More ADVICE for writers…spelled correctly this time!

nanoLast time I wrote a post about advice for writers, I spelled advice incorrectly. I spelled it “advise.”… Seriously. And I do it all the time. It’s one of those words I cannot get a handle on no matter how many times I misspell it and how many times someone points it out. I’m getting better, but we shall see if it sticks lol.

Anyhow, with NANOWRIMO being just a day or so away, I thought I’d give out some more advice because sometimes the best way to learn new things is to teach, so the best way to really let thing sink in to your brain is to advise someone else (see what I did there? I’m using both “advice” and “advise” in this post to learn the difference lol).

1– Never assume you know everything. You don’t. I don’t care if you’ve been writing for a million years and you have umpteen degrees in writing and you have eighty novels on the market, all bestsellers, and your mom thinks you’re awesome and you live in a mansion by the sea bought with royalties from your eighty bestsellers. Even the most seasoned writers can learn from newbies. You can learn from people who do not write at all. You can learn from your dog. Don’t be the asshole who thinks he’s made it to Stephen King caliber when, in reality, you haven’t made it out of your mother’s basement.

2– Follow submission guidelines. Do not assume your story is so awesome you don’t have to follow guidelines like everyone else. For those who may not know, submission guidelines are there for a reason. Sometimes many reasons.

Example of Submission Guidelines (the short of it):

Word length: 2,000-5,000 words
Standard Format
Accepting werewolf, vampire, and zombie fiction only
Attach: Ms, cover letter, and brief bio.
Send to: submissions@phonybalognapress
Subject Line: Submission/AuthorName/StoryTitle

So, if you read those guidelines and send them a 7,000 short story called “Roses In the Wrong Garden” about a character who fades into another dimension after wandering through an enchanted garden, you’re not likely to be accepted. Why?

Cause your conceded self thought you were too good of a writer to be rejected. You thought they’d make an exception for you. They might have another antho open taking garden stories and you might actually be lucky enough for them to send that story to the right department, but chances of that happening are pretty darn slim. Send your stories where they belong and don’t try to fool yourself.

3– If you constantly get two different words mixed up (advice and advise), use them both all over the place until you get it through your head that they are NOT the same word. I’m doing that right now myself. It’s helping.

4– When in doubt, you should probably do more research.

5– Help your fellow writers out every now and then. If you see someone struggling along with their work and you know through social media that they are having it rough finishing something, offer them an ear. Don’t bad mouth another author for their successes or their shortcomings. That’s just not nice and it’s bad business, also. Writers should be encouraging each other. ESPECIALLY writers in the same or similar genres!

Do you know why? Because if I wrote a horror novel and Author Suzie Q. Cutiepie wrote a horror novel and both novels involve vampires, then readers who loved my novel are going to want something equally as awesome to read afterward. That means they might pick up Suzie Q. Cutiepie’s novel. Why not help each other promote instead of badmouthing and being jerks? I share links to other people’s books all the time and other authors share links to mine from time to time too. 😀

6– Get some sleep at night. You can’t write if you can’t hold your head up.

This is all I have to say today. I felt these things needed posting, so I posted.

To anyone participating in NANOWRIMO this year, look me up on the Nano site! I’d be glad to be your buddy! And good luck! May the force be with you.

…And may the odds be ever in your favor!

 

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12 Things I’m Watching For Halloween

In anticipation of the national child candy tax day, I’ll be watching stuff. Here’s a list of things:

1) American Horror Story. Doesn’t even matter what season. They’re all great, though I have a particular fondness toward season one. Season three isn’t all out in its entirety, but so far it’s phenomenal. Season one is available on Netflix right now, too.

Hemlock 62) Hemlock Grove.  If you haven’t already binge watched every episode of season one, you should do so. If you already have, do it again. It was great!

3) Hocus Pocus. It’s a great way to introduce witches to your children. *Grins*

4) Halloween. Duuuuhhhhh.

5) Snakes On A Plane. Cause you can never get enough muthaf*ckin’ Samuel L. Jackson. The movie isn’t Halloween themed, but watch it anyway.

6) 13 Ghosts.  This film scared the pants off me.

7) Scooby Doo. Any movie, any episode of any Scooby show. Just do it.

