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Write like a reader, read like a writer – G. Lawrence

downloadYesterday, I spoke about the critiquing aspects and the opportunity to read some fun new stories on Scribophile.

Today, I am concentrating more on some other aspects of the site that after several months I have found very useful for the authors out there.

Finding a group.

The “group” feature is pretty great for writers of all levels.  Groups tab can be found here.  The groups are a fantastic way to find like-minded writers. People that are writing about the same things you are.  I also found practice groups that help me refine my skills.  I am a member of several groups that

are 2018-01-17focused on improving sentence structure.  I have learned a great deal doing this.  Another fun group is a practice group that is working on improving the building of strong characters.  If you have a need, there is a chance there is a group in this community that can help you.

To find a group is easy.   Follow this link to the Group page and browse for whatever hits your fancy!  You can also see that you can “search” the groups.

Forums are fabulous!

The next thing I wanted to share with you my favorite Word Nerds is that Forums.  I am no stranger to Forums. They are a great place to just meet people to talk, vent or share some news.  Again, Scribophile has done a great job by sorting out what would appeal to the writer in you.   These forums are a great place to connect with others in your industry.  Find a mentor or friend to commiserate with.2018-01-17 (1)

Contest

If you are a contest lover, guess what?  Scribophile has those too.  Now I can’t give too much information on this aspect of the site as I have not entered a contest yet.  However, I am sure it is well organized and well run.  This site was one of the first places I found good information and some good partners in my writing.

This site is, in my opinion, one of the best I have encountered for serious writers and people that love to read. I hope you will take some time and check it out.  Find me here   and be sure to send me a note on the “scratchpad” feature so I know you are on the site.

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Let’s chat about community.  If you have interest, you seek out people that share that interest.  You find one of those people and you have a community.  When I started out seeking to find community, I linked around a while (I really was looking for love in all the wrong places).  I stumbled upon Scribophile.  This is a BIG site so I want to break up in a few post what they have to offer.

What originally drew me to this group.

It is usable in the “free” form.  Yes, there is a fee for the unlimited post of your work, but it is small and I understand to run a website isn’t free so they need to generate funds.   I went almost a year without paying the premium fee. So I consider this a site anyone can use.

The second thing is this is a very large group of individuals that offer to critique each other’s work in a kind manner.  You earn “karma” points the more you critique.  These points are used to post your work for critiquing.

I really like the way they have the critique set up. A critiquer has the ability to do an “inline” (which is very detailed) critique or a general comment.  I enjoy reading other’s work and have found a few individual’s in this group that I really am engaged in the story they are posting and I have the ability to “follow” the author and get notifications when he/she adds a new chapter.

The last thing I want to mention in this post is that each new work that is posted, can be tagged with the genre and little warnings if the writing is “adult only”.  It is a very helpful tool that allows me to read the writings that I can actually help fellow authors with.

If you love to read and would like to help budding authors with their work you can join this site for free and read some really cool stuff. You don’t have to be a writer to be a member of this community, you can just be a person that likes to read and has a heart to help new authors improve their work.

 

We interrupt our regulary scheduled…

January 17, 2018


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This is exciting.  When I decided at the end of last year that 2K18 would be the year to complete my novel, I knew I needed help. I went looking and I want to share all these great finds and I will. This is kind of what this blog is about so good thing I found lots of cool stuff!

I am posting this because one of the things I found was DIY MFA  book, website, book club and so much more. I just discovered that Gabriela’s Ted Talk is out… I want to share it.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!  I will do a post on her site, book club, book but I just really thought this could be an encouragement to those of us that decided, THIS IS OUR YEAR!

“Six trillion stories in one little box   – Which one will you tell? “

Writers gottaIMG_20180115_224729 write! Sometimes we have great days when we can pump out thousands of words some days we sit at a screen that screams at us, “Told you that you weren’t a writer!  Look at all that blank space.” and that blinking cursor just mocks us.  Sometimes we need a break from our project and we just want a little time to do something different.

Writing prompts are one way to do that, and my husband purchased a gift for me a few years ago called The Storymatic (there is also a set for kids, not so surprisingly called The Storymatic for Kids).

It can be used as a game, to spark creativity in young and old.  I don’t own the Kid version (yet) I do however own the original. This handy little deck of cards can give you a mental break or you may discover a great short story, novella, spark a novel or poem.  The booklet inside the box offers some great suggestions for how to uIMG_20180115_225114se the deck in fun ways.

I chose three cards, two gold, and one orange.

GOLD Cards:  judge, patient

ORANGE Card: regret 

Now let’s get writing, I will be adding a piece using this as a prompt and posting later this week. I encourage you to play along.  Share a link to your work, or post it here.

Looking forward to sharing something fresh and new with you!

If you are interested in getting this fun resource for yourself or a fellow writer, you can find it on Amazon HERE and the Kid version HERE.

Do you have a friend or loved one that is a teacher?  Guess what this would be an awesome gift.

Be sure to check out and like my facebook page!

I have not received any product or payment for this endorsement.

