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

 

Books/Publishing

 

10 Essential Non-Writing Tools to Help Writers Write -PBS

What non-writing tools are in your arsenal?

                                                    

Getting Maximum "Bang" for Your Book Description Buck: an SEO/Author's Perspective -The Creative Penn

Author and book marketing expert Lori Culwell looks at book descriptions as an SEO professional.

 

Film

                                                        

How to Build Rapport with Movie Investors (and Other Hollywood Heavy Hitters) - Filmmaking Stuff

Because sometimes it is about whom you know.

                                          

30 Things about Screenwriting - Filmmaker IQ

The greatest hits list from Scott Myers' blog, Go Into The Story.

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Mixing and Producing: Choosing a Mix Engineer - Musician Coaching

An interview with Grammy-winning engineer Jason Goldstein.

 

Social Media to Your Band's Advantage -Musician Makers

Use social media as more than just a gig announcement tool.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - December 6, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - November 29, 2013

12,223 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, book, music, filmmaking, movies, writers, writing, mixing, investors, musicians, craft, screenwriting, filmmakers, descriptions, social_media, producing, writing_tips
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Grab, Delight or Shock Your Readers Right from the Start -The Book Deal

We're going to need a bigger hook.

                                       

Book Marketing 101: Sell the Benefits NOT the Product -Self Publishing Coach

A rather unusual take on how to sell a book.

 

Film

                                                        

How to Make Your Horror Screenplay More Effective - No Film School

'Tis the season to get your horror thinking cap on!

 

6 Filmmaking Tips from Ron Howard - Film School Rejects

You can learn a lot from a man with a catalog of blockbuster hits like Ron Howard.

                                    

Music

 

What Does a Music Producer Even Do? - Musicgoat.com

A great explanation of a music producer's role.

 

How to Warm Up Your Singing Voice -RouteNote Blog

A video tutorial featuring opera singer Danielle de Niese.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - October 18, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - October 11, 2013

 

2,068 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, music, filmmaking, author, movies, writers, writing, fiction, musicians, screenwriting, filmmakers, branding, social_media, music_production
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps from First Draft to Publication - Wordplay

Author K.M. Weiland breaks down every author's least favorite thing to do.

                                                    

What You Should Know About Book Covers -Marketing Tips

You're not just designing a cover for your book. You're creating a marketing tool.

 

Film

                                                        

How Many Events Should You Have in Your Feature Screenplay? - Making the Movie

How many essential incidents do you have in your screenplay?

                                          

10 Filmmaking Sites You Should Be Reading -The Beat             

Sites that will help you develop and hone your filmmaking craft.        

                                    

Music

 

10 Tips for Better DIY Recording - Musicgoat

A mastering engineer shares tips on how to get the most out of your DIY recording studio.

 

How to Succeed -Getting There

Composer and producer Robert Maddocks reveals his formula for succeeding in the music business.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - June14, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - June 7, 2013

1,944 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, filmmaking, editing, self-publishing, producers, cover_design, musicians, screenwriting, book_cover
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While poets are also called writers, other types of writers are not often called poets. That fact doesn't keep English teachers from drilling poetic verse into young authors' heads, but they have a good reason. Poetry allows for more lyrical and descriptive language, and the optional use of strict forms can force writers to bring creativity to lines they might never have considered in standard prose.


Take, for example, the villanelle, a 19-line poem wherein the first and third lines of the first stanza repeat alternately as the third line in each following stanza, wrapping up in a couplet at the close. Originally known as simple "country songs," the villanelle wasn't given a specific form until the late 1500s, and even then it didn't catch on until the early twentieth century. But when it did, it took flight. Giving rise to such poems as "The Waking" by Theodore Roethke and "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas, the strict structure of the villanelle forces writers to work within pretty tight confines. When trapped there, they are driven to create in ways they might not have considered without the proverbial "gun to the back" of the poetic form.


