Skip navigation
Previous Next

Resources

November 2011
0

"Call me Ishmael." Some consider it to be the most well-known opening line of an American novel ever published. The novel, Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, did not achieve masterpiece status until long after the author passed away in 1891. Today, it is considered the Great American Novel by many critics, and to the bane of countless teenagers, it is required reading in many high school literature classes.


Let's face it: Moby Dick is a classic tale told using what I think is the most difficult language possible. True, that language is English, but it is structured in such a way that it can leave some readers full of regret for ever having learned how to read in the first place. Here's a passage from the book that is typical of Melville's writing style:


"Come, Ahab's compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents' beds, unerringly I rush! Naught's an obstacle, naught's an angle to the iron way!"


I can remember reading this passage and many others in the book and marveling at how much language can evolve over time. And we, the writers, are responsible. The language we use does more than tell a story; it shapes the evolution of how we as a society communicate through words.


Years ago, I heard an author say he purposely incorporates out-of-the-ordinary language in an effort to educate the reader. As an author, he realizes he has an opportunity to grow someone's vocabulary and expand their knowledge of language. Using this tactic creates a real danger of pulling a reader out of the story, but in a way it is an admirable thing to do, as long as it's not overdone.


What is your take? Do we have a responsibility as writers to educate the reader beyond the confines of the story? Should we be using language that serves the story or society? It's a big question, I know, but given the state of communication today through text messages and tweets, I think it's something worth examining.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

The Great American Novel

Writing the Hemingway Way

2,433 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, author, writers, writing, craft, writing_style
0

WordPlay: Idioms

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Nov 29, 2011

As writers, each of us has an idiom. Whether it's a quiet approach or blatant, crass, melancholic, rude, or weird, we all have a particular idiom that distinguishes our art from others. But what, you may ask, is an idiom, and how can you figure out what yours is?


The word "idiom" is incredibly diverse. According to Merriam-Webster, it can mean anything from "the syntactical, grammatical, or structural form peculiar to a language," to "a style or form of artistic expression that is characteristic of an individual, a period or movement, or a medium or instrument."


An idiom could be the way in which you became lost in the verdant, mysterious language of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, or the way in which jazz trumpet player Miles Davis plays "My Funny Valentine" on Bill Evans' album Piano Player - in his own particular, and beautiful, idiom.


Authors' idioms are mostly what attract us to their books in the first place. A particular way of saying something, of describing situations, or creating characters that we love, hate, or wish we could be more like are all ways in which authors create their idioms. And if you work at it and develop it, your idiom will become one of the main reasons readers seek you out and devour your work, which leads us to this week's exercise:


Exercise: What is your idiom?


When you sit down to write, when are you happiest? What sections of your story cause the ink to flow and the world around you to fade into a pinpoint of book and thought? Think about the strongest part of your manuscripts and, in a couple lines, try to define how this strength is like your literary fingerprint. Is it the use of characters who lead when leadership is thrust upon them? Is it the unique way in which you draw your reader into the scenery or situation? Is it your ability to sneak in puns that leave your reader laughing unintentionally? What is your idiom?


-Kristin

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/KristinHeadshot_final.jpg

Kristin is a content media coordinator with CreateSpace. She draws from a strong background in journalism and creative writing to help authors hone their skills and flex their artistic muscles.


You may also be interested in...


WordPlay: Anachronisms in Writing

WordPlay: Wine Tasting

2,703 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, book, book, writers, writers, writing, writing
0

Tag Your Blog Posts

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Nov 28, 2011

In my blog's infancy years, I spoke with someone about how to increase my daily traffic. He started talking about something called SEO (by the way, that's S-E-O). I smiled and nodded knowingly, when in fact I had no idea what he meant by SEO. After our conversation, I ran to the nearest computer and looked up this three-letter puzzle and discovered that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I replayed the entire conversation I had with the gentleman in my head and realized he was giving me tips on how to make it easy for search engines to include my blog in a list of results when someone searches for information on a topic. In layman's terms, search engines reach out into the virtual world looking for the most relevant material associated with someone's query. There are tricks you can use to better your chances of appearing on the list of relevant search results beyond just writing about a topic and posting it on your blog. Today, I'll be sharing with beginning bloggers the simplest tool for increasing your SEO that you can incorporate into your next blog post: tags.

 

Tags are brief identifiers. They're also called "labels" by some blogging platforms. The concept here is simple. After you write a blog post, you have the opportunity to tag it with relevant keywords before you publish it. Keywords are words or short phrases pertinent to your post; people might type these words or phrases into a search engine when looking for information on your topic. Select targeted keywords for your post, and try to include terms you didn't use in the actual post (every word you've written is also fodder for the tentacles of the search engine). But don't try to "trick" someone into visiting your blog by tagging your post with something that is completely irrelevant. False tagging is a dead-end strategy that won't likely bring you traffic, and any traffic it does generate will create unsatisfied visitors when they realize your post has nothing to do with their original search. The tags will show up on your blog, usually separated by commas, as a string of words on the top or bottom of your post.

 

Search engines are getting increasingly sophisticated. While your blog posts themselves are optimized for search engines, adding relevant tags to your posts can increase your chances of bringing more visitors to your blog.

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

Self-Publishing Book Expo Recap: Tips for Indie Success

Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

2,191 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: promotion, blogging, promotions, blogs, branding
0

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)


Sometimes we write brilliantly and people take notice. Other times, we write horribly and even more people notice. No matter what, it's important to remember that some of the best writing can come from authors with the worst literary reputation - and vice versa. Sometimes our worst writing is jotted down during a fit of creative genius, and sometimes our most amazing work can come to us in the midst of creative despair.


Generations have come to know the painfully awkward opening quoted above by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. What's most remarkable about this little-known author is how much we actually know about his writing. Besides the famous "It was a dark and stormy night..." opening line, he is also the quill behind such lines as "the great unwashed," "the almighty dollar," and perhaps most famously, "the pen is mightier than the sword."


