Thursday, August 28, 2008

Poetry: Sitting Bull Thinks Tesla was Wright

You have misunderstood my statement.
You have twisted my assertion.
Mr. Tesla, you wound these words and made theman electric slide rule,
to measure my progressat healing these ancient wounds.
My scars are approximately 100 watts wideand two inches long,
spanning the scale model Brooklyn Bridge I constructedto connect this to that.
But this is now, and that was years ago,
and Science has yet to fillthe canyon between present and past.
I have put my faith in architecture instead,because it covers cowardice with columns,
cloaks bitterness with buttresses,
and lets us forget about the terror we saw
that night on h*** owned ground
for buried braves and sorrowful squaw.
"Yes, this was an Indian cemetery Nikola,
but if the natives get restless
you may take comfort in the 'isms' that have conquered them.
"I never mean to say what I intend,
but I intend to mean what I say.

Austin Emerson Carter

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blogging Tips When Writing Content for your Blog Readers

The common mistake that bloggers do is to go straight to writing after they're done constructing their blogs. This is definitely no problem is you have a clear idea of what you're suppose to write, who are you writing for and how you should write it. Writing content for your blog plays a crucial role to your blog's success and therefore, it requires skills and knowledge to do it.

Today's article focuses on writing good content for your blog readers and in order to do so we have to deal with these three questions:

1. Who are you writing for?
2. What are you suppose to write?
3. How should you write it?

Millions of people surf the Internet everyday to look for some specific information. The information ranges from anarchism to zionism, the latest to the oldest, or from 0 to infinity. Given this case, bloggers have so much to blog about. Unfortunately, not every topic can be possibly covered by a single or a few bloggers. Even wikipedia does not have all the information in its database. Moreover, thousands of blogs or weblogs and websites are created everyday making the competition fiercer. What can we infer from these data? Simple. We need a strategic approach in blogging to secure our blog's survivability and success.

Who are you writing for? Blog Readers

Yes, I know that you are blogging for your blog readers but do you know who are your blog readers?

If you are blogging for everyone who visits the Internet then you lack strategic approach in blogging. If however, you have a specific target reader, then you'll probably be successful.

Because we cannot cater to every netizen, the need to segment them arises. I call it Concentrated Blogging. Concentrated Blogging is the process of segmenting or subdividing blog readers to identify a specific segment or subdivision where you can leverage your blog. Concentrated Blogging allows bloggers to focus writing to a specific group of people. Catering to a specific group of people provides the benefit of being able to understand them better, know what they need, what they want etc.

Let's take the case of For my blog, I have decided to write about blogging for bloggers. But bloggers can still be further subdivided into beginners, intermediate, and experts. I've finally decided to write for beginners and intermediate bloggers because I believe I know them better. I have been in the stage of starting my own blog and developing it so I know the needs and wants of beginners and intermediate bloggers.

What are you suppose to write? Quality Information for Blog Readers

What do you think will happen to if I start to write about my favorite color or when I blog about my friend's friend's dog? I'm sure, by the time I know it, my blog readers found a better blog that will provide them information about blogging. This is where the idea of continuity (consistency), one of the 3Cs of blogging, comes in. Details about continuity will be discussed thoroughly in the succeeding articles.

People go on-line to search the Internet for Quality Information, information that they need, relevant and useful to them. If you don't have it, expect that there will be few people who will be visiting your blog. Or you might not have any visitors at all. So what are you suppose to write? The answer is obvious. You should write about something that your readers need and want. It should not be a bunch of useless article but rather informative, relevant and useful to them. Try to do this in your blog and see how amazing quality information can do to it.

I have to say however that writing about your personal experiences, or personal stuffs about yourself is not wrong. This is of course assuming that your target readers are limited to your family, relatives and friends. Otherwise, you need to be very controversial or popular for people to be curious and become interested of your life.

How should you write your blog entries? Consider the Nature of your Blog Readers

If you are blogging for Investors then it's perfectly fine to use terms such as Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Discounted Cash Flow etc. But if your blog is dedicated to the average Joe, there's simply no need of using panoplies of multi-syllabic words and quintessential examples if you can decipher the intricacies of your thoughts into fundamental ideas that everybody can comprehend. In short, your objective as a blogger is to send the message across to your target blog readers. Failure to do so, is failed blogging.

There are several ways that bloggers write. Darren Rowse of writes short articles while Steve Pavlina of writes elaborate and long articles. Both of them are successful bloggers but their ways of blogging are different. What does this have to tell you about how to write blog posts? Simple. Writing for your blog should not necessarily be elaborate or short… the bottom line is Quality Information. My advice is write freely and objectively. If your topic calls for an elaborate writing, then elaborate is should be but if you don't need too much words to make yourself clear and send your message across, then say it briefly.

In my succeeding articles, I will be writing about how to write search-engine-friendly blog posts. Your primary priority is to blog for your readers and second on the lists are search engines. I'm sure that you are aware that search engines (i.e. Google, MSN, Allthewebs, Lycos etc.) are great sources of traffic for your blog, hence, you should write your blog entries in such a way that it pleases these search engines. Watch out how in the coming posts.

If you have found this article useful, I hope you take the time to share it with others by Digging it, or bookmarking it. I will also appreciate if you take the time to leave your comments or tell us what you think about this article.

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by: Rocky John M. Tayaban

Why Anyone Can Write A Book

Ask anyone that you meet if they’ve ever had an idea to write a book and I bet that 99% of the time their eyes light up and they say ‘Yes.’ Everyone has numerous wonderful book ideas. My experience and conversations with thousands of people tell me that this is true. The difference between those that actually write a book and those that don’t is simple. Those that don’t write a book don’t believe that they can.

That’s simply not true. Anyone can write a book. If you can talk, you can write. Take a look at 5 of your favorite books, fiction or Non-fiction it doesn’t matter. In fact, grab a few of each. Now, open each book and read a few paragraphs. What do you see? What you’ll likely notice is that there is a common theme running in all of them. They’re written conversationally. They’re written like you talk. Conversational style is the best style because it is easy to read, easy to understand and easy to write.

Take a look at some of the most prolific authors, both fiction and Non-fiction. Stephen King comes to mind as a very prolific fiction writer. Non-fiction writers might include the Chicken Soup series and co writers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. All of those books are written conversationally. They’re accessible to readers of all ages, income levels, and IQ's.

Conversational style eliminates jargon. It eliminates large words that people have to rely on a dictionary to understand. Conversational style also uses the word ‘you’ often. It’s written as if you were writing a letter or telling a story to a friend.

Basically, if you can write a letter to a friend, then you can write a book—I promise. Of course you need to be able to plan a book too but all that requires is a plan or an outline. Once your outline is established, writing the book can take as little as a month to complete.

by: Bob Burnham

Friday, August 22, 2008

How To Write Articles For Pay

In the search for an internet home business that is legitimate and well-paying, article submission is one solution that seems to work well for many people. Article submission in the traditional sense has usually been restricted to writing for magazines or newspapers. Some people have found that this type of article submission works well for them, and the freelance writing from home is an excellent way to make some spare money on the side. However, with the advance of the internet, there are plenty of companies and individuals who need content for their websites. This is an excellent stroke of luck for those who are a little less talented in the area of writing, but are still interested in article submission.

Article submission is now growing in popularity through the use of websites that provide content for other websites. Those who put up websites, especially business websites, are not always talented writers. Therefore, they are often looking for writers who are interested in article submission. Those who are willing to write for article submission can then write about whatever content the website owner would like to see on his or her website.

Many times this is done through a website that brings both those interested in article submission and those needing website content together. Usually, the people writing content will turn their article submission over to a website for review. If the article submission review is positive, the content website will usually accept the article submission and put it up on the site. Then, those interested in buying the article will purchase it from the website. Normally, the content website pays the authors who sent in an article submission, while taking some type of commission.

Article submission can be a good way to make money if you are good with words and enjoy writing. However, it is important to note that getting into article submission means you will need to have good grammar and sentence structure skills. Additionally, most article submission sites make you proofread your own material. It is recommended that anyone interested in article submission research what is involved before making any commitments.

by: Pasi Kaarakainen

10 Tips for Marketing Your Book Online

1) ALWAYS have a link to where your book can be purchased in your signature line. Never send an email without it. You can link to a website, your blog, newsletter, etc. as well. Keep the number of lines between two and four--it's considered good 'netiquette' especially when posting to regulated groups or forums.

2) Request to do a chat in every available online spot you can. Offer to send a freebie as a 'door prize' but DON'T offer your current release. This could slow sales as prospective chatters might wait to find out if they win one for free. Book thongs, markers (very cheap to mail,) older releases, and other related promotional items work well . You can also offer a critique if the chat is writer-related. Get creative.

3) Target websites and blogs that are in the genre you write and offer to do a Q&A or an interview on the site or blog. (See above for possible prizes you might offer.)

4) Get your own website. This is important because no matter how much advertising or promotion you do, it'll be hard to generate internet interest without a web presence. Even if it's a smaller, free site, it's better than not having one at all. Check into some of the more prominent websites that cater to authors and look into their specially discounted hosting/design packages.

5) Create a newsletter. Try to make it fun and interactive for both writers and readers. In my newsletter I include chocolate recipes and a family-friendly joke section. Depending on the genre you write in, you can even gear it toward your target audience. If you write YA, you can make it more teen-friendly.

6) Start blogging. Write as often as you can on your blog, even if it's just a few paragraphs every other day or so. When you blog, try to include links to other places (even if it's just to your own website) so that you'll generate more 'hits' from searches to your blog, and hence to your title(s). Don't forget that you can comment on other people's blogs as well, leaving again, a link back to you.

