Tag Archives: fiction

Writer Gift Ideas

It’s getting to be that time of year again to think about the writers in your life, and what to get them. Here is a list of suggested ideas you might enjoy. (Some are affiliate links but you can look them up yourself if you like);

A subscription to Writer’s Digest Magazine provides ample information and incentive for the writer in your life. I’ve found each and every magazine provided valuable information on writing craft as well as publishing in today’s market. $19 year)

Also consider any number of books by Writer’s Digest on the topics of writing, publishing, and marketing.

The Writer’s Market can help the writer in your life to look at publishing markets. Each year, Writer’s Digest released a new book, so you might be able to find a previous year. Ideally, you would want to give a current copy to have fresh markets. ($20)

A fancy fountain pen offers support in a writer’s craft. It doesn’t have to be specifically a fountain pen, but a special or high-end pen they can use. ($15)

 

A pen holder is perfect for the writer who carries a notebook around with them. These easy stick on pen clips are perfect to affix to any notebook, journal, or book.

 

Notebooks come in many shapes, sizes, and covers to choose from. Moleskin notebooks include lined, dotted, or blank pages for journaling or writing, or select of the special notebooks listed in my online store.

Mug with quote are perfect for writers. This is just one example, but you can get mugs with specific quotes and graphics on them, or even design your own mug through sites like Zazzle or Cafepress.

Some other ideas include:

T-shirts with quotes on them. These are always popular. If the writer in your life has a book published, consider having a t-shirt made with their book cover and title put on the shirt so they can show it off.

Books (printed or ebooks) that help with the craft of writing, publishing, or marketing of the writer’s specific genre.

Storymatic Classic is a game writers can use to prompt their writing.

 

 The Writer’s Toolbox is another writer inspired game that uses cards and popsicle sticks with prompts and plot ideas.

What’s on your wishlist this year? Post in comments.

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How to share your writing (online)

How to Share Your Writing- aWritersJourney.netAs an organizer of a writer’s group, over the years we’ve tried various methods with sharing our writing via the Internet. I decided to share the various hiccups and methods we’ve used.

For starters, you need to understand the basics of saving files and the methods of adding notes.

File formats:

The file format of a document is the type of file created in a program. DOC and DOCX are created by Microsoft Word, while OpenOffice creates ODT and MS Works creates WKS.

RTF DOC DOCX
WPS ODT TXT
PDF WPD EPUB
HTML MOBI

Word Processor formats explained.

To share files, RTF is the most basic of file formats that can be opened by every word processor. It strips formatting, however, so be warned about that. You can also add a tutorial of using a free service like Google Drive documents to view the document.

Asking for feedback can offer the writer a harrowing amount of worry, but ideally the feedback can provide valuable insight on improving the writing. I think it depends on the reader, since some folks don’t like genres, you should pick readers who enjoy the type of story.


How to share:

Email is one of the better methods of sending out your work. This is done by attaching the file. The recipient will open, read, and can add notes, then send it back to you.

Using a Cloud Drive is another method, but the biggest drawback is some Cloud Drives want the sender and the receiver to both have accounts. I’ve picked ones I’ve used and no not require the recipient to be a member:

googledriveI’ve used Google Drive in the past, where I upload the file to the drive, and can then share with a link. Readers view in their browser, can add notes, and you can see who read and did what on the document. Unlike some drives, the recipient doesn’t need a Google membership, but they will show up as ‘anonymous’.

dropboxDropbox and Onedrive both provide a means to save (and backup) files which syncs with a web site service. You can send a link to share a onedrivefile or an entire folder. Both of these drives provide non-members a means to view, add notes, and edit.


Some tips:

Make sure your writing includes your name and email. This enables the reader to email their feedback if you choose sharing via email. You can post in header/footer. If you print it out, make sure you have numbered pages.

Ask what you’d like in the feedback. This can include clarity with character development, plot, setting, and even grammar (although correcting grammar & punctuation is the last edit).

Get a number of opinions. And they will vary. If feedback ends up complaining about the same thing, definitely consider changing. If one person says to remove this, yet another says its fine, then you, as the author, can decide if it stays or if it goes. Even then, if you’re really attached to something in the writing, keep it. You’re the writer, after all.

Value the bad as well as the good. A good beta reader will share what they liked and what they didn’t like. Authors need to know as much as what they’re doing right as what they’re doing wrong.

Don’t let a bad review stop you from writing. Writing is a skill that develops and grows with practice. You can get better. Read more. Write more. Practice, practice, practice. You will get there.

Remember to thank the reader, even if they didn’t like it. Reading your stuff takes their time and it is generous if they’ve taken that time to give you feedback. Not all writing can be their cup of tea.

 

 

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Story Tropes: Love (Video by Nika Harper)

I decided I’m so bad about posting, Ill start to share interesting videos, articles, and web sites that might interest other writers.

Today’s link by National Novel Writing Month YouTube channel, talks about Story Tropes: Love.

What is a trope?

A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect[1] such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices,[2] motifs or clichés in creative works. (wikipedia)

Some writers might consider tropes as cliché’s and should be avoided, but classic story telling often includes tropes because they work so well. They often speak truthfully about the human condition- of characters as well as the readers.

You can look up tons of tropes at TVtropes.org which is searchable by genre, medium, and type.

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The Hero’s Journey

heros journey

Our last writer’s group covered the topic of Heroes and Villains. I discussed Villains before with Writing a Good Bad Guy, but our discussion also explore the Hero’s Journey.

The Hero’s Journey is a monomyth told and retold over the centuries in good story telling. This concept was first introduced by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Not to say he discovered it, but he explained it as a narrative archetype.

This video provides an entertaining explanation of the Hero’s Journey: (click image)

herojourney

I certainly considered my own retelling of the hero’s journey through my stories, to see if it is there. It was. As writers, we personalize the journey with our character, settings, and conflicts, thus, making a unique story. The storyline is not unique, but our story should reflect similar elements, while making it our own.

If you think about it, we, as would-be authors, also have our Hero’s journey: (I’ve summarized the journey)

  • Writer has call to adventure- hoping to write and publish someday
  • Refusal to the call- fears tends to get in the way, overthinking, and worry you’re not good enough prevents the stories to be written, let alone shared.
  • Supernatural aid- The Creative Muse inspires and injects stories, nagging characters continue to haunt the writer.
  • Crossing the threshold- The writer begins to write the story, despite fears and doubts, and gains super powers of storytelling.
  • Belly of the whale- The writer faces the editing process, overwhelmed with more doubts in writing ability or if the story is good enough to publish.
  • Road of trials- Editing, revision, editing, naysayers, sharing and facing criticism, and more editing.
  • Meeting the goddess- The muse or writer friend assures the writer it can be done, to accept mistakes, embrace them in fact, so they can work through the process to make it better.
  • Refusal of the return- The writer is unable to return to being a regular person, having found the delight of writing.
  • Freedom to Live- ok so I skipped some of the journey’s steps, but you get the point. Here, the writer releases the doubt, understands the process, and finishes the book to get it published. They start to work on the next book.

What are your thoughts on the Journey? Does your stories include the elements? Post in comments.

Don’t forget to share if you liked this post!

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