Category Archives: Writers Site

Insecure Writer’s Support Group – December’s Blog Post

https://www.pexels.com
https://www.pexels.com

I just stumbled onto the IWSG -Insecure Writer’s Support Group- the Blog hop. The point is to write a blog post that will point back at the IWSG and all the other writers who post the first Wednesday of each month for the next year.

I just saw this so I am squeaking in under the wire; for me, it is nearly 10pm.

“December 7 Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?” IWSG

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I participated in NaNoWriMo, joined writers groups, entered contests, wrote for myself and decided to write a novel. That novel was slipped back on the shelf and labeled ‘next year’ after a couple of accidents, family issues and health problems. I even stopped adding to my  blog a few years back.

Now…today, this moment I am back to writing for myself. That novel I want and ‘need’ to finish, that book of poetry (with its muffled screams) needs to be compiled, while I develop organization skills (can you hear the laughter) finish classes and read the books I have piled around me hoping that their words, all those hours their writer’s sweated, bemoaned and worried over, will rub off on me.

In five years I want to have written a novel a year. Posted on my blog every week. Gain so many twitter followers that one of my tweets will go to millions. (Wait I should read the rule on this post again- dreams and desires…nope!   Insight, yes, I can see this under insight-lets keep with that.)

Today, I  will start with this first step;  release self-doubt and write daily.

IWSG

You are loved No one loves you more than your Dad

In the summer of 2014, I wrote a Father’s Day article and posted it on Examiner.com. That website closed down the summer of 2016. That article was about man, a father who I was lucky to have known for a very short time.

Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from pexels.com
Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license from pexels.com

I am resurrecting that article.

For each person ‘Father’s Day’ can hold a different meaning, a different feeling all dependent on your relationship with your father.  When you were a kid, it was the day you made a card, or played a game of catch while the grill sizzled or maybe you followed your Dad around while others left him alone for the day.

Quite possibly your relationship with your father was less than wonderful and he never paid any attention to you. He may have been violent or withdrawn, an alcoholic or a workaholic.

Or, he may have died before you got to know him.

Maybe you never met him.

If he is no longer alive and you wonder, what would he say to you- if he saw how you are progressing in this life?  Would he approve of you singing on street corners, working in a cubicle or jumping out of planes? Maybe you spend your days painting the tops of water towers.  Remember, your Dad was young once and the music moved his soul, just as it dances within yours.

In the spring of 2014, I overheard a conversation between a father and his daughter in the common living room of a nursing home. Their voices were loud, words sharp with pained edges, their interaction lasted only a few minutes. The daughter, it seemed, had decided to confront her father with an apology. By the sound of those raised voices he didn’t want any part of. He paced, agitated, in that living room, surrounded by multiple lazy boy chairs, a fish tank as a wide screen TV that whispered in the background.

Voices rose and fell. The daughter stepped forward and reached out, in hushed tones, she asked for forgiveness to a wrong, a wrong only they were privy to.

Her father stopped and stared past her through the picture window and out onto the road beyond. For a few seconds the passing cars caught and held his attention.

Another man was with them acting as a go-between. He touched the older man’s shoulders and asked him to hear her out, then he turned and asked the daughter if she understood that her words might not give her the peace she seemed to want.

The dad turned away from his daughter. He flattened down his hair, rubbed his beard, turned to face her. With a shaky voice he announced loudly, “ I accept your apology, as it means so much to you… that I do.” Then he asked stiffly, “are we done here?”

She reached out to him, his little girl in a grown woman’s body and asked for a hug.

He took a step back and refused with a curt shake of his head. “That I can’t give you!”

The mediator sighed heavily and asked the Dad, “If he would, at least, shake her hand?” The old man looked up; he clasped his hands together and rocked slightly, then with great internal trepidation, agreed.

His daughter clasped his hand with tears in her eyes. He returned her stare with anger flashing from his eyes. His hand shook as he stood in front of her, then abruptly he announced it was time for her to go.

They left quickly. I grabbed at the lull to instantly head to the restroom. When I came out, he was there waiting for me.

