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Top 27 Mispronounced Words

How many common words are you mispronouncing? Find out! Good Mythical Morning Season 2 Episode 14! **** SUBSCRIBE for daily episodes: http://bit.ly/subrl
Judith van Praag's insight:
Add depth to your characters' speech by letting them make specific mistakes. Mispronunciation speaks for itself!

I've been ironing from the time I learned to sew my dolls' clothes, I'd say I was eight or nine. My mom taught me about steam and pressing. I knew how to iron well, if I may say so. Growing up in the Netherlands the act was called "strijken" to stroke.

No wonder I don't know how to say ironing in English, right? An American friend who teaches English as Second Language didn't understand me when I said I had to iron my sheets. I thought she was pointing out I wasted my time, but she just didn't get what I was saying.

Like many other Dutch women (according to a Dutch journalist) I like ironing. I wouldn't say it's my hobby, but there's something soothing, and calming about seeing wrinkles disappear. I explained this to the ESL teacher. 

Oh, [i-oning] she said. You're mispronouncing it. Don't say the "r". 
The way we don't say the "l" in sa-mon and the second "l" in Lin-con?
Exactly, she said.

Later that day I asked my Texan husband why he never corrected me when I said ironing with an "r". 
Because there's nothing wrong with saying it that way, he said. 

Mind you, this is the guy who taught me how to speak American English by having me repeat "Lyndon Baines Johnson" and "Ladybird Johnson" keeping my lips together. The way West Texans speak to keep sand out of their mouth, he said.

We concluded the students of our ESL teacher friend would be speaking like true New Jerseyans by the end of their class. 

Now listen to the guys of Mythical Morning. They're fun, and funny, and you may pick up a thing or two, or figure out where these guys hail from. They are such characters!
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NaNo Wrap-Up: Beat Sheets 101

NaNo Wrap-Up: Beat Sheets 101 | Write On! | Scoop.it
Now is the time of year when thousands of writers look at their NaNoWriMo story and think: Yay! Okay, now what? (Or if you’re like me, you’re still drafting the denouement for the final scene, but I’m close to finishing. *smile*)
Judith van Praag's insight:
Honestly, merely looking at these beat sheets makes me nervous. Don't know whether that makes me a "pantser" (flying by the seat of your pants while writing), or what?

I'll take a look at the graph another time. Could be that it's right up my alley. The title NaNo Write-Up doesn't scare me half as much. Counting words of scenes (I call sections when writing like a fiend), might help see if there's to much weight here, and there, while other places are in need of more action. 
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What's in a Name? Naming Your Characters

What's in a Name? Naming Your Characters | Write On! | Scoop.it
By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy Shakespeare said it best, and names carry a lot of weight in a novel. They're often the first thing w
Judith van Praag's insight:
Take a look at alternatives for John. Enough said. 
Except, major kudos for Janice Hardy & Co for the non-stop supply of worthwhile writerly tips!
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Teen faces jail time for swearing near elderly woman

Teen faces jail time for swearing near elderly woman | Write On! | Scoop.it
A Louisiana teen is facing jail time for allegedly dropping the f-bomb in front of an elderly woman.

Jared Smith, 18, was busted last week for disturbing the peace in West Monroe, Louisiana, according to a Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office arrest report.

Officers said that Smith shouted "f--k" while standing near a 75-year-old woman in a residential area. There were no witnesses of the April 8 incident.

“While standing next to my 75-year-old complainant, Jared yelled the word 'f--k' and clearly disturbed her peace,” an officer wrote in the report.

Smith reportedly denied yelling the expletive.

He was booked at Ouachita Correctional Center and released on $200 bail.

If convicted, Smith faces up to 90 days in jail and could be fined $100.
Judith van Praag's insight:
He's got a hickey, a sensual mouth, a good head of hair, and bedroom eyes, perhaps. And he said the f-word out loud in a residential area. 
Somehow this makes me think of my aunt Phie, my mom's elder sister. She told me not to say "Jezus" out loud. You may offend people who don't like you to use His name as a curse, she said. What about "Jeetje" [Yay-tjah]?
The diminutive made her smile. 

