As A Writer You’re Job Isn’t Just To Write

We all know that in order to be a good writer you need to write. The question is how many words a day is a good day, or how long should I write?

  • Everyone is different and there’s no magic number.

You have to find your spot and go from there. If you’re in the moment and find that the words are flowing then why would you stop? Keep going.

I try and write at least 8-10 hours a day. That’s normal for me but if you’re a single mother or father that would be impossible.

Writers have strange rituals and there is no right answer.

Everyone is different. Take whatever idea you have and run with it. Even bad ideas may have something magical in it somewhere.

The best advice I have for unpublished writers is network. Facebook is your friend.

I have been invited to take part in anthologies because someone had read my book or knows that I write splatterpunk and they think that I would be a good fit in an anthology they’re putting out.

As a writer you’re job isn’t just to write

  • Always pay attention.

The reason so many stories are rejected is due to an author not paying attention to what they’re submitting too.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and submit to a genre you have never tried to write in.

Read the whole article here.

How to Finally Admit that You are a Writer

If you’re reading this you’re probably an author, or at least you want to be. I bet you have wondered how you get there.

How do you go from wanting to be a writer to being an author with your name on the cover of a book?

How do you get to wear one of those t-shirts that says “Ask Me About My Book – Published Author.”  Don’t you need to know what you’re doing? Don’t you need a college education? Don’t you need a history of writing projects?

In my journey, I found that admitting and believing that I was a “real” writer was the first hurdle to overcome on this road to authorship that I unexpectedly found myself traveling on in life.

I mean, I didn’t have a fancy university diploma framed on my wall.

I was a blogger, and I’d only been doing that for several years. The rest of my life before that I wrote in journals now and then when I found it helpful. That was my experience and knowledge. The one thing I kept hearing all the time from others was that I had talent.

How to Finally Admit that You are a Writer

“You’re a good writer. You should write a book”, they said. 

Though half the time I wasn’t sure I believed them. After all, what did they know?! They weren’t a professional anything anymore than I was. Even after I had two book projects in progress and a couple of blogs, getting great response, I still didn’t think of myself as a real writer.

There were a couple of things that helped me to go from this state of mind to finally saying to other people “I am a writer.” And, as of December 1st, 2014 I can finally say to others “I am a published author.”

The first thing was reading a book called “If You Can Talk You Can Write” by Joel Saltzman. I learned from this book to stop worrying about the “proper” way to say things, or editing as I went along, and to just write down the words that were in my head.

Read the whole article here.

Why Write?

I think this question has been asked to every author at every book signing, literary event and convention since time immemorial.

But it is an honest inquiry.

Why do authors choose to do this? What was the first spark? 

Personally, I started writing when I was a kid. I remember going to the movies and left wondering what happened after the lights came up. Did they all really live happily ever after? What about the bad guys? Did the surviving ones see the error of their ways?

So, I dabbled, keeping a handful of journals just to get the thoughts onto paper. Wrote on my high school newspaper, working in movie reviews and opinions primarily.

But it wasn’t until writing a satirical column about the mind controlling powers of Cabbage Patch Kids that I found my true calling in the world of fiction. (Sadly, the local newspaper did not print the article, but the editor gave me some very good advice: Don’t stop.)

I didn’t stop, but I did put my writing on hold. It wasn’t until I read the final book in a somewhat successful YA series, which will remain nameless, and after suppressing the urge to throw said book across the room for crappy story telling and ridiculous character choices, I decided to write my own story.

Why Write Authors

We read something that sparks our interest and decide, “You know? I don’t think ‘insert-character-name-here’ should’ve gone into that room. If I were writing their story…”

And so it begins. But creating a unique perspective on a well-known concept is the true test of any aspiring wordsmith. We all know about good v. evil, we know the bad guys will get their comeuppance or mend their ways.

But there has to be more than that. It’s in the shades of good and evil that we find the truly interesting characters. Our heroes need vices and our villains must have some redeeming qualities.

Read the whole article here.

Choose Your Genre Well or Not

A sage piece of advice for writers who seek commercial success is to choose and know your market before you start to write.

Decide who is going to read your work and know what their expectations are. Then write to the target market.

Write to fulfill those expectations.

This includes understanding the requirements of different categories or genres.