He asked how I was feeling. I smiled sadly, and he touched my hand, leaned in close and placed his forehead against mine. Tears welled up in his eyes; “Remember” he said, “That you are loved. You were made with love. Brought into this world with love, and have been loved more than words can say. Do you understand?” He asked.

I nodded, tired and depressed. The last few days had been spent holding my mother’s hand while she slipped away.  At this point, his words had me on the verge of tears.

Softly he said, “Just know that you are loved, and I do forgive you.” He held my shoulders and looked into my eyes. “Now, I will accept that hug from you.”

He pulled me close and gave me a hug only a father can give. It was full of love. It felt like my Dad was there, watching and talking through this man. I saw my father’s eyes in his.

This Dad, whose life was nearing the end, had told me that he never knew his own biological father. His Dad was his step-dad, whom he loved and emulated his entire life.

“Remember,” he whispered in my ear. “I love you.”

He loosened his hug and moved back a step. He looked into my eyes -seeing different eyes- he smiled. His eyes were far away. His hands shook. He felt weak and yet, very strong. “My child.” He whispered. “I loved you before you were born.” Tears rolled down his cheeks.

I looked towards the door where I could see his daughter’s car pulling out of the parking lot.

He hugged me again and whispered in my ear. “Just know that you are loved. I do forgive you and you can always have a hug. You are loved! Remember, that you have always been loved! And you were wanted! You are a good person. You try your best, and I am so proud of you!”

He pulled back, held my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes. “I am so proud! You are loved. You are wonderful. All you do is noticed! I see you! I see you!” He let out a long shaky breath. “I do forgive you,… and you can always have a hug! Remember, no one loves you more than your Dad!”

#why women don’t report the reality of sexual harassment

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Photo from pexels.com

 

This tweeted hashtag has been making the rounds on Twitter.

‪#WhyWomenDontReport‪

It is an angry sound that should be taken seriously. Men and woman are tired of the fear, humiliation, and loss of self, physical and mental trauma that occurs from sexual harassment.

The reality of sexual harassment is that nearly every woman has been subjected to some sort of harassment at work.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

What is sexually harassment? It is:

  • Behaviors like unwelcome sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Direct or indirect threats or bribes for sexual activity
  • Sexual innuendos and comments
  • Sexually suggestive jokes
  • Unwelcome touching or brushing against a person
  • Pervasive displays of materials with sexually illicit or graphic content
  • An attempted or completed sexual assault

A reaction to being sexual harassed will be to laugh it off, pretend it wasn’t happening, ignore it and then laugh it off again and again, hoping it will stop, but it won’t. It is an act of violence, of dominance over another person, it will never go away. The fear level increases. The harassment increases and no one is listening when you ask them to stop. Then, you are too afraid to say anything. Petrified to be at work.  When you finally report the harassment.. you were surprised to find out, they aren’t listening to you,  all because your job is lower  on the ladder than the one doing the harassing….So nothing will change..

Employers hire people to protect their company from its employees. You know… that department its called HR. Your company probably had sexual harassment meetings, telling everyone what not to do. Most people will become nervous and laugh in these meetings. They make jokes about it. It’s not funny, stop laughing.

I in 3 women are sexually harassed at work. ~The Huffington post

Why is it so hard to get someone to believe?

Because people don’t know who to believe, people lie. They lie to say it happened, they lie to say it didn’t, they lie for the attention, they lie to protect the company, and they lie to protect themselves. They lie for money, power, control.

from Twitter
Twitter hashtag

So when the truth is told. It takes a lot of courage to keep talking. To keep pointing out what happened. You need to fight to get someone to believe you. You need to stand up to bullies. Those bullies are your employers your co-workers, even your family who will tell you not to make waves.

“…lifetime risk of having a PTSD diagnosis was significantly higher among sexual harassment victims than among non- victims.”~ The National Center for PTSD

Someone on Twitter asked, why do woman remain silent?
When you stand up and say no, someone will be there to pull the rug out and in the end, you will lose your job. This is why a woman makes a choice to remain silent… to keep their jobs, their careers. And this happens over and over. Lawyers will push the victims so they don’t stand up in court. Fear takes over and the victim will back down or never come forward.

