Tag Archives: Writing

Learning as You Write – Guest Post…

Mary Clark is a guest on The Story Reading Ape, discussing Learning as You Write: “it’s okay to write what you don’t know, as long as you make every effort to come to know it.” When I began writing my latest novel, I thought no research would be involved. Was I taken by surprise? You bet. And I thoroughly researched everything for the sake of authenticity. Hop over to Chris’ blog to read about Mary’s personal experience . . .

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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Writers are advised by editors, agents, academic and self-appointed experts to write about what they know. Some people have pointed out that would be boring. As writers we live in a world of imagination. Some tend to exaggerate, or have a quirky point of view, but many of us simply wonder what’s beyond the known world. We daydream, pay close attention to and analyze our sensory experience, and experiment with ideas. In other words, we go beyond the bounds of ordinary existence. In a way our characters are avatars for ourselves as we explore a made-up world, one created from what we know and what we are curious to know.

When I wrote Miami Morning, I broke the rule on writing what you know. Instead, I was fascinated by what I could learn about topics that were new to me. As I wrote, for instance, I was challenged, just…

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5 Basic Tips on Staying Focused When Writing a Book – Guest Post…

The Story Reading Ape features guest Audrey Throne discussing ways authors can remain focused while writing. And much to my disappointment, her list doesn’t include eating chocolate 🙂 Hop over to Chris’ blog for these common-sense tips . . .

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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To be able to work with sheer dedication, a writer needs the ability to fully concentrate and stay focused at all times. Maintaining your focus for sustained periods can be a difficult task to do. Psychologists suggest a powerful form of concentration for writers called ‘flow’. This refers to an individual fully engaging in the task they are doing. For a writer, ‘flowing’ concentration is essential to write pieces with utmost fluency.

Inability to concentrate can be fruitless, especially for a writer. In order to make each day productive, writers must employ these 5 basic tips to stay focused on work and exercise their minds for better concentration:

Stick to the Schedule

The type of schedule you keep doesn’t matter as long as it caters to your needs and helps dedicate time to your book on a regular basis. If you’re not experienced in writing projects, avoid scheduling as you…

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Meet Guest Author Jeremy Breitenbach…

Author Jeremy Breitenbach is a guest on The Story Reading Ape today. Jeremy is legally blind with cerebral palsy and uses Braille. He is also the author of 6 books, loves watching TV and movies as well as playing video games, and wishes to donate a portion of the sale of his books to charity. The next time I think something is just too hard or beyond my capabilities, I’ll remember Jeremy. He is an inspiration and a bright light in the world …

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

jeremy-breitenbach-02My name is Jeremy Breitenbach.  I am legally blind with cerebral palsy and use Braille. 

The cerebral palsy limits me to the use of one hand, my left.  I have limited vision in my left eye and none in my right, but I can watch TV, watch movies, and play video games if I sit close to the TV screen. 

Some of my favorite TV shows are: the Dragon Ball franchise (which is comprised of: Dragon Ball, the Dragon Ball movies, Dragon Ball Z, the 15 DBZ movies and 2 specials, Dragon Ball Z Kai (the revised Dragon Ball Z), Dragon Ball GT, and the Dragon Ball GT special), Ghost Adventures, Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, The Middle, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the entire Star Trek franchise, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (the one from 1983), Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda (1989…

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Call to arms.

Congratulations to Adele Marie Park on the cover release of her first book, WISP! It’s always exciting to publish a book, but the release of one’s first book holds a special place in the heart. Hop over to Adele’s blog to learn more about the magic and secrets soon to be revealed …

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Well, not exactly but I’m extremely pleased and excited to announce that WISP, my first book to be published is nearly at the release stage. The edits have been done and done. The front cover is ready and beautiful it is. So, without further ado, I present the cover release of WISP.

The Blurb

Edra, a world where magic keeps dark secrets. Secrets which can get you killed.

The body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city. Wisp, a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. It will turn out to be a case that changes his life forever.

Wisp tugs loose a thread in a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption, and evil. His world as he knew it begins to change and when friendship turns to love: he has more to lose.

What started out as a murder case ends up becoming something which…

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A Crow Who Became a Fictional Character – Guest Post…

A lovely guest post on The Story Reading Ape by Olga Kuno telling us about Cyriusha the crow ~ a bird with a broken wing rescued and cared for by her family ~ who becomes a substantial character in one of her novels . . .

