Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
1. Keep to your goal: 50,000 words divided into 30 bites = 1,667 words each day! or for week-end warriors -- 4 BIG bites of 12,500 words each.
2. When you hit a "bump" in the story -- KEEP WRITING and don't look back. (It's just your mind trying to trick you because it wants to take the easy way out and quit before reaching the finish line.)
3. Pick a place and time -- it's easier when you can tell the family or whoever tends to bug you when you're doing something important, (that's NaNo, of course). Just tell them, "I'm going to write, now. DON'T BOTHER ME."
4. Don't sweat the small stuff -- (hmm, not really trying to highjack your title, Mr. Carlson) There is plenty of time AFTER November to edit, revise, edit, revise and so on. So, ... (refer back to #2 tip).
5. Get some sleep! -- Your creative side won't appreciate working with your grouchy, semi-conscious side. Trust me, even with 50,000 words and a winner's finish, you'll still have a train wreck on your hands and no amount of editing/revising will salvage it!
Monday, October 25, 2010
So cruize on over and climb aboard the NaNo train. Exercise your creative writing muscles! That's what they are there for. Right?!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
A Date to Die For - Part III
And for those who need the links to Part I and Part II:
Story Part I
Story Part II
Thanks to all for your support!
Have a story that is ghoulish? Ready for the Halloween mindset? If you want to enter New Fiction Writers Halloween Story Contest, check out the details. Tell Tony I sent you :-)
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Needing promotional items for your book? This site helps with that. Anything from t-shirts to kitchen gadgets that you want to put your "label" on, this is the place to find the means to do it. Check it out ....
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Anyway, just curious to your opinions .... what is your preference? Do you ever listen to stories and books?
And please, if you get some free time ... or want to multitask ... check out the website and have a listen. If not to my story, then to the many others podcasted at Tony Whitford's creation, New Fiction Writers. Enjoy!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
A DATE TO DIE FOR PODCAST
Thursday, September 9, 2010
And if you want to jazz up your font look, try the features on these websites:
Freefonts and Font Space
Of course, if you are just looking for something free AND fun, this next website will fill the need. You supply a sample of your writing and find out which author's style matches yours. What a boost that can be! Even if it's just for kicks. Check it out:
I Write Like
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!
Monday, August 23, 2010
In any case, if this is something you've often thought about, please read her articles. Debra offers many practical tips to get you started and give you confidence so even the shy, solitary you can be successful in your book-selling endeavors.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Hunters, where does Hope nest?
Not in the half-oped breast,
Nor the young rose,
Nor April sunrise—those
With a quick wing she brushes,
The wide world through,
Greets with the throat of thrushes,
Fades from as fast as dew.
But, would you spy her sleeping,
Look in the breast of weeping,
The tree stript by storm;
But, would you bind her fast,
Yours at last,
Bed-mate and lover,
Gain the last headland bare
That the cold tides cover,
There may you capture her, there,
Where the sea gives to the ground
Only the drift of the drowned.
Yet, if she slips you, once found,
Push to her uttermost lair
In the low house of despair.
There will she watch by your head,
Sing to you till you be dead,
Then, with your child in her breast,
In another heart build a new nest.
Happy hunting for the name :-)
"Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future."
Luck to all!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Just giving it some personal thought, and evidence to substantiate, there are a lot of ebooks out there that need more polishing before they hit the ebook store, but I feel that will change. As more and more legitimate publishers consider first edition ebooks as their strategy, more time and effort will be given to editing. In any case, for those who might want to read more, check out the web article on the opinion of one publisher:
E Publishing Will Replace Traditional Books
Friday, July 30, 2010
On the way, I had time to mull over recent events. Stone had a major movie deal in the works, and then he is murdered. I find myself at the crime scene, get conked on the head, and accused of the murder. This being after an incriminating note is planted in my handbag. Somehow the movie contract has Stone's signature on it, along with Orville's, the one person who gains all profit from the deal posthumously, and Earl's. So, in my mind, that narrowed down the possible suspects to Orville and Earl. Though circumstances seemed to point more toward Earl Honeyville as the murderer, I wasn't convinced. What needled me with doubt was his capability to pull it off, solo. He just seemed too much of a flake to me.