So when someone lies, it harms the real victims. And there are a lot of them.

I had to ask myself the question that had been flittering around the net…. Do I believe in what is being said about Trump?  No.. I need proof.

Do I believe when he says he loves’ beautiful’ woman? Yes, He has said that many times. But anything else, …I need more proof. it seem’s too easy to pull all this out now, just before an election.

How about Hillary Clinton…?  Yes. there is proof of her transgressions. and her husbands…Lots of it.

So are you still wondering….. #WhyWomenDontReport‪

Why don’t you ask Monica Lewinsky.

Book review Hemphill Towers by Leona Pence

 Kevin Hobson created this video promoting ‘Hemphill Towers’. You can find him on his Youtube channel. or you can send him an email  kevnessky@gmail.com

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Hemphill Towers shows us how a glass of wine flows through its pages with romantic love, family, and scammers with self-indulgent intentions.

Leona Pence is an author the author of ‘Hemphill Towers’, an intriguing romance novel. Hemphill Towers is filled with beautiful career oriented women and handsome, entrepreneur men, who will fight to keep those women safe. A sly villain, one who drags along a past of blackmail and lies, with a morally reprehensible control over anyone who comes to too close, and another who uses a business that is not his, which pulls in the Russian mafia and endangers everyone.

This novel starts running, right from the prologue. We follow along, reading how power and money in the hands of a deceitful man can destroy lives. At the same time, we watch reputable men use their power with an opposite strength. That strength turns them into kittens when they meet the heroines of this novel.

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Thirty-five chapters with multiple characters that are rich and intelligent. I noticed they don’t jump in the sack when called. They choose what they want to do and what they don’t.   This novel takes us around the world. We see the Russian mafia, vineyards, museums, painters, pretty clothes, food … Mmmm! Food.

Here’s a slice from chapter 8: Rosetta placed a steaming cup of espresso in front of Birdie along with a plate filled with pastries that she called brioche.” ~Pence, Leona

Leona had me on the edge of my seat. Each chapter moves at a fast pace. I find myself hungry, sad, happy then thrilled. I love the Italian family. I wish I could sit and talk to the artist, and walk around JB’s home and peek into closets. Then relax and read by his pool.

Leona Pence answered a few of my  questions.

  1. Why did you choose the locale: Italy- Chicago- California-Spain?

I needed my Italian character near wineries, both in Italy and the US. A little research helped choose Italy, California, and Spain.

  1. How did you come up with the names in your book?

The three main women were based on me, and two online friends. We chose and described our own love interest. The rest of my characters were twisted names of family and friends.

For example, my brother, Lawrence Harmston, became Judge Lawrence Harmstrong. My bro-in-law, James Otts, became Dr. James Ottsman. I had people vying for me to use their names. It was fun, and they all had a laugh at finding their twisted names.

Thank you for this  Leona.  I bet a number of our readers will use your ideas when naming their characters.

  1. How did you keep your characters straight?

I did not set out to write a novel, just a short spoof for my friends. So, I wrote installments and sent them to a few people. They became hooked on the story, and for me, the words just kept coming. I ended up with fifteen installments going out to about fifty people.

I wrote character descriptions in an email format. I had fifteen emails at my fingertip, so when I needed to check out anything about my characters I would pull up those emails. Keeping them straight wasn’t a problem, but getting everybody’s names in the story wasn’t easy.

  1. What keeps you writing?

I’ve always been a voracious reader but being able to write actually came as a shock. But once I finished Hemphill Towers, I had the itch to write more. Discovering F2K and WVU made such a change in my life. All my friends there along with my large extended family inspire me to keep writing.

  1. Who edited your novel?

I joined the Novel group in WVU where we critiqued each others work one chapter at a time. After that, Mar and I exchanged chapters. Linda helped us also. Then, my publisher at MuseItUp, Lea Schizas, did the final edit.

  1. I noticed that some chapters have more than one scene. Each scene is separated by and asterisk *.   How did you decide to separate the chapters? There are more scenes in the later chapters. What was your idea to making that length, and detail instead of separating them?

Hummm! Good question.