7) Join groups and use them wisely. If you're on MySpace, send bulletins out when you blog (which can be cross-posted between your MySpace blog and your personal blog.) Visit your 'friends'--try to aim for at least five a week, for just a moment, to drop them a note. Keep it casual and friendly. Join other groups on the net that are for readers (like book club groups) and post occasionally--where your signature line will be seen by everyone. Aim for groups with large memberships.

8) Once you have your website, do "link" or "banner" exchanges with friendly authors or others that you know. Cross-promotion is fabulous for getting your links in front of new internet users.

9) Enter your title into internet contests, usually for free, but you may consider a nominal fee. Whether it's a cover-art contest, or just a contest decided by voters and even if you don't win, your title will be listed on the internet in yet another place.

10) Write press releases, articles, and reviews and post them in the appropriate places. If you set up a "virtual tour", if you have a new release, if you win a contest, you can write a press release. Write articles and submit them to free-to-use article places where content seekers can grab your article (with the source box including your links) and use it on their site or in their newsletter. Every time you finish reading a book, write a review for it and submit it everywhere you can--like online booksellers such as (If you alter it a bit, you can even send it out as an article.) Of course, with a link back to you.

Make friends everywhere you go. Be helpful to others. Volunteer your time. Offer congrats and commiserations when someone else needs a friend. Most of all, be sincere. This is more valuable than any of the above because it not only makes your internet existence bearable, but you'll get help, inspire others to promote you, and have a host of opportunities already in place when your next release comes out.

by: J.R. Turner

Pitching your Story Idea or Script to Hollywood

If you have a script idea or a completed script that you would like to discuss with a certain producer or studio, the best method is by calling the producers production office. Chances are you will probably speak with a member of the producers staff. Normally a secretary or production assistant.

The producers staff is very important. Think producers assistants are not important and/or a waste of your time? Think again. They are very important. The Producers staff are always looking for a reason to barge into their bosses office with - “Boy, have I found a good story for you!” Producers’ assistants are always looking for ways to impress the boss, why not give them one.

When you have a member of the producers staff on the phone, remember not to sound over anxious. You don’t want to sound like you will just die if you can not land an interview or that your next meal depends on the sale of your story. You want to sound as professional as possible.

Keep your call brief and to the point. Do sound excited, but not overly. Also, if a member of the producers staff asks you to give a brief summary of what your script is about, you should tell them without hesitation. If you display one ounce of doubt in revealing your story idea, or if you show the slightest concern that you are afraid to disclose your story idea out of fear that your creation will be stolen - then you are dead in the water.

The stealing of scripts in Hollywood by agents and/or producers is almost non existent. In Hollywood today - where million dollar deals are common place - nobody in their right mind needs to go around stealing scripts. It’s just not going to happen. And, anyone who shows concern about their script being stolen, is usually looked down upon by industry professionals.

In-Other-Words, if you go around displaying fear that your script may be stolen - then a little red warning flag is raised. Hollywood insiders begin to think to themselves, “why is this guy so afraid? What does he think were going to do, steal his script? Sheeesh, he hasn’t even made his first sale yet, a real No-Namer, and he’s anticipating were going to rip off his script!”

The last thing YOU want to do is make Hollywood insiders feel uncomfortable. Especially about working with you. When you start displaying fear about whether your story idea or script will be safe under their care, in a way, that’s very insulting, and clearly displays how much trust you have. You then have “I AM an OUTSIDER” written all over your face. And, Hollywood is very reluctant to do business with OutSiders.

Remember - Hollywood is a close knit family and they are many times fearful of doing business outside of their secure enviroment. They often make deals over the phone and many times at lunch. If you want to fit in, you must make them feel at ease. Your chances of survival in Hollywood will be much greater if you come off looking like an INSIDER rather than an OUTSIDER.

Hollywood is a puzzle, a very unique, fun and mysterious place. Nothing is as it seems in Hollywood World. And, that seems to be the way they like it.

If you come from the old school, where you think talent alone should be sufficient enough, then you are very sadly mistaken. Talent is a major factor, yes - sometimes, but not always.

But, being a good game player can many times eclipse the fact that you lack talent. Personally, I feel making contacts in Hollywood is VITAL. Take a trip there and make a scene. Hollywood loves ‘em. And Take an agent to lunch, they love that. Call a production office and take a producers assistant to lunch too. And, don’t forget to make make them feel important.

Call anyone and everyone you can in Hollywood. Be energetic and fun. Hollywood likes energy. Announce your arrival. Make it an event. Hollywood loves events. In-other-words, play their game! Dare to be outlandish. SELL! If you want it - want it so bad you can taste it - you can make it happen!

by: Paris Anderson

Prose vs. Poetry

Prose - a simple word that confuses so many people. What is it exactly? According to

1.the ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure, as distinguished from poetry or verse.

2.matter-of-fact, commonplace, or dull expression, quality, discourse, etc.

Prose encompasses most of the writing and speaking we engage in today, including what I am writing here. It is everything from novels to blog entries to television/films and everything in between. Prose is simply a fancy literary term used to separate general writing from poetry or verse. (Though, just to confuse you, we do have prose poetry, the halibun and free verse which can muddy any clear distinction.) Prose is typically written in plain language, follows the standard rules of grammar and punctuation and is arranged in paragraphs. It often reflects ordinary speech patterns. In fiction, writers do develop different styles of writing and employ various techniques to add interest for readers, but the writing is still considered prose.

Now that you understand a little about prose, let’s discuss poetry. Most people recognize poetry if they see a traditional poem. For instance, writing that has lines similar in length (each starting with a capital letter, of course), is arranged in stanzas, and has rhyme at the end of the lines. Most of us were taught about this type of poetry around the third or fourth grade. But poetry is so much more complex and varied than that simple example. In fact, those few things don’t necessarily define poetry at all.

Poetry is much more than just a few basics such as the form in which it is written, some general meter and rhyme. Modern poetry often deviates from traditional poetic form and rules. Poetry presentation has, once again, become somewhat artistic for some poets who write in everything from couplets to verse paragraphs. These lines can also be arranged on a page to enhance the visual appeal of the poem (as in shape poems), to aid in the rhythm of the poem (adding space between words to create longer pauses while reading aloud, for instance) or to add to the meaning or irony of a poem by causing words to appear in specific places. Standard punctuation and capitalization practices are falling by the wayside, as well, for many contemporary poets.

This still has little to do with poetry itself. So, how do we define poetry? I think Iowan, Paul Engle, had the right idea with is explanation: “Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.” That, to me, is what poetry is, but I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t break it down somewhat. I am not providing definitions, they are easy enough to come by.

Basic, Poetic, Devices, Diction, Meter, Caesura, Enjambment, Rhyme, Repetition, Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Onomatopoeia, Personification, Irony, Imagery, Symbol, Metonymy, Simile, Hyperbole, Metaphor, Oxymoron.

A quick internet search will provide you with reading material on each of these devices. Some are easier to hone than others, but all are useful if you wish to write interesting poetry verses writing simple poems.

Hopefully the lines between prose and poetry are now a bit clearer than before. Sometime in the future, I will have to address those other pesky fellows I mentioned that muddy the waters between the two. For now, whether you chose to write prose or poetry or both, I wish you the utmost success.

by: Terry J. Coyier

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Techniques to Make Quick Money Writing Articles

For the most part, article marketing is a long distance race, not a sprint. By writing articles and submitting them daily, you will increase the amount of traffic to your site and see improved profits (as traffic builds). The more you submit, the greater your benefit. But, even if you submit ten articles this week, don’t expect to retire any time soon. As I said, it is a long distance race.

However, there are techniques that you can use to make some quick money writing articles. From time to time, certain niches will capture the public’s attention and there will be a flurry of interest in that sector. If you discover the trend, you can make some quick money with your articles. Following are several ways to profit writing articles:

It all starts out by doing some research. Look for niches (or products) that everyone is talking about. Forums are a good place to find this type of information. Hang out in these forums and look for postings that have a large number of responses. Read through a number of these items. If it related to a single product or niche, you may have found an exploitable subject.

You can also find hot products doing research on Ebay. Search for popular products that have sold well during the past 2 weeks. If you find several products that are selling really well and are related to a common theme, you may have found a hot area to exploit with your articles.

Lastly, check your bulk emails. This is one my favorite (and easiest) ways to find hot topics. When you see an explosion of emails on one subject, it is a pretty good bet that the niche is hot.

Once you find a hot topic, do research to find an affiliate program that is offering a product in the same area. Research the topic so that you can write knowledgably about the subject. Develop effective article titles using keyword research. Make sure to include two or more keywords in each title, because you will want the search engines to pick up your article. Write five to ten articles on the subject. Submit one to two articles per day to the largest article directory sites. Make sure your article contains a link to the affiliate program you found previously. Or, you can direct readers to your site and re-direct them to the affiliate program from there.

If the niche remains hot for some time, you can make a fair amount of money from this technique.
by: Jo Mark

The Simple 5 Step Secret To Great Fiction

Stephen King says he starts his novels with a "What if?" question. What if a woman and child are trapped in a car by a rabid dog? What if a family pet buried in a Pet Semetary came back to life? What if a young girl could start fires with her mind? I have also heard many other bestselling novelist such as Jodi Picoult, Janet Evanovich and Nicolas Evans lay claim to the same thing. And I have heard others say they just saw an image in their mind, or had a persistent sentence knocking on the inside of their brains, and they just followed that to where it lead them. And while their insight and tutelage is invaluable, when I was a budding writer it left me with another question.

What's next?

It's all good and fine to have a starting point. In fact a starting point is imperative. But in answering the question of "What next?" you will lift your novel from "What if?" to "Howzat!" So in answer to the "What next?" question, I defined the five essential elements of any good story, whether it's a novel, a short story, a play or a screenplay. Use these five elements to plan your story and you're guaranteed to write a bestseller everytime.

