A reblog from last Christmas! I will be away for Christmas and these are my favorites to share! Merry Christmas to one and all!
THE IMITATION GAME: Learning How to Be a Copycat!
In Writer’s Digest magazine this month, I was stopped in my tracks, when I saw this article by Karen Krumpak. I thought…What?
But then reading on, I realized that this is what artists do all the time. The apprentice artists are required to copy their “Master’s work” in paintings, watercolor, and pastels. Okay, I thought, but how is copying, word for word, another author’s work going to help me? And is this a good idea? In my effort to understand this “Game”, I read on.
And, I then discovered that this is a practice game to improve writing skills. Great, I thought, I am hooked! It was a relief though, to know I wouldn’t be the only copycat. I was in good company: Jack London, Benjamin Franklin, and Hunter S. Thompson (I honestly don’t know who this man is or was.)
Next step: Learning to Copycat or rather finding a writer I love and want to copy, but, as I found out, this is not as easy as pie…it takes work! Work?? More work??
Okay…I am Game! (pun intended)
Ms. Karen Krumpak, the author of this article, states that “You will learn to have your own Voice and your own Distinctive Style!” This sounded like magic to me, as I imagined my own Strong voice, and my own Distinctive style!
Or, would I be, “The New Copycat Killer of Words?” (secretly, I wondered if I would finally learn to properly use punctuation, and even learn how to use italics with confidence.) I have a secret love for italics—don’t ask me why, I don’t know. Italics are very pretty to look at, aren’t they?
The first thing is to sort through your personal library for a writer that you would love to imitate. So, several hours later….I finally made a decision!
I chose a book with 870 pages: THE MISTS OF AVALON. I figured that after 870 pages…I would really have my own Strong voice and my own Distinctive style! This would be the “Cat’s Meow” (Pun intended)!
This choice was perfect for me with my love of legends, fantasy, fairytales, and most of all, the Magic of Morgan Le Fay, in other words; the magic of a legends, and the magical saga of all the women behind King Arthur’s Throne. Ah Ha! This is true…there are always women standing behind a man’s throne! (Just to be sure he didn’t forget anything. We women are so helpful.)
Next step: Learn how to be a Sherlock Holmes, but where is my Watson? Well, as Karen Krumpak states, “forcing yourself to impersonate another writer takes off the pressure of writing? Really? What pressure?
Soon, I am told, I will start reading like a writer. But, I do that already…maybe. Normally, I just read, for the pleasure of it. But, if I must, I will.
Soon, states Ms. Krumpak, I will learn to stretch my skills and improve my technique. This better work…if it doesn’t, well, I will have enjoyed immensely, re-reading The Mists of Avalon, just like a real writer reads a book. Good to know!
As writers and authors, we know or should know, the importance of creating a book cover that shines. The cover should also represent as much as possible what the novel is all about. On October 20th, 2018, I will be interviewing Judy Rumsey Bullard, a very talented Book Cover Designer, who will talk to us about Book Cover Designing. She will be displaying 6 more of her great designs, and will talk to us about what it takes to be a successful Book Cover Designer! Here are three Book Cover designs that she designed for three of my novels and I love each one!
“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand dark midnights. Let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.….the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
A Review of French on English – A Guide to Writing Better Essays
by author Charles F. French
French on English – A Guide to Writing Better Essays, is an essential tool for writing, that you will keep on your desk, as I do, for easy reference when writing a resume, a college essay or thesis, a commentary on your blog, or a fiction or non-fiction book. This well-thought-out little book, reveals in simple and easy steps, ways to make almost any written work error free. An added plus is Dr. Charles F. French’s free online companion site for French on English—A Guide to Writing Better Essays.
Charles F. French, author of French on English – A Guide to Writing Better Essays, earned his PhD in English Literature from Lehigh University. He has been teaching writing courses in composition for more than twenty-five years at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, and at Muhlenberg College Wescoe School of Continuing Education, Allentown, PA.
Dr. French’s essential reference book on writing skills, French on English—A Guide to Writing Better Essays, includes examples of often forgotten English grammar rules that we learned in high school. He also included in simple and easy steps, how to create that first draft of a college essay or that novel many of us are hoping to write. Another important feature, is learning to create perfect citations that when improperly written, will cause a great paper to be marked down, one that should have been an A+ paper in college.
Another key feature for me when I am writing a first draft of a novel is that moment that finds me in fear of developing Writer’s Block. Dr. French has brilliantly included, in his spectacular reference book, a section entitled, ‘Brainstorming Ideas’ using the technique of ‘Free Writing’ that breaks through the dreaded Writer’s Block.
I know that you will find, French of English—A Guide to Writing Better Essays, an essential writing tool, and you will want to keep it on your desk for easy access, as I do. It is truly a treasure trove for essential error free writing!
I reblogged this from something I wrote almost a year ago.
What is poetry and its place in the human psyche? Poetry and prose, I believe, magically transports the reader to visualize vividly a very personal place in time, bringing to life every possible emotion seared into the psyche that the reader may have experienced in real life, wished for, dreamed of, or feared.
This is what makes poetry so emotionally beautiful and painfully true. We get it and it can be transforming. But, where does poetry fit in, in the whole scheme of our human experience. Poetry reflects our romantic inclinations, our troubled history, our social truths, politics, and the most beautiful of all philosophies – who and what are we anyway, in the scope of all there is under Heaven and Earth.
Poetry is romantic. The great writer and poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley said, “Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.” It is, also, I believe, as Robert Frost wrote, “when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
Poetry is more than a history of human desires. “Hence poetry”, wrote Aristotle, “is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.”