"You know, I've been thinking. What if Earl had help."
"Yeah. Let's say he murdered Stone, but had help." Inside my head the wheels kept rolling.
"Like who? Orville?"
"Maybe." The wheels came to an abrupt halt. "It wasn't killer squirrels. It was kill her Earl!" I pulled up straight and grinned at Kline who by now gave me that look.
Read the grand finale by visiting my website. And if the urge tickles you, drop a line in my guestbook :-) Cheers!
Kathryn Long's Booknook
Thursday, July 29, 2010
"Look at the ugliness. Yet one has a feeling within one that blinds a man while he loves you. You, with that feeling, blind him, and blind yourself. Then, one day, for no reason, he sees you as ugly as you really are and he is not blind anymore and then you see yourself as ugly as he sees you and you lose your man and your feeling... After a while, when you are as ugly as I am, as ugly as women can be, then, as I say after a while the feeling, the idiotic feeling that you are beautiful, grows slowly in one again. It grows like a cabbage. And then, when the feeling is grown, another man sees you and thinks you are beautiful and it is all to do over."
Title and author name, please!
Good luck :-) Congrats to Joel with the correct answer: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
Friday, July 23, 2010
Atlanta Movies Inc. sat on the outskirts of the city. The movie set consisted of some indoor studios and several buildings on the outdoor lot. Kline and I found an empty parking space in the visitor's lot.
"Okay, let's go over this one more time," I said. "I show them my press credentials and start up a dialog. Once I get them to take me on a tour of the studio, you pretend like you're ill. They'll let you stay in the office. And then when you're alone you can snoop to find the contract. Simple."
Read more at:
Kathryn Long's BookNook
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Okay, that's a way to deal with certain words. For instance, you can't really shorten the word "then". But what about those phrases where being more consise would help? If you write "twelve midnight" do you really need the word "twelve"? Just write "midnight". Or "in the event that" can become "if". It's a personal choice, after all, and there are plenty of accomplished and reknowned authors who are quite verbose in their style. William Faulker or Stephen King, for instance. But then those such as Steinbeck show sparse detail, i.e. get to the point, no fluff, no fuss, just be clear enough. The following page has a chart listing of several example phrases and how you can tighten them up. Worth a look, I'd say. (Make sure you scroll down the page a bit to find the chart.)
Here's to being consise!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Writer Advice -- not only provides advice, but also showcases author work and websites in their reviews. An added bonus is their listing of contests and markets.
Writing Fix -- for teachers and students as well as writers, known as home of the interactive writing prompt, this site provides many tips and resources, including information about workshops and classes.
I could hear him on the other side of the wall. While I sat in a holding cell, Kline and the Captain had a heated discussion.
"You can't arrest her with your only defense being she was found there with the body. Hell, she was knocked out cold. Who did that?"
"I'm certainly aware of the law, detective. We have other evidence. And it's not circumstantial."
"And what would that evidence be?"
I wanted to emit an "oh, oh" because I recognized that undertone in Kline's voice. He seldom used it. Only when his anger thermometer rose above one hundred. And it wasn't pretty. I decided maybe the Captain detected it, too, because he offered up the information without anymore persuasion.
"We found a note in her handbag."
To read more, visit:
Kathryn Long's BookNook
Monday, July 12, 2010
"I love book signings. They give me a chance to socialize after a very long stint in hermit-like existence. And like most writers I enjoy being able to create and control my make believe world. What I don't love is when my real world gets messy. There's no control in that. Like murder, for instance. That's real messy. So, it's understandable that the book event in Atlanta changed my opinion about book signings. About a lot of things, actually. Murder does that to a person."
