i was looking through my phone for a note i'd written myself recently, and i found a BOATLOAD of abandoned and forgotten notes i'd written myself over the past year. i don't have any idea what half of them even mean.
We haven't eaten anything substantive til 10am!
-You mean since 7am.
It's murphy's law!
-Yeah! wait what's murphy's law again?
Everything that can go wrong will go wrong
-Oh that happens to me all the time.
Someone needs to steal a motorcycle
We're not getting any older
DON'T PUT THAT IN YOUR BLOG
Making weird voices
-how about 730?
-715? I'M NOT AN OVERACHIEVER
Nearly get crushed by stick thing
police: YOU GOT IT CHAMP
He looks like a movie star
Do you want to get the stuff?
The earth fell sideways
EXIT EXIT EXIT OMG THE SIGN
Took cab ride with bipolar man?
i wish i were making this up.
what about YOU? do you ever leave yourself strange messages you can't decipher later??
HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE! may your weekend be full of clarity :D
I had a vision, fellow writers, beautiful and terrifying, and it concerned all of us.
It started with one of us in a busy office, with a tiny wooden desk and large jam-packed bookshelves. The room was cramped by endless piles of books gathered through the years that no longer fit the shelves. You know what they are.
Recommendations from friends. Gifts from siblings. The hyped-book from a decade ago that you never got around to reading. Old classics everybody read except for you. Books with gorgeous covers you picked out.
The TBR pile.
Hundreds of books perched precariously atop one another.
One morning, a caffeinated writer-friend touched the pile. A light brush, like the whisper of the wind. The books swayed for a moment. He held his breath. The pile crashed down, cracking the floor with its weight and causing the whole building to shake.
The beginning of the biggest catastrophe known to man.
The tremor from this pile caused others to fall, and suddenly TBR piles everywhere were shaken and thrown down, shaking the ground and affecting more piles, all in an endless loop of positive retroaction. The collective force caused earthquakes that put 2012 to shame. It ripped the Californian peninsula off and spread through Alaska to Russia, and then to the whole of Europe.
Everywhere across the globe, the towering piles of books created by procrastinating writers crashed, ripping apart the world as we know it.
Now I know the risks, and so do you. To your TBR piles, fellow writers! Read on, fast and steady! We cannot neglect our duty any longer.
Claudie A. is a 21-year-old French biochemistry student, NaNoWriMo ML and obsessive fantasy writer with an unhealthy love for pencils, coffee and goats. But there's no goats on the blog. She tries to hide that one.
and with that, dear friends, i'd like to bid you a farewell! i hope you spend this weekend luxuriating in a quiet place with a stack of good books and a delicious cup of something warm.
Maybe because I’m a former copyeditor. But I’m incredibly Passionate about proper grammer and spelling because if you don’t have those things it can be very hard to understand sentences, your reader’s won’t want to waste they’re Time on you’re Book or you even if you think its good.
Editors and Agents too. They don’t like to read submissions from writer whom use inproper grammer or spelling even if you execute the story part good. Plenty of people say that its the storytelling that matters really but its not its a mix of Storytelling and Knowing how to write, that includes grammer and spelling and all that. Writers that submit they’re novels which are chalk full of mistakes frequently are rejected!
See Agent’s and editors’ don’t have a lot of time to waste deciphering bad-written novels; even if they may think the story is better than Harry Potter and Hunger Games and Twilight combined into one sparkling magical war book and even if they like you’re other ideas.
They just don’t want to waste there time making you’re Book understandable to readers. Those are you’re job.
Give yourself with a grammer book some help! Fine a astonishingly good text that can teach you the basic Principle’s of the English language and that you read on you’re own Time so that you can get better at the writing part. Also for spelling. It for some people is worser.
When it’s spelled good and has all the grammer right, you can submit a book that is your best work.
Just between you and I, learning the rules to the grammer isn’t the easiest thing but the good news is that its possible. Don’t loose hope!
Tracey Neithercott is a health journalist and former copy editor who writes YA fiction when she should be sleeping. She attempts to use proper grammar on her blog, Words on Paper.
I like first person narrative. It enables me to relate my inner-most thoughts while also narrating the action. It is the simplest form of narrative, concentrating on a singular point of view, my point of view, as both the narrator and a character in the novel. I am telling you everything you need to know about events, aren’t I? I have no reason to lie.
I love unreliable first person narrators.
Second person narrative
You are tempted to write in second person. You like the sense of immediacy, of inclusion. You feel it puts you in the middle of the story:
Your boots pound on the asphalt as you are pursued into the alley. You sense he is close. You crouch behind the dumpster. You feel the blood pumping in your skull as you wait for the knife to descend.
You feel a sinking sense of realisation as you read it back. It doesn’t bring immediacy. How can it? You’re not being chased by a homicidal maniac. You’re reading a story. Also, you would never hide behind a dumpster because you’re not in America.* You’d hide behind a skip or an industrial bin.
Second person is useful for some things. You know rhetoric would fall flat without it. You can also use it in internal dialogue, for that sort of snarky voice that sometimes narrates your life: Second person? You must be joking! You realise that voice is right. Second person hasn’t done your story any favours. Italo Calvino, Iain Banks and Margaret Atwood might be able to do it, but it just makes you sound like a pretentious wanker.
Third person narrative
Third person is useful for novels with very large casts of characters. Sweeping historical dramas, epic fantasies and that sort of thing. If God has a point of view, this is it. Specifically, third person omniscient. Third person omniscient is where the narrator shares information that the character does not know. For example: Roland had twelve days left to live.
