10 Tips & Tricks To Improve Your Writing

10 easy ways to improve your writing:

As social networking is predominately text driven, it is a good idea to make sure your writing is up to an acceptable and readable standard.

There’s nothing worse than reading a tweet, Facebook, Google+ or blog post that is full of errors. It gives an impression to the reader that you are either careless, or worse, a bit stupid.

So, to help you make a better impression on the few million people that may be reading you, (yes, daunting isn’t it?) and improve your writing, here are a few tips you might want to consider:

1. Always check that your verb agree with the subject. I hates this mistake with a passion.

2. Almost every comptupter has a speelchekker, so use it. Yoo could even use teh auto-tect correction for commun errors.

3. Typos involving small common words like that and than, it and is, and there and their are easy to make. Check before you hit the send button. Better to be safe that sorry.

4. One mistake that irks me is the incorrect use of capitalisation. i just cringe when i see this error.

4. When you use numbered bullets, make sure they are sequential.

6. Check your formatting in blog post as errors are not always obvious.

7. USE OF SHOUTING CAPITALS WILL OFFEND READERS, SO DON’T USE THEM. Except for unavoidable acronyms. LOL

8. There are some who think; oddly enough, that punctuation – commas, colons and em dashes, are a sign: or symbolic, of high intellect. In fact, the opposite is true and you stand a good chance of looking like a real fool.

9. I dislike sentences that always start with I. I hate it in fact. I stop reading instantly. I would advise against it. I really would.

10. Reading long passages of text on the Internet; whether it be on a computer, laptop or mobile phone is very tiring on a reader’s eyes so you should be careful not to ramble on with long sentences and un-paragraphed passages of text that are neither informative nor interesting as you will lose your reader very quickly as they will become bored and stop reading your diatribe quicker than you can say Jack Robinson, so don’t just keep typing ad infinitum about your pet subject in long and badly punctuated sentences that keep waffling on without ever coming to the point that was probably your intention to begin with, but you forgot about once you got started and decided to add one extra point in your sentence that should have included a relative pronoun but you got lazy and just used a random comma and kept on typing. Phew!

11. Be sure that your title is a relevant and accurate summary of your article.

So there you go – I hope this post clearly makes the point. And if you got to this part without noticing anything wrong, I suggest you go back and re-read it – there are a mountain of glaring errors that any writer worth his salt should have picked up on. For most of you though, this should be a fun exercise. Just make sure you can see my point through your tears of laughter!

Via: http://www.justpublishingadvice.com/10-tips-tricks-to-improve-your-writing

Online Resources and Inspiration for Writers

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As a writer I have found the Internet to be a wonderful and endless resource. For many of us, the Internet provides an important foundation for many aspects of the creative journey. We all have our own ideas and techniques that will get us writing. More often than not, our inspiration comes from real life places, people and the things that we experience, but we usually have to go one step further to really develop our ideas in stories and novels.

The wonderful thing about the online world is that it’s been around long enough now for you to be very specific about what you are looking for. There are so many websites and articles out there, that should you have a specific problem with your writing, you can just Google it! You never know what you will unlock. Try searching for ‘writing inspiration’ if that is your issue and see what you discover.

If you choose to, you can seek out the opinions of others. I believe that some degree of networking is important for writers. There are many outlets out there where writers will converse and exchange their work. Forums are a great way to meet people and get constructive feedback on your writing, as well as getting a chance to see what other people are up to. Still, I always seem to find myself a little frightened off when I see the sheer volume of writers out there who doing exactly the same thing as I am. In spite of this, the fact that so many people utilise them certainly says something to me.

We all differ in our methods though. I find Twitter a much better resource for networking. This way I get to follow other writers and have them follow me. It’s great for conversation and learning what others are working on, and I can choose to read anything that catches my attention. Think about what kind of writer you are and what works for you.

Overall, the Internet really is an amazing resource for writers. The world of writing and publishing is constantly changing, which makes it a really exciting time to try and make a go of it as an author. Try to keep on top of the latest news and developments. Websites such as Writer’s Online (www.writers-online.co.uk) contain a shedload of useful information for writers, as well as details of writing competitions, new anthologies looking for submissions and articles on established writers to give you some inspiration.