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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As a writer, I have often been asked whether my characters are inspired by real-life people. My answer is generally negative. Of course, I use my world knowledge and personal experience when I write a book, and this includes observations of other people’s behaviors, reactions and opinions. I may even literally quote some non-standard phrases that people around me (particularly my husband) love to use. But I have never tried to describe a real, familiar, individual in a novel. With one exception.

This exception is not a human being, however. It is a bird. Specifically, a crow.

One of my first fantasy novels is about a woman who has a special talent of speaking to animals. Not speaking in the most literal sense of the word; rather, she understands them, takes care of them, teaches them – and they love her and cooperate with her…

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EDITING 101: 13 – Self-Editing Part 1…

In Part 13 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape, Susan Uttendorfsky presents Part 1 of self-editing. She discusses searching for weak verbs and overused words, and how to vary sentence constructions. As I’m finalizing my manuscript and preparing to publish my next novel, this series has been extremely helpful. I’m sure you’ll find it helpful as well …

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Self Editing Part 1

Some of the things we’ve discussed previously are good to be on the watch for and remove, but there are other, specific tasks that can be done when a manuscript’s completed to help polish it. Since there are many of these odd jobs, this specific post will continue over time.

Editing your own work involves hard labor. Other authors have mentioned they make as many as ten to fifteen passes in editing, revising, and reworking, focusing on one or two aspects of self-editing each time. Those authors are to be commended, since writing a book is only one third of the work. Editing is the second third, and publishing and marketing take up the final third. You’re…

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EDITING 101: 12 – Directions and Impossibilities…

In Part 12 of her Editing 101 series, Susan Uttendorfsky covers directional redundancies and impossible actions. Do we stand up or do we stand? Do we throw our eyes across the room or do we throw someone a scathing glance? Hop over to The Story Reading Ape to read this enlightening post . . .

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Directions and Impossibilities

Welcome to today’s article! I hope you’re keeping busy and life is not getting in the way of your writing schedule too much.

We’re going to talk about two short items today. The first is directional redundancies. It’s a big term, isn’t it? It was covered briefly in EDITING 101: 01, Redundancies, but I wanted to go a little further with it. In the previous article, one of the examples was “Her tears ran down her cheeks,” and I pointed out that tears can only run in one direction, can’t they? When was the last time you ever saw somebody’s tears run up their cheeks? (Perhaps if they were hanging upside down on a jungle gym, but…

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Meet the Author! Andrew Joyce

Andrew Joyce is a guest on Books and Opinions, LLC, where he talks about the research involved when writing his four novels. Research can become convoluted at times and be pretty exasperating, especially when you thought little research would be involved at the outset! And yes, that’s exactly where my head was when I began writing my current novel. But we can count on any detail overlooked being pointed out by a reviewer. Andrew addresses this as well. Hop over to Angela‘s blog to read this superb post…

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Biography:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

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How he came to write this book:

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Angela for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest, Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the…

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EDITING 101: 11 – Using a Thesaurus…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 11 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape: Using a Thesaurus. Do you want your writing to sound colorful or pompous? Hop over to Chris Graham’s blog for the details…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using a Thesaurus

When you were in grammar school, you were taught the terms antonym and synonym. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word: love/hate, hot/cold, spring/fall, light/dark. Synonyms are words meaning the same thing (or nearly the same thing): light/bright, traitor/Benedict Arnold, flat/horizontal, soft/cushiony. A thesaurus is a book which lists synonyms for many words and can come in very handy for a writer. The first one you were exposed to was probably Roget’s Thesaurus. The one I like to use is the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. If you don’t want to use a book, there are online thesauri, such as http://www.thesaurus.com and http://freethesaurus.net/. Microsoft Word has a built-in thesaurus. You can…

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Food in Fiction – Part 3 – Guest Post…

Christine Campbell is a guest on The Story Reading ape today, bringing us Part 3 of her Food in Fiction series. She discusses food as a central character in our novels. I think Countess Chocolate would make a delectable protagonist 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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In the first two articles on this subject, we gave some thought to scenes in novels we’ve read where food played an important role, and how their attitude to food can reveal things about your character’s character. We looked at some examples, and talked about how important food is in our lives and, by extension, the lives of fictional characters.

I thought it would be interesting to think now about food as a central character in its own right. For instance, in Chocolat by Joanne Harris, chocolate plays the most important role. Without it, there would be no story.

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious moral danger to his flock – especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. As…

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