Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How to Become a Science Fiction Writer

*This is a sponsored post.

Do you daydream of star travel or science just beyond reality’s grip? If so, then you just might have what it takes to be a science fiction writer. If you’re considering writing cosmic fiction or stores that take technology down exciting new avenues, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when you’re just starting out.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Witches in Fiction by Jacqueline Paige

Witches in Fiction
By Jacqueline Paige 

Witches in fiction now seem to be the least written about. The paranormal genre has been flooded with the now more popular shape-shifters and vampires but I still prefer to write about the fantastic characters that can do any variety of magic.

When I started writing about witches I didn’t want to do the typical ‘slightly’ evil witch. My witches are otherwise normal every day people with a little something extra. In my story Twice Cursed Maddy is a hereditary witch from an entire community of magic wielding characters, complete with a school and ruling council. My present works in progress, the Ancestor’s Enchantment Trilogy is also about witches, although this time I have the good witch vs. bad witch plot line.

Although I’ve added a few new twists to it … I’d tell you but then it would ruin all the little tid bits.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review - Now Novel - Novel Writing Course

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

There's probably an aspiring writer born every minute; from a kindergartener first learning how to read, to a middle-age book lover who wants to write their own romance novel; anybody can become a writer.

Though you might have read thousands of books over the course of your life, jumping from being a reader to an author may not be as easy as you imagined it to be. Many first-time writers fall into the dreaded "telling instead of showing" writing routine, which may in fact threaten your motivation to finish your novel.

Recently, I received the chance to review the Now Novel novel writing course at I have always been interested in taking a writing course, so this was a great opportunity for me to try one out.

Now Novel was created by Bridget McNulty, who happens to be a published author, journalist and blogger. After publishing her first novel, Strange Nervous Laughter, her readers kept asking, "How do you write a novel?" Her answer to their question is Now Novel.

The course is interactive by helping the writer create the prefect opening scene with the "Mood Creator", which the author picks out their novel's setting along with a few random internet pictures that matches your setting. The program has other steps to help you with your novel, such as "Central Idea," Story Tester," "Theme," "Story Type," "Plot" and "Character." Now Novel workshop members can have their writings critiqued by others. You can also communicate with other writers through the website's forum.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Romp Through The Deep South by Olivia deBelle Byrd

by Olivia deBelle Byrd

Like all good Southern storytellers, I hate to waste a good story. While repeating one of my tales one too many times my husband said to me with exasperation, “Why don’t you write this stuff down?”
What began as the quest of a husband to keep his wife quiet segued into a collection of Southern stories assembled as a Christmas gift for my children. Thirty-one months and fourteen rejection letters later, Miss Hildreth Wore Brown—Anecdotes of a Southern Belle was published by an independent New York publisher.

Thus was the beginning of Miss Hildreth—a humorous, satirical romp through my Southern life. I like to call it real-life fiction as all the people, places and events are real, but like all good Southern stories exaggeration and embellishment have been added to these real events. Because they are actual occurrences, the reader is drawn into the warmth and familiarity of the characters and their stories. What Southern mother has not threatened her offspring with grits and water for supper if that thank you note does not get written? What quaint Southern town does not have a grand dame who wears turbans and dark sunglasses and calls everyone “dahling” whether they are darling or not? Where else but the South can a mink be mistaken for possum?

Being raised by a Southern father and grandmother of great wit, humor flowed as freely as water from a faucet in our household. More years into adulthood then I am going to reveal, when prodded by my husband’s bid to shush me I put pen to paper and the stories poured forth as though an age-old tap had been discovered and turned on. With hours of sweat, spoonfuls of tenacity, and several strokes of plain good fortune, the amusement and idiosyncrasies that are so unique to the Deep South came to life on the pages of Miss Hildreth Wore Brown. The stories are punctuated with everyday mishaps that Southerners seem to have a knack for turning into entertainment. It turns out Bostonians do not always appreciate being called “ma’am” and New Yorkers can have Southern manners.

My humorous foray through Southern life has led me into a joyous romp through the land of authors and readers. As an old reader and a new writer, it warms the cockles of my Southern heart to know there are so many book lovers in this world. Through books, we become what we dream, we are educated and inspired, we travel into the souls of characters and find ourselves. To be a new author in the presence of so many creative minds has been a gift. To be in the presence of so many lovers and readers of books has been an inspiration. I believe deeply in the written word. Very simply, it gives meaning and beauty to life.

About the author

Olivia deBelle Byrd is a self-proclaimed Southern Belle who resides in Panama City, Florida, with her husband, Tommy. She is the author of Miss Hildreth Wore Brown—Anecdotes of a Southern Belle, which is her first collection of satirical essays.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips on Writing for Children by Sherry Ellis

Tips on Writing for Children
by Sherry Ellis

Here are a few ideas to help aspiring children’s writers on their writing journey:

First, remember what it was like to be a child. Remember your feelings and concerns. What did you enjoy? What did you think was funny? Do you have any childhood memories that might make a good story? If you can think like a child, writing for them is a lot easier.

Second, read picture books. Not only will they be a source of inspiration, but they will give you a sense of what kids enjoy and what publishers might want to see.

