Showing category "writing" (Show all posts)

NaNoWriMo - Another View

Posted by John R. on Monday, November 8, 2010, In : writing 
Laura Miller...a writer, editor and also co-founder of Salon.com...has a different outlook onNaNoWriMo. Her view is a little like don't bother with it. 

I can see her point that spurring writers just to write in order to complete a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days will produce a lot of crap (agreed to on the NaNoWriMo site in it's challenge pitch). And I can also see (as she does) what the bottom line purpose of the writing event is; mainly to get aspiring writers to overcome the inward super ...

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How to Keep a Writer's Brain Active OR How to Avoid Senility!

Posted by John R. on Friday, October 22, 2010, In : writing 
Some days I think I'm losing my mind...or, at least, the damn thing works in slow motion (come to think of it, it did that in my younger days, too...especially after a night out gaining all that lusty-life experience). But, as I have entered the Autumn of my life, those days seem to be occurring more frequently!

So, how do we writers keep our minds in better condition, especially as we age gracefully (or not so gracefully) ?

Delia Lloyd, writing for Huffington Post, gives us 5 excellent tips:

...
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Publisher Sues Writer Over Deadline

Posted by John R. on Thursday, September 2, 2010, In : writing 
Ah, the business of writing and publishing does go on...Intrigue, stress and pressure are a constant (though in varying degrees).

By the way, just how much does a Yahoo sports writer make now-a-days? For that matter, how much does a sports writer make working anywhere? Keep that in mind as you read the following short article. Is their salary enough to ignore a $140,000 advance? Sports writers must make a lot more than they used to! 

This rundown is by
Tim Gardner in USAToday:

Publishing house...


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Books Should Reflect Cultural Messages

Posted by John R. on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, In : writing 
Books from countries around the world should...besides detailing their native country's histories and thought processes that defined those histories...address current world challenges and the particular country's feelings, thoughts and possible solutions to those challenges.

Beijing's 17th annual International Book Fair, which begins on Monday in Beijing, and which attracts more and more foreign publishers and authors, is becoming a great venue for exchange of cultural messages and increasing ...

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How Editors Should Help Writers

Posted by John R. on Monday, August 23, 2010, In : writing 

A good editor does NOT just start chopping away at a clients manuscript. They should give the entire work a complete read through first, only correcting minor and obvious punctuation errors...This is to give the editor a sense of the writers style, form and nuances.Rachel Mattison published a short, to-the-point article for Wordpreneur that gives us a good insight into how a professional editor should approach his/her job:

How to be a Professional Editor

Editing and proofing is more than...


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A Shortcut to Publishing for Young Writers

Posted by John R. on Sunday, August 8, 2010, In : writing 

Inkpop.com, owned by Harper Collins, is fast becoming a place where new, teen writers can share their work. Any kind of writing from poems and short stories to complete novels are accepted. Their work can get feedback from a large community and be recognized for possible publication by the big houses and/or representation by literary agents.

Cool stuff.

Inkpop.com was brought to my attention in this article from the Kansas City Star by Chuck Furlong (sorry I could not find a good link fo...


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Legal Disclaimers for Your Books

Posted by John R. on Friday, August 6, 2010, In : writing 
In a society that wants to sue everybody for anything, you need to know how to write a legal disclaimer for your book. Especially ANY book giving advice or books on health, nutrition, finances and memoirs where characters may defame another...intentionally or not.

Alicia Nicole Dunams gives some examples and some insight into how to write legal disclaimers for books in this timely article for Wordpreneur:

How to Write a Legal Disclaimer for Your Book

With a society that is often prone to rush...


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Can Content Farms Actually Improve Quality?

Posted by John R. on Sunday, August 1, 2010, In : writing 

Many people believe that content farms, that perhaps deal in quantity over quality, leads to poor quality. Well, these sites give aspiring authors a podium for sharpening their skills and should trigger more accomplished writers to improve upon sub-par articles by writing new articles on similiar subjects...Either way, these sites, I believe, have a positive function.

Have you ever read a story or article that was punctuated perfectly and otherwise textually and technically perfect also...but ...


