Posts Tagged ‘Writers Resources’

genre-grime

Reading the untitled book I mentioned in my last post, the question of Niche came up. This is a very valid question, but in the world of fiction writing, niche has another name: Genre.

Don’t go running away now, it isn’t that scary. Really!

If nothing else, one thing I have learned is that genre is so, so, so important. Why? Forget being told that it means publishers know what your book is about, or that book sellers know what shelf to put it on. Though that may be true, without genre you won’t get published!

This is my belief. I have founded it on this: Genre keeps you on track.

You are writing a crime? Then where is the crime? The detective?

Romance? Then you need to inject some lurrrvee.

Thriller? Then why are you sitting laughing at your characters latest antics?

When writing with genre in mind, your characters end up doing the right things. When you get stuck, your genre can give you some clues as to where to go next.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind. That thriller can become a comedy. and the romance can become crime, and you can even write in two genres at once! The important thing is that you know what your book is about and what book shelf it will be sold from.

So before you begin, forget everything else. Think Genre!

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"Writing", 22 November 2008

Well, again, I have been pretty productive! I still have no ideas for an article, but I’ll get there.

In fact, I lie. There is one idea. Though it isn’t fully formed yet. Perhaps it will grow. Or perhaps it won’t. I lie again! There was another one I wanted to explore! Okay, so there are a few topics that I may or may not write about. On my to-do list today, I have written ‘Listen to Women’s Hour‘, because this might give me more ideas. Here’s hoping.

I have had one success. Many moons ago (okay, maybe not that many, 1 or 2 perhaps) I wrote in to Writing Magazine. It was a question for the help pages. I eagerly scanned the next copy for my letter. Nope. Next issue a month later, I eagerly scanned it again. Nope. Oh well, they aren’t publishing it. I thought. This month’s issue (I believe it is May, if you want to go out and buy a copy, thrust my letter under peoples noses screaming ‘I know her! I know her!’) – as I was saying, this month’s issue contains my letter!

 

I now have 3 letters in my achievement file! Next it will be a short story, then an article, then a novel! And then………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will dominate the best seller list forever more! Mwahahahahahaha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then…..I can call myself a writer.

It’s a new day, it’s a new week, and in my spare time I came across a kindle book about finding ideas for blog posts. I won’t name the book, because to be honest, I can’t rate it. There were too many spelling errors! But, I bought it not just for the blog, but for my articles.

I am really, well and truly struggling! Ideas for articles are like gold dust for me. I see fellow writers having no problems with it, but yet I do. Ideas for fiction, not a problem! Prompt or no prompt with fiction? Easy peasy.

But put a Writers’ Bureau Assignment in front of me, and my mind goes blank. As a kid, I wanted to be a Journalist. I even did work experience on The Shropshire Star (Telford’s local daily) but my Careers Advisor knocked the aspiration right out of me. I now think she did me a massive favour, as it seems I am pretty rubbish at it. Tell me ‘get a story on a woman who jumped out a plane and learned to fly’ and I could probably do it. But when I am given:

Pick a women’s magazine. Now write A personal experience type article or an interview with a local personality or someone who is likely to interest the readers of your chosen magazine or a humorous article

I come out in a cold sweat! Now, this means that either I pick the wrong magazines or I am not cut out for this writing lark.

 

I have thought that I could do a personal experience type article, but there is nothing really that I would willingly share with the whole world. And as the ultimate idea is that it will be published, I guess that means I am doomed!!!!

 

Do you have any ideas on how to come up with ideas for non fiction? Answers on a postcard (or the comments box below) please.

"Writing", 22 November 2008

 

It is Friday the 13th yet again. How many are there? It seems that they are quite common as of late. But I don’t feel unlucky today, not at all.

 

I have been quite productive. I have learned that the secret is: Prioritization!