The sestina is another fierce beast of the poetry world. A sestina is a 39-line poem consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, topped off with a three-line tercet, or envoi, at the close. The same set of six words must be used to end the lines in each stanza, but in a different order each time.


Sounds pretty complicated, right? Actually, it's not as scary as it seems. If you write down six lines of free-form verse (there's no set meter for sestinas), then just take the last word from each line and arrange them according to the sestina structure above. Filling in the lines behind the words might prove to be easier than you expect. It might even get you thinking of descriptions outside of the prosaic box. That brings us to this week's exercise.


Exercise: You're a poet and you know it


Pick one of the forms discussed above, a sestina or a villanelle, and try your hand at poetry. Don't worry about meter. Just stick with the guidelines and see what creative descriptions a strict structure might inspire in your writing!


Villanelle (A rhymes with A and B rhymes with B)


Refrain 1 (A1)

Line 2 (B)

Refrain 2 (A2)


Line 4 (A)

Line 5 (B)

Refrain 1 (A1)


Line 7 (A)

Line 8 (B)

Refrain 2 (A2)


Line 10 (A)

Line 11 (B)

Refrain 1 (A1)


Line 13 (A)

Line 14 (B)

Refrain 2 (A2)


Line 16 (A)

Line 17 (B)

Refrain 1 (A1)

Refrain 2 (A2)


Sestina (for reference, see "Sestina" by Dante Alighieri)


Stanza 1: 123456

Stanza 2: 615243

Stanza 3: 364125

Stanza 4: 532614

Stanza 5: 451362

Stanza 6: 246531


Envoi:

line 1: 6 & 2
line 2: 1 & 4
line 3: 5 & 3


-Kristin

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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.


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WordPlay: Putting Your Worst Foot Forward

WordPlay: A Strange Note

1,308 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, author, writers, writing, screenwriting
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"I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die." - Isaac Asimov


It's Valentine's Day, and there's no better time to stop and think about your love of writing. What is it that drives you to write? No really, take a moment and think about your answer. It's not because you have to. In order to write, and write well, a little bit of your heart needs to find its way onto the page. Whether it's your passion for laser technology that drove you to write a technical manual or your love for unearthing secrets that led you to write a mystery novel, there is something about you that makes your writing absolutely and truly unique - because it contains a vibrant piece of you.


Take a moment and think about what you are working on right now. What is your manuscript about? What drove you to write your story? And don't just settle for the simple answer on the surface. Think about why writing is so important to you and why writing this particular story is so imperative that you are taking weeks, months, even years out of your life to complete it. The answer might surprise you. And that brings us to this week's exercise.


Exercise: The heart of the matter


As you think about your reason for writing - and it doesn't have to be the reason behind your current project, it could be the reason you simply love to write - jot down your thoughts. Even if doesn't seem like the real reason, scribble it down with sincerity. Try to follow your thoughts back to your earliest memory of writing and what truly drove you to first put pen to paper.


Once you have it all down, keep that piece of paper with you. On days when the ideas just won't come, or your heart really isn't into it, read over that little missive with your most sincere thoughts, memories, and myriad reasons for writing, and it will fan the embers and bring a much needed spark back to your passion for the written word. In the immortal words of that wordsmith William Wordsworth, "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."


-Kristin

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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.


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WordPlay: A Raisin to Write

WordPlay: Idioms

1,250 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, author, writers, writing, screenwriting
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It's time again to rattle the old imagination cage with a new creative writing prompt! Read through the following set-up and then take the story from there, writing as much or as little as you like:


It's shockingly cold for June in the little mountain town of Ouray, Colorado. Snow still lingers in patches in the darker parts of the woods, and the thundering of Box Canyon Falls, a near-three hundred foot tall cascade, can be heard in the distance. You've been staying in this quiet little town for a few weeks, enjoying the fresh air and taking in the scenery. In fact, you've been taking longer and longer hikes through the woods, exploring the abrupt basin in which this minute municipality resides.


