Writing Outside The Box

Most of us, as writers, get stuck “inside the box.” Jamie Lee Wallace (@suddenlyjamie) tells us in her blog, “There is no “always” or “never” in writing. There are some basic common sense guidelines, but, other than that, I don’t give the “shoulds” and “musts” of writing much credence. What works for someone else might work for you, or it might not. And, as the masters will tell you, even the most widely touted rules are made (once you have the chops) to be broken.”

We should ask ourselves if we are stuck “inside the box” and as Jamie suggests in her blog, “…step outside that box – outside your comfort zone and into the place where the magic happens?”

Jamie’s blog is by far one of the best blogs for writers, by a writer, that I have read. Do yourself a favor and take the time to read Jamie’s entire blog.

Happy writing!

Live to Write - Write to Live

“Think outside the box” has always been one of the phrases I love to hate. In my agency days, it was something that echoed up and down the corridors, usually tripping lightly off the tongue of some overpaid creative director-type who couldn’t come up with a more helpful way to articulate his “vision.” The writers and designers would cringe in unison and wonder exactly what the hell they were supposed to do. Most of the time, they weren’t even aware they were in a box, never mind understanding how to get out of it.

Still, getting “outside the box” does have some validity in the world of marketing if you think of the box as the “shoulds” of marketing.

The myth of “best practices”

I have some bad news: there is no silver bullet, no 100% guaranteed roadmap, no one-size-fits-all solution. I also have some good news: there is no…

View original post 671 more words

Books, birthdays and butterflies

il_570xN.780155660_2l95

Attention all readers! If you have not yet read The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, here is your chance to not only win a signed paperback version, or a Kindle copy, if you prefer, but also a silver butterfly bracelet.

Please feel free to share this post. Most importantly, if you do not win, please purchase the paperback or Kindle version on Amazon. I am a reader, as well as a writer, and The Munich Girl is the best novel I’ve read in a while.

The following is an excerpt from the blog of Phyllis Edgerly Ring:

“February is the month when the two friends in this story each have a birthday, each born in a Leap Year like this one.

To celebrate, I’m having a drawing at the beginning and end of the month. On February 6, which was also Eva Braun’s birthday, I’ll draw the name of two winners for a signed copy of the book and a silver butterfly bracelet designed by artist Diane Kirkup.

To enter, send an email to info@phyllisring.com with“Butterfly” in the subject line. Those who include any thoughts about the book or a photo of themselves with it will receive 3 entries.”

Good luck!

Leaf of the Tree

il_570xN.780155660_2l95Enter by Feb. 6 to win.

As my novel, The Munich Girl, reaches more readers, I’m continually moved and surprised by the level of response that the book is bringing.

It’s a privilege to receive readers’ impressions about themes that weave through the story.

Gayle Hoover notes,  “It’s the women in this story who have the real strength, even in instances when they easily could have been seen as only victims.”

At the heart of it all, the story’s goal is to encourage discussion at levels that will take another look at many things, including our very own selves.

Albert Marquet - Jardin du Luxembourg, 1898. Oil on canvas, 15 x 17 3_4 in. (38 x 45 cm). @ Sotheby's Images, London_nAlbert Marquet, Jardin du Luxembourg, 1898. Oil on canvas, Sotheby’s Images, London

Those who’ve made the way through the novel know that many objects and events in it invite the way toward looking at things anew. One image in particular that does this is a butterfly.

February is the month…

View original post 145 more words

Generating Page-Turning Momentum -Characters & The Wound

Whether you are a seasoned, an intermediate, or a new writer that is just starting to get your feet wet and you do not know Author Kristen Lamb; you must get to know her, and she has a great blog you can follow to become acquainted with. Kristen Lamb is the #1 best-selling author of We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me. Writer, Kristen Lamb is quite witty. If you’re anything like me, you tend to tune in and retain more from those who are intelligently humorous and believable.

Let’s face it, the writing industry is confusing, and especially if you do not have a background in English, Journalism, or Communication. If you are reading about your craft, and hopefully you are, as well as reading other writer’s books, blogs, etc., the terminology, method of putting a story together can be overwhelming. Writing a book is a lot like putting a puzzle together. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you, it’s not. Like pieces of a puzzle, our stories have pieces too, and if you fail to put the pieces in the right order, your novel will not work. You may be scratching your head, rolling your eyes and thinking what I’m writing is psychobabble fluff, but I promise you it’s not.

Let’s talk about some of the confusing write-speak just briefly. When it comes to writing, if you are a writer, you know what a plot is, hopefully, but what do you know about log-lines? Characters sound natural enough, but there are many elements to your characters too. The emotional connections, and distinct wounds, and how you tie these problems and dramatic events to your characters? What about generating story tension and timing the introduction of your characters and their problems/wounds? There are many pieces, but the timing for introducing these pieces is critical to GOOD writing.

