The Dangerous Practice of Reading in Bed

Bob on Books

8401027886_8a90480b4a_o “The Bed-Time Book, written by Helen Hay and illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith. Photo by Plum Leaves, CC BY 2.0 via Flickr (unedited)

Do you like to read in bed? I do. Most of the time, I only read a few pages before nodding off. Usually my wife comes to bed after I do and turns out the light, and I usually wake up just enough to mark my place and put the book aside. Pretty harmless, huh? It wouldn’t have been thought so at one time.

I recently came across a blog on the evils of reading in bed, by Kristen Wardowski, who posts some great stuff about books, reading and writing. She, in turn points to an article in The Atlantic by Nika Mavrody. The gist of both posts is that there were two dangers, one very real and one feared.

The very real danger had to…

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http://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

Meet Guest Author Paul White…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

paul-whiteI often get asked to write about ‘this & that’ for someone else. I get a “can you just…” and such like.

Often I agree, on the premise I have the time to ‘spare from my own work’.

Occasionally this statement is met by an incredulous look.

After all, I am just a writer, aren’t I?

Being a writer means I simply sit about scribbling the odd word onto a sheet of paper, or tap out some nonsense on a keyboard. Clearly, I have time.

After all, I am not doing anything else, am I?

I wonder how many non-writers can conceive what it is to write for a living, especially as an independent author?

Firstly, you must get a basic notion of a story. You must formulate a start point, a middle and have some idea how it will end. Woven between this comes the conflicts and…

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A bit about differing narration in your stories.

o-STEAMPUNK-WRITER-facebook

I have recently been asked if I can help another writer with regards to narration.

(Narration is sometimes referred to as the ‘stories voice’, at term which is frequently used in the USA and is essentially descriptive of its nature.)

The writer in question is not a ‘new’ writer, in fact she has authored several books over as many years.

She has asked for my assistance now, because her works to date have been of the same genre, they have required the same form of narration; one she has developed and honed, one which has also become her ‘style’.

Perfect for what she has accomplished, but a difficult task to abruptly alter, as it brings much self-doubt and worry with it.

Luckily, I am not one who writes in one genre, or in one style. Much of my work ventures into realms unknown and unexplored (from a personal perspective.) I push my wordsmithing skills every opportunity I have.

Whilst helping my author friend, I found having her read a sample of my own work, one with a certain narrative style, helped me explain how I achieved to create that chosen narration.

In this post, I shall try and do the same.

I have three examples to share with you; the first is taken from a humourus tale, the second from somewhere much darker and the third is told by a character where English is not their first language.

Each of the above forms of narration hold certain challenges for the author if they are to allow the story to flow smoothly, while still making each word believable.

Without further ado, here is the first sample, an excerpt for my short story ‘Fixing the thingamabob.’ (It is an exercise of using metasyntactic terminology.)

deckchair-1

I had a job to do which needed more than a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

So, I wandered down the garden to my shed to find the whatchamacallit, which I knew was in the wooden box under the shelf between the screw box and the other thing.

My wife had been nagging me for eons regarding fixing the thingamabob, which had started to rattle and shake several months ago.

As it happened today was sunny, bright and warm. Just the type of day I liked to attend to the pesky little jobs that stack up over time. Plus…I was in the mood for tinkering, which was actually a big plus!

Once I had the whatchamacallit in my hand I wandered back to the house, placed the thingamabob on the kitchen table and started to dismantle it.

Personally, I would have ditched this one years ago and replaced it with a new, up-to-date, all singing, all dancing, micro chipped, high tech whatchamacallit. But because this old rusting one had some sort of sentimental attachment my wife was certain I could fix it and all would be well for another thirty years.

I was not so sure; especially now that I had umpteen bits and bobs scattered on sheets of newspaper spread over the table top.

I was not even sure if they all belonged to the whatchamacallit, or if some pieces had tumbled from the small jars of screws, washers and odd bits I had kept for repairing such items.

Besides the springs there were a few plastic doodahs of indiscriminate origin, a strange angular thingummy with various sized holes and a host of………bits…..loose sort-of-screw(ish) pieces.

I was still quietly confident that I would not have to fork out a fistful of klebies to purchase a new whatchamacallit, because despite the number of random odd and sods before me, I had all the key parts in separate saucers. The rest I could figure out during re-assembly.