Today, your walk has led you down one of the more faded paths along the basin's slope. The air is getting thinner the higher you climb, but the view is breathtaking, and you can see a dark ledge maybe a hundred feet or so above you. It looks like an old mining camp, and tantalizing glints of mineral and metal catch your eye and pique your curiosity. After another 15 minutes, you haul yourself, panting, onto the ledge of the coal-black cut.


There's not much left: twists of rusting metal rail blend with rotting plant matter and last year's fallen leaves, and a dark swath of coal and sparkling mica winds through the middle of the ledge, growing wider toward your right. A massive boulder blocks your view in that direction so, once you catch your breath, you make your way around the corner.


The boulder is covered in a fine, deep moss, and as you casually admire the contrast of dark green on silver gray, you notice fresh cuts in the moss at about waist height. They're long scrapes and there's more than one of them. You ponder this for a moment as you round the corner, remembering that you took a pretty old and rarely used trail to find this remote spot, when suddenly...


-Kristin

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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.


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WordPlay: A Strange Note

WordPlay: Universal Language

1,981 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, author, writers, writing, screenwriting
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Sometimes what holds us up during the writing process is not so much the next step in the story, but the best way to say it. So often it comes down to one word that perfectly embodies what you're trying to convey and you just...can't...remember...it. The whole story might grind to a halt as you run through the alphabet in an attempt to kick the word to the front of your memory.

 

One helpful resource for this problem is a website called OneLook Reverse Dictionary. It's not all that accurate and it usually takes the vague "it sounds like..., but not quite like..." parameters a bit too literally, but I usually wind up finding my way, if not to the word itself, to something that works just as well.

 

Another solution is flashcards. I know this sounds somewhat collegiate, but a little brain boost once in a while can do wonders for one's vocabulary. And you don't have to walk around with a pack of 3 x 5 index cards in your back pocket, either. If you have a smart phone, you can download the application for both Dictionary.com and Dictionary.com Flashcards.

 

Dictionary.com is great for writers because, if you allow it to send you push notifications, a new word will pop up on your phone daily. When you click on it, you can scroll through to the Spanish Word of the Day, The Question of the Day (ex: "What is the etymology of asparagus?") and a daily discussion on words and grammar.

 

Then there's the flashcards feature. Say you're sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic or you're waiting for someone to show up for dinner, get home from work, etc. Just pick a flashcard category and bulk up on your personal lexicon. While the flashcard topics change on a daily basis, all of the decks are stored online and you can access past collections at any time. Some recent flashcard categories include "Adjectives to Charm Your Instructor" with words such as ebullient, phlegmatic, and perspicacious; and "Confusable Combinations that are Almost Cruel," which pairs commonly confused words such as essay and assay, estate and ansate, and axis and accent.

 

Once you study your cards, you can quiz yourself to see how many words you've retained and how quickly you can remember their definitions. Not only will your new verbal skills help you sound like the professional wordsmith that you know you are, it will increase your perspicacity on the page.

 

And that brings us to this week's exercise:

 

What a word

 

Take a moment to learn a new word and see how many ways you can use it in a day. Use it in an e-mail, work it into a casual conversation, or write a sentence with it. By repeatedly using the word in its correct context, you have a better chance of retaining it and ultimately you'll spend less time fumbling for words during crucial moments of inspiration.

 

- Kristin

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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.


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WordPlay: The Rum Runners' Retreat

Don't Be Afraid to Use Pronouns!

3,198 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, author, writers, writing, craft, screenwriting
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Dialogue. All you have to do is write down what one person would say to the other in a conversation. Sounds easy, right? But like most aspects of writing, "simple dialogue" usually takes a lot more thought and consideration than you might think.


What we hear and what is actually said are often two entirely different things. Just ask anyone you held a conversation with today, or even someone you shared words with a few minutes ago. They'll most likely give you a summary of the conversation, or when pressed to repeat what you said word for word, they'll probably either jumble it up or give you a few choice words of their own.