Years later, or by now decades ago, I was impressed when a little boy in a Texas elementary school told me his name was Hey Zeus. What an unusual name, I've never heard that before, I said. 
He was flabbergasted. You've never heard of Hey Zeus?
No.
He shook his head.
Why don't you write it down for me? I said.
He printed Jesus on a piece of paper.
Ah, Jezus, I said. Of course, now I see what you're saying.
He sighed with relieve. 
I felt saved, vindicated even.

Perhaps the old lady and the sheriff thought the boy in the picture needed saving. 
WTF?
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Cursive Writing Illustrates What's Written Between the Lines 

Cursive Writing Illustrates What's Written Between the Lines  | Write On! | Scoop.it
Children are not taught handwriting anymore, and that’s a shame. Cursive is part of who we are, a bridge to history.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Google "Cursive Writing and brain function", and a myriad of articles pops up: 
Write Cursive fro Brain Development | Dyslexia ...
Why Writing by Hand Could Make You Smarter ...
The Scientific Case For Teaching Cursive Handwriting to Kids ...
(never mind that kids are offspring of goats).
What Learning Cursive Does for Your Brain ...

Beverly Beckham's article takes me back to the classrooms of my youth. Like Beckham I experienced changes in teaching methods each time my family moved. 
In Amsterdam the letters were drawn upright, first in pencil, and after that in ballpoint. At the elementary school in Bakkeveen, up north in Friesland, and later at Steenbergen, in Drenthe, we were taught cursive. 

As 1st and 2nd graders, together in one classroom, we used only pencils. Third graders graduated to pen & ink. Flawless writing was rewarded with the privilege of writing with a different color than the usual black from the well in our wooden desk. We got to dip our nibs in small bottles containing red, green, or purple ink. As far as I can remember there was no blue. My notebooks were filled with colored ink. 

My mother's handwriting was more ornate than mine, the swirls of her capitals took up more space, and didn't change, not until Alzheimer's took away the ability to write. 

In my thirties, tired of perfect, yet in my eyes uncharacteristic penmanship, I changed some capitals, and personalized lower case f and g. 
After coming to America I practiced writing number 8 the way Americans do, starting with the curve at the top, ending with a, to my European sensibility, slightly cavalier stroke, not quite bringing beginning and end together. By comparison the Dutch pretzel eight seems more controlled, missing "schwung".

After my right arm froze in 2001, ironically, yes, on 9/11, I could no longer write by hand without pain. A ganglion on my wrist could have been operated on, but I decided to settle for typing. Thumbing texts on my iPhone toom the place of taking notes in spiral booklets. The benefit was obvious, synced writing made for organic transmission to the larger page.

I'm glad I had decades of handwriting before I could not longer hold, even a fountain pen. I'm sure my brain benefitted from writing cursive. I'm sure watching the ink dry on paper benefited the Flow. 

What I miss most from having to make do with letters popping up on the screen is the emotion that speaks from handwriting. No matter the method, letters adjust to my mood, from well rounded, to scrawny, or uptight perfectly drawn, they illustrate what's written between the lines. 


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What Is the Oxford Comma and Why Do People Care So Much About It?

What Is the Oxford Comma and Why Do People Care So Much About It? | Write On! | Scoop.it
The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of things. For example: Please bring me a pencil, eraser, and notebook.
Judith van Praag's insight:
"I love my parents, Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty."
If that doesn't win you over for using the Oxford Comma, I don't know what will. 
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9 Screenwriting Truths Learned the Hard Way in Hollywood - ScreenCraft

9 Screenwriting Truths Learned the Hard Way in Hollywood - ScreenCraft | Write On! | Scoop.it
ScreenCraft's Ken Miyamoto chronicles nine personal examples of screenwriting lessons that he learned the hard way in Hollywood.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Book publishers look for writers who have more than one book in them. Same is true for film makers. 
Says who? Says Ken Minamoto. 
You'll want to read the whole post, but pay extra attention to Tip #5 

So when you finish that first script, don’t even market it. Don’t even try to get representation. Don’t even send it out to anyone. I implore you. No matter how good it may be. Stop. Write some more. Get at least three great scripts in your deck. Then take them all out.
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Charlie Dare's curator insight, February 4, 6:17 AM
This is a good idea..'Book publishers look for writers who have more than one book in them. Same is true for film makers. Says who? Says Ken Minamoto. You'll want to read the whole post, but pay extra attention to Tip #5 So when you finish that first script, don’t even market it. Don’t even try to get representation. Don’t even send it out to anyone. I implore you. No matter how good it may be. Stop. Write some more. Get at least three great scripts in your deck. Then take them all out.'
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100 best opening lines from children's books

100 best opening lines from children's books | Write On! | Scoop.it
Revisit the most memorable and gripping opening sentences of 100 essential children's books.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! 
You know a winner when you see one. 
Merely spotting the cover of the book you hear Dick van Dyke singing the title song of the movie.

