Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tropes in Literature #3: Conveniently an Orphan

If you haven't seen my other posts on tropes, a trope is a common plot device, character type, writing element, etc.  I believe that many tropes are so common because they're popular, fun, and good—except that they've become so overused that they've lost some of their goodness.  These should be treated carefully and creatively.  Other tropes are simply a result of laziness or convenience.  These should often be avoided.

Whatever your opinion of tropes, they're fun to discuss. 


This month's trope:  "Conveniently an Orphan." 
(named by TVtropes.org) 

Advantages of making your characters orphans:

-They can conveniently take off on adventures without any family to tie them down or make them look selfish and irresponsible for doing so.
-They don't have to constantly be interrupting the adventure and action in order to go home and visit their family or watch their niece's ballet recital.
-They don't have a support network already, so they'll need to depend more on themselves and their friends—perhaps new and unlikely friends.
-It forces young characters to solve difficult problems that normally their parents would solve.
-You have fewer characters to write.
-It provides a ready-made tragic backstory. ("My mother was murdered so now I'm a workaholic homicide detective who can't get close to people" or "I'm a delightful, sweet-tempered child who, for some strange reason, nobody has ever loved…until now.")
-It can provide motivation in the vein of, "You killed my father.  Prepare to die."
-The bad guy can't kidnap your character's family members in order to force him to do his will—which would, let's face it, be the logical thing for many bad guys to do.  But your character has no family, so…plot problem solved. 
-Orphanhood tends to go well with various "Chosen One" tropes.
-If the character doesn't even know who his parents were, you have various twist possibilities ("Luke, I am your Father!" or "Oh, I'm actually not a milkmaid but a princess!").
-Readers LIKE orphan characters, perhaps because we identify with the loneliness typified best by orphans, perhaps because we like underdogs, perhaps because it's interesting to think about what we would be like without the influence of our parents and families.  Whatever the reason, orphans in literature are popular.

Disadvantages of making your characters orphans:

-If you're not careful, it can easily come off as a convenient cliché.
-It can come of as lazy.
-It can come off as unrealistic.  True orphans who grow up in horrible Dickens-like orphanages or in the dark side of the foster care system aren't always the sweet, innocent, well-adjusted people they are in old books.  Even true orphans do often have other family:  adoptive parents, biological uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc, and these would still provide kidnapping fodder for bad guys.  Some of this family might also be people your character could—and would—phone in a crisis.  So be careful not to write as if your characters grew up in a vacuum, even if both their parents have been dead for many years.

Where this trope appears:

The "Conveniently an Orphan" trope is VERY common in fantasy and science fiction, especially if you count characters who still have one parent alive:  Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Belgariad, the Discworld novels, The Black Cauldron, half the fairy tales you can think of (though they may have one parent), The Wizard of Oz (though she has adopted parents she loves), The Hero and the Crown (still has a father), the Hunger Games (still has a mother).

Many other more mainstream books and classic works of literature also have orphans or characters with only one live parent.   Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, George Elliot, and various Brontes certainly partook.  James Bond is an orphan.  It's also common for the detectives in mysteries (especially TV crime dramas).  You'll see it sometimes in romances and women's lit and other genres.

And, of course, it's essential for sweet orphan stories like Anne of Green Gables (and Montgomery's Emily of New Moon), Annie, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy (only one dead parent), Jane Eyre, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Heidi (though with a loving grandfather), The Boxcar Children, Pollyanna,  etc.  These are all great books, but you'll need a pretty original slant or some particularly compelling characters if you're going to do it now. 

For my previous trope posts, click below:
Tropes in Literature #1:  Mr. Exposition and Captain Obvious
Tropes in Literature #2:  This is My Story

Melinda Brasher is back in the United States after spending two more years in the Czech Republic among castles and forests and hiking trails.  Her most recent sales are to Ember and Double FeatureVisit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Tells Truth About Why You Need to Get Reviews for Your Book Yourself

I thought I'd share an excerpt from my newly released How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically with you Writers on the Move subscribers and visitors. It's all part of its launch celebration. Learn more about it athttp://howtodoitfrugally.com. 

