RSS

Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Friday Writing Pebbles #11


th

Like 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!

8 Easy Things To Do BEFORE You Start Your Novel -http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/excerpts/8-easy-things-to-do-before-you-start-your-novel

Let me guess, spelling isn’t your fourtay…fortay…4tay? (19 photos) – http://theberry.com/2014/06/23/let-me-guess-spelling-isnt-your-fourtay-fortay-4tay-20-photos/

155 Words to Describe an Author’s Tone – http://writerswrite.co.za/155-words-to-describe-an-authors-tone

10 Ways to Seduce a Writer – http://writerswrite.co.za/10-ways-to-seduce-a-writer

9 Memorable Writing Tips from Authors – http://rowanvalebooks.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/9-memorable-writing-tips-from-authors/
© 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.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let He Who Can Spell Perfectly, EVERY SINGLE TIME, Cast the First Stone!


1896787_776576419036348_1572531495_n

Admittedly, I am a writer not a speller. Those who know me realize this early on and after some light ribbing, leave it alone. They enjoy my stories and so they can look past the occasional misspelling that my word processor doesn’t pick up. I love each and every one of them for that because they realize that I am a storyteller not a spelling savant.

But let’s not talk about those who know and love us…let’s discuss those who are faceless readers who, although they are readers and not writers, are all judgey when it comes to the occasional misspelling. Let me say that I am not talking about misspelling in the form of needing a decoder ring to read the thing…I’m talking about the occasional misspelling that everyone does once in a while. For instance, when my first book came out I had someone go through it line by line and then send me a scathing letter explaining that I needed to go back to school and how dare I call myself a writer because she discovered…glup….5 misspelled words in the entire book. FIVE! How dare I?

Yes it hurt my feelings….I was young and idealistic when it came to that first book. I poured myself a drink and spent an entire weekend swimming in self-doubt. Some writers may have stopped writing books right there but I’m stubborn and by the end of the weekend I decided, screw her, from now on I’ll misspell at least a few words on purpose just to piss her off should she ever read anything else I write. Believe it or not, I actually do that to this day 30 years later.

My point is that you can’t let those folks out there who have nothing better to do but to point out other people’s mistakes take you down as a writer. Yes, you should pay attention and try not to misspell stuff but if it happens, and it always happens, don’t let it get you down….everyone does it; even those judgey people who will send you letters. Spelling and the mastering of it does not make you a writer.

There are plenty of folks out there who have degrees in spelling related stuff who can’t write. You are a storyteller…so tell your stories and don’t let the spelling get you down. And if you are a total train wreck when it comes to spelling, hire a good editor….after all they get paid for that.

 

 

© 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.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some Days I Just Don’t Know Where to Begin


0511-1009-1319-0462_Black_and_White_Cartoon_of_a_Stressed_Out_Guy_with_the_Word_Overload_clipart_image_thumb[1]

I got up this morning at 6 a.m. and sat down at my desk…then I spent about an hour staring at my computer screen trying to decide where to begin. I have several ghosting projects, my regular articles, a book I’m trying to edit and one I’m trying to finish….and yesterday was the last day of the school year. Needless to say I was feeling a bit overloaded.

So what’s a writer to do when it seems there is an avalanche of work to do? Over the years I have developed a few techniques to help me when I get overwhelmed. Some of them are from friends and other writers who also have found themselves staring at the screen as though it was a foreign object and some are my own tried and true methods.

1. Walk away – I know, I know….but you have work to do…I get that, but sometimes it is better to get up and do something completely different. I got up this morning and did laundry. If anything was going to make me want to go back to writing it is the laundry. (that and dusting)
2. Read – I find that sometimes I just need to be inspired by another writer. I pick up a book and read and it seems to help me get back on track.
3. Work on something unrelated – When I am overwhelmed with projects that I HAVE to get done, I work on something I want to get done. Sometimes it helps to step into a project totally unrelated to what has to be done today.
4. Make a list – I am a list person. I love lists. I often sit down and write down what I have to get done and then knock it out one thing at a time. My saying…one dragon at a time.
5. Take a day off – Every now and again it is a good thing to just take a day off. I have to get away sometimes to remember what it is that I love about what I do. It’s okay….the work will be there when you get back.
These are just a few suggestions and I am sure that other writers have more. Please share those ideas with the rest of us. We can all use a little help from time to time.