It's all about perception and reality. We hear what people mean, but the way in which they say it can be difficult to capture, making it much harder to write a "true" conversation. Those who are able to depict a true conversation, however, are more likely to draw their readers into their dialogue and thus more deeply into their stories.


Take, for example, this introductory dialogue:


"Hi! How are you doing?"
"I am fine, thank you. And yourself?"


If two of your characters are meeting for a casual dinner and you want them to greet each other at the table, you might write something along the lines of what's written above. But is that what they would really say?


"Hey, David! Long time no see."
"Bob! Good Lord, I haven't seen you in a dog's age. How're things holding up?"


This dialogue sounds a little more realistic. It's a lot less stiff and formal. Instead of two cardboard cutouts for characters, we have two men who apparently have an amiable history together, and one could even guess that the second character comes from somewhere in or near the country due to his use of the "dog's age" colloquialism. The biggest difference between the two examples is not just the use of names and a kitschy phrase, but the structure itself. The first dialogue is written in full sentences with complete words. The second more closely mimics speech by utilizing the human tendency to speak in sentence fragments and contractions. And that brings us to this week's exercise:


Exercise: In your own words


Take the following dialogue and re-write it in a way that you feel these two people would actually talk. Need some inspiration? Find a public place like a park, coffee shop, restaurant, or even a mall and just take a moment to listen. Don't be afraid to elaborate by describing the characters' movements, location, etc.


D1: "Why do you stay here? Why do you not go back to America? Did you do something illegal? I would like to think that you did something illegal; it makes it more interesting."

D2: "Maybe I did. Maybe I did more than one illegal thing."

D1: "But what brought you to this country?"

D2: "I have not been very well. I came here for the waters."

D1: "What waters? We are in the middle of the desert."

D2: "Someone did not give me very accurate information."

 

-Kristin

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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.

 

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WordPlay: Challenging Your Perspective

WordPlay: A Strange Note

2,495 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, book, book, book, book, book, author, author, author, author, author, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, screenwriting, screenwriting, screenwriting, screenwriting, screenwriting
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With winter already making an appearance, now is a great time to practice working on some cool descriptions; and what better concept to describe this time of year than the cold?


Merriam-Webster defines "cold" as "having or being a temperature that is uncomfortably low for humans." This is a great example of show vs. tell. The definition tells us what cold is, but it certainly doesn't show us. That's where you, the writer, come in. The authors of reference materials can tell us the meanings of words like "sub-zero" and "frostbite," but we won't understand it and we won't feel it until a writer describes it so well that shivers run down our spines.


In 1908, author Jack London published a short story titled "To Build a Fire." If you haven't read it, I won't give the ending away, but it gives an incredibly descriptive depiction of almost unimaginable cold:


"When it is seventy-five below zero, a man must not fail in his first attempt to build a fire - that is, if his feet are wet...No matter how fast he runs, the wet feet will freeze the harder...The extremities were the first to feel its absence. His wet feet froze the faster, and his exposed fingers numbed the faster, though they had not yet begun to freeze. Nose and cheeks were already freezing, while the skin of all his body chilled as it lost its blood."


And this leads us to this week's exercise:

 

Exercise: How cold is it?


There are hundreds of phrases in common use that describe being cold, and some of them can be somewhat contradictory ("It's cold as heck!" for example), but a true artist can make even the most mundane sound new. This week, see if you can come up with a new way to say "It's cold" or to describe the cold. Keep in mind that you are "showing" your reader the cold, not just telling them outright. And don't be afraid to think outside of the box! You don't have to reference blizzards, snow, or ice; sometimes the best descriptions, the ones that really hit home, draw correlations that the reader would never have imagined before.


-Kristin

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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.

 

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WordPlay: Universal Language

WordPlay: Wine Tasting

1,510 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, writers, writing, craft, screenwriting
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"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

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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

1,016 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, book, writers, writing, craft, screenwriting
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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.