Visual-Thesaurus

Here is a resource that I have found.   The ThinkMap Visual Thesaurus.  Everyone has a set of words they use often.  When writing it can be a struggle to sometimes find words that fit into our stories, or worse yet, we know a word but it isn’t powerful enough or doesn’t show exactly what we want to say.   This is a time when we look to our friends, synonyms for help to express ourselves.

In the old days, we pulled out a big book and thumbed through until the word we knew was located.

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After finding our not so perfect word we would read through the lists of words that shared a similarity.  It was a long process.

I wish I could remember how I found this site, but I have been using it for about a year now and it is fantastic.  I did pay a small fee to join the site and have full access to everything they offer.  I can tell you as a writer this site is invaluable. It breaks down your search word and offers a definition of the word on the sidebar.

If you type in the word search you will get a Thinkmap that looks like the one I inserted above.  You can then click on the words and get further possibilities.  Therefore if you click on “research”  a further break down will occur.   You can continue to click and further break down your words until you find the word you are looking for, or until you exhaust the potential synonyms.

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If you join the site you are able to print out your searches, at first, I didn’t find the print feature that valuable, then after printing a few and adding them to some of my research binders, I understand for me personally the printing is very helpful!

Using a ThinkMap:  The center word (the one you typed in)  will appear in the center.  Many of the words have a “speaker” icon which will allow you to hear the word spoken.  Each word is color-coded with it part of speech. Nouns have a red dot, adjectives have a yellow dot, verbs are green and finally, adverbs are a blue color. Hovering over the dots will bring up a definition.

In the results of the Thinkmap, you can turn on or off any particular part of speech you are not interested in getting words for.  If you are searching for an adjective for a noun, you can leave just those options on until you find what you are looking for!

Additional options in a search are Word History, Word Suggestions and allow you to make Word List and settings that allow you to customize your experience.

This website is a fantastic way to explore language. They also have many articles that will appeal to the word nerd inside you!   I hope you take some time and check it out.  Just click HERE and you will go right to the site!

sea-and-wooden-platform

It has come to my attention that to simply write is not enough.  One must have a platform.  What the heck is that?  Who really knows?  I do know that every mentor I have, has said sadly, it is a reality that writing a good story is a must but having a following/platform is just as important.  I am not big on self-promotion but I have discovered that is a must for me to someday get that coveted contract for publication.  Therefore, I have decided to take seriously this blogging thing.

I learned today that I need to begin with a “why” statement.  Everyone should have a statement that helps them better understand why they are doing what they want to do.  It can be motivated by money or a passion that you can’t ignore. (Mine is mostly the latter, but let’s be real, making some money at this would be nice too!)

WHY? is the question, WHY do you want to be an author.  It can be considered an important part of your origin story as a writer.

My why is as simple as loving to share the stories that are inside me, and as complex as the characters that reveal themselves to me.  My why is a desire to share good stories that engage and enrich the lives of the people willing to invest in my stories.

Another important “why” for me from a professional point of view is to provide honest reviews of products offered to fellow writers.  Writing is a tough business.  Not only am I expected to write a fantastic story, but I discover that I am expected to obtain an agent that wants me to already have followers that want me to turn out books.  OH boy!  That is expecting a lot from me! And I thought all I needed was to have a good idea for a book.  Silly girl.

After the wool was ripped off my eyes leaving nothing but tears and lack of both eyebrow and lash, I discovered if I want to get my book out there I need to do some of the “work” of writing.  What can you expect here at concrete detail?  You can expect some of my work (hopefully you think is a good), you can expect honest reviews of books, websites and other things that may help others that may want to write.

The idea that building a platform is scary to me, but I know I want to be a writer more than anything and I am willing to do the work to be successful in the industry.  So buckle up buttercup, it’s time to grow and make a difference in this crazy world! I hope you will share my site and help me make this dream come true.

I love writing prompts!  Writing is therapeutic, especially in busy, stressful times. You know  Christmas is like what eighteen days away?  Who’s really ready?  There are amazing people out there that are wrapped and ready.  This year has been a blur already to me, now I have all these responsibilities that I need to complete in the next eighteen days and not harm anyone, I jest.

Here is what I like to do when I get stressed.  I like to write. I know not everyone likes to write but I think that is because they don’t know what to write about.  It can be a silly prose, a deep thought, a prayer,  or a story from your childhood anything I promise putting it to paper will make you feel awesome.

In the spirit of the upcoming Christmas cheer,  I will give you a few prompts.   I would LOVE to see what you came up with.  Just give it a shot!  Here ya go!

Prompt #1 – Mrs. Clause is out of butter and those cookies are not going to cook themselves so she sends…….

Prompt #2 – O Holy Night, you are a sheep looking in on the babe, something is different tonight it feels special…..

Prompt #3 – There are people chanting outside the store, what is the chant and what happens when you unlock the door to let them in?

Prompt #4 – The sugarplum fairy has officially called it quits, no more sugar or gluten for this girl.  The kiddies are waiting what does she bring them

Prompt #5 – He sits on the corner of Bell and 7th Ave. You stop to hand him a warm cup of coffee and a bag of fast food.  He looks at you his eyes a deep espresso and you see there is a story.  Tell that story.

Pick one or make one up and share it!

Next up:  What is Narrative Summary anyway?