Author of Dark, Paranormal, Suspense,& Romance: You never know where the words may lead.
Footsteps of a Writer is a path from aspiring writer to published author and beyond. You will find writing tips and motivations, book reviews, author interviews and guest posts, personal insights into my writing life, and more.
Some writers devour 'how to write' books, and some won't touch them.
Which writer are you?
As a new writer, I picked up many 'how to' books, searching for the secrets of writing. The problem was I didn't understand them, found them too complicated. I'm not sure rather I was grabbing the wrong ones, but now as I re-read them, I find them much more understandable.
Can you learn from 'how to' books?
I believe it is helpful to read what other writers think about the art of writing. You won't discover a magical blueprint. What you will find is multiple views, which you can adapt to your own writing over time.
I continue to grab how to books, and now as I read, I can relate to what the writer is sharing. I continue to pick up additional helpful hints with each new book.
What is the best way to read a how to book?
I suggest reading it from beginning to end. Use sticky markers to tab anything that seems useful. The more you write, the more the practices you find in these books will come into play. Later, you may choose to reread these books. I believe you will be surprised at how much you've actually used the knowledge without even realizing it.
Do you read 'how to' books? Do you follow from beginning to end? Do you jump around to the sections you want to read most? Book recommendations welcomed.
I'd like to thank Joylene Nowell Butler for this irresistible blog award.
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 8 deserving blog buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.
7 Random Facts:
1. I love cats!
2. Other than becoming a writer, I dreamed of modeling and acting.
3. I love camping, boating, and fishing.
4. I love scary books and movies.
5. Bloody Mary is one legend I'll never test.
6. After reading something scary, I avoid mirrors.
7. I'm not afraid of the dark, but sometimes I get spooked of what may be in it.
I'd like to take a moment to wish all the fathers out there, Happy Father's Day.
My own father passed away, twelve years ago, long before he should have been taken from this physical plane. At age fifty-one, my father had begun finding his path. Years he'd spent as an alcoholic, but from what I've understood from people closes to him, he'd been sober for three months before a work accident took his life.
I'm aware three months may not seem like a long time to some, but for my father to go without alcohol for such a long time was a major accomplishment. He found God many years before this, but continued to struggle with this disease. He alienated most of his family and friends, but a couple stuck by him. I extend a thank you to these people, for I was not among them.
This is my biggest regret in life. He wasn't the best father, or the best man in the world, but he had a tender, kind heart when he wasn't under the influence. Life gave him many tests and trials, alcohol covered his demons, but in the end he found God and lived as we should with a clear mind. I pray this opened the gates of heaven for him and he now watches over his not-so-perfect children and knows we forgive him and hope he does the same.
On this special day, or any day, reach out to your father if he remains on the physical plane, whether he is a great father or a not so great father. One day he will be gone, and you will most likely regret not taking the moment to tell him just how much you care, no matter his faults.
(The angel plaque sat beside my father's bible. I have no idea where or who it came from, but it must have been very important to him. I keep it on my dresser to remind me angels watch over every one of us.)
Jane Friedman, of the blog - There Are No Rules, has rounded up five e-book resources that every writer should read. Best of all they're free! Here's the list she's made available, along with links for downloads.
1 - 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer
2 - 279 Days to Overnight Success by Chris Guillebeau
3 - How to Write a Great Query Letter by Noah Lukeman
4 - What Publishers Want: An Author's Guide by Greenleaf Book Group
5 - Smashwords Book Marketing Guide: How to Market Any Book for Free
I've downloaded each, but haven't dug into any yet. Feel free to let me know what you think of each. Are there e-books out there you think every writer should read? Share them here in the comments.
Research can broaden your writing knowledge and create new ideas.
No writer is limited to what they know, because there are always opportunities to learn more.
Do you have a great idea involving a nurse, but have no knowledge of the occupation? There are many ways to learn more. Visit a hospital and talk to a nurse. Search blogs and find a nurse. The opportunities are endless.
