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Anne R. Allen's Blog: The Laws of the (Amazon) Jungle—Eight Rules Authors Need to Know to Stay Safe

Anne R. Allen's Blog: The Laws of the (Amazon) Jungle—Eight Rules Authors Need to Know to Stay Safe | Write On! | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:

No need to tell you about bullying, on the Internet or In Real Life, right? Still, if you're unprepared as a writer/ author you may get your feelings hurt real bad. After all it's realistic to expect 50/50 love/hate responses to your book/baby. Baby? Yes, to authors their books are their babies. Attacking one's book may be perceived as being personally attacked.

 

And at any rate: Critique does not equal attack.

 

Read and prepare.

 

Be aware.

 

 

 

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James Alan McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer, Dies at 72

James Alan McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer, Dies at 72 | Write On! | Scoop.it
“At first the words, without pictures, were a mystery,” he wrote in a memoir, “Going Up to Atlanta.” “But then, suddenly, they all began to march across the page. They gave up their secret meanings, spoke of other worlds, made me know that pain was a part of other peoples’ lives. After a while, I could read faster and faster and faster. After a while, I no longer believed in the world in which I lived.”
Judith van Praag's insight:
RIP James Alan McPherson. This eulogy made me burst into tears. Yes, his life story touches me, yes, I'm sad he was only 72, Yes, only a year older than my dad when he died.
But why does reading about his death open the emotional flood gates?

There you have it in the caption below the portrait of a younger McPherson. While learning how to read books without pictures, James Alan McPherson "...no longer believed in the world in which I lived."

Yesterday, baffled by the title "The Right Way to Bribe Kids to Read" of KJ Dell'Antonia's article, I jotted above the headline, "The reward of reading is being transported to other places."

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WILDsound - Monthly Writing and Screenplay Festival

WILDsound - Monthly Writing and Screenplay Festival | Write On! | Scoop.it
WILDsound - Monthly Writing and Screenplay Festival
Judith van Praag's insight:
Say What? Love to see words in print I usually don't post on social media. Have something to share, take it to WILDsound, you'll be heard. 
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Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialogue | WritersDigest.com

Rewriting the 7 Rules of Dialogue | WritersDigest.com | Write On! | Scoop.it
Understand why and how to break these 7 common rules about writing dialogue, and you’ll write more effective, nuanced and engaging character conversations.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Steven James nails the exceptions to the rules. Yet, remember, you've got to know the rules before you can break them.
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8 Tips to Writing Unreliable Narrators | WritersDigest.com

8 Tips to Writing Unreliable Narrators | WritersDigest.com | Write On! | Scoop.it
Unreliable narrators have been admired by readers and writer alike since Holden Caulfield set the gold standard—and they’re more popular than ever in today’s bestsellers. Here are 8 reliable ways to make your characters just unreliable enough to keep readers guessing.
Judith van Praag's insight:
So I'd never heard about Deb Caletti, but thanks to her excellent post on unreliable narrators I'm on to her, pun intended. Not only does she nail the many ways narrators can trip the reader (in a good way), I love the examples she gives of books I've read or am interested in. I remember discussing The Dinner with members of the Pacific Northwest Nederlandstalige Boekenclub or PNNB (not to be mistaken for PNB - the Ballet) and how I introduced them to the concept known as unreliable narrator. I hope Writers Digest paid her well for that article, for it's worth every buck, many times over. This one is a keeper. 
Oh, and if you're not a writer, read the article for the sake of understanding some of the con-fabulists in (your own) real life.
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9 Practical Tricks for Writing Your First Novel | WritersDigest.com

9 Practical Tricks for Writing Your First Novel | WritersDigest.com | Write On! | Scoop.it
Whether you're writing your first novel or are struggling with completing a second one (or more), sometimes you need some help focusing and figuring out how to reach your goal. Use these 9 tricks to help you go from first sentence all the way to completed novel.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Take it from Jan Ellison, jump ahead, get to the end of the story so you can see the arch instead of laboring over the opening sentence for ever. 
Most all of the draft's first chapter's beginning is merely "barfing" (excusez le mot, I got it from Morris Berman) wordy words you've got to get out of the way before the real Flow starts. Take in Ellison's great tips. Number 1. (for today) Set your alarm for 45 minutes of writing and then take a 15 minute break to clean the oven or the toilet, for once not an act of procrastination ;-)
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Important tips for poets ready to publish