Step One: Desire

It is essential that your main character want something. Even if it’s only a glass of water, they must have an “object of desire” to pursue. It can be anything from a way of escaping their predicament, or a way to bring their world back into balance, but the key is that your main character must want something. Without that you will not have a story. This “desire line” is the golden thread that will run through your story. For example, in a love story, the object of desire is the beloved. In a story of illness, the object of desire may be anything from a medical specialist who can treat the patient, to a specific medicine guaranteed to cure. In a failing marriage, the object of desire could be the best divorce lawyer in town, or an apartment of their own. It’s your choice and will be dictated by the type of story you are writing.

Step Two: Conflict or Opposition

You will undoubtedly know that nothing ever moves forward in story except through conflict. So once your main character knows what they want, there has to be something or someone around to stop them. And the most powerful person, or thing, to oppose the main character is the one who can put the most pressure on them and force them to change. It’s critical to remember this: the strength of any story is directly related to the strength of the opponent. If it’s easy for the main character to reach their goal, then where’s the challenge? Where’s the drama? Where’s the struggle for growth and change? The Harry Potter novels kept us on the edge of our seats for seven books and ten years because of the promise of a showdown between Harry and Lord Voldemort. The success of Star Wars hinged on the multilayered battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The Bourne series enthrals us because it's one man against the CIA. In our earlier examples, the opponent in the love story is always the lover. If boy meets girl and they get together and live happily ever after, where is the story? There isn’t one! So the lover must resist in some way. In the case of the illness, the main opponent could be a government department that is withholding approval for a drug that will cure you, or it could be a lack of funds to travel overseas to see that one specialist who can treat you. And in the failing marriage, the opponent would be the other marriage partner, who is either trying to send you broke or stopping you from moving out. Really take the time to explore your opponent. They can often be the most interesting character in the story!

Step Three: Moral Dilemma

The conflict must build so that your main character is forced into a corner, where they must make a decision that challenges their values. There is only one question you need to ask yourself at this stage, and that is, “how can I push my main character into a place where they feel as though they are stuck between a rock and a hard place?” The decision they make here must be a true test of their core values, and whatever decision they make needs to tip them into the most intense conflict of the story, where they battle the opponent in a do-or-die climax to your story. For example, in the love story, your character may be forced to choose between love and security, or love and family, as they enter new territory in the relationship stakes. In the illness story, your character may need to choose between health and authority, or health and pride, if they are forced to ask for charity to finance their overseas trip. And in the case of the divorced couple, your main character may be forced to choose between freedom and control, or financial security and love, depending on the scenario you choose. One way or the other, your character has to make a choice and this choice sends your story into its most intense conflict.

Step Four: The Battle or Climax

You are now entering the most intense conflict of the story and the action here must take place between your main character and the main opponent. This is the classic “fight” scene, or where the great revelation comes out, where you can otherwise surprise or shock your readers. Push it out there! Allow whatever comes out to come out onto the page. Remember you are just exploring your story here. If it goes too far you can pull it back in the writing or the editing. Just remember that the most powerful climax will be one that brings about absolute and irreversible change. It’s a good idea to explore your character’s highs and lows at this time. By this I mean look at how they can behave really badly, as we often do when we are pushed into a corner. Does your character come out swinging, or do they submit and surrender? Neither answer is wrong or right. It will depend entirely on your story.

Step Five: Resolution

Every good story asks a question at the beginning. Whether it's a Stephen King "What if?" question, or something entirely different, it's imperative that you answer the question here. How can you show your character having learned their lesson? How are they seeing themselves clearly for the first time? What impact does that have on those around them? What is the "solution" to your story? I recommend not spending too much time planning this final step, as it almost always simply comes out in the writing. Stories that you are meant to write have a way of just coming out the way they need to, and too much planning of the ending will make it seem contrived. So those are our five simple steps to great fiction. Have a character who wants something, add something or someone who tries to stop them, put them in an impossible situation, watch them fight their way out and see what they learn in the process! Simple really!

by: Suzanne Harrison

10 Smart Moves For Getting Published In Top Magazines

Eager to see your byline in magazines like Smithsonian, National Geographic, Parade or Outside? Here are 10 tips on getting past the threshold of "Maybe" to "Yes" at top magazines.

1. Put timing on your side. You can change a perennial story, where there's no special reason to do it now rather than next year, to one that prompts an immediate assignment by adding a connection to some upcoming season or event. For instance, "the disposable versus cloth diaper debate" lacks any time element. But you can peg it to Earth Day, coming up in April, or specific future environmental powwows. You can get the same effect by tying a perennial topic to recent front-page news. If devastating floods are lingering in North Carolina, use that to make a piece on adequately insuring a business sound timely.

2. Freshen up perennial topics. Some magazines revisit the same topics again and again because relationships, or toilet training, or camping in national parks lie at the core of the magazine's mission. Hunt back about four or five years in the magazine's archives for these central topics and update them.

3. Create cover-worthy article titles. Editors sweat over the blurbs that go on the magazine cover. If you study the kinds of blurbs they favor, and give a similar title to your proposed article, you may score an assignment from a title that is exactly on target.

4. Be brief and detailed. This combination of skills has great value in the magazine world, and a query offers a perfect setting to demonstrate your mastery of rich compression. Let every sentence sparkle with detail, but say just enough to get the idea across.

5. Stay ahead of the pack. I once heard someone say that if you've read about an issue in Time or Newsweek, you're too late to query other top magazines on it. Spend energy pursuing stories that seem both trendy and unexplored.

6. Get your details right. Nothing kills confidence faster than factual errors! Recheck all information in your query before sending it.

7. Be truthful. Don't exaggerate the facts of a story, don't present fiction as real and don't inflate your credentials. This should go without saying, but not long ago a freelance writer sold an article in which she had presented a story she heard from a fellow airline passenger as something that had happened to her. She claimed she didn't realize that that was unethical.

8. Don't have a hidden agenda. Forget about any kind of revenge story, or about hyping a company in which you have some sort of covert financial interest.

9. Show enthusiasm. Make sure your writing feels alive and flavorful, not parched and pinched. I've heard a number of editors say they like to work with writers who show enthusiasm for their work.

10. Flatter an editor. A good number of editors write on the side for other publications, and if you happen to spot his or her freelance work and mention it in your query, you win points. Mentioning that you liked a particular issue of the magazine, or a certain cover story, helps build rapport, too. Make sure that any praise is specific and sincerely enthusiastic.

by: Marcia Yudkin

How To Think Through Writer's Block

In his book, On Writing, Stephen King says, "We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style…but as we move along, you’d do well to remember that we are also talking about magic." When something is really well-written we tend to think it was effortless for the writer, that it seems magical. We wonder, "Did that author ever have to deal with writer's block?" Yes, he or she probably did. Pretty much every writer does. But how do you work through a block when the inside of your brain feels so foggy? These tips will show you how to clear things up.

1.) Work Consistently

When I started my first novel I joined a class to help get me going. After it was over, I took a few more workshop sessions with the instructor, but when those ended all my work ground to a complete halt. Why? Because from then I was only working on the book a day or two a week, mostly on weekends. If I got stuck that meant I wouldn't write for two or even three weeks. Then I went out and got a place to write. I committed myself to going there 3-4 times a week to work on my book. Suddenly the writing got easier! I thought it was because I was putting in more time--and that's partly true--working consistently helps to build momentum. But that wasn't the whole answer. Here's the rest: I was thinking about the book all the time! Which means...

2.) Don't Leave Your Book on the Desk

When I started working consistently I found that I was still thinking about my character and plot issues when I went home at night on the subway. That thinking continued in the shower the next day and on the streets as I walked to work. Once I was flying to Cleveland to visit my family and during the flight I figured out the answer to the problem I was having with a flashboack in my novel.

So write at your desk and do your figuring out everywhere else throughout your day. Ideally you are thinking about your book while you drive, while you shower, while you watch a baseball game. In fact, Stephen King has said he has worked through a chapter or two in his head while at Fenway Park watching the Boston Red Sox. When you think about your book away from the desk, it ensures you'll have something to write when you get back to your desk.

3.) Ask Yourself Lots of Questions

Okay, you might be asking, "What am I supposed to be thinking about?" Your book, of course, but I understand how difficult it is to just have generalities floating around in your head competing with all the media we're flooded with already. To focus your thinking, ask yourself a series of questions related to the issues you're stuck on.

For instance, "What story or incident can I create to best highlight my character's strength and/or weakness?" Possible answer: a party where most of the guests snubbed my character's party which took place few weeks earlier. "How would my character be responsible for that situation?" Maybe she told a secret and everyone is upset with her because of it. "What behavior will my character display that will reveal her true essence to the reader?" Maybe she quietly vandalizes people's belongings throughout the evening, ripping coats in the closet, "accidentally" breaking glasses, spilling drinks on someone's designer dress. You can keep going that way, with each question leading you further down the path until you complete a picture in your head of what you want to write when you sit down again. No more writer's block!

4.) Remember Why You're Writing

When you do get stuck, it helps to remember why you're working on the project in the first place. As I mentioned before, I got stalled many times working on my first novel. But I was motivated by several things including my sincere desire to be a published author and my devotion and commitment to my characters. (Once, when going through a period of non-writing, I had a dream where the main character of my book was screaming at me--I knew it was time to get back to work!)

