Writing Sites

Erotica Writers

Friday, July 20th, 2007

dress4.jpgFor those of you who like to write erotica, people on LiteraryMary.com are getting together for a self-paced erotica writing class.

It’s loosely structured and a small class, but you can get feedback on your writing (Literary Mary has an erotica writing section) and have fun. (I know some of the people who are in the group.

Feel free to drop by Literary Mary and join the site and the group.

Poetry Blog

Monday, June 25th, 2007

At this time, 451Press, unfortunately, doesn’t have a poetry blog. However, for those of you looking for a poetry-focused blog – especially if you’re looking to support a poetry blog just getting started out – then stop by Poems In My Head.

Poems In My Head is a new poetry blog written by 451Press’ own Neelima of Healthy B.P.M.. With a mix of poetry contests, news, sites, and personal poems by Neelima, this blog has all the makings of a great poetry blog.

Stop by and let Neelima know what you think of her blog. As always with start-up blogs, feedback is appreciated!

Historical Fiction Sites

Friday, March 9th, 2007

This is just an additional few sites to go along with the interview for historical fiction writers.

Want to know anything about time or calendars? Go to Virtual Perpetual Calendars. You can find anything and everything you need to know about time, calendars (including zodiac), and even holidays.

Last Words might be a bit morbid, but you can find out the last words of many famous people.

If you’re not so keen on famous lasts, how about checking out this list of famous firsts?

Enjoy!

Author Websites - Blogger

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Having an author site for yourself (and your latest piece of work you’re promoting) can be quite important in getting word out about you and your books. Even if you’re unpublished, having an author site can show a publisher that you already have and are more than willing to promote yourself and your work.

Blogger.com is a popular choice for many people, and is they way I got started in blogging. An easy to navigate and visually pleasing site, I recommend blogger to those just starting out in blogging and/or in HTML.

edit.bmpWhen you sign up with Blogger, it’s easy to find your way around with easy-to-understand-and-read terms and fonts. For the new blogger, it’s as easy as signing up with a valid email address, picking your blog title, template, and URL, and then going off to post! The blogger unfamiliar with HTML can step in and start posting without having to worry about any bits of code. However, the basic codesmith can easily switch over to the “Edit HTML” tab and give it a go.

add-and-drop.bmp

After Blogger’s recent switch to “the New Blogger,” it’s even easier to make your blog your own - no HTML experience needed. All you need do is drag and drop elements as you want them to look, and you can have a preview. For the HTML dabbler, this can be a good thing as well because you can drag and drop the main elements as well as add your personal touch in the raw template.

If you’re looking to make a little cash with your blog, you’re likely thinking to go the popular way of Google adsense. Blogger has that covered in an easy add-on in the drag and drop template manipulation section. All you have to do is sign up for it.

However, Blogger has its down points as well.

To sign up for the new Blogger, you have to have a Google account or you will be signed up for one. This isn’t a strong negative, but if you’re like me, you groan at the thought of signing up for yet another thing you won’t use. I have yet to explore to see exactly what I can do with my new account with Google.

archives.bmpBlogger’s main function is for its users to be able to blog. Your posts will go up in diary style format and will be archived all the same. If you want a Bio page, Blogger does give you a profile page. However, it is meager and you want something more, plan on having a blog all about you with its own unique URL just sitting there.

Finally, Blogger is meant mainly for blogging, as I said above. Thus you have a blog, but that’s about all. If you have seen other author sites and like the idea of having a page for your prose, a page for your poetry, a page for your blogging, etc, be prepared to have quite a few blogs. I know quite a few people who manage this and manage it well, but I prefer to have everything I want and need on one site, one URL.

Blogger is my definite recommendation for people starting out and those who want to start experimenting with template HTML. However, if you’ve been using it for a good amount of time now, I recommend branching out and trying a few other spaces so you can find your true fit for your needs.