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
- Generic Beginnings
- Slow Beginnings
- Trying Too Hard
- Too Much Info
- Loss of Focus
- Unrealistic Internal Narrative
The information for this post was gathered at a writers' conference where several agents listened to openings -- first 250 words -- of manuscripts and gave feedback. For more details, check out: WHY AGENTS STOP READING
Monday, June 14, 2010
"It ain't that big. The whole United States ain't that big. It ain't that big. It ain't big enough. There ain't room enough for you an' me, for your kind an' my kind, for rich and poor together all in one country, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat."
Sunday, June 13, 2010
ENHANCE MY VOCABULARY
And remember -- keep avoiding those cliches!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
This one comes from the Poetry Foundation, the publisher of Poetry magazine. It has tools for the poet, information about events, awards, and a magazine so you can submit work. Nice site.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
So, with that said, it should seem to you very important to find out everything you can about your characters before you cut them loose on their journey through the plot of your story. The question is how? What should you do, what steps should you take to get to that point? First of all, you need to remember that story characters are people like you and me. Only they are in your book. To make them human means there are several points to consider. The character's motive, habits, interests, talents, past history, reputation are all important to development. Identifying these will turn your story people into real people who readers can identify with and sympathize with. They will become so invested in the characters that reading on until the very end becomes a must.
The tiny details are important. You can keep molding and adding those aspects to your characters, fleshing them out until the decisions and actions they perform in the story seem logical and believable. For instance, let's consider habits. Perhaps you could give a character the habit of chewing his nails to show a nervous personality, or someone who always doodles on her napkin after a meal, and then later a napkin is found at a crime scene. It has scribbles all over it, thus providing a clue. The character's interest in judo and the fact that the murder victim taught a judo class at a gym your napkin scribbler frequented makes the reader point a finger in her direction. These are just a few examples of how intricate the process of developing believable characters can be.
Where you get your ideas may vary. Strangers you observe, yourself. And sometimes characters are inspired by people you know. This works if you use them only as a starting point. From there, you should develop them according to what you'll need for your story. Flesh them out with those tiny details of habits, talent, motive, interests, etc. Then ask questions based on your story events. For instance, you want to write an opening scene where the character is home alone. There's a pounding on the door, someone shouting, demanding to be let in. Now, start the causal question process: what does the character do? Remember this depends on all those aspects you've created about the character. If it's the nail biter, maybe he'll hide in the closet, pretend he's not home. Next question: The guy breaks down the door and finds the nail biter. What does he do? He has a brave moment and uses the baseball bat stored in the closet and hits the intruder. You could insert a plot twist here: turns out it's nail biter's brother who has come to tell him his wife has been in a serious car accident. And the question process takes a turn and goes on from there. The point is, the better you know your characters, the easier it is to decide what to make them do, how to act. And the more believable they become to the reader.
For more about character development, a great source is Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Card.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
"Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self, and then there were nine. Nine Little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves then there were six. Six Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumble-bee stung one then there were five. Five Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery then there were four. Four Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one then there were three. Three Indian boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one then there were two. Two Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got all frizzled up then there was one. One Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none."
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.
Good luck as always!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
It's difficult though. They are like a particular song that gets stuck in your head. You want to clear your mind of it, but it just keeps playing and playing and playing. You think of nothing else. Cliches are there in our minds, concrete walls that block our creative construction. And it probably doesn't matter when we write our first draft. That, after all, is when we keep the story moving; it's our main purpose. But then when it's time to get rid of them, replacing them with some original lines of our own ... not so easy. Do it anyway! It's worth the hard work and effort.
A couple of tips:
Deciding if a cliche is really a cliche - try checking out websites like, Cliche Site or West Egg . They might help you make a decision. Another way is to have someone else hear you say the first half of the phrase, and then see if he can finish it. Cliches usually pop up in a person's mind immediately.
To anti-cliche - take a cliche and try replacing words to work it into something original. For instance, "when all's said and done" could become "when nothing is left to do or say", or something like that. The point is to leave them out, even if the language you replace them with isn't clever and witty. Cliches are just that much worse.