Important tips for poets ready to publish | Write On! | Scoop.it
It's so important to do your homework before sending your manuscript to a publisher. Make sure to take notes for each publisher you research. You will most likely want to compare them to each other before deciding where you want to submit. Make sure the press is the right aesthetic for your work. Do you…
Judith van Praag's insight:
If you're ready to send out your poetry manuscript, check out Trish Hopkinson's valuable tips. Whether you choose one, some or all of the 52 listed publishers, do your research before you drop your submission in the mail, or click send, submission doesn't mean you have to bend over backward or let go of your rights.
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Call for Submissions from Neurodivergent Writers & Artists

Call for Submissions from Neurodivergent Writers & Artists | Write On! | Scoop.it
Barking Sycamores seeks poetry, short fiction (1000 words or less), creative nonfiction (8,500 words or less), hybrid genre works (8,500 words or less), and art by neurodivergent (autistic, ADHD, bipolar, dyslexic, etc.) writers and artists for its Issue 10 (Summer/Fall 2016) on the theme of Synchronicity. Submission period: April 20 - June 19, 2016.  Synchronicity is defined as "a coincidence in time," "contemporaneousness," or simultaneousness" (Dictionary.com).…
Judith van Praag's insight:
Creativity is key to expression of self and translation of the other as seen from your point of view. Recognizing and acknowledging the eye unique to the artist within is half the work, the road, or tao. All arts offer a window into the world that could be yours. Expose yourself to art & literature to find your way out of chaos.

Honor synchronicity.
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Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins | Write On! | Scoop.it
Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins describes typical margins for a standard 6 inch by 9 inch trade paperback, including CreateSpace book layout specifications
Judith van Praag's insight:
Don't be marginalized, don't let your telling words wind up by the way side, or worse, in the gutter of your very own book! 
Take in Joel Friedlander's sage words and heed his advice!
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What Type of Book Editing Do You Need – And When? BookBaby Blog

What Type of Book Editing Do You Need – And When? BookBaby Blog | Write On! | Scoop.it
There are different types of book editing for different stages of the publication process. Be aware of what kind of editing your manuscript needs and when.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Writing is re-writing. From draft to revision, from first version to last; for some the long path from the conception of an idea to a full flung manuscript comes as a total surprise. 

And then there's proofreading, copy editing, developmental editing, in reverse order that is. Read all about it in this comprehensive blog post. 
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The Simple Shapes Of Stories | BookBaby Blog

The Simple Shapes Of Stories | BookBaby Blog | Write On! | Scoop.it
According to the inimitable Kurt Vonnegut, the shapes of stories can be mapped and graphed. Have you thought about the shape of the story in your book?
Judith van Praag's insight:
Last week I had some of my writing analyzed. According to IWriteLike, my style ranges from Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind), to Cory "Boing Boing" Doctorow, David Foster Wallace (seen The End of the Tour?) and yes, low and behold, last but not least, the incomparable Kurt Vonnegut. 

I'm glad to note that I entered material in chronological order, i.e. my voice developed similarities with stories by the above authors, set during the American Civil War; in early and mid, to late 20th Century, and hooray, the new Millennium. 

Enjoy Kurt Vonnegut's lecture on story development. 
NB: Mr. Vonnegut mentions that computers don't play chess, while they, or rather certain programs do. Or perhaps "don't" was a slip of the tongue. I'm not sure. Who will tell?

