Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Links of Interest

RESEARCH TIPS:


TEN COMMON WRITING MISTAKES:


COPYRIGHT, WHAT IS FAIR USE?


CREATING YOUR VILLAIN:


IS IT TIME FOR FEEDBACK ON YOUR WRITING?


WRITING A BETTER SEQUEL:


FINDING THE RIGHT EDITOR:


USING CREATESPACE TO PUBLISH IN PAPER:


FIXING THE STEREOTYPE CHARACTER:


WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU CHOOSE YOUR SETTING:


LITERARY DEVICES USED IN WRITING:


BECOMING YOUR OWN BOOK DOCTOR:


HOW TO PROMOTE WITHOUT BEING PUSHY:


FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR WRITERS:


UNDERWRITING:


BOOKSIGNING CHEAT SHEET:


HOW TO CREATE A FREE 3-D BOOK COVER:


THE TITLE INFORMATION SHEET AND THE AUDIENCE INFO SHEET:


THE DEVELOPMENTAL OR CONTENT EDITOR’S JOB:



Monday, August 31, 2015

Author Wills

When my mom died a few years ago, one of her final caring gifts to the family was a huge folder filled with absolutely everything we would need to go forward with her cremation, funeral service, and the probating and closing of her estate.  

She had even written a rough draft of her obituary and the hymns and Bible verses she wanted at her service so we knew we were giving her the send off she wanted.  

Most of us with families already have our wills in order, but, as a writer, do you have a plan for your books after you die? 

Have you included instructions about your writing in your will? Or have you filled out an addenda to your will containing details about your writing? 

Some things you may want to consider are 

What do you want to happen to your books and "name" after you die. 

Do you want others to write books using your name? 

Do you want someone to finish whatever books you didn't finish? 

Do you want books you wrote years ago to be pulled out and sold? 

Do you want your notes and drafts sold or given to a university or a collector? 

Do you want someone to maintain your promotions (website, etc.) while your books are in print?

Do you want a special executor just for your writing? Most established authors name their literary agent or literary lawyer as special executor to their writing estate because writing is so specialized that people not in the business haven't a clue. 

Here's a really excellent blog on the subject by Neil Gaiman which includes a PDF form that writers can use to explain their wishes on their works.


If you already have a will, I’d use this form as an addenda to your will since it revokes previous wills.  As Gaiman said, talk to your lawyer.

And while you are doing all this, remember what my mom did for us and build a large folder that includes copies of all  your publishing contracts, website contracts, passwords, and all the other things you need to manage your professional career.  And keep your files in order, too, to save your family from having to sort through the useless junk to find the important things. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Links of Interest

CREATING THE SPECIFICS OF A SCENE:


SELLING DIRECTLY FROM YOUR WEBSITE:


BOOK BY BOOK MARKETING:


FOCUSING YOUR BIO IN GUEST POSTS:


SOCIAL MEDIA, WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN’T:


THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY AND INNER CONFLICT:


YOUR BRAIN ON READING, A SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT HOW YOUR BRAIN REACTS TO CASUAL VERSUS INTENSE READING:


WHEN THE PROTAGONIST AND THE MAIN CHARACTER AREN’T THE SAME PERSON:


WRITING A PHYSICALLY SICK CHARACTER:


USING TWITTER TO FIND REVIEWERS:


TROUBLE ENDING THAT SCENE?


BRINGING OUT VOICE VIA THE OUTLINE:


GETTING RID OF BANAL DIALOGUE:


KILLING OFF THAT VILLAIN THE RIGHT WAY:


GOALS, THEY’RE NOT JUST FOR THE FULL STORY ARC:


CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST AUTHOR SOLUTIONS HAS BEEN SETTLED:


WHAT THE COLORS ON OUR COVERS SAY:



Monday, August 24, 2015

Are You Ready for a Writer Emergency?


A bit of advice I want to emphasis here is that, even if you aren’t in the path of a storm or other disaster, your Internet provider or the company which hosts your website, blog, or whatever may be, and your content may be lost forever if you don’t back up elsewhere.  

Most blog sites, etc., offer a means of backup in their control sections so make use of that service NOW.

Marilynn


Are you, as a writer, ready for bad weather or emergencies?

Preparing for bad weather can be as simple as having a storm alert radio that will cut on when dangerous weather approaches so you can shut down your computer before lightning fries it. The storm alert radio, also, doesn't interfere with writing like a regular radio for those of us who like to work in quiet. 

Are your computer and peripherals plugged into an alternate power source (APS) so it won't be damaged or your current work lost if the power goes out?   (An APS is like a power strip, but it includes a recharging battery that cuts on when the power cuts off so you have a few minutes to save documents and cut off your computer properly.)

Most alternate power source makers claim an APS with a surge protector will protect your computer and peripherals from lightning, but nothing will protect electronics from a close lightning hit. A good friend lost everything when lightning hit a transformer over a block away, and he had high-end surge protectors and an APS system. 

The safest thing to do is unplug everything, including the APS. 

Also remember to unplug your modem from the electricity and your computer. 

If you have a laptop as well as a desktop, you need to keep it charged to use during bad weather so keep it plugged in, but remember to unplug it, as well, when a storm comes. 

If you want to keep working through bad weather, remember to save a copy of your work to a flash disk, CD, or whatever to move your work to your laptop so you can continue to work. Or sync your work with WiFi.  