The book has a great opening line, right? Otherwise it wouldn't be among the 100 on the stylist's website. 

I'd like to agree, but unfortunately I stumble over Ian Fleming's explanation of the word conglomeration. Sure, it's helpful that he adds between parentheses that it's a long word for bundles. 

A bundle of steel, wire, rubber and plastic I can picture, but electricity, oil, gasoline, and water? Eh ... the moment I stumble, I stop reading, I'm trying to picture what I read. Does it make sense? This is not merely the editor in me, this is the truly engaged reader, who finds something jarring on the page.

The words: "Toffee papers pushed down the crack in the back seat" however, draw me right back in. 
With that line, Fleming zaps me back to my childhood, reading adventures stories in my chair next to the woodturning stove. I even imagine tasting caramels and vanilla toffees I sucked while enjoying a good story.

As a reader I like to forget there's an author behind the words and sentences, I like to get lost in the story, transported to another world, or perhaps to my own youth. And thus I love authors who are careful editors, who take out the road blocks and stumbling stones. 
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On Selling Your First Novel After Umpteen Years

On Selling Your First Novel After Umpteen Years | Write On! | Scoop.it
Min Jin Lee
Judith van Praag's insight:
Eleven years, eh? 
Kudos for Min Jin Lee, she did it! Her post makes for compelling reading, she had a lot to deal with.

The link came to me via Facebook and writer Jeffery Renard Allen at his writer's retreat in Dublin, Ireland. How long did it take him to publish Rails Under My Back? Don't know, but he did get his MFA in Creative Writing, and that can help writers in in making connections.

10,000+ hours is what it takes to become a real good writer. 

Ten years is what Dorothy Alison told us, participants of her workshop at the Centrum Port Townsend Conference, ten years to write a book. Or did she say to get it published? I don't remember. 

Two years, that's how long it takes before your book comes out after it's been sold. 

I hold on to the memory of writers who started publishing at a mature age. Authors such as Frank McCourt and Mary Wesley. He published his memoir, Angela's Ashes when he was 60. Wesley published two children's books in 1969 at age 57. But she only became really prolific after her first adult novel was published in1983, when she was 71. 

Imagine how many thousands of hours they put in! Imagine the material they'd penned before they were ready to publish!

There's hope for late bloomers!


 
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What To Know Before You Submit: 28 Great Tweeted Tips from Literary Agents 

What To Know Before You Submit: 28 Great Tweeted Tips from Literary Agents  | Write On! | Scoop.it

(This is Part 1 of a three-part series to kickstart your awesome 2017. Part 2 is a roundup of query letter submission tips, and Part 3 is a list of literar...)

Judith van Praag's insight:
Need a literary agent? 
For starters, check out Chuck Sambuchino's Guide To Literary Agents Blog. 
The tweets collected in the linked post are filled with excellent advice what to do before you address an agent.
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Helpful Articles about Author Earnings - Income

Judith van Praag's insight:
Helpful articles for writers who e-publish and are not dependent on major publishing houses. 
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Great grammar tips: 7 reliable resources for writers | Now Novel

Great grammar tips: 7 reliable resources for writers | Now Novel | Write On! | Scoop.it
Great grammar gives your writing power. The author Joan Didion once said ‘Grammar is a piano I play by ear… All I know about grammar is its infinite power. To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning …
Judith van Praag's insight:
As an ESL writer my weakness is my strength, when in doubt I learned to look up how to spell, how to punctuate; when and where to place a comma, semicolon, or an apostrophe. 
In my native Dutch language, plural of a noun is created by using an apostrophe, in English it's not. 
Writing for the American market, I had to learn not to use British spelling, unless it's important to show the difference. And so on and so forth. 
Writers read, for craft, and entertainment. 
Writers, read for craft & entertainment!
Writers: Read for craft, and entertainment. 
Include grammar books and articles, it's all for the better.
And if you don't agree, please post a comment!
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Writing Consultant

