Research

Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ~ Stephen King I begin with those words as a reminder that if we want to be serious writers, we must first be serious readers. There is reading for enjoyment, reading for analytical purposes, and…

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Traditional vs. Self-Publishing

Traditional vs. Self-Publishing

The Pros and Cons of Traditional vs. Self-Publishing The Process Time: Traditional publishing is not called traditional because they are old fogies. Traditional publishing is basically “always been done this way.” In other words, an author writes; an illustrator draws; an editor and an art director suggest revisions (often several times); a copy editor proofs…

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Three Ways to Prepare an e-Book

Three Ways to Prepare an e-Book

Trying to format a draft for publication as an e-book can make you reach for the aspirin. Since the introduction of Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad, e-book sales have grown rapidly. This year Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo expect e-books to provide up to half their revenue in the United States and Canada. Popular…

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5 Questions to Ask Your Characters

5 Questions to Ask Your Characters

Many writing workshops start their sessions on character development with a sheet detailing the hero’s name, age, eye color and hair color. They then move onto his job, his hobbies, and his family background. Next they might add a picture from the Internet or a magazine which looks a little like the hero, and perhaps…

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Library Visit

How to Get the Most Out of Your Library Visit

The importance of libraries, even in this digital age, cannot be underestimated. If you need to do research for your current work-in-progress (WIP), the library may be a good place to start. With trained staff and a wealth of resources (reliable ones) at their fingertips, a library and a librarian are a researcher’s best friend.…

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The Spectrum of Speculative Fiction

The Spectrum of Speculative Fiction

Once upon a time, fantasy (FY) was (to most people) fairy tales, and science fiction (SF) was some weird geeky stuff about rocket ships and robots and aliens like giant mobile boogers. Neither, most of your parents and grandparents thought, was for grownups. You could go your whole life (well, decades on end) and never…

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The Basic Rules

The Basic Rules

Grammar and Punctuation Recently, while sending out my current work-in–progress (WIP) to the round of agents, I came across an agent’s blog that was downright scary. The spelling and punctuation were atrocious. She even violated a basic rule of using a plural verb form with a singular noun. It was quite annoying; after all, are…

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Publishing Trends

Publishing Trends

At any given time, there are certain trends in publishing. In the ’80′s, there was the explosion of the female sleuth thanks to such trailblazers as Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky, among others. In the late ’90′s, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary spawned a whole new sub-genre in women’s fiction; namely chick-lit. By the looks…

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Five Places to Self Promote

Five Places to Self Promote

Without Being Annoying When we think of advertising we often think of banners and fliers and postcards but in the age of the internet, personal advertising or self-promotion has grown into many mediums. Here are a five socially acceptable ways that are taken for granted or often over looked when it comes to leaving a…

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Getting High on Books

Getting High on Books

It is said that to be a writer you have to read. I would take that a step further and add that for most of us who write, we do not just read, we live to read. Like a runner hitting the runner’s high at a certain stride, a book lover experiences the same high…

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