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Archive for December, 2010

A Word About my Horse Facts Blog

Hi, blogger friends. Any horse lovers out there yet?

Just a note to let you know that my horse facts blog site now has a new URL. Please go to:

www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

The old horse facts blog site: www.mhubler.wordpress.com, although very young, has decided to retire from the track and go out to pasture.

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If you’ve gotten a book published, then you’ve probably experienced the ins and outs, and ups and downs, of marketing your own work.

Book signings? I hate them. In another blog, I’ll tell you why.

Most writers hate all kinds of promotion and marketing because they take us away from valuable writing time; yet, they are a necessary evil to get our names out there in the public eye.

If you haven’t a big name that might pop up on a talk show or on syndicated radio programs, (which WILL sell thousands of books) then you have to devise a plan to promote your work and yourself.

I’m going to spend the next several blogs (maybe weeks of blogs because there’s SO much to know) on the topic of promotion. Even if you are just in the process of writing your book, you need to be promoting yourself, at least, online.

So, today’s writing tip is a short one: start a website and a blogsite. That’s one way to start getting the exposure you need to sell books.

“But my book isn’t even out yet,” you might say.

Nevertheless, you can start drawing a fan base by writing either short excerpts of your book or writing about topics of which your book is about. It takes years to build up that fan base, so devise a plan and get to it. Get your name floating out there in cyberspace.

Don’t wait! Get started today!

Marsha Hubler
Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books
(Web) www.marshahubler.com
(Writing Blog)
www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
(Horse Facts Blog)
www.mhubler.wordpress.com

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“Am, are, is, was, were, be, been!”

I don’t know how many times throughout my teaching career I had kids in my English classes recite those “BEING VERBS” so they would know NOT to use them in their writing assignments so often. I dare say thousands of times. So, the list has been ingrained in my thick brain as much as I hoped it was ingrained in my students’ mushy minds.

But, you know, after all the years I’ve taught English and all the years I’ve been writing for publication, I still catch myself overusing these words when I’m expounding. Using these words seems to come as natural as breathing, not only for beginning writers but for seasoned vets as well.

These nasty little three-and-four-letter words are like pesky little gnats in your eyes and the foundation to what we call the “passive voice,” a voice you should try to avoid 90% of the time. Why?

The passive voice makes your writing dull, lifeless, and uninteresting. These little nasties take the punch right out of any really good story you’re trying to write.

Let’s look at a few examples of passive vs. active voice:

Passive: Joe was walking his dog Barney last night. (Ho hum.)
Active: Joe walked his dog Barney last night.

Passive: Martha was listening to her brother’s phone conversation.
Active: Martha listened to her brother’s phone conversation.

Passive: Trigger the Palomino was ridden by Roy Rogers.
Active: Roy Rogers rode Trigger his Palomino.

Passive: Sally’s baby boy is loving his new toy.
Active: Sally’s baby boy loves his new toy.

Passive: The Jones’ kids have been going to camp every summer for years.
Active: The Jones’ kids have gone to camp every summer for years.

So, in a nutshell, there you have a quick survey of the passive versus active voice. Take the time to evaluate some of your latest writings. Use a highlighter and see how many times these little nasties pop up. You’ll probably be surprised.

Work on sentence structure. Throw out the little nasties and make stronger sentences with more of a punch. Your readers will be glad you did, and they’ll be eager to turn the page in your book to see what’s coming next.

Marsha Hubler
Best-selling Author of the Keystone Stables books
(Web) www.marshahubler.com
(Writing Blog)
www.marshahubler.wordpress.com
(Horse Facts Blog)
www.mhubler.wordpress.com

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