My post is on Creating Habits and Setting a Schedule.
I was excited to be included in a lovely post where 54 Experts share how to motivate yourself. Click here to learn how to stay motivated to reach your goals.
My post is on Creating Habits and Setting a Schedule.
I interact, genuinely with other people. I love twitter and the number one reason is because it gives me a chance to say hello, read great articles and meet people from all over the world. We're a global society as bloggers and I embrace it.
Never spam your feed. I follow some people whose work I genuinely enjoy but boy when they post 40+ times a day I have to unfollow. I sometimes post a bit much all at once when my son goes down for a nap (generally on top of my head or chest). But overall I really try to space out what I have to tweet, tweet about. Nobody likes a noisy bird fellow tweeters.
I don't just promote my work. I also share jokes, stories and personal photos. I dislike when a twitter user is only selling me stuff, links, vlogs, promos. I want personal interaction and so I give that too.
I don't just want a click on a link from social media, I want engaged readers who really care about what I'm writing and love following along on my journey. One of my favorite things about the blogs I have read for, sometimes years, is finding a genre I want to know more about along with the connection of following a person on their journey. Don't let your blog and twitter be just a bland list of posts. Engage and write from the heart.
Interview with Erotica Author Brett Roman
What is your favorite genre to read?
I read a lot of men's erotic novels to see what's out there and get a good feel for what people want to read. But I'm also into biographies, always wanting to know what others have done and how they became great.
What do you feel are your earliest influences on your writing?
Chuck Palahniuk's work has been a big influence and I'm always on a kindle reading small press authors' stories and novellas.
Tell me about your recent writing? Do you prefer short stories, novels, novellas?
I'm writing a novella and working with my publisher on a collection of short erotic stories for straight men who want something good and sexy to read. I like reading short stories, they keep my attention better that whole novels that I'm afraid I don't get to much. And with my shorts I'm able to write stories that are erotic without being.....
Do you find the writing community online to be helpful?
Yes, there are a lot of people out there looking for quality men's adult stories and they really want to help out writers; help give them input in how to improve wiring styles, plots all that.
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My experience is limited attending other Conferences. I've attended the San Francisco Writers Conference and SCBWI workshops. I cannot say they are lacking. Each has unique reasons to attend. Writers conferences provide networking opportunities to discover the many options available to writers today. We can expand our writing skills, network with other writers who have been through the process, receive encouragement and advice on works in progress and pursue and connect with editors, agents and publishers.
CCWC has always been 75-90 minute workshops to develop or hone skills and learn about the current marketplace. San Francisco offers more panels and shorter presentations with more presenters. This offers more opportunities to network with professionals agents and publishers. This year we have stepped up the opportunities with more editors and agents presenting this September than ever before. Yet we will maintain the longer workshop format by pros who are excellent presenters willing to share their expertise.
How can writers help get their work viewed by the best quality people at conferences?
Good question and exactly why I have contracted with 7 professional editors in a variety of genres who will not only do an in-depth manuscript review of the first 10 pages .... or any 10 pages, but will return the critique before the conference with the anticipation of 15-minutes scheduled at the conference to discuss the manuscript critique and/or the modifications made as suggested by the editor. Just as the overall conference fees are under $200, the manuscript critique and face time is only $59.
Everyone has dreamt of writing the Great American Novel. Hanging out with writers and learning how writers complete their process is so interesting to readers and aspiring writers. Readers will receive the insights about the process and the business of publication today...which is evolving as fast as we speak.
Tell us some of your personal favorite authors, both ones that have attended and ones you just enjoy reading.
