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Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Friday Writing Pebbles


thLike throwing a pebble into the water some writers put advice out into the ocean of hopeful newbies hoping the ripple effects will reach them and they will learn a thing or two. Fridays here at The Writer’s Advice is pebble collection time. I will post some of the pebbles of wisdom I discover and I encourage you all to do the same. Each Friday we will help each other.

So here are mine….show me yours!

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 February 28, 2014 in Writing

 

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Traditional Books vs. Digital – No Yelling Allowed


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So here I am this morning wading into a debate that has been raging ever since the first e-book came out. Do we respect the traditional book…you know the ones made of paper that you can hold in your hands, or do we make the change to digital, the ones where no trees had to give their lives? For a long time I have been on fence on this issue but recently I was shoved off that fence by a documentary.

Keep in mind that I am, and always have been, a writer. As far back as I can remember I have been writing stuff down. I published my first piece when I was 9 years old and over the last 35 years I have been published again about a gazillion times. Along with that writing comes the reading and a lot of it. I read everything I can get my hands on most days…magazines, books, signs, cereal boxes…I read it all. I love the smell of a “real” book…the pages, the binding. I love the feel of a book in my hands and the way the words flow out onto the pages. I love to turn the pages. But do you know what I love more than any of that? I love breathing.

Our world is in a flux right now and the ecosystem is amazingly off balance. Our kind, man, has managed to over use everything from trees to the air itself and most of us have trickled along with no concept of what we are doing to the planet. Now we are being slammed in the face with the possibility that there may not be enough of the planet to survive into the future and that bothers me…a lot. I have kids and grandkids and I want them to be able to enjoy their lives too but that ain’t gonna happen if we keep squandering what we have now. What does this have to do with books? A lot.

We writers pride ourselves in being the windows of the future, the innovators of good, yet when the digital format books came out we all slammed to a halt and called foul. We wanted out traditional books and we poo pooed the concept of digital books. Never mind that a Kindle or a Nook would allow you to travel anywhere with your entire library, never mind that you would never have to lose another traditional bookmark, and never mind that moving to digital would help the planet…we just wanted to be able to turn the page. How sad are we?

So here is my challenge to all of you fellow writers…make the change. I know…I love the way the books look on the shelves too and if you need that library look head to a second hand book store and stock up but as far as what you read now…go digital. It will save some trees and possibly allow for more air in the future. It will save the beauty that is the trees whether they are lined on a beach, in the mountains or deep in the Amazon jungle. We are writers, it is our way to see the future and embrace it. Embrace digital books folks…your future may depend on it.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 February 26, 2014 in Business of Writing, Writing

 

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What’s In a Title? Everything!


1505118_731420476877071_1884885058_nWriter’s Note: First let me say that I am back after having recovered from a long and complicated surgery. I apologize for my absence but this was a tough one. I am on the mend now however and ready to jump right back into it so….let’s jump.

How many of you have picked up a book, or lord forbid bought one, and discovered that it wasn’t at all about what the title portrayed it to be? I know I have and it really irritated me. Let me first say that, as a buyer, we do need to be aware of what we are buying but if I am hanging out in a book store and a title catches my eye, it should at least be somewhat about what is between the pages….right?

These days I think that too many writers are trying to be “cute” with their title choices. They are either trying to play on words or trying to catch the reader’s attention. While this works with tabloids there is quite a difference between investing in a book at $12.95 and investing in a tabloid at .95 cents. If I am going to pay for a book I would much rather the title be reflective of what the content is. A book is an investment in time and money and by Pete I want to make sure that I am spending my money on what I think I am spending my money on.

This is not to say that you can’t get creative with your title, you can, but make sure that you are clothing your book, not just your demented sense of humor. Make sure that your title speaks of what the reader will discover within the pages so that…1. You don’t sell goods that don’t exist, 2. You don’t irritate your readers because the book is not what they think it is and, 3. that you aren’t trying to “trick” the readers into reading your stuff. People, especially readers remember stuff like that for a long time…chances are you won’t get that reader back a second time because they feel duped.

So when you get to giving your work a name, remember to give it a proper name that fits the story. Don’t try and be cute or shocking…just be honest and let your story speak for itself.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2014. 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 February 24, 2014 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

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