Author's Blog

The Minimalist Secret . . .

For Your Information

The Minimalist Secret to Productive Writing – By Jeff Goins –

When is a Dodgy Publisher Like a Stopped Clock? – By Victoria Strauss – Writer Beware –

How to Finish Your Novel When You Want to Quit – By Joe Bunting – The Write Practice –

Have a .com web address? Know the Legal risks – By Vikram Kumar – The National Business Review –

Nickelodeon Heads to Random House – By Karen Raugust – Publisher Weekly –

5 Ways to Get More Traffic with Content Marketing – By Sonia Simone – copyblogger –

Struggle Is a Sure Sign You’re Creating Art – By Jeff Goins –

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Book – By Ken Brosky – For Jane Friedman –

Publishing Industry Terms and Contracts: Some Resources, and Some Advice – By Victoria Strauss – Writer Beware –

Get More Comments: Know Which Posts Make Readers Talk – By Caz Makepeace – For Problogger –

The ironic truth about sincerity – By Seth Godin –

6 Amazing Works of Art Made Using Recycled Books! – by Diane Pham – inhabitat –

‘The Hunger Games’ spotlight highlights Asheville’s Young Adult writers – by cmotsinger – Citizen-Times –

Chinese writers’ group sues Apple reports state media – By Euronews –


Quote(s) of the Day

“If books require no thought from those who read them, then they have made no demand upon those who wrote them.” – Charles Caleb Colton

R.L. Stine tweets . . .

For Your Information

R.L. Stine tweets horror story to his fans – By the –

7 Sharp Writing and Marketing Links – By Robert Bruce – copyblogger –

4 Lessons I Learned from Being Rejected by a Publisher – By Sundi Jo – For Jeff Goins –

The Catastrophe of Success – By Andreas Kluth – Harvard Business Review –

Book Tango: Author Solutions Rolls Out Ebook Distribution Services – By Victoria Strauss – Writer Beware –

The Anatomy of a Better Blog Post – By Darren Rowse – Problogger –

The illusion of privacy (and what we actually care about) – By Seth Godin –

Music Lessons (that work for publishing, too) – By Seth Godin – The Domino Project –

Hook your readers with a damn good story – By inkably –

Radical alternatives to conventional publishing – by Sukhdev Sandhu – the guardian –

So, what will you be reading in 2012? – By Abbie Wightwick – WalesOnline –

Tidbits – The Taleist 2012 Self-Publishing Survey – By Victoria Strauss – Writer Beware –

Crime Beat: Foul Language in SA crime fiction, is it f#@%ing necessary? – By Elizabeth Fletcher – Books Live –

Coming soon to a shelf near you: The publishing industry has gone mad for film-style trailers – By Tim Walker – The Independent –

Fantasy writer Christopher Paolini shares his own fairy-tale success story – By Eric Volmers – Calgary Herald –


Quote(s) of the Day

“The only job of a writer is to make a blank page into a masterpiece of words. ” – By ACL

“Inside every fat book is a thin book trying to get out.” – Unknown Author




Writing Contest

The Editor’s Award in Fiction, Essay, and Poetry – By The Florida Review – Deadline Mar. 17, 2012 –



10 Pieces of Inspiration . . .

For Your Information

1. Are You Keeping Up With Technology? – By James – Men With Pens –

2. Scott Turow: is ‘the Darth Vader of the Publishing Industry’ and Other Thoughts – By Robert Elder –

3. Ten Pieces of Inspiration #43 – By Trent – The Simple Dollar –

4. Second Life: Virtual Book Promotion and Word of Mouth – By Joel Friedlander – The Book Designer –

5. The difference between management and leadership – by Seth Godin –

6. Self-Editing Checklist: Word Choices – By The Writers Alley –

7. Staying Organized & Distraction Free While Working From Home – By Kate Croston – The Urban Muse –


Quote of the Day

“There are two kinds of writers: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.” – Brian Aldiss



Writing Contest

White Pine Press Poetry Prize – Deadline  Nov. 30, 2011 –

Frustrating Word Count

I am currently working on tightening up one of my manuscripts, a challenging task to say the least but a very necessary one.

*Word count is vital in the publishing industry.

Word Count

My editor, Pat Lobrutto, always impresses on me how PP&B (Printing, Paper, and Binding) costs affect decisions made at each level of the publishing process from submissions to acquisitions.

My current task is to chop about 20,000 words off my story. Yikes!

As a creator of a story, it is difficult to achieve objectivity in order to make those cuts effectively. After all, everything seems important in one’s own writing.

Here are some tips that I have found helpful:

  1. To distance yourself from the book for a time, a recommendation that came from my editor. Take a week or two and not read or work on the story. You’ll be surprised how differently you view your work after that time. You see mistakes you didn’t see before. You find sections that are too drawn out or redundant. It gives you emotional distance from it, allowing you to be more critical of your work.
  2. Take each sentence and tell yourself that for every word you eliminate from it, you’ll receive a dollar. It’s a shame one doesn’t actually get the money. I had read this tip a while back, but unfortunately, I can’t remember where, sadly not permitting me to give the originator credit for the helpful advice.
  3. Zoom in on your words to at least 200%, allowing you to focus your attention solely on that one sentence, thereby, not being distracted by any other words around it. Enlarging it makes the words clearer, giving you a better perspective of your work. I stumbled across the idea one day when I found myself being distracted with the sentences before and after the one, I was working on.
  4. I have two trusted books–a must for every reference library–called, The Dictionary of Concise Writing that gives you alternatives to wordy phrases, and The Dimwit’s Dictionary that gives you alternatives to overused words and phrases, both by Robert Hartwell Fiske. Redundancy phrases like, ‘for all practical purposes’ can be cut down to the word ‘essentially’, eliminating three words. Addressed are ineffectual phrases, metaphors, infantile phrases, clichés, redundancies, and so on, all which add wordiness to a story and when removed not only decrease word count and tighten up the writing but makes a better written story.

Typing Words

Despite my best attempt with all these good tips at my disposal, I’m sure to need help in the end and that is where my talented editor comes in, thankfully!