Use your resources to both educate yourself, and to inform and inspire your writing. We are always looking to develop and better ourselves. It’s certainly demotivating at times, so that’s why you must remember the huge network of fellow writers, help and advice which surrounds you on a daily basis.

We are all in this thing together, although the journey can feel quite lonely at times, so most importantly keep dreaming and never give up.

Via https://www.dystopianstories.com/online-resources-inspiration-writers/

23 Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Were Based On Books

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The book isn’t always better than the movie, but most of the time (for me anyway) it is. I enjoy watching movies based on books to see how the story has been brought to life, and to find out whether the moving pictures match the ones built up in my imagination.

But some movies are so good you probably didn’t know they were a book first. Here are a few examples:

1. Die Hard (1988)

Based on: Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

Not only is the Bruce Willis Christmas classic based on a book, but Nothing Lasts Forever is actually a sequel to The Detective, which was made into a 1966 movie starring Frank Sinatra. They made a few changes to the story so it wouldn’t clash with the original movie – for example, in the book the main character’s name is Joe Leland, not John McClane.

2. Forrest Gump (1994)

Based on: Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

Forrest Gump the novel was not at all well-known before it became the massively successful, Oscar-winning movie. It was also pretty different – in the book, Forrest uses profound language, and the author originally wanted him to be played by John Goodman.

“No one believes me when I tell them Forrest Gump was a book that was way out there with him going to space with a monkey and crash landing back on an island with cannibals that he has to beat at chess to escape being eaten.”

3. Mean Girls (2004)

Based on: Queen Bees & Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman

Tina Fey read Queen Bees & Wannabes – a self-help book for parents whose daughters are going through high school – and thought it had the potential to be turned into a movie. Obviously, though, the book is nonfiction, so Fey came up with the story and characters herself.

4. Jurassic Park (1993)

Based on: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

The book version of Jurassic Park actually originated as a screenplay, which author Michael Crichton wrote about a student who recreated a dinosaur. He decided to change the story after he decided that recreating dinosaurs would be an unrealistic academic venture, and would only make sense if it came from “a desire to entertain”.

5. Shrek (2001)

Based on: Shrek! by William Steig

You’d be forgiven for thinking Shrek – and its many, many sequels and spinoffs – was an original DreamWorks creation, but nope. It’s based on a picture book in which a terrifying ogre kind-of-accidentally saves a princess. The movie won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, which is amazing.

6. Pitch Perfect (2012)

Based on: Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory by Mickey Rapkin

Similar to Mean Girls, Pitch Perfect was based on a nonfiction book. It was written by a senior editor at GQ, who spent a season following collegiate a cappella groups around the country on their quests for success. The Bellas were loosely inspired by the Divisi, an all-female a cappella group from the University of Oregon.

7. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Based on: Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine

The film adaptation of Madame Doubtfire follows Anne Fine’s young adult novel pretty closely – with one important exception: In the book, the two eldest children immediately recognise their new nanny as their father in disguise. Only their younger sister and mother are convinced it’s actually Madame Doubtfire.

8. Goodfellas (1990)

Based on: Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi

The gangster classic Goodfellas is actually based on a nonfiction book written by journalist Nicholas Pileggi. It tells the story of Henry Hill, an informant who was once a member of the Mafia. Director Martin Scorsese believed the book to be the most honest portrayal of real-life gangsters he’d ever read.

9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Based on: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

The mega-acclaimed movie was actually based on a short story by Stephen King – you can find it in Different Seasons, a collection of four novellas. Oh, and one of the other stories in the collection was adapted into the classic coming of age movie Stand By Me.

10. Clueless (1995)

Based on: Emma by Jane Austen

Yup, teen classic Clueless is actually based on a Jane Austen novel. Obviously, it’s a modern retelling of Emma set in ’90s Beverly Hills rather than 19th-century England, but it’s cool to read the book and see what connections you can make with the movie that defined so many of our childhoods.