Every year I fall crazy in love with reading our keynote's works, but let me mention just a few. My first CCWC introduced me to Victoria Zackheim, who is a novelist, playwright, screenwriters, and now a very good friend, mentor and amazing woman. She presented the anthology she edited, THE OTHER WOMAN. Victoria takes a concept and has notable authors and famous people write their personal essay. She is creative, inspiring, and fun to read. Nathan Bransford was my first keynote. He was a sought after agent when he presented and provided us with a preview of what was to happen in publication - chaos with abounding opportunities for the flexible writer, agent and ePublisher. And although he changed positions, his website still has some of the best how-to's for writers looking for an agent or publisher. Next on my keynote list was Jonathan Maberry. I had never read a zombie book or wanted to. Nor was I big on thrillers, but Jonathan has chilled and thrilled me. The Joe Ledger Series and his YA series starting with ROT AND RUIN are wonderful reads that we'll see in movies one of these days. Jonathan has become a good friend because he is willing to share his talent...and himself. Next keynote was Jack Grapes, who is an icon in the poetry world. He also developed a system of writing both poetry and fiction METHOD WRITING, which he shares with students and celebrities wanting to write and based in Hollywood/West Los Angeles area. He is an incredible teacher and our attendees flocked to his workshops after hearing his keynote. This year Rebecca Rasmussen has captured my heart and interest. I believe THE BIRD SISTERS will be a GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL. It is a beautiful story written with all the best elements to take you away to middle America to meet these wonderful characters. We should all be so lucky to write like Rebecca - and we can. She instructs at UCLA.
Two programs that are unique for CCWC are our PG&E Teen Writers Program and our Chevron Teachable Moments In-Service for Teachers. With the support of PG&E we have 25+ scholarships for middle and high school students to attend. I select 2 presenter to design an exclusive workshops for the teens. This year YA author Shannon Messenger and nonfiction author Katya Cengel and Agent Gordon Warnock will present to the teens. It has been so successful I created the same model for the teens teachers to enjoy the conference and adapt new writing tools for the 2013 curriculum. Once the teens or teachers glean from their two workshops, they also select 2 more workshops in the genre of their choice. Teachers can also earn credits for their attendance.
I'll stop there, but could go on and on with authors I have enjoyed to read and respect and value their presentation skills and willingness to share their expertise.
What are your thoughts on social media for authors just starting out?
An absolute must today for authors. When I was first seeking presenters I learned quickly websites were static and Facebook would get me directly to the industry people I wanted to invite. But for those breaking in, reading several blogs by authors and those writing tips on writing will be great research. And if you are just starting then read blogs by our 2012 Success Story, Anne R. Allen. She not only has the first hand experience to demonstrate how a blog can help your writing career, but her insights are practical and her goal is to keep you writing your manuscript more than your social media outreach. But even Anne confirms writers need to write so blogging will fill that need and build a name for new authors at the same time.
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I don't pick books by genre. What I look for in a book is more than just an exciting plot. I need a book to say something interesting, to make me think. I find all too often that books which fall into a specific genre are written to that genre's expectations, and as such can be quite formulaic. That's not to say, however, that I don't enjoy the odd thriller.
Did you write as a child?
Not really, but I did read voraciously, much to the detriment of my social skills!
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Growing up I remember reading a lot of fantasy-type books, like the Redwall series by Brian Jaques. Also Arthur Ransome, Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys. I once faked a week off school sick to read the Hobbit, but got bored when I started into the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In my early teens I started reading a lot of Jack Higgins thrillers, then Alastair Maclean, Frederick Forsyth, Dick Francis, Tom Clancy. I made my way through most of my parents library, which was quite varied, but which had a lot of thrillers. Another book I loved was the Commitments by Roddy Doyle, and a book called Divorcing Jack by a fellow Northern Irishman, Colin Bateman.
I suppose before all that, it was bedtime stories and frequent trips to the library with my mum which instilled in me a great love of books. There used to be a bookshop in Belfast, run by a wonderful old lady named Mrs Crane, which was my favorite place for many years.
What do you think are your most recent influences on your writing?
In the last year I've been reading a lot of Hemingway, as well as some fantastic books by Jeffrey Eugenides. I've also been reading books by John Green, Jonathan Saffran-Foer, David Mitchell, Hunter S. Thompson. At the minute I'm reading Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon, who is another author I'm a big fan of. I think that I've been influenced a lot by the 'classics' and 'modern classics' which I read at university and at school, writers like George Elliott, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh, Albert Camus, Sartre, Muriel Spark, Ginsberg, Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Joseph Conrad, Ken Kesey.
Tell me about your recent writing? Do you prefer short stories, novels, novellas?
Do you find the writing community online to be helpful?
I've found some great writer's groups on Goodreads, and I browse some of the writing and publishing threads on Reddit. I find myself reading blogs and posts, often to do with marketing, and then suddenly realizing that I would be better off just writing! I think you have to take everything you read with a pinch of salt - I've been given what appears to be great advice by very helpful and well-meaning people online, but when you read their work you realize that sometimes it is better to go with your own instincts.