Not everyone will agree on what is cliche. And some will be unavoidable - by choice or not. However, original writing is what to strive for. Who knows? One day your unique weave of words may even become a cliche!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
It's always nice to have word banks to choose from, much like we do when using the thesaurus. So, I decided to search and find anything online that would give a list of colors. Well, I hit the mother lode in an unlikely place: wikapedia. I know, I know, this is usually NOT a source I rely on, or at least I tell my students to beware of the acuracy and to check other more reliable sources. But this is about colors, right? No harm in reading it. I must admit it's good, even great, complete with color graphs on which to feast your eyes.
Here is a comprised list of the more, shall we say, uncommon shades. For a more detailed description, check out the link posted below.
Red: carnelian, coquelicot, rose madder, sinopia, vermilion
Orange: carrot orange, gamboge, persimmon, tangelo, tenne (tawny)
Brown: burnt sienna, desert sand, ecru, raw umber, russet, sepia, taupe
Yellow: aureolin, citrine, jonquil, mikado yellow, saffron, sunglow, Vegas gold
Gray: cinereous, seal brown, Xanadu
Green: chartreuse, gray-asparagus, myrtle, olive drab, spring bud, viridian
Blue: bondi blue, cerulean, glaucous, iceberg, Maya blue, Tiffany blue, ultramarine
Violet: cerise, fandango, periwinkle, wisteria
Here's the link, if you want to know more: LIST OF COLORS
And of course you could always check your 64 count box of Crayola crayons! They make a great resource :-) Happy coloring with your words!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Of course once you've found something worth reading, it's nice to know where you can get the book. If you aren't sure whether you want to dish out the money to buy it, as we all know, libraries are a great alternative. This next site provides a database of libraries across the world:
And finally, if you still want to know more about the author of the book you've found, say for instance, his/her websites, etc., this author data base is a worthwhile stop:
AUTHOR YELLOW PAGES
Happy book shopping!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Rachelle Gardner on Pitching
Monday, May 10, 2010
This one is once again by a classic American Poet. Let's see who can remember this sonnet and its author:
Yon little cloud of ashen gray and gold,
Slowly upon the amber air unrolled,
The falling mantle of the Prophet seems.
From the dim headlands many a lighthouse gleams,
The street-lamps of the ocean; and behold,
O'erhead the banners of the night unfold;
The day hath passed into the land of dreams.
O summer day beside the joyous sea!
O summer day so wonderful and white,
So full of gladness and so full of pain!
Forever and forever shalt thou be
To some the gravestone of a dead delight,
To some the landmark of a new domain.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Do you think pitching at conferences is the best way?
Have you ever been to one and done this? If yes, where did you attend?
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Her points of advice cover: 1)not learning enough about the industry; 2)not accepting feedback; 3)not surrounding yourself with enough professionals; 4)not doing your research; 5)not clearly understanding how to measure success in booksales; 6)not understanding how New York publishing works; 7)playing the blame game; and 8)believing in the unbelievable.
As a teacher, I'm very familiar with the philosophy of being well-prepared and well-informed before you go forth and do, well, whatever it is you attempt to do. And as the author says, the mistakes you make in publishing may be costly in both time and money. And with the Internet at our fingertips, we have an unending resource of advice to read. Unfortunately, not all of it is well-intended. As one might figure, there are some unscrupulous people out there. Taking the time to learn about the industry before you try to sell your masterpiece is essential.
In any case, take a look at what this article has to offer: Why Some Authors Fail
Friday, May 7, 2010
Let's try this one.... slightly more contemporary, but still a classic and well-read.
"Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about her. He disliked nearly all woman, and especially the young and pretty ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
What that involves is really rather simple. Start with a broad, skeleton. It could be just three major sections -- beginning, middle, and end. Then add several subsections to each for your scenes. Typing this in a word document works well because you will be able to expand each section as you add information. For supplementals to go along with your outline, I would suggest creating a plot line. Label it with the essential elements: exposition; conflict; rising action; climax; falling action; and resolution. Leave room for the details you will add to these elements. It's a great visual for you to continually refer back to. Even a timeline is a helpful tool. I've often created one the way I've done in the classroom: a big piece of poster paper taped on the wall to add events as I develop them. One more idea is using index cards with events. The advantage to these is that if you need to rearrange or shift your order of events, you can just switch the cards around.