As an author, I'm sure you've hit what can be referred to as the opposite of writers' block: too much to write and no way to get it out fast enough. Or perhaps you're overthinking each line, and by the time you get to the core of your inspiration, it's already petered down to a fickle flame of creative malaise. Sometimes there's only one way around this writing roadblock: quit second guessing yourself and just write. You can go back to it later and take out all the extra bits you don't need but rest assured, you'll find some gems in there that might never have sifted out if you hadn't taken the time to dump it all on the table. And as a bonus, you might also find a truly horrible line that's so bad it just has to be shared with the world. Which brings us to today's exercise.


Exercise: Can you write the world's worst novel opening?


Since 1982, the English department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The department takes submissions all year long, but the official deadline is April 15. Each entry must be previously unpublished and consist of a single sentence, and the judges strongly recommend that it not exceed 50 or 60 words. Submission details are available on the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest's official website. And your reward for writing the greatest worst line of the year? As the contest's judges put it, "in keeping with the gravitas, high seriousness, and general bignitude of the contest, the grand prize winner will receive...a pittance." So try your hand at penning the worst opening line, submit it to the contest, and share it in the comments!


-Kristin

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/KristinHeadshot_final.jpg

Kristin is a content media coordinator with CreateSpace. She draws from a strong background in journalism and creative writing to help authors hone their skills and flex their artistic muscles.

 

You may also be interested in...


WordPlay: Wine Tasting

WordPlay: A Strange Note

3,338 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: writers, writers, writing, writing, creativity, creativity
0

A smart way to get the word out about your book is to position yourself as an expert in a particular subject. You can write a regular blog, contribute articles to magazines and websites, speak at events, and even make yourself available to the press to help with their stories. However, when I suggest this approach to authors I'm often surprised at the response, which is usually, "But I don't know anything!"


Yes, you do!


The fact that you've written and published a book makes you an expert. If your book is about quilting, you're an expert on quilting. If your book is a memoir about growing up in the south or starting a business out of your house, you're an expert on those topics. And if your book is fiction, you're an expert on how to write a novel.


I'm not talking about teaching at the university level, just about providing snippets of useful information to those who could benefit from your insight. If you're an indie author, step back and think about how much you could share with aspiring authors. You take what you've learned for granted, but there are a lot of people out there who would love to know what you do!


In a previous post I mentioned how important it is to keep track of your achievements, not just for your own self-esteem, but to give you credibility. The same concept applies here. If you've spoken to a Rotary club or have been interviewed by your local radio station, include that in your bio! Mention it on your web site! Once you start viewing yourself as an expert, others will too.


Remember - you've written and published an entire book. That sets you apart from countless others, and you shouldn't be afraid to say so!


-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


You may also be interested in...


Self-Publishing Book Expo Recap: Tips for Indie Success

The Author Bio is an Important (and Often Overlooked) Marketing Tool

3,037 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, book, book, book, writers, writers, writers, expert, expert, expert
0

If you want to receive opposing opinions about your book on a regular basis, write an open ending. A few of my books end without a definitive answer. I purposely left the ending ambiguous for one reason: I love stories with open endings. It's a personal preference that I realize some people hate. I know this because they've told me they hate it, sometimes in those exact words.


I'm not offended. In fact, I am fascinated. While I am applauded by some readers for this writing choice, I am also roundly criticized for the same choice by other readers. It's a phenomenon that leaves me both scratching my head and feeling strangely satisfied at the same time.


Why do I like the open ending as a reader? I like it because the writer is demonstrating a level of trust with the reader. The writer has guided me through the story. He or she has developed the characters to the point where I feel like I have a real sense of who they are. The writer has established a storytelling style incorporating a rhythm that is identifiable while not being necessarily predictable. I know the characters. I know the story.  I know the writer. I know how I want the story to end and sometimes I don't want the story to end at all.


There have been so many times where I reached the ending of a story and I felt wholly unsatisfied by the prescribed conclusion. It wasn't just that I felt the writer failed to meet expectations; I felt removed from the story. More than that, I felt ushered out of the story. It's as if the author was telling me, "Okay, it's over now. You can go home. Nothing left to see here." At times as a reader, I don't want that. I'd rather live with the story and keep returning to it. An open ending gives me that opportunity.


Cormac McCarthy brilliantly used the open ending technique with The Road. I won't provide any spoilers if you haven't read the book, but let's just say it's been years since I read that book and I still don't know if I should be happy or terrified for one of the main characters.


How do you feel about open endings? There is no wrong answer. What do you love or hate about them?


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

Chunking Method Part 2: The Opening & Closing

Get Readers Talking with a Serial Novel

2,737 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, author, writers, writing
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup, a collection of news, advice, and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


10 Famous Book Characters and Their Real-Life Inspirations - Huffington Post


Readers may ask you if you based your characters on a real person. You're not alone if you have.


Your Job Is To Write, Not Worry - Writer's Digest


Oh, how those pesky diverging opinions can drive a writer bonkers. No worries, just write!


Film


Making Soup with Stones: Filmmaking for a Cause -Benevolent Media


Filmmakers donate their time and talent to help nonprofit organizations gain awareness for their causes.


Technology and Film Editing -Filmmaking.net


Perhaps nothing has changed more in the film industry with technological advances than film editing.


Music


Active vs. Passive Fans: Why Radio & TV Still Rank Tops For Music Discovery - Hypebot.com


A recent study suggests that terrestrial radio and TV are the two top mediums for music discovery, but a significant percentage of people are finding their music elsewhere.


This Music is Sponsored By... - Los Angeles Times


A continuing discussion of the music industry and the practice of product placement. Is the concept of "selling out" a concern of the past?


