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Posts Tagged ‘21 Days of Love’

Feb. 8, 2016

 TEN WAYS TO WRITE LIKE A BEGINNER

Sad.Smiley.Face

If you read my last blog, you might’ve gotten a chuckle from several points in my “writing like a beginner” list. However, I believe all writers at one time or another have experienced one or many of these strange encounters of the fourth kind in their writing careers. I, too, have suffered from “beginning writer’s syndrome” from time to time over the last 20 years of my serious writing. One of my friends recently told me she’s lived through all ten points, and sometimes still does; yet, she’s still writing faithfully. Kudos to her!

Every once in a while one or two of these evil little entities listed below will poke their ugly heads into my writing business, attempting to throw a monkey wrench into my creative machine. But the key is to keep pressing on.

Let’s look at this ridiculous beginner’s list a little more closely. I’ve made some comments after each one so you will know my opinion about each.

  1. Never read any books in the same genre in which you are writing. After all, you don’t want to steal another author’s voice, style, or story!

Well, it doesn’t mean you can’t read Peanuts in the newspaper or an old Nancy Drew mystery that you find in your attic, for crying out loud.

  1. Write when you feel like it, even if the radio or TV is blasting or your family is demanding supper.

Sometimes when the noise level is at its highest might mean writing time for you. If the kids are fighting in the bedroom and hubby is blasting the ball game on TV, at least they’re all busy. Grab your laptop, run for the closet, and go for it!

  1. Without trying to publish anything else, start writing the Great American Novel that has plots, subplots, foreshadowing, and complicated characters.

Rarely does a newbie begin with nothing else but a book manuscript and get it published right off the bat. It does happen, but probably one out of five million. There’s SO much to learn before tackling a book project. Work on short stories if you like fiction and articles if you’re a nonfiction writer. All those little nuggets will teach you proper style and good grammar to help you with your book idea in the future.

  1. Start your fiction manuscript with five pages of narration and description from five points of view. Have 600 pages in your manuscript.

Bad idea from the get go! Modern-day readers, and editors, have no patience with authors who emulate the writing style of many of our classics from yesteryear. Our reading society today wants action, action, action! And quick, quick, quick!

  1. Develop a boring plot with no climax, characters with no depth, and dialogue that is flat and the same for all your characters.

I think you would be better off applying to write obituaries for your local newspaper.

  1. Don’t seek any help from anyone or anything like a critique group, “how-to-write” books, or writers’ conferences because God told you to write, what to write, and how to write it.

Honestly, I’ve crossed paths with a number of newbies who have this attitude. But God is not the author of bad grammar, poor spelling, or lousy sentence structure. Any work written in His name should be at its finest quality. Get help!

  1. Send your manuscript everywhere without querying first. Buy the Writers’  Market Guide, start on page 1, and don’t stop until you get a sale!

You might get a sale by 2020 if you go this route. Better still, here’s a big tip. Study the market. Find out which publishing companies want what you’re writing. Work on an eye-catching query letter and send it to five or six editors at one time (Label each “MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS”). As soon as you get a rejection, send another query to a different company. Make a list and check off the companies as you query them.

By the way, if you send queries or proposals to more than one company at a time, let me say this again: Be SURE to label your paperwork at the top with this very important notice: “MULTIIPLE SUBMISSIONS.” If not, and you get two publishing companies interested in your work at the same time and they don’t know you’ve contacted other companies, the editors will be HIGHLY irritated and you’ll probably be added to a black list. Editors do not want to hassle with an author over who gets to read the manuscript first.

Word gets around in the writing/publishing business of greenhorns who “don’t know what they’re doing,” and you might forfeit your opportunity to earn a contract from a very reputable company.

  1. If you decide to write a query letter, write one that is “unique.” Smother it in chocolate or perfume smells and start the letter like this: “Dear Editor, this is your lucky day. My family has read this, and they absolutely love it.”

Oh, my goodness. All my editor friends tell me these techniques turn them off immediately. These ploys are a sure sign that they are dealing with a newbie and won’t give the project a second look.

  1. Send your very first draft of your very first manuscript to a different editor once every six months then go into deep depression when it’s rejected.