Writing Consultant | Write On! | Scoop.it
SERVICES PROVIDED: Primarily, my clients include writers of poetry who have full-length manuscripts (~9,000 words) or chapbook-length manuscripts (~3,000 words) that would benefit from an expert’s advice on how to prepare it for publication. On a case-by-case basis, I can also be available to fiction and nonfiction writers, including scientists and researchers. My rate is…
Judith van Praag's insight:
Are you a poet & writer with a book length manuscript? Ready to have your work evaluated by an expert who values the right word as  much as you do? Jane Baugher is the word smith you may wish to consult before publication. 
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8 Essential Elements for Writer Websites - Writers Market Blog

8 Essential Elements for Writer Websites - Writers Market Blog | Write On! | Scoop.it
When it comes to finding success as a writer, there are few elements (outside the actual writing, of course) more important than a website. This post shares eight essential elements for writer websites to find more success. #1: About Page … More »
Judith van Praag's insight:
Thirteen years ago my website dutchessabroad.com went live. Initially I saw the site as a place to tell my professional story. How I got from A to B, an illustrated narrative of my CV.

Around the same time I started to blog. HopeFilledJars was and is a catch all. Wanting to be taken seriously as a journalist, I didn't write for free, and posted just a bit of this, a bit of that. 

Linkedin and Twitter proved to be better for making connections than my website or blog, even if the latter showed my versatility. As it turns out, versatility isn't really that interesting to people. 

Internet users are looking for a certain something. As a blogger, you do good to focus on a certain something so people will find you, and follow you. Give 'em something they need!

Lately the people who seem best at finding me are web designers who offer to redesign my ailing site. Necessary? Possibly. Any home can do with a clean-up and renovation. 

Robert Lee Brewer's post is a timely wake-up call. 
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Resurrect a Forgotten Manuscript | WritersDigest.com

Resurrect a Forgotten Manuscript | WritersDigest.com | Write On! | Scoop.it
Sometimes timing really is everything. Here’s why—and how—the key to moving ahead with your writing might just be to look behind you.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Writer, writer, this may be your lucky day. Got a first draft somewhere on your computer? Got a printed version of your manuscript stuck between frozen dinners in the freezer? Got time, scissors, post-its, 3x5 cards, a flat surface? 

Stuart Horwitz will guide you in the ancient art of separating scenes by cutting them apart. Cutting them apart and glueing them together. Possibly some of your precious lines will wind up on the floor. So be it.

Make sure you have another copy of your work saved, before you start tearing scenes apart. Please, do have several other copies, saved on thumb drives, on discs, on a Cloud of your liking, or several Clouds for that matter. 

Writing is re-writing, editing often means cutting, finishing  re-visioning. Read up on what Stuart Horwitz has to offer.
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Please Don’t Talk About Your Book by Barbara Dee

Please Don’t Talk About Your Book by Barbara Dee | Write On! | Scoop.it
"Barbara? Can I please speak to you a minute? In private?" Teacher X was beckoning me to the back of the auditorium. It was the end of the break after my second author talk. I had already spoken to 120 sixth graders. Three sessions (and 180 more kids) to go. A few months before, I'd…
Judith van Praag's insight:
Barbara Dee thought of four multiple choice reactions to the teacher's request. Could you, would you, think of a fifth possibility? 
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Register for Non Fiction Writers Conference NFWC 2017

Register for Non Fiction Writers Conference NFWC 2017 | Write On! | Scoop.it

LIVE ACCESS GOLD ACCESS PLATINUM ACCESS PLATINUM+ AUTHORITY VIP MEMBERSHIP
Listen to all live sessions via phone or Skype, participate in Ask a Pro sessions. Listen to live sessions, participate in Ask a Pro sessions, plus receive all event recordings and participate in our attendees-only LinkedIn group. Listen to live sessions, participate in Ask a Pro sessions, plus receive all event recordings AND typed transcripts. Participate in our attendees-only LinkedIn group. *HOT DEAL*
Platinum access benefits plus 1-year Authority membership in the Nonfiction Authors Association. See benefits below. Platinum access benefits plus 1-year VIP membership in the Nonfiction Authors Association. See benefits below.
$125 $225 $325 $385 $490
Judith van Praag's insight:
For those of us who've got their seats glued to their chairs in a serious fashion, here's NFWC 2017. No need to travel from your office or arm chair, teleseminars come to you, wherever you are.

