Thursday, July 6, 2017

Fall 2017 Writing Retreat

September 14-17, 2017
Heber, Utah


How to sign up for this retreat: 

FYI: There are only 20 spots. All meals are included AND there will be mini-workshops on Building Your Presence as an Author and Marketing during the retreat so that if you choose to go to all the workshops, you will have all the tools you need to Brand yourself, and your books for your target audience.  See pics of the awesome accommodations for the retreat here. Sign ups open on Saturday, May 13th at 8am MST. NO EARLIER.

1. Pick which bed type/price you would like (see below)

2. Send an email to iWriteNetwork@gmail.com with your first and second preference for bed type. Include if you would like 1 payment or 3 and what your email is for your Paypal account. 

3. We will send you a confirmation email and a link to pay-through Paypal- (you may choose to split your payment into three and send one third immediately, the second on third on June 30th and the last third on July 30th. You must pay in full by July 30th.)  We must have your payment within one hour of receiving your confirmation email or your spot will be given to the next person in line.

NO REFUNDS-thank you. (You can, however transfer your bed to someone else if you discover you are unable to attend.)

The bed options:  (if you are planning to choose a queen or a king bed, you might want to find someone to be your roomie if you care who is in the bed with you.)

**Anything not highlighted is available
***Anything highlighted in red is reserved/paid for

Bedroom 1: 1 King with bathroom                    2 spots for $275 each

Bedroom 2: 1 Queen                           2 spots at $175 each
                                                         One, Two,

Bedroom 3: 1 Queen           2 spots @ $175 each
                                                          OneTwo

Bedroom 4: 2 Queens          4 spots @ $175 each
                                                       One, Two, Three, Four
                                             1 bunk bed
                                                      lower        upper

Bedroom 5: Queen and a Bunk   2 spots in the queen @  $175 each
                                                 One, Two,
                                                       1 upper bunk @ $150
                                                       1 lower bunk @ $200


Bedroom 6: 3 bunk beds            3 lower bunks @ $200 each

                                                       One, Two, Three

                                                    3 upper bunks @ $150 each

                                                       One, Two, Three


Bedroom 7: 1 Queen           2 spots @ $175 each
                                                          OneTwo

Bedroom 8: Queen and a Bunk   2 spots in the queen @  $175 each
                                                 One, Two,
                                                       1 upper bunk @ $150
                                                       1 lower bunk @ $200

Bedroom 9: Queen and a Bunk   2 spots in the queen @  $175 each
                                                 One, Two,
                                                       1 upper bunk @ $150
                                                       1 lower bunk @ $200

We are So excited to have you join us!!!
Have question? 

Email us-
iWriteNetwork@gmail.com
The accommodations:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Simple Words for Simple Actions

As writers, sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we need to describe everything that our characters are doing down to the tiniest detail. We want our readers to be able to "see" the action, but we forget that our readers are already familiar with the actions we're describing.

For instance:

Tammy climbed into the shower stall and checked to make sure the water was just how she liked it by holding her hand in the stream. Then she reached for the shampoo bottle, squirted some in the palm of her hand, and worked up a good lather. She rinsed carefully, then followed with conditioner. After that, she used body wash.

vs.

Tammy took a hot shower to clear her mind and was ready to call Tom and give him her answer by the time she toweled off.

This is, of course, an exaggerated example (mine generally are). But the point is this - your reader knows what goes into taking a shower. They don't need to have each step explained. Unless there's something unusual about this shower - maybe she reaches for the conditioner and there's a black widow on the bottle and it kills her dead - we don't need so many details. Just get to the point you're trying to make.

Remember - simple words for simple actions.

She can drive down the street without us seeing her put the key in the ignition and turn it.
She can make a phone call without punching buttons.
She can order her meal without reading all the menu options.

The reader will know that each of these things happened, and you can save precious page space by skipping over them.

Now, one warning about this - don't show her standing up unless we knew she was sitting down. That's one thing that will throw a reader off - physical positioning of the character. So use a little judgment, but see where you can cut the fat in your manuscript by deleting the things that the reader will know automatically. This will pick up the pace of your story and keep the reader more engaged.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Styles of Grammar

When I was a little girl and in school, I could have sworn that my teachers presented grammar as set-in-stone rules. The way they showed me how to do something was the only way to do it. I graduated from high school and moved on to college, and no one ever said anything different.

Well, guess what? I moved into the business world and attended a training session that provided me with a "Duh!" moment.

Latin grammar never changes because Latin is a dead language. Dead? Yes. Because there's nowhere in the world where people actively speak it, so it never changes.

That doesn't work with English. English is a vibrant, ever-changing language. It's the official language in several countries, and each one manages to tweak it in their own way. For example, in 2007, the word Woot was the Merriam-Webster Dictionary word of the year. If you follow the link you'll see what it means. But do you know where it came from? We Owned the Other Team. It's a gaming term that's now being used by people who aren't gamers.

