Category Archives: WRITING TIPS

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This Itch of Writing: Showing and Telling: the basics

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Writing, talking about writing, reading writing and sometimes hating writing:
a blog by novelist Emma Darwin

Penelope‘s insight:

 

This is one of the best articles I have seen on the Writing Basics of “Showing” and “Telling”. The author would rather call it “Evoking” and “Informing” and I tend to agree.

Beginning writers naturally do more telling than showing, which is usually where we all begin. Once you get into the process of writing on a regular basis, you want your writing to “evoke” some kind of emotion in the reader.

Not that telling is wrong. There is a place for telling. Children’s stories will use the “telling” or “informing” of a narrator more than the “showing” or “evoking”. Once upon a time…

Take a look at the article for some very specific examples, and another helpful writer’s tip about “psychic distance”.

   

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

 

Link to the original article and the full interview: http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/showing-and-telling-the-basics.html

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The Self-Pubbed Writer Who Wrote the Next Great Sci-Fi Saga

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You can also listen to this article. When bookstore employee and indie author Hugh Howey published his short story “Wool” as a 99-cent e-book on Amazon in July of 2011, he wasn’t banking on the story transforming his career.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

  

I’m in the middle of reading the wildly successful “Wool” permanent free book that sits out on Amazon. Sci-fi fan, I am not, but the story is intriguing. Bookstore employee and indie author, Hugh Howey had no idea that publishing his short story out on the web would completely change his life. He had written nothing else after this one, but fans reached out to him to finish his futuristic short story to satisfy their desire for more work from this author.

As Wool opens, Holston, the sheriff of the silo is being sent to “cleaning,” a punishment that takes him to the toxic surface to scrub the sensors that project a view of the world above to the silo below. The description of the view is one of the only clues Howey provides about the world before the silo was created. It’s a “familiar and rotting skyline” in which “ancient glass and steel stood distantly where people, it was suspected, had once lived aboveground.”

 By reaching out to Howey and leaving reviews that asked for more, fans helped conjure the fictional world that has come to mean so much to them. And through the power of self-publishing and social media, Howey converted interest in the first story into dedicated fandom and hundreds of thousands of e-book sales. Self-publishers can always learn from studying what is currently working, and tweak it to fit into their own self-publishing.

 

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

 

Link to the original article: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/03/hugh_howey_and_wool_how_the_self_pubbed_sci_fi_writer_relates_to_fans.2.html

 

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A Map to Get Out of Writer’s Block

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If you’re a writer, chances are you’ve experienced writer’s block. Consider this the map that will outline your escape route.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

What a great tool to keep handy when you just can’t write any more and you are not sure of the reason. Personally, I’m going to print this out and keep it close by when I:

o Just don’t know what to do with my character

o My plot has lost its ooomph

o The story just feels a bit stale, or

o I’ve lost my way

 This excellent infographic will give you a route to choose, depending upon your writing issue. Try it the next time you end up in a writing dilemma.

 

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

 Link to the original article and the full interview: http://nybookeditors.com/book-editing-copy-editing-proofreading-self-publishing-blog/2013/3/12/a-map-to-get-out-of-writers-block#sthash.rQ3VMP3M.Yk0iki6b.dpbs

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Digital Publishing and Indie Authors | What to expect in 2013?

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“Publishing in the digital age has taken on a brave new face. It’s precocious, it’s brazen, it’s sassy and it’s independent.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

2013 is a brand new year for authors! What should they expect? 

o Ebooks are cheaper to produce

o Social Media allows authors to create a following

o Promotions (allows authors to bring their books to target markets)

o Indie Authors can earn more (60-70% vs. the 30%)

 For the entire article and more great news for authors, visit the original article.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://marketingforromancewriters.com/digital-publishing-2013/

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Margo Berendsen: Love story plots, or 13 ways to mess with your characters

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Penelope‘s insight:
 
Are you considering writing a romance novel for Kindle? They are hot sellers, and you’ve got countless romance genres to choose from. If you are stuck for ideas, this excellent post will jumpstart your thinking in the area of love.

This author gives us Love Story Plots, or “13 different ways to mess with your characters.” You can even cross over into the paranormal romance genre. (Movies: “Avatar” or the “Twilight” series).

If you are considering the YA (young adult) romance genre, a great example are the Kindle book covers of a very successful romance novelist, Rachel Hanna. Make sure that you aim for a great plot that appeals to your chosen audience (this may take some research), and an eye-catching book cover. Here’s an interview that I had with Rachel recently. You can listen in to get some ideas of your own, or just take a peek at her beautiful covers. Her audience loves her!