While you’re writing your manuscript, send out queries. And while the queries are circulating, write an excellent proposal. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes from three to six months to hear from any editor if he/she notifies you at all, so you can’t sit around waiting for just that one response. And get use to rejection letters. It’s part of the writing/publishing business.

  1. Throw away all rejection letters, including those who suggest changes or editors who would like you to submit other work. After all, if the editor didn’t like your first manuscript, he/she won’t like any of your other stuff, and if you make suggested changes in anything, the manuscript won’t be “your” work anymore.

Danger! Danger! Danger! Do you want to be published or not? What are you willing to sacrifice as far as bad writing? Editors and agents know their business. If they make suggestions about your manuscript, that is a GOOD SIGN. At least, they see some potential in your writing. Take their suggestions to heart, work on improving your manuscript, and revise, revise, revise. Sooner or later you just might see these magical words: “We are pleased to inform you ….”

 If you’re dead serious about being published, take my suggestions and run with them. Then let me know when your work is accepted, and I’ll rejoice with you.

Marsha

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Writers Tips) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com

Montrose Christian Writers Conference http://www.montrosebible.org

(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

 

(More Shameless Promotion)

21 Days of Love.Cover

21 Days of Love

Sweet love stories with short devotionals

Compiled by Kathy Ide

 http://www.amazon.com/Days-Love-Celebrate-Treasured-Relationships-ebook/dp/B018BEKD4Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453586941&sr=1-1&keywords=21+days+of+love+by+kathy+ide

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Feb. 1, 2016

The Quitting Writer’s Questionnaire

Can't Get Published?

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk!

How long have you been writing? How long have you been thinking of writing?

I’ve crossed paths with many folks who had the best intentions to write. In fact, some of them have really great ideas, and they talk and talk about their ideas, but some of those potential writers have never put one word on a page.

Hopefully, you’re not that kind of “writer.” You’ve already dived in, head first, and are trying different genres. You play with words like your dog plays with his chew toy. But do you ever get discouraged? Have you tried for years to get published, but you’ve never gotten to first base?

What exactly would it take to get you to stop writing? Do you consider yourself a “writer?”

Let’s take a quickie quiz and see how you measure up to the “Quitting Writer’s Questionnaire.” If you answer yes to more than three of these questions, then maybe you should consider parking your pen or computer in a corner somewhere and take up quilting or gardening:

  1. Do you get offended when someone tries to help you with your manuscript after he/she reads it?
  2. Have you quit the local critique group because the members just don’t “get” your style of writing? Besides, God told you what to write, and it doesn’t need to be “fixed.”
  3. Do you keep revising the same manuscript without starting to write any new ideas?
  4. Do you always let other chores and responsibilities crowd out your time to write?
  5. Are you considering paying a “Vanity Press” big bucks to get your work in print without hiring an editor to revise it and make it publishable?
  6. Have you stopped reading “how to write better” books and books in the genre in which you’re interested because you know all that stuff?
  7. Have you sent your manuscript to at least five different publishing companies, but all you have to show for it are rejection letters so you’re not submitting anything anymore?
  8. Are you jealous of friends who are getting published and you have trouble sharing in their joy?
  9. Do you have trouble finishing any project and you have about twelve good ideas started?Sad.Smiley.Face
  10. Would you rather be doing the laundry or digging weeds instead of writing?
  11. Have you stopped going to writers’ conferences because all you ever hear is “the same old thing?”
  12. Do you have to force yourself to pick up your pen or sit at the keyboard?

Maybe it’s time to evaluate your commitment to the writing/publishing business. It took 10 years for me to get my first book contract after I started publishing poems, short stories, and articles. I needed to learn the craft! It takes intestinal fortitude and patience! Patience! Patience!

Next time, I’ll address some of the issues mentioned in the list above. Only you can answer the questions above and determine which way to go with your writing venture. Pursue or quit? It’s your choice.

Well, what do you think? Do you have that burning desire deep inside your gut that makes you want to write and get your ideas on paper, or are you a paper pen tiger with no guts, no ambition, or no desire any longer to write? How passionate are you about your projects?

