Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! How was your week? Mine was a hodgepodge of work and family activities. No two days were the same. I kind of like that (although not when it involves loved ones having surgery—my dog on Tuesday and my dad today). But in general, I think variety makes my mind sharper.

I believe it makes things better, too. Felix Mendelssohn said it best:

The essence of the beautiful
is in unity of variety.

If I need a doctor for something, I absolutely want a specialist. But if we’re talking art (like writing) or even everyday life, I want variety. Melody and harmony. Warm colors and cool. Sweet and savory.

Research and outlining and writing and editing.

It’s the combination of different aspects that takes the tedious and mundane and elevates it to something wonderful.

Every day this week I had a different task to complete, and I think they…

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3 Reasons Self-Published Books Fail

A Writer's Path

by Laura Peters

The introduction of self-publishing on sites like Amazon has opened up new avenues for writers to get their work read. A lot of writers still maintain that you can’t find success without going through a traditional publisher but that isn’t necessarily the case. Take The Martian by Andy Weir. It started out as a series of short chapters published on his blog which he then decided to sell on Amazon for next to nothing. It soon topped the best sellers list for science fiction, got picked up by a production company that turned it into a movie, and now it’s been picked up by a publisher and it’s a massive seller. Stories like these might be rare, but it just goes to show that self-publishing isn’t the lost cause that people think it is. However, a massive percentage of people that self-publish don’t really get anywhere, so…

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Cooperation vs Competition: Interacting With Other Authors

A Writer's Path

by Doug Lewars

My experience with authors is that they’re a pretty supportive lot.  This is not always the case. I remember reading comments in a group by one author who refused to have much to do with others. Her argument was that her time was limited and spending it with other authors was sub-optimal.  Maybe someone like Stephen King or JK Rowling doesn’t benefit to any great extent from working with others but I believe in general it’s a good idea.

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How Amazon Destroyed Publishing

Nicholas C. Rossis

Typewriter | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Then, Amazon came along and turned everything upside down. Including typewriters!

In my previous post, How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble, I explained how Amazon (alone) could not be held responsible for the bookstore’s troubles.

This post addresses another common complaint, that Amazon has destroyed publishing.

Again, things are not as black and white as that. Yes, Amazon is a shark. But it was the publishing industry which made blunder after blunder, allowing Amazon to take advantage of their mistakes.

Let’s take things from the start.

A Brief History of 20th Century Publishing

As Kristen Lamb points out in her must-read post, Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers, publishing worked in a pretty standard way for over a century. Writers would take their books to publishers. If their pitch was successful, the publishers would then sign them on, publish the books, and distribute…

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The Importance of Magical and Messy Moments For Writers #AmWriting

BlondeWriteMore

The creative process for producing any kind of art is both magical and messy.

It doesn’t matter whether you paint, draw, play an instrument or write, your art will sometimes surprise and delight you and other times it will cause mess.

The following moments are what I call messy for writers:

  • A draft full of moon crater-sized plot holes.
  • Doing a serious amount of cringing whilst writing your first draft.
  • Falling down a gigantic plot hole which you never saw coming.
  • Reading your draft and realising it reads nothing like the bestseller in your head.
  • Having no clue whatsoever about where your creative muse is taking you with your story.
  • Discovering a major problem with a character or your plot.
  • Chucking your draft in the waste paper bin because it is a big pile of literary wrongs and then returning to it a few hours later, tear stained and…

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How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble

Nicholas C. Rossis

Woman reading | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book What B&N should be like (in my dreams)

I apologize for the click-bait title. I only used it because I’m fed up with that claim, especially now that Barnes & Noble were sold on June 7 to a hedge fund after years of trouble. Everyone seems to be blaming Amazon for that, instead of placing the blame squarely where it belongs: the disastrous decisions of Barnes & Noble’s management.

But let’s take things from the start.

Barnes & Noble Troubles Ran Deeper Than the Amazon

After years of trouble, Barnes & Noble were sold to Elliot Advisors, a hedge fund. I’m mentioning the name because it matters. A lot. (more on that later).

According to the New York Times:

Barnes & Noble has been decimated by the strength of online booksellers like Amazon and struggled to make a profit. The company has closed more than 150 stores in the…

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Forget the Muse

A Writer's Path

by Michael Mohr

Today I wanted to talk about the process and act of writing. What I mean by that is the simple craft of regularly putting pen to paper. As Stephen King famously said, “Amateurs wait for the muse to come. The rest of us get working.” That is so incredibly true. When I was a creative writing undergrad at San Francisco State University, like many young [writing] students, I thought that, when the ‘muse’ came, I could then write the Great American Novel.

The truth is—any professional can affirm this—and I hate to break your heart here: There is no muse. The muse is like Santa Clause; it’s a hoax that we tell beginners to try and inspire them. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But at some point, if you take yourself seriously as a writer, you will have to let go of the Santa Clause…

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Period Images

Nicholas C. Rossis

Period Images | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookI have been sharing information on various resources for book covers lately, for example with my posts on Free Transparent Logos and Images and A Free Mockup Book Cover Maker. I recently came across a website which has some great material for authors of fantasy, historical romance, and anything to do with period settings. The aptly called Period Images website specializes in book covers featuring anything from cowboys to pirates and ancient soldiers.

Since it’s geared up toward Indie authors, the artwork is licensed for use in both ebook and print book, including promotional materials, and is only sold once. It comes in the perfect dimensions for your book cover and can answer that dreadful question, “where am I going to find a photo of a Scottish brute wielding a claymore?”

Unfortunately, it’s not free. It is, however, very decently priced, with most of the art going for around…

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Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links

Staci Troilo

Ciao, amici! I’ve been busy with rewrites and revisions this week, which (for me) is a combination of glee, stress, and oh-my-god-how-do-I-suck-this-much.

I’ll admit to writing a few beautiful sentences, but I also have to admit to writing a few that simply made no sense. Maybe they would to Lewis Carroll readers (any fans of Jabberwocky here?), but not to many others. There are instances of questionable spelling (and that’s being kind) and sentence structure so poor, I’m amazed I can figure out what I meant. I’ve even found one that just stops. It didn’t end, mind you. There was no completion of thought followed by a period or other punctuation mark. It just dropped off, mid-thought.

The worst part? I have no idea what I wanted to say there.

It’s a process like this which makes Reba McEntire’s words resonate with me:

To succeed in life, you need…

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A Criminal Lawyer’s Tips for Writing Legal Thrillers. Guest Post by Author/Attorney Ed Rucker

Lit World Interviews

Ed Rucker, Attorney and Author photoToday’s guest author is Ed Rucker, author of The Inevitable Witness.  He’s a criminal defense lawyer in California who has tried over 200 jury trials, including 13 death penalty cases. His forthcoming legal thriller, Justice Makes A Killing, will be released in July 2019.

Who better than this guy to give write this post?

A Criminal Lawyer’s Tips for Writing Legal Thrillers

  1. Plot Requires Tension

Trying a criminal case has much in common with the creation of a mystery plot; in a jury trial, both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer are storytellers – although their stories are radically different.

When the police investigate a crime, they uncover and assemble an array of “facts,” such as witnesses, documents or forensic evidence. The prosecutor then weaves these facts together into a story, one that shows that the defendant committed the crime. In the prosecutor’s story, the defendant is propelled by a…

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