What would you most like to do, which you haven't already, that would help with your writing?
Take a year off work, create a dedicated workspace and just go for it! At the minute my writing has to fit around work and family, so I don't write as much as I would like, but family comes first, which is how it should be!
Any great lines you would love to have written?
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry." Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.
Do you have any blogs or websites that you think are great and want to share?
I blog on my goodreads page sometimes, but generally if I have the time to blog I feel I'm better off doing some 'proper' writing. I like using goodreads to discuss books I've read, however, and reading in general. Readers can also find out about me on my amazon author page.
Matthew W. McFarland at amazon.com
Matthew W. McFarland at goodreads.com
my twitter is @mcfarlandwriter
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Have an idea that those hipster Facebook wannabes would die for? Well, do I have a bridge to sell you.
Have a fun app concept you need help getting off the conceptual ground? In that case try Startup Weekend.
There are always going to be lots of people with 'ideas' but very few people really take on the hard, long hours to bring their dreams to life. Startup Weekend is about getting those few together in a room and making something unique and sleep depriving happen.
A startup participant begins the weekend at a networking evening on Friday and will either pitch their amazing idea or listen to pitches and decide which team to join.
After voting is held the winning ideas have time on stage to request the skill-sets they need to bring their startup idea to life.
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers. Marketing might sometimes be interpreted as the art of selling products, but selling is only a small fraction of marketing. As the term "Marketing" may replace "Advertising" it is the overall strategy and function of promoting a product or service to the customer.The American Marketing Association defines marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."
Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers, and books), advertisements and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.
Include business advice, advertising skills and general concept work.
Programming or coding is the process of designing, writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the source code of computer programs. This source code is written in one or more programming languages (such as Java, C++, C#, Python, etc.). The purpose of programming is to create a set of instructions that computers use to perform specific operations or to exhibit desired behaviors. The process of writing source code often requires expertise in many different subjects, including knowledge of the application domain, specialized algorithms and formal logic.
I signed up to do design work with an environmentally friendly roofing concept team. Try to do visuals for a cooler roof. Keep thinking. Yup, it's like that. Taking on a challenge is a very big part of the weekend's notions on all action and no talk (well talk to your teammates or else you'll be the coder in the corner crying by the end of Sunday).
Teams work through the two nights and develop everything from a solid (hopefully) business plan to logos and websites or app pages for their project.
Some teams will click (ha, nerd humor) and have easy sailing for their weekend, others learn the hard way about reliability and followthrough, even on short projects. One of
the funnier things I witnessed was the diverse personalities coming together (creative, tech and financial minded people) trying to function together as a whole unit while maintaining their individual presence of mind.
Writing for Web Shows
Web series script writing is a new and quickly expanding field. Starting to write for the web-screen is a great approach to getting a longer, complex story told in segments; much like the serialized stories of eras passed. Think about the story as a whole piece and then look for the best way to segment your story and plot points into engaging installments. Financially it can be much easier to budget a season of your web show that make a whole feature film on an indie budget of gaffer's tape and Costco vegetable plates.
Take your concept for a novel that has been siting around gathering hopelessness and dust and play with it as a script. Think of local locations that would work for your story's locations and start from there. Spend time in the locations and begin to understand the tones of the place and how they can improve your script's realism and feeling. If you can spend time with some local actors and get a good feel for what will make the web series great. Write for the strong point of your local actors. Getting to know your community is priceless is moving into the indie web show world.
Place Setting: How'd we get to the cave when we were in the desert? I love reading novels with great dialog and scripts to see how each writer uniquely creates a sense of place, sometimes even a whole new world. At times it can surprise me how little tweaking and editing a story may take to get the reader into the location or setting of the story. Sometimes, however it takes ever so much thoughtful wording to get an entire new world to feel real and full of life. When you think of your favorite novels how do those authors write about space and setting?
Look around your home or yard and try to carefully write out how you would describe the setting in a script. What is the essence of the place, the feeling of being there? Try reading the description out load and hear how it sounds. Focus on the tone of the place and then you can begin to add in details.
The sun hit the big red wood paneling harshly. As though the place should catch fire at any moment.