In the novel group, we were limited to 3000 words per chapter for critique. So I combined some short chapters by using * and created scenes. After the group finished, I couldn’t remember how I had divided the chapters, so it took a while to figure it out. I know I started out with a lot more chapters than I ended up with.

  1. Where did you get your ideas for the JBs home? It is beautiful, wooded area fishing pond, an alcove off the kitchen three sides of glass “panoramic view of the grounds”.

I shut my eyes and used my imagination as to what I thought the home of a rich bachelor with a teen daughter might look like.

  1. How do you write; do you use an outline?

I’ve never ben able to use an outline.  Whatever flows through my mind is what I type.

Leona’s  favorite genre to write is Romance or Romantic Suspense; she had written some flash stories and plans to expand them into a novella.

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The author, Leona Pence is a mother of four, a grandmother to twelve and great-grandmother to seven. She started writing later in life, after the death of her husband of forty-four years. Hemphill Towers was written when she was sixty-five.

Leona is a woman that I look up to; she is the spirit that never stops looking forward. Never gives up her dreams and never ever stops living, creating and learning. She is a romantic at heart. After dating her husband for three months, she married him on her nineteen birthday.

Leona has a crippling disease: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, a neurological disorder. There is no cure for CMT. It has weakened Leona’s lower arms, hands, lower legs and feet. The disease took her hearing, when she was in her mid-20s. Leona types out her stories on her computer using at first the eraser end of a pencil and now a stylus pen.

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Leona is the author of Hemphill Towers.  you can buy this novel at itunes: http://tinyurl.com/mclslgs

Leona’s stories are also featured  in,  Bump off Your Enemies Anthologyhttp://goo.gl/T97WNW

And in The Darwin Murders Anthology:  http://amzn.to/2cL5fmu

And in Tasteful Murdershttp://amzn.to/2dIJyEk

Leona is a  Blogger and an active member in Writers Village University.

You can connect with Leona Pence on Twitter and Facebook and at her Blog. I listed all her links below:

Leona Pence is also found here:

 

 

 

Lesson 19 MARKETING THE PATTERSON WAY James Patterson’s Masterclass.com

James Patterson Masterclass.Com Lesson 19

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“Bizarrely, there is a Harvard case study on me. And, I think one of the things that the professors found interesting ‘IS’ that they can write about me. The way they write about Coca-Cola as a brand. I don’t partially think of myself as a brand but they at least found that angle interesting” ~ James Patterson

This lesson is on marketing and selling your book, your words with words. I am hearing ‘hook’ here. Not the first page, that first sentence ‘Hook’. But the hook that is on the back cover or on the inside flap. Something that entices your buyer, to buy your novel. The tagline.

This is from an article on GalleyCat,  “Now they teach author branding in schools” the Harvard case study on James Patterson as a brand.

“I’d never actually heard a product speak,” he recalls. “It was like listening to a can of Coca-Cola explain how it would like to be marketed.” That initial encounter inspired Deighton to write “Marketing James Patterson,” a case that uses the lens of a take-charge author, the publishing industry, and the business of book clubs to analyze the success of various modes of marketing.

“I see his success as a sublime integration of operations and marketing,” says Deighton, who taught the case to MBAs for the first time last fall in the elective course Consumer Marketing. “Patterson understands that if you want shelf space you need to publish a lot of books; that you need a production system with more than one author; and that you need to mind the brand.” ~ Harvard Business School Professor John Deighton

Brand Yourself

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“A brand is a relationship between a product, or in this case ‘me,’ and the customers- just a relationship. “~ James Patterson

Hmmm, what? When you brand yourself. Not with a hot iron, but as a writer of a certain genre. You want to make a statement, meet expectations with your tag lines.

The Kardashians have branded themselves. So has Oprah. In my opinion, anyone who uses their own name uses it as their brand.

James Patterson’s tells us his reader’s ‘expectations’ are that when you pick up one of his books, the pages will almost turn themselves.

