Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Strawberry Tells

Strawberry Tells

The strawberry hung on his vine and felt the warm sunshine heat him all over. The day was going to be beautiful and he did not want to miss a minute of it. However, Izzadora, the woman who had planted him had other ideas. She came into the garden in the early morning just as the berry was getting settled in for a day of sunbathing and cut him right off his vine and placed him into a honey colored woven basket, which felt odd compared to hanging all his life but was not all together bad feeling. He lay there as his other berry family members were picked and washed and cared for. He liked the feel of water but being washed felt quit different than being sprinkled upon by spring raindrops. The strawberry wondered greatly where the gardener was taking him but did not think the woman would understand his question so he kept silent as they drove in Izzadora’s silver VW... Read More Here

Place Setting

Place Setting: How'd we get to the cave when we were in the desert?

I love reading novels to see how each author creates a sense of place, sometimes a whole new world. It can surprise me at times how little it may take to get the reader into the location or setting of the story. Sometimes, however it takes ever so much thoughtful wording to get an entire new world to feel real and full of life. 
When you think of your favorite novels how do those authors write about space and setting?

Look around your home or yard and try to write out how you'd describe it in a book. What is the essence of the place, the feeling of being there?
Try reading the description out load and hear how it sounds. Focus on the tone of the place and then you can begin to add in details.

The sun hit the big red wood paneling harshly. As though the place should catch fire at any moment. 
Red wood panels, long passed their prime, stood out from the bright landscape of yellow fields and stray chickens on the hunt for worms. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Web show writing: Ghost Files Webisodes

Web show writing is a new and growing field, it's a great way to get a longer, complex story told in segments; much like the serialized stories of eras passed. Think about the story as a whole piece and then look for the best way to segment the story into engaging installments.

Take that idea, which has been siting, for a novel and play with it as a script. Think of local locations that would work for your story's locations and start from there. Spend time in the locations, if you can spend time with some local actors and get a good feel for what will make the web series great.

Ghost Stories or No, that's not pee it's wine

Ghost Stories or No, that's not pee it's wine 

 I have been obsessed with tales of the dead since I first read the entire section of my local library. People love to be scared and there is something about the notion that we stay around after our deaths, to mist in and out of dark corners that is simply enticing to write about.

What do you find scary about the idea of Ghosts? Would you find it more frighting to see one or to hear one?

When you write try not to please someone else, stick to what makes you afraid of the dark and go with it. Think of a way to die and start there, write out how the ghost became a specter, again even if you don't need all that information for your story it will really help with the writing of the piece, whether it is a short story for a magazine or blog or a novel for publication. 

There are places and ways to die which are naturally to our mortal minds much more terrifying than others. If you're feeling a little stuck try out one of the classics. A castle in the Irish green. Motels in Maine. Long ago car accidents. The violent end for a violent person.
You can begin with a well worn idea and make it your own through great character development and an ability to make the normal seem somehow sinister.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Your Book's Cover: Design and Reading

Book Covers

Holly shizzal, you mean it needs words?
If you go the route of self-publishing you’ll eventually, sooner than latter, have to deal with deciding if you can design a cover or if not (come on they are hard and no one can be brilliant at everything) then you’ll need to understand what you want from a designer. Knowing what you want and how to get the right look will help you not waste time and money on a book cover.

Make sure the text is easy to read, big but it still needs to sell the style of your book.
Do you want photos, drawing, just text? Think this all out beforehand but remember that the designer is there to help you so you don't need to have a fully formed concept starting out, just an outline.

What is the tone of your book? Sad, dark, strange, funny?
Knowing these things can greatly help your designer get the right feel the first round out. 

TBT Works designs e-book covers for pretty reasonable prices and turnaround times.

Monday, January 16, 2012

RM Kelly's New Kindle E-Book Shorter Than The Wick

RM Kelly's New Kindle E-Book Shorter Than The Wick

A new Interview with Kelly can be seen here. As well as a trailer for her new indie e-book.

