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Writing Advice and Tidbits

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learn to Write in an easy manner and have fun

William McCurrach
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Chapter 1

Writing my Style!

Writing, it’s an art, but it is also bleeding ones soul, onto paper or in a computer. Feelings long forgotten, pains that hurt and still do, Love you had, an experience you imagined or lived through, an event, a dream or even a fantasy you want to believe in. Each event, character or interaction is different in life so it must be in writing a story or a book.

Is writing really worth the effort it takes, to word things so others can understand you, or like what you write is not an easy task, the market changes each and every day as a new generation is born, or one dies off. A Military action changes a country, a politician gains power or loses it, or a murder takes place or is solved, the one question all writers must ask themselves is simple what type of an audience am I writing to and will what I am writing sell in todays market.

Does my story seem more compatible to young readers, or young adults, teenagers, twenty somethings, etc. or can I reach the elder community too? All questions a writer must consider as they write and tell the story they are telling.

Should I include a lot of dialogue or none, do I describe every scene in entirety, or in part? How long should I make the story last, is it too short or too long, does it lose the readers interest or not? All considerations a writer must get into. Should I write a blog, should I outline my story or not, should I write for a paper or magazine, or what? What part of the writer’s field is for me? Do I do short stories, scripts, plays, poems or books? So many ways to go if you are a writer, like a commentary, if I write one is it pertinent to today’s world where can I post it or sell it? Do we ever know for sure writers or are we guessing and writing because we must, because it is in our nature and a part of us? Some of us can speak publically and convey things too and others cannot unless it is on paper or a word perfect document, why that is, ever wonder, I know I do.

Writing is a fundamental process of communication and knowing the language and using a dictionary is something writers need to do and understand. I have watched many books sit on a shelf and never get read. Or some look like they have been read so many times they are worn out from it all. Then you have the classic books and stories, and the poems handed down through history and that never disappear, passed on one generation to another by book stores and publishers. So, how do you get whatever you have written to fit in any of the selling categories mentioned above? Good question right, I can tell you this, work, work, edit, edit, and reedit again. Read and reread your work, make sure punctuation is right, make sure spelling is right, grammar is right and again. When you’re done have someone else read it too and point out any problems they find. Correct them and then reread it again.

Now that you have written it properly for all to read what do you do with it and how do you get it into print? My answer is I am not sure anymore, used to be you print a manuscript out and send it to publishers by mail and they would read it, determine if they want it and send you a letter accepting or refusing your work. Now a day, we have Amazon Kindle E-books, Smashwords, Create Space and so many other places online that allow you to publish your own works. But then you have another problem once you publish it, how do you promote and advertise it on your own? Where do I send it, how do I attach it to other posts, do I put it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, where will it be noticed. Do I look up publishers online; do I get a book full of them at Barnes and Noble or another store? And how do I get them to accept what I wrote? Is it an impossible task well maybe it is, I can’t be sure but many of us try to do it and fail, very few really make it like, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Robert Ludlum, or others, they really are few and far between and everyone runs to grab their books once they are on the shelves. It all seems so hard and out there doesn’t it?

Do I have any talent at writing, do I know enough about my subject, can I research it well enough, and can I make it really acceptable to others? So many questions and so few answers and if you notice very few Authors who have made it in the business, feel they will help others get there, do it on your own they say, work for it, bleed for it, learn it, like I did they say. None say oh you have something you wrote I will read it for you, and guide you through the process of finishing it and selling it, do they? Nope not at all, so you are left with the old hunt and peck format and hit and miss format. I know I am there myself! Do I know enough to help others with writing their dream story and getting it published so you can make money, I think not or I would be rich from it too? Yet one thing I am sure of, if you write for pleasure of yourself, and enjoy yourself doing so, it makes it easier, to take the criticism, once you’re done and others start reading it all. Plus all comments and reviews, if you read and learn from them will indeed help you become a better writer and Author and more acceptable to readers.

So I will do what I can from what I know. Here is an outline to consider how to write a book by me.

1)Think about what you are going to write and clearly know that subject or idea

2)Outline the story and where you want it to go

3)Create the characters to fit your story and individualize them

4)Plot out the whole story not just part of it, know where it begins and where it ends

5)Don’t stretch the story and make it seem repeating or pulled out so to say

6)Make a preview of the story for a prequel

7)Make a Ending Prologue if you can

8)Create a book Cover people will be drawn to that fits the story

9)Title it appropriately for the story, and make it appear on the cover

Make sure your name appears on it as Author on Front

10)Make sure the Publisher gets a notice in it or on it

11)Market it to those whom you believe will be interested in it.