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Why People Write

Posted by John R. on Thursday, July 29, 2010, In : writing 
Do writers write because they have, as many say, a deep-seated passion to write and they absolutely MUST or they will cease to exist (damn, that sounds like an addiction or sickness, doesn't it)?

Or do they write only when they have a cause so impelling that they just have to put pen to paper to spread the word anyway they can?

Or do they write for the fun of it and enjoy it?

Or do they write out of desparation and for money...Sort of like a last resort (I think J.K. Rowlings started this way)?

W...

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Rules to Help One Become a Writer

Posted by John R. on Thursday, July 22, 2010, In : writing 
Want a guideline from a successful writer that points the way to becoming a successful writer? I bet you do.

Harvey Rachlin, award-winning author of Scandals, Vandals and da Vincis, and dozens of others, lays out a nifty 50 rules for writers to achieve success in The Writer Magazine...Pay particular attention to the last one! 

From the experience of Harvey Rachlin:

To succeed as a writer in the world of publishing is no easy task. A plethora of writers—many of them seasoned pros or people famo...

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Putting Character in your Characters

Posted by John R. on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, In : writing 

Writing advice about character development in this post.

"Damn, that guy has character!" or "What a character!" 

Ever heard that before? Well, that's what you want your readers to say about your book's characters. Whether the character is good or villainous, you want him/her to be well-rounded and three-dimensional and therefore very memorable in your readers' minds.

Developing characters can be fun, all you have to do is lay out a few guidelines. Sigrid Macdonald, a book coach, editor and freel...


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Did J. K. Rowlings Commit Plagiarism with Harry Potter?

Posted by John R. on Friday, July 16, 2010, In : writing 
Representatives of the late British writer, Adrian Jacobs, think so! And they are also charging the US publishers.

From TopNews by by
Kiran Pahwa (no decent link found):

Late British writer Adrian Jacobs' representatives had alleged that the author approached Rowling''s U. K. publishers Bloomsbury in 1987, ten years before his death, and unsuccessfully attempted to sell them his Willy The Wizard stories.

The lawsuit claims Rowling''s 2000 book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, bears a r...


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Rejection? Rejection! How Dare They!

Posted by John R. on Monday, July 12, 2010, In : writing 
Nobody likes rejection...in ANY form. But, as writers, rejection is just part of the business. You just have to develop a thick skin and an attitude of "I write for my own enjoyment and from my own exclusive imagination and I realize everybody won't like the same thing...So, I'm just not going to worry about it."

Spectacularly, rejection the first time (or 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.) has been overcome by persistence and resulted in later acceptance and fame and fortune! History is riddled with many ...

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"I Have an Idea for a Story!...Now What?"

Posted by John R. on Monday, July 12, 2010, In : writing 

Hi all!...Some advice today about nurturing your creative ideas and getting them on paper.

First of all, have you ever had an idea (and it was a lulu) but you did not write it down and then later forgot what the hell it was? I have (probably because my mind is slipping into LaLa Land) and I have wrestled with trying to remember that exact idea later but always came up with something inferior. Then, after giving myself a headache, I finally give up and move on...Believe me, when the Muse hit...


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Punctuating Dialogue

Posted by John R. on Saturday, July 10, 2010, In : writing 
A little writing lesson today on writing dialogue...Extremely important in breathing life and personality into your characters and giving them a three-dimensional presence.

How do you bring your dialogue to life? And give it rhythm and flow so readers can easily understand and follow the inflections and emotions of the characters?

By punctuating the dialogue correctly!

Here is expert advice by editor,
Marg Gilks, who publishes Scripta Word Services:

Think about it: there's a pretty boggling arr...


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Creative Writing in Newspapers?

Posted by John R. on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, In : writing 

Who says you can't make news features more colorful? I always enjoy a newspaper story that presents the facts...but with the three-dimensional ambiance of all the characters and locations involved. I hope I'm saying that right to make my point.

At any rate,
Susan Beam, a journalist for the Columbia Ledger weekly newspaper, says it better than I in this article she contributed to Suite101.com:

When a person thinks of newspaper article, without fail, it is understood that they contain the five W'...


