(Beth Turnage) I’ve written a number of posts on Quora on writing and thought I’d curate some here. You can call it laziness, but really it’s a lack of time, since ghostwriting is keeping me very busy. Really. 😉
When writing, how do you grab your reader’s attention as quickly as possible?
How do I do it?
I bring the reader into the story as quickly as possible. I answer the questions who, what, when, where, why in the first paragraph. This means no long moody passages about the weather or vague impressions about feelings, or any of the awful beginnings that beginning writers are prone to pen.
But I’m not the only one. Plenty of first-rate writers do the same thing and here is an excellent page to see the first sentence of their books:
Continue reading The Craft of #Writing: Grabbing the Reader
(Beth Turnage Blog)
From time to time at Fantasy Writer dot org we have submission challenges were we challenge each other to submit en massé to one publication to see how we fare. At Christmas, we participate in the Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest,where Craig, the owner of the site, chooses a few winners and a bunch of honorable mentions who record their stories for his podcast. Alas, none of us made the cut this year, but we wanted to record our stories, so I offered to host the recordings. In no particular order, here are flashes of 350 word weird Christmas goodness.
Continue reading A Very Special FWO Weird #Christmas
Arekan: So the scribe is still writing the trash that “pays the mortgage” but since it seems to keep her in coffee and milkshakes, I won’t complain too much, though I’ve heard there a bit of clamor for her to finish the Arekan’s War Series.
[scribe, um Beth:] One reader is hardly a clamor.Continue reading Arekan’s Blog: MORE Laundry Problems
(Beth Turnage Blog) Christmas arrived in July when Chris Banks of Pro-Writing Aid made this announcement in their monthly email:
Beta Testers Needed for our New Google Docs Add-On
We are thrilled to introduce our shiny new Google Docs add-on! Now you will have access to the full ProWritingAid editor right within GoogleDocs.
It’s brand new, however, which means it might still have some wrinkles. We’d love for some of our users to try it out and report back about any problems they run into.
It’s easy to get the add-on set up on your computer. You just need to make sure that your ProWriting Aid license is associated with a Google email address (google.com, gmail, etc.)
And like a kid at Christmas, I had to unpack this right away. Continue reading The #Writers Craft: One Big Step for #ProWritingAid: One Giant Leap for Writerkind
If you are like me you have a fair idea of how to write a book but nearly no clue on how to market it but there is a time when you have to hitch up your big girl or boy pants to do it. But what to do? Much of the advice on blogs on how to launch your book is nigh useless, sorry to say, and if you’ve signed a contract with a publisher, it is even worse. If you expect your publisher, unless you are an A-lister, to market your book for you in a way that appreciatively moves the needle you are mistaken.
Now, I can’t give you a definitive guide. No one can. The sands of the internet constantly shift and what works today may not work tomorrow. Also, much of the advice comes from people looking to sell their services to you so they will not give away cow because they want you to buy the milk. And if someone tells you can use social media to SELL your book, they are wrong. You can sell a few copies but the numbers you need to break away into top 100? Most likely that isn’t happening. And some of my ghostwriting clients don’t use social media at all but still make money on the books I write for them. That’s a crap shoot too and involves putting your efforts into your mailing list and sinking a ton of money into advertising, and that’s a slippery slope if a competitor puts up a book in your categories that the reading public finds shinier than yours.Continue reading For #authors: #launch your #book with #socialmedia~ #DYI part 1
Interviewer: We are here today with Beth Turnage, the author of Forced Labor and the sequel No Free Lunch, and the protagonist of those stories Arekan Mor’a’stan. Welcome, both of you, though, I must say it is unusual to have a fictional character sit in on an interview.
Arekan: What the hells are we doing here?
Interviewer scratches head. So Beth, tell me. You are writing a series of books of what you call the Mor’a’stani Universe. How did you decide to develop these stories?
Arekan: She got bored in geometry class.
Arekan: Well, it’s true. You started writing that first piece of trash in that geometry class and then when you finished that you started on Kelleen’s, that’s my daughter’s, story. Forty years and she’s still not done. Continue reading Interview With The Author
Writers are advised to write character studies or “interview” their characters. How do you interview an imaginary character? Here to help you is my process.
Beth: Hello, new guy. Welcome to my head. Have a seat and get comfortable.
NG: [looks around] Gee. It looks crowded in here.
Beth: Yeah. I write a lot. Some people like to read it.
NG: Hey, that’s good. You should use it as a tagline or something.
Beth: [clears throat, because Beth has indeed used this a tagline] Let’s get going.
NG: [craning neck] Who are those people over there with the swords? They look dangerous.Continue reading #Writerslife: Interview with a character
Pro-Writing Aid, an online program that analyzes your writing and gives you recommendations to improve it. As I was looking at a report on a piece it gave the number of adverbs and recommended that I remove three.
I must have missed this before but I do tend to use the old editor, instead of the report on the new editor.
With a word count and a number of allowed adverbs in hand, I calculated the percentage of adverbs that Pro-Writing Aid said I could use.
And I was shocked.
Those of us that ply the writer’s craft are aware of all the different pieces of advice from different writers, editors, and pundits that basically boil down to “use fewer words to express your thoughts.”
Adverbs, in particular, have received a bum rap. Stephen King wrote in On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft:Continue reading The Craft of #Writing: Beware the Adverb Nazis.
Yfaran Ayne (Somewhere around July 16, 2017, I think)
This first planet calendar hurts the head. I’m not even attempting to match the day because it simply does not work. So you just have the season and the month. Anyway, there is some progress on the scribe front. Oh, she’s still writing trash, and gets jobs for more trash with amazing regularity.
Scribe: Just because what I’m writing not your story doesn’t make my work trash. If I don’t eat I don’t get to write.
See. Entirely difficult. BUT, she did write a very nice piece called Arekan Saves the Universe for her online writer’s group for their monthly challenge. She quite rightly made me very amusing, which I am most days when I’m not in death-dealing-rouge mode. Oh yeah, my daughter, Kelleen, is in there as a toddler. And she has a few choice lines, though, as a rule, while toddlers babble, they don’t say much. Except for Kelleen. Anyway, the story placed third out of the monthly entries, so not bad.
Scribe: Gee, thanks. I’m overwhelmed by your praise.Continue reading Arekan’s Blog: Time Travel Musings
Every once in a while I get a cool idea. And this idea comes from the space of generating more traffic to my blog. But we don’t live in a vacuum. Okay, space is a vacuum and our planet resides in it, but you know what I mean. There is strength in numbers, and as it turns out, traffic too.
So by the sweat of my brow, because it is hot on Connecticut now, I created SFFBloggers.com, an aggregator of Science Fiction and Fantasy blogs. A bunch of my buddies at Fantasy-Writers.org,
drank the cool-aid climbed on board and we’ve got a nice community going on of writers blogging and getting a snippet of their posts automatically uploaded to the aggregator.
And you can too.Continue reading #SFF #Bloggers is now live!