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - November 18, 2011

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - November 15, 2011 Edition

1,567 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, book, book, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, film, film, movies, movies, films, films, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers
0

Five Blogging Prompts

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Nov 21, 2011

It's common practice in the world of creative writing for mentors or instructors to give their students writing prompts to help hone and develop writing skills. The prompt is usually a brief description of events that have no conclusion. As the writer, you play the story out using your imagination and style.


Here, I've taken the writing prompt concept and applied it to the blogging world. The following five blog prompts will help you tap into your blogging brain with the goal of spurring you to write a blog post or record a vlog for the day. You can choose one or if you're feeling especially inspired, you can do all five.


  1. Most writers have that tipping point moment that drove us to pick up the pen and start writing in earnest for the first time. What was your tipping point writing moment?
  2. Unfortunately, we've all witnessed an injustice in our lifetime. We've seen a wrong and something deep down inside of us feels strongly that it should have been corrected. Using your writing skills, do your best to make that correction. It doesn't have to be something that affected your life personally. It can be something you've heard about via the news.
  3. One of my favorite spots in the world is Grand Mesa in Colorado. It's a beautiful tabletop mountain perfectly situated under a gorgeous Colorado sky. That's my favorite place. What's yours?
  4. My life is riddled with bad first date stories, and I realize there are likely a few women out there who include me as one of their worst first dates as well. But what was once bad often turns into a humorous story you share with family and friends. Without naming names, what is your worst first date story? It might even be fun to tell a story where you didn't exactly live up to expectations.
  5. I've met a lot of wonderful readers since I published my first book in 2005. They've shared some amazing stories with me and they've asked a lot of great questions about my books. Some were so insightful I had to give my answer some serious consideration before I responded. What's the one question from a reader that has made you stop and think before answering?


And there you have it - five blogging prompts. I tried to give you choices that engender emotions. Passion is a key component to building an author brand. People want to get a sense of who you are. They learn this not just by what you say, but by how you choose to express yourself in the telling. Be yourself and build your brand!


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...


Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

Branding 101: Examples of Author Brands

2,091 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, blogging, blogging, blogs, blogs, creativity, creativity
0

"Three days after my arrival...I observed, about half a league off in the sea, somewhat that looked like a boat overturned. ...I found the object to approach nearer by force of the tide; and then plainly saw it to be a real boat..." - Gulliver's Travels, Chapter 8


How often have you been in the thralls of a story, your main protagonist adventuring off into the vibrant realm of your imagination, when suddenly you find that your hero is stuck? Not stuck as in quicksand or a random briar patch, but stuck as in you have no idea how to get the character out of the pickle of a situation you've put him or her in?


Don't worry. You're not the first to find yourself here. In fact, authors back to the days of the Greek playwrights have been in similar spots and have found a quick - albeit arguably weak - solution: deus ex machina.


Named for a method in Greek tragedies wherein a god descends onto the stage and saves the protagonists from their unfortunate situation, this term describes when authors provide a convenient - and often improbable - solution to a sticky situation. While this might be a "quick win" for our hero, this plot device is often considered a cop-out; not that some of the greatest writers of all time have been above it.

 

For example, in the above excerpt from Jonathan Swift's classic Gulliver's Travels, Lemuel Gulliver journeys from the kingdom of Lilliput to the neighboring island of Blefuscu. Here, "by lucky accident," he comes across a boat and eventually escapes. In War of the Worlds, the earth is saved by no less than the common cold. Even Shakespeare was not above the device. In Hamlet, the exiled Hamlet is propitiously returned to Denmark following an attack by pirates in act four.


Even though famous pens have used the device doesn't mean you have to take their lead. The greatest argument against the use of deus ex machina is that it takes away from the credibility of the story and undermines the plot. Unless you're using it intentionally, with a sly wink to your reader, or are incorporating it as part of an already unbelievable story, then take a moment and think to yourself, "Is there really not a believable way out of this situation?" Don't let happy circumstances save your heroes; let them use their skills and find a way out on their own. It might take longer than just throwing them the lifeboat solution, but in the end it makes for a stronger plot and a much more believable story. And this leads us to today's exercise:


Exercise: How would you write it?

 

Instead of writing your answer to this week's exercise, use this as a chance to exercise some mental muscles. Think about some of the books, TV shows, or movies you've read or seen over the years. Do you remember a situation in which the author just sort of fudged the hero's way to a happy result? Once you have it, consider that situation and try to think of another way - possibly a more realistic way - in which the hero could have achieved his or her ends. If you can't think of one, try using one of the situations listed above. Did it really have to be the common cold that saved the day in War of the Worlds? Could Hamlet have found another way to return to Denmark post haste? How could you apply these solutions to your own writing?

 

-Kristin

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/KristinHeadshot_final.jpg

Kristin is a content media coordinator with CreateSpace. She draws from a strong background in journalism and creative writing to help authors hone their skills and flex their artistic muscles.

WordPlay: Wine Tasting

WordPlay: A Strange Note

1,432 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, writers, writing, craft, screenwriting
0

Crowdsourcing a Graphic Novel

What do you do if you want to self-publish a graphic novel and you're not an artist? It would seem that your only choices would be to learn to draw or hire an artist. But illustrating a book that is hundreds of pages takes a considerable investment of time and as a consequence, money. Author Alex de Campi faced just such a dilemma.

 

Getting creative in the case of de Campi, meant turning to Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing website where entrepreneurs can raise money from the public for their projects. As was widely reported in book blogs, de Campi set up an account on Kickstarter to raise $27,000 to publish her book. Much of the money is to be spent paying James Broxton, the graphic artist for the book. Through Kickstarter, those who want to support de Campi's book can buy a limited-edition hardcover copy plus a serialized digital edition for $30, or a cameo for themselves as a minor character in the book for $1,200, for instance.