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Empowering writers

Posted by John R. on Sunday, July 4, 2010, In : writing 

Since the Grub Street Writing Center started in 1997 in Boston, Massachusetts...It has established an extraordinary pedigree! Famous authors on it's staff and 22 students with published books and more coming...

A must read for aspiring and established writers alike:

Jan Gardner reporting for the Boston Globe

In the world of publishing, the Grub Street writing center is the little engine that could. Since its inception in 1997, 53 instructors, including New York Times bestselling author Jen...


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How To Handle Reviews (Toss Um!)

Posted by John R. on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, In : writing 
Reviews are a mixed bag! Do you need them? Maybe, maybe not. BUT, one bad review can throw your whole mental state into a tizzy and cancel out any good ones if you let it!...That's assuming you got some good reviews...Either way, in the long run they really don't mean much...Sales do...and good sales mean the buying public liked your book well enough! 

Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty werewolf series, offers this about reviews in a post on the GENREALTY blog:


I’ve got two books coming ou...


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Writing Better Dialogue

Posted by John R. on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, In : writing 
You absolutely MUST have dialogue in your stories, both fiction AND nonfiction...It blasts your story from one dimensional to three dimensional instantly! And talk about character development! Dialogue builds character faster and deeper than any other writing element...such as narrative, action or setting.

Here is an informative post by
Brad Vertrees on five things he's learned to write better dialogue:

5 Lessons I've Learned About Writing Dialog In Fiction


This post, from Brad Vertrees, ...


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What Do You Mean My Manuscript Was Rejected!?

Posted by John R. on Sunday, June 20, 2010, In : writing 

Since rejections are all vanilla, generic and boilerplate yakety yak, it is nice when professionals write about rejection details. I am proud to present the following post with it's informative links:

This post, from
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, originally appeared on her Quips and Tips For Successful Writersblog on 10/24/08. Even if you intend to self-publish, this list of traps to avoid will still have some applicable wisdom for your work-in-progress.

These 17 reasons book manuscripts are rejecte...


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You Want Tense? Try Writing It!

Posted by John R. on Friday, June 18, 2010, In : writing 
Should I write my story in present or past tense ? A question often asked. (We won't talk about future tense in this discussion.)

Why not write your story in both tenses, if that's what it takes! As long as it's done without confusing the reader. I like to think that authors can zip between tenses freely if they want to establish different times and eras to connect actions, make a point, show growth or connect resulting outcomes.

Example: A writer of his memoir narrating as an adult about actio...

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When Should You Write for Free?...And When Not!

Posted by John R. on Thursday, June 17, 2010, In : writing 
Give my writing away? Hell no!...I used to think. Then I learned, especially as a newbie wanting to establish a presence, that it was better to advertise some of your work for free to get known and accumulate a following...build a platform, so to speak, from which to launch your bigger works for sale...Look at it as writing your advertising.
Yuwanda Black (pictured) is an author and speaker who wrote a great article for Wordpreneur giving some excellent pointers on when your writing should b...

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How to Become a Better Writer

Posted by John R. on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, In : writing 

More advice for writers, especially aspiring writers.

Want to kick-start your initial writing career or jump-start an old one in a slump? There are certain things you can do to help you go to the next level and Rob Parnell, founder of the Easy Way to Write, has listed a few good ones in an article he wrote for Wordpreneur.

I just discovered Rob and his work and I'm impressed! I am proud to present his article here:

Becoming a Writer

The urge to write fiction seems God given for some, a lea...


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How To Write a Press Release That Makes News

Posted by John R. on Saturday, June 12, 2010, In : writing 
Tips for writing press releases today. Whether you are traditional publishing or self-publishing, knowing how to write a good press release for your book is essential for getting more news outlets interested in covering you and your book.
Here are ten tips offered by Susan Valeri, a book and small business publicist, in an article she wrote for Wordpreneur:

Keep these few crucial details in mind when writing and submitting your press release to increase your chances of news coverage:

1. If...


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Making Time To Write

Posted by John R. on Saturday, June 5, 2010, In : writing 

You want to make time to write on a consistent basis? To finally finish that masterpiece...Then, my friend, you need a PLAN! And I found someone who has an excellent approach to finding and scheduling time...Patty Apostolides...And she writes about it in this article for Wordpreneur: 

Finding the time to write a novel is one of the major issues confronting writers, particularly those who haven’t been published yet. How does one justify to themselves, or to their loved ones, that they need ti...