So, why are you writing? And is the reason powerful enough to make you do what it takes to get through the difficult times of the writing process? If it's not, perhaps you need to re-think your reasons and your project. But if your motivation is strong, go with it and allow that sheer force to help you break down the walls in your work.
by: Sophfronia Scott

How To Become A Bestselling Book Author

What IS a best-selling author? You have to answer that in your own mind. Technically, it's any book that makes it into the Top 100 list at ANY online or offline bookstore. However, what does it mean to you? Is it someone who sells 300-500 books in a day through online bookstores like and makes the top 10? Is it only the person who makes it to #1? Is it the person who sells their book from their own website and makes $10,000 in a few months? Or does it have to be a specific list... like the New York Times best seller list? What does it mean to you? It's a tough call. But you CAN have it all. Selling your book through an online or offline bookstore will mean less money for you upfront, but will provide you far more leverage in the long run. Selling your book from your own website and taking your own orders will mean far more money in the bank for you initially, but you'll have to work a little harder on the back-end to get the recognition you deserve. Both ways work. Neither way is right. It's really what's right for you. Let's talk about the steps necessary to make your book a bestseller whether you want to do it through an online bookstore or from your own website

1) Pick the specific day you want to become a best seller. Focusing on a specific day is what provides you the leverage to sell a large amount of books quickly. Selling 500 books over 6 months is not as impressive as selling 500 books in one or two days.

2) Create your "what's in it for me?" offer. Your book is a valuable resource for your clients. But selling it alone puts it up against all the other books already on the market for your subject. I don't like those odds. What you need is something "extra" -- something that really let's the perspective buyer know that you want to help them. If you were to sell your book (for let's say $20) and then offered everyone who purchased your book on the specific day you decided on in step 1 around $200 in bonuses from experts... do you think they'd be more likely to buy? And buy on that day? Of course they would. This is the step where you stop thinking about you and start thinking about the group of people you want to help by writing this book in the first place. Think of everything you can possibly offer to add value to your book and build a powerful arsenal of tools and resources. When the potential buyer asks, "What's in it for me?" (which they always do)... give them TONS of answers.

3) Use the 12-step method to create a promotional sales letter. Now that you've answered the "What's in it for me?" question, use the 12-step process to build a sales letter site for your book that explains it to the potential buyer. They have a problem in their life. Your book is going to give them a solution for their problem... and a whole lot of "extras" if they buy on the specific day you've selected. Tell them – using the proven 12-step process.

4) Leverage the relationships you've built. Now, simply go back to the experts who provided you the bonus items for your book promotion, let them know the day you have picked as your bestseller day and ASK them if they would help you promote it on that day. GIVE THEM A FREE COPY OF YOUR BOOK. Don't be stingy. These are experts who have earned the right to be called an expert. You are asking them for a favor. Be generous enough to let them read your book first. If you can afford it, send them a physical copy. If you can't, email them a digital copy with a short, concise explanation of what you are doing. Pick a specific day to target your focused effort. Give an overwhelming amount of bonus reasons for people to buy your book on that day; and then leverage the relationships with experts to get them to help you promote your book. Why would they want to? Some will want to give back for the success they've earned. Some will want to because by doing so their bonus item is getting in more people's hands (and their bonus item promotes them). What will these experts use to help promote your book? You guessed it... the "list" of their current clients. Authors 25, 50 or 100 years ago would buy out their own first printing to make it appear their book was popular. Many "best sellers" used this tactic to get the Best Seller status so publishers would contract with them for future titles. Tricky? Maybe. Successful? Absolutely. Now it's your turn. Now that you know HOW to become a best seller, let's address where to become a best seller. Right now the 2 most popular bookstores for running best seller campaigns are and (Barnes and Noble). To get your book listed in you can either: Purchase the $149.95 option from for Global Distribution. This will get you listed in all major online and offline bookstores or go to and do it yourself. If you take the "do it your self" route at Amazon, be sure to join's Advantage Program. They will walk you through the process of signing up and getting your book listed in their store. If you want to get listed in Barnes and Noble (online or offline), then visit will make both of these a simple process because you'll already have an ISBN and you can order just a few books initially to get started with and/or Barnes and Noble.

Let's talk through a few examples of how the Best Selling promotion may work:

1.) Leverage experts

We've already covered this one. If I was writing the Pet Name book, I could find experts who are currently providing products and services to pet enthusiasts. Ask for bonuses and/or content from them. Then let them know the day I'm going to promote it and ask for their help. I would provide them a digital or physical copy of the book to review. I would also ask what I could do to assist them. I've got to make it worth their while to help me.

2.) Leverage businesses

Rather than relying on 1 sale at a time from individual readers, I could approach businesses that sell pet-related products and see if I could get a licensing agreement with them where they buy a large quantity of books at one time. I could sell 500 books to 500 different readers or I could sell 500 books to 1 or 2 pet stores.

3.) Leverage home town support

If it's a localized subject – like a travel guide to North Carolina beaches – you could focus on specific businesses along the North Carolina coast to promote your book. You could also contact local radio and/or TV stations to get publicity for your book promotion. The biggest key to your best selling book promotion... don't just go through the motions. Make It An EVENT! And have FUN with it.
by: Brian Scott

Improve The Quality Of Your Writing In Less Than 60 Seconds

Writing is not really an art. It is a craft – and you can learn a craft. Follow these four techniques to improve the quality of your writing, no matter what type of writing you do.

Writing Tip #1: After you run your spell checking software, go back and re-read your writing. Few people are good spellers, which is why so many of us rely on spell checking software. Unfortunately, spell checkers have their own flaws and sometimes flag silly errors. For example, the words "form" and "from" are both good, legitimate words. But if you wrote a business letter that said, "We took $200 form your checking account to cover the payment," most spell checkers won't catch that oversight. Yet this simple typo changed the meaning of the sentence. Spell checkers are a convenience; they are neither authoritative nor foolproof, so don’t rely on them. Always read through your writing at least once after you spell check -- and keep a dictionary handy.

Writing Tip #2: Use that famous "KISS" principle for your punctuation. You know the rule, don't you? "Keep It Simple, Stupid." Apply this rule to punctuation. If you don't know how or when to use a semicolon, then avoid semicolons; you'll only display ignorance if you get it wrong. In keeping with that KISS principle, limit your use of commas. Far too many people use far too many commas. Just because a sentence is long does not mean it needs a comma. Well-placed commas make reading easier. Commas thrown in simply to break up words are incorrect and distracting. Another important rule of punctuation is to avoid using exclamation marks, almost always. If your choice of words, sentence structure, and overall prose don't convey the sense of excitement you are seeking, then using an exclamation mark won't do it. If your writing conveys your sense of excitement, an exclamation point is, well, pointless.

Writing Tip #3: Make sure your writing is grammatically correct. You don't need the skills of an English teacher to use correct grammar. You simply need to learn the basics -- verbs and subjects agree in number, for example. That is, "he was" is correct; "they were" is correct. To say "they was" is incorrect. If you are not sure about using grammar, especially if English isn't your "first" language, go to some good reference sites for fundamental English grammar and usage. (If you are writing in another language, the same advice holds true for that language.) Invest in a good, basic grammar book or style manual. Check with any bookstore, online or offline, and you can find one.

4. When you finish some writing, put it aside for a couple of hours or days (if possible), then re-read it before you let go of it. Of course, if you're writing or dictating a business letter or other "time-sensitive" document, this may not be possible. If you set your article or story aside for a day, then re-read it, you may notice glaring errors or want to make significant changes. And you thought before you had finished. Many writers and teachers have commented that all true writing is done in the rewriting. Take that advice to heart and you will significantly improve your writing.

These four steps, rechecking your spelling, taking care with punctuation, watching for fundamental grammar errors, and rewriting, will improve your writing. They are proven tools used by every wordsmith.
by: Jesse Dawson

Writing Children's Books: No More Excuses!

Rejection is never easy. But some authors can't separate themselves from their work, and take rejection letters very personally. I get many emails from disgruntled writers who can't get past their anger to figure out why their work was turned down in the first place. So before you spend hours sticking pins in your editor voodoo doll, see if you recognize yourself below:

The complaint: "Editors practice age discrimination. I'm over 50 and editors believe only young authors can write for children."

The truth: Editors are interested in finding good books, period. It doesn't matter how old the author is. Take a look at the lists of award winners (ask your librarian, or do an Internet search for Caldecott or Newbery Awards) and note the ages of the authors. Many didn't start writing until their kids were in school full time, or took up writing as a second career. Editors also know that the best stories come from years of life experience, and older writers have more to draw from. Yes, occasionally a book written by a teenager will make the news, but more often than not it's the novelty of the author's age that gets the publicity, not the quality of the writing. And why does the editor know your age in the first place? There's no reason to mention it in your cover or query letter, unless it has direct bearing on the story. If you're writing historical fiction and you actually lived through the events in the plot, or your nonfiction book is based on years of study in the subject, then your age is a plus.

The complaint: "I'm a man, and editors think only women can write children's books."

The truth: Sorry guys, but this one's a little ridiculous. Again, look at that list of award winners. Men are well-represented. Glance through the names of editors in Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market published by Writer's Digest Books. Lots of men there too. The only time your gender might be an issue is with the readers themselves. For example, teenage boys might not buy a science fiction/adventure story written by a woman, or middle grade girls may think a man can't possibly pen a series featuring four adolescent girls at summer camp. They're wrong, but you can always use your first initial instead of your name to fool your audience.

The complaint: "They're just wrong about my writing! All editors want these days are famous names, not quality books."

The truth: Yes, many editors (especially those at larger houses) have to be concerned with making money for the publisher, and so rely on a certain number of established authors each year to pay the bills. But they also know they need to find new writers, because those standbys aren't going to be writing forever.

Sometimes it's almost impossible to interpret a rejection letter, and one or two form rejections does not mean you're a failure. Editors are people too, with personal tastes and the need to balance each list by subject matter and age group. However, several rejections in a row deserve a closer look. Are you submitting to appropriate publishers, who actually publish the kind of book you've written? Have any of the houses on your list recently published a book very similar to yours? Is your manuscript riddled with typos or grammatical errors? Even though a copy editor will fix these before the book's published, sloppy presentation can give an editor reason to reject a manuscript when she's got 50 others sitting on her desk waiting for her attention.

