Rejections Bring You One Step Closer to Acceptance

My long story about my novel, Crazy for Trying, began at NaNoWriMo 2017. I managed to write 50,000 words in 30 days amid holiday celebrations, putting on a literary event, becoming so sick I wanted to be anesthetized, and because I am retired, not getting any sick days. In other words, I still have to take care of the pets, plan dinner if not cook it, shop, do laundry, and try to write. How I managed it was to write needless prologs and epilogs to get my word count up there without having to brain very much.

072717 grateful

Continue reading “Rejections Bring You One Step Closer to Acceptance”

California Deamin’ 2017 Writers Conference Part 6

The State of the Industry by HelenKay Simon and Shauna Summers

HelenKay (https://helenkaydimon.com/) is not only an author of many books but also serves on the board for RWA National. Shauna Summers is a publisher of many romance books. They delivered the information from the publisher’s side first, then the author’s side. Then they will take questions. Continue reading “California Deamin’ 2017 Writers Conference Part 6”

Scribophile: Great for Writers, Bad for Readers

Two of the best things that ever happened to me as a writer are Romance Writers of America (RWA) http://www.rwa.org/ and Scribophile http://www.scribophile.com/ . RWA lets me meet other local romance writers, many of them published, and take on-line courses and attend a monthly meeting with speakers and contests and lots of fun. Scribophile lets me waste hours every day in the forums talking to other writers from around the world, critiquing other people’s writing, getting critiques for my writing, and the brownies are all virtual.

The bad thing about RWA is the cost, but it’s not unreasonable. I have been blessed with a scholarship that allowed me to attend the meetings while I weathered my worst financial situations. The bad thing about Scribophile is that once you start looking for errors in writing, you start to notice how many got past the editors of published books.

Passive verbs are not totally eliminated, but use with caution. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/passive.htm

Filter words get in the way of letting the reader experience what the character is experiencing. She felt the cold vs. She shivered in the cold. http://writeitsideways.com/are-these-filter-words-weakening-your-fiction/

And so many writers struggle with dialogue tags and formatting, but it’s easy. http://bubblecow.com/formatting-dialogue-a-quick-and-dirty-guide

These are just a few of the things you learn while critiquing and being critiqued at Scribophile. And a common lament is that you then can’t read for pleasure without smacking into these bad habits that people ACTUALLY WERE PAID MONEY FOR WRITING!!! Ahem. Excuse me. (Overuse of exclamation points is something I have to work on.)

Without permission, I can’t quote directly from any books, but I can list those books. Considering the flap over Elora’s Cave and that blogger who ran afoul of them, I think I’ll let you look for yourself.

And to give you an even clearer idea of what you are looking for, here are the Bulwer Lytton contest. You may recall Snoopy on his dog house typing something about the weather. Well, here’s the original source. “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830) Yes, that is one sentence. Yes, that is really poor writing for this day and age, but nearly typical for the time in which he lived. Still, Jane Austen wrote better. http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

And the 2014 winners. Be sure to catch the Purple Prose section. Good stuff. http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/2014win.html

I’ll be back on Sunday.

It’s Gutenberg Enough for Me

Last Sunday, I shared my thoughts on lending books, ebooks, and so on. That reminded me of the Gutenberg Project. Named for printer Johannes Gutenberg, who was the first European to use moveable type. He didn’t invent it, but he invented enough added details to deserve being a historical person of note. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg

The Gutenberg Project is an all-volunteer effort to put every surviving printed work into a computer and make it available, as meets with copyright laws, to anyone with computer access. The founder and dreamer, Michael Hart, passed away a couple years ago, but the project is so well organized and has such forward momentum that it’s still running strong.

The official name is the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. I can’t imagine a more noble and wonderful way to spend available volunteer hours. It’s like the burning of the library in Alexandria in reverse. Here’s how to contact them: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Another wonderful project comes to mind, speaking of burning libraries. Burning Man. Once a year, a city springs up in the Black Rock dessert in Nevada, not far from Reno. It’s a massive week-long event of “radical self-expression and radical self-reliance.” I am not much tempted to participate, it’s much more of an event for younger, tougher folks, and those whose art is a bit more visual than writing. http://www.burningman.com/

The connection for me with Burning Man and Project Gutenberg comes from the book Homeland by Cory Doctorow, where the main characters attend a Burning Man and visit a library that is intended to be burned by the desert community at Black Rock City. The library is set up and staffed by Project Gutenberg volunteers.

I searched the Burning Man files to see if the library is a real thing, but can neither confirm or deny its existence. There is a Burning Man Book Mobile where you can take any book, for as long as you like, you can keep it, or can return it some day. The Burning Man community idea is to create continuity not boundries and rules.

So Cory Doctorow is the perfect person to be writing about this. He’s a major cheerleader for removing DRM (Digital Rights Management) from ebooks, because frankly, even if someone pirates a copy of your book to read, they are still readers! They might be fans soon, and might buy a copy just to have to read or pass on to another fan. You can’t stop the signal! (I heard that somewhere once.)

At Mr. Doctorow’s blog, Craphound, http://craphound.com/ you can find the cities he is visiting in his current tour, and ads for t-shirts which have the entire text of some of his novels on them. Yes, you read that right. A shirt with the entire text of Little Brother or Homeland on it. I have enough trouble with people reading some of my t-shirts, I don’t have time to stand still while strangers read the novel. Then again, it would be a great way to pass the time in line at Comic Con. Too bad I couldn’t put my “friend’s” short erotica on a shirt. I am sure I would make lots of new friends, and possibly new readers, that way.

I’ll be back on Thursday.