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Tammy Setzer Denton - Writer
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Writing Forums, Q & A

Twitter? Lots of Qs, but no answers.

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.

Thanks.

Technophobia?

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.

1st or 3rd POV?

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.

Tammy said...
Overall, I 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 mall lifestyle.

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 this book?"

www.TammySetzerDenton.com

June 28, 2011 11:28 AM

Adverbs or Not?

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?

Rebecca

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.



Twitter Failure

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?





To Self Publish or Not?

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

Writing Predators

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.

One of the blogs I follow is that of Holly Lisle

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

Plot versus Character.

Does it have to be one or the other? 


Finding A Writer's Group

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.
 
 

My Version of Dark

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?

Tammy


Re: What is Dark?by Transitoria » 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.
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