Red wood panels, long passed their prime, stood out from the bright landscape of yellow fields and stray chickens on the hunt for worms. I highly recommend getting to know each of your charters in your novel. Don't just write about some made up people, learn to feel for them a little, to understand them well enough to convey a realness that readers love. Does your lead person have a good heart or a dark core? Make sure the characters you flesh out will work seamlessly in your story's genre and tone.
Try writing half a page of information for each of your key characters and spend a little time just thinking about them. This will really help you connect with them and that allows you to writer a better novel quicker and with more ease.
What is your lead's main struggle?
Is he/ she a bored person or over excited about getting the story going?
By understanding your novel or webplay's characters as they relate to your setting you can develop a really wonderful story that captures people's imaginations. As you write down an outline for your awesome web show include an outline for each person in the tale and consider those people as important as the story itself.
How do they see themselves?
Are they honest or dishonest people?
As you tie in each occurrence in your story to the different characters consider which of them might make for the best plot twist or mystery. Play with them until you feel like they are your neighbors.
How to Publish Your EBook and get it read
E-Publishing: How to get published in an ever growing format
More and more people with simply a passion for writing believe they should get published. Do you firmly believe you'll be the next great novelist? Yes, well we all have goals now don't we. However, as vanity publishing and blogging have begun to dilute literature’s impact and respect it is very important to take a hard look at your writing and decide if it is going to find an audience. I suggest having several impartial people review anything you write before you submit it to an outside source.
Once you have firmly considered your work’s integrity (after all that romancing werewolf had better be believable) and appeal finding a publisher or agent can still be very, very tricky; much like that summer I got stuck to some fly tape on the deck. Below are suggestions for getting your work published in a digital format.
Self-love means self-editing your work before submission: I suggest having a professional editing service work with you; a poorly edited book, no matter how good the story, will very rarely even be read. Do not overuse !, ALL CAPS, or odd punctuation. Also, I would recommend not writing purely conversational sections in your manuscript, add details to conversations; no one wants to read 20 pages of “Ted said” and “Bob replied”.
Ways to get noticed: To blog or not to blog? OK, everyone and their sister firmly believes they will be the next greatest contribution to the blog-verse; shall I cook for a whole year with only white food? Yes you say and just wait till I make it then. However, remember to write about subjects other people actually want to read, your collection of 19th century dolls is most likely a topic only you will read about. Okay, I do know a few others who'll read that blog, why does that make me feel a little wrong?
If you work in a particular genre of writing, such as fantasy or romance, understand your market. Find the right publishers, often there are unique small publishing houses who are interested in specific genre manuscripts. Networking is very important and a good way get your name and information to publishers and agents is by joining groups and attending writer’s conferences where agents and publishers will be actively looking for authors.
Get your name and your work to as many people as often as you can. Be seen, be heard and be read.
Holly shizzal, you mean it needs words?
Our site designer does very reasonable pricing for indie authors if you let TBT know you're a self publisher she'll work with you on pricing and design. If you go the route of self-publishing you’ll eventually, sooner than later, have to deal with deciding if you can design a cover or if not (come on they are hard and no one can be brilliant at everything) then you’ll need to understand what you want from a designer. Knowing what you want and how to get the right look will help you not waste time and money on a book cover.
Make sure the text is easy to read, big but it still needs to sell the style of your book.
Do you want photos, drawing, just text? Think this all out beforehand but remember that the designer is there to help you so you don't need to have a fully formed concept starting out, just an outline. What is the tone of your book? Sad, dark, strange, funny? Knowing these things can greatly help your designer in getting the right feel their first round out.
TBT Works designs e-book covers for pretty reasonable prices and turnaround times.
Independent E-Book Publisher NueVer is looking for Fantasy and Sci-Fi Fiction Novellas (less than 70,000 words).
You can see further details on guidelines at NueVer.com.
If you have a finished manuscript and feel you would be a good contributor to our E-Book library please submit a cover letter and summary of your story to:
The Above Email: Attn: Your Book's Genre/ Title
Emailed attachments will not be considered. We will contact all authors whose work meets our needs and will request the full manuscript at that time.
Ghost Stories or
No, that's not pee it's wine
What do you find scary about the idea of Ghosts? Would you find it more frighting to see one or to hear one?
Herbal Remedies For Men
Mom Body Workouts
Organically Grown Food
Streaming Film Review
The Mommy Hood