Tag Archives: learn to write

Writers Conference in West Virginia

Writers Conference in West Virginia.

You don’t want to miss this chance to learn how to move from WRITER to PUBLISHED AUTHOR.  Click on the link above to learn more.


Or go directly to the link below to sign up and save your space!


Avoid Herd Words, Herd Writing, Herd Thinking

Ouch! And moo! I have learned what a herd member I am!

Martin Amis, in an interview with Charlie Rose, gives advice to authors on word choice. Amis says literature is a war against clichés.

Using Bullet Points

Sometimes new authors question the circumstances under which a writer uses bullet points. I have borrowed an example from Zerohedge.com, a global financial news website, where the author successfully uses bullet points. It may be helpful as a template for the new writer.

Frontrunning: July 24

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/24/2012 – 07:23 Anglo Irish Bank of New York Barclays Borrowing Costs China Conference Board Eurozone Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank Federal Reserve Bank of New York France Germany Great Depression Greece Housing Market Insider Trading Italy Japan Netherlands Private Equity Prop Trading ratings Reuters Yen

  • Greece now in “Great Depression”, PM says (Reuters)
  • Geithner “Washington must act to avoid damaging economy” (Reuters)
  • Moody’s warns eurozone core (FT)
  • Germany Pushes Back After Moody’s Lowers Rating Outlook (Bloomberg)
  • Austria’s Fekter says Greek euro exit not discussed (Reuters)
  • In Greek crisis, lessons in a shrimp farm’s travails (Reuters)
  • Fed’s Raskin: No government backstop for banks that do prop trading (Reuters)
  • Campbell Chases Millennials With Lentils Madras Curry (Bloomberg)

Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules for the Writer

I hesitate to publish this. It is brilliant stuff in its elegant simplicity. Since my own stories are getting published this month, I fear Vonnegut’s rules will beat my work into dust particles and then sweep the residue under the bed. Yikes.

Nevertheless, watch this brief video. Write the rules down. Create with them in mind.

How To Write a Mystery Novel

Once again, thanks to the insight of professional writer Brad Geagley. He shares how-to  advice for the aspiring novelist. His “How To Write a Mystery Novel” can be read in entirety here: http://bradgeagley.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/how-to-write-a-mystery-novel-2/

This excerpt intrigued me. Hope you find the information helpful as you write:

I like it best when a detective is a flawed man, like my poor, alcoholic Semerket, so that in addition to solving the mystery at hand he must also solve part of the mystery within himself. Like the protagonists in Martin Cruz Smith novels, they also become the seat of moral authority.  All around them are crimes, official corruption, and indifference, but they remain committed to the truth, regardless of how unpleasant it is.  No matter how dark or dismal they are, they become heroic in the process – and your readers root for their success.

In my novel, I’ve done something right — my detective is flawed, committed to truth, and, at moments, heroic. My detective is a she.  To me, that makes character development more challenging; male mystery readers I know prefer male lead characters. I am determined to snag one male fan from my circle of acquaintance for my female character. More on that another day.

Suffer the Edit

Editing. It is bane and bounty.

I borrowed a quote from www.glimmertrain.com that sums up why a writer should buck up and suffer the edit:

That business of compression, of economy, did influence me. A lot of what I’d written was redundant and self-indulgent. It’s impossible to judge how much and to what degree, but I saw that, though I was very reluctant and even outraged to start with, cutting the novel down like that actually improved it.—Barry Unsworth, interviewed by Kevin Rabalais

A Resource for Self-Publishers

Regarding: http://paper.li/Belinda_Pollard/1309952607

I just stumbled onto a terrific source of information about e-publishing and self-publishing. I have bookmarked the site in my favorites. There is too much information to absorb in one setting. I will need to return again and again.

It’s kind of like blogging. When I started my first blog a year ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never seen or read a blog. I started a blog because I was told to, if I wanted to be an author in an e-world. I am still learning.


 This new-to-me resource on e-publishing is a storehouse of information. Right now I won’t understand much of it. I won’t recognize its significance until I have immersed myself in the e-publishing experience. THEN, I will be able to appreciate fully the value of this website.

Creating the Blockbuster

Sometimes the wisdom from an expert supercedes anything I have to say on the subject of writing. Today I want to allow novelist Gene Del Vecchio to inform us about critical principles for developing broad-based readership for a story.

From YouTube, here is a video with 11 principles needed to create a blockbuster. The author speaks from 30 years of experience in the entertainment field. The principles are useful guides as an author works on his novel, play or movie script:

Creating Blockbusters

If the link above doesn’t work, go here to view the video: (P.S. In the video, he pitches his book on the subject. Study his techniques — you may have a book to pitch someday, too.)


A Golden Oldie Re: Tim Hallinan

Re-posted from Dream Station, first written in March 2010:

Real Tools for the Writer at Tim Hallinan’s Blog Cabin

     A friend told me about the Tim Hallinan web site at http://www.timothyhallinan.com/. Click on “The Blog Cabin” to find an abundance of information from writing tips to getting published to learning the hard way in the real world of making a living as a writer. Kudos to Tim for putting the information out there for the rest of us! It’s great stuff.