Wednesday, June 26, 2013

INDIEpendence Day Fun

There are lots of fun ways to highlight books and authors you love. 

The Indelibles are holding a fun event for July 4th and are inviting everyone to be a part. That means you!

This is an awesome way to give a fun shout out to one of your favorite authors. In this special hop you get to highlight an independent author-that's an author who is self-published or with a small press.

Even though this event is all about serving others, you'll find you get a lot back in return for participating. The best thing, of course, is making new friends.

Jump over to their blog and join the fun! I can't wait. Click here.

By the way...have you signed up to learn from Howard Taylor and Greg Park, yet? Get a move on, the workshop is only 2 weeks away. Check out the right side bar----

OOh! I just can't wait.

Spread the word. Bring a friend. You won't find a cheaper Workshop with these instructors anywhere.

See you there!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Semi-colons: Poor, Misunderstood Punctuation Marks

Semi-colons have been referred to as the most feared punctuation mark on earth. But just look at it, all round and cute and curly - why the terror? The fear comes in because people don't know how to use it. That's okay - I'm here to make it really simple.

A semi-colon is used to hook together two complete sentences that are closely related. For example:

Today I'm going to sleep in; playing video games all night wasn't a good idea.

Notice that we have a complete sentence before the semi-colon and another complete sentence after the semi-colon. Then notice that they are related. I played video games all night and so I'm going to sleep in - there's a cause and effect here, a definite connection.

Authors get into trouble with the semi-colon in two ways.

First, they try to stick an incomplete sentence there.

Today I'm going to sleep in; dumb video games.

"Dumb video games" isn't a complete sentence. You'd want to use an em-dash here rather than the semi-colon.

The second way to get in trouble is to hook sentences together that really aren't related.

Mark says we need to buy a new car; the kids will be home from school soon.

Okay, that was a super over-the-top example, but you get what I'm saying. If the first sentence and the second sentence aren't directly related, like a cause-and-effect thing or if the second sentence doesn't clarify or enrich the first, etc., they shouldn't be stuck together with a semi-colon.

Semi-colons were used more frequently fifty and a hundred years ago than they are now, but that doesn't mean we should never use them at all. We should use them; they're awesome. (See - like that.) But we should know how to do it correctly so we can be awesome too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vocabulary

by Donna K. Weaver

I love wordsmith.org. A long time ago I signed up for their email list, and Monday through Friday I get a fun email about words, their history, usage, and even a link telling you how to pronounce it. A while back, the word was "shirty." It means bad tempered or irritable.

I'm afeared if people say it quickly too many times in a row it might get them into trouble in polite company.

Besides the fun books you read, are there any good sites you go to that broaden your vocabulary?


And don't forget about the iWriteNetwork Summer Workshop! You can register on the right of this blog post.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Critiques

There are a lot of steps to work through as you are editing your manuscript. I like to look over plot points and character arcs and then I either send out to a critique group or I pass the manuscript to my beta readers. either option I choose, I will be receiving critiques back. And after all that is the point, to receive critiques so I can better my writing and the over all story. So, thought I would go over how I critique, as there are differing views on the subject. I'm pulling these guidelines from a conference I went to and feel like they sum it all up nicely, so here goes. . .

First: The purpose is to share encouragement, insight and useful suggestions. To improve our understanding of the writing process--and to improve our finished work. Specifically, a critique session might help the author see how future reader might 'see' the story/characters. The goal of a critique session IS NOT to criticize or belittle another person's work or them as a person. You know, treat others the way you'd want yo be treated.

To the Author:  You are the final authority on your story. The critiques are suggestions that you can incorporate or ignore as you see best. Writing is HIGHLY subjective, if someone doesn't like your work it doesn't mean everyone will feel the same way. Do not argue with the person giving a critique, you asked for their opinion after all.

To the Critiquers: Begin with praise. Helps soften the blows.  :) What did you like, where did you laugh, what spurred you on to continue reading. As you move to constructive criticism, start sentences with
 I. . ."I was unclear about... Encourage the writer, like: "I really like the setting, I would like to hear more about it." Remember that any comments you write are taken seriously, so be careful, thoughtful, and kind. Balance your remarks, tell what worked and you liked as well as the places that need work and bothers you. Fell free to line edit, but make the marks clear enough to be noticed by the author.


How do you critique? How much of others comments do you incorporate? Do you write a first draft then critique or wait until you have revised over and over before letting others review it? I would love to hear other's processes.

Happy writing!!