About Writers, book sales, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

20 Books to 50K

“Being an author is a lonely business. It comes down to you and your computer, memorializing your words and then putting them in print, casting them upon the digital waves of the universe. It is lonely, but you don’t have to be alone. 20Booksto50k shows that we are in this together, and our goal is that you take what you learn here and climb to the next level in your author journey.”
– From the 20Booksto50k conference announcement:
“It’s Vegas Baby! November 6-8, 2018. A 20Booksto50k Educational and Networking Event”
http://20booksvegas.com/

“We are the indies, and 20Books is about indies supporting indies.”
I’m writing about this writers’ group because so many of them appear to be successful authors. Here’s a couple examples:

“Here are my results: I made $10k in my first 90 days, I’ve made $60k in 150 days, I’m on track to hit $300k this year – Obviously things can happen. My goal for March is $17,360. I’m projecting a gross of $25k this month – over $20k has been sold to date.
‘So what’ I’ve been told. You got lucky, your writing is crap – it’s poorly edited, you need to do better. You need to do this, you need to do that. To those I would suggest that the ONLY one who has a vote is the person who pays you and pays me. The reader.”
– Michael Anderle

Author Craig Martelle reports monthly income for the year ending March 2018 at about $15,000, with the lowest month under $10,000 and the highest over $20,000.

The 20Booksto50k Facebook site is crammed full of very specific experiences from authors. Many make their living by writing, others are on their way to doing so.

Just sayin’, it can be done 🙂

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Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

WRITING APPS

If you are writing with a program other than Microsoft Word, please tell us what you think of it in the Comments Section. Your experience may help others.

For those considering using a program made specifically for writers, here’s an idea of what’s out there.

Full-Blown:
Scrivener
Scrivener is considered by many to be the premier book writing software. It is made by writers for writers. Scrivener’s “binder” view allows you to break up your book into chapters and sections and easily reorganize it. Project targets let you create word count goals and then track your progress daily. Its composition mode can help you stay focused by removing all the clutter. Plus, it allows you to format for publishing (e.g. on Amazon or Barnes & Noble).
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview

Simple:
Writemonkey
Writemonkey is a Windows zenware* writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. With an array of innovative tools under the hood and full Markdown* support, it helps you write better.
http://writemonkey.com/

Mac OS:
Storyist
Storyist is a creative writing application for Mac OS X and iPad. Tailored for novelists and screenwriters, it provides a word processor, a cork board with support for index cards and photos, an outliner, and a project manager.
http://storyist.com/

For other suggestions, see this comparison with pricing & website links:
The Best Creative Writing Software of 2018
http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/education/best-creative-writing-software/

Personally, I start a new story on the old Microsoft Notepad because, in the early formative stage, I don’t want to be distracted by spellcheck, grammar check or any other checks on my thoughts.  I then use Word because it’s universal and I’m used to it. meh.

What do you use?

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Flash Fiction, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Flash Fiction Fun

What might be the shortest story is accredited to Hemingway:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Write an extremely brief story and post it in the comments.
I’ll start with:

A VERY SHORT MAGIC STORY

+++More interested in the lady bug on her wand than in the instructor’s question, Mary answered, very carefully pronouncing, “ex tempore de integro.”
+++Spellmaster Pritchart wrote “Time Loop” on the blackboard. “Anyone know what this is? If you do, please remember to be very careful using this spell. It causes time to start over one minute in the past.”
+++More interested in the lady bug on her wand than in the instructor’s question, Mary answered, very carefully pronouncing, “ex tempore de integro.”

Write

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publishing, Stories, Uncategorized

Editors Choosing Stories

Imagine an app that lets you capture the email exchange between editors as they work to make the initial selection of stories for inclusion in an anthology. You would probably see comments like the following.
The comments are real. I didn’t identify the writers or their stories, of course. And the editors themselves, I’ll call Billy, Bob & Joe.