 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/philosbooks/2013/03/01/interview-with-best-selling-romance-novelist-rachel-hanna

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://margoberendsen.blogspot.com/2011/02/love-story-plots-or-13-ways-to-mess.html

 

 

 

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George Will: The art of good writing – STLtoday.com

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George Will: The art of good writing STLtoday.com You will not want to skip anything in William Zinsser’s short essays written for the American Scholar magazine’s website and now collected in “The Writer Who Stayed,” a book that begins with him…

 

Penelope‘s insight:

 

On writing from Elmore Leonard, “I leave out parts that people skip.” Take note all indie authors and self-publishers wanting to make their own special noise on the Kindle marketplace.

Our “endlessly supple” English language will, William Zinsser says, “do anything you ask it to do, if you treat it well. Try it and see.” Try Zinsser’s short essays for the American Scholar magazine’s website and now collected in “The Writer Who Stayed,” a book that begins with him wondering why “every year student writing is a little more disheveled.”

I find it a shame that newspapers had to “dumb down” the articles to read at six grade levels. The ebook marketplace is getting fierce, but as the cream “also rises”, the best, brightest and superbly written books will rise to the top of the heap. I still have faith.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/george-will/george-will-the-art-of-good-writing/article_7d165c9d-fadf-56f5-ad1d-a07169cfbf26.html

 

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Words | Writing Tips

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Wonderful and highly inspirational video. Reminds us all to strive for authentic and purposeful communication. So chose your words wisely. They are extremely powerful.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

This beautiful video is a less than 2 minutes, but I guarantee it will be time well spent– and will give you new “vision”.

 

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

 Link to the original video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU&feature=player_embedded

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Here’s How Seth Godin Writes | Writing Prompts

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When Seth Godin talks, people listen. We’ve been listening for years to this bestselling author of 17 books with a storied background in publishing.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Here’s my takeaway from reading the interview with the iconic Seth Godin. Be yourself–and be remarkable! Status Quo stinks. You are unique, you have a story to tell, and you have fans who are waiting to hear your story.

Have you heard negative feedback about your writing? Here’s what Seth Godin heard. His high school English teacher wrote in his yearbook: “You are the bane of my existence and it’s likely you’ll never amount to anything.”

Don’t listen to the negative voices around you. Write what you like to write and write like there’s no tomorrow!

 

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

 Link to the original article and the full interview: http://www.copyblogger.com/writer-files-seth-godin/

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Serials Can Be Challenging, For Writers and For Amazon – The Digital Reader

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Penelope‘s insight:

 

Is taking on the challenge of writing “serials” for Amazon right for you and your audience? It can be lucrative, but very tricky. As you are writing your story, you are also posting the chapters for readers to pick up on and pass on to others. 

“50 Shades of Gray” started out as FREE serialized Twilight fan-fic. It then built up its audience over time–and we know the rest of the story.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2012/09/19/serials-can-be-challenging-for-writers-and-for-amazon/#.UFz3xY1lRVU

See on www.the-digital-reader.com

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The Marshall Plan® – Where to Get Writing Ideas

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Writeanovelfast.com provides tips and ideas for writing and publishing your novel faster. Veteran book agents and writers Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett pull from three decades of experience working with writers.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

The age-old question for writers is: “Where in the world do you come up with all of your ideas?” My response: “In this world we live in–the ideas are ripe for the picking!”

This very excellent article dishes up some juicy tidbits on a silver platter to spark your writing juices. Here’s a couple I plucked from one of my favorite topic scouting sites: YAHOO.COM

MACY’S CEO DESCRIBES THE MOMENT HIS FRIEND MARTHA STEWART BETRAYED HIM  “I thought Martha and I were friends.”

THE MAN WHOSE IMPEACEMENT VOTE SAVED ANDREW JOHNSON -After being impeached, President Andrew Johnson survived his 1868 Senate trial by just one vote. And to this day, how that vote was cast remains shrouded in controversy.

ROBIN THE BOY WONDER KILLED! – NEW YORK — The story of Batman and Robin is about to change forever. That’s according to The New York Post…

There is a constant barrage of these types of headlines every minute of every hour of every day. See if you can’t come up with a list of your own go-to sites for your Kindle Writing ideas.

 

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

 Link to the original article: http://writeanovelfast.com/wheretogetideas.htm#

 

 

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