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Monthly Archives: December 2012

It’s the Last Day of the Year, Write it Down Before You Forget it….


thHappy New Year’s folks! First off, let’s get the basics out of the way….don’t drink and drive and for Pete’s Sake don’t drink and write…to do so it like making a sex tape with a rhino…if you survive it, eventually someone will see the tape and then you have to explain yourself and, well…it just gets ugly from there. So be safe people! (and no rhinos)

There is one thing that I do suggest you do BEFORE you start that all-nighter with the neighbors you never speak to any other time of the year…you should write one last time for 2012. I find it sort of freeing to take the time, before the guests, or Uncle Earl, arrive, and write down my impressions of the year we are saying good-bye to. You would be surprised at how little you will remember after the clock has struck midnight. I don’t know if it’s the booze, the tradition, or just Alzheimer, but you will not be as clear as you are before the zero hour.

2012 for me was a year of beginnings…I became a grandparent for the second time but to a granddaughter, I started this blog, I wrote 2 new books and I learned to make quiche…all great firsts!  I also learned a lot about myself and I have grown as a writer and a person. I need to get some of that down on paper before I jump head first into 2013. If I don’t, I will be too busy treading water with the fiscal cliff thingy, catching up on the bills I put off in anticipation of the Mayan Doomsday and recovering from a Bailey’s on ice hangover to do it. It’s now or never….

So pay homage to 2012 and all that it gave the writer in you and jot down what worked and what didn’t. Trust me; if you do you will look back on it someday with fondness because you’ll have those memories while the other jokers in the old folks home can’t remember which shoe goes on which foot… Don’t you love being a writer?!

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

 

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Healthy Writers, Writing

 

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Retrospect – Ain’t That Antique Glasses?


thOkay…it’s that time of the year when we are all tasked with looking back over 2012 and deciding where we screwed up and how we won’t repeat that pattern in 2013. For those of you who were waiting for the Mayan doomsday…neener, neener… you have to do it too.

For me personally I don’t spend a lot of time on musing over my screw-ups. If I did 2013 would already be spoken for…I don’t have that kind of time. Instead I simply close out 2012 and begin anew in 2013. I believe that it is important to close out the previous year making sure that you don’t carry all the garbage over with you. New Year’s Day is sort of a get-out-of-your-past free card. We all need to use that card.

So here’s what I do to close out the year…feel free to add or take away items…but whatever you do…close it out so that you can have a fresh start too.

  • Back that thang up – All of it…your computer, your writing, your iPad, your smart phone…back it all up at the close of the year.
  • Clean that Darn Office – Start with the desk and work your way through the room. Archive everything that you won’t need in the new year.
  • Take stock of your projects – Put the ones that aren’t working away and reset your schedule for the ones that are. Put the project you are most excited about on top…it will help you get started.
  • Take stock of your writing schedule – Everyone changes and everyone’s needs change as well. Are you still a morning writer? Take a look at your writing time and decide if it is still working or if it needs a change.
  • Set goals – The beginning of the year is the perfect time to set goals. Let me clarify, goals, NOT Resolutions…I so totally do not believe in those…it’s like setting a steak in front of your dog and telling it to stay for the next year…might as well just give him the steak cause he can’t resist just as we can’t resist breaking those stupid resolutions. Line up about 10 things that you want to accomplish, write them down and post them near your monitor.

These are just a few things a writer should do to close out the old year and break in the new. Having an end of the year routine helps you to be productive about the changing of the yearly guard instead of being all retrospective-y which often leads to regret which leads to alcohol and whatever you’ve replaced Twinkies with (or just hours of pining over your lost beloved Twinkies) and trust me, that won’t be pretty….

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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I’m Back Baby! OR Hey…Cover Me!


thEveryone needs a few days towards the end of the year to regroup….mine, as you may have noticed was from Christmas day through yesterday. I enjoyed family; Christmas fun and great gifts…however…it’s time to get back to work.

Today we are going to talk about book covers. It doesn’t matter if you are e-publishing or traditional publishing, you have to put some clothes on that book of yours so that people will want to buy it and actually open the cover.

