Your first time attempting anything you value is fraught with risk. Most authors I know tackle their first novels with little more than hopes and dreams under the hood. Under these conditions, writing eighty thousand words can seem like an impossible exercise, and publishing those words remains an inscrutable business best left to the rich, the famous, and the extremely lucky.
And yet people do it all the time. Should you?
Before you jump the gun and publish a premature effort, learn what many authors wish they’d known before they started writing that book in the first place.
on Just Publishing Advice:
It’s easy for a new writer to believe many of the writing myths you read about online.
However, most of them are untrue or are at least stretching the truth. If you are a new writer, a lot of the advice you read can affect your confidence.
Writing and publishing might not be for everyone. But if that’s what you have your heart set on doing, there’s nothing to stand in your way.
Forget all about the myths, and focus on your passions, strengths, and what you want to achieve.
Derek Haines informs us about the safety of Grammarly, a program many of us use to edit our work. Thank you very much, Derek.
on Just Publishing Advice:
There’s no doubt that Grammarly is one of the most popular grammar checkers for writers and bloggers.
But as with all online apps and services available on the Internet, you might have some concerns regarding your privacy and personal data.
However, we all know that very few people take the time to do it, so I’ll share my experience with you.
Melissa Donovan published a very educational blog post about the elimination of redundancies in our writing. Thank you very much for your hard work, Melissa. That post is very helpful!
Writers are human, and sometimes we make mistakes. You’re probably aware of the most common mistakes in writing: comma splices, run-on sentences, mixing up homophones, and a variety of other broken grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules.
In my coaching work, I’ve noticed another common mistake: redundancy. Sometimes we use repetition effectively, but most of the time, by saying the same thing twice, we’re littering our writing with unnecessary language, or verbiage. If we remove the excess, we can improve our writing by making it more concise.
Understanding and Identifying Redundancies in Writing
Dictionary.com defines redundancy as a noun meaning “superfluous repetition or overlapping, especially of words.” Its cousin, the adjective redundant, means “characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas” or “exceeding what is usual or natural.”
Author Joan Reeves provides us with a phenomenal idea on her blog: different, surprising and extraordinary uses for business cards. Thanks so much for this post, Joan!
I still carry business cards. Do you?
Actually, I carry several cards that are standard business-card size, that is, 3.5 inches” x 2 inches.
Only 1 of these cards I carry is a traditional business card. That’s it to the left. On the reverse side of it, I have my website and blog links.
If you’re wondering why an author should carry business cards, this post is for you.
I order my cards from Vista Print because they offer quality card stock, they’re inexpensive, and I can upload my own design or use one of theirs. The card above is an old one, and it uses one of their stock designs.
If you want something even more affordable, print your own with Avery Clean Edge Business Card.
Just be sure you get the correct ones for your printer. Also, keep it simple if you’re not skilled at graphic design.
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February 9, 2019 I published Don Massenzio’s first part of characterization tips. Naturally I will share the second part as well. Thank you very much, Don!
Yesterday, I wrote a post about characterization listing, in simple terms, some of the pitfalls that writers face as they create and develop characters. You can read it HERE. This post will revisit those pitfalls and give you some tips on how to repair them.
These are all practical lessons that I learned as I stumbled my way through seven books with two more on the way. I hope that you find them helpful. I appreciate the kind words and discussion after the first post.
Now, let’s revisit some of the issues identified in the last post with some potential solutions.
Continue reading the entire blog post here:
On Nicholas Rossis’ blog I found an article by “Reedsy”, providing us with 7 tips for writing fantasy. Thanks a lot for your efforts to share this information, Nicholas! We really appreciate it!
Reedsy recently published some great tips for fantasy authors–tips which can be easily applied to any fiction writing. Here is my summary of a selection of these tips.
1. Identify your Market
If you think it’s enough to say, “oh, I write fantasy,” think again. With so many fantasy genres, readers tend to cluster around specific subgenres which can range from Harry Potter to steampunk and Young Adult.
2. Use Short Stories
This was a great tip, reminding us of the value of short stories to flesh out our world and characters. When you write these with the specific aim of excluding them from your novels, you will find that you have more creative freedom and can discover surprising things about your universe.
Continue reading the article on Nicholas Rossis’ blog here:
We use abbreviations and acronyms all the time, but what do they mean?
The English language uses many forms of word abbreviation.
We use shortened forms increasingly for text messaging to reduce a word or phrase.
Very often these are acronyms using initial letters such as LOL, ROTFL and BRB.
Other forms also use a capital letter from the start of each word but are pronounced as words. A good example is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which forms the word, NATO.
Other examples are NASA, POTUS and SCUBA. If you didn’t know, SCUBA means self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Radar is also an acronym, derived from radio detection and ranging.
Many common abbreviations, however, are pronounced letter by letter. The United States of America is most commonly referred to as the US or the USA, the United Kingdom as the UK and the United Nations as the UN.
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Don Massenzio wrote an educational blog post about being a prolific author – and useful writing techniques everyone of us should know. Thank you very much, Don!
When you think of prolific authors, who comes to mind. I immediately thought of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Patterson. In reality, these authors are small fries when it comes to being prolific. Stephen King himself said he was considered to be prolific despite having written “only” a few dozen novels to date. He also stated that some renowned novelists have written fewer than five books in a career. His quote on this was, “…I always wonder two things about these folks: how long did it take them to write the books they did write, and what did they do with the rest of their time?”
What about you my fellow authors and bloggers? Are you trying to write the one great American novel like To Kill a Mockingbird?
I started writing my first published book five years ago. Since then, I have published eight fictional novels, a book of short stories and a non-fiction books. I guess that’s considered prolific. But I also have some secrets that helped me get there quickly. They’re not really secrets, but useful techniques. Here are some of them.
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Nicholas Rossis advices us to celebrate diversity to make our ad campaigns better. Thank you very much for all your information and help, Nicholas!
Diversity and identity politics can be a minefield. In my science fantasy series, Pearseus, I had as diverse a cast as possible, with strong female leads, a main hero of Indian descent, another one of Chinese descent, Masai warriors, a lesbian leader, etc. Even so, I got flak from people who felt their preferred minority was underrepresented because, for example, my warrior heroines were slim and slender (even though one of my favorite characters, Head Priestess Tie, was a big woman with a shaved head).
So, should we, as authors, shy away from diversity?
In one word, no. With Pearseus, I didn’t set off to create a diverse cast; it came about organically as that was simply what fit my characters. I seem to have an eye for the quirky and the unusual when people-watching and that shows in my own work. And I find it boring when I write stories with only one kind of heroes.
But I had never thought of a possible relationship between my Ad campaign and diversity.
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