Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Be Ruthless in Critiquing Yourself... Your Work Will Be Better For It

Writing is a difficult trade which must be learned slowly by reading great authors, by trying at the outset to imitate them, by daring then to be original and by destroying one's first productions. ~~ Andre Maurois
It's the "destroying one's first productions" part of that quote that gets most of us. In my editing, I often find writers in love with certain passages and certain word combinations they've written. And often it's not a case of the writing being bad. It's a case of the writing not working for that piece.

As writers we must be willing to get rid of these passages if they don't work to enhance the book. It's hard. I often hear that they love that part... that they were inspired when they wrote that passage. Inspiration or no, as writers we must be willing to cut what doesn't work...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Novel in 30 Days... some helpful forms.

I've been reading a Writer's Digest publication Write Your Novel in 30 Days. It has lots of good information. Now, I doubt that I could really write a novel in 30 days, except for the rough, rough version as my Nanowrimo novels turn out. But this little publication has some great worksheets in it. Like the story tracker, the story idea map, scene cards, etc. And the beautiful part of it is that they have put them on line in pdf form for all to use.

So, thought I'd pass the link on to you in case you want to use any of them. The link is:
novel forms here.

Have a great day.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Are you worth following on Twitter?

If you decide to participate on Twitter, it's important to know how to be worth following. Without followers, there's little point joining the conversation. Here are some suggestions on how to be worth following:

1. Choose a topic (broad or narrow) and stick with it. You will gain followers based on your topic. By having a well-defined topic, you'll attract people who are interested in that topic. By sticking with the topic, you will prove yourself to be worth following on Twitter.

2. Write tweets that are interesting. Just staying on topic will not make you worth following on Twitter. You must also make your tweets interesting to those following you. You not only want them to follow you, but you want them to tweet back to you and to retweet your tweets. All of this means your tweets must be interesting enough to prompt some interaction from others.

3. Write tweets that are entertaining. Perhaps you don't think that you are on Twitter to entertain others; however, from time to time some humor or entertaining elements are called for. Lighten up a bit occasionally and people will remember you and find you worthy of following.

4. Write and send tweets that are informative. Many people are on Twitter looking for information, so be sure to provide them information that they may be seeking. If all your tweets are about your daily activities, others may grow tired of them. For people to follow you and want to send your information on to others, your tweets must be of value to them.

5. Tweet often enough to keep the interest of your followers but not too often. People are apt to unfollow you if you flood Twitter with many tweets at once. And they will surely unfollow you if those tweets are only about you or your product. Those on Twitter dislike spammers on Twitter as much as they dislike receiving spam in their email.

6. Tweet announcements that are of value to others. For example, people will find you worthy of following on Twitter if you tweet about discounts of value to them or about give-away opportunities.

7. Be generous with your tweets. Send people to other sites by tweeting a link to related websites that you find interesting. Also send people to YouTube or Tweet an interesting picture now and then. And be nice to your followers by retweeting their tweets that you find interesting and by thanking them when they do the same for you.

8. Always make sure your tweets are timely and friendly. People will respond to your tweeting if the tweet tells them something they don't already know and if you approach them in a friendly manner.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Signing... The Zen of Max

Just a note to let you know that I'll be at the Brevard Authors' Book Fair on Saturday, March 26, 2011 with my book The Zen of Max (a memoir of great wisdom and many naps). Sponsored by Authors for Authors Marshall Frank ~ Valerie Allen ~ Holly Vellekoop, 40 authors will be featured at the event.

What: Don't miss the Third Annual Brevard Authors' Book Fair

When: March 26, 2011; time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Where: Central Brevard Library & Reference Center; 308 Forest Ave; Cocoa, FL 32922

In addition there will be talks of interest throughout the day. Here's the schedule for that part of the event...

