Dramaquill's All Things Writing

August 23, 2013

A Writer and Her Smartphone – Top Ten Uses

I absolutely love my iPhone.  

Here are my favourite *writing* ways to use it:

  • research anything on internet with Safari and Google
  • record ideas on voice memo recorder (faster than writing them down)
  • record snippets of conversations for accents and other unique voice characteristics
  • use notepad to write paragraphs and email them to my home computer
  • listen to music to get inspired when I’m blocked
  • look up words in dictionary/thesaurus
  • take pictures of anything that might inspire me as a writing prompt
  • be alerted to new emails (hopefully from publishers and agents)
  • record myself reading my work aloud (great tool for doing revisions)
  • download and try new writing apps

I can’t remember what my writing life was like without my iPhone.

How are you using your smartphone to help with your writing?

August 16, 2013

Writing Advice: Questions From My Readers Part Three

Question:  With all the time it takes to write a book, then submit it and survive all the rejections, why makes you not want to give up?

I would imagine that this is definitely something that rings close to home with every writer in some way.  Even the most famous writers have plenty of rejection stories.

So, I’m just going to answer this question according to how I feel about the writing biz and its process.

This may sound corny or perhaps even trite to some of you but I’ll risk it because what I’m about to say is 100% the truth.

I was born to write!   Plain and simple.

Yes, it’s a lot of work to write a book.  I think I had about six drafts before I felt that my manuscript was ready to submit to publishers.

Do your homework.  Find out which publishers are the absolute best fit for what you write.  Go to conferences (or if you can’t afford the travel, participate in online conferences) where you can meet editors or at least listen to them speak about what they look for when choosing new works.

Make sure you’re pitching your absolute best work!!!!!  This bears repeating.
Make sure you’re pitching your absolute best work!

Learn to craft an enticing query letter and a killer synopsis.  These are the tools that will get an editor to ask to see your manuscript.

Learn from the rejections.  Did you get any feedback?

What is your ultimate goal with your writing?

If you are writing with the goal of getting published, research the traditional markets carefully and follow submission instructions to the letter.  If you decide to self-publish, you’ll have to be even more steadfast about putting your best foot forward.  Get a professional critique.  Join a critique group.  Pay someone to design your cover.  Don’t let your book look amateur.

The writing biz is hard.  The process can be very slow.  You will get rejections – probably more than acceptances.

I can’t imagine letting any of this stop me from pursuing my writing career.

 

August 9, 2013

Writing Advice: Questions from my Readers Part Two

 Question:  Should I self-publish?

I definitely wasn’t surprised that this question was asked a few times and yet, I am hesitant to even try to answer it because I think that it’s a really personal choice that every writer must make for himself.

If I were writing non-fiction, I think I would absolutely self-publish some smaller e-books.  It’s a great way to get your name known as an expert in a particular field.  Also, by offering free reports with an e-book purchase, writers can certainly build up a loyal following.  Plus, these NF e-books don’t have to be long.  They just have to be filled with useful information.

As for fiction, I’m still on the fence about self-publishing.  I know that even with a traditional publishing house contract, authors still shoulder the responsibility of publicizing and marketing their books themselves (unless they’re in the leagues of Stephen King or J.K.Rowling).  This isn’t any different from those who self-publish.  But I also believe that belonging to a publishing house still holds more credibility than doing it yourself.

Now, many of you may disagree with me, and that’s okay.

There are different levels of self-publishing so if you’re going to go that route, learn everything you can before you jump in.  Know what a vanity publisher is.  Don’t use one…ever!  Talk to other authors who’ve self-published.  Find out what they did that worked (or what didn’t work).

Ultimately, in the end, you and you alone must decide which direction your book should take.

 

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