Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stepping Stones to Success

We are writers, we love to write.
Sounds like the beginning of a high school cheer, doesn't it.

We have our success stories and we have our sad stories.

Some of our success stories are each sentence and chapter we complete, each story we write that brings us compliments and each time our name appears in print.

Success comes slowly.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no over night successes. Each success has taken many nights of hard work.

This is one of the sad stories.

Just this morning my son and I were talking about getting paid for a job.
I said, "Everyone gets paid for their work," and then kinda added, "except for maybe a writer."
 "Well, that's different," he said. 
I couldn't believe this comment came from my son. But it seems that a lot of people have that mind set.

Until we get paid the compliment of getting compensated for our work, we must be happy with our little success stories.

We must keep on writing. We must keep on submitting. We must not get discouraged and quit, for there is a lot of hard work behind every "overnight" success story. We have a lot of stepping stones to cross on our journey to success.

One of my little stepping stones that I crossed recently. 
I had an article published in our local paper. 
If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you might see my byline.  
By Janet F. Smart Guest Writer

Tell us about one of your stepping stones to success.

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Friday, May 18, 2012

Emotion Thesaurus, A Writer's Guide to Character Expression

Recently I received the PDF copy of the Emotion Thesaurus, A Writers Guide to Character Expression.

It is written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

They blog over at the Bookshelf Muse. I am a follower of their site and if you aren't already, I recommend you consider becoming a follower. Their site is a great benefit to writers.

There are 75 emotion entries in the book, starting with the first entry of Adoration.
With each entry, they tell the physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long term adoration and cues of suppressed adoration.
The last entry is Worry.

But this book is much, much more than just a thesaurus!

They talk about the power of emotion in our writing. They tell how dialogue is a proven vehicle for expressing a character’s thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. But to convey feelings well, a writer must also utilize nonverbal communication such as body language, internal sensations and thoughts.

The Emotion Thesaurus will help writers brainstorm new ideas for expressing a character’s emotional state. And, it will help you avoid common  pitfalls such as telling, using cliched emotions and melodrama.

The book is also filled with writing tips throughout, such as:

WRITER’S TIP: Don’t get caught up on the eyes to convey emotion. While eyes are often the first thing we notice in real life, they provide very limited options for description possibilities as writers. Instead dig deeper, showing the how the character behaves through their body movement, actions and dialogue.


WRITER’S TIP: Smell triggers memory. Take advantage of this sense and build olfactory description into the scene. This will draw readers in and make them feel part of the action.

I have went through my PDF copy and copied and pasted all the writers tips and ran them off on my printer to have as easy reference. As a writer, I feel we can never have enough tips!

Here is a quote from me . . . 
Some people say anyone can write, but writing a good story is what we strive for. Can everyone write a good story?

With the help of this book, we can all become better writers.
I highly recommend it.

You can order the book here or go over to their site and order the PDF, which is what I have. 

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart

Monday, May 7, 2012

Launch Day with author/novelist Glynis Smy

I would like to introduce to you today, author/novelist Glynis Smy.


Today writer/poet, Glynis Smy adds author/novelist to her name. Her debut novel; Ripper, My Love, is launched in ebook format and paperback. The genre for this love story falls into the one of Historical Romance Suspense.

Growing up in late nineteenth century East London, Kitty Harper’s life is filled with danger and death – from her mother, her beloved neighbour and the working women of the streets.

With her ever-watchful father and living surrogate family though, Kitty feels protected from harm. In fact, she feels so safe that while Whitechapel cowers under the cloud of a fearsome murderer, she strikes out on her own, moving into new premises to accommodate her sewing business.

But danger is closer than she thinks. In truth, it has burrowed itself right into her heart in the form of a handsome yet troubled bachelor, threatening everything she holds dear. Will Kitty fall prey to lust – and death – herself, or can she find the strength inside to fight for her business, sanity and her future? And who is the man terrifying the streets of East London?

Who is Glynis Smy?

Glynis was born and raised in England, in the coastal town of Dovercourt, near the port of Harwich (where the captain of the Mayflower lived). After qualifying as a nurse, she married her school friend, and they produced three children. During her rare quiet moments, she wrote poetry and articles for magazines. In 2005 she and her husband emigrated to Cyprus for a new life in the sun. It was here that Glynis lay down her cross stitch and started making writing friends on the Internet. With their support and encouragement she shared her poetry, and was successful in a few contests. She shared a short story with a friend, who wrote back telling her it was worthy of becoming a novel, and not to waste the premise upon a brief plot. The story is the one being launched today. Glynis found her love of writing 19th Century, historical romances and her second novel, Maggie's Child, will be published at the end of 2012.

Aside from writing and Cross stitch, Glynis enjoys creating greetings cards, and sells them to raise funds for a small hospice in Cyprus. One of her pleasures is to sit on the back porch with a glass of wine, and reflect upon her good life. She can often be heard chatting to new characters urging her forward.

My question to Glynis: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Her answer - Read all the advice out there, then forget it and write. Read the advice again and edit,  but keep your own stamp (Voice). Do not  try and be  like another writer just because you read their tips on writing. Theirs is a baseline to follow not total fact.

Her desire to pay back those who had supported her is realized in a blog designed specifically to promote the books of others: New Book Blogger You can find her personal writing blog at Glynis finds the community spirit of writers on Facebook a valuable one.

Want to purchase a copy?  Launch day price for the Kindle is 99c/77p!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Give a Ways and Critiquing

Hey everyone, there is a great give a way going on over at Christina Katz - The Prosperous Writer's site. It it not just a give-a-way, but an entire Month of May Give-a-Way! Go over here and check it out. Be sure and read the rules. You will find out a lot about writers and writing, plus have a chance at winning books.

 I haven't been posting a lot lately. I've been submerged in my writing. I don't know how people post regularly and write, too. I'm one of those people who has too many pots on the stove, as the old saying goes. But, I can't help it. I love writing!

My on line PB critique group is in full swing. I've really gotten some good feedback on two of my picture books that I felt needed help. I've now rewritten them and feel they are much better. I am so glad I joined!

My weekly writing group meets at our local library every Tuesday. I am happy to say that we have new members and they are a great addition to our group. I get feedback from all my writing there, not just my PBs.

 How do you react to people's comments about your writing? Can you take criticism gracefully?

There are a couple of categories you can fall into.

You can be thankful for all comments, know that they are only another person's opinion, use the suggestions you feel are helpful to your manuscript and make your work better.

Or - you can take all comments personally, not agree with any of the suggestions and not use any help offered to you about your writing.

 I try not to fit into that second category. Though, sometimes I slip into the defensive mode, how dare people not love my work!  But in my opinion, if you can't take the heat, then get away from the fire. Writer's groups are people meeting to help each other, not just a group to get praise and applause from.

Writers Helping Writers!

Posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart