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Writing Forums, Q & A
Just signed up for Twitter. I've tweeted five times about some fairly random subjects. I'm not certain how best to use Twitter to gain a following. So far, it seems that I've attracted a few followers by doing nothing of value. I believe they either want to sell me something or are hookers, which would still want to sell me something, but they've got the wrong market.
I would love to hear from anyone who uses Twitter, and can give me a clue as to what I should be doing.
I follow Nathan Bransford's blog and he asked an intriguing question. Why are so many Literary Writers Technophobic?
Of course, I had to answer. I always have an opinion!
I've posted my reply here or you can visit the website via the link above and read a whole lot more opinions.
I can see both sides. How's that for straddling the fence? My next gig
will be politics. This conundrum reminds me of the setting of Fahrenheit
451. Yes, I will be that lady who goes up in flames for her books. I
love to caress the pages, admire the art and care it took to create the
actual book. Going deeper, I appreciate the actual experiences that lead
to the stories I've enjoyed. A virtual adventure is never the equal of
the real thing. How to describe the smells and sounds are tempered by
what we've known in our past. Your past is not mine and vice versa. I
appreciate technology for opening new worlds to me that I cannot afford
or physically manage to visit. I appreciate the ease with which the
internet makes possible for me to send my words out into the world. Like
all things in life, there needs to be moderation. A melding of
technology and experience, the virtual and the actual, is the best we
can strive for. Afterall, the quill was once new technology.
Nathan Bransford posted a blog entry regarding "First Person versus Third Person
". While this is a topic that been under discussion since cave men first started writing on walls, it is still under debate.
prefer the 3rd person pov because if I don't have enough in common with the
main character in a 1st person pov, I can't empathize with that character and
I'm already left out of the storyline from the first pages.
That said, if the 1st person pov is someone I can empathize with, then the
story becomes more personal. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen as often. I
read for escapism. I like the adventurous, dangerous life of fictional
characters probably because I don't live that way thereby making it harder to
read from the 1st person. As much as I would love to be Lara Crofts, James Bond
or Indiana Jones, I'm not.
This ideology may account for my reduced reading of YA novels in the last 15
years. No, I didn't suddenly become an adult, but I could no longer identify
with protagonists in the video age with cell phones, absent parenting, and a
I think mass reader identification is the key to whether or not to use 1st or
3rd person pov. Ask yourself, "Who is my audience? Who is going to read
2011 11:28 AM
Writer and Blogger,Rebecca Kiel
, posted an interesting question concerning adverbs posted on Nathan Bransford's Website
Her question is as follows:
We have heard it all. Agents, editors, and seasoned writers such as
Orson Scott Card, Elmore Leonard, and Stephen King all warn against
overusing adverbs, leaving writers everywhere to ask themselves:
If not the adverb, then what?
What is your thought on adverbs? Do you use them in writing dialogue? If not, how do you get on without?
You can read her entire post by clicking here
Of course, I had to put my two cents in. Below is my reply or you can read it in full by clicking here
When I do a first draft, I use adverbs knowing that I will come back and get rid of them by using stronger verbs and showing more rather than telling. That first draft looks and sounds like an adverb factory exploded across each page. The point being to get the basic story written down before I forget whatever inspired it in the first place. On the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. drafts (I am the Queen of re-writes), I fine-tune and polish. For that reason, adverbs are needed, even necessary, but never, ever in the finished product.
To Tweet or not to Tweet? A year ago (or was it two?), I predicted the failure of Twitter. I couldn't imagine the urge or need to follow another human being by way of 140 words or less. It was voyeuristic. It was stalking. It was not for me. I was wrong.
Twitter has remained strong, growing with more followers everyday. I'm still not certain there's anyone I would want to follow, but apparently other people, ordinary people--not celebrities, have hundreds even thousands of followers.
Do you Tweet? If so, what about? Do you follow or are you followed? Let me hear from you as I want to learn more of this Twitter phenomenon. What's your opinion? Will it continue?
Since self-publishing has become a reality, many, many books are being published whether or not they or the public are ready. Authors driven by too many rejections from traditional publishers are sallying forth with a dream and a manuscript. Unfortunately, many return from their self-publishing encounter a little wiser, a little sadder and sometimes with a lot less pocket change than they started with.
While every writer dreams of publishing a best seller and cashing those royalty checks, the reality of self-publishing loses some of its luster when actual numbers are crunched.
