idea to Story


Not me, I’m still learning. Taking an idea and writing a full novel is not easy, not easy at all.

Writing sounds so easy when an idea burst into my mind like fireworks on the 4th of July. But, as they say, the devil’s in the details. And then I’m stumped.

Ever happen to you? Great idea but…

Reading books and articles help me. One of my favorite go-to bloggers is Janice Hardy over at Fiction University. She gives writers good step-by-step instructions to take an idea to finished story.

Another great resource is She Writes. This is a great source for tips on how to flesh out a scene. And isn’t that what makes up a chapter? Scenes?

What did I get from the articles?

  • know what the scene is about
  • can I relate to my character’s emotions
  • write like no one will read it, go crazy
  • use images to invoke place and time
  • find the problem, find the stakes
  • ask if each scene moves the protagonist toward her goal
  • know what is important to the characters


Do you need to know what to expect, when you ask someone to read your book?

Well, Evie Gaughan writes on her blog what to do and what to expect for writers.

Reviews: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly 

I couldn’t agree more with her points. Begging for reviews is terrible practice but reviews authors must have.

So how do we keep our dignity?

  • Remember our manners. Say please and thank you.
  • Be gracious, we’re asking a big favor and may not always like the answer.
  • Tell the reviewer how important they are. Authors need reviews.
  • Agreeing to read our books deserves our gratitude no matter what.
  • Let the reviewer know you value their time.
  • After going for the ask, let it go. Forget about it.

Here are some other recent post titles to illustrate what topics she is featuring.

  • Do you know where to look for that next book idea?
  • Can a bad idea make a good story?
  • To delete now or later, that is the question

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