In most cases, though, it's the writing that gets the manuscript rejected. And since it's the editor's job to recognize good writing and help those authors make their books even better, there is a chance (admit it!) that the rejection is deserved. How can you tell? First of all, if you get personal comments about your manuscript in the rejection letter, take those to heart. Play devil's advocate and assume the editor's right, and see if those changes improve the work. Secondly, get objective input. Join a writer's group, get a professional manuscript critique, or pay for a personal critique session at a writer's conference (most Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators workshops-- optional one-on-one critiques). Take writing classes, read books on writing. Do whatever you can to learn how to judge your work and make it better.

The complaint: "Publishers aren't interested in publishing books that will help kids."

The truth: Whoa! If children's book publishers didn't produce books that benefit kids, they'd go out of business in a heartbeat. Of course, we can all walk into a book store and find books that aren't worth the paper they're printed on, but that's true of any product. (Have you ever bought a T-shirt that disintegrated in the first wash, or a DVD player that self-destructed in a week?) I'm not saying that's a good thing, but our society seems to tolerate a certain amount of drivel in the marketplace. However, all publishers prefer commercially-appealing books that also have substance. This complaint consistently comes from writers whose goal is to "help kids," or teach them how to grow into solid, caring citizens through their books. This is admirable and even desirable, but very often the message is heavy-handed and preachy. The message smothers the story, and the book ends up sounded like a lecture. It's simply not good writing. Try reading several popular books wit h a message embedded in the plot (ask a teacher or librarian for recommendations) and work on the writing-improvement suggestions above.

The complaint: "I'm disabled/poor/have had a hard life and want to share my story, but no one will listen."

The truth: I imagine it's difficult for an editor to reject a manuscript that comes from someone who has struggled with adversity and is still determined to follow their lifelong dream of becoming a published author. The tough circumstances themselves don't work against the writer (very often they contribute to powerful stories) but an author's unique situation cannot outweigh less-than-stellar writing. What's on the page is what matters the most. If your story is too personal (it's about your life as an adult, or you haven't extracted the universal feelings and crafted them into a story that will be relevant to a wide audience), the book simply won't sell in the children's market. Again, learn what makes a quality children's book and get objective feedback on your manuscript. Remember, no one owes you a publishing credit just because you took the time to write a book. Writing is hard work, and requires self-education, practice, and persistence. There's no shame in p utting aside a manuscript that simply won't sell and writing something new. Every published author has a drawer full of those, and enough rejection letters to wallpaper an office. So join the club– it's worth the price of membership.

by: Laura Backes

Find Your Readers Online

You've written a book! That's a major accomplishment and don't let anyone tell you that you can't be published. But by saying that you want to be published, you're really saying that you want readers; and you can find them. They are out in the Internet ether, waiting to read your book. You need only to remember: PACKAGE, MESSAGE, MARKET.

Your book is your PACKAGE, and so is your website. If you have a book, you should have a website. If you start with a polished product, you'll be better prepared to find your readers. So, write your book, revise, edit, and rework until you're proud of your product. Simultaneous to this, you should prepare your website. A website is also part of your package. Your book and the topic should be the focus of the website if you are not a known author. A good web designer can come up with an image that will be the hallmark of what you've created. Use it for online representations of your book, for postcards (to be distributed in your local community) and business cards. This is called branding, and it will help establish your product for when you get to the marketing tasks. Now you have a book, a website, and an image. You can be published within two days.

Time for the MESSAGE aspect of e-publishing. This simply is putting your book into the ether. Prepare a three- or four-sentence synopsis of your book and a short bio about yourself. You should already have this from your website. You will use it wherever you post your book. Amazon offers a Digital Text Platform that will upload and convert your book into an e-book. From Amazon, this feature makes your book exclusively available for download to their electronic reader, the Kindle. But it puts you in good company: your book among 90-some thousand other books. You should create a bio page within Amazon that will link you to the listing of your book.

Next could be Mobipocket, which happens to be owned by Amazon, but will place your book into additional e-book markets. Mobipocket offers E-Book Base where you upload your book to their online store. You have to sign agreements as you do for Amazon and mail them in to the company's respective headquarters. Once approved, you will open a publisher account and agree to give Mobipocket a percentage of each sale made, as you did with Amazon. You won't get rich from this venture, but you will be published and available to readers. Mobipocket is affiliated with numerous e-book stores, such as FictionWise and BooksOnBoard. If your sales for your book take off, you may become a featured author at either of these sites. And that's where marketing comes in.

You're ready to MARKET your book. You need to get the word out about your book. First, establish a budget. Determine how much money can you spend and then break that down into where you will spend it. In order to find the best markets for your book, you need to analyze what your topic is, who your protagonist or antagonist is, what they do -- this will help you determine your audience. What kind of book have you written? If it's a thriller and your protagonist is a naturopath, your audience lies among naturalists, herbalists, massage therapists, etc. These are your keywords. Find bulletin boards where these topics are discussed and tap into the audience. But be savvy. Many bulletin boards have rules of conduct and they don't approve of shameless hucksters. You can also use those keywords to run ads on the internet, as you can do through Google AdWords. You should already have signed on with an analytics service that will track traffic to your website; where it came from, how long it stayed, etc. AdWords or a similar service, like ExactSeek, can target web browsers that touch upon your keywords. You prepare a short ad that is placed according to searches that people do. If they click on your ad, you pay for that click.

Most importantly, don't forget your local community. Who's on your personal e-mail list? Everyone is thrilled to know an author. Send out an e-mail telling people about your book and asking them to visit your website. Take some postcards promoting your book to local restaurants and specialty shops. If you're really ambitious, you can also set up a website that can provide a shopping cart feature. Sell your book from your own website. You will need to convert your book into a downloadable format, like Adobe or MSReader, and unless you do this yourself (time-consuming and difficult), you will have to pay a service to do the conversion for you. The next issue will be whether you sell a secure, encrypted version of your book (again, more expensive and time-consuming, but preserves the integrity of a single sale rather than allowing the purchaser to forward your book over the internet.) The field of encrypted text is known as digital rights management, and that's a topic for another guide.

With good planning, and a few simple digital steps, you can be an e-published author find your readers online. Good Luck.

by: K. F. Zuzulo

Write And Grow Rich

Are there any writers out there who don’t want to make money from writing? Who don’t want to earn a living from their writing? Who don’t want to become rich from their writing? Well, there probably are. And that’s fine. But this article isn’t for them. This article is for you. You who knows that you can’t wake up in the morning without the itch in your fingers, can’t get through the day without putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, you who can’t listen to a conversation on a train, a bus or at a coffee shop without thinking, “I’ve got to write that down and use it in my next story”, and you who sees many things in life as great story ideas. Write and grow rich is for you. Now, this is not entirely about getting financially rich from writing. But apply the following advice and you stand a great chance of making that happen. Riches do come in many forms, one of which is money. But the many other forms of riches life has to offer are also yours for the taking when you follow the lead of the greats of writing, storytelling and inspirational thinking. So let’s have a look at the 7 essential elements that will help you to write and grow rich.

1. Desire

This is absolutely the most important step in achieving success in any endeavour, and ignoring it will mean almost certain failure. Putting it simply, you have to want it! Whatever your writing goal is – whether it’s to be a bestselling novelist, a successful screenwriter, to win a short story competition, to write for a national newspaper or magazine, or simply to finish something you’ve started, you must want it so much that the thought of it inspires a physical reaction in you, and the lack of it causes you both emotional and physical pain. Does this sound extreme? Maybe. But you must have a deep, intense desire to make your writing dreams come true. So let’s put first things first – what is your magnificent obsession? What do you want more than anything else? Got it? Write it down and let’s move on.

2. Faith

It is imperative that you believe you can achieve your goal. It is also imperative that you believe in what you are writing, and why. JK Rowling said that it was her belief in the story of Harry Potter that kept her going through 5 years of planning the entire series and then the writing of the first novel. With absolutely no promise of publication and being well aware of how difficult it is for an unknown author to get published, she could easily have let economic and personal difficulties overwhelm her and quit writing. But it was an overriding sense that she had to do right by the book that kept her going. So your second step is to examine your own commitment to what you are writing. Do you believe in the story you are telling? Does it mean anything to you personally, or to the world in general? And if you are writing non-fiction, do you believe in your topic, your point of view, and the value of what you are bringing to the world? Faith in yourself, and in your work is the one thing that has been known to work miracles.

3. Imagination

This may seem obvious, and yet it needs to be said. It is imagination that sets great writers and storytellers apart, just as it sets great artists, businessmen and movie-makers apart. Imagination falls into two categories – the creative and synthetic imaginations. And both are equally important to you as a writer. Examples of the creative imagination are of course JK Rowling having Harry Potter stroll fully formed into her mind while she was travelling between Manchester and London by train, and then spending the next four hours creating Hogwarts and the major cast of characters in her mind. Then there’s anything Stephen King has ever written, from what happens when a dead pet resurrects itself, to what would you do if you were trapped in your car when your family dog turns rabid. Great uses of the synthetic imagination (when the mind takes elements it already knows and recognises, and puts them together in new ways) are also abundant in fiction. How many variations on the classic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl, have you read or seen? Hundreds, probably. And what about James Cameron’s epic film, Titanic? We all knew the boat would sink, we’d all seen it countless times before, but we still flocked to the cinema, enchanted by Cameron’s incredibly believable characters, Rose and Jack, and their moving but short lived love story. So if you’re a fiction writer, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to dream up something that has never ever been seen before. Simply look at what you like to read and write about, and put a new angle, or twist on it, and then go for it. For non-fiction writers, it’s open slather here. Simply pick your topic, take a fresh look at it, create a new angle and get into it. Your expertise and opinion matter certainly, but use your imagination to create a new way for your readers to see your topic, and you will have a ready-made audience.

