Free Business Networking for Writers, Agents, Editors and other Professionals

Saturday, April 30, 2005

THE SLOT: A Spot for Copy Editors

THE SLOT: A Spot for Copy Editors

Bill Walsh, a self described curmudgeon and a copy chief at The Washington Post, gives writers a wry and witty ride through the minutiae of his noble profession. An excellent resource to help us all become aware of the effect our style and choices have on the landscape of the printed word.
The quote above is from Ink, and I must agree! You are sure to spend lots of time reading his Sharp Points, learning, while chuckling under your breath. Also, don't forget to visit his blog.

~

Friday, April 29, 2005

Searchable Directory of Independent Writers & Artists

I ran across Published.com, a searchable directory of Independent Writers & Artists, and added this blog to its listings. So, I wanted to share this resource with those of you who are writers or artists with sites of your own.

Go check it out and add your listing, too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

OurTimeLines.com - Keep Your Story's Historical Context Accurate

OurTimeLines.com is a great, free-to-use tool for creating a timeline for your character.

From the year 1000 A.D. through present day, you can map major news, technical events, disasters and world leaders within the life of anyone, fictional or non-fictional! You can also add events to create a customized timeline for your character, creating a helpful frame of reference for your story-line. Just enter a time frame from five to 140 years and your personal additions on the form. Within seconds, your timeline is created! Be sure to select the option for a printable version for a hard copy you can refer back to over and over!

The site is offered as a free service that exists through the generosity of donations.

Give OurTimeLines.com a try today! Have fun, create your timeline, and go write!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Blogging On The Road

Hello All,

If you've been keeping up with the blog, you know that I am currently visiting my family. I live in West Virginia near Charleston, the state capital. The area is beautiful and very interesting, an eclectic mixture of buildings from the century past mixed with current industry and architecture. All of this is nestled in the Kanawha Valley amidst towering, lushly forested mountains. There seems to always be something around every corner and curve in the road worth slowing down for a closer look.

However, I grew up in Upper East Tennessee, right in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and that is where my heart will always be. It is hard to express how happy I am to be back for a visit. Whether I am walking along in Historic Downtown Jonesborough (stopping in at the old-fashioned Ice-Cream Parlor, of course) or popping over to the Hyperlink Cafe in Johnson City (where I am at this very moment!), this area is truly the best mix of old an new. To top it off, the Johnson City/Jonesborough area has everything that a big city, like Atlanta, has to offer while retaining the "ye olde-tyme" charm of country living, with acres upon acres of farm-land within only a 10 or 15 minute radius of the hustle-N'-bustle!

Wide-open countryside, fresh air, and a relaxed style of living along with the convenience of a progressive "big city" makes this area unique - the best of both worlds! No matter where our careers may take us in this world, Upper East Tennessee is where my husband and I will end up. I just hope we don't have to wait until retirement to make that happen.

Watch for more writing articles and resources in a few days when I arrive home in West Virginia. Until then, I hope you enjoyed these thoughts about my childhood home.

Cheers!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Revising, Editing, and Proofreading Your Writing

from the Creative Perspectives Newsletter


So, you have that first draft completed. Congratulations! Some new writers have a difficult time getting that far. Why? The urge to revise, edit, and proofread while involved in the initial creative process is hard to resist. Most beginners haven't yet accepted that their first draft shouldn't be perfect. Instead, they try to do
everything as they go along and dampen that creative spark, loosing interest in the project before it is completed.

So, the first lesson is to move ahead and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and worry about the polish later. Whether you plan your story meticulously before writing or work out your ideas as you go along, just get to it! Don't expect or try for perfection the first go 'round.

However, the second lesson is to make sure you HAVE put a high-gloss spit shine on your work before it leaves the nest, stretching its wings for the first time out in the big, bad world. To do this, you must Revise, Edit, and Proofread.


REVISING

Revising is the process of changing what you need to better satisfy your purpose and audience. You will examine words, sentences, paragraphs, and the overall flow of the work in its entirety. Walk away from the draft and come back a day or two later before beginning. Also, endeavor to look at your writing critically, just as a stranger would.

When you revise, you do four things:

1) Cut material.

Unnecessary sentences or paragraphs that slow the pace of your story to a crawl or are irrelevant fillers should fall to the knife. For example, two escaped convicts being chased by hounds probably wouldn't have a conversation about the dogs they owned as children while hiding in a tree.

2) Replace material.

We all tend to gloss over material we aren't sure about, giving a generic surface description. Replace this with sentences or paragraphs that add clarity and depth.

3) Add material.

