Breathe Life Into Your Book

[found on blogs.plos.org; by Steve Silberman]

“David Shenk
Author of The Forgetting and The Genius in All of Us

    1. Make it great, no matter how long it takes. There’s no such thing as too many drafts. There’s no such thing as too much time spent. As you well know, a great book can last forever. A great book can change a person’s life. A mediocre book is just commerce.
    2. Get feedback — oodles of it. Along the way, show pieces of your book to lots of people — different types of people. Ply them with wine and beg them for candor. Find out what’s missing, what’s being misinterpreted, what isn’t convincing, what’s falling flat. This doesn’t mean you take every suggestion or write the book by committee. But this process will allow to marry your necessarily-precious vision with how people will actually react. I find that invaluable.
    3. Let some of you come through. You’re obviously not writing a memoir here, but this book is still partly about you — the world you see, the way you think, the experiences you have with people. And trust me, readers are interested in who you are. So don’t be afraid to let bits and pieces of your personality and even life details seep into the text. It will breathe a lot of life into the book.”

To read more from other great authors, click HERE.

[found on http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2011/06/02/practical-tips-on-writing-a-book-from-22-brilliant-authors]

Emotions…even in the REAL

[found on freelancewriting.com; by Catherine Franz]

“You have completed the draft of an article, but it seems flat and lifeless, even to you. It needs to have the spark that ignites that all important emotional connection to your readers but you are at a loss as to how to spruce it up. Breathing life into a nonfiction article is tough, especially if it doesn’t include a character or an emotional storyline….

…Why would you even want to add emotion to a nonfiction article? Adding emotion to your writing, any type of writing, fuels the reader’s attention, helps them connect with the action. It gives the reader an experience. Experience is why people go to the movies or watch TV. More importantly, it keeps them reading.”

To learn the steps on how to emotionally charge your writing, with tips from Catherine Franz, click HERE.

[found on http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/article-write-nonfiction-with-passion.php]

Vocabulary? Can’t I just write how I talk?

[found on time4writing.com]

“Why is a Strong Vocabulary Important?

We use spoken and written words every single day to communicate ideas, thoughts, and emotions to those around us. Sometimes we communicate successfully, and sometimes we’re not quite so successful. “That’s not what I meant!” becomes our mantra (an often repeated word or phrase). However, a good vocabulary can help us say what we mean.

For example, let’s say that you are outside in your yard and see a large black car stop in the road. You can see four tinted windows on one side of the car, and you assume there are four tinted windows on the other side, too. Just then, the driver’s door opens, and a man wearing white gloves steps out. He walks to the back of the car and looks underneath. He shrugs his shoulders, climbs back into the car, and drives away. After you remember to close your mouth, which has been hanging open, you run next door to tell your friend what you saw. What do you say? If you know a couple of key words, you can quickly explain to this person what you saw. Instead of describing the number of windows and the length of the car, you could simply say that you saw a black limousine (a long, luxurious car). Then, instead of describing the man with the white gloves, you could say you saw the chauffeur (someone paid to drive a car or limousine) walk to the back of the car. Knowing these key words can help you quickly and effectively communicate your meaning.

When you’re faced with a writing assignment, a good vocabulary is an indispensable (very important or necessary) tool. If you have several synonyms (words with similar meanings) in your repertoire (“toolbox”), you’ll be able to choose the best word for the job. Avoid vague words like “stuff” or “things” when you write. These words do not give the reader a good sense of your meaning. Also, use strong verbs that give the reader good information.

Here’s an example:

    • POOR: People do a lot of things.
    • BETTER: People perform a lot of tasks.

Work on building your vocabulary so that you can choose the stronger, more descriptive words in your writing.

You may also want to vary your vocabulary depending on your audience. Are you writing for children? Then stick with simpler words. Are you writing for college students? Then pull the more difficult words out of your “toolbox” to avoid talking down to them. It’s important to consider your audience when writing.

You may also find it difficult to choose the best word for a sentence when you’re writing. If you have a strong vocabulary, these choices will be easier!”

For more great tips on writing from Time4Writing, click HERE.

[found on http://www.time4writing.com/writing-resources/vocabulary]

A Day of Gratitude

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

– Meister Eckhart

[found on thechangeblog.com]

“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.”

