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WRITING WISDOM | Creative Writing Classes – Fiction, Screenwriting, Nonfiction and More

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Teaching more than 6,000 students a year, Gotham Writers’ Workshop is New York City’s largest private creative writing school for adults and teens. 10-Week classes are offered at multiple locations in New York City and Online at WritingClasses.com.

Penelope‘s insight:

This is a rather long article on “Creating Compelling Openings”, but well worth the read. Beginnings are the most important part of your story, and if you miss the mark here, you might just lose your reader for good. 

“They call me Ishmael.” “None of them knew the color of the sky.” “They threw me off the hay truck about noon.” All irresistible openings. Why? They show a compactness and a confidence and that transfers to the reader. 

Another opening technique that is simple and yet highly effective, that is, grouping things in threes. Laura Hillenbrand’s nonfiction book, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend”, opens this way: 

“In 1938, near the end of a decade of monumental turmoil, the year’s number-one newsmaker was not Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler, or Mussolini. It wasn’t Pope Pius XI, nor was it Lou Gehrig, Howard Hughes, or Clark Gable. The subject of the most newspaper column inches in 1938 wasn’t even a person. It was an undersized, crooked-legged racehorse named Seabiscuit. “

It’s a matter of rhythm, of melody, but it’s also a matter of symmetry. There are numerous iconic examples: yin-yang; two-faced Janus; the masks of tragedy and comedy; before and after, and so on.

 It’s a matter of rhythm, of melody, but it’s also a matter of symmetry. We usually associate that word with a one-on-one relationship. The left side is symmetrical with the right side. There are numerous iconic examples: yin-yang; two-faced Janus; the masks of tragedy and comedy; before and after, and so on.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***** 

Link to the original article: http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/MoreInformation.php/info_type/NL/item/4917?utm_source=Gotham+Writers%27+Workshop+List&utm_campaign=716c0bc371-12_27_12_Jan_13_NL12_14_2012&utm_medium=email

 

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Innovative Book Promotion for Indie Authors | Successful Self-Publishing

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How To Be Truly New & Uniquely You. By Natalie Buske Thomas. You’re an indie, right? So are you blazing your own trail or simply following the herd, hoping for a break-through? I don’t hold out much hope for a break-through.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

As an author, it is becoming more difficult these days to stand out from the masses when promoting yourself and your books. Don’t you feel sometimes like shouting, “World! I’m Here!” Maybe you don’t have to resort to this–just yet. Here are some great tips from a mystery writer to distinguish herself as an individual that respects attention. Grab a tip or two that you can add quickly into your promotional arsenal. To sum up: 1) Create your own unique radio show on Blog Radio, 2) Create some fun games to engage your readers, 3) Host innovative contests, and 4) Get Personal.

 

*****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”*****

 Link to the original article: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/innovative-book-promotion-for-indie-authors

 

 

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The Daily Routines of 15 Famous Writers

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A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

This is productivity maniac Benjamin Franklin’s To-Do List for the day. What is yours? A writer’s life is not always cut and dried. Most of us have to squeeze in some writing amidst all the busy happenings in our lives. I would love to arise from my slumber and begin putting pen to page rapid fire, but as of this moment, I have to work within the boundaries of the life I am given. Here’s a look at 15 famous writers and how they find the time to write.

 *****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”*****

 Link to the original article: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/?_tmc=NG1bpRJ2dYOBoyoh8BlyKL6bvQdbk6IMDUzcuCV6ISU

 

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50 Ways To Reach Your Reader #5 : Twitter For Indie Authors | Advice on Self-Publishing & Selling Your Books

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There are many articles written about how indie authors can use Twitter to promote their books and to help build an author’s platform. Some of them have great advice and some are just smoke and mirrors.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

I find Twitter fascinating–especially as a means to an end. That is, the sole purpose of announcing your books to the world and finding readers for those books. This article gives great insight on how to use Twitter effectively. I’m going to grab a couple of these takeaway tips like “make sure to tweet as least one trending topic per day”, or “always try include hashtags in your tweets” and “reach out to your followers with targeted tweets”.

 

****This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”****

 

Link to the original article: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/reaching-readers-twitter/

 

 

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Tips on Effectively Conveying Character Emotion | Advice on Self-Publishing & Selling Your Books. From The Alliance of Independent Authors

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All successful novels, no matter what genre, have one thing in common: emotion, writes Bella Puglisi one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.

Penelope‘s insight:

Character emotion is one of the hardest things for most of us writers to nail down in a novel. This post will give you a heads up any time your character is up against a wall–and you can’t put your finger on the proper emotion to describe it.

Next time your scene needs a little more emotional oomph, remember these tips:

1) Whenever possible, show the emotion instead of naming it outright.

2) To show emotion, choose physical, internal, and mental responses for your character that are fresh and not overused.

3) Choose cues that are specific to your character and make sense for him or her.

Check out this new book, or just use the quick start guide in this blog post to get your wheels turning.

Here’s the link to the original post: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/tips-on-effectively-conveying-character-emotion/

 

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This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly” at www.scoop.it/philosbooks

 

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Picking an Effective Kindle Book Niche 101

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For something as important as choosing which Kindle book market or niche to enter – which can have drastic effects on the difficulty or breaking into Amazon’s vaunted Top 1,000 – you certainly wouldn’t know it from the lack of information about it…

Penelope‘s insight:

I think many people struggle to begin their writing for Kindle, because of all the confusion out there about how to pick a niche. Here are 3 things to think about:

1) What type of niches? (Look for active buyers)

2) Not Your Typical Strategy (find popular niches)

3) Importance of Rankings (Amazon will push your book higher in the rankings)

No matter what, don’t let any of this keep you from writing your book. If you have a subject you are passionate about, then by jove, get to writing!