Watch for sudden jumps from scene to scene and add transitional words, phrases, or even paragraphs. Be sure there is enough description to add atmosphere to a scene. For example, the expression on a woman's face, the color and fullness of her lips, and the texture and movement of her mouth all add to the written description of a kiss.

4) Rearrange what's already there.

You will find that, as you revise, rearranging sentences and paragraphs will be necessary to ensure the flow, pace, and clarity of your material. Don't be surprised if the finished product is radically different from the original draft.


EDITING

When editing, you are making changes to ensure your writing is grammatically correct. You will check for mistakes in grammar, usage, and mechanics (spelling, punctuation, and capitalization). We, as the writer, tend to see what we know should be in our manuscript instead of what is actually there. So, go over your manuscript again and again.

Following is a checklist to use while editing:

Sentences

___ 1. Fragments
___ 2. Run-ons

Spelling

___ 1. Missing letters
___ 2. Extra letters
___ 3. Transposed letters
___ 4. Incorrect plurals
___ 5. Errors in homonyms (such as, their/there/they're)

Usage

___ 1. Errors in pronouns (such as, who/whom)
___ 2. Problems with subject - verb agreement
___ 3. Lack of clarity
___ 4. Wrong verb tense
___ 5. Double negatives
___ 6. Dangling and misplaced modifiers
___ 7. Unnecessary words
___ 8. Misused adjectives and adverbs
___ 9. Incorrect voice (active vs. passive voice)
___ 10. Lack of parallel structure

Parallel structure example:

Correct - Cotton is comfortable and washable.
Incorrect - Cotton is comfortable and one can wash it.

Punctuation

___ 1. Missing commas
___ 2. Missing quotation marks in dialogue
___ 3. Misused semicolons and colons
___ 4. Missing or misused apostrophes

Capitalization

___ 1. Proper nouns and adjectives not capitalized
___ 2. Errors in titles


PROOFREADING

Proofreading is the final step. Consider it the garnish, the added touch before presentation. Once again, you will be examining spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage. However, this time you will be slowing down, disassociating yourself from the story-line and looking at each individual letter and word.

If you are proofreading your own work, this task is especially hard to do. Remember, as the writer, we tend to see what should be there instead of what actually is. And, disassociating ourselves from our own writing is a daunting task.

Ideally, find someone else to proofread your manuscript. Make sure they can be critical and honest with you. Bribe them if necessary.

If you are stuck doing it on your own, try proofreading backwards. Start from the last page and work your way back to the beginning. This will help you disassociate yourself.


Revising, editing, and proofreading are critical to the success of your finished product. Do NOT skip these important steps of the process!

Happy Writing,

K. Campbell
klynn(at)kendralynn(dot)com


Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (free ebook)

Well, the time is ripe for a VACATION. With a twinkle in my eye, three clicks of my heels, and a firm grip on the few measley dollars I've saved, my little 4-cylinder coach shall take me away. Who could resist a fun filled week of hugs, food, and arguments with their extended family? Not me! So, off I go.

I shall leave you with a free eBook to occupy your time. Download The Jungle Book (459kb) by Rudyard Kipling and enjoy!

Cheers!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

New Original Fiction in the Spotlight @ Kendralynn.com

Kendralynn.com is proud to archive the short stories listed below by Clive Allen. Witty and light-hearted while knocking you down with a feather pillow instead of a sledgehammer with insightful prose sure to appeal to readers of all interests.

---

Do programmers talk to their creations? Can lines of code become sentient? What kind of adventures would a program named Sir Gawain get into? Find out the answers to these questions and more while reading A Very Parfit Knight, the first installment of a (hopefully) long-running, imagination tweaking series. Geeks and lay-people alike are sure to enjoy!

When was the last time you enjoyed a Parable containing a positive message? Be sure to read and share with your children A Tale of Two Tailors, a thought-provoking, original Fairy Tale.

New Fanfiction in the Spotlight @ Kendralynn.com

Fanfiction @ Kendralynn.com has some great new additions!

If you like reading fan fiction about Highlander, Remus Lupin, or Andromeda, then visit Kendralynn.com's Fanfiction Spotlight today!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

About CyberJournalist.net - News and commentary about online journalism.

From CyberJournalist.net:

CyberJournalist.net is a news and resource site that focuses on how the Internet, convergence and new technologies are changing the media.

The site offers tips, news and commentary about online journalism, digital storytelling, converged news operations and using the Internet as a reporting tool.

CyberJournalist.net highlights examples of online journalism with the aim of recognizing those who do great work and helping those who don't. The site also explores how technology is affecting journalism, with an emphasis on how the Internet can help all journalists better do their jobs.
Visit today for the latest Headlines, Tips & Tools, Online Media Jobs, Resources, and more!

http://www.cyberjournalist.net/

Monday, April 11, 2005

Using the Elements of Figurative Language in Writing

In the current issue of the Creative Perspectives Newsletter:

Using the Elements of Figurative Language in Writing

Subscribe to Creative Perspectives for free and access the archives for more great articles!

