Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#Amwriting Link: 6 Reasons Your Blog is Scaring Away Your Audience

Found on #amwriting this morning:

Hey, you!  Don't do that!  6 reasons your blog is scaring away your audience by Melinda Atlas.

First off, nice voice in this post--I know, I'm weird, you're not supposed to notice or comment on things like that--but I did find the tips interesting.  The most useful or intriguing tip is under Point #4.  Point #4 concerns novel covers on your blog, what to do, what not to do.  Atlas suggests picking just one novel/cover.  Awhile back, I heard about an author who pointed all his links to one novel, which had links to all his works, or something like that.  This tip reminded me a little of that idea, and it sounds like a good idea to try, using one novel as a funnel for most of your blog traffic.  I'll have to muse on it more, but I'll probably try it.  But I want to wait until I got the right work, likely from my in progress so-called "secret" project (not so secret in that it is an intended for-the-love/free-fic project) or one from my episodic series I talked about in the last post.  Either way, it will be a bit before I can try.

Anyway, what do you think? 

Experiments and Writing Fun!

A big part of writing is having fun.  Another big part is experimenting.  Fortunately, for me, they go hand in glove.  In this case, I'm going to work on an episodic novelette series.  That's a little experimental right there for me, but the real experiment comes into play in how I write it. 

For my longer works, my writing plan that involves several phases of writing or edits or fleshing out and hoping around.  It's sorta new too.  But for this episodic series, I'm trying a different way.  You see, I get bored easy, so I figured, even if I am working on different parts for different works at the same time, if I'm doing the same process, some part of me will get bored.  So I decided to do something that is opposite of it.  That is, instead of doing a sketch draft, then a filling it out more in next draft, then filling out more again in the next plus fill in any place holders or research-related holes, and so on, for this episodic series, I'm working on each chapter until it is ready for nook proof.  Then I'll move onto another chapter.  I'm still going to try to write it a little out of order, in that I want to get two or three main chapters first: the beginning and the end (with the climax).  After that, I'll probably go in order.

So, that's enough of that.  What do you do to experiment with your writing?  What is your writing and rewriting process?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

#Amwriting Link: Top 10 Tips Blog Post

Found via #amwriting

My top 10 tips for fiction writers - http://rebeccaberto.com/2011/11/14/my-top-10-tips-for-writers/

Couple interesting points on this one.  The first is Tip #2.  I generally see college course work being discredited on writing forums.  The main point being, it won't get you published, but if you can afford it, it can't hurt.  But then again, there can be cheaper methods to learning how to write, too.

Then there is Tip #7.  Much of the other advice I have found before.  That doesn't meant it is not useful, but as I've been working on writing and studying it for over ten years, I've just seen some of the advice before.  It's still useful for newbies.  But "know[ing] your weakness and push[ing] yourself to become an expert on the topic" is not something I commonly see as advice for new writers.  I really like this tip.  Back when I wrote fanfic, I used to hate writing dialogue, because I couldn't make it sound like the characters.  But I worked on it.  Now, dialogue is one of things I like to write, and I know I have improved. 

What do you all think of the post above?  Or the tips I pulled?

Sample Sunday - June 17

It's #SampleSunday time again.  Here's mine:

RT #samplesunday The dead's letters lead Roderis to a Possession and its Owner http://bit.ly/LcJG76 @jodiralston #nook #kindle #fantasy

#SampleSundays of Interest:
Below, I find and post links to interesting fantasy, history, science fiction, and horror from the #samplesunday list (listed in alphabetical order by title under each category).

Related Links:

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Skink by cicerocat
Skink, a photo by cicerocat on Flickr.

Photogenic skink. Found them in our railroad ties. There's a smaller one too. He let me get a few pics before he took off.

Butterfly on Sunflower

Butterfly on Sunflower by cicerocat
Butterfly on Sunflower, a photo by cicerocat on Flickr.
Here's a picture from the other day. Because of this little guy and his buddy (another frittillary), I decided to plant more black sunflower seeds to attract more butterflies. This one came up by accident (we feed wild birds) in the garden.

Not only do the butterflies like the sunflower, by the way, but the bees were crazy about it, too.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Seth Godin and Comparisons

And interesting Seth Godin post about comparisons  got me to thinking about how I compare myself to other writers and how when I do so, I always ended up depressed--but I like setting my own standards.  I even like setting my own goal dates and goal word counts, though I never make them.  But even when I don't make them, it is still less depressing than looking at what others are doing and seeing myself as falling short.

So, I think Godin's post is relevant to writers.  You shouldn't compare yourself to others, trying to be better than someone else, but rather you should just better yourself, period.

Sample Sunday - June 10

I'm doing an official #SampleSunday this time.  Here's mine:

RT #samplesunday Roderis gets letters from the dead. Sample chapters http://bit.ly/LcJG76 @jodiralston #nook #kindle #fantasy
#SampleSundays of Interest:

Below, I find and post links to interesting fantasy, history, science fiction, and horror from the #samplesunday list (listed in alphabetical order by title under each category).

Related Links: 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Serendipitious Finds

Sometimes you get little signs in life.  Mine was that I found a little book that includes "The Language of Flower" on Thursday at a Hastings bookstore.  It was only 50 cents. The book is A Bouquet of Flowers by Barbara Milo Ohrbach.  I've been working on Flower Language Compilation for fun and for research for my Secret Project, but I haven't worked on it for a week or so.  This was a sign to take it up again.  I have a few more public domain works I want to add to my Excel file before I am satisfied with my list.  I'll try to work on those this week.

Besides that bit of serendipity in book form, I also found The Indie Author Guide by April Hamilton.  (Not for 50 cents, but for $10.)  I've only just started looking through it, but it looks like it will be especially helpful when I do POD.

I love it when God sends good finds like this my way.  There were lots of other books I got there, including mostly 50 cent books, but these were the two finds I was most tickled with, but I'm sure the others will be unexpected sources of entertainment, research, or fiction fodder, too.

By the way, if you are interested in these books, please click on the links above if at all possible.  I'm an Amazon Affiliate and I get a little when people buy from my links.  Thanks!

Unofficial Sample Sunday

I'm doing an unofficial #SampleSunday, since I couldn't get with it today on KDP boards.  So I posted mine:

RT #samplesunday Roderis gets letters from the dead.  PDF sample of published ebook: bit.ly/KCwQ3c #nook #kindle #fantasy #writing

And I'm finding any fantasy,  history, science fiction, and horror from the #samplesunday list, and posting the links of that looked interesting below (listed in alphabetical order by title under each category).  I hope to find some more to post today yet.


Science Fiction/Fantasy:

Science Fiction:
  • Hidden Fires by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel - Sample

Related Links: More Info about SampleSunday

Friday, June 1, 2012

SEO and the Writer

Interesting site about SEO and businesses at Entrepreneur.com.  This article includes several interesting tips--or rather SEO mistakes to avoid--some I've heard before, but some I haven't.  The two most interesting are "Sin No. 3: Not using descriptive internal anchor text" and "Sin No. 7: Thinking all search traffic will go directly to your home page."  Both made me think more about what I am doing with my webpage. 

For instance, I should be making more descriptive links, for that affects searches.  It's an easy trick, and one I'll try to do more often.

Number seven made me think about what each of my individual pages are showing.  I'm still working on building my webpage, but as I do so, I need to think of what type of message is coming across.  What kind of "branding" as an author am I conveying.

Good stuff.  Well worth the read for authors with websites.