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You may not be aware that you use doubled prepositions. It took me a while to pick up on it. Just what is a doubled preposition? The best way to answer this question is to give a few examples: 1) Your character sits down on the sofa; 2) A character walks over to the house; 3) Another character looks over at the girl walking by. Sound familiar?
Of course there is the occasional tripled preposition such as: 1) looking down below at; or 2) coming on over to.
I am sure you can see what I mean after reading these few examples, but what does it mean to you as a writer? Well, it could mean having a good story rejected by an agent or publisher. It also labels you as an amateur writer or, at best, an average writer.
There is, however, one instance where doubled or tripled prepositions are accepted and even beneficial. Dialogue! In this setting it can actually be beneficial in giving your readers an impression of the character. An impression that could, if handled properly, label your character as a simple person or an uneducated person. Through this type of dialogue, you can give personal information about your character without actually saying it.
So the next time you self-edit be sure to watch for those doubled or tripled prepositions. It could mean acceptance or rejection.
Faye M. Tollison
Author of: To Tell the Truth
Upcoming books: The Bible Murders and Sarah's Secret
My profession, graphic design, is a service based profession so I trade dollars for hours. That means if I don’t have billable hours, I don’t get a paycheck. However, some of my lowest income months are usually my busiest? I work all the time and get paid nothing for it.
How is that possible?
It is. And it still happens to many other talented designers and writers.
Is there an alternative? Of course. I know plenty of professionals who earn more than me and work the same hours if not less. The difference between us isn’t the marketing effort. The difference is in the business model.
Their business model allows for less time waste as it maximizes profit or at least keeps it steady.
In my e-book called “Writing for Profit” I am exploring some of the most profitable business models for people like us – designers, writers, authors and information marketers.
You can download a free version of it on our website www.bfsp.net
I am releasing it to my community of Writers on the Move
as a pilot project.
Any feedback on the content and graphics would be extremely valuable.
Very truly yours,
Fani Nicheva is a graphic designer and a writer who works on books, corporate & product identities, writer's brands and personal projects. Visit her work at Bigfish Smallpond Design or read her on www.aproposdezign.com
The first six tips appeared on Writers on the Move last month.
Participles-- the -ing words
This month's warm-up starts yet again with verbs and the dreaded dangling modifiers. And I'm pretty sure every writer, no matter how experienced, has at least one somewhere in a closet or in a closeted manuscript.
Running along the road , the hotel was easy to spot.
Yes, the problem here is easy to spot as well--as easy as a hotel running down the road. The -ing word, now an adjectival form of the verb, attaches itself to the nearest subject in the sentence and hey presto! Fun all round.
But when you're in throes of involvement with your lead character working through his problems, it can be more difficult to isolate.
He thought through his options one by one. Mulling them over, the book seemed to provide the safest answer.
Still a dangling modifier--the book is not mulling over his options, but it's easy to miss this one as the subject of the previous sentence is the man doing the mulling.
Practice writing a few deliberately and you'll soon pick them out in your self-editing.
Getting Into Your Character's Skins is an excellent article by Shirley Corder. Make sure each character has his or her own vocabulary and speech mannerisms. They should not all use "spiffing fun" as a favorite exclamation unless you show one character being so affected by another that he adopts the words.
This seems obvious but to make characters distinct, they should each have their own favorite, well-differentiated phrases.
Identify these from the start in your character planning.
The Missing Tip
This space is left quite deliberately. I would love you to post your vital daily writing tip in the comments box below and the best one, or ones, will be inserted here next week.
The Warm Down--vital exercises.
Poetry--one a day
Write it but most of all read it. The compression needed to encapsulate sense and emotion is a wonderful lesson to learn and keep in mind when writing longer pieces.
Be it ten, or a hundred and ten thousand words, each one must be a necessary part of the whole.
For short poems of the day, visit Magdalena Ball on her Poetry Mondays.
All writers read, but take a chance to read out of your comfort zone to cross-fertilize ideas. Avoid the genre you write in yourself.
Try new avenues to explore new ideas. Go for the books you always told yourself you hated. If they're well written, they may well surprise you by stimulating your imagination in new ways.
A cop out? Not at all. Only with rest and relaxation can your mind work at optimum level. Set aside one day, or a half day if you really feel you can't afford the time, to pamper your writer's soul.
Take time to do what you love. Walk in the wild woods, visit art galleries and museums, socialize. And your writing will benefit accordingly.
Anne Duguid is a senior content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and her New Year's Resolution is to blog with helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers far more regularly than she managed in 2011.
But still, I was dissatisfied and wanted to sell 10-20 books per day instead of 4-5 books per day. I kept running into these $75 Adwords coupons all over the place; so I clicked on the "coupon" which was really a sorta credit application that had to be approved. I went ahead and filled out the application (they don't ask for your s.s.) which asked some basic questions about my project. A few hours later I received a rejection letter, they didn't tell me why I was rejected but there you have it. After that I decided to set up my own account just to test the waters of Google advertising.
