Archive for March, 2009

Source: http://www.aklanon.net/opinion/life-is-a-matter-of-choice.html

Life is currently described in one of four ways: a journey, a battle, a pilgrimage, or a race. Select your own metaphors, but the necessity of finishing is all the same. For if life is a journey, it must be completed. If life is a battle, it must be finished. If life is a pilgrimage, it must be concluded. And if life is a race, it must be won. – J. Richard Sneed

What a great quote and what a great inspiration to writers.

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Source: Far from the madding crowd – Mind Hacks

Need to write a crowd? This article turns what we thought we knew about crowds on its head. Crowds behave differently than is generally known.

I know I learned something.

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Source: Book Signing Pizzazz ~ with DiAnn MillsNovel Journey

DiAnn Mills is a true professional. She put together an excellent checklist for authors who want to do a book signing right. The post above includes a short interview with her expounding her thoughts on book signing. It’s worth reading in additon to using her checklist. 

I post it here knowing that I plan to use it later. My own immediate goal is to finish my first novel. However, this might be exactly what you’re looking for so enjoy!

Book Signing Procedures:

Name of Bookstore:
Date and Time of Book Signing:
Owner/Manager’s Name:
Is a multi-author event, other authors to contact:

Book Signing Checklist:

  1. Meet with bookstore owner.
  2. Deliver press kit and include a copy of the book. I also include a promo item and bookmarks.
  3. Suggest speaking topics and explain the value of an event instead of a simple book signing.
  4. Discuss advertising and ask for a media list – newspaper, radio etc. that the bookstore uses. Unless the writer has a publicist, she/he handles the media advertising. Your publisher may wish to know about the event and assist you.
  5. Find out if the bookstore needs posters. You may need to create a poster or ask your publisher to provide one.
  6. Prepare ½ page flyers for bookstore to use as bag stuffers. Your publisher may do this for you.
  7. Send the bookstore endorsements of your book.
  8. Prepare bookmarks. Include bookmarks from other published titles.
  9. Have book cover enlarged onto heavy board and place on easel.
  10. Write the announcement for the bookstore’s intercom.
  11. Send media info at least two weeks in advance.
  12. Two weeks prior to book signing, make sure the store has your books in stock. *Make sure you always have plenty of books in your vehicle.
  13. Advertise the book signing and event in newsletter.
  14. Week of signing, announce event through online social communities: facebook, shoutlife, twitter, linkedin, myspace, etc.
  15. Day of signing: arrive early.
  16. Day of signing: present gift to bookstore owner – candy, flowers, etc.
  17. Bring camera to have picture taken with bookstore owner – include the book, then send bookstore a copy of the photo.
  18. Have candy available. Everyone loves chocolate.
  19. Have copies of endorsements or reviews on book signing table.
  20. Have sign-up sheet for writer’s newsletter.
  21. Make sure your books on the shelves are face side out.
  22. Talk about other writer’s books.
  23. Move around. Don’t sit. Be available to recommend books to customers – even if it is not your book. You will be remembered.
  24. Have door prize. Customers register for the door prize by giving name, address, phone, and e-mail address. Customer need not be present to win.
  25. Ask bookstore owner how many books you can sign before you leave. If permissible, place an “Autographed” sticker on the cover. Sign the book and slip a bookmark inside.
  26. Follow-up with bookstore owner by writing a thank-you note and include the photo from item #17.

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Source: Tom Swifties Adverbial Puns

Who knew this list existed? There are some good Tom Swifties and then there are others:

“I’ve been a baaaa-d boy,” said Tom sheepishly.

Remember, these are the dialogue equivalent of a double-negative in grammar. So never use them in writing unless you mean to write puns intentionally. This comprises a good list of the dreaded -ly adverbs to be avoided in dialogue tags too.

“Those cobs are amazing!” said Tom cornily.

I rest my case. Enjoy!

“His Honor is crazy,” Tom stated judgementally.

(Well, maybe just one more. 😉 )

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It seems all the blogs I subscribe to have recent posts on voice, that most elusive trait of good writers.

I think voice arises first and foremost from culture and home life, then region, education, and job experience. All affect voice strongly. So a reasonable starting point for determining voice – to me – would be to start with character. Highlight these aspects of character and hopefully the rest of your talk will follow naturally.

I’d also like to ask my readers a question. Years age I noticed that once I get into reading a particularly good book, I tend to take on the voice of the book or the main character. I first noticed it when I was a young teenager reading some of the classic adventure stories like The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas or a good Jules Verne novel like The Mysterious Island. Those are two of my favorite authors and favorite books, by the way.

Has anyone else out there ever experienced the same thing? Also, is there a way to harness this in developing my own voice or finding the voice of my own characters?

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Source: BYOD: How to Detect Deception, Part I – The Keyboard Detective
Source: BYOD: How to Detect Deception, Part II – The Keyboard Detective

Tony Bridges, the Keyboard Detective, has two great posts up on detecting deception. They constitute a great overview and introduction for writers who need to write deceptive dialogue. There are some good links included with the article for further study.

A quick summary of topics:

  • Part I
    • Distancing Language
    • Passive Voice
    • Pronoun Usage
    • Proper Noun Usage
    • Text Bridges
  • Part II
    • Contextual Embedding
    • Reproduction of Conversation
    • Unexpected Complications
    • Work Backward through the Story
    • Reality Monitoring
    • Narrative Balance

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Source: BYOD: How to Detect Deception, Part I – The Keyboard Detective

Tony Bridges, the Keyboard Detective, has a great post up on detecting deception. While it’s a great read for writers who are writing deceptive dialogue for characters, I see another use for one part of the information. That section refers to something called a “Text Bridge”.

A text bridge is a word or phrase used in dialogue to skip over part of an explanation. Consequently, it creates a logical gap in the sequence of events. If the speaker is being deceptive, the part skipped over is usually important. Thus, the importance of noticing when text bridges are used if you are in law enforcement.

However, I see another use for these things. I think they can and should be used to alert us – the writers – to gaps in the logical sequence of our own writing. The post goes on to quote a list of common text bridges which I have reproduced below. I’m sure this list isn’t exhaustive, but it should serve as a good starting point for writers who are troubleshooting a scene. Look for text bridges in your writing. Wherever found, eliminate them by clarifying the gap that they gloss over.

Common Text Bridges

  • “I don’t remember…,”
  • “after that…,”
  • “afterwards…,”
  • “before….”
  • “besides…,”
  • “consequently…,”
  • “even though…,”
  • “finally…,”
  • “however…,”
  • “later on…,”
  • “shortly thereafter…,”
  • “the next thing I knew…,”
  • “then…,”
  • “when…,”
  • “while…,”

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