4. Specialised knowledge

Many fiction writers have woven their own interests and areas of expertise into their novels. CS Lewis created a world rich in Christian symbolism, to reflect his own beliefs. John Grisham is an ex-lawyer who writes compelling courtroom dramas. Patricia Cornwell is a former medical examiner, and Candace Bushnell wrote about her own newspaper column in Sex and The City. These are all excellent examples of how you can turn your ‘real-life’ career into the basis of life as a novelist. Of course there are also countless examples of authors who carry out extensive research, moving from one topic to another as they build their catalogue. Either way, to create a believable world is, for the fiction writer, as important as building credibility in your field is to the non-fiction writer. The upshot is, that one way or the other, you need to acquire some specialised knowledge if you are to write in a way that captures your audience. Whether you parlay your own knowledge into your work, or acquire what you need through research, it’s important to remember, that we are first and foremost scribes, reporting stories to the people around us.

5. Organised Planning

I am a great believer in planning. For the fiction writer, having a story plan, whether for a short story, novel or screenplay, ensures you keep yourself on track, not winding off down dead ends and blind alleys. For the non-fiction writer, it’s a matter of doing your research, gathering your notes, and writing an outline before you set about the main task of writing your article or book. But organised planning for the writer means much more than planning the story, book or article you are writing right now. It also means planning for your own success as a writer. Travelling back to the first point, desire, you had to write down what you wanted to achieve as a writer. Have a look at that now. How are you going to get there? What steps can you take, starting now, that will move you in the direction of your goal? Saying you want to see your screenplay nominated for an Academy Award is a fine aspiration, but if you don’t even have an idea yet for your story, how do you think you’re ever going to be treading the red carpet? So putting together an organised, step-by-step plan to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be, and adding a timeframe for your goal’s achievement will be an important step to getting you where you want to go. A great way to do this is to work backwards from your goal, imagining what came immediately before the goal, and then before that, and then right before that, until you have the step that you need to take RIGHT NOW to move you forward. It may be something as simple as buying yourself a special notebook to jot down your ideas, but whatever it is, it is one important step toward you achieving your writing desire.

6. Persistence

It has been said that persistence outstrips all other virtues, and when it comes to achieving success as a writer, I truly believe that, other than being ready when your opportunity comes, persistence is the one quality that will absolutely guarantee your success. JK Rowling would never have been the phenomenon she became if she had never finished her first book, would she? And remember she wrote several adult novels that never saw the light of day, before Harry turned her life on its ear. Stephen King wrote several novels before he hit pay dirt with Carrie. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull was rejected more than 200 times before being published. Matthew Reilly began his career as a self-publisher and is now one of Australia’s most popular authors. His persistence, and self-belief paid off. So whatever you are writing, stick with it. Persistence is the one thing, along with a thick skin, that you’ll need in abundance to crack it in the competitive world of publishing. And remember, the so-called “experts” don’t always know it all. The man who handed JK Rowling her first advance, a mere £2,500, advised her not to give up her day job as “no one makes any money out of writing children’s books”. 12 years and over $1 billion later, I think she’s proven him wrong. Who are you going to prove wrong?

7. The Sixth Sense

This may seem like an unusual thing to suggest, but I truly believe that those who achieve great success as writers have an intuitive sense about which stories are the ones that are worth pursuing and which ones are better off left behind. I advocate that you should pursue the ideas that “scare you a little, and excite you a lot”. This is a simpler way of describing the ‘sixth sense’ idea and also may be easier for many of you to measure. As an example, JK Rowling said that when Harry appeared to her on that train journey, she had an actual physical response, unlike anything else she’d ever felt before with her writing. She felt quite light-headed when she got off the train, and likened the feeling to that delicious feeling at the start of a love affair. Is this the sixth sense? The case could be argued either way. I am merely suggesting that the more in touch you are with your intuition, the more likely you are to be able to distinguish between the “Harry Potter” ideas and the “dead horses” that Bryce Courtney describes having experienced, when he just knew that an idea had run out of steam for him. So those are the 7 steps to Writing and Growing Rich. Type them out, paste them up near where you write and refer to them often. And as you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, may you experience success unexpected in common hours.
by: Suzanne Harrison

How Not To Become The Victim Of Plagiarism

The idea is the most valuable intellectual property. And the interesting idea requires quality protection from the plagiarism. Before we start discussing why it is not worth plagiarizing, let’s clear up what we mean by plagiarism.

The word Plagiarism originated from the Latin word Plagio which means steal. The encyclopedias define plagiarism as “misappropriation of someone else’s works: publishing someone else’s works without indicating the source or a usage of the work without the author’s permission”. If the source is not indicated that is plagiarism.

The objects of plagiarism can be literature works, movies, translations as well as term papers essay writings, etc. The law suggests severe penalties for plagiarists. But despite it the unpleasant phenomenon is still flourishing in our society. The present article warns you how not to become the victim of plagiarism. The problem of the net plagiarism is very urgent nowadays. Any student searching an essay or term paper on-line can fall into this trap. Of course you can find a ready made research paper you need.

But here you encounter RISK 1. No one can guarantee you that this paper is used for the first time. Moreover, it could be downloaded by the student from your college and submitted to the same tutor. RISK 2: Now all the tutors are aware of the existence of such free on –line collections. Your tutor could have seen this work on the net. In this case he would have the right to demand your rewriting the paper. Risk 3: Now many universities have acquired the special anti – plagiarism software for detecting the plagiarised works. Such systems compare the text of your term paper research with the Internet resources base, with other students’ works and also printed issues and italicize the places with the repetition of the texts from other sources. Then it counts up the percentage of such duplications in the text. Risk 4. Downloading a paper from one of the on-line writing services is also a guaranteed way to get a plagiarized writing. Such services offer the students’ works that had already been submitted.

So, if you finally have made up your mind to download a ready work, at least paraphrase it, add some chapters and change their order. If you have no time to reconstruct the completed version, the best way out for you is to order a unique writing from a professional custom writing service. This way you will get 100% original paper.

by: Tyler Benson

The Da Vinci Code, The Best Selling Novel

One of the best selling novels since hundreds of years is Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code which has intrigued and thrilled millions of readers around the world.

One of the best selling novels since hundreds of years is Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code which has intrigued and thrilled millions of readers around the world.

The Da Vinci Code novel was written by the American author Dan Brown. It was published for the first time in 2003 by Doubleday Fiction (ISBN 0385504209). It is a worldwide bestseller, bout 36 million copies were sold and the novel has been translated into 44 languages. Combining the detective, thriller and conspiracy theory genres, the novel has helped generate popular interest in certain theories concerning the Holy Grail legend and the role of Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity — theories that Christians typically consider heretical and that have been criticized as historically inaccurate.

The book is part two of a trilogy that started with Brown's 2000 novel Angels and Demons, which introduced the character Robert Langdon. In November 2004, Random House published a "Special Illustrated Edition", with 160 illustrations interspersed with the text.

The book claims that the Catholic Church has been involved in a conspiracy to cover up the true story of Jesus. This implies that the Vatican consciously knows it is living a lie, but does so to keep itself in power. Fans have lauded the book as creative, action-packed and thought-provoking, while critics have attacked it as inaccurate and poorly written, and decry its controversial stance on the role of the Christian Church.

This kind of historical literature - novels, biographies, thrillers and documentaries like The Da Vinci Code; makes you sure that you will have a lot of entertainment while reading and trying to be part of this glorious events happening within the novel lines.

Dan Brown has borrowed elements from many popular historical "consipiracy" theories and strung them together in a rather cannibalistic fashion. His style is not enthralling and his characters really let him down: his view of the French seems to be directly borrowed from the US tabloid press, and the English villain is of course titled and perfidious, that goes without saying.

The Da Vinci Code is a load of old cobblers. If you like conspiracies and books who can challenge your view of history in an entertaining way, read the Da Vinci Code

by: Cameron Trant

How To Write A Book Like A Pro To Finish Sooner And Sell Longer

Is your book manuscript as professional and compelling as it could be? Tell the truth; could it use some work to make it crisp and compelling? Yes. Keep reading if you need some tips to make your book writing pull readers in by the collar. Also, you'll discover how to write a book that keeps them reading to the end. Use the tips below to help you write your book like a pro and finish stronger to sell longer:

1. Write your book title to capture your reader's attention.

Professional writers know the power wielded through a hot title. They realize a dud title versus a sizzler title can cause their book to plummet or soar in sales. Knowing this, you owe it to yourself and book's success to develop your best title. After all, the better your title the more people will reach out and grab your book to read. Develop your book title to have top seller status.

2. Develop your opening paragraph with a hook.

Many unseasoned writers don't realize the importance of starting with a hook (something to capture your reader's attention and entice them to read further.) Create a sizzling start. Hook your readers through emotion. Slant your book or introduction with a question or an amazing statistic. Share the top benefits of your book early. Target the 'You' in every reader.

3. Write a 1-2 sentence thesis for your book.

Following your short introduction including your hook (opening statement), write your thesis. Make it simple; let your readers know what benefits await them if they keep reading. For example, one author friend uses sizzling bullet points to entice the reader into the chapter.

4. Write each chapter to support your thesis.

Experts know a book centered around one central become top sellers. Write a thesis for your book as a whole and each chapter. Book writing with a thesis will help you create a more compelling, organized and easy to read book.

5. Write your book with the self-editor off.

Don't try to write your book and self-edit as you go. It slows you down and may even make you lose momentum. Get it out on paper then self-edit for re-writing. Get feedback from your friends and associates. A writer's group is a good place to get feedback. Then invest in a professional editor.