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How To Be a Successful Author

Posted by John R. on Tuesday, June 1, 2010, In : writing 

How can I be a successful writer? A question asked by ALL newbies...Well, one way is to follow lessons learned from more experienced writers who are willing to share...Such is Bob Baker (pictured) who is a full-time author and independent publisher who wrote this excellent advice for Wordpreneur:

Are you a curious person? I am. Especially when it comes to people who have taken action to achieve worthy and creative goals. Whenever I meet a successful author, musician, artist, actor or whatever,...


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How To Tell a Story

Posted by John R. on Monday, May 31, 2010, In : writing 

Storytelling is an art...but MORE than that, it is a gift...I mean, a gift GIVEN.

Stories are also one of the greatest teaching tools...This is overlooked by far too many.

Kevin Cordi, award-winning storyteller, teacher and author, can speak on this subject much better than I and pack more useful information in short paregraphs...So pay attention:

Telling a story is a lot like giving a gift.
 
Stories can be used to identify unfamiliar terms and broach new ideas. They can be used to present cultu...


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Will Your Book Sell ?

Posted by John R. on Sunday, May 30, 2010, In : writing 

More advice for writers!...How can you tell if your book idea will sell...AND how can you find out before you invest time and money?

Judy Cullins, a twenty year veteran book and marketing coach, presents some ways to answer these questions in an article for Wordpreneur:

Make your book stand out from the crowd! Test your book’s significance, find your market before you write, and treat your book as part of your business.

1. Test your book’s significance.

•fun, humor
•easy to read
•teach ...


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When Writing Alone Just Isn't Enough

Posted by John R. on Saturday, May 29, 2010, In : writing 

Some more advice today for writers...Today it's about a writers strategic planning for choosing a book subject that will have the best chance for selling and marketing success.  

Caterina Christakos (pictured below), author of How to Write a Children's Book in 30 Days or Less and others, gives us some sage advice 
on pre-planning for our subject matter in an article for Wordpreneur:

Many writers write for the experience. Others dream of having a number one best seller. Both are wonderful reasons...


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Reasons We May NOT Write That Book Inside Us

Posted by John R. on Friday, May 28, 2010, In : writing 
A little writers' psychology today!...You know, we all can use some of that from time to time.

Suzanne Falter-Barnes (pictured above), a creativity expert and author, wrote this piece for Wordpreneur that I think will be a good writers thought for today:


In the 10 years that I’ve taught people how to get on with their books, I’ve noticed a phenomenon that I’ll call “Author’s Block.” Would-be writers can, indeed, sit down and work when pressed to it. The problem is that they’re ...


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A Writer's Block Buster!

Posted by John R. on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, In : writing 
Writer's block comes on us sometimes just like the old common cold...out of the blue! We can't get the old thought-generator to crank over for ANYTHING! Out of gas...Kaput!

Elaine Berry, owner of Bizwrite Writing Services, has a unique cure for writer's impotence and wrote about it on Wordpreneur: 

Have you ever been on a Training Day?

When I used to work for a local government department, we often used to get sent on Training Days.

They weren't quite the same as courses. The idea was usua...


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Writerly Psychology...And Validation

Posted by John R. on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, In : writing 
Even those of us who have attained a degree of success in writing still probably harbor doubts that we TRULY deserve whatever we have attained...That luck more than talent was responsible. You ever feel that way about anything?

Carrie Vaughn (pictured below), bestselling author, felt that way until a certain thing happened AFTER she had already arrived in the city called success...and her story will be helpful to many.

Carrie, writing on GENREALITY blog:  

I had an interesting bit of writerly ps...

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Writers With Rejectionitis--Submitting to the Inevitable

Posted by John R. on Monday, May 10, 2010, In : writing 
Writers have always been put through the wringer to get published; even more so in the last three or four decades for the fast buck over true art. Fair? Hell no! But that has been the extremely flawed business model that the traditional publishing industry somehow got away with...Perhaps, the tables are turning on them now with the new empowering and equalizing technology that has exploded upon us.