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Subtext found in Jurassic Park - Prehistoric Truth for Modern Day Writers and Filmmakers

Judith van Praag's insight:
Decades ago I participated in some workshops lead by John Truby. He and Robert McKee were the two leading screenwriters' mentors at the time.
Much of what I learned from Truby is applicable to writing of any kind, that is, if you're interested in subtext. And as most archetypical stories will make you see, you can even juxtapose the blueprint on the psychology of real life relationships and story lines. Only, in real life stories usually continue, overlapping with new storylines, more problems and unexpected twists and turns. 
If you're a writer, the trick is to find the right beginning and end.

In the linked vimeo Mike Hill dissects Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park and comparing that iconic movie to the more recent Jurassic World. 

As an aside: What Hill says right of the bat about approaching a bridge from a different point of view, is true for all storytelling. Writing what happened is one, cleaning up the writing is two, writing what happend as though seen from another character's perspective can open your mind while writing, even if the result of your creation is supposed to be autobiographical. 
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19 Ways (+1 to come) to Get More Readers for Your Author Blog

19 Ways (+1 to come) to Get More Readers for Your Author Blog | Write On! | Scoop.it
19 Ways to Get More Readers for Your Author Blog including many traffic-driving strategies that can be put into practice right away
Judith van Praag's insight:
Joel Friedlander suggests to pick a fight or rant. In my experience "making mistakes" is likely to attract attention too. Everyone likes to be an editor, and not merely in the writers' world. 
I'm going to have the grandfather I never knew tell readers how to. How to what? Whatever. TTYL keep your ear to the ground.
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Penelope's curator insight, April 11, 9:39 PM
There are several great ideas in this article for more traffic to your blog. Content curation is on the list. No surprise there.

Pick one or two to test and see if your readership picks up. It's worth a try.

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Ebook Promotion and Marketing"***

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The LARB / USC Publishing Workshop

The LARB / USC Publishing Workshop | Write On! | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:
Great opportunity for aspiring journalists and writers. Spend the summer in Los Angeles learning the ropes.
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Writing A Memoir? Avoid These Mistakes | BookBaby Blog

Writing A Memoir? Avoid These Mistakes | BookBaby Blog | Write On! | Scoop.it
Too often, an independent author writing a memoir doesn’t deliver the sort of book readers at large can appreciate. Avoid making these six mistakes.
Judith van Praag's insight:
1. Don't settle old grudges in your writing? 
Why not? Let's have it! Revenge may be a dish best served cold, some grudges need to be taken care of in order to get them off your mind, and while writing, you may come up with a great way to feel gratified, produce a good story, and possibly feel less vindictive.  
You may be writing a memoir, write about something that happened from the point of view (POV) of another character (you are a character as well) and you may actually learn something new.
2. Excuse me. BookBabyBabe, A memoir is not an autobiography, so there's no need to mention all the people you've ever met. A memoir is about a specific subject or time in the writer's life. We write just one autobiography, but we may write 200 memoirs (if we have that many interesting subjects to cover, why not?).
3. I'll second that.
4. Writing down memories and thoughts does not a memoir maketh. Writing down is the first step. Writing is re-writing. Many times. Going deep, instead of wide, narrowing down, focusing, only then can we hit the target, and draw attention to the bull's eye.
5. Duh! Pedestrian writing may be well written, such middle of the road (get back on the sidewalk) prose may also be utterly boring. 
6. Bestsellers don't exist. In the past a book was a bestseller when the distributor sent a large number of books to many bookstores, no matter whether they sold or were returned to sender. Today a book becomes a bestseller when Amazon allows an author to sell (hear, hear) a book for free, 99 cents or $1.99 I'm not saying those books that are on sale are bad, I've bought quite a few excellent titles that way, but who says those books are ever read?

So instead of longing for a bestseller, let's say your memoir will be a success by the mere fact that you have done what not that many other people around you have accomplished, you have written a memoir. You are able to share your own special story with family and friends. Write with that kind of success in mind, don't worry yet about writing a bestseller. Write as good as you can, and then some. Get an editor. Pay the bucks. Get it right.
Mean while: Write On! 