Marsha

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Writers Tips) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com Montrose Christian Writers Conference http://www.montrosebible.org

(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

 

(More Shameless Promotion)

SUMMER CAMP ADVENTURE

Foster kid Skye Nicholson and her horse Champ try to teach a Jonathan, a deaf boy,

how to ride Western when he had already learned English.

He won’t listen to anyone then takes off with a horse and gets lost in the woods.

Keystone Stables Book 4

 

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Camp-Adventure-Keystone-Stables-ebook/dp/B003TFE5VI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452968862&sr=1-1&keywords=Summer+Camp+Adventure+by+Marsha+Hubler

Want a delightful read to get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day?

21 Days of Love

Compiled by Kathy Ide

http://www.amazon.com/Days-Love-Celebrate-Treasured-Relationships-ebook/dp/B018BEKD4Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453586941&sr=1-1&keywords=21+days+of+love+by+kathy+ide

21 Days of Love.Cover

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January 25, 2016

TEN WAYS TO WRITE LIKE A BEGINNER

Let’s see, you’ve had this great idea for umpteen years, and now you’ve decided to start writing! Or maybe you’ve been writing for a while and you’d like to get your story, poem, article, or book published. Will you qualify as a beginning writer who’ll never see any work published or as an experienced crafter of words who’ll definitely see his/her name in print?

I’ve listed a few characteristics of a writer that automatically brand him/her as a newbie. If you can say “yes, that’s me” to any of the points in the list below, all I can say is “uh oh.” Go ahead, read the list, and see how you do:

  1. Never read any books in the same genre in which you are writing. After all, you don’t want to steal another author’s voice, style, or story!
  2. Write when you feel like it, even if the radio or TV is blasting or your family is demanding supper.
  3. Without trying to publish anything else, start writing the Great American Novel that has plots, subplots, foreshadowing, and complicated characters.
  4. Start your fiction manuscript with five pages of narration and description from five points of view. Have 600 pages in your manuscript.
  5. Develop a boring plot with no climax, characters with no depth, and dialogue that is flat and the same for all your characters.
  6. Don’t seek any help from anyone or anything like a critique group, “how-to-write” books, or writers’ conferences because God told you to write, what to write, and how to write it, and nobody is going to change your mind.
  7. Send your manuscript everywhere without querying first. Buy the Writers’ Market Guide, start on page 1, and don’t stop until you get a sale!
  8. If you decide to write a query letter, write one that is “unique.” Smother it in chocolate or perfume smells and start the letter like this: “Dear Editor, this is your lucky day. My family has read this, and they absolutely love it.”
  9. Send your very first draft of your very first manuscript to a different editor once every six months; then go into deep depression when it’s rejected.
  10. Throw away all rejection letters, including those from editors who suggest changes or editors who would like you to submit other work. After all, if the editor didn’t like your first manuscript, he/she won’t like any of your other stuff, and if you make suggested changes in anything, the manuscript won’t be “your” work anymore.

Well, how’d you do? Hopefully, you’re not guilty of any of these nasty beginners’ habits. If so, perhaps you should take up basket weaving or bowling instead.

Next time we’ll discuss how determined you are to be a writer. What will make you quit?

Marsha

(Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Writers Tips) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com

Montrose Christian Writers Conference http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com

(More Shameless Promotion)

SUMMER CAMP ADVENTURE

Keystone Stables Book 4

Foster kid Skye Nicholson and her horse Champ try to teach a Jonathan, a deaf boy, how to ride Western

when he had already learned English.

He won’t listen to anyone then takes off with a horse and gets lost in the woods.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Camp-Adventure-Keystone-Stables-ebook/dp/B003TFE5VI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452968862&sr=1-1&keywords=Summer+Camp+Adventure+by+Marsha+Hubler

How about reading some sweet “love” stories/devotionals….

21 Days of Love

Compiled by Kathy Ide

21 Days of Love.Cover

http://www.amazon.com/Days-Love-Celebrate-Treasured-Relationships-ebook/dp/B018BEKD4Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453586941&sr=1-1&keywords=21+days+of+love+by+kathy+ide

Read Full Post »

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