Now Bleed on to paper the whole idea and characters and plot from the outline and start editing it as you go along. When your done folks, remember the beginning I gave you here on Writing,

Edit, Rewrite, correct, reread, and do it three times at least. Then hand it to a smart reader and have them read it and add corrections they think it needs, do all of the above before you release it ok. Otherwise people will notice the mistakes and ignore it on the store book shelves or on the internet. You are writing folks so people can and will pay attention to you, not ignore you. It is indeed apparent you have something to say and want it heard and read, so speak well, you’re writing, counts right down to punctuation, and style. Use a spell checker, use a dictionary, and a grammar checker too. All matters, when you trying to write to sell it.

I hope this helps many writers understand the process better and makes some people great writers and Authors in the future for the written word is vital to the entertainment and education of the youths of the world.

Plotting a Plot

Before you start writing your story or novel, or short, make sure you plot it out.

1)Know where it takes place.

2)Why it takes place

3)What the story revolves around or through

4)Stick to the plot and where it is going

5)Put surprises or twists in your plot, for readers love trying to figure them out.

6)Don’t plot it out to a happy ending every time, that’s not how life goes does it.

7)Write down your plot and make sure it makes sense

8)Every step you take has to build intensity and interest from the reader, remember the idea is to make a point, using your plot

9)In the end, I suggest, you make an outline of the plot you wish to use and as you write follow it so you don’t miss a step or part

My View on a Writers Highs and Lows

When growing up and going through Elementary School, no one likes English Classes, and the words you are taught to use in sentences and the punctuation. We all have having to hand write all our works, at least when I went to school in the sixties. Most of us as kids avoided doing our homework and hated writing anything. I wish sometimes I had listened better and learned grammar better all the time. I never figured, I would grow up and go through life and have so many different stories in my head, that I would regret my not paying attention back then!

I have had many, many Occupations in my life starting with being a newspaper boy, to factory work, to military life, and in each part of my life or occupation I have stories of those jobs too. And as you grow older you collect stories in your heart and head of romances, some brief, some long, some that worked and some that didn’t. Then you collect memories of events and you color them with your own perspectives of them and try to keep them neat in your mind.

But, when you get to the point of finally using all these memories and trying to write them down as a Writer, well you don’t always do it correctly and get disappointed when others, won’t read them or want to buy them, when you compose them in manuscript form or book form.

A Little info, for anyone who wishes to write, first and foremost, change the names of the people you write about in the memories you use. Second remember your memories are not always one hundred percent correct as you age, so it is ok to embellish a bit to make it more interesting.

Writing is like sitting down and pouring out your emotions on paper or in a computer for print and slowly bleeding to death as you do. For without the emotions of each story, or scene you lived, in the words you write, no one will read what you wrote. It doesn’t become interesting until you pull the reader into the story; let them feel the love, pain, misery, hurt, or joy, you felt at the time. Writing is a very emotional experience for most writers and for those who read their works. It’s really a process that can heal you in some way, release you in another or immerse your soul in the words you say.

Each character you create must be unique and different and have its own little quirks and ways. One can be mad, one happy, one smart, one a lost soul, if you get my drift. No two characters can react the same way, or talk the same way, especially if you are telling a story that has many in it.

My personal way to write is not as easy or simple as some others for myself. I like to remember experiences I had or lived through, write them down, even if they are erratic and crazy at time and need to be pieced together to be coherent. It’s the bits and pieces of the memory that I can take and assemble again in words people will understand that makes it all possible and a real story. It may not match exactly all as it happened, but you can be sure, I will try to get it all in there in some way so it entices the reader and strings them along in the story.

In a way, Writing is a therapy for me, I don’t know about other writers. I know sometimes I need to write down the feelings, emotions and reasoning I go through just to get it off my chest or out of my mind. The mind becomes like a library of facts, times, places, actions and purposes and I can’t keep it all in so I unleash it in words on paper or on my computer in Word. Writing is like my mind is leaking and bleeding all over the paper and there is nothing I can do to stop it from doing so, till it stops itself. I hope that makes sense to all.

Remember this if you write, one you will bleed it out, bit by bit. Two, once you do remember it is not going to sometimes make sense or be right. Reread it, edit it and reread it again, at least three times. Reword what you have to, make it readable and understandable to the audience you are writing it for. Remember what you write for children is totally different than what you would write for a teenager or an adult, so check all the language and don’t make a mistake on it.

A Little more advice I can give as a writer is this, once you think your manuscript is complete and your done writing, have a person who is not connected to you read it over and make suggestion or point out mistakes. You need a neutral person to give you honest opinions on it, not a family member or friend. They will color their opinions or try to pacify you and that is not what you want as a writer. You can’t get better if you don’t know or understand what you wrote wrong in the first place, can you?

Spellcheck everything, use a grammar program also if you have one if not, get one. And when you do complete your story, or novel or manuscript, which ever you consider it, remember you still need a hook, for the opening pages, as a preview and one as a hook for the back cover of the book too.

Covers are also a key to a Writer’s Work, the story won’t sell, if your cover stinks and doesn’t represent what is in the book, no matter how much you advertise it, if it is not attractive it won’t get the attention you need to sell it. So many things can make a difference in selling a story, manuscript, or novel/book. So slow down, do it right, make each sentence, each part of your story be felt by the reader. If an Editor or Publisher gets into the book, manuscript or story and gets captivated by it, they will publish it. So, one other bit of advice I can give out, if you are on a roll while writing don’t stop till you get it all out, don’t let someone, something break your concentration or thought, Finish it first, and then call them back if the phone rings, in the end you don’t want to lose your train of thought, and go sideways with it do you?

Last word, as a writer I bleed as I said, each word, each thought, each emotion ends up in the story, manuscript or novel/book. It can be uplifting for me, or depressing for me, it can be helpful or hurtful, but as a writer, I see it as my job to convey it to the reader in a clear concise manner, and make it interesting enough they can enjoy it, whether it be a comedy, mystery, thriller, biography or even a historic story. The point for me is simple; if it gathers my attention it should also gather theirs and hold them for the time they read it. I hope you all agree!

A Walk through a Writers Mind

Take a walk with me, through a writers mind, see the things I see, hear the words I hear, smell the smells I do, taste the foods I do and get lost in my imagination. Let me take you to places I have been or you wish you could go, let me introduce you to people and characters you would never know.

A walk through a writers mind is like a walk through Disney Land and Sea World and so many amusement parks out there, It is also a walk through the dark side of the mind, at times where murders are created and put on paper but never acted out in reality. A walk back in time maybe, through history and events, or a walk back into your own life or one similar to yours, one where you can compare or just plain fear, what can happen next.

Writing many say, is like bleeding out a story from your soul and heart and mind onto a piece of paper. Each word, phrase or character must fit, the writers perceptions, yet also, fit the readers perceptions or it doesn’t work. What makes it work is a writer who can stick to the basics while expanding the story to such a wide audience, it sells and entices all. Not an easy mission folks, if you’re a writer, is it?

The Biggest surprise for any writer is when they find their story, characters, scenes or words have hit an audience and captured their attention and they are actually reading it. It’s thrill to sell your first book, to anyone, no matter how you sell it, but it’s a bigger thrill, when, what happened to me, happened.

I wrote a story and published it for sale, through Amazon.com/ E-Books and placed it up for sale at .99 cents a copy, hoping to make a few bucks to help my wife and I pay for her cancer treatments and to survive. What I found out was the price point was far too low and some people, 4 to be prices, bought my .99 cent book and started selling it on E-bay for almost ten dollars a shot!. First I was shocked and angry over it and thought they were stealing my book and my manuscript. Then a second thought occurred to me, they are selling my book at a higher price than I am, and putting my work and name out there too, so it is like advertising. I finally came to a conclusion, the latter was the best thing for me, so I went back into my Amazon Account and changed the prices on my books, to something I can make a profit off of without killing the customer or myself. The .99 cent price point or free giveaways will get you noticed but people take advantage of it all, like the four I mentioned here. All I wanted to do, was make a few bucks and sell a few books and get noticed, I had no idea, people out there would pay the .99 cents for my book and then reprice it 10 times higher than I did and sell it on E-bay. Sadly that is what happened! I shall survive it of course but the shock of it was intense for a bit of a while. Interesting enough, right? So if you write and sell your books online in Amazon or any other site like it, make sure, you price them right, and keep an eye open, for what others may do.

Keep writing and journeying through the spaces and places of your mind, make them believe the world, take places and people from history and talk about them, write about them and give people a place in your books to lose themselves, to enjoy themselves and make it all intriguing, unique and sometimes even wild. When you walk through my mind, you will find all of the above, for I am a writer. I see things I remember then, incorporate them into my stories and books and use them in such a way, people want to know what is next. That is what it is all about folks, write, entice,, and write some more, then go back and read what you wrote, edit it, take out what doesn’t work, and replae it or just remove it for good. It is all up to that imagination you have and the life you live.

A Walk through my mind is different than a walk through Stephen Kings, or Robert Ludlum’s or anyone else’s mind. For the thoughts, colors and characters we write about came from somewhere in our lives and are changed by way of our perceptions of them. And no two people perceive things the same do there? Writing is bleeding your emotions and heart and soul onto a page by way of pencil and paper or a computer keyboard, matters not which you use, but it does matter if you do it. The world is full of people who can’t read or write, or don’t know how to voice their stories or tales, a writer’s job, is basically making those heard, whether they come from them or someone else.