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Idiom Origins - Guide to Idiom Origins + Meanings of Other Popular Phrases, Sayings and Expressions

Idiom Origins - Guide to Idiom Origins + Meanings of Other Popular Phrases, Sayings and Expressions | Write On! | Scoop.it
The Ultimate Guide to Idiom Origins and The Meanings of Other Popular Phrases, Sayings and Expressions
Judith van Praag's insight:
Dancers say "merde" before a show, they don't want to tempt fate by saying "break a leg" even if in the actor's mind, that wish is meant to ward off a bad performance. 
An other suggested origin of the idiom goes back a few centuries. If you've ever seen an actor take a bow, bending a leg, within in a play, as a thank you for the audience's positive reaction, know that may be where "break a leg" comes from.
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Seven Novels Featuring Women Artists

Seven Novels Featuring Women Artists | Write On! | Scoop.it
Many of us enjoyed crayons or paint as children, but artistic confidence often falls away as we grow. Women who continue to pursue art through high school, college, and grad school find themselves ever-increasingly among male colleagues and instructors. According to the fabulous researchers who go by the name Guerrilla Girls, art made by women…
Judith van Praag's insight:
Artists and writers alike may want to add some of the titles on Jeannine Atkinson's list to their summer reading basket. Most if not all of the novels feature women we recognize as minor characters in other, well known books or male artists' or writers'  lives. 
Writing the same experience or story from another person or character's point of view is a good exercise, and can in the end make for compelling reading material that will allow us to see a new perspective of a known situation. 
When one takes a minor character from a well known novel, as was done by for instance Sena Jeter Naslund for Ahab's Wife, the world as we have come to know it is available as playground for others; if one stands out, give him, or rather her, the spotlight!

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The Big Lie of Age and Writing | WritersDigest.com

The Big Lie of Age and Writing | WritersDigest.com | Write On! | Scoop.it
The message is loud and clear: youth has value but life is basically over in old age. It’s in the preponderance of youth in television shows, movies, on magazine covers and advertisements. And it teaches us to fear aging. It is a lie.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Nonagenarian Writers Rock!
While in the middle of editing a poetry book for my 91-year-old friend Jean Doris Kahn I stumble upon Babette Hughes' post on age and writing. This lead me to Hughes' memoir, novels and blog posts for the Huff. Fascinating stuff, check it out!
All this reminds of Seattle's Mary Matsuda Gruenwald, whom I interviewed years ago for the International Examiner after her first book "Looking Like the Enemy" was published. This memoir triggered live Jazz concerts at Panama Hotel, which resulted in an opera.

Boomers of all ages should be heartened (as I am) by these examples of fortitude and continued creative output. Nonagenarian writers rock!
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5 Ways to Start Your Memoir on the Right Foot | WritersDigest.com

5 Ways to Start Your Memoir on the Right Foot | WritersDigest.com | Write On! | Scoop.it
It’s often said that there are a million ways to tell a story—and thus a million ways to start one. So how do you generate a good starting idea? First, you need to be aware of your choices. by Steve Zousmer
Judith van Praag's insight:
An oldie but goodie, by Steve Zousmer, published in 2009 (the year I started tweeting), and still as valuable as back then; how to grab your reader right off the bat. Bet you can use that one memoirist! 
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52 Poetry Manuscript Publishers Who Do Not Charge Reading Fees

52 Poetry Manuscript Publishers Who Do Not Charge Reading Fees | Write On! | Scoop.it
Judith van Praag's insight:
Ready to send off a or some poems? If you haven't researched the market yet, this post will help you get started. How about addressing one publisher every week of the year, that's what 52 allows you to do, right? 
Well, yes, but ...
Make sure the publishers fit your kind of work, that you agree with the kind of copyright, payment of lack thereof. That's only three or four of the many things you should check out before sending your baby out into the world. 
Trish Hopkinson wrote such a clear post about that I'm going to scoop.it! Look for it next to this post ;-)
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The Font of Poetry, the Poetry of Font

The Font of Poetry, the Poetry of Font | Write On! | Scoop.it
Adrienne Raphel’s adventures with typefaces.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Yes, I admit to a fondness of fonts. The importance of letters must have been apparent to me even as a small child, for reading the title of Adrienne Raphel's article brings to mind Willem Sandberg's posters for his "Stedelijk", Amsterdam's Contemporary Art Museum, as well as posters Dick Elffers created for the Holland Festival. 

