Can't Punctuate Dialogue? Consider the Sentence
By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach
firstwriter.com – Monday September 4, 2017
Whereas everyone is welcome to write without a clue - you do have a computer, after all - unless you start with a strong foundation and build from there, your lack of understanding is going to cost you.
Recently, a student of mine expressed strong irritation when I suggested she learn to punctuate. Yes, I really am that annoying person. Well, the next time I went through her writing, I restrained myself from spending the time and effort on such minor matters as how her sentences were put together. I should simply presume people will be happy to pay for an edit rather than learn some of the basics of writing.
I thought I might start here with the sentence, really for a reason that has to do with punctuating dialogue - the issue on my mind right now. Why? Because while line editing, I've found so many examples of a certain glitch that boils down to a mere misunderstanding of what a sentence is.
How to market and promote your books
By Jeffrey Sussman
President, Jeffrey Sussman, Inc.
firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 30, 2017
Every author and every publisher wants to sell as many books as possible. Each may try a variety of tactics as well as resort to conventional means of publicity, but results often fall short of expectations. It is one reason why publishers make significant profits from only a small fraction of the books they publish. And the vast numbers of authors cannot count on royalties to support themselves. What to do?
Here are several examples that have helped publishers increase the quantity of sales and have even helped self-published authors make money from their books.
Bernard MacLaverty: ‘Just try to write. You can do it better tomorrow’
theguardian.com – Saturday August 26, 2017
The novelist on the privilege of working from home, the benefits of eavesdropping and why he and his grandson love to play ‘throwing writers at the radiator’.
Ray Bradbury’s Practical and Inspiring Writing Advice
flavorwire.com – Tuesday August 22, 2017
The late, great Ray Bradbury, a master of modern science fiction, was born on this day in 1920. Bradbury was full of wit and wisdom when it came to dishing out practical writing advice.
Digital isn't dead for book publishers - we're just waking up from the first hangover
thebookseller.com – Monday August 21, 2017
In 2010 Steve Jobs announced another killer product that would propel tech companies, publishers and consumers into an exciting new era. The iPad launched tablet devices into the consumer consciousness in a way which few would have believed possible at the time. Now with over 40% of the worldwide population believed to own at least one tablet and 91% a smartphone, smart devices are here to stay.
So why did so many book apps fail to work?
What it's like writing about sex for over 60s
stuff.co.nz – Monday August 21, 2017
I haven't lost my libido. Mislaid it at times, perhaps, but not completely lost it. Possession of a SuperGold Card doesn't swipe away the sensual senses and sensations of a good old burst of lust, or so they tell me.
But when you're a woman over 60, sex becomes a standing joke in stand-up comedy repertoire. It's OK for guys over 60 to talk about it, just not women. And especially not in front of the children, even though they've got their own offspring now and clearly know what it's all about.
Imagine the horror then, having a mother who writes about it.
Writing fiction takes quite a bit of courage – exposing aspects of yourself, your fantasies, your innermost thoughts. Writing sex scenes takes even more courage. And writing sex scenes for over 60s requires an extra layer of tact.
Can you teach someone to write a bestseller? Judging by the Faber Academy’s record, the answer is yes
standard.co.uk – Thursday August 17, 2017
With 62 publishing deals and a glittering roll call of alumni, it’s rapidly earning a reputation as the book world’s fame school. Patricia Nicol finds out its secrets.
My fellow authors are too busy chasing prizes to write about what matters
theguardian.com – Wednesday August 16, 2017
There are at least two reasons why almost every anglophone novelist feels compelled to get as near the Booker prize as they can. The first is because it looms over them and follows them around in the way Guy de Maupassant said the Eiffel Tower follows you everywhere when you’re in Paris. “To escape the Eiffel Tower,” Maupassant suggested, “you have to go inside it.” Similarly, the main reason for a novelist wanting to win the Booker prize is to no longer be under any obligation to win it, and to be able to get on with their job: writing, and thinking about writing.
The 4 Great Myths of Book Publishing
huffingtonpost.com – Tuesday August 8, 2017
Signing a contract with even a brand-name traditional book publisher initially feels like a ticket to Nirvana. You may expect, for example, your new publisher to set you up with a big fat advance, a multi-city promotional tour, your very own personal PR rep and multiple copies of your book on every bookshelf in the nation (and Canada) for as long as you and your book shall live.
But to understand how book publishers really work, study this list of what I call the four great “myths” of traditional book publishing. Then, by all means, proceed to seek out a publisher if that’s your goal but do so with your eyes wide open. Your relationship with your publisher will run much smoother if you recognize its pitfalls as well as its glories.
Writing in Someone Else’s World
theatlantic.com – Monday August 7, 2017
My first book was not what I dreamed it would be. I started writing professionally when I was in my late 20s, and while I worked my way up from a freelance music journalist to being an editor at The A.V. Club, the non-satirical wing of The Onion, I had one goal: to use all that experience as a springboard toward becoming an author. I had it all mapped out: After years of sacrifice and honing my craft, I would make my triumphant debut, with a book that might not become a bestseller but that’d be respected for its stunning originality and insight into the human condition.
Instead, my first book was The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook. Yes, that Captain Jack Sparrow. As played by Johnny Depp. From The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Based not on an ancient myth or literary archetype, but on a Disney ride. Writing a media tie-in, as works officially attached to other properties are known, wasn’t the start I had in mind. But as many professional authors will attest, the path to publication is rarely the expected one. And my experience writing about the famed Disney pirate—as well as my second media tie-in, a project for the Goosebumps movie—made me think twice about my preconceptions about work-for-hire books. Not to mention those who make them.