Why Getting Great Reviews Is Your Job
In spite of a contract or even an advance your publisher may not be a true publisher. True publishing includes the marketing of a book. Think big names like HarperCollins and Knopf. They assign a marketing budget to your book and an actual marketing department complete with actual human-type marketers who are trained in the specialized field of not just marketing, but marketing books. Except for those who write only for pleasure, there is no reason to publish a book that doesn’t get read. 
And here’s more: Big publishers are relying on bloggers for their review process as print journals and newspaper book sections shrink or disappear and as they begin to understand that grassroots publicity—reviews or otherwise—can produce a very green crop. Bloggers, you say? Well, that’s a resource pool you can easily plumb yourself
Some publishers—even traditional publishers—may not respect tradition, be uncooperative or goof. One of my writing critique partners was published with a fine press. When she learned they had not sent advance review copies of her literary novel to the most prestigious review journals before their strict sixteen-week deadline, she was naturally upset. They explained it was a snafu that could not be fixed. That was no comfort at all. It did help her to know that because thousands of galleys sent to the important review publications lie fallow in slush piles, the chances of having a book reviewed by a major journal—even one published traditionally let alone getting a glowing review—is remote. Because she had me to nag her, she moved on to alternative marketing and review-getting strategies found in Chapter Six of this book. Using those methods, she was still able to schedule several major bookstore appearances that tend to favor established names and rely on big-journal reviews in their decision-making process. Nevertheless, it’s not the kind of loss any author wants to face.
These days most small publishers have no marketing department—or marketing plan. In fact, many admit that when it comes to marketing, you are on your own. No offense, publishers. I know many of you do a terrific job considering the profit margin in publishing these days. Let’s face it, you can use help, and you don’t need to deal with disappointed (irate?) authors. And, authors! We are ultimately responsible for our own careers. Sometimes when we wait to take responsibility, it is too late in the publishing game.
Some publishers charge the author an additional or separate fee for marketing. Many who offer marketing packages do not offer a review-getting package. If they do, the review their authors get is a paid-for review, which is definitely not the route you want to go. More on that later in this chapter.
Many publishers do not even have lists of people to contact who might help your marketing with endorsements or reviews. Further, many big publishers are relying on bloggers for their review process more and more as print journals and newspaper book sections shrink or disappear and as they begin to understand that grassroots publicity—reviews or otherwise—can produce a very green crop. And bloggers? Well, that’s a resource pool you can easily plumb yourself. 
My first publisher supplied review copies only upon written request from individual reviewers. They did not honor requests generated by their authors’ initiatives. This meant that I could not count on them to supply books to reviewers I had successfully queried for a review. Unless the reviewer accepted e-copies (and many reviewers don’t!), I had to order copiesdirectly from the publisher and then reship them to my reviewers. This method is slow, cumbersome, unnecessarily expensive, unprofessional, and discourages authors from trying to get reviews on their own. 
Publishers should offer review copies to a list of reviewers—even unestablished grassroots bloggers—who have been responsive to their authors in the past. And they certainly should not charge an author for review copies. Publishers have a profit margin and publicity obtained by their authors (including reviews) affects their bottom line, too. They should send their author a thank you (or a red rose!) along with encouragement to keep up the good work
Publishers should also market their books. That means that even if they are too small or underfunded to have a marketing department, they should have a list of reviewers to query for reviews, a list of influential people to provide blurbs for your cover, access to book cover designers (not just great graphic designers) who know what sells books, and a whole lot more. Ask potential publishers about their marketing process before you sign, but—even if you feel assured after having that conversation—it’s best to assume you may be on your own. 
So, the marketing part of your book that includes finding the right reviewers to read and comment on your book will—in most cases—be up to you and well within your skill set after reading this book. And even when you have the luxury of a marketing department behind you, those authors who know how to get reviews on their own can keep a book alive for an infinite amount of time after their publishers relegate their books to a backlist or their contract expires.
Note: If it is too late to apply this information to the process you use in choosing a publisher, tactfully take hold and guide the publisher you have through the review process. There are lots of ways to do that in this book. I love Nike’s advice to “Just do it!” only I add “yourself” to the motto. Many publishers are in your employ. You may be paying them for services. At the very least, when your book sells, it makes money for the publisher. You don’t have to ask for permission (though it never hurts to listen to their reasoning before you make a decision).
------
Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes both the first and second editions of The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. Her next book in the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers will be How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically.