While editing and assembling a nonagenarian friend's poems I find myself playing with fonts, as Raphel describes student poets did, and some continued doing. 

Overkill, I decided at some point, the poems speak for themselves. And then again, the American typewriter font seemed so right for that one particular ... 

We'll see. I can make different versions and let my friend decide. Who cares about uniformity at 91? We may wind up making one of a kind art books.
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LOGLINE SUBMISSIONS - Writing the best logline for your script. Submit your loglines.

LOGLINE SUBMISSIONS - Writing the best logline for your script. Submit your loglines. | Write On! | Scoop.it
LOGLINE SUBMISSIONS - Writing the best logline for your script. Submit your loglines.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Practice writing your log line, if anything you may find your elevator pitch. Glean tips from the linked invitation. 
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From Content to Complete: Mind Mapping Your Book

From Content to Complete: Mind Mapping Your Book | Write On! | Scoop.it
Everyone starts with an idea and a moment of inspiration, but how do we get from there to finished book? In talking to people who have made books with Blurb over the years, they make them for all different reasons. Some people are making books for a client. Some people are making books to document ideas, cherished experiences or an artistic vision. Some have a... Read More
Judith van Praag's insight:
The draft for my Blurb book on baking real Dutch apple pies got lost when my iMac and MacBookPro were stolen. I thought they kept my design on the cloud, but apparently I should have backed-up everything, the text, lay-out and images. 

I'm looking into publishing a book of poems I'm editing for a nonagenarian. Since the real thing makes more of an impression, I may wind up showing her different finished possibilities. Blurb would make a fine example, and this mind map may come in handy. 

Who knows, I may put together that apple pie book again too.

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Six Things You Need To Write A Book | BookBaby Blog

Six Things You Need To Write A Book | BookBaby Blog | Write On! | Scoop.it
Don't underestimate the commitment it will take to write a book. Boil your project down to its core components to see your project through to the end .
Judith van Praag's insight:
Is there a doctor in the room?
Dawn Field to the rescue. If you like the analogy of birthing a book, well, than Dr. Field's analogy of the Matryoshka or Russian dolls may speak to you double, or quadruple, or better yet as a sextet. 

Baffled by #Concept, wondering about #Premise, lost in #Details? There's more to writing a book than getting down the words for the first draft. 

Mind you, for some the concept as well as premise doesn't become clear until after they've written a whole bunch of sections. And if the essence of concept nor premise dawns on the writer herself, her beta readers may tell her what her story is really about. That's why sharing your material is so important, as the creator you may not see the forest for the trees, or the little gems hidden within the (all)(or over)baring Russian Doll. 
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What is a Narcopath?

What is a Narcopath? | Write On! | Scoop.it
What is a Narcopath? Above and beyond traditional definitions for what the Baby Boomers and WWII Generation grew up calling a "Megalomaniac" is a new definition of public
Judith van Praag's insight:
Enough already of the mayhem in real life, yet unable to shake your obsession with what's happening in the world? 
Write about it, not as a reporter but as a storyteller. Take your pick from the latest diagnostic terms, find out how psychiatrists see terrorists. You may recognize the traits. 
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35 Most Overused Dialogue Lines in Screenplays - ScreenCraft

35 Most Overused Dialogue Lines in Screenplays - ScreenCraft | Write On! | Scoop.it
ScreenCraft's Ken Miyamoto lists the most overused movie lines and challenges screenwriters to come up with better alternatives.
Judith van Praag's insight:
Are you the one who always whispers what a character is going to say next? Don't make the mistake of using those cliche lines in your own writing. Unless it's funny or to the point to do so. Lazy writing can be exactly right for a lazy speaker. Choose words you put in a character's mouth wisely, such writing helps the character to speak for him or herself. 
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