 
© 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.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Friday Writing Pebbles #10


th

Like 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 Remarkable Writing Tools of Eight Famous Authors – http://writerswrite.co.za/the-remarkable-writing-tools-of-eight-famous-authors

30 Famous Authors On Writing in Plain Language – http://writerswrite.co.za/30-famous-quotes-on-writing-in-plain-language

A Smart Way for Writers to Make Money: Offering Social Media Services – http://thewritelife.com/offering-social-media-services/?utm_source=The+Write+Life&utm_campaign=4211a83440-main_list_11_6_13_11_5_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ae07a22b59-4211a83440-102165677&mc_cid=4211a83440&mc_eid=40bab78bd5

If Strangers Talked to Everybody like They Talk to Writers – http://electricliterature.com/if-strangers-talked-to-everybody-like-they-talk-to-writers/

4 Danger Signs To Search For, Before Sending Off Your Novel – http://io9.com/5520058/4-danger-signs-to-search-for-before-sending-off-your-novel
© 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.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 13, 2014 in Writing, Writing Tools

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I Judge Thee Because You Don’t Write Like Me!


5.0.2

One of the reasons I got into writing full-time was because it afforded me a few amenities that I couldn’t get with a full-time outside job. First off I didn’t have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to haul my rather large butt to an office. Second, I could be at home for my kids and work out of the comfort of my home office. But perhaps the most important reason was because I didn’t have to have a boss. I could be my own boss and I alone could be responsible for what I produced. It’s a cool gig really…imagine my shock when I received an e-mail this week from a “successful” writer telling me that I wasn’t stacking up to her vision of what being a writer was all about. According to her, I, and many other writers out there, was doing it all wrong.

What did this “successful” writer mean by “all wrong”? Her e-mail went on to explain that, in her opinion, writers who work for content mills or answer ads on Craigslist were losers. She said that those of us who were taking on the “little” jobs were no more than hacks that would never be as successful as she was. Keep in mind that this e-mail was a newsletter that this “successful” writer produces and then sends out to unsuspecting fledgling writers. I had to wonder…how many young and beginning writers had this “successful” writer destroyed with her idiot opinion?

The truth is that a lot of the time writing is scraping for every writing gig you can get. Sure I write novels and they do well but day to day, in-between royalty checks that come nowhere near what Stephen King makes on a Saturday, I have to live. I take on the Craigslist ads and they Freelancer job announcements. Sometimes I make $30 for a gig but you know what…its $30 more than I had before and could mean pizza for dinner. My point is that, sure we would all love the high paying jobs every single day but it is unlikely those will come on a regular basis unless we are so well established that we are in high demand. In the meantime the rest of us can continue to take those “little” jobs so we can keep the damn lights on. It is also building our portfolio so that someday we will be in high demand and that’s okay.

The sad thing is that there will be many “successful” writers out there who will want to tell you to back off the smaller jobs…my response to them…”you buy my kids food and I will stop answering the Craigslist ads…deal?” The wonderful thing about writing is that we can do whatever we want so if you like writing for content mills…do it. If you like answering Craigslist ads…do it. Write anything you darn well please because the definition of success isn’t always a wad of cash….sometimes it is just making it from payday to payday selling something you wrote and that’s okay.

 

 

© 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.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Check Out My Website and follow that too!


Writer-Author-Platform-Promotions-Mindmap-Bcc

Every writer needs a platform and I have mine which is a combination of this site and the one listed below. Please take a moment to visit that site too and pass it along to your friends. For questions on how to build a platform feel free to e-mail me at jaicolvin@gmail.com, I’d be happy to help.

 

http://jaicolvin.com/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Writing

 

Shortcuts in Writing Are Killing the Art


11906_813247582035898_2748603706844438271_n

We live in a world of ridiculousness…. No longer do we communicate in actual words. I would love to blame this on the “younger” generation but, to be honest; we allowed it to happen so we are as much to blame as our lazy kids are. Lol, WTF, ROFL…where does it end? I’ll tell you where it should end…when you are writing your book.

I actually picked up a book the other day in a Barnes and Noble where the author used these shortcuts in their actual book. Not in the dialogue mind you, which, although it would be annoying, you could reason out to some degree…but in the actual story itself. I wanted to throw the book across the room and scream what the hell. (WTH for those of you who can’t follow the English language anymore)

We are doing a disservice to mankind by advocating the use of these lazy verbal shortcuts. With the practice invading my reading I’m now more annoyed than ever. Never mind that most of our parents, those folks who are still inclined to pick up a book and read, have no freaking clue what any of those mean…but how lazy a writer does one have to be to use these within story? Several of my children use “kk” in place of “ok”….really????!! It’s harder to press the “O” as opposed to the “K”? Egads!

Writers…please….please….please….think twice before you use these lazy shortcuts in your books. I beg you as both a fellow writer and a reader. Our languages and the use of them are currently getting massacred on a regular basis as it is…we do not need to shove it over the edge. As a writer our job is to tell a story…not create a book that you need a decoder ring to read. So before you ask WTF in your novel…think twice…help us save the art of language and the passion of verbiage…

 

 

© 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.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: