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It’s about purity: Exploring theme in a single word

In Articles, Articles and Free Goodies, Articles for Writers, Writing Advice from the Experts by T.J. TranchellLeave a Comment

I recently read an article on the blog “Reedsy” that discussed shows to watch on Netflix that can help you be a better writer. While I would first tell you that you should spend more time reading than watching TV, this article had some enlightening points, in particular about theme. Reedsy editor Andrew Lowe wrote about “Stranger Things,” saying that the show, ultimately, is about loss. “It will enhance your story if the key characters all want different versions of the same thing, or if their change or development is influenced by a unifying theme,” Lowe writes. He goes on to discuss what has been lost by certain characters and clinches it by stating that having this central one-word theme can help build stronger characters and even assist in writing your synopsis. This reminded me of “State and Main,” a film my wife introduced me to early in our relationship. …

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Point of View: Head-hopping and how to cure it

In Articles, Articles and Free Goodies, Articles for Writers, Writing Advice from the Experts by T.J. TranchellLeave a Comment

Let me tell you right off the bat that point of view is something I struggle with. I don’t mean making the choice between telling a story in first or third person. (By now you should know the difference between those perspectives, but if you don’t, here is the quick break down. I (first person) am writing this article. T.J. (third person) is writing this article. And finally, you (second person) are reading this article. We can talk more about second person another time.) I make the choice early in each story and when I choose first person there is a good reason for it. Usually, it’s because of the voice of the narrator. This specific person needs to tell this particular story. Everything is filtered through his or her (or any variety of that) experience. My story “An Appointment with the Knifeman” is in first person specifically because the …

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What to Do About Bad Reviews

In Articles for Writers, Writing Advice from the Experts by Blysster Press2 Comments

Be willing to accept bad reviews and constructive criticism on your writing, your marketing, or your overall professional presence. I’m not just talking about crits from people in the know (editors, publicists, and the like–though certainly pay attention to what they say), I’m speaking of your readers and the general public, too. Learning what to do about bad reviews can help your ego and your reputation recover quickly. My book got a bad review! Get a bad review? Put on your big kid panties and learn from it. Harsh advice, but I’m not here to hold your hand and tell you the world is a nice place. It’s also not a really horrible place. You may not believe it right now, but aside from the occasional internet troll, most reviewers mean well. They took the time to write something, now give that feedback the attention it deserves. Take a lesson …

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How to Avoid Writing Contest Scams

In Articles for Writers, Marketing Advice for Writers, Writing Advice from the Experts by Blysster PressLeave a Comment

How to Avoid Writing Contest SCAMS! By Charity Becker Writing contests can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to teach you to write with a deadline. They’re great exposure, a fantastic opportunity to network, and a good way to hone your craft. Unfortunately, they’re also a perfect way for unscrupulous companies to screw authors over. This is a rather long read, but it’s important to protect yourself. Take the time to read and understand what to look for and what to avoid with writing contests. Research the Writing Contest The first rule of selecting a good writing contest is to do your research. Learn the contest’s rules and guidelines, and especially read that fine print. Research the people in charge of the contest, too. Talk to people who have worked with the company (past or current authors, editor, artists, past winners or contestants). These are the people …

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Don’t Be a Lazy Author

In Writing Advice from the Experts by Blysster Press5 Comments

Don’t Be a Lazy Author Blysster Press If you want to be an author, BE one. Don’t expect anyone else to finish your book for you. Your test readers and your editors are NOT there to tell you what to do next. Your mother and various family members are not there to hold your hand and finish your book for you. This article comes to you from a place of frustration in, and great disappointment over, a recent trend in the writing community. LAZY WRITERS! There have always been lazy writers–we call them hacks. But recently, this has gone beyond the norm. As an author, I’m disappointed in those who exhibit laziness–it makes us all look bad. As an editor, I’m disgusted by lazy writers, and I refuse to work with them. As a publisher, I won’t even give them the time of day. If you cannot be bothered to …

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How NOT to Entertain Readers: Toothpaste Syndrome – Drone on and on and on

In Writing Advice from the Experts by Blysster Press2 Comments

How NOT to Entertain Readers: Toothpaste Syndrome – Drone on and on and on By Charity Becker There is a story-killer running rampant through fiction, and YOU can help stop it. I call it “Toothpaste Syndrome”, and it kills readers by boring them to death. When I was a teen, I read a very popular horror novel. I was enjoying it until I came to the middle of the book where I found a handful of PAGES describing a tube of toothpaste. The author in question spent so much time on this toothpaste that I fully expected it to come back later in the book and kill someone. Was it poisoned? Possessed? Magical toothpaste from an underworld ruled by cavity goblins? Nope. It was just a regular tube of toothpaste. By the end of the book, I realized I’d been duped by this author and I was suddenly angry. I’d …

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Book Published? Your Job is Not Over!

In Articles for Writers, Marketing Advice for Writers, Writing Advice from the Experts by Blysster Press1 Comment

Book Finally Published? Your Job is Not Over! By Charity Becker Whether you’ve been traditionally published, truly self-published, or vanity press published (Createspace, LuLu, etc.), your job is not over once your book is out. Even if you have a PR person or a dedicated marketing team, after publication you shouldn’t just sit back and kick up your feet. As an author, it is important that you continue to engage your readers. Show your fans you’re really there. You must talk to readers, news agencies, book stores, and event coordinators. Schedule signings, readings, and plan to attend at least one event every year—more is better! You need to stay on top of your fan mail from current readers and do things or offer goodies to continue to attract new readers, too. Being an author is more than just writing a neat book and sticking it on a shelf or on …