Victorine Writes breaks it down for all of us. Give it a click and let me know what you think of the numbers. Is it worth it to self-publish? Sales Growth Over Time
As a writer, I follow more than a few blogs by professionals in the writing industry. They are a great resource for agent info, publishers, classes, conferences, who's accepting submissions and who's not. I always learn something from each blog I read.
Holly is a savvy author and instructor. She's a woman with an opinion and not afraid to share it. Therefore, I was shocked when I received an email regarding her latest project, Rebel Tales.
Due to misrepresentation by a prospective editor going by the name of Kate Ferrari, aka Kirsten Ferrari, aka Kirsten Andersen, Rebel Tales is dead.
Misrepresentation by former Rebel Tales PROSPECTIVE editor
While Rebel Tales
is dead, Holly is not. In fact, she announced a new class, How to Write a Series
, that is going live.
If Holly can be fooled, then so can I or anyone else. I encourage everyone who is trying to break into the business to investigate agents and publishers before contacting them. Google their names, check for complaints and NEVER, EVER pay an agent to read your work. An editor, maybe. An agent, never. That's a scam.
Plot versus Character.
Does it have to be one or the other?
If you truly want to be a writer, it’s important to find,
try out and eventually, join a writer’s group. I think the key part of this is
to ‘try out’ a group. Despite the designation of one size fits all, it really
doesn’t and this goes for writer’s groups just as much as it does for a T-shirt
or a pair of sweats. Each group will have its own personality, coming from a
combination of the genres being worked on, to the location of the meeting, to
the people who are doing the critiquing. Finding the right fit between yourself
and a group is imperative to improving your writing.
Some groups are more for socializing than for writing and
critiquing. If you bring a piece to your weekly or monthly group and receive
nothing more than “I really liked it” or “I wouldn’t change a thing”, it’s
likely that your writing skills will not improve. While these comments may be
flattering, what are you learning? If you enjoy the company of the people you
meet and in particular, the after meeting get-togethers at a coffee shop or
restaurant perhaps, then a social group is right for you.
Try to attend a few meetings before joining. Perhaps, the
group you’re attending is into memoirs only or childrens books. While both are
worthy groups, it might be difficult to gel with this group if you are writing
thrillers or romances. I’ve found that it’s not so much the genre as the
length. Short story writers do better with other short story writers just as
novelists tend to do better with other novelists independent of the genre.
A critique group critiques, but this doesn’t mean they rip
your writing to shreds for the fun of it. If someone seems to enjoy inflicting
pain or find their witty barbs more amusing than a genuine critique, this may
not be the group for you. If there is only one like this in a group, it’s
easier to ignore, however a group with two or more people like this should be
avoided. Writing is much like parenting. After a long period of growing your
story, the last thing you want is for someone to call your ‘baby’ ugly just
because they can.
As a writer, you will
get your feelings hurt. You will get
discouraged. You will develop a thick
skin and eventually, you will realize
that a critique is not a personal attack. A critique is a constructive bit of
advice that does not have to be used. That decision is up to you.
Try out several groups including online sites. It takes a
brave soul to put themselves and their work out into the world for the first
time. Be proud of yourself for taking that step. Learning is growing and
sometimes when we grow, we skin our knees or bump our heads, but we learn from
it and move on. Writing is the same.
Now, get out there and bump your head.
I follow Nathan Bransford's Blog which is always informative and interesting. Today's post asks, among other things, "What is Dark?" The responses were far more varied than I had anticipated. Below is my response. I'm wondering how you would respond? Do any of you avoid reading something that is referred to as "dark"? If so, why? What is it that you anticipate or dread?
Re: What is Dark?
» Dec 17th, '10, 19:55
My novel, MAN OF THE HOUSE, is dark. It's a
story of a dark time (the Bosnian War) and the people who populate it.
Their acts (for the most part) are dark, violent and oftentimes,
disturbing because their actions are based on events that did happen. No
thing, no where is darker or more violent than the human being who
declares he is fighting for a religious cause. That said, if the entire
novel were dark without pinholes of hope, the reader would become
desensitized to even the cruelest of actions and become bored. Yes,
bored. And a bored reader is one who puts down your book in favor of
another that will hold his attention. Death without life, destruction
without renewal, and despair without hope becomes passé. Darkness
without light to provide contrast becomes nothing more than shades of
gray, but the darkness that follows a glimmer of light is truly the
pitchest of black.