The expectations of romance readers about how a story should be told are different from those of readers of thrillers or fantasies.

The Lost King by Devorah Fox

I didn’t choose the fantasy genre of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam series; it chose me. Though The Lost King is about present-day issues like divorce and career displacement, the story wanted to be told in a once-upon-a-time fashion.

Thus the setting is an imagined land, the story takes place in the Middle Ages and it includes mythical creatures like dragons.

The series was inspired by a friend’s real life crisis, a complete personal and professional derailment. I wanted to see if I could make that come out happily ever after.

That turned out to be harder than I thought. Three books later I’m still at it.

Even the strongest among us doesn’t bounce right back from such stunning losses. While King Bewilliam, the series hero, scored some successes, he continues to struggle to reclaim his life which led to The King’s Ransom, the latest release, The King’s Redress, and my current work-in-progress, The Redoubt.

To tell his story I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would about ancient times and chimerical creatures and have made friends among other writers of fantasy and paranormal fiction. 

Read the whole article here.

Outlines Are Wonderful

“Well hi there! So your probably reading this because you are a curious new author or an aspiring author. Your here because you want to widen your mind on tips for writing from other authors who have been down your path.”

My name is Juss Stinson and YES I am a proud author!

Many authors can offer advice to you and a lot of it may even be different than another author.

Don’t ever feel trapped since there really are many ways to go about writing! Here are just a few general tips.

Writing a book and need some tips?

Outlines are wonderful!

I scribble down characters I want to introduce, events I want to happen, and little details I don’t want to forget to incorporate in my work. I write all of it in order so I can just cross it out once I finally have it in my book! Keep your patience is the biggest advice I have for anyone.

Personally when I am in that horrible block I just open a blank page and type a bunch of nonsense, poems, or even short stories and all of these can detour my mind enough so I can get back on track.

Losing your temper can really slow your will to write down so make sure to stay calm and collective and just walk away for a little bit if you have to!

So you have written your book what’s next? You need to edit the heck out it! Read it over and correct all that you see is wrong or places where you lose your flow while reading.

Once you are happy I highly recommend beta readers.

These people of your choosing will read through your book correct awkward sentences, check spelling and grammar, and write notes of what they truly think. Choose those you believe will be brutally honest and who pay close attention to detail.

Once your finished and you feel your piece of work is exactly where you want to be you venture into publishing. You can find a publishing company who would love to have you and sign with them or you can always self publish.

Read the whole article here.

From The Editor’s Desk

After graduating from high school I went directly to a job in the newsroom of the Vancouver Sun, one of the city’s big daily newspapers. It was a dream come true.

“I wanted to be a crime reporter” and the thrill of being accepted as a copy runner (that is, an apprentice reporter, nowadays called an ‘intern’ which back then meant someone studying to be a doctor).

I was the only girl ‘copy-boy’ working with one or two other young fellows who had the same dreams and aspirations as me.

We’d stand at our post in the center of the big newsroom amidst the sound of clacking typewriters and bustling reporters busy at their desks banging out the day’s news.

When one would shout “COPY!” I scurry as fast as I could to grab the sheaf of 8” x 6” newsprint on which the story was typed and race over to the editor’s desk.

From The Editor's Desk

The editor would take it, scribble a few things, and minutes later yell “COPY!” and the paper would be picked up from the editor, rolled inside a tube and shoved into a pipe-like gadget that would suck it up to the composing room where the story would be typeset for printing.

“What a thrilling time it was!”. The reporters were exciting characters to be around, all of them smoking up a storm, their coffee cups not always full of pure coffee (Often we’d discover bottles of whiskey stashed in the coke machine or filing drawers).

In the midst of deadline they could be furious as angry lions and we didn’t dare tarry when they shouted “COPY!”.

Once deadline was over, things would settle down, and often there were parties in the newsroom. Sometimes buckets of fresh oysters would appear, and plates of goodies and cases of beer. Even the lowly copy-runners were invited to join in.

One of the top women writers on the news desk wanted to train me for her job taking police calls and following up the stories. But the news editor wouldn’t hear of it and eventually I was encouraged to take a position in the news library.

That proved interesting, because I was put in charge of the crime files and bios. And in the news library I honed my research skills.