Now, yes, you would have thought that my silly little brain would have figure that out when I started reading ‘The Positively Productive Writer’. But no. I had my goals, but I didn’t make them important enough. I was writing and writing and writing. But I was writing so many different pieces that nothing was getting finished. And I would cry into my cereal that I am not writing enough on the novel, but hey, I’m writing on everything else, so that’s okay isn’t it? I’m still writing. WRONG!

 

Yes, I was still writing, but I want to write a novel. And alongside that I want to write something that might just be published one day. Yes, I was still writing, but I wasn’t feeling at all fulfilled.

So, my novel is my Priority! Every day, without fail, I will get 335 words down on it. That, on a good day, takes me less than half an hour. I cannot, I repeat, cannot work on anything else – not even this blog – until I have written at least 335 words on my novel. If I write 535, it doesn’t mean I can write 200 less tomorrow, it just means that I am 200 closer to finishing earlier!

 

As the novel is the most important thing for me, the thing that means the world to me, it must take priority. And over the past week, it has! Other stuff has been done, and will continue to be done. I think 335 words is modest. If I keep it up, I might up the daily word count, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

 

Another thing: I don’t have much going on. I refuse to write more than 5 things at a time (novel, short story, competition, article and assignment). If a new thing takes my fancy, tough! It has to wait until I finish the last one in that category. I’ll let you know how it all goes.

 

And finally, some exciting news! Some of you may remember that in 2010 I took part in – and won – NaNoWriMo. The novel? Shaun’s Children. It has now been removed from the dusty hard drive. 40 pages have been printed. The editing will be commencing soon! Here’s hoping I can work with the drivel.

 

I thought I wouldn’t have anything to write today. I was wrong! Until next time……

Wednesday

 

Wow! It’s Wednesday already. I don’t know about you, but it has snuck up on me. And I totally forgot that I am adding posts on a Wednesday as well, so I am unprepared and this will be, quite literally, first thing on my mind kind of stuff.

 

So far this week, I haven’t been doing to bad. I haven’t written a word of my novel, but I have done a lot of editing. I came across the issues of copyright. When can you safely use something that another has created, after trying to contact them for permission and getting no reply? You have to do everything in your power. It is frowned upon if you use something without permission, obviously. But if they do not respond to phone calls, letters, e-mails, and where possible turning up on their doorstep, this could be seen as enough. Don’t take my word for it though! I am not a lawyer. But those rules seem pretty fair.

 

 

Also, editors! They say us writers are a bane of their life, well! They are becoming the bane of mine. I am trying to determine whether a publication accepts freelance work (I am thinking not, but still, better to ask) and they are not replying to my request! I will be interviewing a friend of mine for this publication (or another if the answer is no) so I need to know which publication to aim it at! The questions asked will be very different.

 

 

Unfortunately, I still have no work out there trying to earn some money. I hope to rectify this very very soon!

 

It’s strange. I think up an idea for a blog post, and all of a sudden, that topic is everywhere!

 

Today, I want to talk about motivation. The whys and wherefores of it. I have a desk, where I sit and be the writer of the household. But today, I am writing about motivation from the sofa.

 

I am motivated to write this post, as I feel a sense of duty to my readers. I know that if I don’t post, I’ll lose all, or at least some of you. So I make it a regular thing. But that is about it.

 

Life gets in the way. For some, the motivation is money. For most, it is a need. To not write, is to not breathe. But this need doesn’t necessarily bring you to your desk day in and day out. It doesn’t necessarily make you productive.  Money does.

 

So what if you want your motivation to be money, but right now all it is is a need? How do you get yourself to the desk and write, as if you are being paid for it? I don’t have the answers yet. I hope that when I purchase The Positively Productive Writer by Simon Whalley, I will be getting somewhere. I have heard it is a good book, and it is most definitely on my ‘to read’ list.

Another good thing, which is helping me a little bit is Wunderlist. You can add lists for different things too. I have Short Stories, Competitions, Articles and Assignments. And at the click of a button, if I have added a deadline, I can see what deadlines I have coming up in the near future.

 

Will I be more productive for it? I certainly hope so. But I need to get to the desk first.

 

How do you motivate yourself, and does it work?