How to Write Smarter

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Darlene Franklin
Author Darlene Franklin

Guest blogger, Darlene Franklin, a prolific novelist

Once upon a time lived a girl who wanted to be a writer.  She also wanted to be a doctor, a missionary, a musician, and a detective. And she wrote sequels to Star Trek and stories of faith, a few published in a newspaper or two.

Then marriage interrupted.

My childhood dream of writing became a reality in the wake of my divorce, in the early Nineties. Perseverance pays off.  I wrote by hand, during a daily bus commute to work, then typed them into an old typewriter. One of those stories even made its way to publication! But that’s getting ahead of myself.

I met with writers and learned. Fourteen years later, my first book appeared: Romanian Rhapsody in 2005. Fourteen years after that, I have published more than one hundred books (with traditional publishers) and a slightly larger number of articles, becoming a syndicated columnist as well.

With the passion to write, came a passion for sharing what I was learning. About life, yes, but also about the writing process. What have I learned about how to write smarter? How to do things right the first time and avoid some of my mistakes.

That concept came to life when The Old Schoolhouse engaged me to write a year’s curriculum for high school students. The Writing Life helps homeschoolers discover writing is more than a class or a career. It’s a part of everyday life. It’s a way of life. I took that curriculum, upgraded it for adultsand changed the title.

How to Write Smarter: Lessons from a Real Writer and the How to Write Smarter Journal are both available now for purchase on Amazon. They’re also available through other bookstores and distributors.

How to Write Smarter is full of practical advice: definitions and explanations in the three major writing genres (fiction, nonfiction, poetry); interviews; marketing perspectives; brainstorming; personal examples.

To get the most of the books, readers should work their way through slowly. Far better to complete a chapter with the exercises in a week or two than to read it all in a month. Two basic requirements rule for writers: we must read, read, read and write, write, write. Every lesson has writing exercises that become writing assignments. The journal can be a stand-alone guide of writing prompts to hone skills that the book explains in greater detail. I hope readers of How to Write Smarter will have one or more pieces ready to send to market when they finish, with a good start on dozens more.

As an added benefit, if you purchase either the book or journal as a paperback (or both!), let me know at If you do, I’ll send you one of my earlier books until the supplies run out.

About Darlene Franklin: She is a warrior woman who happens to write from a nursing home. She has over one hundred thirty books in print, most recently How to Write Smarter and The Drummer’s Angel. She’s also a multi-published magazine, devotional, and curriculum writer, with a monthly syndicated column.

About the book: How to Write Smarter: 30 Lessons from a Writer’s Life is a great resource for aspiring and experienced authors alike. Thirty lessons contain a mixture of step-by-step instruction, sample writing, essays for further thought, and writing exercises. Tests encourage the reader to retain the principles of writing, but the book emphasizes learning-by-doing.The reader who completes How to Write Smarter will learn both how to write better and how to write smarter.Individual lessons, designed to take five-ten hours to complete, lay out material in four major areas: Introduction to Writing • Nonfiction • Fiction • Poetry.

Each section teaches writing basics: • Read to learn from writing. • Write daily. • Definitions • Elements • Techniques • Styles, genres, forms • Editing • Market-specific information. The companion book, the How to Write Smarter Journal, provides a place to respond to writing exercises, in addition, it contains a few prompts unique to the Journal. The final section takes the reader through the process of preparing one short piece for publication, from brainstorming to marketing and follow through. Darlene Franklin draws from thirty years of experience of writing seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as hundreds of magazine articles to divulge tricks from the writing life, from finding ideas to writing something that’s publication-ready.

Advance praise for How to Write Smarter: “Darlene’s writing handbook is a necessary primer for all writers, whether novice or veteran.”
—Sherri Stewart, Stewart Writing Services In How to Write Smarter.

“She distills that wisdom into insights and exercises that will sharpen your writing mind.”
—Chris Tarpley, President of Oklahoma Christian Fiction Writers

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Published by Angela Breidenbach

Angela Breidenbach is an author, genealogist, screenwriter, speaker, and radio personality.