“Now, years later I find myself working as a full-time writer. What is also interesting is that these days, because of my own travel website, TRAVEL THRU HISTORY  I am sitting on the other side of the desk in the chair of the editor.”

This week I’ve been spending quite a lot of time editing stories for my website and editing my own work, or stories from the people in the writing classes that I teach. It’s interesting being on the other side of the desk, wearing the editor’s hat.

Now I understand why editors are strict about the submissions they receive, and how easy it is to get your work rejected if you are not careful to submit ‘clean copy’.

I used to wonder, when I was a kid back in the newsroom, exactly what ‘clean copy’ meant. It didn’t mean a piece of copy paper with no coffee stains or cigarette burns. It means a piece of work well written, with a strong lead, informative body and satisfactory conclusion; no spelling errors; tight sentences; clear writing.

Writers must learn to edit and send ‘clean copy’ to our editors/publisher.

Never send a first draft, it will only get rejected. And accept the suggestions that are offered to you for improving your work. It’s a learning process, all part of being a writer.

Read the whole article here.

Self Publishing Advice

Hi, I’d like to start by saying I am an indie author, going on a year and a half now. And granted I don’t know a lot.

But what I do know may help you NEW AUTHORS out there. First thing is first. You need a story, something original.

My first book was about a soldier, his life during the war, and then coming home and readjusting to civilian life. So I had some basic knowledge.

Then there comes research. And I did A LOT of it. Google will be your best friend for all things research.

Now you have to pick a POV. Which is your favorite to read? Is it FIRST person, or THIRD? There’s also second POV but it isn’t used a lot. Play around with it and see what’s best for YOU.

While you are writing, make connections. I do NOT advise you to contact people for the sole purpose of advertising your book. I repeat DO NOT reach out for other authors to help YOU. This will get you unfriended real quick.

There are some that will share your stuff, but it’s bad form. I would advise to try to form some friendships, yes you can ask for advice (in a nice way). Find some authors that inspire you. Now there are blogs that are MORE THAN WILLING to help you, by promoting you, your book, your future book, as well as teasers.

Okay, now you have your story outlined and it’s wrote. Now what?

It won’t cost you millions, thousands or even hundreds to write a book. Nope! The only thing I can say is that editing CAN be expensive and it CAN break the bank. But there are some cheaply priced editors out there, it will take some searching.

Do you have a friend that’s good at English, or even an English major that can help? Reach out to them and see if they can proof your book. Maybe you have two friends who can catch your errors.

BEFORE it’s edited though, you could probably use a few beta readers. What are beta readers? Well, they will read your WIP, critique it, and give you feedback on the story. There are some awesome people out there ready and willing to this for you…….and it’s FREE.

Some might even catch some of the misspelled words, or notice something in the story line you didn’t realize at the time. Getting some beta readers on your team is a GOOD THING.

Alright, now you need a cover. Do you plan on having paperbacks, e-books or both? Most authors do both. Look up cover designers, they vary in price. This will cost you, but find someone whose work that you like, that you can envision doing your cover.

This will also take some research. Heck, maybe you are creative enough to do your own.

I think my first book cost me, guessing maybe $25 if that! And still I don’t pay a lot for my books. It’s all about trial and error, finding the right people and making connections with other authors, bloggers and readers.

So after all that, now you have to figure out where to publish your book. You can go to Amazon exclusively or go for ALL the platforms like Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks as well as others.

Then you need to price your book accordingly. See what other books like yours are being priced at and go from there. Again, experiment.

And please DO NOT copy another authors work and pass it off as yours. There are copyright laws that you need to follow.

Okay you have it published now what? Reach out to bloggers to see if they are willing to share your release, send them your buy links and voila.

This concludes my advice on what to do and what not to do. I hope that maybe you learned a thing or two. Best of luck!!! I’m author Renea Porter, and I’m out. J.

Know What You Write, Write What You Know

Article written by – Caryn M. Day-Suarez

Some people think that writers just sit down at the computer or laptop and can just whip out countless pages of pros or chapters at one sitting.

Knowing many writers, as I do, and being one myself, however, I know this is quite well, not how it usually goes. I love to write fiction, and poetry and articles, but when I need something to “get me going”, I write about what I know about myself – me.

source – birminghamtimes.com

In doing this I have published a memoir book that got me an opportunity to touch my book club idol, Oprah Winfrey, back in 2000, it got me the chance to see my story turned into a movie script and place in Project Greenlight a few years back, it got me invited to book clubs, libraries, women’s groups, churches, bookstores, places to speak.