Weather preparation isn't just for a short summer or winter storm. It's for major disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wild fires. Always have a back-up copy of all your works in another location, or, better yet, several locations.

In the days before I wrote by computer, I had paper copies of my books at my home, my mom's beach house, and my brother's home near Charlotte. Despite being in different parts of the state, all three homes were damaged by Hurricane Hugo, but the manuscripts stayed safe. That experience has reaffirmed my determination to keep copies of my manuscripts and important papers elsewhere.

These days, I also keep a flash disk copy of my books and other digital documents in my safety deposit box at the bank so I can keep my updates recent. A flash disk or drive, if you're not familiar with the term, is one of those tiny storage units you plug directly into your USB or Firewire connection on your computer or iPod.  

You can also store your works and your computer contents online at storage sites, but as recent outages and disasters have proven, online or “in the cloud” shouldn’t be your only storage solution.  

It's always a good idea to have an emergency bag or briefcase for your writing partially packed and ready to go in case you need to get out fast because of an approaching hurricane or wild fire. 

Things to keep in this bag include a power plug for your laptop and an updated flash drive. Also include copies of current book contracts as well as notes, etc., of what you are working with at the time.   A paper list of all your passwords is another must.

It would also be prudent to have a recent complete copy of your computer drive in case your home computer is destroyed.

If you use an external hard drive as a backup, you can pack this up very carefully.  (Motion can damage desktop innards.)  Some external hard drives are made specifically to move about so they are a safer alternative.

This bag is also a good place to store a copy of your house and car insurance, pictures of your valuables, etc., in case disaster strikes. Also include a CD with copies of your favorite family pictures, etc., in case the worst happens, and there's no home to return to.

Make a list of the last minute things you will need to pack and stick that in the front of the bag. When emergencies happen, we tend to forget the most basic things so that list will be well worth the time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Links of Interest

WRITING BACK COVER COPY:


SELLING MORE BOOKS AT AUTHOR EVENTS:


NEW LISTSERV FOR SELF-PUBBED CHILDREN’S AUTHORS:


MAKING DIALOGUE SOUND REAL:


CREATING THE PERFECT AUTHOR PHOTO:


CREATING A YOUTUBE BOOK TRAILER:


REWRITING THE BOOK STRUCTURE:


USING SETTING TO ITS FULLEST POTENTIAL:


BOOK CONTRACT NEGOTIATION:


WHAT AN EDITOR WANTS IN A FIGHT SCENE:


THE DANGER OF NEW IDEAS DISTRACTING YOU FROM YOUR CURRENT WORK:


USING THE BETA READER:


COPY AND LINE EDITING:


SELF PUBS, HOW TO FIND A GOOD EDITOR:


WORKING AGAINST SETTING IMPLICATIONS ADDS TENSION:





Monday, August 17, 2015

Shapeshifters and Body Mass

If your shapeshifter creatures are real, not magic, one problem you need to consider is the physical logistics. If a man can change into a mouse and back to a man, can the mouse weight less than a pound and a man weight much more?

In a magical fantasy, that is acceptable since magic by its nature defies the laws of nature and physics, but if you've created a real race of werewolves that exist in this world with its natural laws, you can't make the weight go away and come back.

According to the laws of physics, mass can be lost, but it can't be regained in a closed system.

If a man turns into a wolf, the wolf will weigh just a little less than the man weighed because some of the weight was burned off as the energy needed to make the physical change. Think of it as the energy equivalent of running a marathon. To change back into the man, even more energy would be burned.

The question of mass makes for interesting possibilities in a story. In my short story, "The Werewolf Whisperer," the protagonist is trapped in wolf form in an animal shelter. The only way out of the shelter requires his being neutered. The change from wolf to man heals most injuries, but it can't replace lost mass. If he's neutered as a wolf, he will be neutered as a human.

My protagonist definitely doesn't want that to happen so he must find another way out of the shelter.

Here's other interesting questions to consider in your stories. If mass is burned in the change, and the wolf or man is totally lean with nothing in his stomach, where will the burned mass come from?

Doesn't that mean that somehow the wolf must have a full stomach before the change comes, or he could die of starvation, be very weak from loss of muscle, or be crippled somehow?

If a man changes into a dragon, how big will his wings have to be to handle an adult human male's weight?


As I said, interesting possibilities. Logical worldbuilding offers more interesting possibilities than sloppy worldbuilding ever will. Take the extra effort to think out all aspects of your creatures' existence, and you'll have a better story.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Links of Interest

FINDING A CHARACTER’S BLIND SPOT AND USING IT AGAINST HIM:


INDIE PUBLISHING, FIGURING OUT YOUR GOAL:


MASTERFUL WORD CHOICES:


CRAFTING A GREAT ENDING:


CRAFTING PLOT:


AMAZING INTERNAL DIALOGUE:


THE PROS AND CONS OF BOOK GIVEAWAYS:


SETTING AS CHARACTER IN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY:


TEN TIPS FOR WRITING FICTION:


THE THREE POINT PLOT STRUCTURE:


USING A STYLE MANUAL:


USING INTERNAL DIALOGUE:


USING PINTEREST TO ATTRACT READERS TO YOUR SITE:


A HISTORY OF ZOMBIES IN FICTION: