Category: Archives

Home > Writing > Archives

Who Wants to Be a More Productive Writer?

March 8, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

By MM Pollard, the MM in Workshops with MM,
Certified copy editor,

Editor, Black Velvet Seductions

I think I can safely assume that all writers want to be more productive. If you happen to be one who doesn’t, then feel free to click close now.

Okay, so most of you stayed. How did I know that most of you would stay here? Would you believe I’m clairvoyant? No?

I don’t need to be clairvoyant to know that you’d still be reading because I know writers want to write. If you sit on the couch and watch Ellen, you are a watcher, not a writer. If you eat bags of chocolate kisses, you are an eater, not a writer. If you sit at a computer and stare at the screen, you are a starer; you are not a writer. (Sorry, if that hurts. Read on for the salve to solve that situation.)

Writers produce writing, coherent words on a screen (paper). If you are happy averaging one hundred words a day, then I suggest you stop reading here. If you want to write more, lots more, then continue, please.

Becoming a more productive writer involves many actions and a few attitudes. Here are a few of both.

Actions:

If you were on a deserted island with only your computer with a fully charged battery, would you write or would you play Solitaire until the battery discharged? (Solitaire players may stop reading and get back to their games. I apologize for the interruption.)

Do those close to you know you write?

Do you have a place just for you and your writing?

Do you write every day?

Do you keep track of your time and words every time your write?

Do you play Solitaire when you are writing blocked, or do you still write something, anything?

Attitudes:

Is writing fun or a chore?

Do you think you deserve to take time out of your day and from your other responsibilities to write?

What’s more important to you? The huge advance you’ll receive with the sale of your book? Finishing that book your family didn’t believe you would ever complete? Releasing your characters from the purgatory of your mind to see the light of a computer screen?

That salve I said I would share with you? This is it – my workshop titled Speed Writing – What Plan Works Best for You? You’ll learn how to form a habit of writing, learn to keep track of your productivity for accountability, learn to deal with issues—those inside you and outside of you. That’s just for starters.

It seems that hundreds of people have written books on increasing speed and word count. I’ll share information from many authors who have increased their word count to several thousand a day or even an hour. I’ll give you another author’s plan to write a novella in twenty-four hours and another author’s plan to write a book in nine days.

The beauty of this workshop is that I have done all the research for you. All you have to do to take the information and see which system works best for you.

I hope you will join me.

MM Pollard

About MM Pollard

As an English teacher for fifteen years and, currently as editor for Black Velvet Seductions and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing. Check out Testimonials on her blog, MM’s Fundamentals of English. While you are there, sign up for her monthly newsletter and even look at previous newsletters.

MM began presenting workshops four years ago and has presented on many sites, including her own. Many RWA chapters, including From the Heart RWA, RWA Online, OCC/RWA, Passionate Ink, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RW, Maryland RWA, and Florida RW, have also sponsored her workshops. In February, 2015, she presented at FRW’s Fun in the Sun Conference, and her dream come true!

Through her fun workshops—English class can be fun!—MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.

0 0 Read more

March’s OCCRWA Online Class is “Speed Writing: Which Plan Works Best for You?”, with MM Pollard

February 26, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

About the Class:
It’s easy to find how-to books on writing fast, but which one represents the solution to your plotting problem?

Let MM Pollard, writer, editor, and workshop presenter, help you sort through all of the different advice on this subject in eight lessons. She will focus on increasing daily word count as well as on quicker methods to plan and organize your book, using information from several fiction and nonfiction writers who have done just that. Students will be encouraged to try the techniques presented in each lesson to see if they work for them.

About the Instructor:

As an English teacher for fifteen years and, currently as editor for Black Velvet Seductions and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing. Check out Testimonials on her blog, MM’s Fundamentals of English. While you are there, sign up for her monthly newsletter and even look at previous newsletters.

MM began presenting workshops four years ago and has presented on many sites, including her own. Many RWA chapters, including From the Heart RWA, RWA Online, OCC/RWA, Passionate Ink, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal RW, Maryland RWA, and Florida RW, have also sponsored her workshops. In February, 2015, she presented at FRW’s Fun in the Sun Conference, and her dream come true!

Through her fun workshops—English class can be fun!—MM is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition. 

This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. 
The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.
For more information and to register go to http://occrwa.org/classes/march-online-class/

***********************************************************************
Permission to forward

Angela Kyle

OCCRWA Online Class Promos

0 0 Read more

Dear Diary by Connie Vines

February 13, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

It wasn’t I until experienced a seven-hour power-outage during a rainstorm on Sunday that I really pondered the world before electricity.

With the rain and cloud-cover, it was very, very dark and icy cold.  I could actually see the alignment of the five planets quite clearly.  For those familiar with the southern California skyline, you know that we cannot see the constellations or planets unless we drive to Palm Springs, the mountains, or the high desert.  So, combined with the exceptionally cold temperatures and wind chill factor, and an inability to prepare a meal inside my kitchen, I felt as if I plopped into the center of one of my historical novels.

This is what had me ponder the act of writing in a diary.

I hadn’t read a diary (except for research purposes in years).

 As a teen or pre-teen, you probably received a diary as a birthday gift or a Christmas present.  I know I did.  The diary with a lock (which anyone, on a whim, could pick) and a key.  At first, my entries were made daily, then weekly, then, seldom at all.  Later, the diary evolved into journaling for a writing class, or jot down events, or milestone in my toddler’s life.  Now I have a journal app on my iPad that I often use for notes and thoughts about my novels points.

None of scribbles in my journals were as emotionally purging or filled with day-to-day angst of a teenager’s life.

Why?  I believe because most my of my journaling was via the keyboard.

Scientific studies prove the act of pen to paper stirs creative thoughts.

While I have no real interest in keeping a detailed diary for myself

What about fictional characters?  Do you ever have your fictional characters write a diary?
That is when I recalled my salad days are a writer.

When I starting writing fiction and non-fiction for the magazine market.  I published in “Jr. Medical Detective” and “Humpty Dumpty”.  In my article, “A Candle in the Dark” (still available as part of the Thomas Gale Education Series), my heroine, Sarah kept a diary.  The story dealt with the Salem Witchcraft Trials.  I found the diary to be a very effect plot device.  It was also a good way to give the reader information without using a backstory to interrupt the flow of my story.

What are you feelings about diaries in a novel?

Are there diaries you’ve read you found of interest or diaries that change how you viewed the world?
Why is it a good idea to have a diary in your storyline?

Fictional characters are forced by their authors to carry the story (the process of the narrative).  At the most basic level the diary gives you a first-person narrative without the protagonist knowing what is going to happen.

The use of diaries in novels of the past.

Pamela (1740) by Samuel Richardson is usually described as an epistolary novel.  However, our heroine also writes a journal, and then sews it into her underwear for secrecy.

Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë has a skeletal framework of a diary: “I have just returned from a visit to my landlord. . .Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold.”  Mr. Lockwood will learn about true emotion day by day as he finds out and writes down the story of Heathcliff and the Earnshaws.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) by Helen Fielding is well known to be based on the plot of Pride and Prejudice.

The more I ponder the use of a diary in my next novel, the more I warm to the idea.
I have my favorite pen and I also have turquoise Martha Stewart premium journal I received as a gift for Christmas.  While there isn’t a lock and key, there is an elastic band to keep the journal closed. There is also a fabric bookmark so that I may keep my place.

I can picture myself writing today’s date, time, and my first entry. . .Dear Diary.

Happy Reading,
Connie

Connie’s books

0 0 Read more

Royal Dare: What happens when a Princess bites into that poison apple

February 11, 2016 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Getting clean ain’t easy…even for a princess.

—————–  
If you’re a princess, most likely your fairy godmother warned you about messengers bearing big, red shiny apples.

Who can forget Snow White…

But in the end she found her prince after eating the poisoned apple.

Sometimes princesses are influenced by the wrong people. Take Princess Violetta in ROYAL DARE. She was desperate to be thin and win her crush…but it led her into drug addiction. Her poison apple.
 
Meth.
————— 
This month I tackle a serious subject in ROYAL DARE (The Royals of Monterra, Kindle Worlds).

