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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Importance of a Good Editor

This is a guest post by Carl Schmidt, author of the mystery novel, Dead Down East.

Every seasoned novelist will tell you that there is absolutely no substitute for a good editor. 
An editor doesn’t just alert you to mistakes in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation; editing goes way beyond that. Your story needs to be consistent, factually correct, clear, and succinct. This might sound obvious, but when you are dealing with a 90,000-word novel, there are plenty of ways to muck it up on every single page.
So. You’ve written your first novel, or maybe you’ve just completed a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Chances are you’ve read it several times, and it looks good to you. You’re excited about it. You’ve created a likable story or perhaps you’ve made some kind of definitive statement. Now you want to have it published.
Hold your horses, Kemosabe.
This last sentence is a perfect example of why you need an editor. I know what “Kemosabe” means, but do you? I was ra…

Q & A with Author CeCe OsGood

Hi, Cece! Let's get started. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Like so many writers, I want readers to enjoy the characters and how they relate to each other. Friendship is a major element in my books, and I hope the readers like spending time with these people.
What would your career look like in an ideal world?

Well, I guess the seven-figure movie deal would rank pretty high up there for me, along with several best sellers. I can’t even imagine having a theme park and a musical (Harry Potter).
That would be pretty incredible. I think J.K. Rowling's career is a goal for many people. What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?
Major Crimes—I like the interaction with the cops, especially Lt. Provenza. He’s grumpy, like the cat in my Sunny Truly series. Also, the Silicon Valley series. Those guys are too funny.
I would’ve said Inspector Lewis, the BBC series, but it just ended. Grrr. Ditto for Downton Abbey. Double grrr.

Do you believe in fate or love at first sight?
Yes. We li…

Furiously Happy | Jenny Lawson

“Don’t sabotage yourself. There are plenty of other people willing to do that for free."
Genre: Memoir/Humor. Number of Pages: 329. Perspective: First.
This book is a collection of stories by Jenny Lawson as she tries to combat anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses by being “Furiously Happy” instead. For a complete summary, you can go here.
I normally HATE memoirs. I don’t know why I keep reading them. But THIS is why. This is the memoir that I have been wishing for! This book is the first memoir that I truly loved. I ate this book up. But, I really think this will be a polarizing book. Some people won’t get her humor and will not enjoy this book at all, other people will relate or at least empathize, and will absolutely love this book. Personally, I gave this my Best Book Award.
Jenny is vulgar, an exaggerator, and self-admittedly crazy. But, boy, is she hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud, and not many books can do that to me. I more likely to cry from a book than l…

Book Chat: Cuckoo's Calling | Robert Galbraith

**WARNING: This is for people who have already read this book. There will be spoilers! If you do not want the book's wonderful surprises to be ruined, read my review of the book, read the book, then come back to read our chat. Thank you!**

Amber: Let’s get started! So what was everyone's overall impression of the book? Erin: I haven't finished yet, but I'm on the fence about how I feel about the book. It certainly did not instantly grab my attention. Kimberly: The book felt pretty slow to me and I wonder if it really needed to be as long as it was. After finishing it, though, it did pick up at the end and I was happy with how it turned out. Long stretches of narration with little action was sometimes difficult to push through, but overall I liked the concept of the book enough to finish reading Amber: Yes, the writing was definitely purple prose--overly descriptive, fluffy writing. I was confused at first because I thought it took place in the 50s. It had a film noir feel …

Don't Let the Spirits in: A Look into the Origins of Myths

One time when I first met my now-husband, Brandon, we were driving in the car. As we passed a cemetery, I shouted “hold your breath!” and clamped my mouth shut.  Brandon quickly listened and held his breath with me. A few moments later, I let out a big exhale. Brandon also exhaled while staring at me.  He asked, “What? Did you fart or something?”  I started laughing and had to explain to him a superstition that I thought everyone followed: holding your breath while passing a cemetery so that the ghosts don’t enter your body through your mouth or nose. This is obviously ridiculous, and I didn’t believe it would ever actually happen, but I had done it habitually since I was a child. I cannot remember exactly where I heard this superstition, but I think a friend must have told me about it when I was little. The first time I remember doing this, I was on the school bus. My friends and I would hold our breath while passing a local cemetery and always lift our feet when going over railroad tra…

It’s a Writer Thing --Harness the Power of Stimulus Control in your Writing

This is a guest post by Jessica Bayliss. 

Welcome back to It’s a Writer Thing. Over the last few months, I’ve been writing about all things feedback. I hope you found those posts helpful, and if you did (or didn’t), I’d LOVE to hear from you. Please go ahead and leave a comment below. 
Today I’m switching gears. I’m very excited to write today’s blog post, because I get to dig into my psychologist bag of tricks for this one. From nine-to-five, I’m a clinical psychologist, and so much of what I studied all those years in school is applicable to our experiences as writers.
One concept that comes up A LOT on blogs, Twitter feeds, and in craft-related articles is our environment and the habits we keep. Some people insist we must write every day, at the same time, in the same place to build a good habit, while others prefer a more flexible approach.
But who’s got it best?
The answer is neither and both!
Over the course of a few posts, I’ll dig into a couple psych concepts that can put this debat…