Some links to templates:

Aspiring Romance Writer uses the Thisaway Rose template provided by Blogger.
Hawke uses a template I partially designed myself. This is an example of how you can use a base template and experiment with a few things to get the look you want, and you don’t have to know how to make a template from scratch.
Infinite Monkeys uses an original, monkey-themed template.

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Author Websites - Introduction

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
horror-site.jpg

The internet can be a great way to promote yourself. More and more authors are straying away from the publishing company’s profile page to have their own personal sites. Having your own site can be a wonderful way to promote yourself and your writing.

Things you need to decide are:

*if you are going to pay or not.
*if you want to try to make money off it.
*what you want in your site.
*how much of it you want to do yourself.
*whether you want your own domain or not (which will work into whether or not you want to pay).
*how much space you want/need.

You should also consider the amount of experience you have with HTML and/or CSS, working with images, and basic graphic design.

If you’re thinking about creating an author site, it’s better to start thinking about this sooner than later because websites take a while to build. Having a well thought out site map, even just loosely written on a piece of paper, rather than something just slapped together shows.

Reviews coming up:

Blogger
FreeWebs
Angelfire
WordPress

If there is a program I don’t mention that you are unsure about and would rather not sign up, let me know. I’ll snoop around and give a review.

Do you already have an author site? I’d like to review a variety of different services, so I’d love to hear from you.

Comic courtesy of: Will Write for Chocolate

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Don’t get Ahead of Yourself - Part Two

Monday, March 5th, 2007

pathtopublication.jpgLast week, I talked about the fear of rejection popping in every now and then while getting ready to make submissions to publishers. However, it’s not something I’m horribly worried about at this point. Yes, it invades my mind, but it’s not keeping me from pursuing getting published.

Rejection happens a lot to many writers. It can sting, but it’s a growing experience. I had posted up a question for my fellow 451press bloggers asking about rejections. A few people, ones I mentioned in part one and those I’ll mention here, responded.

Bobbi has a quote in this post about rejection from the book Writing Brave and Free by Ted Kooser and Steve Cox:

“Build rejection into your expectations; plan to have magazines reject your writing,and treat it as a gift when you get published. As hard as it is to accept, every failure is a chance to learn.”

I honestly expected a little piece about rejection I could agree with and perhaps gain a bit more perspective about rejection from, but instead I found that quote. A quote which made me a bit angry, truth be told.

I’m sorry, but no. I will not build rejection into my expectations. If you are in any way a believer in The Secret (which basically says you will attract what you think about most) then you’ll agree with me. Yes, rejections have and will be sent to me, but I won’t expect them to come. I’ll merely trudge along if they do.

Expect rejection? No. I have too much optimism left in me (apparently) to go in with the expectation of being rejected. That’s entirely too depressing a thing to do, in my opinion.

Samantha Schwartz’s Australian Guide to Getting Published lists several reasons you might not get published, which might make you feel better the next time you get a rejection letter.

“The publishers:

*Don’t publish those kinds of books. For example, it is futile to send a New Age manuscript to a publisher of high school text books.

*Genuinely don’t have space in the list for more books (budget constraints).

*Think the writing is fine, but that the book would need expensive promotion, more than the publisher can afford.

*Think the writing isn’t strong enough and don’t have the time, interest, or capital to work with the author.

*Think that the ideas, or the content, isn’t sufficiently original or contributes nothing new to the subject area from which it derives.

*Think that the author doesn’t have a sufficiently high profile in their subject are. This is especially true of poetry and some anthology publishing which is traditionally very hard to sell.

Or,

*Think that the writing is just awful or the subject totally unmarketable.”

Okay, so not all of those may make you feel better, but now you see that rejections aren’t always sent just because “you and your writing suck.”

So don’t worry, and keep plugging away. I certainly will.

Don’t get Ahead of Yourself - Part One

Monday, February 26th, 2007

pathtopublication.jpgWhile I’m looking at publishers, getting together needed attachments for submissions, and looking over my manuscript again and again, of course possible rejection is on my mind.

