Perfection in Publishing: No Excuses

noexcusesOur Fearless Leader, Stephen Hise, recently was featured on a blurb.com blog talking about what it takes to be a successful indie writer. Or rather, what it takes to not be a successful indie writer. He points out all the places were a writer might fall short, either in expectation, attitude or in deed. One of the reasons an author might not do well is:

You are big on excuses.
Indie-land is a no-excuse zone. Don’t put out some typo-riddled book with a cheesy, amateurish cover and expect people to overlook its flaws just because you’re an indie. Help is out there. You can hire it or you can learn some new skills. You can even find folks who will help you get it right, or trade their services for something you do well.

This reminded me of something I read, oh, about 35 years ago in a photography magazine. I am a photographer in my spare time, sometimes professionally but mostly not. I had my own photography business ages ago—shot some weddings, shot some portraits, even won some awards. I used to read photo magazines religiously. I don’t now remember which magazine it was or who the author was, but I read this article about being a professional photographer. I will paraphrase what I read, or at least what I remember through the lens of all those years: Continue reading “Perfection in Publishing: No Excuses”

Book Brief: On the Right Side

On the Right SideOn The Right Side: My Story of Survival and Success
by Karen Magill
Genre: Memoir
Word count: 43,000

What if you woke one day to find yourself paralysed on one side of your body?

That’s what happened to Karen Magill on June 5, 2000. Nine days later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and just over three months after that, she had to leave the best job she had ever had. Ms. Magill started on a frightening, confusing journey.

Then something interesting happened. Once Karen began adjusting to her new circumstances, coming to terms with the fact that her former life had vanished, she realized that the MS was a gift. Her eyes opened to the possibilities around her.

On The Right Side, My Story of Survival and Success looks at Ms. Magill’s life with MS and the factors in life which influence her. This isn’t a how-to book on living well with chronic illness, but rather a touching, opinionated, sometimes humorous story on how one person has gone from partial paralysis to jumping to touch low hanging tree leaves.

Continue reading “Book Brief: On the Right Side”

9 Tips for Writing an Insane Character

tiana warnerGuest Post
by Tiana Warner

Nothing beats a good insane character. They’re unpredictable, obsessive, totally spellbinding … and hard to write. Their arcs and motivations can differ completely from ordinary characters. Saying you’re going to write an insane character, however, is like going to a steakhouse and ordering a beef and a wine. You need to get specific. There are about a million types of crazy.

I spent two years studying some of the best crazy characters in order to understand what works best. I even took a university class on abnormal psychology. (Yeah. I went there.) Through it all, I came up with nine ways to intensify the character. For those of you looking to lose your fictional marbles, let me share what I’ve learned. Continue reading “9 Tips for Writing an Insane Character”

Anthems for Authors – Writers Block

I think this song and the video do a perfect job describing a writer’s mind during “writers block.” While I personally don’t believe that exists (it’s fear – of what, depends on the author), I do see these sorts of non-sensical brain meanderings as typical when an author is procrastinating or confused about writing a scene.

Without further ado, here is Just Jack singing Writers Block.

Like Anthems for Authors? You can see more here.

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