 

You can read the entire article on Digital Book World's website: Taking Extreme Measures to Find the Self-Publishing Holy Grail


Lights, Camera, Okay

How does the legendary actor/writer/director/producer Clint Eastwood direct his actors on the set? Just as you would imagine: as cool as a cucumber. It seems Mr. Eastwood isn't a fan of the word "action." Instead, he's known to say very quietly, "Okay." I, for one, picture a stoic look with a light arch of the eyebrow as he delivers the "Okay," in that whispered tough guy tone that he's known for. Some actors prefer it to a director who barks out "ACTION!"

 

"There would be takes that we did where I was under the impression we were shooting a rehearsal," admits 'J. Edgar' co-star Armie Hammer about Clint Eastwood's famously brisk directorial style, a statement that flies in the face - just a tad - of what was said at the 'J. Edgar' press conference in Los Angeles last week. "I've got this reputation of shooting one take, and it's a wonderful reputation to have, but it's hard to live up to," said Eastwood. "If you did, it'd be kind of shoddy, I think." Then again, Eastwood wasn't in the room when Moviefone spoke to Armie Hammer.


You can read the entire article on Moviefone.com: Armie Hammer on Clint Eastwood's Directing Style: 'I Thought We Were Just Rehearsing That'


Relationship Marketing

Engage. That is the buzz word in today's hyper-social media world that could take casual listeners of your music and turn them into fans that recommend your music to others. Friend them when you have the opportunity, and you will make them feel happy. Interact with them when you get the opportunity, and you will make them feel connected to your brand.

 

Each and every time you speak directly with a fan (in-person at a show, at your place of business, on the phone, via email, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or in your blog's comments) you earn points with them and are creating a relationship. I know, I know...that's such an overused term in marketing. But it's true. It's this relationship that causes a fan to pay more attention to you, and when the time is right...that relationship can be monetized.

 

You can read the entire article on Hypebot.com: Online Conversations Offer Opportunity For Conversion

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - November 11, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - November 4, 2011

2,117 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, marketing, marketing, book, book, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, film, film, novel, novel, films, films, news, news, crowdsourcing, crowdsourcing
0

In a recent post, I emphasized the importance of writing down your ideas quickly so you won't forget them. Today, I strongly suggest you also write down something else: your successes. Marketing a book isn't easy, especially if you are independently published, but if you work hard at it, eventually you're going to experience some cool things. You may speak at a local library or bookstore, or maybe you'll be interviewed by a radio station. Perhaps your local newspaper will even do a feature story on you!

 

It's important to keep track of these achievements, not just for your own self-esteem, but so you can put them in your bio. That way, over time, marketing your book will become easier because people will see where else you've spoken and who else has interviewed you. You'll have credibility, and that opens doors to additional opportunities to get the word out about your book.

 

You might not think that speaking at your neighborhood library or being interviewed by your college's alumni magazine is a big deal, especially if your dream is to be sitting in a chair next to Ellen DeGeneres or Matt Lauer. But believe me, it is a big deal. Most people spend their entire lives without being interviewed by anyone in the media, much less speaking in public about their own book. Don't forget that!

 

You've written AND published a book, which is something so many people only dream of doing. So celebrate your successes as they come, and proudly add them to your author bio. Soon you might be surprised at how impressive you sound.

 

-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Write It Down!

Keep Your Chin Up!

2,910 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, book, book, book, book, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, self-publishing, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotions, promotions, promotions, promotions
1

If we're going to try to get better at our chosen craft of writing, why not examine the style and habits of one of the masters of writing? It's fair to say Ernest Hemingway had his demons, but he was a true artist when it came to writing. He wrote with a kind of brutal gusto that had depth despite its conciseness. In a way, he was a magician with words.

 

Here are the elements that are attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

 

Simple - If you read Hemingway, you'll notice how incredibly straightforward his prose is. He doesn't cram sentences and paragraphs with a lot of unnecessary words. He says what he has to say and moves on. Here's an example from The Old Man and the Sea:

 

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.

 

Read in a literal sense, the sentence gives you the basic facts, but it gives you more than just the specifics. It actually tells you that that old man is a simple fisherman that is seriously down on his luck. Things are bleak for the old man.

 

Forceful - Hemingway found beauty in the struggle of everyday life, and he loved to showcase that beauty with blunt prose that was stark and startling. Here's an example from A Farewell to Arms:

 

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.

 

Report - Hemingway started his career as a journalist. Those habits he picked up during his early years traveled with him into this career as a novelist. Reading a Hemingway novel, one gets the feeling that the author is removed from the work. What I mean by that is he doesn't judge his characters. Everyone and everything has a vital function to the story. It's almost as if he's not writing a fictional account but reporting on what he's witnessing first hand. This, more than any element, gives his novels an eerie realism.

 

Now, I'm the first to admit that I may be a little biased in my assessment of Ernest Hemingway because I am a fan. I'd love to hear from other writers about their influences. What is it about their style that you love so much, and do you try to emulate that style?

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

You may also be interested in...

 

What Would Hemingway Do?

The Great American Novel

2,411 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, book, book, author, author, writers, writers, writing, writing, craft, craft
0

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.


Books/Publishing


A New Way to Hook Readers: Stories in Cigarette Packs - Publishing Perspectives


This strangely innovative idea offers an alternative to a popular package design.


Book Cover of the Future? - GalleyCat


Are you ready for interactive book covers? Check out GalleyCat for a really cool example of an interactive cover.


Film


From Lighting 8 City Blocks to DIY Clamp Lights -FilmmakerIQ.com


Director of photography Shane Hurlbut discusses how digital cameras have changed the lighting tools needed to shoot a film.


Best Scriptwriting Advice Ever - Projector Films


The Projector Films folks have created a PDF of legendary film instructor Alexander MacKendrick's actual notes he used when teaching writing.

Music


Is Music a Commodity? - megatrax


An interesting conversation on the practice of retitling, or releasing the same piece of music under different titles.


Google Plus for Musicians Update: How to Build Your Page - Musicgoat.com


A veritable treasure trove of links to articles on how to build and manage your Google Plus page.


