Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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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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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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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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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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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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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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An interesting observation on both leadership and writing.

Posted at Editors Only on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM

Aiming for presence in your confidence, communication, and subject matter.

By Peter P. Jacobi

The dictionary says “presence” has two meanings: “fact or condition of being present” and “appearance or bearing.” Both can fit into a discussion about writing, the power and significance thereof.

But consider also social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who works at Harvard and has written and recently published an already much-discussed book titled Presence, a state she says we can achieve by accessing our personal power, by applying the right body language, a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident. Such a level of control has an impact on testosterone and cortisol levels that, she argues, directly impact our chances for success.

“When we judge others, especially our leaders,” Cuddy explains, “we look first at two characteristics: how lovable they are (their warmth, communion, or trustworthiness) and how fearsome they are (their strength, agency, or competence)…. Researchers agree that they [lovability and fearsomeness] are the two primary dimensions of social judgment.” And why are these traits so important? “Because they answer two critical questions: ‘What are this person’s intentions toward me?’ and ‘Is he or she capable of acting on those intentions?'”

 

Read the rest at Editors Only

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Handwritten notes are like sending a hug through the mail. They have personality and character, attributes a computer screen will never have. Let me show you why, when, and how to write a thank you note.

How to Write a Thank You Note

Why You Should Write a Thank You Note

It is easier and quicker to send a text message, an email, or a voice message to say “thank you.” However, if the purpose of the thank you message is to convey your deepest, most sincere gratitude, taking the time to carefully write a message by your own hand, and not your secretaries hand, will mean more to the recipient than an instant media message.

When was the last time you wrote a thank you note? A real thank you note on a piece of paper that goes into an envelope with an address written on it and a stamp stuck in the upper right hand corner?

Too long, right?! Let’s write one together today.

What Is a Thank You Note?

Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk about what a note actually is, not just a thank you note.

A note is a short informal letter or brief written message. We are not talking about currency or bird noises here. If you want to write about what you did last summer, or about how many litter boxes you have, write a letter instead.

Joe Bunting wrote a great article about writing letters, which you can read here: What Letter Writing Can Teach Us, but a thank you note is not a full letter.

Why You Should Send a Thank You Note:

  1. You should send a thank you note because my mother said it is a good idea.
  2. To connect with another person.
  3. Send a thank you note because you want to say thank you.
  4. The biggest reason to send a thank you note, is because you are a kind, considerate person. And you always want your friends and acquaintances to know how much you appreciate them.
  5.  Because you are thoughtful.

There is simply nothing as personal as a handwritten note. In a stack of bills and flyers, it’s a treasure in a sealed packet, full of promise and potential. — Dan Post Senning

Write the rest of your note at TheWritePractice

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ideas for writing a story

Ideas for writing a story

It always seem like there are too many writing ideas or not enough.

When you don’t have time to write, ideas come hurtling out of nowhere. Sometimes they come so fast, you can’t even write them all down. But when you sit down, stretch your fingers, and lean over your keyboard to start typing, nothing happens. Where did all those ideas go?

Chances are, you’re not really out of ideas; you’re just not in the mood to write. Sometimes, that’s okay. Take a break and do something else. Give yourself a day off. But other times, you need to dig your heels in, make those ideas flow, and get busy writing.

Where to Find Story Writing Ideas

Luckily, ideas for writing a story are all around you. As long as you can force yourself to get focused, you should easily be able to overcome a bout of writer’s block.

Read the rest at Writing Forward

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Great article from Shane Snow from over  at The FreeLancer

Ernest Hemingway is regarded as one of the world’s greatest writers. After running some nerdy reading level stats, I now respect him even more.

The other day, a friend and I were talking about becoming better writers by looking at the “reading levels” of our work. Scholars have formulas for automatically estimating reading level using syllables, sentence length, and other proxies for vocabulary and concept complexity. After the chat, just for fun, I ran a chapter from my book through the most common one, the Flesch-Kincaid index:

I learned, to my dismay, that I’ve been writing for 8th graders.

Curiosity piqued, I decided to see how I compared to the first famous writer that popped in my head: Hemingway. So I ran a reading level calculation on The Old Man and the Sea. That’s when I was really surprised:

Apparently, my man Ernest, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning novelist whose work shaped 20th-century fiction, wrote for elementary-schoolers.

 

Read the rest at The FreeLancer

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