honing tagged posts
April 27, 2013 Newbie Writers Podcast
The Newbie Writers’ Podcast
Special Guest: Stacey Aaronson
Special Co-host: Philippe Perez of The TaleTeller Podcast
Tell us about being a book doctor, what inspired you to create a career out of helping other authors?
Tell us about your clients – in general terms, who uses a book doctor? Should a newbie writer approach and hire a book doctor?
How far along should the manuscript be before you can really help an author with their book?
What is the worst thing you ever read?
The Best thing you’ve read?
Catharine always recommends that authors do not design their own covers – and you are a designer- what are some tipsRead More
July 7, 2012 Newbie Writers Podcast
The Newbie Writer’s Podcast – Episode 40
I just read ‘Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path’ by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott. I found the book at Share Exchange in Santa Rosa, hard back, but I wanted to purchase something to support the effort and I collect books on the writing process, so it wasn’t a big sacrifice. And I enjoyed this book; the authors identify the seven steps on the writer’s path as:
Unhappiness, Wanting, Commitment, Wavering, Letting Go, Immersion, Fulfillment. I will not belabor the points here; you can read the book yourself. But I do want to point out that the authors cover something that is sometimes over looked and misunderstood: unhappiness. I think this unhappiness or restlessness is critical to how authors wrestle with their own heads andRead More
April 27, 2012 Emma's Corner
Last night I witnessed one of the most amazing acts of brotherly love I have ever seen. I’ve been obsessing over it, trying to find just the right words to describe what I witnessed but they’re still not quite right.
Until I can arrange my written words to convey the tenderness I saw, I’m writing this blog post as a permanent reminder so I can keep revisiting the scene to one day do it justice.
Miss 2 and Master 4 share a bedroom but they have different bedtimes. I’m happy to say that my kids are generally quite good about going to bed when they’re told and thankfully we don’t have too many dramas in that regard. So last night, as we do every night, we took Violet to bed, read her a story and said goodnight. When she’s as tired as she was last night she is often asleepRead More
Late March 2011
How can we tell if our manuscript is ready for submission?
If writing is re-writing and editing, then there is an argument that it is never ending, that there is always some prose that could be improved upon. But I guess you have to end somewhere.
By the end of March, my Agent called me up to say my novel was ready for submission. Exciting times… He would send it to the major UK publishing houses on my behalf, with the synopsis of the sequel. He was intent on selling the series.
I’ll admit I was nervous. I wasn’t following the trend in crime fiction. I had spent hours, days, months, years even, studying creative writing and specialist crime fiction, deconstructing favourite novels, avidly working out what I liked/disliked. In my psychological thriller I worked hard toRead More
Every word counts. As writers, that’s what we are told, whether in fiction or non-fiction. It may be the best line in the world, your pride and joy – but does it add colour to the narrative? Does it really drive the story forward?
With these thoughts in mind I examined the suggested line by line edits on my manuscript. In some places I could see that I was being indulgent, holding on to precious words and phrases that I really liked, but weren’t essential to the story. They were the easy ones.
Others I didn’t want to part with. You know those odd lines you come up with in the shower, on long lazy drives into the country, when something wakes you in the middle of the night? These had context. But when I read and re-read I realised that they weren’t all really necessary.Read More
July 24, 2011 Writing Tips
Wait for it……………………….wait…………………..wait……………………wait, OK maybe not!
It would be nice if the next time we wanted to write we could just sit down and have a dozen ideas of what to write about, right? Maybe not in the clairvoyant way you are thinking about but with an open mind you can have many ideas at your finger tips.
I am more of a non-fiction guy. I like the idea of learning as I write and the time frame to right short pieces appeals to me since I don’t know what I’ll have going on in six months. So my ideas tend to be more geared toward a magazine article or a blog post. But what I try to do is cultivate as many ideas as I can think of when my mind is rolling in that direction.
For the past week I have been travelingRead More
Late Jan. 2011
At a recent literary festival, Sophie Hannah talked about the importance of being on board with your Agent. This is a critically acclaimed author and poet, her work has been recently televised on the BBC in the UK, who was revealing how she had been compelled to part ways with an Agent when they couldn’t agree the changes to her first crime thriller.
Turning my book into a marketable product was proving to be a compromise and I wasn’t sure how far I could, or indeed needed, to go to meet my Agents requirements. It wasn’t that he wasn’t approachable; he had seemed like a great guy when we had met a month earlier. But this was a new relationship and we had never worked together before. As a potential debut novelist, I didn’t want to upset the apple cart, but I alsoRead More
Ernest Hemingway was known for his short to the point sentences, a trait that helped to solidify his writer’s voice as one of the most distinctive in American literature. In The Old Man and the Sea he uses direct language that makes us feel as if the fisherman were telling us the story firsthand.
This use of technique and tone is a great example of voice in writing. I know as new writers we find some of these terms like “voice” perplexing and we wonder what exactly everyone is talking about. Myself I interpret voice simply as characteristics of a person’s writing that distinguishes it as their own.
Similar to someone’s accented speech, a writer inflects his personality into their writing. While their accent is a product of regionalism in most cases, there writing canRead More
February 20, 2010 Goals for Writers
One of the most important lessons I have learned as a writer is that I always have room for improvement. I’ve actually been writing for many years now, but I still find I learn great lessons every day when I write. That’s why I love Newbie Writer’s Forum – I can get help and constructive criticism from other writers here.
Previously, we had a blog post about dealing with rejections and that is something that does happen to every professional (and not quite so professional) writer. Instead of calling it a rejection, which has negative connotations, call it a lesson you can learn. This has hope for the future.
When I first graduated with a degree in Communications (print journalism), I thought I knew everything there was to know about writing. How wrong I was! I have continuouslyRead More