Monthly Archives March 2013

Cultivating Creativity

Science fiction author Philip K. Dick did everything he could to force himself to be more creative. He read about it, studied it, and put everything he learned into practice. To him, being a great writer meant being more creative and cleverer than everyone else. Sadly, he often took things too far, trying all sorts of substances to the point of paranoia and hallucinations. Most authors don’t need to see visions to be creative, and most of us get into writing because we have a creative itch that must be scratched. But even though many of us think of ourselves
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Go Local: Putting Press Releases to Work in Book Promoting

For all writers, but particularly for self-published or indie-published authors, book promoting is crucial to success. Writers will find as many differing opinions on how best to bring attention to their books as they did on ways to write their work. Though this often contradictory advice can be maddening, it makes sense. Everyone will find certain writing techniques and certain promoting platforms that work best for his or her style and book. No, You’re Not National News…Yet One promotional tool that I’ve heard a few authors knock recently is press releases. Their complaints are legitimate, but only because they seemed
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Jokes – teaching the basics the funny way.

  In this series of articles, I’m going to use a joke to illustrate on some of the often talked about principals of creative writing.   Jokes are a story in microcosm, and they can prove a useful illustration of the elements needed in a narrative to make it work. Jokes, like the one I’m using, have three crucial elements – the conflict, the struggle and the pay off – a beginning, middle and an end, stripped down to their most essential form. If you can pull off a good joke, you can pull off a good story. So, here’s
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Originality – a writing challenge?

Like most writers, I have a small cadre of faithful proof-readers who are willing to battle their way through a Second Draft of one of my thrillers, hunting down any typos, missing punctuation, and plot points that just don’t work. Often, as they see I do listen to them, they proffer comments about the book’s theme. When I sent out the draft of ‘the CULL’, I was surprised that several of their observations coincided. They were all along the lines of “Not another bloody vampire novel. There’re thousands of them out there already. Can’t you write something more original?” That
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Book Party Swag–Tips and ideas for a great book release party

Your book is done–polished, edited and polished one last time. Now you’re ready to celebrate the milestone with family, friends and fans. Here are some tips and ideas, along with photos of my party swag for those of you who desire a physical location for your book release party: *Print materials! Posters, business cards, invitations, flyers, postcards, labels (different types and sizes). Check out you nearest Staples, Office Max, Kinko’s and Office Depot for pricing and specials. I got great deals and savings at Staples. Ink cartridges are pretty pricey, so I wouldn’t suggest that as an option, unless you are
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Active vs. Passive Verbs

When writing fiction, you will want to use active verbs as much as possible. It helps keep the story active and the reader engaged. Do you know the difference between “active” and “passive” verbs? Well, don’t worry, we’re going to discuss them here. In ACTIVE sentences, the thing doing the action is the subject of the sentence and the thing receiving the action is the object. For example: Todd threw the ball to Jane. Thing doing action = Todd Verb = threw Thing receiving action = ball In PASSIVE sentences, the thing receiving the action is the subject of the
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On the Fence–Book Release Parties

Are you on the fence about your book release party choices? We wait, for what seems an eternity, to publish our books online and/or offline. We subject ourselves and our work to grueling hours and the sweat we must pour out for the finished product. But what choices work best for that grand celebration of said work? I have seen many Twitter posts and received lots of online book release party invites. My very first online book party was that of The Ruby Curse by Makayla Yokley. It was an after release party. I had no idea what I was doing, stumbling over Facebook, trying to
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The Least You Should Know about Grammar – Possessives

Possessives can be tricky. Do you add an “s”, do you add an apostrophe? Will the world end if you don’t? I don’t know about you, but if you make a grammar mistake on the Internet, i.e, FaceBook, Lord help you and all you know. So, let’s take a look at writing possessives. The best question to ask yourself is “Who does this belong to?” Or, if you want to be particularly proper, I guess the correct question is “To whom does this belong?” But, I’m not going to hold you to that. Remember, the key word is belong. Who does
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