From Amanda Patterson over at  Writers Write 

Do you have blogger’s block?

Even creative people get stuck when they’re trying to come up with ideas for a blog post. I thought I would put together a list of possible topics to inspire you. These are based on some of our blog posts at Writers Write and others I’ve enjoyed reading on the Internet.
Whether you blog daily, three times a week, or once a week, I hope that one of these are just what you need to break your blogger’s block.

 

 

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Another excellent article over at  ABC Copywriting by Tom Albrighton 8 June 2015 Copywriting, Tone of voice

You read with your eyes, and listen with your ears. But researchers have found that, when people read, they actually hear the sound of the words in their heads. So you read with your ears too, in a sense.

If that’s the case, the rhythm of your copy is a crucial part of its impact. If what you’re saying doesn’t ‘sound’ right to the reader, how likely are they to do what you want?

Animal_drums_2011To some extent, rhythm is one of those writing skills that just has to be learned over time. Through reading (any reading), practice and careful listening (of which more later), you learn to sense the pace and cadence of your words – and, more importantly, how to improve it.

For me, rhythm usually comes at the editing phase, not the first draft. I get the ideas down first, regardless of how gauche or grunty they sound, then go back and try to sculpt them into something more graceful. Of course, your mileage may vary. Maybe you put things like ‘[and one more]’ or ‘bom-tidde-pom’ as placeholders in your first draft, and hang your meaning on that rhythmic framework later on.

Once you got rhythm, don’t expect many compliments about it. Unless you’re deliberately aiming for an arrhythmic effect, the right rhythm will probably just sound natural and flowing, without drawing attention to itself. Actually, I think this is probably one of the aspects that clients are unconsciously responding to when they say work sounds ‘professional’, ‘punchy’ or just ‘good’. Conversely, the most irksome direct amends are often those that mess up the rhythmic flow.

Read the rest of this article over at  ABC Copywriting

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An excellent article over at  ABC Copywriting by Tom Albrighton

In a recent post, I noted that the term ‘storytelling’ is being applied to more and more types of content, not all of them proper stories. On top of that, there’s often an over-emphasis on the channels and media used for storytelling at the expense of the stories themselves. But all that begs the question: what does make a good story?

This post draws on academic research into political storytelling, and other sources, to argue that the most effective commercial stories share seven closely related characteristics: drama, familiarity, simplicity, immersion, relatability, agency and trust in the teller. (Discussion continues below infographic.)

What really makes a good story? (Infographic)

 

Drama

Stories need dramatic development and emotional dynamics. Taking out the ‘bad bits’ damages trust.

dramaAt the very broadest level, drama is the spark that animates all creative forms of advertising and marketing. First, you have to take the features of a product and ‘turn them outwards’ by expressing them as benefits. Then you need to dramatise those benefits in a compelling and convincing way.

Just as drama turns a benefit into a creative concept, so it turns a neutral sequence of events into a story. A story needs conflict and resolution; tension and release; mystery and revelation. There should be losses and gains, setbacks and comebacks, peaks and troughs. And, above all, a story should be about people: their dreams and desires; loves and hates; problems and passions.

If your story is a work of fiction, it should be relatively easy to create drama. If it’s factual, you may have to dig around, or use poetic licence, to give it the drama it lacks. Or your story may have too much drama, so that you’re tempted to tone it down to show the characters in the best possible light.

A brand telling its own story will usually prefer to dwell on its successes rather than its setbacks. Even in the age of social engagement, few brands are interested in proving their authenticity by admitting mistakes unless they absolutely have to. When it comes down to it, most brand stories amount to ‘it’s all good’.

Read the rest of this over at  ABC Copywriting

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

From the folks at Seekerville

By multi-published historical author Keli Gwyn!

I’m excited to be back in Seekerville. Ruthy invited me in response to a comment I left on her thought-provoking post, “Writing Contemporary vs.Historical Books: Must We Choose?”  Since I think Ruthy is the bee’s knees, I said yes.
Ruthy suggested I blog about giving a historical story a dated feel, a timely topic I was eager to explore.

In an April 16 post on the Bethany House blog, Ask Bethany House: WhatDo Editors Look For in a New Author?  BH editor Raela Schoenherr listed 13 items she looks for. I was excited to see this bullet point as the first in her “laundry list.”

  • Interesting, varied word choice and use of the English language in a way that is appropriate to era, setting, characters, etc.

As an author of historical romance, a command of period-appropriate language is important to me as well as my readers. It’s nice to see that it ranks so highly on an editor’s desired elements list as well.

But how does a writer go about creating that period-appropriate language? I have a few tips to share, but I wanted to give you more than I could come up with on my own.

Because my stories encompass only a narrow slice of history, I got brave and sent out a zillion emails to some of the best and brightest stars in inspirational historical romance, asking them to provide tips for their periods as well. The generous authors flooded my inbox with a wealth of information, resulting in a post so meaty that I’m issuing each of you a virtual steak knife and fork. Enjoy the feast!