8) The Hunger Games. The book was far better than the movie, but if you have young girls in your house, it’s bound to be a Halloween hit because the sequel is coming in November and because, ya know, that Hemsworth boy is in it and the Peeta guy.

9) Night Of the Living Dead. Cause ya just have to.

10) The Walking Dead. You can find a ton of it on Netflix. If you’re behind, get caught up. If not, catch everyone else in your house up.

11) Dracula. Any movie. Pick one, there are tons. Stay away from the Dracula movies with numbers in the title (Dracula 3000) because they suck in a bad, bad way. The other ones are great, though.

12) The Crow. Nuff said.

How to prepare for Nanowrimo and other crap…

nanoHow many of you are planning on participating in Nanowrimo 2013? I made a post on Facebook today asking what others were doing to prepare for the month of November and all the National Novel Writing Month entails, but mostly the responses I got leaned toward planning and plotting. Makes sense, right? What else can you do?

Well, I have a list of things that may help you. At the very least, it may make you laugh or give you some food for thought.

1.) Hook yourself up with a good writing playlist. A lot of writers need some music to help them along while others would rather write in complete silence, but if you enjoy a tune, Youtube is a great place to start. But, if Youtube is too much of a distraction–what with their shiny, sparkling videos and all–then you can try a site called Grooveshark.com. No videos, just music and the ability to make playlists and save them.

2.)  I refuse to get into a long debate over the concepts of plotting versus pantsing, but if you’re a plotter, perhaps now would be a good time to jot down some notes or get a few key phrases or reference photos for characterization rounded up and put together in a folder on your computer.

3.) Consider using Google Drive to make your documents or creating a profile and downloading Dropbox to keep everything organized. I use Google Documents through Google Drive because I’m constantly bouncing back and forth between my laptop and my desktop computer. However, Dropbox is equally as accessible and very helpful. I’ve heard great things about both.

4.) On about October 30th or so, go to the grocery store and buy what you need, be it toilet paper and coffee or snacks to nosh on through your adventure into Nanowrimo. You should also make sure you have a few legal pads, pens, pencils, a sharpener, highlighters, or whatever else you may need.

5.) If you’re making your participation in Nanowrimo official, head over to the website (Nanowrimo.org) and make a profile. It’s free. However, you can take part without creating a profile and making it “official” because the greatness behind this particular month is that it gives you an incentive or a special drive to FINISH THAT DANG NOVEL already! LOL.

6.) If you already know you’re going to need some reference materials for your project, locate those things now. Bookmark sites on your computer you might need, locate books you might need as desk references, and get everything together in one spot (or in a folder on your computer). Great places to bookmark would be baby name websites for naming characters and maps of places you’re thinking of including in your story. Another great resource for reference books or other books you might need is Thriftbooks.com. I buy a lot  of used books there because they’re cheap and in great shape and there are no shipping fees in the US (and I just happen to live in the US).

7.) Don’t do any of these things. Just wing it. Some of the best books were written that way.

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

Bones Of Willow Lake has a cover artist! The very talented Mark Hogg will be creating a wonderful cover for my pending release and I’ll report more when there is more information available. Other than that, I’ve been listening to you people. One of the most searched keyterms for this blog is “Demon King Rhiannon Mills sequel.” Somebody really wants more Draken, huh? Well, I hear you and I’ve got something coming.

Bones Of Willow Lake Q&A

The release date for my upcoming novel, BONES OF WILLOW LAKE, is pending. The cover is being created, though, which is a big step in the right direction. Over the past year I’ve been asked a few questions about the book and I’ve decided that since the time is coming, I could do a quick questions and answers post, just for the heck of it.

Q: Are there vampires?
A: No.

Q: Is the lake haunted?
A: Maybe.

Q: When can I buy it?
A: When you read a post in my blog, on facebook, or elsewhere that announces a release LOL.

Q: Is there a sequel coming to The Demon King?
A: Wrong book! But, I’m still working on it. Still. All these years later.

Q: Is it bloody?
A: Yes, but not through the entire book. Just parts.

Q: How did the ghost die?
A: Read the book and find out. I refuse to ruin it!

Q: Will there be a giveaway?
A: Yes, there will be a few giveaways, actually. Several, if I can manage it 😀 But, if you want to win a signed copy, there will be one specific giveaway for that one and it won’t be too easy to win. Print copies are copies I tend to make you work for. I’m horrible like that.

And there we have it. 😀