-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - November 8, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - November 1, 2011 Edition

1,692 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, cover, music, film, screenwriting, lighting, scripts, screenplay, google+
0

Years ago, I bought a new book by Stephen King that was around 100 pages. It was titled The Green Mile. It was not his usual brick-thick tome. It was a thin book that I read on a short airplane ride. Now, you're probably thinking that I must not be talking about the same The Green Mile by Stephen King that you know and love. But, I am...kind of.

 

King originally released The Green Mile as a serial novel. For those of you who don't know, a serial novel is simply a novel that is released in parts over a fairly short period of time. King broke The Green Mile into six parts, and each book was between 90 and 120 pages.


It was an ingenious marketing strategy on Stephen King's part. Each book came out in paperback at a cost of about $3.99. He released a new book every month. For six months, the book was a topic of conversation among King fans. The anticipation that developed while readers waited for the next installment created a buzz across the fruited plain.

 

Stephen King didn't just publish a book or, in this case, books, he created an experience. When it was all said and done, King had sold tens of thousands of short books at $3.99. The readers enjoyed the experience so much they didn't even mind when they added up their investment and realized they had actually paid almost $24.00 for a full length paperback book. To them, it was as if they were getting a sneak peak at a book as it was being written. That wasn't the case, of course. The fully edited version of the entire The Green Mile manuscript was done months before the first serialized edition came out. But even so, to the reader it felt like they were there from the beginning.

 

It occurred to me that in today's print on-demand and eBook world, the serial novel is a viable publishing strategy for self-published authors. Dividing a novel into several parts and publishing those parts separately over time could be a great way for you to build a buzz and following for your book. Now, it's doubtful you have the same fan base that Stephen King does, but a serial novel, if it's compelling and well written, can give your smaller fan base something to chat about on their blogs and social networks, and it's a sustained conversation. They will talk about the book with each new installment.

 

The serial novel strategy is a low-risk experiment you could incorporate into your current marketing and publishing plans. Consider giving your readers more than a book; give them an experience they can share with their online connections.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

To Serialize or Not to Serialize, That Is the Question

It's Never Too Early to Get a Little Help from Your Friends

3,015 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, book, book, book, novel, novel, novel, writers, writers, writers, publishing, publishing, publishing, serial, serial, serial
0

Inspiration has no manners. It just shows up at the most random times and can be triggered by almost anything: a sight, a sound...sometimes even an unusual smell can launch an unstoppable creative tangent. It could happen while you're driving, taking a shower, or even, say, while you're attending a wine tasting. The question is, have you taken the time to capture that inspiration and commit it to paper?

 

There's a small wine shop in my town with a strong local following, and it's not just because of the ambiance or the wine selection. It's because of the owner. Her senses of taste and smell are unparalleled, and an evening of tasting wine with her is like spending an evening with Robert Parker or Michel Rolland. She was the first person to introduce me to the art of "seeing" with my nose.

 

Every few months, the shop owner will hold a wine tasting class after hours. Before she cracks open the first bottle, she places a tray of fifty or so vials in front of the class. "Smell," she commands her students, and slowly they begin reaching for the little glass jars and twisting off the caps. Reactions range from wide grins to grimaces and snorts of disgust. The teacher then tells her class to read the names on the bottoms of the bottles and confess if they were close in their guess as to the nature of the scent. Some are close, but most are way off. She gathers up the bottles, shuffles them around, and then tells her class to close their eyes. This time she walks around and puts a vial in each student's hand, telling everyone not to open their eyes until she gives the go-ahead. Once everyone has their bottle, she tells them a story:

 

"Imagine you are standing in a hallway," she says. "There are no lights and it is pitch dark. You fumble down the hallway until you come to a door. You find the knob and slowly turn it. You pause and take a minute to adjust. You squint, but still see nothing. Now, tell me what's in the room by using your nose."

 

And with that, she tells the class to open their vials and take a deep sniff. Bursts of surprise are heard as students exclaim what they smell. This time almost all of them are right and if they aren't dead on, most are pretty close. It's a matter, says the teacher, of separating your sense of smell from your other senses. If you don't limit yourself to what you see and your preconceived notions of how things should smell, you can allow for more creativity. You could find yourself sniffing out an entire story. And that brings us to today's exercise.

 

Exercise: What's that smell?

 

At some point today, go for a walk. It doesn't have to be far. You could walk down the block or just into another room. Once there, close your eyes and pinch your nose shut. Count to ten and clear your mind. If it helps, picture the dark room at the end of the dark hallway. Once you're comfortable, mentally open the door at the end of the hallway, let go of your nose and take a long, deep breath. What do you smell? What does it bring to mind? Don't open your eyes until at least one description comes to mind and write it down. How does the description you wrote only using your olfactory sense differ from what you would've written from sight?

 

-Kristin

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/KristinHeadshot_final.jpg

Kristin is a content media coordinator with CreateSpace. She draws from a strong background in journalism and creative writing to help authors hone their skills and flex their artistic muscles.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

WordPlay: A Strange Note

WordPlay: Tales of Horror

2,327 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, authors, authors, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, creativity, creativity, creativity, creativity, inspiration, inspiration, inspiration, inspiration, craft, craft, craft, craft
0

Writing a Better Book

A surprising number of people decide they have what it takes to write a bestselling novel by reading a poorly written bestseller and deciding they can do better. Given that a bad book influenced their decision to become a writer, is it inevitable that they too will turn out a poorly written manuscript? Or, to put it another way, is believing that you can do "better than bad" enough to make you a great writer?

 

Some writers will spend years, if not decades, perfecting their craft before they see their first book deal in genre fiction. Other writers will have to spend years as a mid-list genre fiction author before discovering how to break out of the pack and hit big. Sometimes it's hard to know what genre a book fits into - if it fits into any commercial genre at all. So why does the "anyone can be a best seller writing genre fiction" commentary persist?