The more usual type of third person narrative is objective. Third person objective doesn’t know that Roland is allergic to bees until he blunders into the hive. It comes as a shock to Roland as well.
Jennifer Burke lives in a house that once had possums in the roof. She hates those possums.
*Tahereh's note: The lovely Jennifer Burke is from the equally as lovely Australia.
Stephen King would like you to believe that to have your favorite author over for dinner, all you have to do is live with an axe and a pig by a snow-covered road and wait for your chance. But the truth is, those days are over. In today’s world, you have to be proactive.
1) The best way to make an impression on an author is to prove you’re an author, too, so when you show up at their house, be sure to bring a neatly wrapped copy of your manuscript. Ring the bell, hold it up, and tell them, “It’s the bomb.” They might misunderstand you at first, but trust me – the two of you will be laughing over that story for years.
2) But what if their address isn’t listed, and they somehow lost you at the airport after the last convention? Well, that’s what e-mail is for. Just be sure to send them your manuscript in full, as an attachment, with the title of your work in capital letters: VAMPIRE VIRUS.
3) Authors are often hesitant about promoting their work, so never hesitate to do it for them. A good start would be to tell all the book clubs and reading groups within a hundred miles that the author is not only going to be doing a free workshop at your local library, but that they’ll be handing out copies of their books as well. Then e-mail the author your great idea and not to worry, you’ve got it all set up, with at least a thousand eager fans already pledging to show. They’ll be so impressed with your promotional skills, they won’t know what to say.
4) Some writers are able to get successful authors to write blurbs for their books before the books are published. Don’t settle for that. Send them your book before you even finish it. That way they’ll not only be dying to find out what happens next, but they’ll be sure to help you write it. And what better way for two writing buddies to work together than for them to invite you for a sleepover? Then they’re guaranteed to bring you on their next book tour ‘cause they’ve not only seen so much of your brilliance, but they know you’re great at backrubs.
5) Finally, if you happened to have named all six of your pigs after the author’s characters, do not tell the author. That will only mark you an amateur. To be truly noticed, you’ll have to have named all six of your children. Once you go that far, you can’t just switch your loyalty to some other author when they suddenly get famous (at least not without a lot of paperwork).
But if it does come to that, don’t be afraid to adapt to the times. And if Hermione’s friends don’t understand why she now has to be called Katniss, just move to another town. Like Forks.
Maine Character will be signing screenshots of his guest post at Mister Bagel on Tuesday night. He would like to thank his friends there, as well as Tahereh, for their good humor and encouragement, and would like his favorite authors to not be afraid of him if he should happen to send them a note.
When did I know I wanted to be a writer? I can trace it back to Mrs. Shea’s fourth grade class when she gave us a short story assignment. As I sat at my desk drafting the piece, first in pencil and then rewriting it in ink, I knew. As I read it aloud to my classmates, I knew. As I proudly beamed at the three red stars Mrs. Shea put at the top, I knew.
But it was more than simply knowing I wanted to be a writer. In that brief moment in Mrs. Shea's class, I was a writer. There was something magical about the connection — pen to paper, me to my audience, my audience to me. I was hooked. I wanted to do this, to be this, for the rest of my life.
Of course, that little girl grew up and the child's vision did as well. At some point in my twenties, my dream morphed into a more mature aspiration: landing an agent and a book deal. Simply writing stories for an audience was a nice sentiment, but those other two things? Well. An agent and a book deal would make me a real writer.
So off I went. After a detour in radio, I did some freelancing, started my own copywriting business, and wrote and wrote. My work appeared a few times in small places you’ve probably never heard of. I received very encouraging rejection letters, personalized and welcoming from agents and editors alike. I even won a short story award. But that big prize — an agent, a book deal — never happened. I'd hear about people going the self-publishing route, but I knew that wouldn't satisfy my needs. How could it? To me, self-publishing was a last ditch effort to get published when you probably weren't worthy of it to begin with. And so I plowed on, the dream still there, but growing a little dimmer with each passing year.
This past summer, I was re-reading one of my all-time favorite writing books: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. In the section on publishing, Lamott borrows a quote from the movie Cool Runnings about the Jamaican bobsled team where the coach says, “If you’re not enough before the gold medal, you won’t be enough with it.”
In essence, Lamott explained, “being enough” has to start from within. I’d lost sight of that, thinking instant validation would come with the agent and book deal. But the truth is, it wouldn’t. Validation had occurred years before in fourth grade when I quietly and without much fanfare realized I already was a writer.
At the same time I had this epiphany, I'd just bought a Nook and started hearing about the success many self-published writers, like Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking, were experiencing, thanks to this new digital age and the ease of self-publishing platforms like Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. And so I began to think, "Well, why not self-publish my stories to Kindles and Nooks and put them directly in my readers' hands? I might not have an agent's blessing or a publishing house backing me, but I believe in my stories."
Okay, so even typing that sounds a little, well, presumptuous. And I have a feeling those damn doubt monkeys who whisper in my ear at night will always try to mess with my inner validation. But whenever they do (and whenever anyone else does), that's when I'll take a deep breath and remember fourth grade and the moment I discovered this truth (even if I didn't fully appreciate it at the time): whether I self publish, traditionally publish, or sky-write my words across the deep blue yonder, I already am a real writer.
Robyn Bradley is a Copy Queen by Day and Novelist Ninja by night. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook and you can learn more about her on her website.