10:15 Dr. Willie Kimmons ~Inspiration Writing/Speaking
11:00 Dr. Valerie Allen ~Writing for Fun and Profit
11:45 Chef Stuart Borton ~ The Yellow Dog Caf矇 Cookbook
12:30 Marshall Frank ~ From Violins to Violence
1:15 Diane Marcum ~ Travel Writing
2:00 Yvonne Mason ~ Writing Suspense Thrillers

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Creative - Magnified


definition: adj 1. caused to be held in greater esteem 3. intensified or exaggerated 4. enlarged in fact or in appearance

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Surrounding yourself with beautiful things increases creativity. I acted on that premise a couple of weeks ago and bid on having a header designed by Judi of Sammy, Andy and Shelly.

I rarely win anything, but I won the auction item, and now I have a beautiful new header for Writer's Creative Studio. I think it'll make the blog more creative for me and for you.

Today, I just want to use this post to thank Judi for her creativity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Creative - Soul


definition… noun 1. the immaterial essence of an individual life 2. the spiritual principle embodied in human beings or the universe 3. an active or essential part 4. the moral and emotional nature of human beings 5. spiritual or moral force 6. a strong positive feeling (as of intense sensitivity and emotional fervor)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photography as art.

Many art leagues and art galleries grapple with whether photography is considered art. They often leave photography off the list of art accepted into their juried shows. Rather, they think of photography in terms of a medium to use to record and submit their work. Most museums, however, have no qualms about accepting photography as art. Some of the most sought-after exhibits are by famous photographers.

Of course, photography is art. It is creative. It follows the same principles of line, form, color, and composition as art; therefore, it can be judged by the same criteria. The question is not whether photography is art, but what makes photography art?

Photography as art usually stems from the creative vision of the photographer. If the photographer intends to capture a moment in time to document a birthday party or Christmas morning, that photographer will probably create a wonderful photo album to remember that day, but he/she probably won't consider their photography art or even care if anyone else does. However, the fine art photographer considers the camera in the same manner as a painter considers his brush. He envisions the scene before him in the same manner as the painter and captures it for its artistic value.

The medium is not what qualifies the piece as art. It's the end result. And that's what I think on that...

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creative Obsessions

What are your obsessions? Do they help you or hold you back?

I'm obsessed with books. I have too many, but always want more. I gave some thought this week to buying a reader -- a Kindle or Nook or something. But, I have so many books that are waiting to be read, I'm not sure why in the world I would want to buy a device that would make it easier to buy more books. After all, do I have enough years left to read all of them? Don't know the answer to that.

Now, I'm not advocating that people stop buying books -- especially the books that I've written. By all means, buy them, buy them, buy them... I'm just saying that even though I'm not to the point where I need a program to help curb my obsession, I'm lucid enough to warn you that I might need a little intervention some time in the future... you know, if I can't find my way through all the piles of books to the front door... that sort of thing.

For now, I'll face my books... one page at a time.

So... what's your creative obsession?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Creative - Two

definition… not in the dictionary... in this case "two" = double trouble!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Creativity at its best...?

Creativity abounds at Writer's Creative Studio and it's not all mine. My two new kitties are finding new ways each day to make me say, "Really?"

It started with Bugsy thinking that he needed to sit on my back while I work at the computer. Sorry to say, no picture of that -- was just trying to survive it. I quickly learned that you don't want to move and try to shake him off. The little, sharp claws just go in a little deeper.

Then Knuckles in the cupboard taught me about finding a quiet place to take my creativity. And, Knuckles also taught me to reach for the sky (or at least the top of the china cabinet with all I do).

Yes, I'm learning many things, but most of all, life is not predictable these days and that is sparking creativity at the oddest movements.

This weekend I'll be going through some lock-down maneuvers to survive this first year of kitten creativity, but most of all, I'm observing and learning from them.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

KISS... Keep it Short. and Sweet

I did a little surfing this morning to find some blogs to recommend that would spark your creativity and mine. What did I find....? Lots and lots of words. So, I'll get back to you with the list. It's going to take me a little extra reading time to pick out the good ones.

In the process of my search, it hit me that we miss the mark in our blog writing when we go on and on and on. Blogs are at their most effective when you get to the point, nail it, and end it. As writers, it difficult for us to stop without tacking on just one more paragraph. But, people who read blogs will be most appreciative if you can restrain yourself.

Have a great day... oops... I did it too. I just had to add this ending and it wasn't needed. Ta Da!