 

You can read the entire article on The Huffington Post: Writer Wednesday: Is Writing Genre Fiction Really All That Easy?

 

This Film Brought to You by Product Placement

Can't quite raise the funds to finance your documentary? Or maybe you've gone unexpectedly over budget? Have you considered using product placement to cover any budget shortfalls? Morgan Spurlock, the documentary filmmaker behind Super Size Me and The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, thinks it's such a good idea, he's decided to help other filmmakers find the right product to place in their documentaries.


It is not hard to see the appeal for the filmmakers: documentary makers are perennially starved for cash, particularly when it comes time to distribute a movie that may have cost relatively little to make. But companies may also have something to gain from an association with reality-oriented filmmakers who often pride themselves on speaking truth to power.

 

You can read the entire article on The New York Times' website: A Filmmaker Wants to Help Others Use Product Placement


Manufactured Pop Stars

Since pop music took over the charts, record companies have been accused of manufacturing pop stars. They take some kid out of the line at the movies or off the street, clean him up by dressing him down and messing up his hair, and then plop him down in the studio, where they create an overproduced song. A Japanese company has taken it one step further.


Japan's two newest stars have all the basics of being a pop idol down. Their dance moves are sharp, they sing without missing a beat, and their songs have made the top 10. The only thing is, neither one of them exists. The green-haired "Megpoid" and red-haired "Akikoloid" are both completely computer generated, the latest in a line of popular digital characters based on a voice-synthesizing program that allows users to create their own music. They were the stars of a concert during the recent Digital Concept Expo in Tokyo.


You can read the entire article on Yahoo! News: Japan's digital divas take to the stage, wow fans

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - November 4, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - October 28, 2011

1,538 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, book, music, filmmaking, writers, writing, films, musicians, craft, filmmakers
2

In previous posts, I addressed random capitalization and the incorrect use of a possessive apostrophe to denote a plural. I enjoyed the fun reaction I got from readers (one said he loved my "rant"), so here I go again with the grammar thing.

 

I spend a lot of time checking out various online forums for writers, especially those for independently published authors, and sometimes I scan the websites of those who regularly contribute to the discussions. I like to see what people are talking about with regard to writing, publishing, and marketing their books, and I'm always looking for a good read! Unfortunately, however, I'm regularly disappointed by the number of grammatical errors I see. If your writing is sloppy in these very public arenas, it makes me think that your writing is also sloppy in your book. As a result, I don't want to read your book, and you've lost a possible sale.

 

Here are some other common grammar issues/errors that drive me nuts:

 

  • To vs. too
  • Their vs. there vs. they're
  • You're vs. your
  • It's vs. its
  • I.e. vs. e.g. (i.e. means "that is," and e.g. means "for example")
  • Hyphens after adverbs (e.g. "highly-motivated" is incorrect)
  • We're vs. were
  • Who vs. that vs. which
  • Affect vs. effect
  • Periods outside quotations marks (e.g. "I like you". is incorrect)

 

 

You may be surprised at this list because these usages are quite basic, but I see these errors a LOT. It may be nothing more than simple carelessness on the writer's part, but if I don't know that writer, I think otherwise. I think "This person doesn't know how to write." And in a digital world where you can reach thousands of people with a single post, and where you're competing with millions of other writers to grab the attention of readers, it's important to make the right impression every time you put something out into cyberspace.


-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Everyone Needs an Editor!

Just Say No to Random Capitalization!

4,697 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, authors, authors, editing, editing, editing, editing, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, grammar, grammar, grammar, grammar
0

Let's take a step back in our chunking discussion and see how using this method applies to creating an outline. Outlining can be confusing and intimidating. A lot of authors don't even think outlines are necessary, and even I haven't used them for every book I have written. But when I have, the actual writing went very quickly.

 

Remember, the chunking method involves breaking a task down in small, manageable sections. Just because an outline is generally a sparse, less-detailed, point-by-point blueprint of your book doesn't mean it can't be a daunting thing to take on all at once. Breaking it down can be just as valuable as breaking down your book.

 

My advice is to invest in a corkboard and some 3x5 notecards. Sit down with the material you've already created for your characters and your opening and closing, and outline the first third of the book on your notecards. How you organize it on your cards is up to you, but it does make sense to dedicate a card for every chapter. Obviously, if you're outlining the first third of your book, this means you have a rough idea of how long your book will be. I've previously recommended picking a target total word count before you start writing. I think it's a good way to keep your writing neat and controlled and helps you find the rhythm of your story.

 

Once you have those cards written, pin them on your corkboard and write until the last card's notes are now a living, breathing chapter in your book. Follow the same process for the second third of the book and the closing third. You'll be amazed how fast you can knock out a book when you aren't afraid that guessing as you go along could lead your story down the wrong path.

 

That's it for the chunking discussions. I hope this has given you some ideas on how to alleviate the stress of writing a novel. Don't think of it as one big project; think of it as a series of small projects that when approached individually can be completed in fairly short order.

 

Good luck and happy writing!

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Chunking Method Part 4: Hero, Meet Villain

Chunking Method Part 3: Heroes & Villains

2,373 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, writers, writing, outline, craft
0

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.


Books/Publishing


Can I Market My Book Without Facebook and Twitter? - Self Publishing Coach


Some authors just don't want to get involved in social networking. There are a few alternatives.


Author Blogging 101: Up With Comments! - The Book Designer


Comments and commenting can add life to your blog.


Film


Steal This Editing Secret to Edit Film and Video Like a Pro -Joke and Biagio


Mastering editing may be as simple as using the tracing paper method.


Creative Minds Cannes Internships -Filmmaking.net


Here's a chance to bone up on your French and study under some of the best filmmaking talent in the world.


Music


Getting the Music Advertising ROI Calculation Correct - Music Think Tank


Are you getting everything you can out of your advertising budget? The folks at Music Think Tank can help you figure it out.