Having got thus far, I decided a fresh brew was in order and proceeded to stand from the kitchen stool. That was when my knee came in painful contact with the underside of the table top, sending all the random and the carefully separated odds and ends flying into the air, most of which came crashing down onto the stone tiled floor.

As I have said, being an organised sort of bloke I was using several saucers to keep the whatsits from rolling all over the place, thus avoiding the chance of mixing them up with other doodahs or losing them altogether.

Now, not only were all these jumbled-up with the rest of the bits and bobs which I had previously spread out ready for use, but my wife’s best saucers were in splintered shards on the kitchen floor, mixed among the plastic and metal thingamajigs…..

End of Sample

In this excerpt the reader automatically senses the light-hearted pace of the story. The ‘nonsense’ words liberally sprinkled through the character’s speech seems to confirm the cheerful tones of, if we could hear it, the character’s voice; and that is the clue here, the character’s voice…his narration…his is telling this story and you, the reader, are sitting comfortably and listening with a half-grin already plastered on your face.

To achieve such a form for this stories voice I found myself ‘playing’ the character. During the moments of writing I was that ‘doddery, old, half- henpecked, half-happy-go-lucky, uncaring/caring, semi-foolish husband’!

I became that ‘chap’ and wrote this in a manner I felt was akin to which I would have done if I were sitting in a bar and relating the tale to half a dozen of my cronies.

<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>

Now read this next example of my narrative form. This is from the story called ‘Deep Waters’.

When they came to remove the last of the medical equipment from the house they found me laying on the kitchen floor in a pool of my own vomit.

The nurse said it was ‘lucky’.

Lucky I was found when I was, or I would have certainly died.

I did not consider myself lucky.

After that incident?

Two years of psychiatric help is enough to send any man insane, which is why I have come to the island. To get away from the hospitals, the clinics, the doctors and shrinks.

To get away from that house.

A house which held too many precious memories; cupboards in which her scent still lingered, rooms where her voice echoed at night and doorways where I always caught a glimpse of her figure.

I needed to clear my mind, to find out what I was supposed to do now.

To do that I did not need white coated, bearded psychoanalyst prying into my life, or friends constantly nattering in my ear, however good their intentions. I did not need a shoulder to cry on, or soft breasts on which to rest my head. I did not need friends with benefits.

Although I appreciated their efforts and the offers, all I needed was some peace and quiet. I needed isolation and tranquillity.

I needed time.

My time.

That is why I came here, why I came to the island.

Now I am here I realise how integral to life boats are. As I have said, I am no master of the sea, but I do fancy a small pleasure boat in which I can sail out to the centre of the lake. Maybe even take up fishing, something else I have never had the opportunity to try before.

But I think I shall deal with the boat first.

Small steps.

One thing at a time.

I think I know what I am to do.

But I am not in any rush.

 

The small craft I eventually chose was a twenty-five-foot cabin cruiser. Cabin cruiser sounds a grand title for a small fiberglass and wood boat with a slightly extended wheelhouse. I think the wheelhouse was considered the cabin, or was that the tiny compartment just below?

This compartment housed a toilet, which was half the size of a broom cupboard and a ‘main galley’. The main galley was a miniature sink & a two ring gas burner, opposite was a seat large enough for two people to sit on, providing they were in an intimate relationship.

The seat lifted and pulled-out to become a three-quarter size bed. I am not certain to what the ‘three quarter’ referred too?

However, the boat suited me perfectly, because I had no intentions of sharing it with anyone. This was the perfect vessel in which I could detach myself from the rest of humanity. Floating out there in silence in the centre of the lake sipping a hot coffee, or maybe a hot whiskey, would be absolutely perfect while I looked introspectively at my life.

While I considered my options.

End of Sample

This is an emotionally haunting tale, one which guarantees to bring a tear to the eyes of everyone who reads it. The reason is the soulful nature of the stories telling. It is spoken with an intimacy.

This is not like the first example, you could not relay this in a crowded bar. The narration is designed to ‘almost’ be a secret; a secret solely shared between the character and the reader. It is the reader finding a personal diary, reading that person’s own thoughts and secrets and fears and doubts.

Once again, the writer, the author must have their mindset ‘set’ into that mode and write as they would themselves, should they ever find themselves in such a position.

As the writer sits at their desk or in the café they should feel everything the character would feel if this were true. The author must become the moment, feel the air temperature, hear the ripples lapping the shore, smell the ozone and the scent of pine trees on the breeze.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My third and (for now) final excerpt is from ‘Estell’s Tattoo’ (A story which raises awareness of the rape of women in Africa.)

When I wrote this, I wanted (and still do) to show that fiction can also be used to spread the word about important social issues.

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      Grace and Estelle and I once more walked along the dusty path that wound its way from our village, down the steep hill and on towards the river. The river was wide and twisted, like a glistening giant brown snake that wound its way through the lush green vegetation of the forests.

     As we became closer to this river the path changed from dust to crushed grasses. Many feet had trodden this path and in their passing had squashed the plants along the way, so that now only the toughest grass and the most persistent of weeds grew along the narrow footpath.

   Grace, Estelle and I spoke of many things during our journey to the river this day and when we were not talking of our village or family matters we sang our songs. I am sure that on this morning many birds came close to us to hear our sweet tunes, or at least that is how I remember it.

    I do not remember before that day seeing so many birds along the edges of this footpath. On any other day to see such colourful birds you would have to stray deep into the forest and sit very still for a long time. But that morning they came to us.

    It took us about one and a half hours before we reached the river. On arriving we put down the large bundles of clothing we had brought to the river to wash. All through our journey along the footpath we had balanced these bundles upon our heads. It is the way we women carry heavy loads over such long distances.

    Once we placed the laundry on the bankside we sat and drank water and rested our legs for a short while. In fact, it was a long short while because today was also a very hot day. The winds were not blowing at all and the sun shone fiercely down upon the earth, baking the soil into a hard crust which began to crack open and crumble.

    But here, in the shade by the river it was much cooler. So, we sat and spoke between ourselves for a long time during our short rest.

    Finally, we began to wash the clothing we had carried all this way, which was after all the reason for our journey to this place today. Using stones and a lot of effort we washed the dirt and grime from the materials. After which we hung the garments upon the branches of the nearby bushes to dry in the sun. The sun would soon dry the clothes today as it was a very hot sun, much hotter than on most days, something I have told to you already.

    We had also brought with us a little food. So as the sun beat down from the sky we sat near our drying clothes and ate. After that we decided to go into the river to cool our bodies and to cleanse our own skins from the dirt and the dust….

End of Sample

Before I wrote this story I read several books and listened to audio readings of books, written by people whose first language was not English, but of African origin.

I wanted to create an authenticity of ‘voice’ in this story. By using long descriptions, yet using simple words and repeating some of them far more than one would ‘normally’ do, I found I could capture ‘Estell’s’ voice.

Once I was happy with some short draft pieces, I became Estell and, looking through her eyes, began to write this story in earnest.

I have received many compliments for this story because of its narration.

<<<<< >>>>>

Please note: as a way of comparing the three examples above, you will note I have chosen stories which are all written in first person singular.

I shall leave you to consider the above and how one can alter each story’s narrative by some simple, and some not so simple, adjustments!

The prime factor is to try. Write some shorter pieces, use them as a literary exercise to flex your wordsmithing muscles. If you are uncertain, try poetry or prose to create those first few lines of text which take you away from your standard form.

I for one love to try something new whenever I get a chance.

I love to flex my literary fingers and fumble about in places I have never been before. It is often surprising, frequently exciting and, more often than not, extremely rewarding.

Paul.

Read more of my short stories: A Little more Fiction

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building a professional looking book

Happy Writer

Sorry about the amazing and captivating tittle of this post!

I tried a few others, tried to get those creative juices flowing, some were subtle, some vague, some oblique; but they did not say what I wanted, so you got this…the premise of the blog as today’s title.


This post is NOT about formatting your book, there are loads of blogs, sites & people which offer that advice or service and many publishing sites that have some kind of template to help the unsure and uncertain.

This post is about understanding the construction of a book, its ‘parts’, the ones often overlooked or misunderstood by the author and, if I am honest, by many small publishers too. Now, I am not knocking small publishers, not the true professional ones anyway…if you get my drift.

So, to move on.

Without delving into the annals of history or being too historically accurate, books developed from ‘pamphlets’ which were originally hand scribed notelets produced to spread a message to the public. In the later part of the fifteenth century along came the first printing presses and mass production, well…larger volume production…of these pamphlets became possible.

This enabled many people the ability to produce their own works in large(ish) numbers and compete with the traditional and expensive hand written and illustrated tomes of the time. (Digital self-publishing of the age?).