To read more great articles from The Change Blog, click HERE.

[found on http://www.thechangeblog.com/gratitude]

Make Your Story GREAT

[found on brainpickings.org]

Kurt Vonnegut on How To Write A Great Story:

    1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
    2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
    3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
    4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
    5. Start as close to the end as possible.
    6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
    7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
    8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
[found on http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/04/03/kurt-vonnegut-on-writing-stories]

How To Write A Biography

[found on biographybiography.com]
  • Decide whom you want to write about, your parents, grandparents, great grand parents, ancestors, other relatives, friends, idols, heroes, yourself or any other special person.

  • Collect as much information as you possibly can, from his or her birth date to the most relevant facts of his or her life through letters, journals, newspaper clippings, pictures, and most importantly, through conversations with elder family members (it would be a good idea to take notes or record conversations). .

  • Organize your thoughts before starting to write, think of that part of the person’s life you would like to highlight. Some useful questions can be: who?, what?, where?, why? and how?

  • Other questions to ask would be: what makes this person so special and interesting? How can he or she be best described? Which were the events that marked or changed his or her life? In what way was he or she an influence to family, society or professionally?

  • When writing about somebody else, describe his or her appearance, habits, features and way of talking. If you do not remember a name, use replacements such as: friend, mate or boss.

  • Edit the biography; read it aloud to feel of the rhythm and the sound of it, it will also help you notice if you are repeating information.

[found on http://www.biographybiography.com/howtowriteabiography.html]

How to Write a Fight Scene

[found on writeworld.tumblr.com]

“Among the typically difficult scenes writers face in their stories, the fight scene definitely ranks high on the list. Below you will find several resources with tips for writing a good fight scene.

  • Action with a Side of Zombies: One of our articles focused specifically on writing action scenes. Bonus:  the examples all include zombies.
  • ArchetypesAndAllusions: An article on the three main types of fighters and their various approaches to kickin’ ass (or not).
  • TheCreativePenn.com: Alan Baxter, speculative fiction author, gives some great advice on characterization, setting, martial style, and cliches.
  • StoryHack.com: A PDF that takes you through writing a fight scene step by step by Randy Ingermanson, compiled by Bryce Beattie.
  • MarilynnByerly.com: An extremely good guide to writing fight scenes. This guide includes tips on character viewpoint, mapping the fight, and tricks for writing each type of fight.
  • Shelfari.com: This site is an interview with famed fantasy author R.A. Salvatore on how to write great fight scenes.
  • TheBusinessOfWriting: C. Patrick Schulze gives some good, solid advice on identifying and writing your fight scene.
  • EzineArticles.com: Marq McAlister explains how to make a fight scene pack some serious punch. This article is good for fine-tuning.
  • Martin Turner: Focusing specifically on sword-fighting scenes, Martin Turner writes in great detail on every conceivable detail of this type of time-honored fight scene.
  • SeriousPixie.com: Susan tells you about the three types of fight scene writers and explains how to fix the problems that arise for each type.
  • David Alan Lucus: This multi-part guide gives advice in exhaustive detail on how to write an awesome fight scene.
  • NightFoot: This Tumblr post offers some great tips for writing fight scenes.

These links provide advice specifically for writing battle scenes:

  • Gerri Blanc: eHow’s article on battle scenes is a basic step-by-step list for you. It’s a good introduction to writing battle scenes.
  • StormTheCastle.com: This article takes you through an in-depth guide on how to write battle scenes for fantasy stories.
  • Rhonda Leigh Jones: Jones lists some dos and don’ts of writing battle scenes.

Other resources:

  • List of Martial Arts: Looking for a fighting style? Find it here!
  • List of Weapons: Every type of weapon you can think of is listed here.
  • List of Military Tactics: From troop movements to siege warfare, this list has got you covered.
  • Asylum.com: A few examples of awesome battle tactics from history.
  • BadassOfTheWeek.com: Get some inspiration for awesome fight scenes and fighting characters from this compendium of badassitude.
  • Thearmedgentleman: Austin has offered to share his knowledge on weaponry with any writers who have questions. Thanks, Austin!”
[found on http://writeworld.tumblr.com/post/44899818836/how-to-write-a-fight-scene-rebloggable-version