So if you take a walk through a writers mind, remember the colors, the sights, the scenes, the conversations and actions all are colored by something in our lives. We convey it all to you by words, and that is a writer’s job too. We correct language, spelling, punctuation and more as we go along, we are walking word dictionaries! Our thoughts will get jumbled at times like yours folks, but when they do, we have a method to sort it all out, we write it down and reread it and edit it. Writing is not as easy as you may think, try it and see and you will learn, communication through writing can be much harder than communication through speech. Yet it can be so much more rewarding, when people buy your works or read them and give you good comments or reviews, it’s amazing. Believe me!!!

Characters, Development

When writing on any subject one has to create a character, whether it is male or female, animal, or monster, princess or devil, someone must flesh them out and link them to the story in some way. Each one must be unique, in their own way, and speak in their own voice. What makes a story interesting is the interaction between the people or characters in it, not just the plot of it. So each must react differently, to whatever the plot or sub plot may be that links the overall story together. What makes people come back to reread your work, are the characters in it, they understand who that character is by the actions or reaction, or none actions that person in your story does, or does not do. Yes it is not easy to create such a character I know that and so do you, but if you were to write a book about your mom, or dad, a sibling or a relative, or even someone on the street, what would be the reason for doing so? Simple it’s the unique patterns of speech, or looks, or some outstanding quality in the person you created. A Murderer they love because he is doing his murders because he feels he has no love, no caring, or is demon possessed. A Lover who commits themselves to another person, with no regrets, such things happen to people and are real, so they feel sorrow, or pain, or love or hate for the character. So watch exactly what you have a character do or say, and make sure as you write that character stays with it.

Sub Plots

Sub plots are vital in many stories or books they link together reasons for the plots going in a certain direction. I have discussed sub plots with many writers online and off, and found that too many sub plots to a story, will cause your reader to get lost, and lose their way. Linking the sub plot to the main plot and weaving it in is vital, if it doesn’t link in then the reader goes what the hell was that about it made no sense. So, unless the sub plot has a reason for being there and will weave into and fold into the story, don’t do it. Sub plots are great if you plan on taking your character or story in a different direction, in the future and continuing the story line or creating a different one. Remember though, one sub plot is one thing, two is another, but I would never recommend going any further than two sub plots, the reader will get frustrated and put your story/ book down and never read it, or recommend it. They will say too long, too complicated, too outlandish or something else. In the end you will lose them because, you have pushed the boundaries of reality and possibilities, to a place where the human mind will not accept it.

Organization and Rewrites

A Little advice on rewriting and organization of the story, book, or article is vital before I close my little book on Writing for all to read. Organize, into chapters your book or story so it is easiest to follow, so it flows in the right direction towards its intended ending. Don’t go all over the place and then try to bring it to an ending that doesn’t fit. Please!

Finally rewrites, I hate doing rewrites myself, every writer, author does folks, but it is a necessary part of the art of writing. Read I, read it again, give it to a friend, a relative someone and let them read it too. When they say, hey this don’t fit check it out, or that’s an ongoing sentence and makes no sense change it. Remember this typos, misspelling, grammar, punctuation all mean something to the reader, if you get it right it flows and makes it easier to read what you are saying.

Lastly, please when an idea hits you for a story, stop, think about it, then if you decide you believe it would be interesting to someone else or help someone else or teach them something, stop and outline it! An Outline of what you want to do is vital, to where you can begin, where the meat of the story can go, and the ending you can reach. You must make sure along the way to bring your reader with you to the conclusion and make them understand why, you did it.

In the end folks, you have to try to sell what you have finished, it has to be polished and assembled properly for the public’s consumption. Selling you story or book, or whatever you have written is not an easy task in today’s world, people don’t read like they used to. They are rushing here, there and everywhere, many only read online or watch television and even fewer listen to radios anymore. So you will need publishing help and marketing help. Even this area as a writer is dangerous really, for there are too many bad or illegal or abusive publishers out there, who will try to take you for as much as they can to produce your story or book for public consumption, be careful. You wrote it, it’s yours, don’t let them own 50 or 60 percent after you bled and sweated over producing it. They will try if you let them. Remember it is your work, it belongs to you, and if you compromise on its contents, style, or price once you finish it you lose. But price it correctly, by comparing it to works of others that are on the market selling. Don’t give it away cheap and make no profits.

I hope in the end, some of the tidbits I am giving out will help a writer somewhere who is bleeding out their story alone. I am hoping to see writers who are creative, and who have a style of their own really make it in the world. I may never get there myself.

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