Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 14, 2011

Inspiration can come from anywhere

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My mind is always going at warp speed.  I can be working on one project and suddenly, bam, another idea pops into my head.  I’ve never been one of those writers who struggle to come up with the next idea.

I’m lucky – and I’m probably in the minority.  But, it got me to thinking one day.  Why is it so easy for some writers to become inspired with a new project and so difficult for others?

I don’t know about other writers but I think, for me, it’s being aware of the details of my surroundings.  I’ll give you some examples…

I have pets – dogs.  I’ve used their antics to craft children’s poetry, stories and plays. 

I own a performing arts studio where I’m surrounded by students from age 3 to senior citizens. Working with such a diverse group of individuals really gives me insight into what interests and entertains the different age groups as well as great fodder for traits for my characters.

I live in a city of approximately 110,000.  There are so many wonderful places to just go and people watch.  My handy notebooks are filled with physical descriptions, mannerisms, and expressions.  It’s also very picturesque in my corner of the world and on the advice of a mentor, I decided to set my suspense novels in different locations near where I live.

Do you have kids?  Watch what makes them laugh…cry…angry.  What keeps them interested? 

Many writers get inspiration from the daily news headlines.  Current issues can provide inspiration for articles and different slants on hot topics.  Crime stories can jump start a mystery or thriller.

We all have a myriad of people pass through our lives on a regular basis.  They all have a lot to offer us if we take the time to look for something about them, or in their lives, that can jumpstart an idea.

Many writers enjoy online ezines, blogs and newsletters.  Often, ezines and newsletters will send a writing prompt.  Try freewriting the next time you read one and see where it takes you.

An online friend of mine exhibited a really unique way of showing inspiration can come from anywhere.  Recently, her neighborhood was hit with a tornado.  She not only used her experiences, and the experiences of those around her, as great material for her blog, but also to inspire her creative writing.  Now that’s someone definitely making lemonade, or in this case inspiration, out of a terrible situation.

Look around! 

Observe!

Record!

Inspiration truly can come from anywhere, anytime and from anyone.  Be open to inspiration.

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June 7, 2011

E-book format: Does this mean self-published? NO!

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I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while now as I continue to see and hear comments that if it’s an e-book, it was self-published.

The e-book format does lend itself to self-publishing, for obvious reasons:

  • cheaper to reproduce than print books
  • quicker turnaround time
  • digital books are becoming more popular
  • invention of the e-reader
  • portability (can carry an entire library of books with you in one small device)

But I’m frustrated that the general assumption is that if one has published an e-book, then it must be self-published.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

More and more new publishers (as well as some of the big houses) are developing and offering e-books.  For first-time authors trying to break into the business, this is great news.  Because an e-book doesn’t cost as much to reproduce as a print book, e-publishers may be more willing to contract a new writer who doesn’t yet have agent representation.  That doesn’t mean your manuscript can be less than amazing.  E-publishers offering contracts are going to be just as diligent about publishing books that have engaging characters, page-turning plots and brilliant writing.  Many e-publishers also do publish books that have generated a decent amount of sales into print versions.

Here are some e-pubs who offer contracts, editing, cover designs, ISBNs, royalties and the chance to be seen and read by the millions of people already enjoying downloading books onto their Kindle or iPad rather than lugging around yet another paperback in their purse or backpack…

http://www.redrosepublishing.com

http://www.echelonpress.com/

http://www.literaryroad.com/index.php

http://museituppublishing.com/

http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/about.html

http://www.synergebooks.com/aboutus.html

http://whiskeycreekpress.com/submissions.shtml

http://lionhearted.com/index.html

This list is just a sampling of the different e-book publishers actively pursuing manuscripts at the current time. 

As with any submission, make sure to do your research on any publisher you choose to target before sending off your query and your manuscript.  Follow any submission guidelines to the letter.  Check out the types of books published to see if what you have written fits into the publisher’s catalogue and style.

E-books are gaining popularity and e-publishers are an excellent way to break into the traditional publishing business.

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