For the remaining 13, and some of them are corkers, you can visit the full list here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/movies-you-probably-didnt-know-were-books

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Manuscript Solicited

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You may be familiar with the phrase “we don’t take unsolicited manuscripts” on publishers’ websites. It can be a disappointing sight for an aspiring writer yearning to be published. Fortunately, publishers are always soliciting; you just need to know how to get your work into that category.

1. LITERARY AGENTS

While many publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, some literary agents do. Literary Agents are there to connect writers with publishers and to help handle the legal documents regarding copyright (including print, film and radio) and royalties.

2. COMPETITIONS

Entering writing competitions is a great way to get your name and work in front of publishers. Winners and those short-listed are often named in literary media—the same media that publishers read.

In addition to the publicity, some competitions also offer publication as a prize. The publication could be in media such as a magazine or newspaper, or it could be as a printed anthology or book. Manuscript competitions and awards have also helped many first-time writers publish.

3. PITCHING

Publishers and editors may not have time to read manuscripts, but they do have time to listen to pitches. A pitch is a short, sweet and powerful way of sharing your manuscript. If you can capture the essence and selling points of your story in a quick and compelling way, you could get someone willing to read your whole manuscript.

4. PORTFOLIO

A portfolio is a collection or sample of your work. If you are a long-prose writer it might be beneficial to work on your short-prose skills, as portfolios usually aren’t made of novels. Portfolios can be attached to your resume, but if you want a publisher to notice you, you want it out in the world.

5. NETWORKING

Lastly, but certainly not least, you need to know the right people. If you want a publisher to hear about your manuscript, you want to tap into that publishing network. Pitch your manuscript to the right people, and they might know a publisher who could be interested and pass it along.

For more tips and tricks on how to get your foot through that door, visit the rest of the article here: http://writersedit.com/5-simple-ways-take-manuscript-unsolicited-solicited/

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist Books | Waterstones

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Presenting the Shortlist from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the UK’s most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman. Founded in 1996, the Prize has consistently delivered winners which have become a vital part of who Waterstones is as a bookseller, from titles of the power of Zadie Smith’s On Beauty in 2006 to last year’s victory of Lisa McInerney for The Glorious Heresies.

It’s a pleasure to present the shortlist for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. Once again, the Baileys judging panel have selected an exquisite list of treasures.

You can find out more about each of these books, read their full synopsis and even purchase it if you like, by following this link: https://www.waterstones.com/book-awards/the-baileys-womens-prize-for-fiction

Revealing the Baileys Prize 2017 Shortlist

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REVEALING THE 2017 SHORTLIST…

We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist. This year’s six shortlisted books include one previous winner of the Prize and one debut novelist.

“It has been a great privilege to Chair the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction in a year which has proved exceptional for writing of both quality and originality,” said Tessa Ross, 2017 Chair of Judges. “It was therefore quite a challenge to whittle this fantastic longlist of 16 books down to only six… These were the six novels that stayed with all of us well beyond the final page.”

The shortlisted books are as follows:

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀
The Power  Naomi Alderman
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

This year’s judges now have the unenviable task of choosing the winner from these six brilliant books, which will be revealed at an awards ceremony hosted in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on 7 June 2017.

Keep tabs on all things Baileys by visiting the original article here:  http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/reading-room/news/revealing-2017-shortlist

A Literary Map Of London | Bookworm Dreams Come True

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So we’re all united in the fact that London is the best city ever, right? Well, who knew it was also the backdrop to so many great novels?

If you didn’t, we *almost* forgive you… but have you never wanted to know exactly where Ebenezer Scrooge started to hate Christmas? Or where 007 resided when he wasn’t out spying on the bad guys?

Well now’s the chance for our inner bookworms to break free as there’s an entire literary map of London – solely based around some of London’s most interesting literary characters.

Created by Dex, a London-based artist and graphic designer and Anna, a graphic designer, who teamed up to create this wonderful map of London.

Each character has been carefully selected and is highlighted in the areas they roamed the most in their respective novels. Modern characters like Bridget Jones and old favourites such as Dorian Gray pop up throughout our big ole city but if you get lost, you can only blame your shelf! (007 joke!)

