Wednesday, April 23, 2014
With no effort on your part whatsoever, you may make a glaring grammatical error that you don't even recognize. At least, that's what happened to me recently. I was using a different word processing program than usual, and just like that it pointed out a mistake that I've made countless times. That's how I found out that I shouldn't be using with and no together. These words just can't pair up...because without exists.
With No Rules...
With no grammar rules, the world might be a better place...but unfortunately, the rules do exist. And as authors, we are compelled to follow them. So that's why I fully expect to be lambasted for using the words with no...because you're just not supposed to use it. Let me show you why.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
You've written a book, and you love how it turned out. You feel a strong connection to the characters, you know the setting like no one else. You've gotten some good reviews. So should you continue with the story? Should that book...become a series?
Sequels and Whatnot
When it comes to extending a story and adding extra books, my answer is almost always yes. I can't even tell you how many times I've asked myself, and the Heavens, why Margaret Mitchell didn't write a sequel to Gone With the Wind.
Monday, April 21, 2014
I think every author dreams of being an international success, crossing oceans like J.K Rowling, becoming a household name like Stephen King. But before you can make it big, you have to start small. You have to focus on your local market.
For most, fame and fortune does not come overnight. As an author, you have to win readers over one at a time. When you throw your book into an ocean made up of books, yours can become lost. So try putting it in a pond instead.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
The ebook boom has touched us all, and the indie author more than most, but is all this change really a good thing? According to one study, maybe not. In fact, ebooks could be fundamentally changing the way we read.
A recent study of students showed both the good and bad side of ebooks. Students who were given ebooks wanted to read more than those who received print books, but the students who used ereaders comprehended less than those who used paper. It's because, one expert says, the device itself is a distraction from reading.
Your attention may be diverted from what you're reading if you're holding a device that can also shop, play movies and give you instant access to hundreds of other books. So is more information and wider availability in books really such a good thing, or does it only mean that books will have even more trouble standing out from the pack?
Saturday, April 19, 2014
I only watched the film Precious once, because it was just so powerful I could never face it again. It's a gut-wrenching look at the life of an underprivileged girl, but before it made Gabourey Sidibe famous it was a book called Push.
Push was the debut novel for Sapphire, and she wasn't messing around. The novel focuses on Claireece Precious Jones, 16, who has the deck stacked against her. She's obese, she's illiterate, and it shows. The novel is written in her voice, so at the beginning it can be difficult to read. Saying the words out loud,exactly as they are spelled, helps.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
When it comes to any type of writing, there's one thing all writers have to be: consistent. With very few exceptions, I post my writing tips to this blog Monday through Thursday, week after week. I do this because I'm consistent. Now I'm going to tell you why you've got to be consistent, too.
Consistent, Not Boring
Now, I'm not suggesting that you do things the same way every day or that you write the same book over and over again. When I say be consistent with your writing, I mean it only in very specific ways.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I don't often wax poetic about the finer points of punctuation (or even, really, address them), because everywhere I look people are still using 's to pluralize words so I don't much see the point in it. However, the serial comma question keeps coming up again and again. So how are indie authors supposed to address it in their books?
Once, and for All
Serial commas are the kind of thing that only writers would ever think about. Most people don't even notice whether or not they're using them. Are you...or do you only think you're using serial commas?
If you list specific items such as books, ereaders, and tablets, you might be using a serial comma. I just did, in fact.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
So I'm cruising around the Goodreads forums the other day when I saw a post where someone was asking about a specific book, wanted to know if anyone had read it. I read a lot of books, so I decided to check it out. And then I saw the book cover...and shuddered. Yes, I recognized that book. No, I didn't respond to the forum -- because frankly, there just wasn't enough time.
You see, the poster in question was asking about The Chicago Manual of Style. And there's just no reason for me to discuss that book with indie authors...because indie authors don't need it. You don't need that manual of style, or really any other, and I'm going to tell you why.