Of course there are various approaches to this process. Some prefer to start with developing characters, at least the main ones. Creating a "resume" for each, complete with all the background info -- job, birth date, family, etc., and strengths, weaknesses, traits, i.e. just about anything you can think of to give them life, is essential. When the story hits a rut, these well-developed characters can help move it along. They will know what to do even if you don't!
All of these tools can implement the writing process. How and when you use them is the key. Overall, it's wise to use some organizational tool. To just dig in and start writing your story without knowing where you're going may lead you into the wilderness with no way out! Seriously, the "no-plan" method works for some, but I'd venture to say that it's rare.
Do you have a preference? Do you organize your ideas? Let's hear your thoughts.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Perhaps it's a matter of choice. You do it very carefully, wisely, and judiciously. Chew on it awhile to see if it sounds right. Then, if it doesn't work, pitch it out and start over. Boy, writing is hard, isn't it? At least it is if you want it done well.
So, what do you think? Is the thesaurus your friend? Do you use it often? And how would you advise people to use or not use it?
Monday, May 3, 2010
Everyone -- unless you live under that proverbial rock -- knows about Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. These all provide a platform for social or business networking. Each has its own unique draw, depending on your reasons for signing up, and they are pretty easy to use.
One not so familiar though, but is ranked in the top five among users in the U.S., is LinkedIn . For business networking it's the best. Here, you can find discussions to help answer your questions or share your know how. Even better, it's a place where employers post jobs. And they will search the site for people who fit their needs. So, polish up your profile and show off what you know! Your contributions to discussions and articles give you that opportunity. It's also a way to gain referrals.
Of course, as with anything, it's a mixed bag -- there's the good, bad, and the ugly. We all want the good aspects of networking to come our way. Some useful guidelines help to achieve just that.
- If you don't want info to be publicly known, don't share it.
- Find a network that fits your needs and provide info that caters to those needs; if you're a writer, write about writing tips :-)
- Project and network -- OFTEN; people won't know you exist if you don't put yourself out there.
- Consider placing a photo of yourself on your profile -- it makes you real and approachable.
- Be consistent on your sites with what you advertise; helps people remember you.
- Find a tutorial to help you learn how to use these sites.
- Bottom line -- as the Nike commercial says, "Just do it!" or at least, just try it.
For a more detailed account of this topic, read Social Media on Writing-World.
So, how many of you partake in social networking? And how important is it to you?
Sunday, May 2, 2010
If this is what the author really believes, I disagree. The idea of writing what you know should include what you research. And let's face it, in this day and age you can research anything! That includes locations, time frames, professions, scientific know-how, and the list goes on. We have the resources, and we need to use them. Sure, living in a place can lend itself to making the setting "authentic", but there's nothing to stop a writer from networking and researching to get a handle on what's needed to describe a place, or to find any other info that validates the story.
So, in one respect, I agree with the author: take advantage and use what you DO know. However, I'd say, don't stop there. After all, the writing world and all its stories are our fantasies growing in our imaginations. If we want to write about the Shire, home to Bilbo Baggins or Dorothy's OZ and her trek through munchkin land, what's to stop us? After all, maybe we've never been there, but the places are familiar inside our heads. Right?
What are your views? Do you think it's too much of a gamble to venture out into realms we've never personally experienced? Or is the sky truly the limit?
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Top Five Tips for Writing Well , and thought I'd take the time to pass the advice along, in brief, and make a comment or two. Of course, lots of people have lots of tips and advice on writing, but it seems rather special coming from such a renowned and respected author as Hemingway. So, let's take a look.
Tip 1: Use short sentences. Seems reasonable, especially considering Hemingway's style of writing. And this seems to support the ideas given in my post on New-age reading habits. So many readers like that fast-paced novel--I certainly do--and short sentences help do the trick!