Howard-Johnson is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of “Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen” and was given her community’s Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. 
The author loves to travel. She has visited eighty-nine countries and has studied writing at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University, Prague. She admits to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes. Her Web site is www.howtodoitfrugally.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

Freelance Writing - Don't Overspice Your Copy

Guest post by Will Newman

I wouldn’t be a copywriter if it weren’t for the computer.

You might be in the same boat. The computer has allowed me to get around my terrible typing skills. I’m a hunt-and-peck typist. So, sometimes – no, make that frequently – my fingers hit the wrong keys.

Thank goodness Word flags those typos.

The computer has also made editing orders of magnitude easier than it ever was on my clunky manual typewriter. Copy. Paste. Cut. Move. So much easier.

And, if I want to add a little visual spice to my copy, all I have to do is press a couple of keys, and my copy shows up italicized, boldfaced, or underlined. I can see immediately the visual impact these formatting options give my writing. If I feel I’ve emphasized the wrong phrase, I can change it with little effort. That’s a huge advantage over the “old way.”

A valuable tool or a crutch?

This last benefit is also its biggest disadvantage for you as a copywriter. It’s so easy to add emphasis, it’s tempting – oh, so tempting – to let formatting be the force adding excitement to your copy.

You want your reader to feel excited about a certain benefit, so you put it in boldface type. You want him or her to know your promise is important, so you bold that, too. Or maybe, for variety, you use italics.

This is like much of the copy I see from beginning copywriters. They use typographical emphasis to excite their reader.

This is backwards. Before adding any formatting to your copy, your words must be strong enough by themselves to grab your prospect’s attention and convince him or her to act. Your words should be enough.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid using boldface, italics, capital letters, and other formatting options. These formatting options add visual spice to your copy. Plus, if you use them correctly, your prospect can hear the emphasis in his or her head while reading the emphasized words. (An unvoiced auditory emphasis.)

Are there any rules for formatting your copy? No hard and fast ones, but here are some guidelines I follow …

Italics: Italics are a great way to add that unvoiced auditory emphasis I just mentioned. Use italics to cause your prospect’s mental voice to rise slightly like this: “Mario should not be allowed to speak when he comes into the coffee shop.”

When you read the sentence, additional visual and unvoiced auditory emphasis were added to the word “not.”

I don’t use italics for this purpose for more than two or three words in a row. I also avoid using it more than three or four times on one page.

(However, you still should use italics for the traditional purposes of specifying book titles, setting off extended quotes, or for headings and subheads.)

Boldface: Boldfaced text can add some unvoiced auditory emphasis, but it’s not as effective as italics for this purpose.

However, it does make your copy visually more forceful.

Boldfaced words jump off the page, so I use them to catch my reader’s attention before he or she’s even begun reading.

I don’t like using bold type for more than five words in a row. Any more than that is hard to read.

ALL CAPS: Using a long string of type set in all caps is considered yelling in the online world. This has now become the standard in most types of writing. Do you like to be yelled at? Of course not. If you use all caps, I recommend using them for no more than two or three words at a time.

More important, avoid long stretches of all caps copy, because it severely reduces readability. I’m sure you’ve seen the “End User License Agreements” when you buy software online. Did you ever wonder why they’re always written in all caps? Perhaps poor readability is a big reason.

Underlined copy: Underlining adds both visual as well as unvoiced auditory emphasis to copy. As with the other emphasis types, it makes copy more difficult to read, so use it sparingly.

I use underlining to draw the eye to copy on the page more than to put emphasis. I use it for larger stretches of copy than any of the other types of emphasis. But, to counter the readability issue, I underline just the individual words and not the spaces between them.

You can do this with MS Word by highlighting the copy, then pressing Control-d (or Command-d on the Mac) and specifying “Underline Words” or by pressing Control-Shift-W (or Command-Shift-W).

