Category Archives: Helpful Links and Tips

Quote of the Week (16)

And you thought this would be a paragraph of the week (though I should say month these days). Maybe something different is what we all need. Add some spice to life and such. So, here we go.

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Some Reading Recommendations

I thought I would do something a bit different today and write about some book recommendations. Some of these are quick reads, some are some lengthier ones, and all of them have the links posted. So, if you like what you see, go on and read! And the best part? It isn’t self promotion! How often do you see that from an author?

So here we go.

Number 1:

A Feast for Crows

http://www.amazon.com/Feast-Crows-Song-Fire-Thrones/dp/055358202X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389745184&sr=8-2&keywords=a+feast+for+crows

Maybe you already read this book and the next one in the series, A Dance of Dragons, and are awaiting the next in the series. But, as a fantasy writer who recently picked up the series again (Mr. Martin needs to write faster!), I had to include this one on the list. Some say its slower, but let’s face it, everything can’t be a summer block buster thriller. Enjoy the characters and setting. You won’t regret it.

Number 2:

Minecraft – Battle for Survival

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HQOP28I/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

I thought I would include a more indy piece here. I like supporting authors that publish their stories on their own, especially ones well written. And even though the target audience for novel is younger, the writing is still great. It’s a quick read and I thoroughly enjoyed this find.

Number 3:

The Artful Edit

http://www.amazon.com/Artful-Edit-Practice-Editing-Yourself-ebook/dp/B001TMCFMY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1389745837&sr=1-1&keywords=the+artful+edit

As a note, I’ve only began to scan over this one, but from what I’ve seen, it’s going to be a great help. Any writer needs to look at their own work and be able to edit it. This novel is specifically for those writers out there that need just a little guidance in this field.

And that’s all for today. Enjoy the reads and maybe there will be some more recommendations in the future. Until then, just keep up with the story on here (we’ll get through it, I promise)!

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Quote of the Week (15)

You know what we haven’t had for a while (besides consistent posts)? A quote of the week! I know we are in that middle of the week slump (and maybe even a writing slump too) and could use some words of inspiration. This one goes out to those that might have lost that little bit of inspiration and wondering: why am I doing this (at least, writing wise)? Or even: why do I bother reading? Writing and reading are powerful, and instrumental parts of life. Don’t take my word for it, just look at the quote.

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NaNoWriMo or in my mind: NoNoWriMo

A writer hating on writing?!? Madness! No, this is just an opinion of someone that has been writing a while and devoted a life to doing so. Never fear, I don’t hate just to hate, but I have valid reasons. Seriously, I do. Stick around and I’ll tell you why I think NaNoWriMo is awful in some ways, and really quite nice in others.

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So why, you ask, do I not like NaNoWriMo. Well, let me start off with a list:

1. A book, at least most of them, take time to develop properly. Trying to force one out in a month is giving birth to something premature, and usually, hideous.

2. Writing a book isn’t a race. I don’t think Hemingway ever went around challenging other authors to a ‘who can write a book first’ race. Or maybe he did…but he probably didn’t.

3. Writing a book isn’t just sitting down and slamming out words as fast as possible. It’s a long process. Whether it starts with an outline or an idea, it takes time to develop. Rushing something will only give you, well, number one on the list.

4. The marketplace is already flooded with poor quality books, and quite frankly (yes, I know this comes off as horribly mean), it doesn’t need more self-published books that shift tense every other paragraph and have characters flatter than twenty week old soda.

5. It spawns the idea in people’s heads that, yes they too, can write a great novel and be published. Let me elaborate on this last point.

I’m all for people realizing their dreams and wanting to write. If I wasn’t, well, I would be one hell of a hypocrite. I love to see when people know they need to write, and set off on the long and arduous journey that begins this. NaNoWriMo, however, skips this journey. Many people that don’t have the slightest idea how to start writing, begin to do so and think they have become real authors that can either self publish or start submitting places. Cruel, I know, but first think of this analogy. You get Wii Sports and start playing the tennis. It’s fun! Great! After a couple weeks, you start to think, “Hell, why not just be a pro tennis player. I’m sure I could beat Nadal, just look at how great I am at this game!” Of course, the minute you would try to go play in any pro tournament, you would be laughed at, repeatedly, and rightfully so. A game isn’t going to teach you to play a sport as complicated and intricate as tennis. And neither is sitting down and throwing down some words at break neck speeds going to teach you to be a writer. Learning to write takes years of patience, years of writing, years of reading, years of hard work and pain. Writing a book in a month, however liberating and fun it may be, isn’t going to help you become the next great author.

Even though I have said these horrible things about NaNoWriMo, it’s not entirely bad. As a game, something fun to do, then really it’s fine. Even for an experienced author who already had an idea in mind and wants to write with some motivation, it’s great too. However, when the race against the time starts to impede the writing, then it once again turns into a hindrance.

So treat NaNoWriMo for what it is: a fun (not serious) thing to do.

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The Distraction of Writing

I believe, a long time ago (but not quite in a galaxy far, far away), I promised to construct a post about how writing a novel consumes your life. Well, I’ve finished writing the novel, and after a week of hectic personal ordeals to wrap up, I finally have the time to sit down and write a post about what writing a book does to a person (that sounds bad, but really, it isn’t).

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To begin with, writing a book is time consuming. I think that’s pretty obvious. Most people understand the time commitment it takes to read a book, and writing a book is not much different (it just takes longer). If it was just the hours spent clicking away at the keyboard, I don’t think I could write this post. But that’s not it. Writing a book is more than just smacking some keys, hoping for the best, and returning back to those keys to mutilate the manuscript into something halfway decent. The book, the idea behind the book, is all consuming.

What do I mean by this? I’m sure you have all had an idea, one so persistent and itchy it couldn’t be scratched no matter how much you thought about it. When I’m writing a book, this is what happens. The characters, the scenes, the story, keeps playing out in my head over and over again. There is no good way to stop thinking about what will happen to the main character or the details of a particular scene or what is really motivating the side character that doesn’t seem all too fleshed out. As the book is in the process of being written, it is all I can think about. And while a good amount of the time consumption comes from writing, it also comes from thinking about the book.

Why am I able to stop and write this then if there is an itch I can’t scratch? Well, what I said above isn’t entirely accurate. There is one good way to stop all of this. Write. Writing is the only way the characters and scenes and book pass out of my head. Are they still there? Of course! But, they aren’t banging on the door, waiting for life to be breathed into them. Once the scenes and characters are on the page, they have that life and can leave their poor, distraught creator alone…at least for now. There are, however, always new book ideas, always new characters wanting to come out. And that’s fine. I love listening to them, seeing a scene change into something fantastic, and letting the process happen. The itch isn’t enough to start scratching again, but I know it will be soon enough. And when that time comes again, just remember to excuse any absence on this blog, because in the end, it’s for a good cause.

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Quote of the Week (13)

Here is the quote of the week. And while the paragraph of the week was, so tragically, forgotten last week. And since this blog has been quiet recently, this quote of the week is MULTIPLE quotes. So you got that going for you which is nice. Anyways, on with the quote!

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Quote of the Week (12)

Been a while since we had a quote of the week. So here’s a fun quote I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

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And just for fun.

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