R.M. Kelly's collection of short stories includes a trio of the Ghost Files tales, which were turned into the web show Ghost Files. A man searching his soul to find forgiveness. The oldest Vampire on earth seems to be loosing her ability to seduce blood from mortals. We learn that Waiting on Help isn't always the best plan and of course the 'talking cure' may not cure the listener.

Shorter Than The Wick is available on Amazon now.

Rejection or why don’t you just rip my still beating heart out already

Rejection or why don’t you just rip my 
still beating heart out already

If you have ever written anything and tried to get it published odds are you know rejection well. Remember, it isn’t a judgment on you it is just a decision not to publish something you wrote. Don’t take that as a sign right away that you should put that story, novel or poem away just yet. Although, if it just isn’t finding an audience always be ready to go on to a new story and let that one sit for a while. If you are having a hard time finding magazines or E-Zines to publish your short works try submitting to smaller publications, sure you may not get the same amount of readers or any payment but the more you can have on your resume the more larger publications will want to publish your work. When it gets hard know that almost everyone has to start at the lower ring and climb on up with a lot of sweat and blood. Know when to keep your goals in check and start slowly. Write a few pieces you can submit at a time.

Don’t be afraid of the letters from magazines, websites or publishers. The worst they can say is no thanks. Just keep getting on with your writing, keep growing and getting better. Try writing a story with a particular influence that may interest small publishers more than general short works.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Building a lasting relationship with your publisher or agent

Building a lasting relationship with your publisher or agent:

Trying to maintain strong communication can cross over to bothering and stalking (hey it was never court ordered) surprisingly quickly.
Ask concise but detailed questions. It is essential to be informed; it is in your interest to understand your objectives for publication, to understand your market and be able to articulate concepts.
Some people like to converse via the phone, some prefer email; Find out which method your contact prefers (and remember cookies are your friend). By always meeting deadlines, preferably being early for everything, you will cultivate a strong relationship with your agent, editor or publisher.

Learn to leave good messages; I suggest writing out important voice messages before you call the person, read them out load and slowly you’ll learn to hear the best word choices. Some tips on things to avoid, no ums, no long pauses, leave your phone number at the beginning and at the end of the message.

Learn to write sharp emails; just as it takes practice to leave great phone messages it is a good idea to write several versions of a standard email. Go over the different versions and see what aspects of each email have a hook, are most professional and which versions get your message across without sounding too scripted. Be polite, make your point and have a professional closing signature.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Know Thy Character

Know Thy Character
I highly recommend getting to know each of your charters in your novel. Don't just write about some made up people, learn to feel for them a little, to understand them well enough to convey a realness that readers love. Does your lead person have a good heart or a dark core? Make sure the characters you flesh out will work seamlessly in your story's genre and tone.
Try writing half a page of information for each of your key characters and spend a little time just thinking about them. This will really help you connect with them and that allows you to writer a better novel quicker and with more ease.

What is your lead's main struggle? 
Is he/ she a bored person or over excited about getting the story going?

By understanding your novel or short story's characters you can develop a really wonderful story that captures people's imaginations. As you write down an outline for your story include an outline for each person in the tale and consider it as important as the story itself.

How do they see themselves? 
Are they honest or dishonest people?

As you tie in each occurrence in your story to the different characters consider which of them might make for the best plot twist or mystery. Play with them until you feel like they are your neighbors.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Write what you know

Write what you know

Did you grow up traveling the world with army parents? Live in the big city as a little kid? Scuff cow poop till the rooster passed out? Well use it and don’t lose it. Those early experiences help shape the writer you become and can give you unique and wonderful tales to tell your readers.
Start off by writing out three interesting tidbits from your young days. Look at them and see if one of those could be the foundation to a neat story.
Take the memory of those interesting days and fill in details of setting and even add a few characters based on those around you. See where the idea takes you, even if it's in a different direction than you thought you'd go. The germ of a good idea may grow into something competently different.

Even if you have been writing for quite some time going back to your roots and rediscovering untold stories is exciting and helps you grow as a writer. As you go over the stories and decide which ones will be best for your readers think about how you might share the first story, give it away to your Social Media pals, tweet the first line and link to a copy of the story on your facebook page. These short pieces can be a really great way to get people reading your work and interested in reading bigger projects.