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Posts Tagged ‘wordspy.com’

“I felt her absence. It was like waking up one day with no teeth in your mouth. You wouldn’t need to run to the mirror to know they were gone.” – James Dashner, The Scorch Trials

 

Notes from May, Week 1,  2016

Apparently there was a meeting this week and I totally spaced it. Luckily, the rest of the group was on their game and provided these notes.

Amber: Pat had to ask if the main character had two arms as only the hair raised on one of them. Most of the group picked up the fact that Moira is of mixed race, half white and half black, but there were two in the group who didn’t get that right away. Shel liked one line in particular. Kashmira missed the previous interaction with Moira’s mother at the beginning of the novel as this is a rewrite and now totally different. The ending was good and made people want to read more (I think.)

Kashmira: Pat pointed out that it slowed down a bit and there was a discussion about how to make one of the scenes more compelling. There were several questions regarding the time period. John wondered about the policeman’s race.

John: The discussion focused on two significant concerns; 1) The motivation of the protagonist that drives him to intercede and take the whipping to protect the smaller child. Is cause necessary, and is this realistic in the tough survival world of an orphanage? 2) What is the world and time period? How can the reader be made aware early enough in the story? The interaction between DinSwiller and the kids was interpreted differently by some. Need to work on clarity in this. This was a great opportunity for me as some were aware of the story while for others it was new. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
March 18, 2016

 

“Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.  That is the only secret of style.” – Matthew Arnold, British Poet (1822 – 1888)

 

How to Sell More Books with Great Book Cover Design

March 11, 2016 by Joanna Penn

Investing in professional book cover design is non-negotiable for indie authors who want to make a living with their writing. Readers DO judge a book by its cover, and they won’t read your blurb, download a sample or buy now without connecting to your cover somehow.  In short, you’re unlikely to sell many books unless you have a great cover design.

In this article, JD Smith outlines her tips for book cover design. Her new book is The Importance of Book Cover Design and Formatting for Self-Published Authors. Jane is also my book cover designer and I highly recommend her.

There’s a constant debate about the relevance and importance of cover design, whether you’re a self-published author, part of a collective group of authors, an independent press, or even a large publishing house. If you are publishing your book to give away as Christmas presents, or you only expect a few members of your family to buy them, then the cover is as important as you consider it to be.

But if you are a professional writer and you intend to earn a living or be taken seriously in the literary world, then the book cover is as important as the copy editing, the proofreading, the story and the characters.

It is a part of your marketing … and it’s there to attract the right kind of readers. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
March 4, 2016

 

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

Middle School Novelists

Richard Hamel is a Madison School teacher who sponsors a writing program for middle school students. Students across the district are writing novels through the NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) website (They wrote drafts last November, then revised through subsequent months). They will have a culminating workshop at the public library downtown in April to celebrate their accomplishment and to connect them to local writers. They are looking for writing volunteers for the workshop.

Are you interested?  You can contact Pat for Richard’s contact info.

 

A Place to Find Our Words: Bloggers and Their Writing Spaces

Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Yann Martel once described how “totally dull” the space he uses to write is: “It’s a table with a computer, that’s it,” he said. “I have little pieces of paper next to me that are my little notes, and that’s it. Otherwise, I could be an accountant for, you know, as far as my desk, you couldn’t tell that I’m a writer.” Like Martel, I prefer writing at a sparse desk so I can focus on the words in front of me. I was curious if others felt the same, so I asked five bloggers to take photos of their writing spaces and describe how they work in them.

Check out the full post and photos at https://discover.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/bloggers-and-writing-spaces/ (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
January 28, 2016

 

The first word . . .

We all know the story of Gone With the Wind, but few know how Margaret Mitchell went about writing the novel. Say Ellen Brown and John Wiley in their 2011 book, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, “with the plot sketched out in her head, Mitchell started writing the story at its conclusion, a technique she (had) used as a reporter. Working from the end made the story flow more easily, she claimed, because she knew where it [the story] was headed. It also helped her control her characters: ‘I had every detail clear in my mind before I sat down to the typewriter. I believe…that is the best way to write a book – then your characters can’t get away from you and misbehave, and do things you didn’t intend them to do in the beginning.’”

