Olga Núñez Miret wrote a useful and interesting post about “CoPromote”, a new tool to spread words about our posts, tweets, videos, and so on.
I think this is excellent and I doubt I can resist too long to use it. 🙂 Thank you Olga.
I haven’t been using it very long, so I’m learning as I go along, but I thought you might find it interesting. You can sign with Twitter, Facebook…. (the usual suspects). Once you’ve signed, the site gives you the opportunity to promote (boost they call it) one of your Tweets, Tumblr posts or one of your videos in You Tube or Vine (or the four of them). You’ll have to connect your accounts in those platforms, if you have them, but then if you choose to boost a Tweet, for instance, the site brings up your Twitter feed and you can choose one of them…
Jack Eason has written a phenomenal article explaining why writers write. I felt like sharing it ; spreading word and let readers comment their thoughts. I’d be curious to hear if you agree as much with him as I do.
You may as well ask why do painters paint, or sculptors sculpt. Like them, we have a burning desire within us to produce something for posterity. In our case, for your reading pleasure. The serious writer isn’t in it for the money, only the story. Nor are we attempting to become famous during our lifetimes, just to be read.
Sculptors use chisels and other tools to release that statue trapped inside the block of marble. Painters use brushes, palette knives and all manner of paints and pigments to produce that painting which you admire in an art gallery. Whereas we use words to paint a picture for your imagination to feast on.
By its very nature, writing is a solitary occupation. You have to have a writer’s soul and a total commitment to the craft, not to mention a steely determination.
When working on Pearseus, I decided to include a map. In fact, I ended up drawing at least three versions, then buying Cartographer and doing another three versions there. Then, I realized a lot of people hate maps in books. A recent post by A.J. O’Conell of Bookriot explains why.
I Hate Maps
When epic fantasy N.K. Jemisin released her latest novel, The Fifth Season, she posted the – admittedly beautiful – map from her novel on her blog. What’s unusual about this is that Jemisin is one of a handful of authors who have been vocal about their distaste for maps in high fantasy.
So, why aren’t some fantasy authors fans of maps? Three reasons are usually cited:
Maps on the fly-leaf are cliché; every author from J.R.R. Tolkien to George R. R. Martin seems to have one.
Sometimes being able to see every major location in a world
Why are the first few chapters of your book great and then the yawn sets in as you continue reading through your first draft? Did two people write it?
The problem is common, happens to us all, and is something rarely if ever discussed. I believe it is because we know. We. Just. Know.
I call it Manuscript Mental Fatigue (MMF). We put so much into those first few chapters, editing as we go, and you know we do, then we make it past perhaps chapter ten and it’s over. We just write. It’s not that our ideas are but we just aren’t executing them the way we did earlier. A rule given at every turn about something not to do it, but we spent all of that time on those first few chapters. Instead of letting the words flow, we edited and tried to make those first chapters excellent…
The true gift of having a clearly defined definition of success is that you begin to find exactly what you need to achieve that success. I discovered YOUR FIRST 1000 Copiesby Tim Grahl exactly when I needed a guide for book marketing. I want to get the word out about my books, and I want to do it without being subservient to a cumbersome system I neither understand nor enjoy. Grahl gives me a blueprint to achieve that, and having a newsletter is an integral element in his system. In this post, I share what I’ve learned about setting up a Mailchimp newsletter and integrating it into your (free) WordPress.com blog.
Here are the main points I will cover:
Getting started with Mailchimp
Customizing Your Mailchimp sign-up form to coordinate with your WordPress.com blog
Use Google’s built-in developer tools to find the hexidecimal code for colors on your site
Arnuj Agawal has compiled the top 100 writing blogs for authors and bloggers in 2016. He writes that these blogs are on the top 100 because of their popularity. Click on the link at the end of the post to see the blogs.
“This year I’m starting the year right by highlighting some of the best writing blogs on the web. I love to visit blogs about writing for inspiration, encouragement and motivation, and it’s with those three qualities in mind that I have compiled this list of the top 100 writing blogs for 2016.
You might be a creative writer looking to improve your skills or a beginner novelist looking to pen your first book, or you might be a blogger wondering how to make more money from your blog or turn it into a full-time business. Whatever type of…
Writing short stories means beginning as close to the climax as possible — everything else is a distraction. A novel can take a more meandering path, but should still start with a scene that sets the tone for the whole book.
A short story conserves characters and scenes, typically by focusing on just one conflict, and drives towards a sudden, unexpected revelation. Go easy on the exposition and talky backstory — your reader doesn’t need to know everything that you know about your characters.
Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers
Get Started: Emergency Tips
Write a Catchy First Paragraph
Develop Your Characters
Choose a Point of View
Write Meaningful Dialogue
Use Setting and Context
Set up the Plot
Create Conflict and Tension
Build to a Crisis or a Climax
Deliver a Resolution
Get Started: Emergency Tips
Do you have a short story assignment due tomorrow morning? The rest…
“There’s no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges,” – Ernest Hemingway
To many writers, Ernst Hemingway is an idol, the ‘ultimate writer’. He is undoubtedly a legend. The legend once said, an unhappy childhood was the best early training for a writer. Malicious gossip has it that Hemingway wrote his best work while unhappy and drunk.
Erich Maria Remarque, author of All Quiet on the Western Front, was said to be notoriously depressive, and drew on his creativity from the deepest abyss of his sadness.
There are so many amazing authors, and each one of them is driven by a different motivation. But what if motivation is resting and creativity hiding? How can the sleeping muse be awoken?
Numerous ways to find motivation:
coffee or tea
read a good book
listen to stories
a nice dinner
the desire to create a world/story/fairy tale
peace and silence
spending time outside (on the beach or in the woods)
calm backyard in the shade
This is only a small number of possibilities. After all, there are so many more – too many to count.
But what if an author can’t find it? What if the muse is on vacation, creativity asleep and motivation in a coma? What if writer’s block has kicked in?
The American Author, Joyce Carol Cates, said: “I don’t think that writer’s block exists really. I think that, when you’re trying to do something prematurely, it just won’t come. Certain subjects just need time… You’re got to wait before you write about them.”
Erica Jong states: “All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged.” And Norma Mailer informs: “Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.”
These are famous authors who tell you what might cause it, but how do we end it? Hilary Mantel advises: “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, bot to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise, whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.”
But who is right? The ones telling us that writer’s block doesn’t exist, or those who believe it can be overcome? Does it matter? What authors want, is to write – having or not having writer’s block or ‘just being stuck’ is not a question that needs to be asked.
So how can we kiss the muse awake again?
Many famous writers have discussed the benefits of working and writing in piece and silence. Their advice is to get your own room and be able, and willing, to close the door.
Some writers work with background music, others write around their cats or with their dog, sleeping on their feet. I figure there are as many writing preferences as writers exist.
I personally love to write in the backyard, by the pool. I don’t mind hearing street workers, tree saws, or sirens in the distance. Dogs barking or a kid screaming or laughing is fine with me. When I’m in my story, I am too focused to really hear these sounds.
When I worked on a romantic short story a while back, I tried to write within a romantic and unusual environment, and found a spot near a waterfall. I love waterfalls – normally. That day I was delighted – for about 25 minutes. After that, I was bothered by the sound. The permanent flow of water made me nervous and fidgety, and I had to repeatedly interrupt the flow of the story to go to the bathroom. No need to say I didn’t write anything useful that day.
If you find the perfect place and surroundings in which to write, I personally recommend that you stay with it. Decorate away – create a space you can feel comfortable. Nobody else will be there. Make it yours. Wake your motivation by doing something that builds the perfect situation to make your inspiration flow.
If this means the room needs to look like an Arabian Harem or an Abbey cell, so be it. Rumors are that Barbara Cartland spoke her books on Dictaphone, within the silk and tulle of her Barbie pink bedroom.
I have to admit, writing romance within a romantic surrounding is one thing, but building a room that rots my teeth (sickly sweet) would be taking it a little too far. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t suit another writer. As the saying goes, ‘To each his own’.
To end this article, I’d like to quote one more famous and excellent writer:
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King
Part of being a writer is expanding your knowledge of our craft. A better vocabulary about the technical aspects of writing can help you to become a more proficient wordsmith. It’s very difficult to speak intelligently about something if you lack the proper words.
I found these definitions via a tweet from Jenn Flynn-Shon (@jennshon), and I thought I’d share the best of them with you.
It’s well worth checking out the original article for the full list, especially since they’ve got more useful writing posts in their menu.