The original article can be found here:

http://amydebcreations.com/picking-an-effective-kindle-book-niche-101#

 

This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on Ebook Promotion and Marketing at

www.scoop.it/philosbooks

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5 ways to use social media curator RebelMouse | Poynter

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Authors–go get your personal Rebel Mouse site and start promoting!

 

If you haven’t heard of it before, here’s what RebelMouse does: You connect your social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.) and it creates a web page that features the latest content you’ve shared. You can set up multiple site names (your author name, facebook pages, books, etc.) and control all of them from one dashboard. Some examples of how to use this social media curator :

 

Distinguishing capabilities:

 

1) It can bring multiple social networks together in one space.

 

2) It can make all that work you put into social networking accessible to people who don’t use those networks, and

 

3) It can be as automated as you want or as manually curated.

 

Why not pull content from your books and post on customized specific pages that you can curate and share with your readers? You can also share your author video on the same site or on multiple sites. Experiment and have fun!

 

Here’s a link to the original article: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/media-lab/social-media/195994/5-ways-to-use-social-media-curator-rebelmouse/

 

This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on Ebook Promotion and Marketing at www.scoop.it/philosbooks
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Forget Facebook. GoodReads Is The Best Social Network for Indie Authors | Advice on Self-Publishing & Selling Your Books.

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I am a member of GoodReads, and if you are an author, you should be, too! Set up your profile first as a reader, then as an author. GoodReads will link your accounts together for you. Thousands of readers are members that absolutely love books and new authors. Book clubs have been formed around reading, and finding new authors and books. If you want to be seen, this is the place to do it!

 

If you have an e-book, head on over to CreateSpace to get your hard cover printed and ready for giveaways. The outlay is minimal. If you want a proof copy, you’ll have to pay for that, but the rest of the copies can be print on demand. Then you are all set for your book giveaway on GoodReads! GR is the best social network for all writers, including self-publishing authors.

 

This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on Ebook Promotion and Marketing at www.scoop.it/philosbooks
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You’re Invited to the Pinterest Party!

I’m a little kid again.

In my mind, I’m back at the long table in Mrs. Morrissey’s kindergarten class, and the colored sheets of construction paper are being passed around, along with various magazines, blunt scissors and Elmer’s glue. I flip through page after page until I land upon wild nature scenes that strike my fancy, striped and fuzzy kittens, bright colored gingerbread houses, or desired toys. I feverishly cut, paste and slap those pictures onto the purple construction paper to overlap and create a beautiful, colorful collage. Once various circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles have been cut out, glued on, and fill the paper to its very edges, I lean back in my small wooden chair. I hold up my masterpiece with my chubby little hands, and let out a satisfied sigh. Another day of hard work for a six-year-old.

Now, 40 something years later, welcome to Pinterest–collage-making for adults. Since my adulthood, it has been several decades since I have been this excited about something. Pinterest has given me back my right creative brain. When I am pinning, I get a rush, not unlike the one I had when I opened up that box of 64-colors of Crayola crayons in first grade. I anticipate the satisfaction of creating something truly unique in my daily Pinterest boards. My right, creative brain is just on overdrive right now and my left, logical brain is sitting in the waiting room. I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning and could not sleep. Oh, the possibilities! I can make collages daily and I am not wasting time! Oh, for joy!

If there is any truth to the left-brain, right-brain theory then Pinterest, disguised as social media, is doing a darn good job of tapping into my dormant right.

The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include: Recognizing faces, expressing emotions, music, reading emotions, color, images, intuition, and creativity.

The question is: how can you use Pinterest in this social media crazy world for your business? Here are a few ideas you can grab onto right now:

1) Make boards showcasing your books, products, or business.

For example, if you are an author, you could create one board specifically for “Books Worth Reading”. Keep this board at the top of the page, and showcase the most colorful book as the cover. If you are selling the books, grab your pin from the location where the book is for sale. The “picture” then becomes a link.

If you sell a product, get a great picture of the product or products, and create a board called “Products I love”. Again, set the cover to the most colorful picture. Grab the “pin” from the website where the products are sold. That picture is now your link.

2) Make some fun boards showcasing things you like.

Don’t forget to also create some fun pins to go along with the business pins. Think animals, nature, home decorating, beauty, or food. Pay attention to what boards people are following, and find more pictures to add to your “fun” boards. Mix them up to showcase lots of fun and lots of color. Go crazy with it! Be a six-year-old again.

For your own ideas, check out my Pinterest boards, http://pinterest.com/philosbooks/ and follow a few that you like. Pretty soon, you’ll be an expert pinner at the Pinterest party, too! We’re adults now, but why not have fun at the same time? :mrgreen:

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Self-Publishing Authors can Connect with Readers INSIDE their E-Books.

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I thought I had heard it all until I read this post. I had to read it twice to make sure I was reading correctly. Yes, authors can now interact with their readers INSIDE their ebooks as the reader is reading. The new connection platform is called a WeJIT.

 

You won’t disturb your reader–they can ignore WeJIT if they like. The readers can link up with their social media platforms like FB and Twittter. Readers can engage with the author on book discussions and post the discussions on their FB, twitter, etc. and get their friends involved! Their friends can then become a part of the discussion and could, in turn, become interested in your book.

 

Why put WeJITs in your book?

Increase readership Increase awareness Sell more books

The future is here now! Can you see the possibilities? This is very exciting news to me.

 

This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on Ebook Promotion and Marketing at www.scoop.it/philosbooks
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