 

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Tuesday's Blog Roundup - November 8, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - November 1, 2011 Edition

1,352 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, cover, music, film, screenwriting, lighting, scripts, screenplay, google+
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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 Use Twitter to Promote Your New Book (or Other Product) - Michael Hyatt

 

Twitter can be a confusing tool to use for authors. Michael Hyatt gives some tips to help clear up some of that confusion.

 

Can You Be A Writer Without Being A Reader? - GalleyCat

 

The best advice I ever got on how to become a writer was delivered in one word: read.

 

Film

 

A Brand New Writing Technique (They Don't Happen Often!) - Projector Films

 

Can you really invent new ways to write? Filmmaker Tim Clague seems to think you can.

 

Breaking the Fourth Wall -a Moon Brothers film

 

How did John Hughes do it in Ferris Bueller's Day Off? It's supposed to be the biggest no-no in storytelling.

 

Music

 

Should Musicians Convert Fans of Facebook Pages to Profile Subscribers? - Hypebot

 

The Subscribe button is just one of many new changes appearing on Facebook recently. Can it benefit musicians?

 

Becoming a Session Player - Music Coaching

 

Spend any amount of time in a city with big studios and you're likely to hear that the best musicians in music are session players.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Tuesday's Blog Roundup - September 20, 2011 Edition

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - September 13, 2011 Edition

986 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, filmmaking, filmmaking, promotion, promotion, writers, writers, writing, writing, facebook, facebook, twitter, twitter, musicians, musicians, screenwriting, screenwriting, filmmakers, filmmakers
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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 Secure Raving Endorsements for Your Product or Service - Michael Hyatt

 

The first step is asking. It's also the hardest. Michael Hyatt shares his best tips for getting endorsements. 

 

 

LeVar Burton Reveals Reading Rainbow Follow-Up - GalleyCat

 

Is an updated version of the show that taught a generation to love books in the works?                         

 

 

Film

 

 

Brad Pitt Believes Age of Filmmaking Dominated by Big Studios is Over - newKerala.com

 

The man who conquered the studio system sees the future of film belonging to the independent filmmaker.                              

 

 

How to Apply "Show, Don't Tell" in Screenplays - Filmmaking Stuff

 

It's the one piece of advice that drives beginning writers crazy. Screenwriter Jurgen Wolff explains how to apply it to your screenplay.     

 

 

Music

 

 

Copyright is Valuable - 'The Birthday Song' earns $2 Million a year in royalties - artists house music

 

Time to dust off that Happy Tuesday song and start collecting royalties.         

 

 

New Instrument Alert: Björk's Gameleste - Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise

 

Sometimes you've just got to go that extra mile, like creating a new musical instrument to get the sound you want.

 

 

-Richard

 

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

 

 

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Tuesday's Blog Roundup - September 13, 2011 Edition

 

Tuesday's Blog Roundup - September 6, 2011 Edition

 

735 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, book, book, music, music, filmmaking, filmmaking, indie, indie, endorsements, endorsements, reading, reading, musicians, musicians, screenwriting, screenwriting, filmmakers, filmmakers
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Keep Public Readings Interesting

Let's face it, reading is not considered a spectator sport. People probably wouldn't pack a stadium to hear an author read from his or her latest book. The reading has been part of the marketing arsenal for authors since book promotion became a cottage industry eons ago. But, in this age of social media and online commerce, is it still relevant today? The New York Observer explored the topic in a recent issue.     

 

The greatest fear for any writer is that no one will show up. To lure an audience, Jon-Jon Goulian, author of the cross-dressing memoir The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt, advertised that the first five men to show up in skirts would get a free copy of the book. Surprisingly, Raleigh, N.C., had the best man-in-skirt ratio; most other cities didn't even try.