I was reading 
Deborah Hansen's writers' group blog  (The Florida Times-Union) the other day in w...
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How To Be A Reasonably Happy Writer...

Posted by John R. on Saturday, May 8, 2010, In : writing 

A happy writer? Of course! I'm happy...BROKE...but happy nonetheless. Thank God for a retirement from another source (subject for another post) to sustain me half-way comfortably.

First, from my point of view, to be a reasonably happy writer you had better been born rich or have money from another source coming in to allow you the "luxury" to pursue writing.

This piece by
Rosemary Clement-Moore  (pictured below) posting on GENREALITY blog is light and breezy and has some good writer parallels:...


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How Do You Decide What To Write? It's a Journey~~~

Posted by John R. on Thursday, May 6, 2010, In : writing 
What am I going to write? Or what am I going to write NEXT? Ever been in that mental state? A common state indeed...

Bob Mayer, a NY Times best-selling author of numerous books, posting on GENREALITY Blog, details his personal journey to arriving at military historical fiction as his genre...His thought process will definitely give writers some insight and tips on analyzing their way to topics that will get their juices boiling...something they can be passionate about!

Bob Mayer says:

For a l...


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Secrets of Writing Best Selling Children’s Books

Posted by John R. on Monday, May 3, 2010, In : writing 
Writing children's books can be personally rewarding and lucrative. Caterina Christakos, writing for Wordpreneur, gives away some secrets to understanding and structuring novels for the "little buggers." 

Caterina Christakos (Wordpreneur Classic):

Ever wonder how the most successful children’s book writers get their ideas? The answer may surprise you.

Most children’s books are based on the same exact story – good versus evil.

Ex. Harry Potter vs. Voldemort. Cinderella vs. her wicked st...


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Books: Keep 'Em or Toss 'Em?

Posted by John R. on Saturday, April 24, 2010, In : writing 

Why do we keep books after we read them? We liked the story and may want to read again someday? We liked the author's writing style? We liked the subject matter and want to keep as a reference? We liked the setting and mood? We liked the characters?

 
      Rosemary

Rosemary Clement-Moore, a fine author of many YA novels and contributor to GENREALITY  blog, keeps books because she likes and/or can identify somehow with the characters...A good reason...and she says:

Keep it or kick it to the curb?...


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Different is Good

Posted by John R. on Thursday, April 22, 2010, In : writing 

Different is the same as unique...and that's good in writing. You can learn just so much from established, experienced authors; then you must strike out alone and let your own imagination and iteration of it fly!...and realize that some of the experts that initially gave you advice will be different from you and not like all your approaches (as you probably don't like all of theirs, right?).

This is by Candace Havens who contributes to the GENREALTY Blog:


  Candace Havens 

I’m going on the rec...


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What Chef Ramsay Can Teach Writers

Posted by John R. on Thursday, April 8, 2010, In : writing 
Bob Mayer, a contributing writer on GENREALTY Blog, former green Beret and published author, has some excellent advice and guidance RE focus and discipline in reaching your writing goals. I do take exception to a few of his thoughts (very few) and I have noted those in the body of his post below. But, overall he is right on in this writer's opinion.  

Bob Mayer:
Are you striving to survive or striving to succeed?

Warrior Writer works because other successful people use the same basic strategi...


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About Me


John R. Austin Writer, Old-Warrior-Adventurer, Blogger... I was born in Key West, Florida. A rather famous hangout for some past famous writers: Hemingway and Tennessee Williams to name two. I just hope that I possess a glimmer of their talent. I have a bachelors degree in architecture/construction and a master's degree in industrial engineering. I have been writing for fifty plus years. Most of my writing has been in the technical, instructional and business areas. I am working on my first book: "Havana Harvest---When Cuba Was Naughty" which details my coming of age experiences in 1958 Havana, Cuba, at the age of 15. Please visit my other blog "Writers Welcome Blog" at http://alturl.com/4z88.

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