Tag Archives: writing advice

Writing without an Outline like Minesweeper

I ran across this video that compares Writing without an outline to being like Minesweeper.  Or, I suppose, since I like submarines, those early days of submarining where danger was potentially all…

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How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically

I’m rereading How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically, and this time I’m flagging the ideas so I can find and focus on them. There’s no way I could have dog-eared all those pages!


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Review of How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically

How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career by Carolyn Howard-Johnson (HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers) (Volume 3) (Paperback: October 24, 2016)

It’s hard to do justice to this book because it covers so much territory. I’ve been reviewing, promoting, and marketing for a long time, but I learned a lot more in this book; and even as I was reading it, I used the Tweet, etc. icons function on my Amazon buy page, per her suggestion. 

The author tells you how to use endorsements and blurbs in promotion–and how long an excerpt should be (fair use) and how to use elipses in these excerpts. (I knew that about elipses, but not everyone does.) I appreciated the Amazon info about the excerpt length she shared; and there was more useful information about working with Amazon.

Re: Networking: I’ve written blurbs for books and acknowledgments and received acknowledgments; she gives tips about that and more; and she addresses the importance of exposure and frequency. “This is a process, not a project.”

I also learned more about Amazon Prime and may use it. Oh, and that “As seen in …” tip is another one I can use right now. I’ll be rereading it again. And I learned more about reusing your Amazon review.

So much into, including the Ten-Best Lists tip. (One of my books was listed on MyShelf.com; I’d forgotten that!) Oh, oh. I haven’t kept track of my book reviews. I could have had a notebook for that!

The Questions and Answers section is very helpful; and then there are the Appendices:

“… Each publishing occasion that calls for a query…is different. Ditto for each circumstance that requires a media release. Thus, the samples (templates?) in my appendices are merely suggestions. …”

I’ve only scratched the surface! This is a must-read book for writers; I know I have to read it again. I wish I had a print copy ’cause it’d be full of flags! Highly recommended.


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Writing and Editing: The Naked Writer

I reread The Naked Writer (“don’t submit your raw and naked words …”) now and then to refresh what I’ve learned about grammar and punctuation, etc. rules. (I swear I never knew that!) Anyway, I’m doing more serious editing work now–not just my own writing and a few others who asked for my help–so I’m rereading it again. For those who want to learn or read a refresher course that’s fun to read, check out The Naked Writer by G. Miki Hayden.


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Bouncing around in the story

When I write, I like to move around in the story and pull everything together as I go along.  Dean Wesley Smith calls it cycling.  What it isn’t: Revision.  I’m not tweaking words or sentences (tho…

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How do you become an editor?

Rachel Anderson asks: How did you get into editing? Did you start writing first and then take on editing as a natural second, or was it out of necessity since there are more opportunities for edito…

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Avoid this plotting pitfall when writing drafts at speed

Husband Dave and I have recently been watching the Showtime series Ray Donovan. And sometimes, we’re finding the storytelling is rather uneven. Interesting developments pop up that seem to promise …

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Over and Out reminder

I’m culling books because I plan to move one of these days–and there’s so much to get rid of!  So, I’m reading books–and in some cases skimming them–to see if they’re worth keeping and moving. Anyway, I came across a book–otherwise well written–that reminded me of how frequently Over and Out are misused in books, TV shows, etc.  

Over–when using a radio or whatever–means: It’s your turn to talk (Over to you). Out means: We’re done. (I’m outta here.) Over and out therefore would be silly and impossible. So stop doing that! (It’s another case of mistakes being perpetuated.)


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The Naked Writer

Capitals Have Their Rules I had a student once who capitalized every noun, common or proper. I was taken aback. Why, oh, why? That was what the nuns had taught her—and in another country. But still…

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Joy V. Smith interview

I have an interview in my alumni bulletin, UW Oshkosh Today, and it describes my writing history from childhood through college, NaNoWriMo, and more: http://www.uwosh.edu/today/42565/alumna-has-the-write-stuff/

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