Poetry is often compared to the ultimate in what is truth. “Poetry”, wrote Joseph Roux, “is truth in its Sunday clothes.” Leonardo da Vinci, believed that, “Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.” John Ciardi wrote, “Poetry lies its way to the truth.”
Poetry is political. “All poets, all writers are political”, writes Sonia Sanchez, “they either maintain the status quo, or they say, ’Something’s wrong, let’s change it for the better.”
Poetry is also philosophical. John Lennon believed that, “my role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
However, even though all the above quotes bare witness to the impact of poetry and prose on the human psyche, yet, no one has described and defined poetry and prose as beautifully as William Shakespeare, who wrote that poetry is, “The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven; and as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing a local habitation and a name; such tricks hath strong imagination.”
Poetry and prose, I believe, represent the wonder of human imagination and all that lies between heaven and earth as we struggle to understand what it means to be human in a world that is constantly changing the definition of what is humanity and what it is not.
by K. D. Dowdall
3 Fiction Lead Magnet Ideas at https://buildbookbuzz.com/
Posted on July 18, 2018 by Sandra Beck with fiction lead magnet
“Lead magnet” is a marketing term for the gift you give readers as an incentive to add themselves to your email list. Think of it as an ethical bribe.
This isn’t optional. To get people to sign up to receive occasional author updates or a regular newsletter, you need to offer them a free, downloadable gift. It has to be something your readers, fans, or audience need or want.
My primary lead magnet is a one-page PDF file with my “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources.” Authors receive it when they complete the form on the right side of this screen or on a page I’ve created specifically for that purpose — a “landing page.”
The big question for you is: What should I offer as my incentive?
Not an easy question for novelists That question is easier for nonfiction authors to answer than it is for novelists. Nonfiction authors can create quizzes, templates, cheat sheets, and samples, among other options. More often than not, if they’re using any kind of lead magnet, fiction writers are using a sample chapter. But is that your only option? Nope. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking.
Fiction lead magnet idea #1: How to do something.
Bear with me on this. It’s possible. When I read Jane Green’s Saving Grace, which made frequent references to food that sounded delicious, I wanted the recipes. I wanted them so badly that I searched for them online. Unfortunately, she didn’t provide them.If Green had offered a collection of recipes featured in that book as a lead magnet for her list, I would have “opted in” — marketing-speak for “added myself to her list” — without thinking twice.
Fiction lead magnet 2 T
The author of The Language of Flowers could create a one-page illustrated guide to flowers as symbols (daisy is innocence, calla lily is passion, aster is wisdom, etc.).And how about a tongue-in-cheek sheet of instructions for “how to be a crazy rich Asian” to go along with the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy? It’s not that hard after all, right?
Fiction lead magnet idea #2: A cheat sheet
Imagine a lead magnet for How to Make an American Quilt that offers the best quilting tips from top quilters — even though it isn’t a nonfiction how-to quilting book.
If you’ve read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, you can appreciate how a map of the Vatican or a guide to Bernini’s art might have enhanced your story enjoyment. You’d add yourself to his mailing list to get that, right? If you write fantasy novels with many characters with unusual names, consider creating a one-page PDF character guide with names and descriptions. It will be a Godsend to fans who read in many small units of time rather than in long sittings.
Fiction lead magnet #3: Your book’s first chapter
This is the go-to option for most novelists. It’s what most recommend doing not because it’s the only idea they can think of, but because it’s the easiest to offer and implement. Just save your first chapter as a PDF file and set it up in your system for downloading.It’s a smart option because it lets readers sample your storytelling and writing skills. (Because of that, if you’re not a good writer, this could work against you.) Because it will help readers who aren’t yet familiar with you take your book for a test drive, it’s a solid option for first-time novelists.If you’re a seasoned writer with an established fan base, though, start getting creative with options one and two. You’ll have more fun with it, and so will your readers.
Creating your lead magnet
You can create an attractive, effective lead magnet with low-cost resources. I’ve used each of the following:
Fiverr Fiction lead magnet 3
On Fiverr site (and that’s my affiliate link), search for “lead magnet design.”To make sure you have a vision for what you want your designer to create, I recommend adding yourself to lots of email lists that offer lead magnets so you can see what fiction lead magnet 4 other people are doing.Your other option is to scroll through the design samples offered by Fiverr designers to find something that resonates with you and your book’s personality. In general, I find that I get the best results on Fiverr when I can give the designer an example of the type of look I’d like to have.
Designrr is my new favorite toy, and because of that, this is also my affiliate link. I paid $27 for this web-based software that lets me take content I’ve already created on my blog, in a Word file, on Facebook, or on a web page — and turn it into a range of end products. When I wanted to create a special free gift for a conference I spoke at recently, I used Designrr to turn a blog post into a short report. The nerd in me enjoyed exploring the templates and imagining the many design options for the audience handout.
****You’ll get a PDF as well as a URL that houses the PDF. Give that URL to people who add themselves to your list.
fiction lead magnet 5
While Canva is free, if you aren’t familiar with it already, it will be your most time-intensive option as you review templates and learn how to customize or replace elements. On the home page, select “more” in the upper right, then scroll down to documents, blogging and e-books, marketing materials, and events. Click around each collection to find something that speaks to you. “A4 document” in the “documents” collection and “announcement” in the “events” collection are both good starting points.
Need a lead magnet idea for your book? Join the Build Book Buzz book marketing group on Facebook and start a discussion. Tell us you’re looking for help with a lead magnet idea, provide your book title, and give us a short book description. Let’s rally the troops to help you if you need it!
What are you using as an incentive to get people on your list? Tell us in a comment.