Matthew 17:20, my favorite verse. "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Victorine Lieske will be here as a guest on July 4th!

Don't forget to tune back in on July 4th to be part of an interview with self-publishing success and NY Times Best Selling author, Victorine Lieske. Be inspired by Victorine's story of how she broke the mold of self-publishing and inspired so many to keep control of their rights and still be a success.

Check out Infinite Characters where I'll be a Guest

July 4th and 5th, you'll be able to read an interview of me at http://infinitecharacters.com. Swing by and leave a comment and you could win a free eversion of Abandoned Hearts!

Weasel Words

What are weasel words? They're the little bugs that hook onto your manuscript and turn away the eyes of editors and agents faster than you can ask 'why?'
Here are a few examples in use:

She wondered who left the gate unlatched and decided to see if the culprit was still inside.

Why is using, she wondered, wrong? If I'm in her head (her point of view, also known as pov), I won't be thinking to myself in third person. ex. "I'm wondering who left that open?" No.I'd instead say to myself, "Who left that open?"So by using, she wondered, you're taking the reader out of your character's deep pov.(Not a good thing.)

Why is using, decided to, wrong? Same reason. I don't say to myself, "I'm going to decide to find out." No. Instead, I say, "I'm going to find out."

Here's a rewritten sentence of the original ex.
Who left the gate unlatched? She squeezed through the small opening between the gate and fence, careful of its squeaky hinges, and hoped to find out.

Notice I didn't simply say she was going to find out. I took the opportunity to describe what the character could see and hear. By eliminating weasel words it opens up more opportunity for descriptive writing. A small space allowed her to squeeze through. Rusty hinges threatened to give her away. Did you get a different visual this time?

Was. Was is one of those words we think we need to use all the time but really shouldn't. It can make for passive writing. My advice to you is to use your 'find' button and highlight all of the underlined weasel words I mentioned. Get rid of the two phrases that include wondered and decided. And severely downsize your use of was. Once you see it highlighted and begin working with how you can tweak the sentence to omit it, your new style of writing will come easier and easier. Oft times, the sentence can be changed to a question.

Hope I've been of some help.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'll be a Guest on Infinite Characters

I've been asked to be interviewed as an author
on http://infinitecharacters.com July 4th and 5th. I'd love for you to stop by and see what's going on and leave a comment to show support. Also, for those who leave a comment, you'll have a chance to win a free eversion of my book, Abandoned Hearts. Thanks so much, hope to see you there!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Show vs Tell

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the phrase, show v/s tell. I believe that's true in more than just writing. I learn more easily if I can be shown by example. Tell me what you want me to do then show me. Following is some helpful advice I received from Jennette Green, author of Her Reluctant Bodyguard (awesome book, by the way. I highly recommend it.) She's recommending changes for an earlier version of Abandoned Hearts.

First of all, some of the wording and phrasing of the sentences are stiff, and words are used that people wouldn’t normally use in everyday conversations. Sometimes, as a result, it feels as though I’m wading through the words, and it also feels like things are being told to me, as a reader. I’d rather have them shown…the clich├ęd “show vs. tell.”

1.  What is the purpose for each scene?

What does the character want?  How will she/he get or fail to gain her goal? How will she try harder to gain it?

What is the goal/problem at the end of the scene, which leads into the next scene(s)?

2.  It is not necessary to detail every little thing that the characters do, as it slows down the narrative.  Such as:

“She turned on the faucet and filled the glass…”

3.  As mentioned above, some of the sentence phrasing feels stiff and unnatural. More relaxed word choices would flow better.  A few examples:

“…floor to unrelenting”  could change “unrelenting” to “hard”

 “He hadn’t changed his clothes…” (then goes on to describe how they’re the same clothes he’d changed into earlier)  Instead, could say, “He wore the same clothes that…”

“Ann peered down the hall to reassure herself no one was there…” Perhaps could change to: “Ann peered down the hall to make sure no one was there…”

Hopefully this will help those of you who battle the whole show v/s tell issue and also the ill fated habit of over detailing, which causes your reader to skim. And as writers, we don't want that!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Effort of Self Pubbing

I think there's a lot of work involved either way you go, whether one chooses to self-pub or sign with a publisher. But, I am learning that self-pubbing isn't as easy as 1,2,3. Maybe 1,2,4. Because as soon as I accomplish a step, it seems I look back and realize I'm not done. There are still pilcrows to check, automatic changes to undo, the list could go on.

However, there are enough free sites available, I don't know why one would need to buy a book on how to do it. Take Smashwords for example. They offer a free guide that walks you through their formatting guide, step by step. After that, you have a polished manuscript that you can easily change to meet other publisher standards. And Kindle recommends, MobiPocket, another free download. Still, there's CreateSpace that offers a free service to put your book in print. They have templates available for those of us who don't have an idea of what we're supposed to do.

That's my rambling thoughts for now. I do plan on sharing the most simple step by step guide for self publishing that I can, based off of my experience. Of course, it will be free.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning the ropes of self pubbing....

I've been here, but mentally away. Other publishing houses lure my attention from self pubbing. I debate back and forth whether I'd be better off persuing a traditional publisher. Yet, the non-comformist in me wants to do it, as ole' blue eyes would say, "My---way--."

And I do have hope that I can succeed. So far, I've averaged two sales a week. I don't think that's bad for being a new writer. They say we should blog excessively, join forums and comment excessively, and so far I've done very little. I have plans of doing more, however. And when I do, I'm sure I'll see an increase in sales.

All of that is to say, don't give up on my blog. When I finish finding the best way to upload my file, I'm going to share it. So keep in touch, because if you're interested in self publication, it'll pay off. I'll let you in on every thing I learn. Promise!