July 5, 2016-Hello readers and followers! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on myguidedpen.com and I apologize for that. I’ve been extremely busy with a slew of other projects and my children’s book launch is just one of them. I’ve written a really awesome guide called An Easy Guide to Writing for Children which is available for download on Amazon.com. You can also search me by first and last name, Lacey Bakker. I hope that you’ll download it and leave a review! Thanks so much for all of your support and for reading this blog and my others.
This is something I have to constantly tell myself when writing. Why? Because I am a painfully slow, pedantic, crazed perfectionist who can sit and obsess over a single word for hours. I cannot write a paragraph without reading over it at least three times, only then can I move on and write the next […]
The Word Count Conundrum When this past weekend started the word count on my work in progress (WIP), tentatively called Blood in the Water, stood at 29,822. Given the way this story has been progressing I was looking forward to a very productive weekend. Saturday was a day of limited work. I had to meet […]
At Vida, writer Dallas Athent confronts one of the thorniest issues plaguing the literary scene: the unspoken nepotism-fueled culture of connections and reciprocal favors that determines who gets published where.
Photos: Alex Markovich. Camera: SONY SLT-A55V. April 23, 2016. Dear poets, writers, artists and all creative people! Feel free to use any pictures on your social networks, sites, blogs, etc. If you need a larger image to be published offline, please let me know and I will send you the original file. I appreciate if you share […]
Let’s talk about point of view for this writing exercise, but first things first-what exactly is Point of View?
Point of view refers to the way the author allows you to see and hear what’s going on it the novel, book, short story or manuscript. We’ll focus on four main points of view:
First-person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-me-my-mine. The reader is sitting beside the character and is viewing the world through the eyes of that character. The reader experiences the world through the eyes of only one person.
Second-person point of view, the author uses your and you, this is rare; authors rarely speak directly to the reader. If you do happen to come across this point of view, you should pay attention because the author is trying to tell you something. Second-person point of view draws the reader into the story, and makes the reader participate in the action.
Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. This is the most common point of view. The author’s voice, not the character’s voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages.
Objective-point of view is when the narrator is a fly on the wall or a video camera in the corner of the room. The character’s thoughts are never known. Objective point of view is all about watching, listening and observing.
Try writing from a different point of view and step outside of your comfort zone. This allows you to stretch your abilities and who knows, you may actually really like a particular point of view that you had never considered before. Happy Writing!
This weekend I am fortunate enough to be attending a two day workshop at the College I attended a million years ago. It’s another writing for children course and I’m very excited to attend; it’s great to meet new authors, have your work critiqued and of course network with like minded people who understand the hurdles of the industry.
I really recommend that aspiring AND published authors take advantage of such programs in their city/community because they’re an excellent source of ideas, education and fun. At the last workshop I attended I was reminded of so many things that had sort of fallen by the wayside and this caused me to write much more diligently. Sometimes we all need to brush up on our skills a little bit even if we’ve been doing this for years.
I’ll report back about what I’ve learned over the weekend and share some tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration with you to help you become the best writer that you can be!
So take advantage of courses, workshops, free events, classes, talks and meetings in your area…it might lead you to exactly what you need to know or to an idea for your next best seller! Happy Writing!
So, you’ve decided to write a mystery! That’s exciting! But how do you know what makes a great mystery if you’ve never written one? Sure, you’ve read a ton of mystery books over the years but do you know the ingredients to keep the reader flipping the pages? Here’s what you’ll need to keep your reader engaged:
Puzzle-There’s usually a puzzle that needs solving and 9 times out of 10 it involves the death of someone. For example, “His body was cold and bloody; I looked around and wondered how he ended up in the alleyway.”
Suspense-Will the mystery be solved and how will it be solved? For example, “We located the killer by dusting the body for prints.”
Hero/Heroes-Who will solve the mystery? This one is pretty self explanatory…
High stakes for the hero or victim-There must be a reason why the mystery needs to be solved, it has to involve a payoff for the hero or victim, what’s in it for them? For example, “The victim was selling drugs, he got in deep with the wrong people; turns out he started selling them because he was going to lose his house…”
The Solution is revealed-Who did it and why? “Rocco Roselli put a bullet in the guy’s head to shut him up, the victim was shooting his mouth off about the shipping container full of cocaine he found and was gonna black mail the mafia.”
Triumph of Good vs Evil- Mafia guy gets caught and is brought to justice by the hero/heroes.
So there you have it, the recipe for a successful mystery! Get cooking!
Here’s a list of resources and ideas that you can implement on your journey to perfecting your craft, publishing and networking.
Read newsletters- Read any newsletter you can get your hands on, they offer a wealth of information in terms of new info and updates on publishers. Two examples of great newsletters are Children’s Writer and Children’s Book Insider.
Read Guidelines-Never send anything to anyone without reading the specified guidelines…otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and your manuscript could end up in the recycle bin.
Visit Bookstores-Check out current issues magazines in your genre and ask about what’s new in store. Find out what kids and adults are buying. Spend some time studying what the bestsellers are and why.
Use the Internet-There is SO much valuable information available to writers on the internet! Visit blogs, social networking, e-mail other writers and sign up for writing groups on-line. This will keep you on the pulse of the writing world and you’ll be able to do some self promotion as well.
Attend a Writing Workshop/Conference-These are SO FUN! I’ve been to a few over the past couple of months and have met some great people who are really talented. Workshops and conferences offer a chance to connect with other writers and to have your work critiqued. It is invaluable in terms of gaining insight into what’s working and what’s not in your current manuscript. Plus, you never know who can help you and who you can help in terms of networking.
Network-Get yourself together with as many like minded people and great things will happen. You could meet the right contact who know the perfect illustrator for your book, or perhaps you’ll meet someone who can offer editing services, or you might just meet a publisher or agent that can take your book all the way to the top!
Most of all, enjoy being an author; It’s one of the greatest freedoms in the world to be able to tell your story in your own way.
In the last post we talked about how to get rejected…let’s focus on the positive in this post and speak on how to get published!
BE ORIGINAL-Publishers want fresh ideas that stand out! This INCLUDES a re-telling of an old story in a fresh and original way! Look at all the remakes happening right now…
Use Charm, Humour, Satire-The Simpsons is a perfect example of satire and how to use it properly. Be charming, be funny and be yourself!
Use Playfulness-Write something totally outrageous like I want an elephant for my birthday and let the story get crazy…I wanted an elephant for my birthday so I went to the pet store…I brought the elephant home and let him sleep in my tree house… I cooked him 38 pancakes for breakfast the next day…etc. Make it BIGGER and BIGGER! A la mastermind Robert Munsch!
Be Sensible-When writing your query letter and don’t send things multiple times to the same publisher or to different agents in the same agency-keep track of your submissions.
We Need This Book-Write something SO dazzling that you make publishers say, “We NEED this book!”
Stay True-To yourself and to your writing, write what YOU want to write about!
Self Publish- If you have a story that you believe in TELL IT! Self publish and market it well and you could make and KEEP a lot of money.
Best of luck everyone…you don’t need luck, just write and write well!