There’s a certain excitement - at least for me, the paperwork and organization addict - when putting all these things together, but there’s a niggling every now and then in wondering if it’s all for naught.

Of course, as life always seems to go, I received this email notification from one of the writing groups I’m in:

“Confessions of a Small Publisher

At our monthly meeting of writers recently we invited a small publisher to tell us about the book publishing realities. Here are some useful comments:

They get an average of 35 book submissions every week. Agented and otherwise. That’s at least 1500 per year and they publish only 5-7 every year. That’s about 99.5% rejection rate…

We asked about criteria for rejection. They take first 30 pages of your manuscript and give it to at least 5 independent “readers” who then suggest to the publishers which manuscripts to read in full. You have to submit those 30 pages as a Word attachment in e-mail with a book synopsis and brief bio. Do not expect an answer for about 90 days…” - Courtesy of Szuprowicz

And that is a small publisher.

I’m not horribly worried about rejection in general. What I’m afraid of is a rejection letter like the one Law Mummy talks about in this post about a rejection letter she received. I know, like her, I could take it, but I wouldn’t like that period of upset, which would likely emerge every time I looked at the letter.

Alas, you can only deal with such things when they come. I’m not letting fears stop me, by any means.

But there are so many things said about rejection…

Is Your Novel Ready?

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Elizabeth Lyon: Tips and Techniques

This is an interesting little site I found with a list of fourteen questions about your novel. I think it’s a useful list to have at your side when you’re finishing up writing, even if I don’t quite qualify according to the test. If nothing else, they are things to think about when, like me, getting ready to submit your MS to publishers and/or agents.

Writer’s Remember

Thursday, February 15th, 2007
wr-forums-1.gif

I’ve just found a forum I absolutely adore.

Do you feel a bit uneasy about forums with thousands of members? Do you crave a more intimate setting to talk to other writers about your craft? Then this is the forum for you. They not only have sections for writing, but also sections for readers, bloggers, and people looking to buy/sell their stuff. On top of all that, you can post job offers for others or post your qualifications to get you a job.

Come join me at Writer’s Remember and share your writing experiences.

Prompts, anyone?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Thank you, once again, to wonderful Sara and her ability to find sites I just love.

On the menu, we have three sites with writing prompts aplenty for poets and prose writers.

Poetry Thurday is run by blogger Dana, a poetry lover. Even if you aren’t a poet, many of her prompts can be applied to fit your writing talents.

Sunday Scribblings is a fantastic blog with a large list of participants. Share your ideas and see how many people agree or disagree with you!

Patchwork Farm’s past prompts not only give you interesting prompts, but also a set time for how long you should write. Ideal for the writer who thinks the more rules, the better.

It’s all about the prompts.

Enjoy!

Writing Forums

Friday, January 26th, 2007

Writing, depending on your specific writing craft, isn’t always the most social of paths to take. Other people tend to be more subjects to study than people to actually interact with. People can be put off by writers as well, feeling they are being studied. This is usually an accusation made with false modesty, but some people genuinely don’t like it.

Bring in: the internet.

laptop.jpg

There are thousands of forums all over the internet for any interest you have. From gaming to knitting, you can most likely find a forum with at least a few other people who love your hobby/occupation/obsession as much as you do.

Given what I said before about the path of the writer, I feel it only right I take a post to plug a couple writing specific forums I’m a member of.

It is my pleasure to introduce two writing oriented forums:

Literary Mary is a new forum started just weeks ago and is already up to 81 members. LM offers a place for every type of work along with good conversation and a very active staff, which I am proud to say I am a member of. Unlike many forums, LM gives you complete control of the creation and deletion of your account. You can also delete your own posts as well.

WritingForums.com is the place to be if you want your work to be seen by possibly hundreds of members. This site not only offers you the usual spaces for all your writing needs, but also places to put up your writing prompts and take part in write offs against your fellow members.