A word of warning: Underlined text on the web universally indicates a hyperlink. I recommend you not use underlining on web copy except for that purpose.

Too much spice spoils the cooking …
I’d like you to consider a non-copywriting example to guide yourself in using emphasis in your copy: If you love cooking, like I do, you know that too much spice can spoil good food (with the possible exception of Indian or Thai food). So, your first takeaway from today’s issue of The Golden Thread is to add spice to your copy sparingly.

But the big takeaway – as I said before – is this: Do NOT overuse any type of visual emphasis in your copy. Let your words carry the beauty and the impact of your idea.

Original article source: http://www.awaionline.com/2014/03/dont-overspice-your-copy/

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Breaking Into Freelance Writing – Don’t Let Fear Stop You

Thinking of breaking into freelance writing, but feeling overwhelmed?

Unless you’re an established freelance writer, it’s easy to feel that way.

Maybe the thought of ghostwriting or editing a book seems daunting. Maybe the thought of writing articles and submitting them to magazines on a regular basis seems intimidating.

Well, freelance writing doesn’t have to be overly time consuming or difficult . . . or frightening.

Rather than taking on large projects or feature articles, you can find smaller, less intimidating work. The main thing is to get started.

There are lots of types of writing, aside from feature articles. You can write greeting card content, fillers, anecdotes, short articles or blog posts, letters, jokes, and more. There are many opportunities to write for money.

But, getting started and maintaining any business takes action. Procrastinating and ‘doing nothing’ is a sure way to NEVER reach your goals.

Dreams, well intentions, and even plans won’t get you from Point A to Point B without action. 

So, no matter what genre you’re writing in, or want to write in, take the steps to move forward.

Once you decide you really want to start a writing business, you will need to put time and effort into creating and building it. To do this, to move forward, start with these 4 steps.

1. Write on a regular basis - even if the writing isn’t meant for publication.

You’ll need to hone your skills – practice helps do this.

In addition, it’s a good idea to read ‘good’ copy and content. This will also help you develop and sharpen your writing skills.

2. Copy the masters.

Another trick to keep you moving forward while you query for jobs is to actually type effective copy and content written by pros.

This strategy helps train your brain to recognize good writing and will help you to emulate it.

But, a word of caution here, this is only a practice strategy – you cannot use another writer’s content for anything other than practice. That would be plagiarism.

3. Find resources to take advantage of.

You may be thinking that you just don’t know where or how to start.

That’s understandable.

The writing arena is broad and can certainly feel overwhelming when first starting out. But, there are a number of programs, classes, job boards, and other resources (free and for a fee) that you can take advantage of to guide you to gigs, publication, and sales.

Start by asking in your writing groups or ask more experienced writer friends if they know of tools and resources geared toward freelance writing.

You can also attend live conferences or online webinars. There are a number of free ones available online. In addition, you can do an online search to find resources.

There are also writing membership sites that offer lots of helpful tips and guidance.

4. Jump in - take action.

While taking the three steps above, you also need to actively look for work.

This means researching magazines for what they're looking for, querying for jobs, looking at job boards, getting your name and business out there.

And, getting your name out there means having an online presence - this means you NEED a website. And, your website needs to look and feel professional.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t let fear stop you from jumping in.

Take that first step. Then take the second, third, and so on.

If you look around, you’ll find lots and lots of opportunities out there for you to get started and move forward in your freelance writing business.

Here are 6 resources to help you get started today:

American Writers and Artists Inc.

Freelancers Union

ProBlogger Job Board

Morning Coffee Job Board

Become a Power-Blogger (Content Writer) in Just 4 Weeks

Become a Ghostwriter- Start a Money-Making Writing Business
New WOW! Women on Writing class

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Writing Books - Is There Money in it?

In the marketing arena, one of the messages conveyed is that unless you're a major author with a tremendous amount of sales, you will not get rich from writing books. You may not even be able to make a living.

But, you should still strive to get published because it does open some doors and allows for alternative means of income.

How does an author create a living out of writing?

