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Writing Novel Serials

I just finished listening to 4 audiobooks by the same author. The author had written other books and over time 4 of her novels were about this character. I had listened to the second one a couple of times and liked the character, and thought I liked the author. I pulled together these 4 to listen to consecutively. I could barely get through them. There was so much repetition it made me nuts. I think she took huge sections and just copied them into the next book to explain stuff that happened in the first book. Eventually, I just started forwarding through those sections. I also couldn’t believe what a disappointment the character turned out to be. She became very illogical. She was a Superior Court judge, after years of being a … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, Featured

“Writers need to put skin in the game…”

…and money. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’d already had a bad day when I read that comment initiating a LinkedIn post by a neophyte publisher. Not only did she make egregious errors in her post, but she insulted writers at our basic level. When she received a response commenting on her misuse of words, you could almost hear her giggle as she noted that she always gets those words mixed up. Never mind the misspellings and poor grammar she used. Yes, you will find misspellings and grammatical mistakes in my work, but I’m not putting myself out there as a publisher or offering to copyedit anyone. So I lambasted her–and later discovered that she’d removed the post. But let’s talk about skin in the game. What do publishers and agents think we do all … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, Featured, The Writer's Life

Writing Dialogue

Good dialogue can be difficult to write. One of the exercises that I recommend is to go places where people are gathered and sit and make notes on what they say, how they say it, and what they leave unsaid. You’ll notice that by the tone or by what is left unsaid, you can tell what the dynamics are between two people. Body language helps get the message across. “Yeah, you’re so smart.” What did I mean by that? My tone and body language will tell you if that’s a compliment or an insult. Since the reader can’t see the speakers, you can add body movements that correspond to the dialogue to give more meaning. Also, the way the other person responds tells you how they took it, regardless of how the … Read entire article »

Filed under: About Writing, Becoming A Writer, Featured

LOOK HERE for FREEBIES and eBOOKS to PURCHASE

LOOK HERE for FREEBIES and eBOOKS to PURCHASE

  Guidelines for Getting & Giving Feedback DOWNLOAD FOR FREE Updated February 2012, Guidelines for Getting & Giving Feedback offers information on The Big C – Criticism. This ebook includes 10 Guidelines for Giving Feedback, 10 Guidelines for Getting Feedback, and 10 Tips for Moderating Critique Groups. Sample Writers’ Group Agreement and Writer’s Critique forms are also included.   Finding Your Inner Muse 10 Creative Writing Exercises $2.49 These are original, unique, and thought-provoking exercises written to both stimulate new ideas for your stories and to enrich the direction … Read entire article »

Filed under: Critiques and Feedback, Featured, FREEBIES & PURCHASE

The Bus Boy

The Bus Boy

If you were an aging alcoholic who spent most of the last years of your life homeless…and finally landed a job as a bus boy…what would your last dream be?   “The Bus Boy” by Nancy Ellen Dodd is a short story used as an example in The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages. For free access to read “The Bus Boy” go to http://issuu.com/smudgedinkpress/docs/thebusboy. The story is in text and illustrated formats. I especially want to thank all of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, The Bus Boy

Living a Writer’s Life

Living a Writer’s Life

Mapping Your Life as a Writer   What does it mean to you to become a writer? At what point will you feel like a writer? What will being a writer look like in your everyday world? Chapter 11 discusses what living as a writer means including: 9 Qualities of Successful Writers Do you need talent or luck? Effective Networking Do you need a writer’s group? Entering Writing Competitions Setting Goals that Make Sense Combining Writing with Another Career Quality Writing Can I Make … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, The Writer's Life

The 7 Stage Process

The 7 Stage Process

Developing the 7 Stages   The 7-Stage process systematically develops a story one level at a time, every stage building on the last. Each stage focuses on an area of development that works through key obstacles to create a strong story. Charting the essential elements of storytelling with your ideas across a story map lays the foundation for your story. Progressing systematically through each stage helps you develop your story with the least number of revisions. The 7 … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, The 7 Stage Process

Mapping the Elements of Good Storytelling

Mapping the Elements of Good Storytelling

If you have read books on writing or attended very many lectures, you have probably learned a few writing rules, along with several different terms for describing the elements of good storytelling. As I note on page 12 in the book, I have only two rules for writing: 1) Never allow anyone to convince you to cut something from your story that your gut tells you belongs—at least until you know why you wrote it … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, The Story Map