Addiction to drugs is a major problem — not just for the addict but for those in their world. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to go to rehab, or what happens afterward, Royal Dare takes you into that world.

Even though my heroine is a princess, she’s not immune to the horrors of meth and how difficult it is to get clean.

Princess Violetta meets some interesting people in rehab and hears the story about an old cloth doll and how she helped an addict face her demons. There are funny moments, too, like seeing our princess with a toilet brush cleaning bathrooms, and tearful ones–when a girl who is a “cutter” and addict calls the hotline manned by our princess threatening to kill herself and Violetta is the only one who can save her.

Royal Dare is for anyone who is an addict and wants help, and for those who love them.

Thank you for listening.

~Jina

Royal Dare (The Royals of Monterra) is available on Amazon Kindle

Born a princess, Violetta of Monterra is living the fairy tale. She has everything she wants. Designer purses and shoes, a party lifestyle and she’s as thin as a smartphone.

She’s also a meth addict.

If she doesn’t get clean, she’ll lose everything. Her title, her family. Her soul.

Learning how to survive in rehab is only the first step to gaining her sobriety. Once she finishes the program, the real challenge comes when Violetta goes back to her fancy Swiss boarding school. His name is Chace. Her first crush . . . and the guy who got her hooked on meth. Trusting him won’t keep her sober.

Then there’s Troy, the new hottie in school. Can he save her from relapse? And from losing everything precious to her before she goes down that rabbit hole for the last time?

Royal Dare (The Royals of Monterra) is available on Amazon Kindle

jinabacarr.com
jinabacarr.wordpress.com
twitter.com/jinabacarr
facebook.com/JinaBacarr.author
pinterest.com.jbacarr

0 0 Read more

It’s all about….

January 24, 2016 by in category Archives

In Europe, there’s a kind of oval black and white sticker people put on their cars to indicate their country of origin:  CH for Switzerland (fooled you, ConfÅ“deratio Helvetica), NL for the Netherlands, D for Germany (Deutschland) etc.

This became a fad in the US with various stickers sporting state, airport and place abbreviations or codes.  

So when walking down the street in a lovely town in Maine, the souvenir store showing a while oval with the black letters ME on seemed very much in keeping with the zeitgeist.  But what was thee tiny additional lettering at the top…?  It read: 


          — it’s all about â€” 

                 ME



That pretty much sums up the default response to most of the human condition. It’s why people were burned alive for sharing the information that the earth revolved around the sun, and the universe did not, actually, revolve around us.

This realization has helped explain the advocacy for “Intelligent Design” over Evolution—a position that was basically incomprehensible to me.

Evolution is a system based, more or less, on meritocracy.  Those that survive have adapted most successfully to meet whatever challenges they face. In this perspective, the universe does not revolve around them; they must adapt to the ‘universe.’

So if people are uncomfortable with the uncertainty that vision espouses, or they aren’t sure they would rise to the top of a meritocratic ladder, or they can’t accept the uncomfortable acknowledgement that they are not the center of the universe, or they need a sense of certainty, it’s a problem. 

If for any reason they believe they would not measure up, or want to skip the uncertainty and just move to the front of the line, they need to believe that Someone Out There will Favorite them (their definition of intelligence, of course).  In a family context, basically, it’s the happy belief that “Dad” likes them best (or whatever all-powerful deity you choose). Thus “Intelligent Design” addresses these uncomfortable-for-some issues.

And while this explanation may not be true for everyone, trying to understand the underlying needs for a belief can be a helpful tool in trying to understand when those beliefs that seem to fly in the face of established knowledge.  Stop and consider: what are the often powerful emotional needs that may dictate that belief system? Reason, rationality, science has nothing to do with it. Indeed, if you ever want to appreciate the lack of “intelligence” that has gone into the somewhat random process of evolutionary “design,” do take a look at Neil de Grasse Tyson’s article in Natural History Magazine.

Simone de Beauvoir articulates the male and female roles of Self and Other in The Second Sex. And for me, one of the most powerful aspects of a romance is the evolution the characters undergo in the process of the story.  The heroine often developing a stronger Self. The hero’s realization that without the Other, he is not complete.  

That it’s really not all about ME.



Isabel Swift


0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM

>