Tag Archives: writing blogs

Article about book covers (link)

This book cover article looks useful, though so far I’ve mostly created my own covers: http://www.nat-russo.com/2014/03/readers-will-judge-your-book-cover.html

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Writing a Series by C.K. Crigger (link)

I enjoy a number of favorite series, including Robert Parker’s Spenser series, Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch and Witches series, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden stories–and many more.  However, while I’ve written the occasional sequel, I’ve never tackled a series so I enjoyed C. K. Crigger’s guest post on Morgen Bailey’s writing blog: http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/guest-post-writing-a-series-by-c-k-crigger/

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Following the Blogs of Other Writers

Following the Blogs of Other Writers.  There are a lot of interesting, fun, and helpful blogs out there.  I can’t keep up with my favorites…

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Book signings (link)

Book Signings by Feather Schwarz Foster is the guest post on Morgen Bailey’s writing blog today:  http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/guest-post-book-signings-by-feather-schwarz-foster/ 

There’s lots to think about, to expect, and to do when you’re thinking about whether–and where–to have your book signing.

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Author Spotlight: Irene Soldatos (link)

I enjoyed Irene’s fun and interesting bio; and her discussion of categories and genres could help us decide how and where to classify our novels, but it can be complicated:  http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/author-spotlight-no-355-irene-soldatos/

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Strike Three book cover #4

I was happy with version #3, but then my editor sent me #4; the title letters were done–at her husband’s suggestion– in gradient!  Beautiful!!

Three Cover4

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Guest post by Carolyn Howard-Johnson: An Attack on Wordiness

An Attack on Wordiness:
All the Better for Your Query Letter My Dear Author
 

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Adapted from the chapter on wordiness in the second edition of The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your new bestseller
newly available as an e-book

 

As writers, we all know that we should avoid wordiness. The trouble is, we become so used to phrases that clutter our speech (and our writing) that we often don’t realize they need a good edit.

I thought I’d share with you some wordy phrases that can always be shortened, though–on rare occasions–you may not want to do that. An example of such an occasion might be in the dialogue of a character who is prone to wordiness. Very occasionally the wordy phrase might reveal your intent more clearly than the shortened one. It’s yours to decide, but when you see these phrases in your writing they’re clear warnings to take heed:

“The exact same…” That’s redundant, huh? “The same” will do.

“Due to the fact that…” Substitute “because.”

“In need of…Just “need to” will usually do.

“In addition to…” is a phrase that often forces you to repeat something you’ve already said.

“Used for purposes of…” How about just “Used for…”

“She is a woman who…” can probably be replaced with the woman’s name or just plain “she.”

“May be in need of…” Shorten that one to “may need.”

There are thousands more, but once you start searching for them, others will become more evident to you. Generally, active sentences are shorter and livelier than sentences that curl back on themselves (sometimes called passive sentences).

You may ask, if these little gremlins litter our speech unnoticed, why worry? Well, they may very well annoy an agent or editor if you use them in a query letter, as an example. These people have been around the publishing yard for a while and will often use wordiness as a determiner: Should they chuck the manuscript or give it a read? I, for one, would prefer not to take that risk.

Mmmmm. “May very well…” in that last paragraph of mine. How about just “may.” Or, better, “might.” It’s nice to write like we talk. It can even help us reflect our personalities in our work. But that “very well” couldn’t add that much to this piece–especially at the risk of ticking off a reader.

I bet you can find others in this post if you look. I’m collecting often-used, wordy phrases. Maybe for a booklet. Maybe for my Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In blog (www.thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com). If you think of any of your own, please let me know. If I include your suggestion, I’ll credit you and include the name of your book and a link to your Web site. Find me at HoJoNews [at] AOL. com or http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com.

—–

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the multi award-winningThe Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t (www.budurl.com/TheFrugalEditor), winner of USA News Best Book Award and the Book Publicists of Southern California’s Irwin Award. The first edition of The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success also won a USA Book News’ award as well as a Reader Views Literary Award and nods from the Military Writers Society and Next Generation Indie Awards. The second edition has been Expanded! Updated! And Reformatted! for easy Kindle reading.

TheFrugalEditor2nd

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
I
nstructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
A
uthor of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS

/ The Frugal Book Promoter: http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo
/ Web site: http://www.HowToDoItFrugally.com
/ E-mail: CarolynHowardJ@AOL.com
/ F
acebook
: http://Facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson
/ Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FrugalBookPromo
/ Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/chowardjohnson

Let’s Network Today!

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Almost here: Advice from The Frugal Editor!

More recommendations and background:

In this invaluable (and yes, accessible and engaging, too!) resource, Carolyn Howard-Johnson masterfully elevates an oft-misunderstood practice into the critical component of writing that it is. Don’t turn in anything until you turn to this book. ~ Peter Bowerman, author of The Well-Fed Writer series

Using the basic computer and editing tricks from The Frugal Editor, authors can prevent headaches and save themselves time—and even money—during the editing process. It’s well worth your effort to learn them. ~ Barbara McNichol, Barbara McNichol Editorial

Howard-Johnson hit the nail on the head with The Frugal Editor. She pointed out the gremlins and simplified the eradication process. What more could a writer/editor/publisher ask for? ~ Peggi Ridgway, author of Successful Web site Marketing and other business books

The Frugal Editor: Do-it-yourself editing secrets for authors: From your query letter to final manuscript to the marketing of your new bestseller will become a well-used reference for writers around the world. ~ Cheryl Wright, editor of Writer2Writer

Good editing is like honest business accounting: If you don’t have it, you end up with a mess. The Frugal Editor is a must for the novice writer who needs to make that ideal first impression and the writer with a tenth book hitting the shelves who has become complacent about his brilliant prose. ~ Kristin Johnson, author and writing consultant

Nothing demonstrates professionalism like a well-edited submission. Follow Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s clear, step-by-step self-editing approach for putting your Best Book Forward and you’ll submit like a pro. ~ Gregory A. Kompes, conference coordinator of The Las Vegas Writer’s Conference

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers’ Program
Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS

/ The Frugal Book Promoter: http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo
/ Web site: http://www.HowToDoItFrugally.com
/ Facebook: http://Facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson
/ Twitter: http://Twitter.com/FrugalBookPromo
/ Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/chowardjohnson

Let’s Network Today!

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Keeping track of your characters’ names (link)

Here’s a helpful article to help you with your characters’ names: http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/guest-blog-character-names-by-morgen-bailey/#comment-95218

I love nicknames, btw, but you have to be sure the reader can make the connection if you use two names.

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Themes in writing (link)

Here’s a helpful article by Kay Kenyon on using themes in your writing: http://www.kaykenyon.com/2014/01/13/what-are-you-talking-about/?goback=%2Egde_2025159_member_5828668081093763074#%21

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