It opened doors just being an expert on the one topic I knew for sure, which again was me, my family, my friends, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s at a time when things in this country were quite different than they are today on so many levels.

So how do you start?

We all have a story. We all have a memory of a special Christmas, or having a baby, or the house burned down, or Aunt Clara’s beehive hairdo, red lipstick and a cigarette hanging onto her lip, we all have something to tell that the rest of us can relate too or would be interested in hearing about.

Start there.

source: grassrootsfitness.ie

Write about one event, one incident in your life, and let us see it through your eyes, smell it, hear it, taste it, put us there with you in this scene and then let it grow.

Before you know it you have a great short story, an article, something someone can read in an airline magazine and you can get paid for sharing this story, a piece of yourself.

It can be funny, or sad, or just a remembrance of a time gone by, inspirational, scary, all you have to do is tell us your story. Make us feel like we are sitting with you having some tea, coffee or cocoa and you are just telling us something about you. Just start typing.

If you are going to tell us a story however, about let’s say the past, about something that happened in the 60’s, make sure you remember to research that era.

If you are going to tell us where and what you were doing the day JFK was killed, make sure you have the date and year right, where he was, where you were.

Obviously if you were on the phone you cannot say you dropped your cell phone in shock and dismay, chances are you did not have one then and this blows the story for the rest of us.

So check your time period facts when you tell us a story from the past and make sure they are correct.

Take us there and let us not only see the story unfold before us but put us, the readers, in it with you.

Picture Author – Roberta Tocco

We want to feel the wind and roar of that tornado as you ran to your basement, we want to hear the sound of it crashing upon you like a locomotive, we want to taste the rain that came with it, the smell of fear, take us there with you we want to go along for the ride.

We want to know what it was like so we can feel for you and your ordeal.

Just don’t tell us, show us.

Before you know it, you have a short story, an article, if nothing else it has given you a great writing exercise to practice and you can return to what you did want to write.

Yet let me leave you with this happy thought – nonfiction sells.

Nonfiction short stories have been made into movies, (Broke Back Mountain comes to mind – yes it was a short story). Start a series of stories for the family to read, the grandkids to remember you by.

That is what I started my first book for.

I wrote it for the nieces and nephews I had that were scattered all over the country and why their six aunts and uncles were also scattered too.

Write it for yourself.

If you have something to get off your chest this is the way to do it, and it is both healing and may help others. Just do it.

Like the Nike ads say. Just do it, because you know it. Just know what you write and the rest will come easily, because we all have some stories to tell.

For more information about Caryn M Day Suarez see her website at http://CDSPublicity.com. Her books are available on amazon.com, BN.com and as e-books.

5 Signs You’re Not In Alignment With Your Writing Dream

A few months ago, I found myself standing on the edge of my writing career. Up to that point, things had gone OK, but I just didn’t have the success I was dreaming of.

I thought about quitting. I questioned whether I even had what it took to make my dream happen. After all, I’d been at it since 2008, wouldn’t I have made it work by now?

I took a cold, hard look at where I was at and at where I wanted to be. And what I saw shocked me.

I was totally out of alignment with my writing dream.

Sure, I was dreaming and telling myself that I’d get there eventually. But when I looked at my writing habits—they were a mess.

When I looked at my consistency—it didn’t measure up. And, most importantly, when I looked at who I was being and how I was thinking, I realized I needed a serious writing life makeover.

The successful self-published author I dreamed of being would not act or think in the ways I was. It was time for a change.

I overhauled my writing habits, made a commitment to doing the work every single day, and I stepped up to act and think like the author I wanted to be. Within two months of doing that, I became a multi-category best selling author on Amazon and I’ve started selling 1,000+ books a month.

This is no fluke—this happened because I finally got into alignment with the writing life I dreamed of having. I finally stepped up and accepted my mission to change the world with my words.

And it’s been getting better and better ever since.

Butt in Chair

If you don’t have the success you dream of having, it’s because you’re not in alignment. Alignment is everything.

To read the whole article, click here.