Anyway, as these printers, or publishers became established they began to create certain conventions on how a ‘book’ should be constructed.

The first and foremost goal was to identify the ‘parts’ of said publications and name those elements. Once done it became easier to produce new works because it was simple to fit these elements together in a certain order.

Clearly there are many types of book and not all the books will have all the said parts, but by selecting the elements that were needed for each type, the production process was simplified by a form of standardisation.

This is still true of modern publishing, even digital e-books. But do not just take my word:

“Many publishers have been guided by the history and traditions of print publishing even as they have moved toward electronic publishing … including the logical order of elements in a printed work.” Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition

 

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- flickr / Creative Commons

Major Divisions of a Book

 

Books are generally divided into three parts: The frontmatter, the body of the book, and the backmatter.

Each contains specific elements and those elements should appear in a specific order.

Certainly authors who know and understand these divisions may well have aesthetic or organizational motives to stray from these conventions, but usually they have a good reason to do so.

Deviation for no reason does not help your book.

Keep in mind that there is no book that has all of these parts. Use this list instead to make sure you have the right content in the right category, and that elements of your book appear in the sequence in which they are expected.


For ease of explanation and assimilation, let’s start at the beginning of a book and work through to the end.

Frontmatter. (The stuff at the front of a book!)

(That’s the pages at the beginning, before the body of the book. These pages are traditionally numbered with lowercase roman numerals.)

 

Half title; also called the Bastard title:

This page contains only the title of the book and is typically the first page you see when opening the cover. This page and its verso (the back, or left-hand reverse of the page) are often eliminated in an attempt to control the length of the finished book.

 

Frontispiece:

An illustration on the verso facing the title page.

 

Title page:

Announces the title, subtitle, author and publisher of the book. Other information may be found on the title page can include the publisher’s location, the year of publication, descriptive text about the book. Illustrations are also common on title pages.

 

Copyright page:

Usually the verso of the title page. This page carries the copyright notice, edition information, publication information, printing history, cataloging data, legal notices, the books ISBN and/or identification number.

In addition, rows of numbers are sometimes printed at the bottom of the page to indicate the year and number of the printing. Credits for design, production, editing and illustration are also commonly listed on the copyright page.

 

Dedication:

Not every book carries a dedication but, for those that do, it follows the copyright page.

 

Epigraph:

An author may wish to include an epigraph—a quotation—near the front of the book. The epigraph may also appear facing the Table of Contents, or facing the first page of text.

Epigraphs can also be used at the heads of each chapter.

 

Table of Contents:

Also known as the Contents page: this page lists all the major divisions of the book including parts, if used, and chapters.

Depending on the length of the book, a greater level of detail may be provided to help the reader navigate the book.

History records that the Table of Contents was invented by Quintus Valerius Soranus before 82 bc.

 

List of Figures:

In books with numerous figures (or illustrations) it can be helpful to include a list of all figures, their titles and the page numbers on which they occur.

 

List of Tables:

Similar to the List of Figures’ A list of tables occurring in the book may be helpful for readers.

 

Foreword:

Usually a short piece written by someone other than the author, the Foreword may provide a context for the main work.

Remember that the Foreword is always signed, usually with the author’s name (that’s the author of the Forward, not the book!), place and date.

 

Preface:

Written by the author, the Preface often tells how the book came into being and is often signed with the name, place and date, (although this is not always the case.)

 

Acknowledgments:

Where the author expresses their gratitude for help in the creation of the book.

 

Introduction:

The author explains the purposes and the goals of the work. They may also place the work in a context, as well as spell out the organization and scope of the book.

 

Prologue:

In a work of fiction, the Prologue sets the scene for the story and is told in the voice of a character from the book, not the author’s voice.

 

Second Half Title:

If the frontmatter is particularly extensive, a second half title identical to the first, can be added before the beginning of the text.

The page following is usually blank but may contain an illustration or an epigraph.

When the book design calls for double-page chapter opening spreads, the second half title can be used to force the chapter opening to a left-hand page.

 

OK, so you have got all that? Do not worry too much! As I said above not ALL of these elements are applicable to ALL books.

The trick is to select the ones appropriate to YOUR book.


The next PART is the BODY. This is the main portion of the book and one that we, as writers, are and should be, most familiar with.