6. Shorten your book introduction.

Entice your reader with the main benefit (main central thought) early to keep them reading. Write the rest of your piece to support your main central thought. Sprinkle the rest of the benefits throughout your copy in descending priority.

7. Slash passive structures.

Use emotional, power verbs to show instead of tell. Passive sentences slow and dull your writing. Get rid of the passive voice sentences. Give your sentences a clear subject and a verb to avoid the passive voice. "The writer found fame and fortune through marketing her books online." instead of "The writer's books were instrumental in leading her to fame and fortune." Avoid connecting verbs like 'was', 'is', 'had', and 'seemed'.

If you don't put these How to Write a Book tips into practice you could end up this time next year still writing dull, boring copy for your book. Instead, you could take my advice and attract a host of ezine publishers, other web sites and book readers searching for more of your material?

The best part is they'll come prepared to pull out their card and buy because your writing caught their attention and kept it. Now go; write your book like a pro to finish stronger and sell longer.

by: Earma Brown

The ONLY Thing You Need to Know About Writing Articles

You don't need to be a great writer to write great articles, just be fast and entertaining. There is only ONE SINGLE THING you need to know about article writing.

Tell a story.

Stories are easy to follow and interesting. Why are the Chicken Soup for the Soul books interesting? Because they're stories people can relate to. (I bet the most "interesting" person you know is the one with the best stories to tell.)

With a story, there is progress for the reader and events are locked together: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. It's easy to skip over the stuff that wastes space.

Have you ever read a book, or watched a movie, WITHOUT some kind of story or journey? If you did, the cover of that book probably said something like "Dictionary," "Owner's Manual," or, "Book of Poetry." If that was a movie, the VHS cover probably said, "Run this in your VCR to clean the heads."

Learn to be at least a mediocre storyteller. You'd never see a good storyteller telling a story for 5 minutes in front of a campfire, then say, "Wait a minute, let me start over." All you need to be a good storyteller is have a lot of practice. Write every day or week. Write well enough so your writing doesn't require a lot of editing, after OR during the writing process.

Write fast. If you are writing about something you love you already know exactly how to say it. When you have something to say, get it on paper as fast as possible and don't stop writing (or typing) until it's done. No need to be fancy.

Do NOT write on "autopilot." Everything you write in your article should be an answer to some sort of question. This makes sure you are making progress instead of aimlessly adding fluff. Get to the point.

I'm not saying every single thing you write has to be a story full of inspiring imagery. Your stories don't even have to be obvious. If you are doing how-to article the story part of it might be 5% or less (Point 1, Point 2, Point 3... barely a story, but there is still a step-by-step order).
Advice-type articles might contain 80% to 90% story. That's because you have less to say, therefore more room to say it, so you can tie your points in to the way the birds crash into the water where you live, or some other hippie ramblings.

When you get to the end of your story, it's very easy to bring it back to the beginning. Think of the one word that sums up your entire article. Write your last couple of sentences and end on that word. That's the so-called secret to writing material that people will read, but at the same time can be written quickly.

by: Robert Plank

Screenplay Slug Lines - An Important Element Of Screenwriting

Over the years, I’ve found that new screenwriters frequently have confusions and misunderstandings on the proper way to write slug lines, also known as master scene headings. This article covers the basics of writing industry accepted screenplay slug lines.

Tips On Slug Lines

Scene headings or slug lines, as they are commonly called, are a widely accepted convention of “spec” or “master scene” screenplay form. Over the years, I’ve found that new writers frequently have confusions and misunderstandings on the subject, despite having read a basic book or two on the craft aspects of screenwriting. Hence, the reason for this article.

Every time the “where” or the “when” of your story changes, it’s expected that you’ll reorient the reader as to location and time of day with a new slug line. A slug line is composed of three parts:

1) INT. or EXT.
Is it an interior or exterior scene?

The physical location or name of the set where the action of the scene takes place.

Usually simply DAY or NIGHT.


Whether a scene is INT or EXT is to some degree relative. In truth, some of your INT scenes may be shot outdoors and some of your EXT scenes shot indoors against a blue screen. For the sake of simplicity and consistency, I recommend that if the action takes place IN something (a building, a car, a spaceship, etc.) label the scene INT. If the scene takes place outdoors, and not in something, label it EXT.

It’s generally considered poor form to use INT/EXT in combination in a slug line. If the action of a scene shifts from INT to EXT, or EXT to INT, write a new slug line. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re inter-cutting rapidly between an INT and an EXT location, chances are you’re usurping the job of the director by writing HOW your story should be filmed rather than simply telling your story in a compelling fashion.

Scene locations should be specific and descriptive. “INT. RESTAURANT”, is a poor slug line in that it’s neither specific enough, nor descriptive enough. Slug line locations such as, "INT. WANG CHOW’S CHINESE JOINT” or, “INT. BIG ED’S GREASY SPOON DINER”, being both descriptive and specific, are far more visual in the impact they have on the reader.

Be consistent in your description of scene locations. Once you’ve labeled a location as JOE’S BAR AND GRILL, it should not mutate into JOE’S RESTAURANT, and then later, THE BAR AND GRILL ON 8TH STREET. After your screenplay is sold, it will be broken down by location and time (day or night) for budget and scheduling purposes. (Obviously, it’s far more efficient to shoot all scenes taking place in the same location at the same time.) Be kind to your readers by labeling scene locations in a consistent manner.

Avoid presenting extraneous information in your slug lines. (EXT. SANTA MONICA PIER – 1912 - POURING RAIN – DAY) Remember that the audience will never see your slug lines. If it’s important, and not self-evident, that it’s pouring rain and the year is 1912, find a way to present that information via action or dialogue in a filmable way.

Keep your slug line extensions simple. Ninety-nine percent of the time, “DAY” or “NIGHT” will suffice. And again I would remind writers that the audience won’t ever see your slug lines. I know of no good reason to indicate action is consecutive by using, “CONTINUOUS” as a slug line extension. If action is “continuous” it should be self-evident.

Are some very good high-priced writers non-conventional in their handling of slug lines? You bet! But keep in mind as a new writer, if you follow the generally accepted conventions of screenplay form and format, you’re far less likely to distract the reader from the tale you seek to tell.

by: Lynne Pembroke

Top 10 Freelance Writing Resources On The Internet

If you are new to home based money making industry as a writer, RentACoder is probably a good place to start from because its procedures are quite straightforward. Signing up for this website is totally free but you will need to pay 15% of each project you win, as a service fee. Since the money is escrowed by your buyer before project inception, your payments are guaranteed if you do a quality service.

There are many job postings at scriptlance, however; many of those projects never get rewarded. It is quite difficult for a beginner to start off at scriptlance because there is a lot of scamming going on in the bidding phase. However, if you are able to build a good reputation, you can be sure to have a lot of buyers awarding you projects on long term basis.

Guru is a professional freelance website which allows free membership as well as subscriptions known as Guru VENDOR. Although there are many job listings, many buyers choose to have Guru Vendors bid for their projects, so if you sign up with a basic account, you might not go too far with this website.

Elance too has two categories of membership; basic which is free of charge and professional which should be subscribed to. Upon sign up, you cannot bid on any project until you pass an evaluation test from the website. Elance too is a secured site as it facilitates payment escrow.

This is a biggest classified portal on the internet and so possibilities of finding work in here is endless. As a writer you could either search for freelance work or post an advertisement promoting your services, free of charge. The downside is that, according to website rules you cannot post too many ads as you will become suspended from the website.

This website operates quite similar to RentACoder with the exception of allowing free memberships as well as, premium memberships. Their commission per project is 10% of the project value plus a fixed charge of $5.00 The downfall however is that, if your account remains on zero balance for over 30 days, it will be frozen.

This is a very professional website with a lot of professional and highly paid writing jobs on the offering. However, you will need to subscribe as a member to work. But the good news is that you can apply for a trial period of 7 days by paying only $2.95 thereby, you can have a taste of what you are getting in to before investing money on membership. If you are a professional writer, is your perfect opportunity. Signing up for their service is easy however; you will only be able to take up projects once your application is accepted by the website within two weeks.

You will find quite a lot of writing related freelance opportunities at getafreelancer. Membership is free and here’s how it works. Getafreelancer allow new users to make only 15 bids per month. For each month a writer remains a member at the website, 1 point is added. So if your membership is 1 year old, you will get the chance to bid on 27 (15 + 12) projects per month.

This is a supermarket of freelance writing jobs. What this website does is to obtain feeds from top freelance websites and display all relevant jobs. So if you don’t have time to spare on several websites, this will be your ideal shopping place.

by: David Drake

Accomplishing Anything Through Goal Setting

Often in life we are faced with projects or tasks that simply appear to be insurmountable. When we are given a project of this magnitude it is important that we know how to go about dealing with it. Any task that we have to tackle can be compared to the action of building a house. You don't go out and build a house in a day, do you? No, you build it up one thing at a time until you have a completed structure. This simple principle holds true for any other task that you may face. To accomplish anything, you simply break it down into a set of smaller tasks.