The process was complicated and tedious. I felt like I needed to hire a savvy ad-executive just to get me through it. It took me a couple of days to figure it out, but I was then successful with setting up the ad and all the components that came with it. The downside was I wasn't allowed to market to anyone under the age of 18; well that's my entire audience (13-17), but I proceeded anyway.
The most important part of the set-up was picking the keywords. I chose 34 relevant keywords. I was ready to go. I put in my cc information and set the date for the weekend only, between the hours of 6pm and 3am, because those are the hours teens are wasting away in front of the computer.
Now, for the grand finale, after I put in my cc information my keywords lit up with the minimum prices of CPC. My average CPC was $1.25. Kiss my butt Adwords. Some keywords were $0.40 per click but with my 34 keywords my daily budget would exceed $25 per day. I set my daily budget to only $12 per day. My FB ad runs at $1.50 per day. Needless to say I deleted my account and increased my daily budget on FB. I figured that's where teenagers go to live anyway.
Share your paid advertising stories by leaving a comment. http://vicihowardblogspot.com
For more information check out www.donorth.biz
or folllow her at:
Last month, my blog post was titled: Do You Want to Be a Writer? http://www.writersonthemove.com/2012/01/do-you-want-to-be-writer.html This month, I will make a few suggestions of what you could write about.
Where do ideas for writing come from? Newspapers, photographs, and your childhood are a few examples of what you could use for inspiration. If you are suffering from writers block, perhaps the following will help.
Classified ads - Try reading the help wanted and for sale ads. Are there any interesting jobs being advertised that might make a good short story? What do people want to buy? What are people selling? Can you write a story or book about why someone might be selling their personal belongings? Let your imagination explore what might happen.
I remember reading an ad from someone who was selling 1970’s teen magazines. I wondered which teen idols the seller liked from that era. Did she use her own money to buy the magazines or did she beg her mother to buy them for her at the grocery store? Did she meet any of her idols at a concert? Was she in the audience of a TV show her idols appeared on?
Advice columnists – “Dear Abby” is a very well-known advice column, published in newspapers all over the United States. This column contains a myriad of topics to explore. Take a problem that a reader needs help with and flesh out a story of what could happen to someone as the months and years go by. Was the conflict resolved satisfactorily? Did any of the parties move to a new city or state, start a family, get a new job?
A photo, print or painting - Pick a photo, print or painting and write a story about what you see. What are the people doing? Where are they? What might happen later in the day or next week? Did they go on a vacation, go out to dinner, or get married? Where could the photo been taken? Is the print or painting of a particular place or could it be anywhere? Think of the possibilities!
Your childhood - I’m taking another class. Currently, I’m writing about my childhood. At first, I thought this was going to be difficult, but the more I write, the more I remember. I’m also including links to websites to help my readers (my classmates) better understand what I am talking about, since I am writing about a world that existed decades ago.
You can probably think of other examples of where to get ideas on writing. Take a notebook and jot down a topic at the top of each page or just make a list. Start with the above suggestions and then add your own. When you have problems thinking of where to go with your writing next, refer to your notebook and maybe the creative process will begin to flow again.
Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is currently working on her first children’s book.
According to some articles I've read, all animals shed their skin, some faster than others. We humans evidently shed 1,5 million skin cells an hour, giving us a new skin surface about once every 28 days. Snakes, tarantulas, stick insects and some lizards are in more of a hurry. They climb out the old skin and walk / slither away, leaving the skin intact.
Wouldn't that be such a great gift for us as writers? Yet we can learn to do this to a degree. We can step out of our own skin and into the skin of our character. We can then talk like them, think like them and feel their emotions. The secret is to really know our characters
Take a moment and think: How much effort do you put into your conversation with your spouse, your children, your next door neighbour? Do you give any thought to the words you choose? Do you stop to wonder when you should take a breath? Do you agonise over your correct choice of words and phrases? No, you just talk. Right?
So the key to writing good dialogue is to stop trying. Stop trying to figure out what your character would say. Rather concentrate on getting to know your characters so well that you can slip into their skins. Become them. Feel their emotions. Then you will react to situations as they see them. The words they say will be natural. And when you move onto another character? As long as you really know your characters, all you need to do is to change skins, and you'll change your voice. It's that easy.
If you spend enough time getting to know your characters, you may even experience one of those exciting (and frustrating) moments when your character refuses to do what you want them to do. Or they do something you hadn't planned, causing you to change the script! Why? Because they have become real characters.
This doesn't only apply to human characters.
