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23

Mar

Tip of the Week:
Even though a lot of people can relate to the lack of tweeting material, don’t tweet about your lack of material. Or any other mundane details. Unless you’re really funny and can tell about the mundane details in a clever way. That’s actually pretty interesting.

Tip of the Week:

Even though a lot of people can relate to the lack of tweeting material, don’t tweet about your lack of material. Or any other mundane details. Unless you’re really funny and can tell about the mundane details in a clever way. That’s actually pretty interesting.

22

Mar

"Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we?"
—Terri Guillemets

"Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we?"

—Terri Guillemets

A Red Pen Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

The Good:

  • humorous writing. Fey tells the tale of her life with tons of jokes, making it way more interesting to read than your average memoir.
  • relevant photos. Fey included choice photos that actually enhanced the content, only at those moments when a reader would be thinking, I’d love to see that.
  • selected memories around a theme. Every memoir should have a theme, just like any novel. There must be a reason for sharing a life story. Fey based Bossypants around what made her who she is today as a boss. She chose memories that fit that theme, rather than trying to cram in every funny, awkward, or harrowing moment. The result is a focused story.
  • relatable moments. It can be hard to read celebrities’ work because their lives really are different from the average person’s. But Fey captures some real, relatable emotions in Bossypants, especially when she’s talking about motherhood. Suddenly she’s not just the awesome jokester from TV; she’s a normal person, someone whom you just might be friends with in real life. Always great to see.
  • the stories behind some of her big career moments.I loved it when Fey portrayed Sarah Palin on SNL, but I never thought about everything behind it—how it might have affected Palin, how audiences might react, etc. It was great to see just what happens behind the scenes.

The Not So Good:

  • too many irrelevant scenes/chapters.Fey has a theme, but she doesn’t stick to it well. Most of her book stays on point, but there were several chapters and scenes I feel could have been omitted. If your audience can’t quickly make the connection to the theme, no matter how funny or interesting the story is, cut it.
  • joke overkill.Sometimes, the jokes became too much. At points, the jokes overtook the purpose of the story, and it made the book read like a long SNL monologue. Some readers love that; some don’t. I think it’s always important to have balance.
  • no chapter length consistency. Every chapter doesn’t need to be the same length, but these were all over the place. Some chapters kept going and going; then there would be a one- to two-page chapter. She based her chapters on telling a story, but some of them could have been broken into two chapters. Readers should be excited to get to the end of a chapter, not feel obligated and as though it’s taking ages to get there. A break is often a great trick to get readers to keep going.

The Final Word:

Bossypants was a good read, not something I’d call a must-read, but definitely worth a look, especially when on the go. I liked that I could put it down for days and come back to it with no trouble. And it was much more interesting to read than most memoirs. Humor makes a difference. Memoir writers can learn from the good and the not so good.

21

Mar

Will Kindle's Free Samples Change the Structures of Plots?

One of the curious things about SEO optimization is that it works by altering webpages so that they market themselves: that is, instead of creating ads external to the thing advertised, you re-shape the thing itself so that it’s easier to find and more interesting and attractive to link-clickers. And if we can do it with webpages, why not with, say, books? Why shouldn’t books undergo whatever ongoing tweaking they need to be as successful as possible?

Interesting article. Definitely worth a read for the marketing-minded author.

Writing Prompt: Spring Break

The best writers write every day. Practice and consistency are essential to success. Set aside some time today for writing. Write a paragraph, a story, a chapter of a novel—whatever works for you, using the following prompt. If you’re brave enough, share it here on Tumblr! Critiques will help you grow as a writer too. If you share, be sure to tag #redpenandleopardprint! I’ll check out your writing and offer my thoughts.

Tick, tick, tick. Jordan’s eyes were glued to the clock. He had tuned out Professor Stewart for the last half hour, focusing instead on daydreams about the upcoming break. Tick, tick, tick. Just a few minutes.

After class, he and his buddies would hit the road for their last vacation together as students. Each guy was heading a different direction after graduation, and they had no idea when they’d see one another again. They had determined that this trip would be epic.

"All right, class, that’s it for today. Try to not get in too much trouble over spring break. And remember you have a paper due when you get back. No excuses," Professor Stewart said. Jordan slid his notebook in his bag and was out the door in seconds. It was time.

What happens next? Where do they go? Do they get into trouble? Do they have bad luck? Is the vacation awesome? Tell the story! Have fun, and remember to share!

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
Vladimir Nabakov

20

Mar

Another Reason to be Descriptive in Fiction

Descriptive writing is hard. It takes a lot of effort to think about and describe an everyday event in a beautiful and extraordinary way. But it’s completely worth it, and not just so you can gain critical acclaim.

According to this New York Times article, descriptive writing stimulates the brain. What does that mean for a writer? It means that when you write descriptive language, the brain is wired to connect with it. When these connections are formed, it’s hard to put a book down.

Check out the article, and take the time to write fantastic descriptions. Your audience’s brains will love it.

19

Mar

People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.
Malorie Lucich, Facebook spokesperson

Guest Blogging--The Mistakes You Should Avoid

When you’re in the process of building an audience to further promote your work, a fantastic marketing tactic can be guest blogging. Guest blogging allows you to connect with another person’s established audience and prove that you’re an expert on a topic. It gives the audience a taste of your writing and helps discoverability.

But it’s not as simple as writing up a post and sending it to someone or asking a blogger if you could contribute. Check out the above link to learn what mistakes you shouldn’t make when going the route of guest blogging.

12

Mar

Love, love, love these.

theadvancededit:

YES! I want all of these shirts.

(Source: an-editors-eye)