Have you always wanted to interpret your dreams? Study the process, use the process, and apply it to your writing. Have a main character who deals with dreams. If you dig deep enough into the idea of dreams, wonderful ideas will come to you.
Make a goal. Learn something new each month. Do you have a favorite way to research? Share your process.
THIS WEEK'S AUTHOR BLOG HOP QUESTION FOR THURSDAY, JUNE9 IS ABOUT: Writing Scenes (Part two): Define a cliffhanger in your own words and tell what it means to your writing? Question provided by affiliate author L. P Robinson
A cliffhanger is a tool used to pull the reader into the next chapter without putting the book down. Chapters are breaking points, a chance to set the book down and walk away. Although you don't want to drag the reader from beginning to end in one sitting - well you do, but you need to give them enough breathing room to let them make the choice.
With that said, I hate cliffhangers at the end of a book. Sequel or not, I'd rather see the main plot tied up, even if it is loosely. This has been my major issue with the Twilight Movies and most recently "I Am Number Four." If the story or movie is good, there's no need to make the reader have to read or see the sequel. If it's good, they will come back, arms wide open.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this question, here or join the hop.
:) Sorry to sound like a promotional representative. These are two great contests that you don't want to miss. See you there. (Only wish my book was out so I could contribute to the fun. Maybe next year.)
It seems there's a problem going around. People are having trouble commenting on blogs. If you are having this trouble, I'd like to share with you what I've done so far. Of course, if you are experiencing this and can't figure it out, feel free to contact me through my contact page and I'll do my best to help you out.
My first experience was I couldn't comment on my own blog posts. At first, I thought it was blogger and waited patiently. Then I tried Google for a solution.
The most common suggested solution was to clear your cookies and cache. I was using IE9, and this didn't work for me. But, give it a try. I then decided to switch browsers. I'd been having trouble with IE locking up for a while now anyway. So, I switched to Google Chrome and it's been smooth sailing since.
Then, a follower contacted me. He couldn't comment on my blog. After more research, I learned this may be a blogger issue. The suggested solution was to go to Settings - Comments - Switch from 'embedded below post' to either of the other two options. This seems to have corrected the issue.
I hope this post helps someone out there get back to commenting on their favorite blogs.
When I began writing, I kept hearing write what you know. Needless to say, this was depressing news. I didn't know anything. Then, a past writing coach put together a few questions, and to my delight, I discovered I did know a lot.
The phrase, "Write what you know," doesn't need to be taken to extremes.
Your past experiences can bring life to your writing. Your hobby can give your main character a colorful outlook on life. Your occupation can bring a new aspect or character into your story.
Take a moment to list things you know about. Delve into your childhood, your relationships, your workplace, your hobbies, etc.
Who were you as a child? Did you play sports? Were you a bookworm? A loner?
Create characters that you can relate to, and you will discover it's easier to breathe life into them.
Writing is an extension of you, rather you realize it or not. Tap into this aspect and your writing will soar.
Last month, Dark Valentine accepted one of my short stories. I found out this morning they are shutting the doors. The announcement was made on their site Thursday morning, and as I scrambled to discover what was going on, the site quit responding.
It's sad to see all these short story publications shutting their doors, but each day we watch one go under. I'd like to send out thanks and well wishes to the people who worked hard to produce this magazine. I hope you all continue to follow ventures in the writing world.
THIS WEEK'S AUTHOR BLOG HOP QUESTION FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 2nd IS ABOUT: Writing scenes (Part One): How would you define a 'twist'? Do you use a twist in every scene or just at the end of the book? Question provided by affiliate author L. P Robinson (Part two is next week!)
A twist is an event that occurs that wasn't expected. In most cases, these are hard elements to add to your story. Even though it is unexpected, it's not out of character, out of the blue, or illogical to the story line.
I love a twist ending, as long as it doesn't kill the whole story. Most of my short stories end with a subtle twist. In larger works, I do my best to weave in a few twists here and there. A twist is only good if it works.
Feel free to share your thoughts on this question, here or join the hop.