 

Part Opening page:

Both fiction and nonfiction books are often divided into parts when there is a large conceptual, historical or structural logic that suggests these divisions, and the belief that reader will benefit from a meta-organization.

 

Chapter Opening page:

Most fiction and, almost all nonfiction books, are divided into chapters for the sake of organizing the material to be covered.

Chapter Opening pages and Part Opening pages may be a single right-hand page, or in some cases a spread consisting of a left- and right-hand page, (or a verso and a recto).

Statistically, if a spread opening is used, half the chapters (or parts) will generate a blank right hand page. This is not desirable, so the author and/or publisher will have to work with the book designer and formatter to decide how to resolve these right-hand page blanks.

 

Epilogue:

An ending piece, either in the voice of the author or as a continuation of the main narrative, meant to bring closure of some kind to the work.

 

Afterword:

May be written by the author or another, and might deal with the origin of the book or seek to situate the work in some wider context.

 

Conclusion:

A brief summary of the salient arguments of the main work that attempts to give a sense of completeness to the work.


Well now, that was simple wasn’t it? So now let’s move on to something possibly less familiar!

Yep, all that stuff at the BACK of the book! The various citations, notes and ancillary material are that is gathered together into the backmatter.

 

Backmatter

 

Postscript:

From the Latin post scriptum, “after the writing”. 

Meaning anything added as an addition or afterthought to the main body of the work.

 

Appendix or Addendum:

A supplement of some kind to the main work.

An Appendix might include source documents cited in the text, material that arose too late to be included in the main body of the work, or any of a number of other insertions.

 

Chronology:

In some works, particularly histories, a chronological list of events may be helpful for the reader.

It may appear as an appendix, but can also appear in the frontmatter if the author considers it critical to the reader’s understanding of the work.

 

Notes:

Endnotes come after any appendices and before the bibliography or list of references.

 The notes are typically divided by chapter to make them easier to locate.

 

Glossary:

An alphabetical list of terms and their definitions, usually restricted to some specific area.

 

Bibliography:

A systematic list of books or other works such as articles in periodicals, usually used as a list of works that have been cited in the main body of the work, although not necessarily limited to those works.

 

List of Contributors:

A work by many authors may demand a list of contributors, which should appear immediately before the index, although it is sometimes moved to the frontmatter.

Contributor’s names should be listed alphabetically by last name, but appear in the form “First Name Last Name.”

Information about each contributor may include brief biographical notes, academic affiliations, or previous publications.

 

Index:

An alphabetical listing of people, places, events, concepts, and works cited along with page numbers indicating where they can be found within the main body of the work.

 

Errata:

A notice from the publisher of an error in the book, usually caused in the production process.

 

Colophon:

A brief notice at the end of a book usually describing the text typography, identifying the typeface by name along with a brief history.

It may also credit the book’s designer and other persons or companies involved in its physical production.


Now you know what all those unread and unloved pages, in all those books you have read, are doing there and what their reasons for being are, don’t you feel just that little bit guilty about skipping by them all?

From a cynical point of view they all go towards your ‘page count’ and, I’m afraid, your production costs. But it is possible to tweak them slightly, combine one or two onto a single page, if you wish to risk the wrath of the book fairies?

On the other hand, if your work has been on a forced diet, possibly prescribed by your editor, then adding as many of the elements from both the frontmatter and backmatter could significantly beef up you work.

I hope you have found this post informative and, dare I say, helpful?

For those of you who regularly enjoy Rambling from a Writers Mind, I apologise that this one not as free flowing or humorous as I general. But I had an awful lot of information that needed to be shared.

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I promise I will try and be a little more satirical next time!

Oh, if you have not yet ‘followed’ or ‘subscribed’ (or whatever it’s called) to this blog, please do.

 

 

You could also visit my website, by my books, read my magazine and join Sneak Peek and…..Oh, just go and look at my website for heavens sake…go on…go…what are you waiting for….scamoosh….

http://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

 

Why I don’t want you to “like” my Facebook posts…

Lori King Books

Recently, a reader asked me if she’s helping me by “liking” all of my posts on Facebook, and sadly, I had to tell her that she wasn’t. What’s that you say?

Most FB users have come to think of the “like” button of FB as an acknowledgement of sorts. I saw your post – LIKE. I agree with you – LIKE. I support you – LIKE. I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet – LIKE.