Tip 2: Use short first paragraphs. Considering tip number 1, this seems self-explanatory, doesn't it? Now, those of us who've read all the popular books on writing advice can attest to one very frequent tip: make sure you open with a great hook. Well, I'd imagine a long, flowery introduction with too much back story might dilute the impact of that hook, whereas a shorter one would enhance it.
Tip 3: Use vigorous English. I believe nowadays we would refer to it as using powerful action words, ones that move the story and its characters along. Again, this seems to go hand in hand with what all readers want: a story that grabs them and keeps their attention.
Tip 4: Be positive, not negative. He wasn't talking about the downbeat, depressing, or negative thoughts or events your story might have. However, it does refer to your choice of words. Instead of saying what something isn't, say what it is. Otherwise, your reader will still be thinking of the negative part of the word. Example: even if you say something is painless, the reader might be thinking pain. Instead, when you say it is comfortable, no one is thinking about pain. This one seemed to be a bit over the top to me, but Hemingway must have thought it important enough to comment. Maybe I'm just not conscious of this when I read. I'll have to study on it awhile.
Tip 5: This one actually is taken from a comment Hemingway gave to Fitzgerald, more like a confession than a tip, though. To paraphrase, he claimed that for every page of masterpiece, he would write ninety-one pages of sh*t. And hopefully manage to put the sh*t in the wastebasket. There's a tip in there somewhere, I'm sure. Maybe it's to say that any writing we do is a process, much like a sculpture who starts with a lump of clay and works it into a fine piece of art. We write, we revise, and then revise some more. It's work, after all.
Friday, April 30, 2010
They were women then
My mama's generation
Husky of voice--stout of
With fists as well as
How they battered down
How they led
To discover books
A place for us
How they knew what we
Without knowing a page
Good luck to all! The time has passed..... And the answer is: Alice Walker
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It made sense, even if I didn't like what I was hearing. Kids have the attention span of an ant, or at least a good many of them do. I've watched them cruising the Internet, switch web pages as quickly and often as my hubby switches channels on TV. With all that glowing glitter and glitz shining and speeding in front their eyes, what hope is there for plain pages with black print, and line after line of literary prose? Several paragraphs into page one, give or take a few, and they are nodding off, floating away, their minds totally gone from the book in front of them. If you don't believe it, read these words from Mark Dykeman: "There's no doubt that the way we read Web pages, and our on-line content preferences, have a major impact on what we read, how long we read, and how attentively we read when on-line." THE EFFECTS OF THE INTERNET ON READING HABITS
You mean it's not just the kids? (Seriously, do you think adults are immune to all that the Internet has to give? Not to mention all the video games out there to amuse us.) Well, welcome to the new-age technology. And it's not going away.
Okay, so after this rather lengthy intro, I'm going to go to where I was heading in the first place. After all, this is a blog about writing.
If reading habits have changed, does this mean what you write should change? Should authors be thinking in terms of what will appeal to those attention-deficit readers? And how exactly should they do this? Well, you can write that action-packed, fast paced adventure. Or use the let's-make-chapters-short-and-sweet format. Two or three pages tops, then you're on to the next. Just ask James Patterson. It works for him. Maybe shorter novels to appeal to the e-reader crowd could be your choice. Is the idea driving you crazy, yet? It almost sounds like giving in, doesn't it? I mean, the idea of writing an instant soup version of what could otherwise be the next masterpiece, like a Hemingway or Steinbeck or (place your mentor author here) seems sacrilegious.
Well, let's face facts. If you are writing to get published and sell books, you have to appeal to the market. However, if you write for art's sake, and publishing isn't your prime objective, then stay the course. Write what you want, how you want, and of course, how MUCH you want. Just don't expect MY students to read it! Seriously, it's a difficult decision, deciding what will sell, what editors, publishers, and agents will like. Then again, nobody said it would be easy, did they?
So, do you think readers have changed their habits? Should writers change along with them? And how do feel about what you write? Let me hear your thoughts.
"My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the third of five sons. He sent me to Emanual College in Cambridge, at fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies.... I laid them out in learning Navigation, and other parts of the mathematicks...."
Good luck to all!