With hand-drawn typography and over 250 novels included in this project, this print is definitely one for any lover of books and of course, London.

You can find out more about it by visiting the original article here: http://secretldn.com/2017/04/literary-map-london

Top 5 Quotes on Writing | Writer’s Edit

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Influential words from experienced individuals or prominent figures are important in our lives and our work. A simple quote may reaffirm something we already know, or enlighten us regarding something we don’t. Take heed from the professionals of your craft; learn from the people who have lived a life just as you. There is a world of experience recorded in simple phrases, waiting to be read and appreciated.

Below is a list of some of the best quotes on writing. These are from the men and women who have struggled just as we do now with starting, stopping, finishing etc. These are also the artists who live with the knowledge that writing enriches life and cleanses the soul, and through reading their ideas, hopefully we can reaffirm this within ourselves.

#5. Stephen King

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

#4. Ernest Hemingway

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

#3. Anton Chekov

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

#2. Joss Whedon

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.”

#1. Enid Bagnold

Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”

For the rhyme and reason, as to why these quotes are great, visit the full article here: http://writersedit.com/top-5-quotes-writing/

How to Become a Successful Writer and Work Full-Time at a Day Job

 

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In today’s article, Ron Vitale talks about how he is making the transition to become a full-time author:

Take the First Step

Back in 2008, I made a decision that changed my life. I decided to write a novel.

Yes, I worked full-time at a day job and had two small children, but realized that if I wanted my life to change, I needed to either make a move, or let go of my dream. Having my big “four-oh” birthday on the horizon proved to be the kick in the pants that pushed me to act. I thought long and hard, but decided to take a leap of faith and try. I now have 7 novels on sale on various platforms and am working on my next.

I went from “wanting to be a novelist” to “being one.”

How? I did the following:

  • Made a public commitment to my family and friends, holding myself accountable.
  • Created a schedule that worked for my busy career.
  • Chunked the work into bite-sized pieces.

Believe in Yourself

All my life I had waited for someone to validate me as an author. To change that unhealthy behavior, I started doing. I wrote in the morning before work, read “how to” articles and started listening to podcasts on writing and publishing. I reframed my goals by choosing to invest in myself and my dream.

No longer would I wait for someone to discover me, I would discover myself. I knew I would fail, need to pick myself back up and continue to try. But through it all, I realized that my greatest asset was my belief in myself. If I believed I couldn’t do the work, then I would never succeed.

Butt in Chair

Once I had decided to write a book, I need to plan the logistics. My days consisted of the following:

  • Day job (including commute): 11-12 hours with weekends off
  • Dinner, cleaning up and chores: 1-2 hour
  • Playing with kids, putting them to bed: 1 hour
  • Free time (spend time with my wife, read, watch TV, hobbies): 1-2 hours
  • Sleep: 6-7 hours

Initially, I looked at my schedule and did not see where I could make time. Sure, I could cut out my free time each day, but I kept that on my schedule in order to actually have time to talk with my wife. I became frustrated, thinking of how little time I actually had to write, learn indie publishing and teach myself marketing strategies and started to give up hope.

To solve my problem, I chose to get up early several days a week to write while using my commute to and from work to focus on research (listening to podcasts, reading marketing books or industry blog posts).

I found the first few weeks of writing hard. I’d stare at the blank screen, start to write, but had trouble piecing together narrative threads over the course of the week. On Thursday, I’d forget my idea from Tuesday.

I kept trying, stopped writing when I became too frustrated or overwhelmed, but soon the habit grew on me after three weeks. To cement my new early morning writing habit, I found ways to trick myself into being motivated:

  • I set a word count goal of 1,500 words per writing session.
  • I created a Google Sheet and kept track of my daily writing counts.
  • Before I finished my writing session, I’d allow threads to be left open by stopping in the middle of an action scene or in the middle of a conversation between two characters.

By using simple motivational means, I started shaping my own success because I could see my word counts adding up over time. After the first few days, 1,500 words became 4,500 until eventually I wrote 83,000 words. No longer did I feel lost, but had a tangible means of tracking my success – success that I could share with family and friends.

Read the rest of this fantastic article here: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/day-job