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How to Get Inspired by Dreadful Movies: An Octavia Butler Origin Story

Greatness doesn’t always beget greatness. Octavia Butler, who was born on this day 70 years ago, credited her remarkable, influential literary career to one sci-fi train wreck.

When she was 12 years old, Butler turned on the television and stumbled across a movie called Devil Girl From Mars. The basic plot was about a man-obsessed Martian and her mission to find humans to mate with. The movie was…not good. Critics called it “delightfuly bad” at best and “undeniably awful” at worst.
Butler could’ve turned the channel. Instead she watched the entire campy thing from start to finish.

“It changed my life,” Butler confessed years later in an essay about why she started writing science fiction “As I was watching this film, I had a series of revelations. The first was that ‘Geez, I can write a better story than that.’ And then I thought, ‘Gee, anybody can write a better story than that.’ And my third thought was the clincher: ‘Somebody got paid for writing that awful story.’ So I was off and writing, and a year later I was busy submitting terrible pieces of fiction to innocent magazines.”

She was being modest, of course. Those “terrible pieces” became the foundation of Wild Seed and the rest of her beloved Patternist series. Butler was the first science fiction writer to receive the presigious MacArthur Fellowship(nicknamed the “Genius Grant”), and her books won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards.

So next time you’re watching an awful movie, think of Butler. She turned one terrible film-watching experience into an award-winning writing career. What could you do?

Article by Hayley Igarashi.

Source:Goodreads blog.

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10 Tricks to Get Your Writing Flowing

 

 

For writers, as well as athletes, there’s nothing like being in the zone. Distractions fall away, time disappears, and your work seems to write itself.

Unfortunately for most writers, being in the zone is rare—instead of inspiration, we feel dread; instead of knowing, we feel lost; and instead of excitement, we feel anxiety.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, according to the research of Susan Perry, Ph.D., there are several concrete writing techniques and practices that can actually make finding inspiration and “getting into the zone” an everyday occurrence.

 

 

Check out the good people over at The Write Practice

 

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When to Do That Stringing-Words-Together Thing with Hyphens

These people at Daily Writing Tips  put out a lot of great articles for writers. This latest one is by Mark Nichol
 The negotiator is described as working behind the scenes. When that phrase appears in isolation, as an adverbial phrase rather than as a phrasal adjective modifying a noun that follows, no hyphenation is needed, but here, it serves the latter function: “Who was the behind-the-scenes negotiator who facilitated the deal?”When are hyphens required to string together a sequence of words, and when are the hyphens extraneous? The following sentences, each with a discussion and a revision, illustrate the syntactical situations in which they are necessary and when they are superfluous.

1. Who was the behind the scenes negotiator who facilitated the deal?

The negotiator is described as working behind the scenes. When that phrase appears in isolation, as an adverbial phrase rather than as a phrasal adjective modifying a noun that follows, no hyphenation is needed, but here, it serves the latter function: “Who was the behind-the-scenes negotiator who facilitated the deal?”

 

See the rest at Daily Writing Tips

 

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Which Social Media Channel Sells The Most Books?

 

Rachel Thompson has written a great article on the effectiveness of popular Social Media influencers over at her site at Bad Redhead Media. Rachel is considered one of the top Social Media Gurus for authors and has some great research to share in this article as well as her website.

 

“Which one social media channel will net me the most book sales?” an author asked me recently during my new weekly #BookMarketingChat (join any Wednesday on Twitter, 6pm pst/9pm est simply by typing in the hashtag).

Well, it’s not that easy. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go to say, Facebook because that’s the EASY button, and violá! They will come, we will sell, and yacht-life, here we come. Alas, it just doesn’t work that way because well, a few reasons.

Let’s deconstruct.

 

 

Go check the rest of this article at Bad Redhead Media

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7 Lies Writers Believe (and the Truths You Need to Know Instead)

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The writing world is filled with land mines—lies that, when you step on them, blow you right off your creative feet.

I’ve stepped on all of these in my writing career, and every author-friend I know has set them off, too. That tells me they’re pretty common.

Lies Writers Struggle With

I want to help arm you against these painful, dangerous explosions, so I present to you seven lies that writers believe—and the truths that can help you get back on your feet.

Fair warning: this will be a very quote-heavy article. Why? Because I don’t want you to just take my word for it. I want you to see that all creative minds have to navigate these mines—including the best authors in the world.