The thing that made me think of this subject was an iPad game that I almost bought this morning. It looked cool from the cover. I clicked to get the game and as my finger hovered over the “buy it” button a description along with some screen shots popped up and stopped me cold. The game’s cover may have been cool but the screen shots showed a cheesy game that my 3 year old grandson would have poo pooed… I didn’t buy the game but that’s not the point here…the point here is that I almost bought the game.

When trying to sell your book you really have to think about first impressions. That cover is the first thing potential readers see. It is the fishing lure, the bait, the window dressing that beckons, hey person with the cash…come on in… There are many writers whose books never see the shine of a book light because the cover is either stupid or just plain lame. Your story may be the next “great American novel” but if the cover sucks…no one will ever know it…

In order to be effective your book cover has to convey something about the story and it has to be something real. Also, just like my experience with the game, if your cover doesn’t depict what is actually inside the book your readers will never return to any of your other work either. Chances are I won’t buy from that game programmer ever again and the sad thing is I will recognize their brand from now on and chances are I will reject another app just based on that first experience….it’s the way things sometimes work. Your cover has to be exciting but also real.

So if you get to the cover point and you are wondering what to do,

  • Make sure that you begin with an honest look at your book, think about what would make you want to buy your book
  • Make sure that it that luring effect.
  • Ensure that the pictures you use really speak to the reader about what the story is offering.
  • Be real – make sure that your over works with your story.

It would be a shame to do all that work writing your story only to have it bomb because it is wearing the wrong color shirt or high water pants…..dress your book for success and your readers will not only buy it but they will come back to see what next season’s offers are. (my daughter is watching reruns of America’s Top Model so excuse the fashion reference)

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Business of Writing, Writing

 

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Merry Christmas


198298_429335640453489_6737297_nMerry Christmas and happy holidays to you all. I hope that this Christmas was all you wanted it to be…. Thank you all for your support throughout 2012. I promise to continue to try and keep you amused in 2013!

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Best Advice Ever!


The following two items are among the best advice I have ever gotten. I am put them into graphics so that you can print them out and post them near your computer. I always take the best advice I have gotten from others over the years and posted it…it helps me remember that , (a) I am never alone and (b) that I should always learn…

A word on rejections

 

 

 

 

 

Advice-3-2-2010

 

 

 

 

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

 

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Born to Be Uninhabited….The Importance of Choosing the Right Word


cartoonBorn to be uninhabited….not quite the same as born to be wild now is it? The writer of that now iconic phrase chose the right word in order to say what he wanted to say. As a writer, we have to pay attention to the words we choose because the wrong word just might leave your story “uninhabitable”.

When I first started out as a writer I had no idea how important it was to have the “right” words. Many writers never learn the importance of their verbiage. They just tootle along, writing whatever comes to mind and never really listen to the actual sound of their story. My spouse has this thing they often can be heard saying to our kids…”listen, to the words coming out of my mouth” is bellowed a lot in our house when one of them is in a bit of trouble. The reason this is said is because one of them isn’t actually paying attention to what is being said and therefore getting themselves into even more trouble. We, as writers, should take this advice too; only rephrase it to, “listen to the words coming out of my head”.

I have recently begun using a text reader to read back to me what I have recently been working on. I love the text reader because it allows me to “hear” how my writing actually sounds. There has been a lot of time when, while I am listening, I hear something that needs that different word. I do suggest that you give a text reader a try.

So before you send that manuscript out pay some special attention to your verbiage because sometimes the wrong word in the wrong place at the wrong time can sink your story; but the right word can give birth to an iconic story that years later folks are still quoting.

 

© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Edting, Writing

 

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Hey! I’m Still Here! Should have Listened to the Oreo….


574719_369568133132877_78040813_nWell it’s Dec. 21st and I don’t know about you but I’m still here…guess I gotta pay the water bill after all. I was going to write a column about the day and what it should teach us but then I woke up to a fellow writer’s musings and, to be honest, I couldn’t put it any better than Jeff Goins could so I am directing my readers towards Jeff this morning. Jeff, I couldn’t have said it better myself….

http://goinswriter.com/mayan-apocalypse/

 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Writing

 

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