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His novels are written as if he were telling a story, not a lot of colorful descriptions just movement of the character from start to the finish. So, let us imagine, if a reader of Mr. Patterson’s picked up one of his books and found instead, something that sounded like Faulkner, well, they would be disappointed. Similar if that reader wanted to read Faulkner and found a James Patterson novel. That tagline will give us an expectation of what we can expect inside the novel.

Taglines are to get the readers/buyers attention. They pull you into the story before you even crack open the binder or click on your e-reader.

Make your reader interested, then anxious to start reading, Delighted to have bought your novel. Taglines are the prelude to reading. A promise of things to come, possibly along with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, a comfy robe, a reading light, and that feeling that you were welcomed into the novel as you read those first sentences. This is where you fall into the story as you listen to James Patterson talking.

When you brand yourself. You can put that brand on the radio, in print, or on television promoting you and your book

“In terms of print, it’s the same thing. Here’s this space, in the newspaper, or this space or whatever the space is. That, I’m going to notice it and I am going to be motivated by it. It’s kind of that simple. There is an awful lot of stuff that shows up in the newspaper as your flipping gotta be where you notice it…what’s going to get my attention or sort of put it on my wavelength where I’m going, that sounds kind of cool I like mystery or whatever and this sounds like a really good one.”~ James Patterson

Use social Media

To get your readers to buy your novel you need to grab their attention. And you do that with your tag line. That tagline needs to be compelling.

Here are some James Patterson’s taglines you can find the books they belong to on his website HERE.

  1. Cross Kill: Along Came a Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over ten years. Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive?
  1. Alex Cross, Run: Detective Alex Cross arrests renowned plastic surgeon Elijah Creem for sleeping with teenage girls. Now, his life ruined, Creem is out of jail, and he’s made sure that no one will recognize him—by giving himself a new face.
  1. Cat & Mouse: A killer named Mr. Smith begins his murder spree in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then starts terrorizing Europe. Bodies are found “gutted.” At the same time Gary Soneji taunts Cross with murders in train stations.
  1. Kiss the Girls: Alex Cross matches wits with Casanova and The Gentlemen Caller. This time it is personal. Naomi Cross, twenty-two-year-old daughter of Cross’s deceased brother Aaron, is reported missing. She is a law student at Duke University. Cross goes to North Carolina, fearing the worst.

Most important about marketing, is the passion, that excitement gets communicated to the buyer. With one or two sentences, those taglines will get a bookstore to stock your book, and reviewers to blog about it, which will get the buyer to pick it up and buy it.

How to make a tagline? Start with a feeling. If you are writing a horror novel, you will want your reader to be frightened. What image do you want to convey. Comedy, make them laugh. Romance, well they want to feel the love. I hope your getting the idea.

Great advertising taglines:

  • JUST DO IT – Nike
  • Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up…
  • Got Milk California Milk Processor Board,

Taglines should describe the genera of the story you are writing. The purpose of your book. The theme. A tagline should make us feel. A tagline should help readers find your book using keywords

  • In 1979, we discovered in space no one can hear you scream. In 1992, we will discover, on Earth, EVERYONE can hear you scream. ~Alien3
  • Don’t go in the water.~ Jaws

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This video lesson also has an assignment, a PDF Masterclass workbook, and a comments section.

For fun, I found a link for a tagline generator:

 

Lesson 18 Book Titles and Covers James Patterson’s MasterClass.com

Lesson 18 BOOK TITLES AND COVERS

James Patterson’s  MASTERCLASS.COM

Lesson 18 Book Titles and Covers

“No book has ever been bought, that wasn’t picked up! Okay! And, to some extent, what makes you pick it up is the cover. It needs to immediately tell people that that’s the genre that they love! Oh, I love mystery! Oh, I love a Noir mystery! It looks like a Noir mystery. But then it needs to look like a unique Noir mystery…..” ~James Patterson

Whoa, hold on here….I need to know, what is a Noir Mystery? Well, according to Wikipedia: “It is ‘closely related to a hardboiled genre with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect or a perpetrator.

Do I hear someone asking, ‘How many types of Mystery Genres are there?   Well, what I found on my skip-and-jump around the net was that there are so many that that bucket is overflowing. (see below        I listed some of them)

Back  to James Patterson

Favorite Titles and Covers

He used nursery rhyme titles. Mr. Patterson is holding his book ‘Along Came A Spider’ .  On the back cover, he has quotes from known authors. If your reader likes those authors they may buy the book.