Lie #1: If you haven’t made it/gotten an agent/become famous by now, you never will.

This is a rough one. When we finally get the courage to start writing (and *gasp* tell people that we are), a funny thing happens: for some reason, others forget everything they know about how skill training works, and they insist we should have “arrived” already.

Baloney. Does anything work that way? Even people with genius taste buds need to learn how to cook. Being “discovered overnight” is an enchanting fantasy, but it’s a dangerous myth.

Here’s the truth: just like getting in shape, climbing a mountain, or memorizing a symphony, writing takes time to master. 

Sam Sykes said once that no matter who you are as an author, you pay your dues at one end or another. To put it another way: it takes many years to be an overnight success. Maybe you haven’t “made it” yet. That doesn’t mean you never will.

“An overnight success is ten years in the making.”
― Tom Clancy, Dead or Alive

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
― Biz Stone

“It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.”
—Eddie Cantor

“Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took twenty years.”
—Monty Hall

If you haven’t made it/gotten an agent/become famous by now, you aren’t out of time yet. Keep writing. Keep reading. Don’t quit.

Read the rest of the truth at The Write Practice

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3 Most Important Elements of Chapter One

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Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

The first chapter of a novel is arguably the most important—if a reader isn’t hooked, she won’t keep reading. And if that happens, nothing else you write matters.

 

Think of your first chapter as the tip of the iceberg—sure, there’s a ton more to your story that readers may not be seeing yet…but that’s what the rest of the manuscript is for. In the first chapter, you just need enough to hook the reader and get them curious about what’s going on under the water.

How to Write Your First Chapter

But what does it take to create that hook? I thought a lot about this as I wrote and edited my first novel. And my conclusion is that, while there are many different ways to creatively introduce a story in the first chapter, there are three key things a first chapter must do to pull a reader in.

Read the rest of Emily’s article at The Write Practice

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Why (and How) to Launch Your Author Blog Before Your Book

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Some excellent advice and howtoitness over at All Indie Writer by Jennifer Mattern.

Maybe you’re writing your first book. Perhaps it’s off with your editor. In either case, you still have a ways to go before your book is in the hands of readers. That means it’s much too early to worry about setting up an author blog, right?

Wrong.

You don’t need to wait until your book launch to set up an author blog. In fact, you shouldn’t wait this long if you want your blog to help you boost book sales at launch time.

Author Blog vs Author Website

Worried about launching a blog because you aren’t ready to launch your ideal author website?

Don’t be.

Sure. Your author website will have more than a blog. You’ll want everything from your author bio to book sales pages. But there’s no reason you can’t give that website a jump start by focusing on your author blog.

Read the rest at All Indie Writer

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Not A Bestselling Author, But A Selling Author, Yes

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This from over at  The Vandal

The blogging alter ego of author, Derek Haines

 

While there are many chasing the bestselling dream, I’m happy with reality.

I probably see the profiles of hundreds if not thousands of authors, who crown themselves as ‘bestselling author’ along with other superlative adjectives on social media each month. However, we all know that there are very few bestselling authors.

The truth of the matter is that there are only a handful of bestselling self published authors, who make a half decent income, as this article, Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon, points out.

Therefore, one must conclude that there are a hell of a lot of self published authors out there who embellish the truth, a little bit, or a lot.

Read the rest at The Vandal

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What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Blog About

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Publisher – Aggregator – Master Distributor

 

Self-publishing experts agree blogging is a great way to connect with your readers as well as keeping the writing gears well oiled. Here are some great ideas for blogging and writing from a terrific blogging website:

 

If you’re reading this, it means you blog.

5 proven strategies for defeating writer's block for bloggers

Obviously.

You’re a blogger. You’re a content marketer considering blogging as part of your marketing strategy. You’re a fiction writer considering blogging as a good way to communicate with readers or promote your book.

Whoever you are, if you create online content you constantly need ideas and plans to answer these eternal questions:

What to blog?

What content to share with readers?

What to write?

It’s a big problem for many bloggers, especially those believing the more often they write and publish, the better. As a result, they experience writer’s block, they procrastinate or sacrifice quality for quantity, and they eventually become sick and tired of blogging.

Sounds familiar?

If so, don’t panic!

This article will reveal all secrets of coming out with great ideas for your blog, and it will tell you what to do when you are stuck and don’t know what to write.

Let’s get started…

 

 

Get started blogging about your book(s) and read the rest at Be a Better Blogger

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