A Writer's Journey - Giving Your Character A Name

Author: Tressa Strong

Welcome Writer to "A Writer's Journey"

As you all know, to us writers our characters become much like children to us. Therefore, they should be deserving of a worthy name. A name that reflects their personality, background, etc.

When selecting your character's name, there are several things that you should consider first:


Read More...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Five Agencies Representing Memoirs

From WritersMarket.com -

While autobiographies cover an entire life, memoirs cover specific sections of a life. Here are five updated listings for agencies that handle memoirs:

Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc., represents 500 clients. This agency responds to submissions in 2 months. They prefer an initial query by traditional mail or fax. This agency sold 200 titles in the last year.

John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., represents over 100 clients. This agency responds in 1 month to queries via e-mail or by post. Established in 1893, this agency obtains most new clients through recommendations from others.

Hornfischer Literary Management, Inc., represents 45 clients. This agency responds in 6-8 weeks to queries via e-mail or by post. Established in 2001, this agency obtains most new clients through referrals from clients, reading books and magazines, and pursuing ideas with New York editors.

JCA Literary Agency represents 100 clients. This agency responds in 2 weeks to queries and 10 weeks to manuscripts (through traditional mail only). Established in 1978, this agency obtains most new clients through recommendations from others, submissions, and writers’ conferences.

Manus & Associates Literary Agency, Inc., represents 75 clients. This agency responds to submissions in 3 months. Established in 1985, this agency obtains most new clients through recommendations from others, submissions, and writers’ conferences.




Wednesday, April 06, 2005

WritersDigest.com Self-Published Competition

Self-Published Authors can enter the 13th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.

Deadline: Monday, May 02, 2005

Win $3,000 in cash! Gain international exposure for your book! Catch the attention of prospective editors and publishers!

Writer's Digest is searching for the best self-published books of the past few years. Whether you're a professional writer, part-time freelancer, or a self-starting student, here's your chance to enter the only competition exclusively for self-published books!

Visit http://www.writersdigest.com/contests/self_published.asp for more information.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Writing Contests @ Writing.com

Writing.com is a great place to meet and mingle with other writers. Membership is free and an online portfolio is provided to display your work. Writing.com is also a helpful place for receiving constructive feedback on screenplays, novels, short stories, poetry, and much more!

Writing contests abound within the community and are one of the best ways to ensure you get thorough, in-depth criticism for your work. Prizes include graphical Merit Badges, Ribbons, Trophies, and Community Gift Points.

There are so many benefits to joining Writing.com that I can't list them all here! So, go get your free membership and dive in or read more about the community first. Either way, you will be happy you did!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Revising, Editing, and Proofreading Your Manuscript

The current issue of Creative Perspectives talks about Revising, Editing, and Proofreading your manuscript. These steps are critical to the success of your finished product and are explained in-depth.

Make sure you put a high-gloss spit shine on your work before it leaves the nest, stretching its wings for the first time out in the big, bad world. To do this, you must Revise, Edit, and Proofread!

Advice on Novel Writing - Free, In-Depth Resource

Advice on Novel Writing is a free, newbie's writing resource provided by published Author, Crawford Kilian.

Although posted in 1992, this in-depth advice still holds a lot of relevance for today's beginners. Following are some of the topics discussed:

  • Elements of a Successful Story
  • Manuscript Format
  • Plotting
  • Symbolism
  • Narrative Voice
  • Constructing a Scene
  • Show and Tell: Which is better?
  • Characters
  • Dialogue
  • Writing a Query Letter
  • ...and More!

Grab a drink and settle in for a good read!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Legal Articles for Writers and Publishers

Articles for Writers and Publishers is a website by California Attorney, Ivan Hoffman.

Article Topics Include:

  • Foreign Rights
  • Contracts
  • Distribution
  • Copyrights
  • Fair Use Under the Copyright Law
  • Misc.

Following is the site's disclaimer:

This web site and these articles are not legal advice and are not intended as legal advice. This web site and these articles are intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This web site and these articles are not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This web site and these articles are based on United States law. You should consult with an attorney familiar with the issues and the laws of your country. This web site and these articles do not create any attorney client relationship between you and Ivan Hoffman. This web site and the articles contained on this web site are not solicitations.


Here is my disclaimer:

The link to http://www.ivanhoffman.com/helpful.html provided by me is done for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement for or affiliation with Ivan Hoffman or any content found on his website.