Who’s up next . . .     Dates slipped due to weather!

February 16: Lisa McDougal (chapter 48, Tebow Family Secret), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Eva Mays (chapter 1, Dhuoha), Judith McNeil (???), Millie Mader (two poems), and Kashmira Sheth (???).

February 9: ?

March 1: Bob Kralapp (???), Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Nina Soni), Pat Edwards (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Randy Slagel (short story, part 2 rewrite, “Watered-Down Witch”), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 27-30, Killing Ham). (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
January 7, 2016

 

The first word . . .

Neil Gaiman (1960- ), short story writer, novelist, and author of comic books, graphic novels, theater scripts and screenplays . . . on writing: “Only by finishing the story and writing the next one do you get good.”

Who’s up next . . .

January 12: Carol Hornung (???), Rebecca Rettenmund (chapter 3 rewrite, Lookout), Holly Bonnicksen-Jones (???), Randy Slagel (short story, part 1, “Watered-Down Witch”), and Jen Wilcher (scene, “Hibiki meets Sydney”).

January 19: Bob Kralapp (???), Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Nina Soni), Pat Edwards (???), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Randy Slagel (short story, part 1, “Watered-Down Witch”), and Jerry Peterson (chapters 25-28, Killing Ham).

January 26: ?

February 2: Lisa McDougal (chapter 48, Tebow Family Secret), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Judith McNeil (???), Millie Mader (???), and Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Nina Soni).

 Contest Information

An online version of our 2015 Hal Prize publication can be found here:  http://issuu.com/doorcountyliving/docs/2015-pulse-lit-issue. Submissions are now being accepted at thehalprize.com. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 17, 2015

The first word . . .

“As long as people desire to have their curiosity satisfied, their questions about life and existence explained and answered, their issues of human needs validated, there will be a desire for stories.” – Bill Johnson, author and teacher (website: http://www.storyispromise.com/)

It happened Tuesday evening . . .

Twelve second-and-fourthers crowded into the small conference room at the Alicia Ashman Branch Library for peanut butter brownies, fudge, and critiquing. Here are the summaries:

– Kashmira Sheth (chapters 5-7, Nina Soni) . . . The comments were generally positive about the humor and the voice. There was duplicate chapter numbering that Jerry and Pat pointed out.

– Pat Edwards (3 poems) . . . Most attending enjoyed the three poems. Another Year — some noted the rhythm was off and questioned “Radio Marketing”, what it meant and why it was capitalized. The Music Collection reminded the older members of music they recognized. A lot liked the Doppler comparison and the sound images. A Walk in the Woods was the favorite, citing accessible language, Thoreau references, and lovely images.

– Cindi Dyke (chapter 24, North Road) . . . Several thought the backstory was good, but lengthy. Lisa and Alicia suggested breaking it up by inserting more business by Kath and Jimmy. Pat wondered if hearing that CC’s mothered died from breast cancer would change Kath’s decision to refuse treatment. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 17, 2015

 
The first word . . .

“As long as people desire to have their curiosity satisfied, their questions about life and existence explained and answered, their issues of human needs validated, there will be a desire for stories.” – Bill Johnson, author and teacher (website: http://www.storyispromise.com/)

 

It happened Tuesday evening . . .

Twelve second-and-fourthers crowded into the small conference room at the Alicia Ashman Branch Library for peanut butter brownies, fudge, and critiquing. Here are the summaries:

Kashmira Sheth (chapters 5-7, Nina Soni) . . . The comments were generally positive about the humor and the voice. There was duplicate chapter numbering that Jerry and Pat pointed out.

Pat Edwards (3 poems) . . . Most attending enjoyed the three poems. Another Year — some noted the rhythm was off and questioned “Radio Marketing”, what it meant and why it was capitalized. The Music Collection reminded the older members of music they recognized. A lot liked the Doppler comparison and the sound images. A Walk in the Woods was the favorite, citing accessible language, Thoreau references, and lovely images.

Cindi Dyke (chapter 24, North Road) . . . Several thought the backstory was good, but lengthy. Lisa and Alicia suggested breaking it up by inserting more business by Kath and Jimmy. Pat wondered if hearing that CC’s mothered died from breast cancer would change Kath’s decision to refuse treatment. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 13, 2015

 

The first word . . .