Snarky is another word I like. I heard it for the first time when I became a moderator at the Leaky Lounge. Many of the other moderators are British, and that's been mostly a British term, according to Dictionary.com. But I'm hearing it a lot now, both from people I associate with and on American television and in American books.

But everyone needs to know there are different styles of grammar. And the rules are different, depending upon the style you're using. When I teach classes on grammar, I suggest that my coworkers choose one style and be consistent. At work, we use the Gregg Reference Manual. This is business oriented, but it's still a good resource about grammar rules. They update every five years to keep up with trends.

Notice in the following (hilarious) video the reference to the Chicago Manual of Style. They aren't talking fashion.


So where are your grammar strengths? How about your weaknesses? What resources do you prefer to use?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Super-long Sentences

What's a super-long sentence? One that is meant to convey a great deal of information to the reader, but instead of breaking it down into concise, easy-to-understand chunks, decides instead to put everything in one long string that might or might not be clearly broken up with proper punctuation, making the reader have to go back to the start and read it over again carefully to make sure they understood without missing anything, and thereby taking a lot of the enjoyment out of reading because it becomes more like a homework assignment. There - like that.  :) 

When you write a super-long sentence, you run the risk of two things. First, losing your reader halfway though. Sometimes when I encounter a long sentence, I've forgotten what we were talking about by the time I've reached the end. The other danger is that of reader fatigue. How tired did you feel after reading that sentence in the previous paragraph? Whether you realize it or not, you might be one of those readers who takes a millisecond mental break at the end of each sentence, and if you go too long without getting one, you might get worn out faster.

Not every sentence has to be super short. In fact, it's more enjoyable to read a document that has a wide variety of sentence lengths and structures. The brain likes to be kept active.

So, what's a good way to determine if your sentences are too long? I have two rules of thumb.

1. Can the reader easily follow your train of thought from beginning to end?
2. Can you read the sentence aloud without taking a breath, or are you gasping and panting for air before you reach the end? If you can't do it in one breath, chances are, it's too long.

Remember that reader enjoyment is our primary goal, and as we pay attention to our sentence length, we can create a story with better flow that our readers will appreciate.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Retreat and Write!

We just wrapped up our spring retreat and are ready to announce our fall retreat! Are you ready to crank out words, go to great classes and hang out with other awesome writers?

 Mark your calendars for September 14-17th in Heber, Utah!

How to sign up for this retreat: 

FYI: There are only 20 spots. All meals are included AND there will be mini-workshops on Building Your Presence as an Author and Marketing during the retreat so that if you choose to go to all the workshops, you will have all the tools you need to Brand yourself, and your books for your target audience.  See pics of the awesome accommodations for the retreat here. Sign ups open on Saturday, May 13th at 8am MST. NO EARLIER.

1. Pick which bed type/price you would like (see below)

2. Send an email to iWriteNetwork@gmail.com with your first and second (if you have one) preference.

3. We will send you a confirmation email and a link to pay-through Paypal- (you may choose to split your payment into three and send one third immediately, the second on third on June 15th and the last third on August 15th. You must pay in full by August 15th.)  We must have your payment within one hour of receiving your confirmation email or your spot will be given to the next person in line.

NO REFUNDS-thank you. (You can, however transfer your bed to someone else if you discover you are unable to attend.)

The bed options:  (if you are planning to choose a queen or a king bed, you might want to find someone to be your roomie if you care who is in the bed with you.)

**Anything not highlighted is available
***Anything highlighted in red is reserved/paid for

Bedroom 7: 1 King with bathroom                    2 spots for $275 each

Bedroom 6: 3 bunk beds            3 lower bunks @ $175 each
                                                       One, Two, Three
                                                    3 upper bunks @ $150 each
                                                       One, Two, Th
ree


Bedroom 5: Queen and a Bunk   2 spots in the queen @  $200
                                                 One, Two,
                                                       1 upper bunk @ $150
                                                       1 lower bunk @ $175

Bedroom 4: 2 Queens          4 spots @ $225

                                                       One, Two, Three, Four

Bedroom 3: 1 Queen           2 spots @ $225 each
                                                          OneTwo

Bedroom 2: 1 Queen                           2 spots at $225 each
                                                         One, Two,


Bedroom 1: 1 Queen                          2 spots at $225 each
                                                                One, Two  
                                                                  

We are So excited to have you join us!!!
Have question? 

Email us-
iWritenetwork@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Digging Into Research

Deanna and I (pen name: Jo Noelle) are writing in a new genre for us. It's still romance, but this time it's historical romance. And it's set in the American frontier. We've been doing quite a bit of research for this. Here's how:

Read about it...

View it... movies and travel videos on YouTube

Experience it...

One of the perks of being a writer is getting lost in the research of the new world you are writing in.
Enjoy!