I once wrote a story about a time when my young dog ate poison and had to be rushed to the veterinary surgeon in the middle of the night. I described how she reacted and looked—as I saw the situation. I was pleased with the story and submitted it to first one magazine then another. Several rejections later, I read advice similar to what I've given here. I needed to try and see the whole evening's drama as if I were Sheba, our fun-loving Alsation pup. I had to look at the ordeal through her eyes, feeling what she experienced.
I stopped describing how I thought she felt. I imagined myself to be her. I looked at the events from her point of view. I began to see the confusion in "my" mind at the reactions of my human family when they tried to make me vomit. I felt the distress when they allowed a stranger to poke me with needles, then gave me away. (We had to leave her overnight on a drip at the animal hospital.)
As I typed out the new version of the story, I fought back tears. Although I still wrote the story from my human point of view, I now felt the heartache of Sheba. I was her, as her owner turned and walked away, leaving her with this horrid stranger who had stuck needles into her and made her violently sick. What had she done to upset her owner so much that she'd give her away? Would she ever see her owner again?
As I typed, the emotions came from within and influenced my writing. The difference was exciting. A few days later, I submitted it to Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life, and it was accepted. All because I slipped into Sheba's skin for a few hours.
How about you? What suggestions do you have for making your characters come alive?
By doing so is one way to get the gunk out of your head and clear your mind for the writing at hand.
In addition, just getting the words down, then editing later is one way to create your story.
While journaling, interview your characters to make them real in your mind and learn more about them. If they are real to you and you know them well, so will you reader, and the reader will develop empathy for them as well as their life and trials in your story.
Empathy for characters in literature is what matters most for the read to become involved and having an experience with the story rather than just reading something to kill time.
As an author, we write for ourselves first, than we hope others will read us and get something from what we write. If we don’t write for ourselves first, then we are little less the writing whores, and writing for nothing more than the few bucks we can make.
As authors, we should stand for the craft and something in which we value what we do. Writing should not just be about making some money, but we should writing something to engage the read for the period of time they spend with us in our book, article, or any copy we write.
Before writing for the day, or whenever you write, journaling is a great way to clear your mind of the stuff that is rolling around from life and prepare yourself for the writing job at hand.
You should also have your ducks lined up for the writing task at hand and a clear direction to advance the storyline. Can the writing change along the way? Possibly, but that is what editing is for, to check the finder points, and make the story stronger in the editing of the words on the page.
Here are the details:
Title: Designing Customized Facebook Fan Pages
Date: March 12, 2012
Time: 7PM, EST USA
Format: PowerPoint Webinar
Facebook is by far the top social networking site. Yes, it’s a fun way to stay in touch with all your old friends and extended family, but it’s also a fantastic way for businesses to connect with customers. For authors, it’s a particularly powerful tool, not only for encouraging sales, but for allowing your readers to interact with one another. Does your Facebook page stand out? Is it professional? A call to action for visitors? Are you attracting ‘likes?’ Creating your own custom Facebook fan page is easier than you think. Black Cow author Magdalena Ball provides the lowdown on how to create your own exciting, customised fan pages that change when visitors become fans. We’ll cover templates and self-made options, how to add multiple tabs, the best way to convert visitors to readers, and more, showing you exactly how you can make your own page as exciting as your books.
As this session will be done during the promotional tour for Black Cow, attendees are encouraged to visit Magdalena’s fan page at http://www.facebook.com/MagalenaBallAuthor and like it, as a pre-attendance exercise, as this page will be the basis for the demonstrations and familiarity will help ensure that all attendees are starting from a similar point of awareness.
For full details go to:
Or register with Maggie right now at:
Until next time,
Award Winning Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance Writer, Editor, Marketer
Karen’s Books Page:
Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
DKV Writing 4 U
http://KarenCioffi.com (children’s author site)
"We crawled along the edge of the rock face with branches and limbs whipping above us. Frequently Rocky would stop and I could tell he was searching for a way up and out of our tree-tunnel. The world clawed at our clothes and everything smelled of Christmas and death—pine trees and mold. Some of the needles stabbed at me, poked into my skin and were left to hang there—no time to pull them out. We struggled through mud and water. . ." Later they see trees scattered like "toothpicks" and taste blood from their injuries.
"A cowbell clanged as I opened the door of Alma’s café and the intoxicating aroma of old-fashioned grilled hamburgers, homemade French fries and coffee surrounded me. According to the engraved sign over the door, the dive served food and spirits. From the stuffed two headed calf sitting high on a shelf, to the brands burned into the wood plank tables, the diner practically exuded the essence of the old west."
After your first introduction you learn of the smell of the green stuff that comes in on the boots of the ranchers and it reminds you who frequents the place. You hear the gruffness of the owner's voice as he asks for your order. You see him spit tobacco. You know the characters belong.
Or you can just contact her at email@example.com