Well, whether you're in the process of writing a book, in the process of having a book published, or your book is already available for sale, there are a few strategies writers can use to supplement their income, or create a living from writing:

1. Create e-books and offer them for sale.

If you're a fiction writer, write about elements of writing, the process, the writing elements, the pit falls, the publishing process, your marketing strategies, and so on.

Write what you know, if you want to take the easy path. Or, you can research topics you're interested in, or that are known to be money-makers, or other.

2. If you have interests other than the fiction you write, capitalize on them also.

Maybe, you're a great cook, write about cooking. If you have an interest in health, do the research and write about it

For steps 1 and 2, it's easy to create a PDF with images and a cover. You can offer them on your site, or through services such as Kindle, Lulu.com and Smashwords.com.

If you're willing to invest in a Clickbank or JVZoo account, or another of these types of services, you can find affiliates to help you sell your e-books and/or spin off products.

3. Don't forget this ONE essential strategy that all writers/authors should utilize: Magazine articles.

Write articles, research appropriate magazines, and submit, submit, submit. If you don't submit your work, you will not get published. Writing credits create credibility and authority. This helps you sell what you’re offering.

And, as stated above, being published does matter; it opens up doors and opportunities that may not otherwise be open.

4. If you're writing nonfiction, think spin-offs. You can create podcasts, videos, and other formats of your work and sell them right off your website.

5. Look into selling through catalogues and stores.
You’ll have to do your research and possible contact some companies, but it a viable option for selling your books.

To start, you can check out these sites:

https://www.amazon.com/Catalog-Catalogs-Complete-Mail-order-Directory/dp/093314959X
http://www.basbleu.com/info/about.hzml
http://booksnthingswarehouse.com/mailordercatalog.aspx

You can also contact the managers or purchasing agents for stores like Target, Cosco, and Walmart.

6. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, seek out corporations or businesses that may be interested in your topic.

For example: I wrote a bed time story - I could look into children's stores (furniture, clothing, toys, etc.) to see if they'd be interested in buying in bulk to offer the book to their clients for sale or as giveaways.

7. If you're published, offer teleclasses, online classes, DIY courses, or coaching. This is one of those opportunities that will work better if you're published.

8. Promote, Promote, Promote!

Writing isn’t enough, you’ve got to do the marketing to generate visibility and bring traffic to your website.

Wrapping it Up

These are just some of the strategies you can use to generate income from your book writing.

Tip: Remember to be focused and research your target market.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online platform instructor. Get must-know writing and marketing tips at http://thewritingworld.com.

And, check out Karen’s e-classes through WOW! Women on Writing:
http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/content-marketing-tools/

Revised Reprint from 2010.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Series Writers: Chart the Details, Part 3




To all a Merry and Blessed Holiday Season
This month concludes my mini-series on series writing. For the first two posts please visit: Is Series Writing for You? and Three Tips on Starting a Series.

The Challenge is in the Details
Begin your series by creating worksheets to keep track of the details. This will help avoid the pitfalls of time spent having to flip back to previous books for small (or large) details that may have escaped you. Preparing your series worksheets isn't much different than keeping track of the details for each of your writing projects. To accomplish this for each individual book project:
  1. Keep a separate notebook for each book.
  2. In each notebook, preferably during the first stage, create a chart of the following important information. This will take time but will be worth it. The information will be at your fingertips to tweak as you go along, and also to use for school visits, your blog, etc.
  • Age group                             
  • Genre
  • Verb tense
  • Point of View 
  • Mood or tone      
  • Setting
  • Time span
  • Character list, role played in your story and profiles
  • Theme
  • List of Scenes or contents of chapters
  • Concept sentence          
  • Why you wrote your book
  • Where your idea came from
  • Research: what you researched, what file it's kept in, sources you've cited
  • Books by other authors that are similar to your book or that you used as models
  • A list of your favorite authors, your favorite books and the authors' bios
Ideas on how to Organize your Series
Keep a separate section or separate notebook if you've created a series. A series organizational chart can contain information similar to the charts for your books.
  • Series title
  • Genre
  • List of characters and how this list changes from book to book
  • How the books tie together
  • How your characters grow and change as the series progresses
  • Series timeline
  • Settings
  • Keep track of the series books you've read and notes you've taken
  • Most important: write down how your series will end
  • Also: keep track of special information pertaining to your story, such as in my MG mystery, the chapter(s) and page numbers of when the ghost appears.
Join the Fun
One of the most fun parts of writing a series for me has been reading popular and well-loved series by other authors.
  • Take notes on the books you've read and on how the series is connected.
  • Note who the mc is and how the mc changes and grows
  • Are there new characters introduced? Which ones stay the same in each book?
What's so intriguing is the difference in how the books are connected from series to series. In the Stepping Stones series of chapter books about ghosts by Marion Dane Bauer, each book has different mc's and characters; the connection is that each book is about a ghost-of-a-different-color: The Blue Ghost, The Green Ghost, The Red Ghost, The Golden Ghost.  And the delightful Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, in which sweet Princess Magnolia must handle a monster problem when her glitter-stone ring rings. Out bursts the Princess in Black for her next adventure, which is different in each book.