Basic Tips for Creating Period-Appropriate Language

Here are eight techniques used by many writers of historical fiction.

– See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2015/06/41-tips-for-transporting-your-readers.html#sthash.FipGBzR2.dpuf

 

 

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I spent last weekend at CrimeFest in Bristol alongside lots of amazing crime authors, both traditionally published and indie authors. It was a fantastic time and I met some super people …

I found myself in a number of conversations with authors who wanted to know what their publishing options were in a fast-changing market.

indie authors crimefest 2015

We also had an indie author panel on the Sunday morning, which was packed full despite the morning-after-the-gala-dinner-graveyard slot.

In my intro, I pointed out that between us, we had sold over 500,000 books in five different languages in 66 countries, we are prize-winning and award-winning as well as New York Times and USA Today bestselling.

Oh yes, and contrary to what most seem to believe, we have print and audiobooks as well as ebooks … and all achieved without a publisher. Several of us even make pretty good money from selling books …

We were then asked to outline the negatives of going indie, since we were clearly all so positive about it!

So today, here are my pros and cons of being an indie author. I’d love to hear yours, or any questions, in the comments below.

 

Read the rest  at The Creative Penn

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From the folks over at  Color Your Life Published

Today’s guest blogger is Denis Ledoux sharing his experience with writing his mother’s memoir. He’s the author of Should I Write My Memoir?: How to Start (The Memoir Network Writing Series Book 1) Learn more at his website.

Denis' mom is the one standing in center back.

If you are like me, you know many details of your mother’s—or father’s—life. But there may be many vague relationships between this event and that event, between causes and effects. In other words, your parent’s life may end up seeming a mishmash of dates and facts and impressions and none of them blending very well together.

Being a person who has always been interested in family history, I considered myself aware of my mother’s and my father’s lives. Having worked with people to write memoirs, I wanted to be sure that I was not caught, as so many people have been, with not getting my parents’ story while the story was still available—which it wasn’t in my father’s case as he was deceased.

I begin to write

In 2009, I began to focus on interviewing my mother. Every few weeks (she lived in a different city), I would visit with her and get in a half hour interview. Since my mother was not primarily interested in preserving her life story (it was my interest), she was not committed to a beginning-to-end interview process. What I ended up doing was simply asking her questions—often in a conversation. Once back home, I would write down her answers to my questions.

Read the rest at  Color Your Life Published

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Originally posted by:

Derek Haines

February 10, 2015

My Books Aren't SellingWith so many books now published on Amazon in particular, the competition to attract book buyers is fierce. While there are countless sources of advice and marketing tricks on how to sell ebooks and books, the most important factors of all are to have a good product and to attract positive attention to your books.

If you have published more than a couple of titles, perhaps it has been some time since you analysed what you are really doing to attract attention. As with all things Internet, change is the only constant, so while certain approaches may have been successful a year or so back, it is not necessarily true that they are working now. If your book sales have slowed down, maybe it’s time to take stock and look for action you can take to improve your chances.

Sure, writing better and publishing more often will help, but what can you do to help your existing titles maintain long tail income?

Read the rest of Derek’s article at Just Publishing

 

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Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 4:46 PM at Editors Only

A publication that offers lessons about writing and process and depth of coverage.

By Peter P. Jacobi

“The time I remember is when I’m about 8 years old,” writes Victoria Blake in a recent issue of Creative Nonfiction. “My mother is serving pork chops 1950s style — bone in, with a little bit of applesauce. In my family, I’m known as a ‘picky eater.’ For example, I eat only the very outside of the meat because the bone terrifies me. There’s a chalky spot in the center which — I know now but didn’t know then — is marrow.

“The bone is unyielding and hard,” Blake continues, “under the tines of my fork — a hardness that, in an instant, conjures the image of a whole skeleton, then an animal walking, an animal eating, an animal living. And that’s when my mother says it: “You should know where your food comes from, Tory. If you don’t eat it, you won’t get any dessert.”

Read the rest at Editors Only

 

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... and not enough of this.

At the beginning of this year I wrote a post for that treasure trove of writing and publishing information, Writing.ie, about why you should finish your damn book. You can read that post here. It proved really popular. So popular that it seems to me like a lot of you are in the same place I was until last summer: wanting nothing more than to have finished your book, but finding yourself doing everything but writing it.

It’s all well and good for me to tell you why you should finish your book (nutshell: a finished book is the one thing everyone who ever got published/successfully self-published has in common) but how do you do it? How do you overcome procrastination? How do you finish your damn book?

I only know what worked for me, but maybe you’ll find something in there that works for you. Let’s see…

Read the rest at Catherine Ryan Howard

 

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From the good folks at WritersWrite

I have been posting articles about writing novels for a long time. Regular Writers Write contributors, Mia BothaAnthony Ehlers, and I add weekly blogs about writing techniques and writing routines, but some things never change. There are always certain ways to make your novel more memorable. Here are 17 tips for writers who want to do just that.

Read the rest at WritersWrite

 

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