Just Keep Swimming…

“If your ship hasn’t come in — swim out to it.”

— Mary Engelbreit

 

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Enter, and Resolve Thyself

[found on iuniverse.com]
“Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution.”
— Michael Moorcock

To see the rest of the tips from iUniverse, click here.

[found on http://www.iuniverse.com/ExpertAdvice/20WritingTipsfrom12FictionAuthors.aspx]

Win FREE Proofreading at WiNS Conference

Feb-22-WINS copy

Win a FREE Proofreading Prize for 20,000 words!

HOW THE CONTEST WORKS:

To enter into the contest, share both Editing Addict and A Book’s Mind on Facebook (see details below).

The winner of the contest will be the person with the MOST  registered referrals who ATTEND the WiNS Conference (minimum of nine referrals required).

PROOFREADING PRIZE can be used toward your publishing package with A Book’s Mind, or by independent editing on your own, through Editing Addict.

HOW TO ENTER:

1) Share both EDITING ADDICT and A BOOK’S MIND

a) Share Editing Addict’s Facebook Page, (remember to tag Editing Addict in the share, so you are registered in the contest).

b) Share the A Book’s Mind poster of the WiNS Conference (remember to tag A Book’s Mind, so you are registered in the contest).

2) Register YOURSELF and FRIENDS for the WiNS Conference

a) Early register yourself for the WINS conference (see poster for details)

b) Have the MOST early registered referrals who attended the WINS Conference (minimum of nine referrals required)

c) If you have already registered for the contest, let us know, and do STEP 1!

CONTEST ENDS AT THE DOOR ON FEBRUARY 22!

A Good Editor

“A good editor will not just point out errors; she explains them, providing you with an education to enable you to perform a stronger rewrite. For instance, if your manuscript includes point-of-view violations—a major reason for fiction rejection—she will offer a thorough explanation of the concept and provide easy-to-understand examples. A good editor will encourage you and compliment you on your strengths, but she will not hold back in showing you where you need improvement or are making repeated mistakes. She does not expect you to know all the book publishing rules for copyediting—that’s her job. But she does try to help you understand some basic underlying principles that you might need to learn in order to be a better writer. A good editor knows your book is your “baby” and that you have poured many hours into writing it, but her goal is to help you make that book the best it can be, and sometimes that requires you, the author, to make drastic changes. In other words, a good editor is “on your side” and wants to help, but she is mostly concerned with getting your book in the best shape possible.”

— C. S. Lakin / critiquemymanuscript.com

Audience Builder 101

[found on writerunboxed.com; by Dan Blank]

“Far too many writers build an audience of the WRONG people. As a writer, you craft a work that is meaningful to you, and you wonder how you will connect it to the world. So you begin engaging with people online and off, telling them about your writing.

And guess what? Guess who is MOST interested in this journey you are on? Readers? Nope. Oftentimes, it is other writers.

So we do what feels validating and welcoming: we join amazing communities such as WriterUnboxed.com. We forge relationships, we grow our platforms with people who want you to succeed as a writer.

But therein lies the problem.

These good people – these other writers, yes they may buy your book. They may read it too. They MIGHT even review it on Amazon & Goodreads. And this is good.

But what I worry about is that when you focus only on engaging other writers, you are not learning how to engage readers. Without the shared interest in becoming a writer, without tapping into that sense of identity and goals, you are not developing that keen instinct of who would love your book and how to get them interested.

Now, obviously, there is ENORMOUS value in engaging with other writers, andespecially to do so on WriterUnboxed.com. (Can you tell I am trying to get back into the good graces of Kathleen & Therese?)

Just this week, a writer I am working with heard from two other successful authors who shared wonderful insight into what has worked for them in engaging with readers – what online platforms have worked for them, and the value of certain types of in-person events.

Let’s explore why it is super helpful to engage with other writers:

    • Writers are the best kind of people. (okay, that one was easy)
    • Help you improve the craft of writing.
    • Glean wisdom from their experiences.
    • Build a network of colleagues.
    • Validate your own identity as a writer.
    • Open doors to agents, publishers, media, and other good folks that can help you get published and in front of readers.
    • Motivation & inspiration.
    • Understand how the world of publishing is changing, and give you a roadmap to navigate it.
    • Set proper expectations.
    • Vent. (then vent some more)

The list goes on. I will leave “fashion tips” and “recipes” off of the list for the sake of space.

So what is bad about any of this? Nothing. The issue I see is that sometimes writers stop here. They feel a sense of community with writers, they experience all the benefits listed above, so they go no further.

