Nifty Tools

There are many books on the craft of writing. Some published writers have used them and some have not. Though you do not have to read books on how to write well, or even on how to get published, it’s still a good idea to do so.

Many books will give you fabulous ideas on how to plot a story, write dialog, and pace while some general fiction books will even teach you how to write action or scenery. (That’s why writers consistently say to read, read, read.)

If you’re looking into getting published and have finished and polished your novel, you might what to check out the “Writer’s Market.” It lists information on not only how to get published, but of countless agents and editors as well. Usually, it is about $50 dollars or more, but you can find it at the library for free!



Did You Know?

Endless books, DVD’s, silence and comfy chairs… and, depending on your location, gardening and volunteer opportunities… Where is all of this at, you ask? Check out your local library, no, really, do it. Some libraries have container gardening (for free) and opportunities to volunteer with children at rodeo’s, and an assortment of other activities.

Most people think of towering shelves with old, dusty books and a librarian holding a finger to her lips, but that’s just simply not the case these days. Your local library is perfect for an aspiring author who needs resource materials and a quiet place to read/write. (There are many books on the craft of writing and getting published!)

It’s also great when it comes to trying new things and getting involved. In fact, I’m learning a second language via their free Rosetta Stone service! So check out your library (find them on the net, it’s real easy, just type in ‘library’ and the name of your area). Most librarians should be super helpful to tell you all about their many opportunities and what they offer.

So enjoy it, that’s what it’s there for!

Writing: The Mud Effect

Several times in my writing career, I have happened upon what I call the Mud Effect. We’ve all had that dream (well, a fair amount has, anyway) where we’re running and desperately trying to get away from someone or something, but just can’t. It seems as though we’re running through the mud, or that our legs won’t move. Writing can do that to you.

Whether you’re drafting a chapter in the middle of the book, or slogging through revisions, there will usually come a point where it feels like it’s taking forever. Progress is snail slow. For some odd reason, as I go though my marked up draft, read through it, and fix any marks on the computer, I find that it’s big news if I manage to get 4 pages done. That’s right… 4 measly pages all in one day! Granted, I can’t seem to tolerate very long sitting sessions with it, either… Usually I can write for hours.

Basically, I wanted to write this post to encourage not only myself, but others as well who find themselves smack in the middle of a w.i.p and feel that it’s taking forever for the pages to turn. My best advice, to myself and others, is to just keep plowing ahead. We’ve made it this far; we must see it to the end.

Happy mudding.

Have You Tried Audio?

Hi there. Just a quick post on the perks of an audio book. If you’re anything like me, you might find that you love reading books, and that you even love writing them. But with life so busy as it often is and that deadline ticking away on your manuscript, or any other task, you might find that making time to read is a bit difficult.

Regardless if you’re a writer or not, reading is both a pleasurable and valuable past-time. If you’re not getting enough words in a day, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a solution! Audio books.

Almost all books have an audio, though this isn’t true for all of them. You can find these on You-tube, Amazon, or your local library… possibly even retail store.

I use audio books when I’m cooking. Cooking is like an art for me, and I enjoy listening to a good book while I prepare dinner; two pleasurable experiences in one. Other good times to pop in an audio story is when you’re in the car, while cleaning, or while taking a walk. It’s a great way to listen to a book and not only hear a story, but to build your craft as well.

There’s a reason that the advice writers give to aspiring authors is to read, read, read. It is by reading (or in this case, listening) that we learn the craft.

So if you are feeling crunched for time, or your eyes are just tired, pop in an audio. You might just find that your reading life soars.

*Currently, I am listening to: Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke. It’s a fast read, full of entertainment and adventure. Readers of all ages will enjoy this intriguing fairytale. 


Childhood Inspiration


What inspires your writing? This is a question that authors get asked often. For many, it can be something as simple as watching others, or striking news in the the headlines. For me, however, it is two things…

One great source of inspiration comes from my childhood. I find it is often rich with memories and things I’ve experienced that I can tie in with new experiences. For some, it is therapeutic. For me, it is raw and real, putting the real in realistic fiction.

My second source of inspiration stems from my 2nd grade year of public school. I remember reading Rumpelstiltskin and other fairytales and being enthralled. It is the fantastical that sparkles and grabs my attention, fueling the fire of my inspiration.

Find what works for you; what gives you ideas? What makes you excited to write? Tap into those resources, and get to writing!


Stronger Writing

Just a quick tip for stronger writing. If you want more vivid writing that’s absorbing, do an adverb check, and cut them when you can.

This may be a bit hard and you might find yourself tempted to leave some, but only do this when there’s absolutely no better word or phrasing. Good writing is rewriting, and this takes focus and thought.

Yes, it takes more work but it’s a good thing. Checking and cutting adverbs forces you to write with stronger nouns. It can even help increase word count!

Make each word count. Here’s to stronger, vivid, absorbing writing!

Editing – A Helping Hand

Looking to get some of your work edited, or perhaps do a little editing yourself? If so, then check out Fiverr. Here you can find an editor for your article, manuscript, or even the first few pages of your manuscript. I would highly recommend getting someone to check out your work before submitting it anywhere. On Fiverr, you will find hundreds of editors with varying abilities.

On the other hand, if you’re wanting to spread your wings as an editor, you can market yourself. Just create your profile and write a brief description of your services. Both can be customized to fit both your schedule and your fees. Either way, Fiverr is a great opportunity for a helping hand.


Benefits of Diversity

If you’re like me, it’s easy to find the sort of book you love and to keep reading only that genre. However, if you want to be a great, imaginative writer, you might want to pick up some new books for your shelves.

It is through diverse readings that we learn not only how to write, but how to think and plot as well. For example, one could easily take away lessons on loyalty and friendship from the Harry Potter series, but another lesson entirely from the Game of Thrones, such as betrayal and brutality.

It is in the reading of diverse books that not only do you learn different writing styles to incorporate into your own style but themes to explore as well. It also aids in character development.

All in all, the benefits of diverse reading are crucial to the craft of writing, and perhaps the reason why so many writers continually repeat, “Read, read, read” when giving advice to aspiring writers.

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it,” Albus Dumbledore.


Query Shark

If you’re like me, you know that reading anything you can about the publishing process is necessary if you hope to become published one day. After you’ve written that initial novel, more than likely, you’re going to want a literary agent. That is, of course, if you don’t decide to self-publish. A literary agent is someone who helps represent you and your work, i.e., your novel and is extremely helpful in all publishing avenues. e of the key ways you find an agent is by writing a query letter. This one paged letter does nothing more than present

One of the key ways you find an agent is by writing a query letter. This one paged letter does nothing more than present you as a professional writer along with the work you are trying to sell. There is a craft in itself in writing one of these make-or-break letters, but to test your letter, you might want to head on over to Query Shark. This website tells you how NOT to write your letter, so you can avoid as many rejections as possible and get that manuscript published.


Books for your Shelves

Perhaps one of the most anticipated events for book lovers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is the annual Metropolitan Library Book sale in February. There are thousands of books to buy, all of which are in decent condition. Their prices range from $1 to 50 cents. There is a collectors room, as well, where books are no more than $3. It is a very fun event where suitcases, and any array of bags and rollers are welcome to take out your new TBR pile.