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By - Monica

I Could Write a Book About That… Advice for Prospective Authors

This post, admittedly, is a small departure but will probably be of some interest to the elite type of readership we have. Here is some advice from a few well-respected international writers:

Sure, there are brilliant authors, talented editors, and leading publishers. And sometimes, there are teachers that have been avid professional readers and have engaged in classroom research and has developed some methods or ideas that may be publishable. Their question is – “how do I determine if my idea is publishable and if so, what then?”
The value of anything be it your car or your book idea is determined by the market. Although your market will ultimately be your colleagues around the country, you will first have to get the approval of a smaller “market” – acquisition editors. I suggest that you become generally familiar with the kind of books that your target publishers produce and decide which ones make the best fit.…

By - Monica

Can A Student Advise A Successful Company?

We’re heading for the holidays and before you know, semester two is upon us and I bet you it’s going to be hell on earth. OK, slightly dramatic, and first we’ll have to finish our first semester exams the coming weeks and it’s fine so far but ask me in a few weeks when we get our assignments for the second semester…

I’m not actually at the university until tomorrow but today was my first day at “the Office”.

You might wonder how did I get there? It’s a great story about how helping other (good) people you can help yourself.

I was involved in the development of a website for people who want to get their HS diploma and got recommended by the owners of this website to their friends who run “the Office”. And I am entirely grateful and tell you helping other good people pays off. But going back to my story.

On Tuesday night Chiefy e-mailed me and told me to come in this afternoon to start work – I asked what time, and if I needed to bring my laptop.…

By - Monica

Manuscript Formatting Essentials

Whether it’s a book or a short article that you’re writing, it’s essential that you present your work professionally and in a way that readily identifies you as the author.

Your manuscript front sheet should always show the title of the work and the ‘byline’. The byline is your name and identifies you as the author. Some authors do not wish to use their own names and use a pseudonym.

The title and byline should be in a prominent position across the middle of the sheet; approx one third to one half of the way down.

Your manuscript front sheet should also include the date and your contact details including your address, telephone number and any e-mail address you use for your writing.

Body Layout

The body, or general content of your manuscript, should be presented clearly. Make sure that you use double line spacing. This leaves one full line space between each line of text, making the paragraphs much easier to read. Since very few people indent the first line of a paragraph nowadays, you will need to make each new paragraph clear to readers. Alternatively, you may choose to indent the first line of each paragraph. It is still perfectly acceptable.…

By - Monica

It’s Still Short Story Weather

Have you noticed the sun setting earlier? Are leaves already starting to turn color in your neck of the woods? It’s hard to believe the summer has crept into its final weeks. Soon the seasons will change from baseball to football. Good gravy, it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo! But as far as I’m concerned, any time can be shorts weather. Let’s see what Stephen King says on writing short stories:

No, I’m not one of those crazy polar bears who swims half naked on New Year’s Day. Rather, I’m talking about short stories. I’ve spent much of my summer vacation from my work-in-progress by taking week-long trips with new characters. And when I haven’t been writing them, I’ve been reading them.…

By - Monica

Knock Your Readers Socks Off – 5 Easy Ways to Create Characters

Five Easy Ways to Create Characters That Will Knock Your Readers Socks Off, Dazzle Agents, Woo Editors, and Won’t Be Soon Forgotten:
First off, take a good, long, hard look at your characters.

Are they layered? Are they multi-dimensional? Are they the kind of character that becomes so real they can walk right off the page and cozy up in the memories of your readers?
And the big question: Can your characters sell your stories or are they holding you back, getting you rejected, and you don’t even know it?
For me, the characters in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible were so real that at times I had to remind myself that they were not, in fact, real and that they were simply made up. Fiction. These characters and their depth is something I strive for in my own work.
Let’s take a peek at how we can make our own characters so real we forget we made them up. And for a splash of fun, we’ll use Cosmo Kramer from the old hit show Seinfeld as an example.…

By - Monica

Anchor Scenes For A Good Story Structure

In my heart of hearts, I am a plotter. The problem is that, in my brain of brains, I have a sadly inconsistent grasp of story structure.

Pure pantsing, in which I attempt to write while having no idea what my characters are moving towards, leaves me floundering and paralyzed; trying to articulate every twist and turn of the story before I start to write, however, makes me break into a sweat as I contemplate the (inevitable) gaping holes in my imagination. I need an approach to a story that protects me from the feeling of being in free-fall while helping me to tolerate (and even embrace) all the stuff I don’t yet know about What Happens Next and Why.…

By - Monica

Is Studying Abroad Worth It?

Today I would like to talk about an alternative option of getting educated. There are many ways of getting a proper education from attending online, free GED courses, you can try the website Best GED Classes and get an HSE (high school equivalency) certificate instead of high school diploma to even getting an education abroad. Education has crossed many boundaries, including those of many countries.

Today, students travel thousands of kilometers to a country of their choice to study specific majors and gain better exposure and experience.

There are a number of points that can be a decider on whether or not your choice of the country can prove to be the best for you. Therefore, before deciding on any country to travel to for your educational purposes, consider a few points like:…

By - Monica

5 Things They All Say To First-Time Authors

I was thrilled last month to sign a contract with a publisher to publish my first romantic suspense novel under the pen name, Angela Evans. The reactions I have received from friends and family as I share my news has been varied, and yet still followed a predictable path. Check out also this video with great tips for aspiring writers:

So let’s see what they all have to say. I’ve compiled a list which inspired this post. Enjoy!

  • I should write a book! This response has generally come from the people you would categorize as “least likely to ever write a book.” I’m not sure if writing and publishing a book sounds like easy money to them, or if they just think if I can do it anyone can do it. Maybe anyone can do it, (after all I did), but I can promise you it’s far from easy money. More like pour every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears you have into creating a story on the page and then hope someone buys it so you can prove to your family you weren’t really just wasting time. Or avoiding them. Or both.
By - Monica

Amazon: A Friend Or Foe For Writers And Publishers?

I’ll be honest—I’m not a trendsetter. At least not when it comes to the publishing revolution. I’m cautious. I like to spend a lot of time gathering facts, weighing options, learning from those more opinionated and in-the-know than I. One thing I do know is that Amazon’s name is on everyone’s lips these days—a result of Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, and their newest publishing imprints. This is great! Isn’t it?

I’m not totally sold, to be honest. Let me tell you why.

I used to be completely intimidated by the thought of publishing directly through Amazon KDP. I can do a fair amount with my computer, and I love learning new things, but formatting and creating an eBook seemed like a rather daunting task.…

By - Monica

How To Keep Your Writing Functional And Fashionable

Fake pockets are the bane of my fashionable existence. Nothing’s worse than going to stash my bank card or chapstick, only to encounter resistance. No pocket for you! It’s a disappointment, to say the least. Words can scarcely describe the letdown. Don’t let this same thing happen in your writing! You should be aware of Fake Pocket Syndrome (FPS), to avoid irritating your readers and turning them off of your story.

Fake pockets promise, but don’t deliver. So your hero is a tough manly man who finds himself relying on the aid of a sultry vixen to accomplish his mission. The entire book is rife with sexual tension, but in the end, the two shake hands and part ways like old drinking buddies. I call FPS!…