They never develop the capability of understanding who their ideal readers are, how to engage them, or the habits to do so both online and off.

As you develop your platform as a writer, I see an extraordinary amount of value in working through the more difficult task of engaging your readers and those who have access to them, such as librarians, parents, teachers, booksellers, etc.

In other words: YES, engage with other writers. But don’t stop there.

Every single week, learn more about who your readers may be. Engage with them in tiny ways online. And off. Learn what it is about your writing that cuts to the heart of why your ideal audience readers. Discover what it is about one of your stories or books that jumped out at people.

How do you begin engaging with readers? Just a few ideas:

    • Read. Read books similar to yours, if possible. Engage as a fan would. Leave reviews online, recommend books, consider who else is doing the same.
    • Understand what other books are like yours, especially those published in the past 5 years. Where are they shelved in bookstores, how are they displayed, what comes up in “People who who bought this also bought…” in Amazon?
    • What is the language that other readers used again and again in reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other sites?
    • Who are these readers – specifically? See their Goodreads profiles, understand what else they read.
    • Talk to readers. On social channels, follow them, comment on their updates, and learn about them. Engage as a fan of similar work, not an author trying to promote your own books.
    • Develop a group of beta readers.
    • Everywhere you go, ask the person standing next to you: “what do you like to read?” Then ask why.
    • Join book clubs, attend events at bookstores and libraries – do anything possible to chat with other readers about why they read. Study the expressions on their face, the cadence of their voice as they talk about reading.
    • Talk more about other people’s books than your own.
    • Create profiles of your ideal readers. Create lists of where you can find them online and off. Go there. Often.
    • Craft messaging that gets readers interested in your writing. Test this again and again, both in person, and in digital channels. Revise constantly.

When I work with writers, the big questions they are often looking to answer are: who is my readership, where can I find them, and how can I engage with them in a meaningful way? Of course, the outcome they hope for is a larger audience for their work, and greater book sales.

Critical to this is beginning to understand your readers as early as you can in this process and developing habits of doing so.

I hope, dear writer, I have not offended in this post. I strongly believe in the purpose of this site, and completely understand that writers are readers too. But there is a distinction between those who obsess about writing & publishing, and those who “merely” read, read, read, and ideally, will one day read YOUR book.”

For more great tips from WriterUnboxed, click here.

[found on http://writerunboxed.com/2013/06/28/are-you-building-an-audience-of-writers-not-readers]

Need A Writing Prompt?

[found on dailywritingtips.com; by Simon Kewin]

“Where To Find Writing Prompts Online

The internet is a wonderful source of writing prompts. There are sites dedicated to providing them which a quick search will turn up. Examples include :

There are also numerous blogs that offer a regular writing prompt to inspire you and where you can, if you wish, post what you’ve written. Examples include :

There are also many other sites that can, inadvertently, provide a rich seam of material for writing prompts – for example news sites with their intriguing headlines or pictorial sites such as Flickr.com that give you access to a vast range of photographs that can prompt your writing.

If you’re on Twitter, there are users you can follow to receive a stream of prompts, for example :

Another idea is just to keep an eye on all the tweets being written by people all over the world, some of which can, inadvertently, be used as writing prompts.

How To Make Your Own Writing Prompts

You can find ideas for writing prompts of your own from all sorts of places : snatches of overheard conversation, headlines, signs, words picked from a book and so on. Get used to keeping an eye out for words and phrases that fire your imagination, jot them down and use them as writing prompts to spark your creativity. You never know where they might take you.”

For more great information on writing from DailyWritingTips, click HERE.

[found on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/writing-prompts-101]

Schedule…or Never Make It

[found on authormedia.com]

“How to Make a Writing Schedule That Works For You

Pull out one of those giant calendars from Office Depot (or use a Google Calendar to sync with your smartphone). Start putting your deadlines in red on the calendar and then place the calendar somewhere next to your writing zone. Consider these deadlines sacred; the world will stop if you don’t make them.

If you don’t have a deadline, get one. Writers wither without deadlines….

Once all the deadlines are on the calendar page, see if there are any recurring themes within the articles. If there are, consider making that your theme for the month. This will not work in every scenario, but if a theme appears, take advantage of it. Think of it as the foundation of the platform you are developing that month.

Creating an editorial calendar may take a few hours, but it will save you time in the end.”

For more great tips on writing from AuthorMedia, click HERE.

[found on http://www.authormedia.com/how-to-creat-a-writing-schedule-that-works-for-you]