For $125 you can attend live sessions and Ask A Pro.
Realize that you can't attend all sessions at the same time? Get the one up for $225 you'll get recordings and access to Linkedin group. Add a 100 bucks and for $325 you'll get typed transcripts as well! 
For $385 you get all before mentioned plus 1-year Platinum Authority membership in the Nonfiction Authors Association. $490 will buy you everything already mentioned, plus 1-year VIP membership. 
Click on the link to find out what that entails, and for the whole three day program. 
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Pixar's 22 Rules of Great Storytelling - Peter Russell Script Doctor

Pixar's 22 Rules of Great Storytelling - Peter Russell Script Doctor | Write On! | Scoop.it
Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the …
Judith van Praag's insight:
In real life serendipity leads the way, some call it coincidence, I call it fate. With "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," John Lennon served us (or his Beautiful Boy) a double entendre of the highest rank. Should you plan, or should you not, should you Let it Be, or let it happen? Are you losing out if you do one or the other? 

Give the question or problem to the universe, and the answer, or the solution, will present it self. 

We don't hear what's being said, until we're ready for the information. This is true on many levels. 

Today, while running errands and stuffing laundry in machines at the laundromat, I had a revelation regarding a shelved novel I drafted in 2010. 
Cut the favorite scenes, they don't belong. Get rid of the marvelous gimmick that introduces your MC to his love interest. Maybe you can use it for the opening scene in the screenplay, while the credits run, but not in the novel. You've got to cut to the chase. 

Next thing I know I'm listening to Peter Russell talking about an unfamiliar acronym, Googling what it means, and Bingo! There's his site, and here is Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling, and Number 5 tells me I'm on the right track. 

Call it coincidence, call it serendipity, call it: Are you still reading about craft? 
I call it timely, and yes, fate. 
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Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft

Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft | Write On! | Scoop.it

Investigate the myriad ways we think about, talk about, and write sentences. In Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft, Professor Brooks Landon from the University of Iowa and —one of the nation's top writing schools— shows you the pleasure in reading and writing great sentences. Explore the stylistic rewards (and risks) of various sentence forms, learn how to build and appreciate effective and elegant sentences, get unique insights into the nature of great writing —and discover how you can achieve some of this greatness yourself.

Judith van Praag's insight:
Although I can't remember his speaking voice, I know my papa had the gift of gab. I know he drew people in with his storytelling. And I know I take after him. 
My mama liked to say that her mother spiced her speech with proverbs and sayings. 
While both grew up within Amsterdam's city center, my mother's voice was distinctly different from my father's. She was the daughter of a French governess, and a bank clerk, my father of diamond workers who traveled back and forth between Amsterdam and Antwerp for the trade. 
The two of them taught me by example how to play with words for effect. Intonation, direction, class distinctions, I learned to detect them all. Syntax was important, as was context, not to forget dialect or the lack thereof. 
They taught me to use my senses to take in the world, each teaching me words with special meaning.
Because of my early learning, I'm a little fearful of lessons that teach you how a sentence works. What if I won't be able to fly my own way? Perhaps this is the way to go. Perhaps it's not. The description of the items you'll find on the website look enticing enough. 
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10 Top Tips on How to Write a Novel Based on Your Life Story | Self-Publishing Advice Center

10 Top Tips on How to Write a Novel Based on Your Life Story | Self-Publishing Advice Center | Write On! | Scoop.it
Self-published writers are often told to "Write what you know but don't tell your life story". Novelist Helena Halme disagrees - and shows how to do it well.
Judith van Praag's insight:
The first advice I got about Turning Life Into Fiction was from Robin Hemley. He wrote the book. And that's not a joke. Although it could be, but he did, both turning fiction into life and writing the book with that title. 

Auto Fiction is what it's called these days. Short for Autobiographical Fiction. 