Why You Need to Meet Musicians Like You - The Musician's Guide


Networking isn't just a virtual experience. The key to booking your next gig may come from the fellow musicians you meet at shows and other venues.


-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...


Tuesday's Blog Roundup - November 1, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - October 25, 2011 Edition

1,594 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: marketing, music, filmmaking, film, networking, blogging, musicians, social_media
0

Oh, those horrible traps that can sabotage your brand. They are everywhere, and if you're not on your toes, you can get caught in one and sink your hard branding work. Even the smartest authors have made wrong moves that ultimately chased readers away. Those moves didn't have anything to do with the quality of their writing taking a nose dive, but everything to do with letting emotions get the best of them, especially over reviews. Here are three types of flubs that could have serious consequences and tarnish your brand.


  1. Lashing out - It is never a good idea to respond negatively to a bad review. I can't emphasize this point enough. It's never fun getting shredded by a reader in a review. I know because I've experienced it. How did I handle it? I took a walk and let it pass. Not everyone is going to like my books. Unfortunately, I've seen too many authors try to defend themselves in response to a bad review, or worse, attack the reviewer. It's a bad move because it comes off as being unprofessional. If an author takes time to respond to these, it is likely future buyers will give that review more weight since it "touched a nerve" with the author. As my grandmother used to say, "Leave it be."
  2. Rallying the troops - There have been a few authors who went beyond lashing out and took their anger at bad reviews to a new level. They voiced their anger on social media sites and tried to rally their friends and followers to take up their cause. In essence, they created a mob to virtually attack the reviewer. If you want to chase sales away, make people feel they have to like your book or else an angry group of fans will stalk them on Facebook and/or Twitter.
  3. Phony reviews - New and established authors have been caught at this particular game. They create numerous accounts on an online retail site, and write glowing reviews of their own books. I know you would never do anything like this, but those authors who got caught lost fans by the truckload. It's tough waiting for a review to come in, but don't let your impatience get the best of you. Ride it out.


That does it for our series on branding. Remember, it takes time and consistency to build your brand into something that will benefit your marketing efforts. It doesn't cost a lot of money, but it does take a lot of commitment from you to keep adding elements to your author brand. Have fun, keep it professional, and build that author brand.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...


Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

Branding 101: Tools for Branding


2,764 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, reviews, reviews, reviews, reviews, reviews, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, promotion, brand, brand, brand, brand, brand, branding, branding, branding, branding, branding, author_brand, author_brand, author_brand, author_brand, author_brand
0

Need to flex those creative brain cells a bit? Join me in a quick creative exercise to get your imagination in the mood:

 

It's a gray afternoon in some dull and ubiquitous small town. You're there for a brief visit, but after the first couple hours you can't wait to be on your way home. A cold, steady rain began falling right after lunch, and you're rushing down the sidewalk to the safety of a café bathed in fluorescent light at the end of the street. Just as you're about to cross the road, however, a dark sedan rips around the corner at high speed. Its front left tire catches the curb and lands with considerable force in a deep puddle. Before you can yell a word at the crazed driver, a wall of freezing water soaks you from head to foot.

 

Great, just great. Your hotel is forty minutes away and the heater, of course, is broken in your rental. Just as you're about to resign yourself to the long, wet drive, you catch a glimpse of the picture window to your right. Shabby mannequins in clothes long out of fashion reach awkwardly into the air. The sign is flipped to "open," but it looks like the store has been closed for years. You're about to leave when you finally see what caught your attention in the first place: an outfit that could have walked out of a fashion magazine this morning. Your favorite colors and textures, topped with the warmest, most comfortable-looking coat you've ever seen. You rush to the door, find that the store really is open, and five minutes later you're dressed in clean clothes and wrapped in the coziest coat you've ever worn. As you enjoy the much-needed warmth, your hand slips into your pocket, and you suddenly find the corner of a thick piece of folded paper. You take it out and notice that the edges are dingy, as though it's been handled quite a bit for several years. Carefully, you unfold it and begin to decipher the scrawled handwriting...

 

What's written on the note? Write a short paragraph starting with the line, "I could barely make out the first word..."

 

-Kristin

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/KristinHeadshot_final.jpg

Kristin is a content media coordinator with CreateSpace. She draws from a strong background in journalism and creative writing to help authors hone their skills and flex their artistic muscles.

 

You may also be interested in...

WordPlay: Tales of Horror

WordPlay: A Raisin to Write

2,846 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, creativity, creativity, creativity, creativity, creativity, creativity, creativity, creativity, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, wordplay, wordplay, wordplay, wordplay, wordplay, wordplay, wordplay, wordplay
0

It's the End of the World and Kids Love It!

The young adult book market seems to be trending towards stories with less-than-ideal settings and themes. In fact, they're downright dystopian. Whether it's the superb Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or the teen angst world of vampires created by Stephenie Meyer in Twilight, books for young adults are dealing with bleak, less desirable themes of fantasy. In the words of Heath Ledger's Joker, "Why so serious?"

 

A new wave of dystopian fiction at this particular time shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's the zeitgeist. Adults write books for teenagers. So anxious adults - worried about the planet, the degradation of civil society and the bitter inheritance we're leaving for the young - write dystopian books.

 

You can read the entire article on The Guardian's website: Why is dystopia so appealing to young adults?

 

Skipping the Theaters and Going Straight to 800 Million Potential Viewers

As if we needed more evidence that the Internet is taking over, some Independent filmmakers have decided to bypass a theatrical release and harness the power of Facebook. In a unique and untried strategy, the producers of the horror film The Perfect House say this is the world's first made-for-Facebook film. They say this isn't a fallback plan at all. It's always been part of their original business plan.