Third, consider taking a writer’s workshop. You may pick up a few tips to help you become a better writer.

Fourth, join a writer’s group. Consider joining the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI – You’ll learn a lot about what’s going on in the world of children’s writing. Local group meetings are a wonderful opportunity to network and have your own work critiqued.

Fifth, if you wish to be a published author, learn about the publishing industry. Do research on various publishing companies and learn about the submission process.

Sixth, be prepared for rejection. No one wants to be rejected, but the truth is, it’s part of the process. Develop a thick skin, and keep going.

Seventh, always submit your best work. That means that you may have to revise your work several times before it is ready for submission. Hire an editor to edit your work. The editor may catch something that you never noticed.

Finally, enjoy what you do. Care about the writing process and the privilege of writing for children. You may make a difference in someone’s life!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Book Review - The Write Start

The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing StoriesThe Write Start
BY: Jennifer Hallissy
PUBLISHED BY: Shambhala Publications Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-59030-837-0
Pages: 228
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

The Write Start is aimed for all parents with young children. It is to help guide parents in teaching their children the basic principles of writing. Pay attention to your young ones as they will develop creativeness early. Young children love to grab upon crayons, which are easier for them to handle, and scribble on paper.

Remember children are always watching you, so be a good role model and read in front of your child. They’ll see that mommy and daddy are reading and they will want to read too. Developing these skills at a younger age will help them do well in school.

The Write Start is an interesting guide for parents to use. There are dozens of ideas and exercises that your child can use to develop reading and writing skills. From writing phone messages, postcards, thank you notes, writing stories, and many other tips. I recommend this book to parents.

*I would like to thank Shambhala Publications and NetGalley for sending me a copy to review.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review - Writing Great Books For Young Adults

Writing Great Books for Young Adults: Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing DealWriting Great Books For Young Adults
BY: Regina L. Brooks
PUBLISHED BY: Sourcebooks Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-61664-198-6
Pages: 191
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Have you ever wanted to write a YA novel? Or do you have a YA manuscript sitting around collecting dust and you need help planning your next step? Writing Great Books for Young Adults is a great guide to help plan your next step.

You’ll learn about the five rules for writing for young adults. Get a brush up on the basics of writing - creating characters, developing a plot, and writing believable dialogue. Once you have your novel written, chapter 12 will give you steps on finding the right agent for your work.

I’m a writer, so I was eager to get my hands on this book. I love that there are several writing exercises through out the book to help you come up with a new plot ideas. Throughout the book, there are tips from writers, agents and editors. I recommend Writing Great Books for Young Adults to anyone who is interested in writing for young adults.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review - Calling All Authors: How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open

Calling All Authors: How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open
BY: Valerie Connelly
PUBLISHED BY: Nightengale Press
ISBN: 978-1-933449-43-2
Pages: 291
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Have you ever wanted to be a published writer? “Calling All Authors – How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open” tells what traps and mistakes to avoid during publishing. Should you use a traditional publishing company or should you publish the book yourself? Will you need a publicist? An editor? Or a proofreader? These are just some of the questions that author Valerie Connelly, founder of Nightengale Press, answers in this book.

There are many myths and tales about the publishing world. “Calling all Authors,” explains these myths and brings them into reality for writers. A lot of new writers think their books will be an instant bestseller. You’ll learn that books don’t become bestsellers overnight.

As a writer myself, I enjoyed reading “Calling All Authors.” I learned that even in traditional publishing you’ll have to do some marketing of your own. You can’t just sit back and expect the book to just sell itself. Learn how to promote your book by using the internet. Learn how to benefit from good and bad book reviews.

I recommend “Calling All Authors” to all upcoming writers of any genre. This book will help you with those difficult decisions you will come across while publishing your novel.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review - Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers

Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers

BY: Irene Watson, Tyler R. Tichelaar & Victor R. Volkman

PUBLISHED BY: Modern History Press


ISBN: 978-1-932690-98-9

Pages: 220

Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers is a wonderful handbook for any writer. It is a compilation of podcasts from the internet radio show called Authors Access.

The authors share great tips about the craft and myths of writing. You learn about writing about romance, mystery and other genres. Being a writer myself, I found the book interesting. I enjoyed the chapters on children’s books and the article “Exploring Ghostwriting, co-Authoring, and Collaborating” by Ami Hendrickson. This is the first time I have read anything on ghostwriting. It was a joy to read.

There is a lot of information on promoting your book by the use of the internet. In “Book Marketing on MySpace,” you learn how to set up a successful myspace profile, and learn how an author can use it to promote their work effectively.

Every author needs to know how to use to sale their books. In “Amazon Adventures: Staring Down Earth’s Largest Bookstore,” you learn how to use advantage and associate programs.

There are four wonderful articles about book reviews and how to use them to your advantage. My favorite was, “Negative Book Reviews: How to Avoid Them, and How to Use Them to Your Advantage.”

One of the downfalls of the book is that it concentrates too much on self-publishing. I would’ve liked to have read more article on traditional publishing in magazines and big publishing houses. Overall I found Authors Access to be a great reference tool that every author should have on their desk.