When I first realized that two of my projects could become series I was intimidated. But, after studying the nature of series writing I've come to realize that planning is key, as it is for the creation of any book, either right from the start or the plans emerge sometime during the revision stage. I plan to avoid as many pitfalls as possible by following the advice of authors who have shared their expertise and experiences. I hope this information will help you, too.

Treasure Chest of Sources on Series Writing



http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2011/11/02/writing-a-series-continuation-issues/http://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-book-series/ http://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-a-series-mistakes/http://www.nownovel.com/blog/six-secrets-to-writing-a-series/;http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/some-tips-for-writing-a-series; Writing the Fiction Series: The Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas, by Karen S. Wiesner  

Photo by Linda Wilson

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children, and six short stories for children. Recently, she completed Joyce Sweeney's online fiction courses, picture book course and mystery and suspense course. She has currently finished her first book, a mystery/ghost story for 7-11 year-olds, and is in the process of publishing it and moving on to new writing projects. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Writing Skills - Spread Your Wings

Writing has many different genres within the fiction and nonfiction realms. There are children’s, young adult, romance, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, memoirs, biographies, travel, health, food, magazine articles, business content, and much more.

It seems, most writers start off in one particular genre – with one particular set of skills. Often, they stay there. This may happen for a number of reasons, including:

- The genre is in their comfort zone.
- There’s an unwanted time element involved in learning a new writing style
- Fear stops them from venturing forward
- They just don’t think of the rest of the writing world around them.

Whatever the reason, the end result is that they may be missing out on another form of writing satisfaction and income. With today’s tight market, it only makes sense to take off the blinders and get the peripheral writing vision going.

For writers who are the young children’s or article writing arena, contemplating writing a full length novel may feel overwhelming. It may feel impossible.

This is where you need to take a step back and think ‘simple.’ 

Rather than dismiss a project for fear it’s too big or because it’s out of your realm of expertise, think simple. Write blog posts on the subject, or possibly articles. You can also start with a short story if thinking about writing a novel makes you uneasy . . . maybe draft an outline.

Start small.

Don’t let the enormity of the project stop you—write one page at a time.

This philosophy goes for any new writing area you decide to step into. If the project itself feels too intimidating, think of it as a learning experience with nothing to lose. The new writing skills you learn will offset the time and effort invested.

It’s true that most writers only feel comfortable in one or two particular genres. It’s also true that they may excel in those genres, their areas of expertise. This is a powerful combination that will certainly keep writers from taking off the writing blinders.

But . . .

The writing arena is full of opportunities. Taking the time and effort to develop a new writing style will certainly be an asset in your writing career. If your piece is accepted and published, you will have another writing accomplishment to include in your writer’s resume, as well as another avenue of income.

There’s an expression: nothing ventured, nothing gained. Why not venture forth today and spread your writing wings.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online platform instructor. Get must-know writing and marketing tips at http://thewritingworld.com

Interested in being a ghostwriter? Check out Karen's new class at WOW! Women on Writing:
Become a Ghostwriter – Start a Money-Making Writing Business


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