“A well-told story is an arrangement of words and images that re-creates life-like characters, issues, ideas, and events in a way that promises dramatic fulfillment of our needs, and then delivers on that promise.”
– Bill Johnson, author and teacher (website: http://www.storyispromise.com/)

 

Who’s up next . . .

December 15: Alicia Connolly-Lohr (part 2, Ricin Unleashed), Kashmira Sheth (chapters 5-7, Nina Soni), Pat Edwards (3 poems), Cindi Dyke (chapter 24, North Road), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter 1 rewrite, novel), Bob Kralapp (???), and Jerry Peterson (short story, “Three Kings of Kansas”).

* First-and-third meets at Alicia Ashman Branch Library.

December 22:
* Second-and-fourth meets at The Chocolaterian Cafe.

January 5: Lisa McDougal (chapter 46, Tebow Family Secret), Alicia Connolly-Lohr (part 3, Ricin Unleashed), Kashmira Sheth & Amit Trivedi (chapter, novel), Judith McNeil (???), Millie Mader (???), and Kashmira Sheth (chapters, Nina Soni).
* First-and-third returns to Barnes & Noble Westside.

 

Goodreads and you . . .

Have you joined Goodreads? If you haven’t, you should. (more…)

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Writer’s Mail
Tuesdays with Story
December 3, 2015

 
The first word . . .

“When you’ve finished your script, proofread it carefully. Don’t read it as if it’s your baby and you love every word of it. Pretend you’re the world’s toughest editor. Look for every fault you can find in story structure, dialogue, characterization, and motivation. And keep rewriting until your script is as good as you can possibly make it.”
– Stan Lee (1922- ), writer and creator of comic book super heroes, from his memoir, Amazing Fantastic Incredible

 

What you missed if you weren’t with us . . .

Here’s what happened at first-and-third group’s gathering Tuesday evening at Alicia Ashman:

Lisa McDougal (chapter 44-45, Tebow Family Secret) – Pat Edwards, Alicia Connolly-Lohr, Judith McNeil, Millie Mader, and Cindi Dyke thought the chapter moved well and fast, although Jerry Peterson suggested it needs more action to break up the long sections of dialogue. Pat and Jerry didn’t like the swearing; Cindi, Judith, and Alicia didn’t mind it. Cindi wanted some sort of reaction from a certain character regarding the fate of another character.

Alicia Connolly-Lohr (short story, part 1, “Ricin Unleashed”) – The group generally liked it. Good sexual tension; there’s anticipation of something steamy. Needs correct technological terms. Male lead needs to be vulnerable. Too many K’s in the names of people and places. (more…)

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WRITER’S MAIL
Tuesdays With Story
November 5,2015

Nov. 2nd Meeting

Lisa- The Tebow Family Secret, Chap42, A Trusted Friend  Alicia thought the plot moved well.  Pat suggested that the reason for Sadie’s presence in this chapter be explained.  Rest of the group thought it moved well.

Millie– Poem, “Using The Pen To Heal”, Lisa thought there were two voices in each stanza, in the alternating stanzas.  Pat liked the line “Life will turn new pages.”  Bob suggested writing from last stanza back.  Cindi felt like it was a poem in which narrator is counseling others.  Alicia suggested adding in some personal anecdotes in between.

Bob– “Letters”, Part 2.  Alicia liked anecdotes about the war.  Group suggested that Bob put more steaminess into the letters so as we know why they’re to be kept from the kids.  Cindi asked about the main character.  Bob said the main character is the husband and that his reactions to the letters give ideas of how he was as a young man.

Amit and Kashmira- 1st and 2nd chapters—Lisa felt Kedar seemed more interested in keeping friends than getting back to Uma, his fiance.  Everyone liked the chapters.  Amit said that beginning with Uma’s preparation for wedding started story off on softer foot, than beginning with Kedar in middle of the crisis and chaos of the division of the country.  Alicia suggested they put in a short prologue to explain the historical conflict, and to add in a map of the region, as well. (more…)

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