 

You can read the entire article on The New York Observer's website: No One Cares About Your Reading

 

When the Script is Done

It doesn't matter how much blood, sweat, and tears you put into a screenplay; once production starts, you lose all control. Changes are made to appease unforeseen conditions, actors' suggestions, and the director's whims (even if you're the director). It's a well-known fact that writers can become the powerless cog in the filmmaking machine. Yet, there is still a sense of satisfaction when you're on set and watching the idea that came from your brain come to life.                

 

The script, the document that I knew intimately, every comma, every nuance sweated over, was victim to reality: actors changed lines, night fell so shots were rethought, sheep didn't dart across the road the way they were supposed to. I could have felt devastated, protective, outraged at the license being taken (naughty sheep!), but I felt excited: how amazing to create a template for all this activity, close attention and each clapperboard call of ''Action''.

 

You can read the entire article on The Sydney Morning Herald's website: From gestation to realisation, lessons of a novice film-maker

 

 

Love Your Music to Become Great

You know the old joke:"Can you tell how to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice." This is a case where it really is funny because it's true. Practice is the main ingredient in excelling at music, but you should be getting more out of practice than sound techniques. You should be getting a feel for the music and developing your own unique style. You shouldn't be acquiring rote habits that will guide you through the song, but rather the freedom to experiment because you know the music so well. 

 

 

If you want to do this for a living, you're going to have to love it. You're going to have to love it just for what it is. You're going to have to love it, pursue it and try to get better every day for no other reason other than the fact that you love to do it. Music is just too tough a career choice for anyone who isn't right into it. Even people who work in the music industry, who are in supporting roles have this attitude. Second, it's this love that will push you to do all of the things that you're going to have to do to become great at your art. It's a long journey and there needs to be that internal motivator for you to push through and become a great artist.

 

 

You can read the entire article on Getting There's website: Keys To Becoming a Great Musician

 

 

-Richard

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

 

 

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Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - August 5, 2011

Weekly News Brief - Books, Film, Music - July 29, 2011

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When I dreamed of being a writer, I never thought I would have the patience and follow-through to ever finish a novel. They're so long! When I first decided I wanted to be a writer, I turned to a shorter format: screenplays. A final screenplay is usually no more than 120 pages and it consists largely of dialogue. Easy, right? I know it's not the most ambitious way to make a career choice, but I was an 18-year-old kid with very little confidence in my writing. I figured the less I wrote, the less chance I had to demonstrate my lack of writing talent.

 

I devoured books on writing screenplays. I read as many screenplays as I could find. I attended film festivals that had writer's workshops. I learned everything I could before I wrote my first word in a screenplay. Six months and 120 pages later, I had my first screenplay. I'm sure it was terrible, and probably completely unoriginal. It's long since disappeared within the virtual world of evolving data storage devices. 

 

It was bad, but I learned so much from the experience. The most important lesson I learned was to create a very well-defined story structure. Screenplays are divided into three acts. Normally, act one occurs on pages 1-30, act two takes place between pages 31-90 and the final act happens from pages 91-120. These page numbers are somewhat fluid, but the basic rule of thumb is that one page equals one minute of screen time. I also learned that act one should end with an event that catapults the story into the second act, where all the major conflict takes place. In addition, act two should end with an event that pushes the story to a conclusion.

 

Eventually, I moved into the world of novels. And I've often thought about the "laws" of structure in screenplays. Do I subconsciously apply them to my novel writing? Can you break a book down into three acts (beyond the basic beginning, middle and end concept)? Obviously, you can't apply the 30-90-120 rule in the strictest sense, but are the catalysts for change in place at the same rhythmic pace? I have to say the answer is most likely yes. I wrote 12 screenplays before I attempted my first novel, so the story structure of the screenplay is deeply ingrained in my writing fiber. I don't think that's a bad thing. In fact, I would recommend writing a screenplay if you've never done it before. It's a story at its simplest. It may help you see novel writing from an entirely different perspective.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Screenwriting - Know What's Happening Off Frame

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