His novel, ‘Zoo’  has a photo taken of Paris. We see the  Eiffel tower in the background.  Along with the title, it states “Something Bad Is Happening Over There’ which gives you the idea this is a mystery.

Bet you are asking, what’s your point?  In order to sell ‘your’ book, ‘your novel’ needs to be seen.  Just tossing it at your reader won’t get their attention. Well, maybe for a second while  they duck. But, you want them to hold your book and read it.  This lesson is how to get the attention of your reader or potential reader, so they buy your book. It is filled with good advice.

Now, I  need to go back to Masterclass.com and listen to the short question and answer videos. This is where you can ask James Patterson a question and he will respond by posting a video.

Q & A
Q & A

Happy reading. And writing.

Here is a partial list of Mystery Genres that I searched out:

  1. Noir
  2. Cozy
  3. Amateur Sleuth
  4. Professional Sleuth
  5. Police Procedural
  6. Legal/Medical
  7. Suspense
  8. Romantic Suspense
  9. Historical
  10. Mixed Genre
  11. Private Eye –woman or men
  12. Crime
  13. Caper
  14. Bumbling Detective
  15. Child in Peril
  16. Woman in Peril
  17. Culinary
  18. Doctor Detective
  19. Furry Sleuth
  20. Handicapped
  21. Historical
  22. Inverted or Howdunit
  23. Whodunit
  24. Locked room or Puzzle
  25. Supernatural
  26. Third World
  27. Series

If you plan on writing mysteries I found this great, free book on poisons. The encyclopedia of poisons and antidotes ~  {{GRIN}]

Writer’s Village University an online community of writers helping writers

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I belong to an online community of writers that hail from all over the world.   Some are just beginning to come into who they are. Many are published authors or soon will be.     We are all learning.

Why did I join this site? I wanted to find my muse; she wandered off as my life got in the way. I wanted to interact with writers, authors, bloggers, and poets. I wanted to learn. Most of all I wanted to become a published author. I had taken a few classes from a local online college. Each class came with a cost around one hundred dollars. For eight weeks I was allowed to access the class, participate in the lessons, then after that, I lost the connection.

I joined James Patterson’s Masterclass.com. Luckily, I will never lose access to that class and its twenty-two video lessons and information.  I can watch them over and over. If I wanted to take a different class, I would need to pay again.

 

I wanted more…

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Then, I found Writer’s Village University. I could sign up for a one-month trial membership, a one-year, a three-year or a lifetime membership, all dependent on my budget. Check out prices HERE and see some of the upcoming classes.

The creator of Writer’s Village University is RJ Hembree .

“I’ve developed many courses since 1995, covering both conventional and artistic approaches to writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. My joy is research and discovery, and even more, watching our members grow into fine writers. Many have published, won awards and write professionally. We have a wide variety of experience levels in our membership. My job is to explore ways of bringing out the best in them.”

Click on the links at the top of, Writer’s Village University’s page  and you will find information on their MFA program. They have a short story MFA and a Creative Writing Certificate program, plus a lot more.

Click on WRITING COURSES, you will see a list of features courses. Click on the screenwriting course and it will open up to give you details and a list of classes.

How does this site work? When I first joined, I was confused, elated and a little nervous. I pulled up a class and read the instructions, did the readings and wrote a paper then posted it. Well, that class wasn’t activated. I did know that. I was testing the waters, sticking in my big toe to see if anyone would bite it off. They didn’t. I got a ‘like’ for my efforts. It felt good. No haters allowed here.

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I found another class. This one had a moderator, a teacher running it. I signed up by clicking the front-page link and when the class opened. I walked in, read the instructions and said, Hello.

If you missed the start date of a class, don’t fret; you can try again when the class opens again. Or you can politely ask if you can join.

If you are like me and you are wondering how this community came into being, it started in the mind of Bob Hembree he tells us his..