I hope you take the time to check them both out. Feel free to comment and let me know the spaces you roam. If I like what I see, I’ll post a little feature on it.

Fun And Games

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

slinky.jpg

At times, the writer’s existence can be a lonely one. That’s why we have writing forums, writer’s conferences, write offs, and much more.

A friend of mine - Aspiring Romance Writer - is holding a fun activity over on her blog called The Writer’s Game or 101 Lines. She’s already posted up the first line of a story which will have a plot completely determined by those who decide to stop by and comment.

I think this is a great way to not only stretch your creative muscles but to get to know other writers as well. Her blog accepts anonymous comments, so don’t worry if you don’t have a Blogger account.

Big Year, Big Dreams

Friday, January 19th, 2007

starry.jpg

The people who brought you NaNoWriMo last November have come up with another crazy scheme for the entire year of 2007.

Adventure Log, 2007 is a thread on the NaNoWriMo site where you can post up your goals for The Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary Things Together.

Chris Baty can put it better than anyone else…

“Think for a moment about those activities, classes, and endeavors that you’ve long daydreamed about, but have never quite got around to tackling. I’m talking about the roads less traveled—the tuba lessons, the family-history writing, the foreign language learning, the transformation of your living room into a multi-story race course for feral hamsters. These are the nonessential creative activities that get us in over our heads, bring new people into our lives, and help make life more magical.

As adults, we tend to steer clear of these pursuits because they t ake time and cost money. But putting off all our adventures for later comes with its own set of costs. Our souls become dry and brittle. Our energy levels sag. Our noses fall off.

Which is why I’m inviting you to pick a couple never-before-attempted endeavors that have long intrigued and daunted you, and then do them in 2007.

Publicly.

Yep. Once you have your list of new adventures post it in the Adventure Log, 2007 thread of the brand-new Trying Big, Fun, Scary Things Together 2007 forum on the NaNo site.”

I’d be thrilled to see others’ goals posted there (as well as in the comments of this post).

My list:

1.) Get married *grin*
2.) Submit at least a dozen different pieces of my work to at least a dozen different places.
3.) Start creating podcasts for my FictionScribe site
4.) Finish my novel - working title X - finish the edits on it, and get the queries and synopses typed out for it
5.) Finish up on my other site and open it.

mental_floss

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Writers often complain about not having inspiration/not having anything to write about. I’ve pointed out a few possibilities for places to go for ideas, and here’s one more:

Elisa at The Book Stacks made a mention of mental_floss magazine. After having a brief browse, I must say I’m quick impressed and glad about the find.

Did you know you’re taller in space because the fluid in your spine is floating?

astro.jpg

Sheesh.

I wonder if they make your suit so many inches taller then…

Anyway, check it out. You might find good inspiration in unexpected places.

Glimmer Train Press

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I was originally hunting down a contest when I came across Glimmer Train Press, Inc. and became happily immersed in exploring their site.

When I came upon the writing guidelines page I became even more impressed by their “tidy $700″ for accepted standard submissions.

Considering the Chicken Soup for the Soul series pays out $200 for stories and they are “famous” compared to Glimmer Train, I would think…

Preditors and Editors didn’t have any warnings about it and google searching brought only good words about it.

I suppose I just suspect anyone who pays that well, but I still might give it a try.

As always, do your research, exercise caution, and take these tips into consideration when looking at any contest, publisher, agent, and anything else to do with publishing.

If I get any further news on this, turning me for or against the site, I’ll post.

About Fiction Scribe

Is your spelling less than stupendous? Has getting published gone from possibility to problem? Are you alienating your readers with alliteration? Here at Fiction Scribe you can find what you need for prompts, publishing opportunities and advice, fun wordplay, and more. Use Fiction Scribe for the encouragement you love, the information you want, and pointing out the mistakes writers make that you need. Fiction Scribe: Your source for everything writing.

Fiction Scribe Author(s)
    » JM

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