Subway Scribbles

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By Lydia Laceby “You have to make the time.” It’s something you hear writers utter when asked how they find the time to write a novel. Whether it’s at midnight with a glass of wine when the kids are in bed, or in the wee hours of the morning before they’re up demanding breakfast; whether you take one evening a week away from your spouse or one morning on a weekend and ignore the housework. You have to make the time. Your novel will never get written otherwise. And in my experience, I have found this to be true. You can always find thousands of reasons not to write, particularly in this age of social media. But you have to sacrifice something. Sleep, cleaning, sex, cooking, exercising, spending time with your mother — something has to give. For me, that sacrifice is in the … [Read more...]

KWL Blog from 2014 In Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it. The top blog posts in 2014 were: 10 Winning Ways to Open Your Novel (Craft of Writing) This article, by Darcy Pattison, outlines tips from her book Start Your Novel and lists a number of ways to start novels, giving examples from the top 100 opening lines of all times. Twisting the Plot for a Great Mystery (Craft of Writing) Connie Shelton's article covers the elements of what makes a good mystery with a focus on great plot twists. Six Tips for Engaging Readers within two seconds: … [Read more...]

Is Your Funny Flabby? Better Hit the Comedy Gym

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By Jefferson Smith Humor is one of the most powerful implements in the writer's tool kit. A quick wit can be a spark of light to balance dark times; shared laughter can unite uncertain allies against insurmountable oppressions; the quality and content of a joke, and the reactions to it, can illuminate the character and intellect of every hero, villain, or bystander who hears it. Yet authors rarely wield this weapon with any facility, and even fewer attempt a conscious study of it, which is a shame. Because even if you write more like Tennessee Williams than Robin Williams, you can beef up your funny muscle. All you need to do is find the right gym. I found my gym entirely by accident. Like most writers, I started young, developing my chops on short stories in high school and then … [Read more...]

The Hit List: Mark 4

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By Joshua Essoe When November (National Novel Writing Month) is over, a writer's "first draft done" mind often turns to editing. The is the 4th in a series of 4 articles focusing on editing by a full-time freelance editor, continuing advice, insight and that editorial perspective. (Read the first article. Read the 2nd article. Read the 3rd article) "Joshua Essoe, I'm not a newbie. I know how to spell and I know how to tell a good story. Is an editor really necessary?" My answer is always the same. No, Mr. McWriterpants--an editor is not necessary, an editor is essential. No matter how full of amazeballs you are, even if you have known every point on these hit lists, it is impossible for one to see their work objectively, to spot every time there is a clash between what one … [Read more...]

Insider Radio Secrets: Part 2 – Music Choices

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By Scott Overton In spite of the advent of television, then music videos, all-music video channels, satellite radio, iPods, and the internet, old-fashioned free-off-the-airwaves radio broadcasting is still alive and well. Most of us probably spend part of each day with a favourite radio station, especially when we’re in the car, but there are a lot of things we think we know about the radio business that probably aren’t true anymore. As a radio broadcaster for more than thirty years (a morning show host for twenty-five) I put a lot of insider knowledge into the writing of my mystery/thriller novel Dead Air, about a morning man who finds himself marked for death by unknown enemies. One of the beliefs that’s been around forever and still seems to be unshakeable is the idea that … [Read more...]

The Hit List: Mark 3

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By Joshua Essoe When November (National Novel Writing Month) is over, a writer's "first draft done" mind often turns to editing. The is the 3rd in a series of 4 articles focusing on editing by a full-time freelance editor, continuing advice, insight and that editorial perspective. (Read the first article. Read the 2nd article.)   “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” -- George Orwell Hello, I'm Joshua Essoe, and I'll be your demon today. Last week I took down double spaces, "which," "that," and passive voice. This week, a few more topics near and dear to my red pen's heart--if it had a … [Read more...]

The Role of an Editor – Interview with Lucy Cuthew

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Lucy Cuthew, an editor specialising in children’s and young adult fiction, became a freelancer in 2011 having spent several years as a commissioning editor at Meadowside Children’s Books. She edited the English translation of Andrea Atzori’s recently released fantasy YA novel, The Amulet of Sleep. We talked to her about the role of an editor, being a freelancer, and how self published authors can get ahead. Firstly, could you explain the role that a copyeditor has in preparing a manuscript for a book such as Andrea’s? What other types of editor are there and what do they do? When a book goes through the traditional route with a publisher, many eyes will see the text, critique it and work on it to polish it up before it is published. The usual editing stages are a substantive edit, … [Read more...]

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