Billy: I find that the first read, leading to ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe’, is pretty quick – just a matter of deciding if the writing’s ok and the story itself is interesting. After that we could compare lists and consolidate the categories. The main editing is obviously with the ‘maybes’ ones, but how many of those we decide to continue with will depend on how many ‘yeses’ we’ve got and the overall length we’re looking for.
Bob: I’m in. Sounds like fun.
Joe: Excellent! Send me some stories and I’ll get right on it!

Billy: Here they all are then, with names and emails removed. You can look at number #23 if you want, but, having read it, I don’t think it’s good enough to justify being included at over twice the maximum word count, even if we’re flexible.

Joe: My first thought on #23 is, we should only have to put up with writers who break the rules if they’re good writers.

Bob: I often tend to spot potential and think, ‘Ah, that story would be great if such and such…’ But it then depends how ready writers are to accept editorial suggestions.

Bob: Some of my choices are pretty soft. Shorter pieces tended to beneift from their brevity (including most of the poetry). In some cases I liked the quality or originality of the writing but wasn’t sure about the subject matter. A few showed promise but didn’t really have an ending.

Joe: Maybe on #12. I have a hard time judging a 20-page mental monologue. It put me to sleep. But, that’s just me.

Bob: You are right. Taste is subjective but there are objective qualities of good writing. A lot of the stories, even if they are competently wrtitten from a nuts and bolts perspective, are still sadly lacking when it comes to pacing, plot, realistic dialogue, that sort of thing — almost perplexingly so, in some cases.

Bob: As far as #24, I can take it or leave it. It would need a ton of cutting even if we did include it.

Billy: Yes on #14, if trimmed – takes a long time to deal with all the characters for no real gain to the story. Otherwise nice.

Joe: Yes on #47. Good story, well written, even if the hidden weapon seemed to magically appear when needed.

Billy: yes on #22 – dry and mischievous humor, nicely done.

Joe: No on #33. All tell, no show. (It could be brilliant in the end, but, my eyes glazed over before I got there.)

Bob: #48 is an okay idea for a story, but the writing is only meh, and the characters are so dull. They felt like unfinished holoprojections of people. I wish they had been. That would’ve been more interesting than the actual story.

Bob: #27 left me flat from the beginning, and you’re spot on about the ending. It was half a mouthful of nothing.

Joe: Maybe on #18. I like poetry that invokes feelings or images but I find these lines too
obscure to tantalize.

Bob: I wish the author of #38 had flipped the ending in some interesting way. As it is, it’s more like a five minute Hallmark made-for-TV special about how nice guys sometimes win after all. Heartwarming, I suppose, but ho-hum.

Joe: No on #16. Well done, but …thousands of words without dialogue until the last paragraph? My mind glassed over before then.

Billy: A minor flurry of submissions at the end, making a very healthy tally of 56 at the deadline. Now for the hard decisions…

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blogging, inspiration, Research, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

The Writer’s Muse & Inner Critic

Above, Roger W. Sperry, 1913-1994

In his blog “How to Discover Your Writer’s Muse” Harvey points out that creativity springs from the right side of our brain while your knowledge of writing resides in the left side.
“Your writing muse lives in the right side of your brain – the side where all the creative work takes place. The critic lives in the logical left side. The muse has access to your unconscious mind – the place where you dream and imagine and store your hidden memories. The critic has no time for such nonsense. You use your creative side (or your writer’s muse) to supply you with great raw material. Then you use your logical side (or your inner-critic) to make sense of it all and knock it into shape.”

Harvey is suggesting that the more we know about muses, the more we can trust our own. Another way of putting it is, teach the left brain about muses and the right brain can form a useful muse. For those interested, his piece is at:
https://www.novel-writing-help.com/writing-muse.html

And, for those who wonder how much truth there can be in this approach, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1981 was awarded to Dr. Roger W. Sperry, “for his discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres.”
https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1981/

Warning, though. Anyone reading Sperry’s experiments may forever think differently of themselves.
https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/roger-sperrys-split-brain-experiments-1959-1968

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