I am traveling; the truth is I am camping, and I am without the luxury of my 24 hour Wi-Fi, so I am remiss in re-blogging Kristen’s excellent blog post, Generating Page-Turning Momentum—Characters & The Wound. Unfortunately, there was a give-a-way that accompanied this blog post that expired on July 31st, 2015. Personally, I believe the blog itself is a give-a-way. Kristen’s blog lays it ALL out better and more concisely than I’ve yet to see it explained. It was a great refresher for me. Anyway—read, giggle and take notes. I guarantee Kristen’s blog will allay some of the confusion that writer’s encounter.

 

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 10.17.54 AM Hmmm, what’s the story behind THIS?

Can we answer the question, “What is your book about?” in one sentence. Is our answer clear and concise? Does it paint a vivid picture of something others would want to part with time and money to read? Plot is important, but a major component of a knockout log-line is casting the right characters.

Due to popular demand I am running my Your Story in a Sentenceclass in about two weeks and participants have their log lines shredded and rebuilt and made agent-ready. Log-lines are crucial because if we don’t know what our book is about? How are we going to finish it? Revise it? Pitch it? Sell it?

Once we have an idea of what our story is about and have set the stage for the dramatic events that will unfold, we must remember that fiction is about PROBLEMS. Plain and simple…

View original post 1,640 more words

At the shores of discovery

Struggling with your writing process? Feel like you've hit the wall? Read Phyllis Edgerly Ring's blog post below. Phyllis has the gift of explaining those moments that we feel we are sinking in quicksand, but her gift extends to showing us the way out.

You’re Not Alone – An Indie Author Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support

I am happy to re-post a blog that is doing something for the good of humanity. It is my hope that you will get behind Ian D. Moore’s venture to publish You’re Not Alone – An Indie Author Anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support. The e-book is available for pre-order now on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk -the links for the respective sites are available in Ian’s blog. The paper book version will be available soon after the release of the e-book.

To help grow support for this worthwhile project, please help get the word out to the masses by reblogging Ian’s blog, tweeting, posting on your FB page and word of mouth. I can tell you that I will be first in line for a paper book copy for myself, as well as extra copies to give as gifts. Please do what you can do to support this cause.

The Quill Pen Writes

After much international formatting and file assembly spread over two different time zones and several thousand miles, we have managed to get You’re Not Alone available for pre-order on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk the links for the respective sites are below.

Amazon.co.uk

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Youre-Not-Alone-Author-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00Y5RCOOE/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1432472635&sr=8-10&keywords=You%27re+Not+Alone

Amazon.com

Please help us to raise as much as we possibly can through the sale of this anthology to help those who need the support of the Macmillan Cancer Nurses. The Anthology will be available in paperback version shortly after the full release of the ebook which is scheduled for 11th July 2015. I would ask that if you’re able to, please reblog this post, tell your friends, utilise your facebook contacts and let’s see how far around the world we can gather support.

The anthology has already proved that the theme of relationships is woven into its very fabric, given that authors have contributed short stories…

View original post 267 more words

My anger is real and just.

Carolyn Riker’s blog “My anger is real and just” is the most honest blog about feelings I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Honest and raw in feeling. Well said, Carolyn! Thank you for your honesty, and sharing it with the masses.

Magic of Stardust and Words

Federico Bebber Federico Bebber

Warning. I’m super grumpy.

I almost dread what’ll come out of my mouth.

Skimming through my newsfeed, I detest the catchy psycho-babble nonsense that’ll cure your [insert any label] in 10 quick easy tips!” All I hear is blah, blah, blah.  Flip [scroll] the page and shake my head.

I assure you it’ll take a lot more than 10 tips to ‘fix’ me. Perhaps I don’t even need fixing. Maybe what I need is to be heard and seen.

Equally annoying are the sexy click and bait posts.

I’m tired of the BS and the steady stream of artificial-flavored-super-happy and perfect people. How is that even possible – every-flippin’-day? (I have a hard enough time getting clothes on.)

My rose-colored glasses have been dipped in real and that’s when I stop for few seconds because this wicked heart-throat-lump forms.

Maybe just maybe I’m ranting and raging because (big sigh)…

View original post 81 more words

Couple Thousand Miles, Two Time Zones, One Goal

Show your support by helping to raise awareness for Ian D. Moore’s venture to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support through his writing of You’re Not Alone – An Indie Author Anthology. If you do not care to purchase the book of short stories to aid Macmillan Cancer Support, you can still show your support by reblogging Ian D. Moore’s blog and share his blog on Twitter and Facebook. And be sure you follow the progress of Ian’s venture on FB at http://www.facebook.com/yourenotalone2015. Will you do your part to help with this venture?

The Quill Pen Writes

You're Not Alone 43D

At 0200hrs UK time and indeed, for most of the day today on and off, myself and the very talented author Nico Laeser, the digital designer who created this cover image alongside the simply awesome Christine Southworth, batted backwards and forwards ideas relating to the font and text layout. The first image was far too generic for me, in my head was something smoother, older looking, something to give real ‘feeling’ to the efforts of both artists.

I wasn’t keen on the first cover with the italics and the regimented lines, it needed something to make it speak to me. After a couple of hours (the wee small ones in the UK) and much discussion with Nico, he sent through the image you see on the above picture and, with a little 3D magic applied from me, what we have now is the finalised cover to You’re Not Alone –…

View original post 298 more words