“initial motivation was to connect with others interested in postmodern literature, authors like Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, John Barth, Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez” He said, “what I found were like-minded writer’s, so began to share what I was learning about writing.”

Bob will decide when to schedule a class. You can see open classes on the Calendar link at the top of the page. A moderator posts the lessons; you are given instructions on how to post your assignment: with a tile that includes your name, lesson # (WC 350).

You will learn how to comment on your classmate’s lessons. Commenting on your fellow student’s posts will help you learn even more. How is that possible? You will read the lesson and post your assignments. Then, as you read your classmate’s postings you will see things from a different point of view. You will learn and see the written word in a way you never thought possible. You will have many ‘Ah-ha’ moments that will help in your own writing.

This site has an unbelievable selection of online classes. So far I have taken thirty-two classes. At this moment, I am working in a class titled, Writing for Online and Print Markets. We are using a book by Naveed Saleh, called, The Complete Guide to Article Writing. Some classes have reading material available. On other’s you will need to buy the book. Don’t stop reading, this gets even easier. You can look to the Book Exchange in the Forums.  I have gotten great prices on Ebay and Amazon. Your local library may even be able to find the books you need. Don’t disregard coupons for places like Barnes & Noble

I just finished a class, where were discussing  Loren Eiseley’s ‘The Immense Journey’. I love this line from Eiseley’s essay, Little Men, and Flying Saucers.

“In a universe whose size is beyond human imagining, where our worlds floats like a dust mote in the void of night, men have grown inconceivably lonely.”

Writers don’t have to float like a dust mote; we have a place at Writer’s Village University

Hurry on over. F2K is starting on September 7th, 2016.

F2K

Bob tells us: “F2K is a beginning creative writing course, though experienced writers often repeat the course as a refresher and for inspiration. The classes are facilitated by experienced volunteers from Writers’ Village University.”

If you sign up and I hope you do, you can take classes that are aimed at beginners to published authors. Once you sign up look around. Check out the forums. Yes, there is even on more on the site, more than just classes.

Writer’s Village University is an online community of writers helping writers. Come by and take a look.

Memberships

Lesson 17 James Patterson Masterclass.com Getting Published

James Patterson Masterclass Lesson 17 Getting Published

James Patterson's Masterclass.com Lesson 17
James Patterson’s Masterclass.com Lesson 17

James Patterson starts this lesson saying,

“I’ve been through the -pain of trying to get an agent. Trying to get a publisher. Trying to get a good editor. So I know what you’re going through. And the best thing I can tell you, it’s one word- it’s persistence. Just be prepared and don’t take it personally. My first book turned down my 31 publishers. You’re going to get a lot of rejection here, and a lot of it may have nothing to do with your book.”

 

Okay, Okay! Hold the presses! Here James said, ’31 publishers’ I found a YouTube video where he said, ‘37’.   Is this a big deal? No…not really, I just thought I would mention it.  🙂

 

James Patterson tells us, you need to get your book noticed by an agent or publisher first. And that starts with the query letter. Here are a few sites to check out on how to write a query letter. I found these through a Google search.

Agentquery.com has a very simple easy to read an explanation of a query letter.

PoeWar.com check out the very end of their article, a nice, neat list of what not to put in a query letter.

WritersDigest.com has an example of a qouery letter showing eight steps in its creation.

Back to James Patterson at Masterclass.com 🙂

James Patterson’s  first novel was the ‘Thomas Berryman Novel’. James tells us how he kept sending  out query letters, and for the most part, no one responded.  He didn’t even get an obligatory letter saying, ‘Thank You, No Thank You’. Now you know, it isn’t just you.

Well, maybe it is, but not here.

Finally, James tells us that the publisher asked for editing changes. So he had to get an editor. James Patterson talks about finding an agent. A publisher. He tells us to network. Talk to other writers, and hope they will toss you a bone or a publisher that-may-just-might-want-to read your book.

The peak of this lesson, For Me! Was when Mr. Patterson said to “Enjoy the victories.” Even the small ones where your spouse tells you your writing is fantastic. The point is,  take those compliments and eat them up. Writing is hard work!