Turning memoir into fiction isn't as easy as it sounds. It's your own story, and therefor you're more likely to be stuck on "...but that's how it happened!"

Helena Halme suggest writing in third rather than from first person point of view. But merely doing thatis not the solution to the problem. You have to let go of certain details. 

Don't worry though, you'll get others in exchange. When you're able to let go of what really happened, you open the gate to new possibilities. Imagine that. 
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Be inspired: 100 best opening lines from children's books

Be inspired: 100 best opening lines from children's books | Write On! | Scoop.it
Revisit the most memorable and gripping opening sentences of 100 essential children's books.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Today, the beginning of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland might be seen as a run-on sentence: one with commas and colons, brimming with information, perhaps to much for modern children (or adults) who can't stay focused on anything for long. 
Yet it works! 

Long sentences can draw you in closely, like the smell of fresh baked rolls will guide you to the bakery. Long sentences rock! Sometimes, that is. 

By the way, I posted the cover illustration of my copy of Alice's adventures. 
Inside I wrote with pen and ink: 
Dit boek is van Judith van Praag
van papa en mama 
op 5 dec 1965
This means the book was a Sinterklaas gift I received less then a month after I turned ten. 

M. Buwalda was the translator.
The talented Italian Libico Maraja (1912-1983) signed for the illustrations. I was in love and am still enamored by the images. Later, when I studied stage design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and my class designed costumes for the amateur theater company Toetssteen, the cook as depicted by Maraja served as inspiration for a costume I designed and built.
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How to Start Your Novel

How to Start Your Novel | Write On! | Scoop.it
By Chuck Sambuchino One of the most common reasons why agents and editors stop reading sample pages is simply that the story starts too slow. Gone are the days when a book could “get good on page 12.” We also can no longer compare our writing to classic works or even books written 30 years…
Judith van Praag's insight:
The times they are a changing. Where to start your story. Speed it up a bit. Chuck "Writing Tip Meister" Sambuchino uses True Lies by James Cameron to show how great opening scenes in a movie do not make for a compelling start of a novel. 
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What Should Authors Expect to Earn? – She Writes

What Should Authors Expect to Earn? – She Writes | Write On! | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:
What's the difference between a "legacy" and a "career" writer? Read all about (and shudder) it in Brooke Warner's clear expose. 
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Why Stephen King Spends 'Months and Even Years' Writing Opening Sentences

Why Stephen King Spends 'Months and Even Years' Writing Opening Sentences | Write On! | Scoop.it
The author of horror classics like The Shining and its 2013 sequel Doctor Sleep says the best writers hook their readers with voice, not just action.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Enjoy the article? Read Stephen King's Memoir of the Craft: On Writing. Interesting for all readers. The 5 w's, Who, What, When, Why (does it matter), Where, provide insight in the writer's life. Priceless for writers. 
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WRITERS: Don’t let the 1% factor stop you

WRITERS: Don’t let the 1% factor stop you | Write On! | Scoop.it
We’ve all heard the horror stories of your abysmal odds making it from slush pile to published author. If you haven’t, allow me to frighten you with some stats from the Web: Agents get …
Judith van Praag's insight:
I agree with Tawnya Showalter's headline, but other than that? At times it seems that another kind of slush feeds the myriad of mediocre books that line shelves real or virtual.

I'm a writer and editor, not by nature, I learned from the best, and the worst. The latter are not necessarily manuscripts that writers share for feedback, developmental- or line editing, but books published too soon. Too much content could do with another round of revisiting, re-visioning, and re-writing. 

Re-writing. Yes, the secret of excellent writing is re-writing. 

True, a wish for perfection has killed many a good idea, but going by the number of underdeveloped, inconsistent, badly written books, many promising manuscripts go to print too soon, without quality control. The editors of yore, who took pride in helping an author shine on the page, are hard to find. 

Those who work for today's publishing houses may have the right credentials, they're forced to operate in the first place like marketing and business specialists. I wonder how they sleep at night, claiming they love a book that would not have passed their scrutiny before. 

This said, if you're a writer, keep on keeping on, put your passion to work, do the best you can. And then have an unaffiliated editor give your manuscript the once over. You and your readers deserve the best! 
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