Writing Tips – Outline or No Outline or is There a Third Option

Don Massenzio's Blog

This is a throwback blog regarding a technique that I still use today. The book I’m currently working on is a collaboration with another author and this technique has been extremely useful for keeping us on track. Please enjoy.


This blog post focuses on the topic of whether or not it is better to outline your book or short story before you dive in and write. When I wrote my first book, it was in the days before airplanes allowed tablet devices to be used during that down time before the flight took off. I fly through Atlanta from Jacksonville, FL every week and usually the time waiting to take off exceeds the actual flight time. During those dark ages when ALL electronic devices had to be off and stowed, I wrote my first novel completely in longhand in notebooks. It was an interesting exercise that was very time consuming…

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» 22 Calls for Themed Submissions (Short Stories, Poetry, and Essays)

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

SHARED FROM AUTHORS PUBLISH: “This is a list of themed submission calls for a variety of topics, genres and audiences – fiction, poetry, non-fiction, interviews, and reviews. Topics include compassion for the natural world, romance, colonizing other worlds, reconciliation, and decolonization, stories about ruins and chefs, post-apocalyptic horror, themed stories for children, work by and about underrepresented communities, and about the afterlife of discarded objects. Payments range from none to token amounts, to a few hundred dollars or royalties.”

Have a read by clicking the link below:

Source: » 22 Calls for Themed Submissions (Short Stories, Poetry, and Essays)

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Things to Remember when Seeking Book Reviews

Pearls Before Swine

Craft a Professional Email

There’s a lot that goes into what it means to be professional so I won’t linger, but you don’t have to have worked in corporate to understand it. In today’s world, you don’t have to be anyone special to get tons of emails. With Social Media, everyone practically has one as it is needed for most social media platforms. In short, we all get them and we all scan and then delete them. To increase your chance of getting your email noticed, be sure your email is first professional.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t use a blanket “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Blogger” or “Dear Book Blogger” or worse “Hey”
  • Don’t talk about how good the book is.
  • Don’t abbreviate words. This isn’t a text message. This is a professional business correspondence. (no IKR, THUR, THO, etc.)
  • Don’t attach your book(s) to the email. You don’t…

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Have You Written a Memoir?

Marketing Christian Books

Memoirs are a growing genre in publishing. This category has grown steadily over the past few years for the Christian Small Publisher Book of the year award (now the Christian Indie Awards). About 10% of the books nominated fall into the Memoir category.

In fact, one magazine stated that “ours is the era of Everybody’s Autobiography”. Many independently published authors write memoirs. These authors feel that they have something to share with others from their own life experiences. Additionally, writing a memoir often helps authors gain a new perspective on their life, while writing about difficult times can provide healing for life’s pain.

BookNet Canada, a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry recently released four “Dive Deep” studies. Each of these studies looks at the demographics for book buyers of different genres. So far, the four studies…

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Just Write! Stop Waiting for the Good Stuff

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By: Marilyn L. Davis

“A day of bad writing is always better than a day of no writing.” ― Don Roff

When I think of peoples’ job titles and descriptions, I get an idea of what they do every day.

  • Counselor? They listen to people talk about their problems, help them find solutions, and, well, counsel.
  • Artist? They draw, paint, and create, well, art.
  • Welder? They join metals together, fusing, compressing, and well, welding materials together.
  • Writer? Well, duh, they write.

I’ve said before that I have a hard time thinking of other professions where people are allowed to say, “I’m not feeling it.” Oh, maybe they say it, but they show up anyway. We writers, on the other hand, can avoid the pen/paper/computer/laptop and find umpteen reasons not to sit and write.

I think one of the poorest excuses we give ourselves is that we don’t have anything good…

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Writers: Why You Need to Learn How to Give a Good Critique

A Writer's Path

by Mary Kate Pagano

I’ve written before about where to find critique partners but I wanted to touch on something just as important…

… namely why you should be a good critique partner yourself.

A good critique partner is an incredible asset. And I don’t believe they’re made overnight. Learning how to give useful, good critique is a skill that you develop over time. And it’s an important one, as a writer.

Why?

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Review of Green-Light Your Book by Brooke Warner

Author S. Smith

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In April I attended the IBPA PubU in Portland. More about that event here.  Included in our free tote bag with the regular goodies of pens, notepads, etc., was the book, Green-Light Your Bookby Brooke Warner of She Writes Press.

I read the book pretty quickly, but unfortunately didn’t write the review right away. As I look through it now, checking my underlines and attempting to write this review, I realize I could write several pages, much too long for a blog post. I’ll do my best to condense.

First, I really enjoyed Green-Light. Although it seemed meant for the person who has just finished their first manuscript and is still “waiting to be published,” as someone who’s already published several novels, I still found Green-Light to be thought-provoking, inspiring, and contain some useful info (for example, the section on the advantage of forming an LLC).

Anyone…

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This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare

thenovelgirlreads

This is just my face coverAuthor: Gabourey Sidibe

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 256

 

Gabourey Sidibe got her big break starring in the title role as Precious in the film Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Since then, she has gone on to several other roles on television shows such as American Horror Story, and most recently, Empire. She certainly didn’t start out as a star, though. Gabby, as she is known to her fans, came from humble beginnings in Brooklyn. The daughter of a polygamous, African immigrant father and a mother who began as a teacher (and then went on to support her children by becoming a subway singer), Gabby sis not exactly have it easy growing up. Once on her own, it was not exactly any easier. Case in point: When she was discovered, Gabby was working at a phone sex talking company.

This memoir…

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Why Would Someone Buy Your Book?

Marketing Christian Books

The number one reason people buy a book is because they have a connection to the author. This connection can come in a variety of forms:

  • They personally know the author.
  • They have heard the author speak.
  • They have read other books by the author.
  • The author is an influencer they listen to, watch, or follow.
  • They have a friend or family member who has recommended the author or book.
  • A publication or organization they trust recommends the book.

Sometimes people buy books they discover in a bookstore or online because they are looking for a good read or a book on a particular subject to help them with a problem they have. However, the majority of the time, people purchase a book because they have some type of connection to the author.

Are you making connections with readers?

I recently heard a speaker say that there are four reasons…

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