Because “liking” has become so routine, that in essence it means nothing these days. Facebook’s algorithms are picky. They’re looking for engagement, but that doesn’t include likes. They’re looking for comments, discussions, and shares. The more comments and shares a post gets, the more often it will be shown in your friends timelines so that they can add to the discussion.

Customer Audience Engagement People Connected Arrows

So if I post a teaser and Stacy comments on it, FB…

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Do You Make These Six Errors in Formatting

Plaisted Publishing

Mistakes on formatting are one of the most common irritations for readers when they buy self published books, be they eBooks or Print.  There is a lot of bad formatting out there, never mind the grammar and editorial errors abounding from one English speaking country to the next.  

Grammar and Edits are different in each country whereas Formatting is the same the world over, well to a degree.  There are basic steps to take to avoid these errors which so many writers fall into.  First you need to work out what type of manuscript you are writing.  There are different formats for novels, poetry, non fiction and even anthologies.  So where does this leave us?  Either with a long and arduous learning curve or hiring a professional who knows what they are doing.

FormattingNO FORMATTING!!

Click on this picture and you will see part of a novel which had very little…

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200 Words (or so) Why I write, by Anna Dobritt, Guest Blogger

200words

Writers Envy

I write to keep my sanity, to keep going day to day. It’s like an addiction, but helps to quiet my mind and keep the demons at bay. They love to lurk in the dark corners, waiting to pull me down with them, but the words I type build a wall between them and me. The more words, the stronger the wall. Sure, there are cracks in the wall, no one is perfect. But those cracks serve as a reminder that I’m human, as we all are. Writing gives me freedom to stretch my imagination, create new people and places for them to live. No, I don’t have a god complex, but I find this fun. Giving the characters difficult problems to solve to reach their goals is an enjoyable way to spend one’s time.

Read more of Anna’s writing at https://amdobritt.wordpress.com

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Microfiction: Writer

An surreal view of true life (at least for many of us Writers).
Nice post by Brandon Scott.

Coolerbs Writes

A microfiction that describes the process I went through to write this microfiction. A self-referential piece called:

Writer

Writer Picture

No words, no words. I have no words to describe it. I just have this burning feeling like I’m wasting time.

It does not seem to care that I’m exhausted. It does not even care that my hands are sore as I write this. My head is dropping in a desperate attempt to sleep. My eyes slip closed with every pulse of my heart. Yet, the hand on my shoulder just squeezes tighter, and I don’t have much of a choice in the matter.

It’s as if every finger-fall is forcing another word out of me. Like a chain of connected, yet impromptu, creation is springing forth from my head. It swirls faster and faster now; a basin spilling over the edge. A caffeine drip directly into my nerves. My back straightens…

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10 Tips (& Tools) for Writing Success in 2015

Thought I would share this insightful post. Although many of us do have good routines and self-work ethics it is, as we all know, so easy to let them slip. This post from DeAnna Ross should give us a gentle reminder to keep control of our routines.

DeAnna Ross

Photo by nerdynotdirty – http://nerdynotdirty.deviantart.com/

Originally posted by ME at Writing Wenches:  As the end of 2014 fast approaches many Authors (and aspiring authors such as myself) are setting resolutions for the New Year in the hopes of being more productive and reaching our writing goals.  However, we all know how New Year’s resolutions usually go: a few weeks of dedicated struggle to adhere to your new regimen only to find yourself shrugging off your failure in spring.

Well folks, I don’t want to be that person this year so… here’s my plan, maybe it can help you too.

Let’s do this!

READ THE LIST – CLICK HERE

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Dun Writin’—Now Whut? A series by Susan Uttendorfsky – Owner of Adirondack Editing – (38 Writing Your Synopsis and Back Cover Blurbs)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

susan-uttendorfsky-logo21

Writing Your Synopsis and Back Cover Blurbs

Congratulations on finally finishing your book! But wait a minute…you didn’t think you were done, did you? Naw! You still have to write your synopsis and the blurb for your back cover!

A synopsis is a brief summary of your book for an acquisitions editor or an agent, the key word being “brief.” If you’re a plotter, and have outlined your book before or while writing it, you have an advantage at this point over the pantser, who just let his book happen. You can use your outline and notes to help you condense your book down into a synopsis. A synopsis should be written in third person present tense, which is generally different than the book (instead of “Brian defeated his nemesis,” try “Brian defeats his nemesis”).

How long should it be? I’ve seen one page for every twenty-five pages of manuscript…

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