Okay, this may sound simple beyond anything you have ever heard said before, but the most important part of accomplishing your goals is to simply set them as goals. Unfortunately, many people fail to do even this simple task. When asked what are they working towards, they may not even have an answer!Maintaining Focus By Accomplishing Manageable PiecesIt is important that if you do not already have the skill of maintaining focus that you learn it. Look at your current project; ask what needs to be done? Then pick a task. Pick any one of the tasks that need to be completed in order to finish the larger goal that you are working towards. Did you notice in the previous section that I said ONE? Not a handful, not a dozen or two. Just one. This is very important. By focusing on just one task at a time you will actually make some headway, and ultimately end up completing the task you are working on.Some of you may balk at the thought of only having one task to work on. I can hear your protests, you feel you will get bored or that your abilities are best used tackling the whole project. If you feel that you need to have more than one thing on the go, and that you need to switch between tasks to "Stay Fresh", then I strongly suggest that you limit yourself to just two tasks. I understand that some people need to do this in order to remain productive. But by limiting yourself to just two tasks at a time you will be able to make much more significant headway, while still being able to switch back and forth between tasks.If you decide not to use this approach, and instead tackle the entire project head on, What you will likely end up with is twenty or thirty parts of the project that are in varying stages of completion. But most likely not even one of these parts will have been completed.Instead of taking the project on head first, try to focus on only a few, preferably just one or two, really specific tasks until they are completed. Once they are completed you can then move onto other tasks, secure in the knowledge that you are making progress.Setting Deadlines and Sticking With ThemIt is vital to your success that you set realistic deadlines for the tasks that you are working on, and for the project as a whole. Setting appropriate deadlines is a "Science" all on its own, and we won't go into how it is done here. It is just important for you to understand a few very basic principles for setting deadlines. Make them realistic, but also make sure they add pressure to getting the task done. It is important that you find the right balance between these two. Otherwise you will either cause yourself too much stress, or you will set goals that do not add enough pressure to the tasks at hand. Lets use writing a book as an example. Lets say you are going to write a novel in one month ( Now, writing a novel is a huge task. But when you break it down into smaller pieces it quickly becomes achievable. The NaNoWriMo challenge, held every year in November, is a great lesson in setting deadlines and sticking with them. You set the ultimate goal, write a 50000-word novel. You set the absolute deadline, one month - November. And then you have at it. By breaking the task down into daily portions, many thousands of people, who otherwise would be unlikely to do so, are able to succeed at writing a complete novel in a one-month period.Completing The Project and Rewarding YourselfThe great thing about breaking a large task down into a bunch of smaller tasks is that it also allows you to give yourself smaller rewards as you work through the project. Each time you finish one of the tasks, take some time and reward yourself with a special treat. This will help to keep you motivated, and will reinforce your understanding that you are infact making progress.But don't forget, once you have completed the project, one step at a time, and everything is done that is the time when it is really important that you reward yourself for a job well done. Celebrate your accomplishments! Bask in the glory! Pat yourself on the back! And now that you have completely finished your project, you can begin that next project that you have been itching to get started.Visit The Scruffy Scribe for more discussion about productivity techniques and improving your writing.
By: Scruffy Scribe

Writing Tips For Novice Authors

If you are reading this article then you probably have asked yourself at some point in your life, "Do I have what it takes to become an author?" I believe that successful authors, those who actually write and finish that novel, or book of poetry, or even that book of short stories, and see it all the way to publication, have certain characteristics.

Characteristics of Authors
1. They like to sit for hours in front of a computer screen (or with pen and paper), typing (writing) away.
2. They think about their book, even when they're not writing.
3. They are motivated to finish their book.
4. They are motivated to proofread, edit and revise their finished book until it is the best it can be.
5. They are motivated to publish their book.
6. Once they publish the first book, they are already working on the next one.

If you answered yes to anyone of the above, then you have a good chance of attaining your dreams of becoming an author. Don't listen to those people who say it's a competitive market out there. Don't listen to those people who say they've written five books and haven't had one published yet. And don't listen to those people who send you back your manuscripts! Listen to yourself. Listen to that inner voice, the one that is whispering now. But wait until you get started. Once your book is written and published, that inner voice will be roaring! And the whole world will hear about it. I know, I know. I tend to be the optimist. But we have so many pessimists in the book business, we sure need some more optimists around! For you, the novice writer who would like to start writing that first book, the best way to begin is to start writing. Yes, just sit down and do it. Stop the other activities, the television, the reading, the shopping, the chatting on the telephone, and find the time to devote at least one hour a day to writing. What’s one hour a day in the scheme of things? It comes and goes like this, poof! What do you have to show after an hour of television? A lazy yawn? If that same hour were spent on writing, then there would be a product in your hands, something that will be shared, hopefully, one day with others. So, go ahead, shut the door to the rest of the world for one hour (or more) and make yourself comfortable in front of the computer screen (or pen and paper). Let’s take the first step to becoming an author.

How To Begin
Just like a construction company which builds a foundation to a home, you also need to prepare a foundation for your career in writing. Don't skip this step, it's important. Your "foundation" will consist of basic writing skills. Remember those English courses you took in high school and college? If you don't remember anything from those courses, then it wouldn't be a bad idea if you found your old English textbooks, dusted them off a bit, and looked through their pages to refresh your memory. If you haven't taken any courses in creative writing, you might consider signing up for one. Check with your local community college. They often offer weekend and evening classes, and sometimes even online classes. If you're on a budget, then visit the public library and sign out books relevant to writing. In addition, it would be very useful to join a writing group (online or in your local area) that critiques your work and gives you the opportunity to critique also. The group provides wonderful support and an avenue to sharpen your skills as you gain experience in writing, as well as exposure to other people's writing. For example, is a good example of an online resource that provides many opportunities to share your writing, and get your work rated and reviewed. If you want to join a critique or review group, it offers that also. The second step to becoming an author, is to have the right tools.

Tools Needed

Besides a comfortable chair, plenty of lighting, and a quiet room, you will need a computer with a word processing program (e.g., Microsoft Word), a printer, and plenty of paper.
Why a computer? First of all, publishers typically will request a copy of your files sent to them on a floppy disk. More importantly, working with a word processing program will aid you in many ways towards becoming a published author. It will provide the opportunity to save your work as a Word file, without having to use up tons of paper (as with a typewriter). This greatly aids you in keeping your work organized. It also gives you the flexibility to edit and re-edit large sections of your work quickly by allowing you to utilize the copy and paste functions. Other advantages of using a computer word processing program is that it provides spell check capabilities, and also helps you count the number of words per page. In addition, when you want to spice up your vocabulary (For example, if you like to use the word "walk" often, and are getting tired of that word), place your cursor on the word "walk", hit shift F7. It will give you a list of synonyms you can choose from - like stroll, amble, etc.). The time saved by using a computer is very valuable. It gives you more time available to write! Of course, if you don’t have the above materials, don’t let that stop you from writing that book! Using a pen and paper is perfectly fine. Books were written with these two basic tools for centuries. Let’s assume you are using a computer and a Word processing software. First of all, before you begin writing, form a subdirectory that you can add all your chapters to. Maybe you know the title of your book already. Fine, then form a subdirectory using the name of the title. After you finish writing that first chapter (oh joy!), just save it as Chapter 1 under the subdirectory. If you are writing a book of poetry, then you might want to save each poem as a separate file. When I write my chapters for my novel, I format them in double space mode, with a Times New Roman 11 font. All the margins are at least one inch. This way it will be ready for manuscript submission. Try not to add your page numbers until the very last revision. Page numbers constantly change when you’re revising, so wait until the end. Finally, another reason for having a computer is for Internet access. As a writer, you will have opportunities to submit your fiction online, such as, or even your articles online for e-zines, such as Any chance you can get to write online, do it. As long as it doesn't take too much time away from your book. It's also a free way of promoting yourself before the book is even published. So you need to balance your time in writing that book, honing your writing skills, submitting your work along the way for others to critique, and promoting yourself. Can you do it? Of course you can!

The third step to becoming an author is:
What to Write If you are planning to write a novel, it would help to know what general category your book is going to be in. Will it be in the romance, mystery, or science fiction category? If you don’t know, take some time and think about it. Read some books in those genres. Which books seem to attract you the most? It’s highly likely that you’ll be writing in the category that you like to read. My preference is romance because I read those types of books the most. Once you decide the category, then you are closer to writing that novel! For poetry, you might start by writing a poem and submitting it to a poetry journal, or a poetry contest. Gain exposure for your poetry. Join a critique group so you can sharpen your poetry skills. A chapbook usually consists of about 25-35 poems. For a poetry book, you'll need at least 60 pages of poetry, if not more.
Types of Novelists

I have found over time, that there are two types of novelists. The first type is the writer who prefers drawing up a proposal or plan of what they will write about. The second type prefers to write whatever comes into their mind at that moment. You decide which writer you will be.

Type 1 Novelist
They begin by describing the characters, their names, personalities, and sometimes their motives. Then they decide when and where the setting will take place. When will it take place? If it takes place before the 1900’s, then it will be considered historical. Also, will the setting be in the country, in a city (which city?), in a house (whose house), on a cruise ship? That needs to be defined also. Once those decisions are made, they write brief sketches of each chapter. It could be a page or two long. Once all this is done, then the real writing begins. If this method works for you, then feel free to use it. It may take some time, but you will become more confident about what you’ll write once you go through this initial process.
Type 2 Novelist
What if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to spend all that time writing proposals and character sketches? What if you’re like me, who prefers to just write whatever comes into your head? Then do it! Sit down and start writing. Write anything. As the story develops, something wonderful begins brewing in your mind. Something called creativity. I’ve caught myself hours after I finished writing a chapter, and I’ll be preparing dinner, or walking somewhere, and a scene from my novel will begin to unfold. It’s called creative problem solving. My mind is working to solve the problem that the writing presents it, even though I’m not actively writing. When I get those urges, I immediately stop what I’m doing and jot down my thoughts. It’s helped me many times, particularly when everything clicks together.

How Long Will It Take?

It took me almost two years to write and find a publisher for my first novel, Lipsi’s Daughter. For other people, it may take longer or shorter, depending on the amount of time they allow for writing and how many pages they are writing. I know of authors that took six, seven, up to twelve years to write their first book. I also know of a famous author who writes two novels a year! So unless you begin writing that first page of your book, you'll never know how long it'll take you to write it. Go ahead, make that first step, and good luck!
By: ParamS

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