(Kris) Hulbert said the company didn't choose Facebook just because it couldn't land a distributor - using the social network is Gratwick's (North Hollywood's Gratwick Films) long-term business plan. "This is actually our first and primary choice," he said. "If we can execute on responsible film making, then we can control our own destiny." The company already has plans for two "Perfect House" sequels and has plotted out other projects for the next decade.

 

You can read the entire article on The San Francisco Chronicle's website: Horror film debuts exclusively on Facebook


The Cautionary Side of Music Marketing

There is plenty of "how to" advice out there on marketing for musicians, but people rarely dive deeply into the "don'ts" of marketing for musicians. Chris DeLine of Culture Bully has solved that problem. He's written an article that gives a healthy dose of tough love to musicians trying to reach their audience through bloggers. The gist of this advice is that not every music blogger is the same and you shouldn't treat them as such.


One of the problems with this is that even if you're careful, considerate, and you do the legwork to find outlets that are appropriate for your music, you're in the minority, and your email is likely to be clumped in with the daily wave of incoming spam. Unless you've already had successful communication with the recipient, there's a good chance that whatever it is you're sending to them will likely be greeted with as much excitement as a LinkedIn invitation.

 

You can read the entire article on Culture Bully's website: How to Fail at Promoting Music Online


-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


You may also be interested in...

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - October 28, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - October 21, 2011

1,378 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, facebook, facebook, ya, ya, films, films, music_marketing, music_marketing, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers, young_adult, young_adult
0

Do you include a signature at the end of your personal emails? If not, you should! Adding a signature is a fantastic way to promote your book. A few posts back, I talked about the importance of coming up with a compelling hook, and your email signature is great example of how to put that hook into action.

 

The signature doesn't have to be anything fancy. Here's the one I use:

 

Maria Murnane, award-winning author of Perfect on Paper, a must read for anyone who has ever run into an ex looking like crap

www.mariamurnane.com

Follow me!

 

Most email signatures can be added under the "settings" in your email service. If you don't have an author website (put that on your to-do list now!), you can hyperlink "click here for more information" to your book's sales listings, social media accounts, or Amazon.com author page. Hyperlinks are usually added by clicking on the icon that looks like a chain.

 

Many people in my personal life don't know I'm an author until they see an email from me about something completely unrelated. For example, I play a lot of soccer, so I'm always on group emails for tournaments, teams, pickup games, league parties, etc. I've lost track of how many times I've received an email from someone on a group email chain saying something along the lines of "Wow, I had no idea you are a published author. I just ordered a copy of your book!" One woman who recently saw my signature is the head soccer coach at a university, and she wants me to come speak to all the female athletes there about what it's like to be a professional writer. What a great opportunity that happened solely because of my email signature.

 

Now get e-signing!

 

-Maria

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Everyone Needs an Editor!

Keep Your Chin Up!

3,414 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, promotion, email, signature, e-mail, branding
0

There is no better time to be a writer than when you are at that pivotal moment when your hero and your villain are going to interact for the first time. Oh, the possibilities in the blank pages in front of you! Before you tackle it though, I suggest you map out a few details. In the spirit of last week's post, we'll use the chunking method to look at what you should do when your hero meets your villain.


  • Inciting Incident - Write a short paragraph describing the incident that led to this moment. Is it a major inciting incident or a secondary inciting incident? Are there other characters involved in this meeting?
  • The Yin and the Yang - How do these two characters fit together? I'm not talking about the event that brought them together. I'm talking about the emotional bond that these two characters share. They do have a bond. In fact, there should be an odd sort of intimacy between the good guy and the bad guy. Something beyond the conflict attracts them to one another.
  • The Conflict - This isn't the inciting incident that led to the two characters meeting; this is the conflict that you've built your story around. What is driving your story? Define it and the role each of these two characters plays in the conflict.
  • Admire Your Villain - It sounds crazy, but I believe that you should admire something about the characters you create. That may make sense for the hero, but some people are uncomfortable with finding an admirable quality in their villain. The best villains have some humanity in them. Their struggle to hold onto that humanity can be a great struggle to expose to your readers.
  • Hate Your Hero - Just as a villain needs to struggle, so too does your hero. Perfection is boring. A hero that does the wrong thing on occasion is fascinating. What makes you uneasy about your hero? Pretend for a moment that you know only one thing about your hero, and that one thing isn't very flattering.

 

Once you've explored these five aspects of your hero and your villain, you're ready to hammer out the pages of their pivotal meeting. It should be easy because you know so much about them.

 

Next week, we'll look at using the chunking method to create an outline.

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Chunking Method Part 3: Heroes & Villains

Chunking Method Part 2: The Opening & Closing

2,321 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, writers, writing, characters, craft
0

Welcome to Tuesday's blog roundup. This is the day we shine the spotlight on bloggers and artists in the publishing, film and music industries.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Boost Your Online Book Sales with "Sales Nodes" - digital book world

 

Do you know what a sales node is? It's a good term and concept to know.

 

Book as Process, Book as Byproduct, Book as Conversation - Buzz Machine

 

Can a book ever go viral? Jeff Jarvis thinks it can if it's more than a book.

 

Film

 

Traditional Indie Film Marketing - Context Building- Consolidated Films

 

If your film doesn't have context, it's hard to build a marketing strategy for it. Learn how to develop your film's context.

 

Strange Filmmaking Methods of Famous Directors -Flavorwire

 

Which filmmaker handwrites all his screenplays and which director credits transcendental meditation for his creative success?

 

Music

 

5 Tips about Writing Your Own Band Bio - Music Coaching

 

Not knowing who you are as a band can seriously hamper your success.

 

Talking On The Phone Can Hurt Your Voice! - Judy Rodman

 

Talking on the phone creates bad habits that can ruin your voice. Why? Because you can't see the person with whom you are talking.

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

You may also be interested in...

 

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - October 25, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - October 18, 2011 Edition

1,928 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, authors, authors, marketing, marketing, selling, selling, filmmaking, filmmaking, sales, sales, bio, bio, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers

Actions