I love this quote. I want it on a coffee mug 🙂

Cup of joy
Cup of joy

“Take the cup of joy! Enjoy it!”~ James Patterson

 

Lesson 16 James Patterson’s Masterclass.com Working With A Co-Author

James Patterson's Masterclass lesson 16
James Patterson’s Masterclass lesson 16

This video lesson starts with James Patterson talking about Co-authoring:

“Some people, they’re not comfortable with this idea of a co-author or collaborating. And they think it’s a much bigger deal than it is. So here is what I have to say to those people.

  • Lennon and McCartney,
  • Simon and Garfunkel,
  • Stephen King and Peter Straub,
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein,
  • Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child,
  • Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld,
  • Gilbert and Sullivan,
  • Woodward and Bernstein,
  • Joel and Ethan Coen,
  • Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

What’s great about working with co writers is that you got two talents. Collaboration is a good thing. I know we have this thing about the American- we go out and do everything ourselves.- And that’s okay. But collaboration is really good. Combining strength is really good.”

As you can guess, this week’s video lesson is about Co-authoring. I can bet that most everyone reading knows that James Patterson uses co-authors.

Which in my mind means he works well with others.

In this video, we hear from two of Mr. Patterson’s co-writers.  Well, I can hear it. If you want to, click the link (the one with James Patterson’s face on it)  at the top to the left and check out the classes.

You will hear what James Patterson looks for in a co-writer. One hint: They have to be able to write in the character’s voice. This is only common sense. If you are writing your own series, you will need to keep the voice consistent.

When James Patterson is collaborating with his co-writers on his books, “he knows where he is going.  He knows what he wants.  And, he knows it  when he sees it.”

I am given a PDF with this weeks lesson. I can check out the video question and answer section. And, yes!  I can ask Mr. Patterson a question through this class.

When looking for a co- writer talk to them.  Make sure you are both on the same page.

Lesson 15 Editing James Patterson’s Masterclass

lesson 15 editing
lesson 15 editing

What I loved about this lesson, was listening to James Patterson talk about how he edits and why- and the reasoning behind it.

James Patterson starts this lesson with talking about editing.~“For me and for a lot of writers. And I think for most of you. Editing, polishing and I’m talking about what you’re doing yourself,- not when your book gets to a publishing house. It’s the whole ball of wax. Its not writing, it’s rewriting and it’s rewriting, and it’s rewriting.  I like to do many drafts. I’ve done as many as nine or ten drafts. But, I do the drafts very quickly. I don’t get constipated! I don’t get worried! I just keep going. Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again!”

What I got from this lesson was ‘that your story needs to move forward’, editing your words will help cut the fat and making the story clear and on point. Read your words forwards and backward. Read as enjoyment  does something trip you up?

Before you start to edit, walk away from your writing. Take a short break.  Eat something. Clean  something. When you come back you will see your work fresh.

What I know about editing;

  • You need to look for style formatting errors  such as  spacing
  • Dates
  • Capitalization,
  • and make sure your characters have the correct names.
  • Check your POV.
  • The spelling of words such as they’re, there, or their.
  • Conjugations such as ‘should of’, ‘would of,’ instead of ‘could have’, ‘should have’.

When editing, you need to be careful that your story isn’t taken off track. If you’re in the middle of a romantic scene, you don’t want your character to start watching a cat video on YouTube. Unless you’re proving a point against your characters getting together.

Read your writing out loud, straight through before starting to edit. Are you conveying anger, comedy, or sadness correctly? If not rewrite.

“Consider not polishing the book until you’ve written at least one draft.” ~ said James Patterson

When it comes to your dialogue, edit it until it moves the story forward and it conveys what you need to, in the least amount of words. All types of writing will benefit from editing.

Just remember -don’t start editing until you  have  a complete first draft.  Editing  sentences as you write them  will prevent your story, essay, poems, articles from  evolving into a reality.

Procrastination will stop you in the form of early editing.  This is important to reemphasize. Don’t edit until that first draft is fully written. 

Rag doll
Here Kitty-Kitty just look at thos baby blues- Now go back and edit.

Here are a couple of links to Proofreading and or editing  Information.

writing center.unc.edu

Learning English with Michelle.