Wednesday 6 August 2014

IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group, August 2014

Anna Nordeman

Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my sixteenth post for IWSG. 

I had just finished writing my IWSG-post and noticed some minor detail that I thought I needed to correct, when I accidentally hit the delete-button and erased the entire post! The text and photos were gone. They were not in my backup feed. So this is a reconstruction of what I wrote and tried to post earlier this morning. 

I don't usually make that kind of stupid computer-related mistake. And it depresses me that I did it now. For some unknown reason (well, I was distracted by Elisabet who constantly interrupted me with questions). For some reason everything on the computer screen started jumping around, so when I tried to clear away some empty posts, I deleted the post that I had been working on since the day before yesterday.

When you make a stupid mistake like that, it's always good idea to just stop, just stop what you are doing and do something entirely different. I was probably just too tired and hungry.

I really needed to take a break. So I went out (across the street) to get a pizza for Elisabet and a salad and chicken sandwich for me. (Then, when I came home, I discovered that they had given me a sandwich with that awful kebab-mystery-meat - that I hate - instead of chicken! So I'm not the only one to get things mixed up.)

For last month's post I compared two how-to-write-books, Save the Cat, The Last Book On Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder, and Writers' and Artists' Guide to How to Write, The Essential Guide for Authors, by Harry Bingham.
I am still making discoveries when it comes to how-to-write books, and would like to recommend, Write to be Published, by Nicola Morgan.

Nicola Morgan's Write to be Published covers much of the same ground that Harry Bingham's guidebook does, but with a different perspective. She shows what makes a publisher say 'No' to a manuscript. And she readily admits to having made these mistakes herself. How can I not like Nicola Morgan? She is self-depreciating and funny. Her book is entertaining as well as filled with serious and useful advice. I would love to have her as my writing-buddy.

On page 44, she says right out that it is indeed possible to become a great writer and still be dyslexic! (A passage that I plan to read aloud to my son, Erik, who is dyslexic!)

On page 52, Nicola Morgan explains the different between band-wagons and trends:

The two things are not quite the same, but we can consider them together. A band-wagon is more specific than a trend; it also has both the potential to generate many sales and the potential to be highly transient. Vampires in books are an exampled of a band-wagon. A trend is vaguer, broader. Examples of trends might be "increasing violence in crime fiction" or "the appearance of older women in romantic fiction". (That isn't an actual trend as far as I know, but a girl can dream.)

(Yes, Nicola, I'm with you there.  I have similar dreams!)

Nicola Morgan is a prolific writer who really seems to know what she's talking about when it comes to writing for publication. Besides a very, very long list of fiction, she has also written several non-fiction books about how children's minds develop; how they mature in their thinking. If you are interested in children's literature, I think you can learn a lot from Nicola.

Check out Nicola Morgan's blog: Help! I Need a Publisher!

There is a lot of common sense in all of these how-to books. Trying to get your manuscript published is similar to looking for and applying for jobs. You need to think about what you want for your book and your career as a writer. The more how-to books I read, the more I see how important it is to find one's own way to publication, choosing what feels right for you and the product that you wish to share with the world.

I have another how-to book that I would like to talk about, but I am just to tired too give it the attention it deserves. I'll write about that one next time. This will be a short post for IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group, August 2014.  

Thanks for reading!

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Beverly Stowe McClure
The Story of a Writer

Beverly participates parallel in S.A. Larsen's the Writer's Creed. Maybe this is something I should try?

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