to Writer - June 2010
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I hope your month so far has been profitable.
I am about to start yet another project from a
regular client. Lately he's been giving me a new project
approximately every fortnight, which is very nice.
They're mostly small projects, but still
When it comes to regular clients, I do my best to keep the price
low. This fellow has used my services more than ten times now.
Most projects are big ones (like sales pages), but there are smaller
ones like rewriting headlines, writing introductions for promotional
material, and in this case, writing Clickbank promo ads.
The best part about this client (apart from the repeat business) is
he pays upfront, and rarely asks for rewrites.
In addition to doing copywriting, I've also worked on my fiction
this past fortnight. My writing group (MRWG) runs a BIGFAT irregularly, which
helps keep us all writing, and motivated. (BIGFAT = Bum Is Glued, Fingers Are
Typing. It's a bit like a BIAW or BIAM, only we endeavour to
write as much as possible in a one week period. We don't aim to
write an entire book.)
Over the past few years I've done less and less fiction, spending
more time on my non-fiction writing. I'm trying to spend more
time on fiction, as it's been on the back-burner for a long time.
Next month (July 23) my novel Saving Emma will be re-released by
Wild Rose Press, and I've already begun my promotional efforts.
I expect to spend quite a bit of time promoting over the next few
A few days ago I submitted a query and synopsis for a novella and
have already had a request for the full. I'll have to wait and
see if it's accepted or not.
Many writers tell me they can't get published. The biggest
factor in getting published is submitting. If you don't
submit, you won't be published.
If your work gets rejected, resubmit somewhere else. And yes, I've
had loads of rejections over the years. I don't dwell on
rejections - I dust myself off and move on.
One of the most important lessons I learned in my fiction writing career was
to research publishers, and ensure you submit to the right one.
After about eleven rejections for the one novel, this piece of
advise was given to me. A little late, I thought, but in
reality it wasn't too late, as it was a lesson I needed to learn for myself.
Having learned this information, and spending a lot of time
researching, I was certain the next publisher I submitted to was perfect for my novel,
so I submitted. And yes, it was accepted.
Whether it's fiction or non-fiction you write, a little research can
go a long way toward your quest for publication. Always
ensuring you are targeting the correct publisher puts you closer to
Okay, let's get onto this week's article.
One of the hardest things for new (and even experienced) writers to do is write believable
dialogue. The problem stems from the fact we can't write it
the way we speak. It has to be readable, but often it seems
like the message is 'lost in the translation'.
Judy Bagshaw has written a great article on this subject.
Whether you write romance or something else entirely, do take the
time to read the article as it will help writers of all genres, not
That's it from me [FIRSTNAME] - time
to sit back and enjoy this issue.
Til next time…
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ŠJudy Bagshaw - All Rights
of the early lessons any writer learns, or needs to,
is to show instead of tell. It’s important to draw
the reader into the story and make them a
participant rather than a passive observer. One of
the best ways to do this is to write scenes with
dialogue, making the moments immediate and real for
it’s important to make your dialogue real and
believable. Nothing will lose a reader faster then
stilted, phony exchanges between characters. It
smacks of amateur writing. So how does one achieve
reality in dialogue?
simply, a writer needs to learn to listen. When out
and about in daily life, stay atune to the people
around you. Listen to the various cadences in the
speech patterns of people of different ages, ethnic
backgrounds, social stations, jobs.
note of how people conduct their conversations. You
will find that people normally talk over each other,
talk in fragments and interject. They use slang and
exclamations, infuse their chats with laughter. Some
are aggressive and loud, others soft and hesitant.
Some have heavy accents or use unusual structure in
their language. As a writer, your challenge is how
to capture these differences on the page.
Naturally, writers cannot write dialogue as it is in
real life. Real life dialogue is full of boring,
social exchanges that often go nowhere. Literary
dialogue needs to sound natural when you read it,
but is, in reality, a compressed form of real speech
which serves to move the story forward in some way.
of the ways to achieve this are as follows:
contractions to create an informal feel to the
words. Compare these:
“I do not think that you are right.”
“I don’t think you’re right.”
first sentence seems quite formal and stilted. The
second reads as much more natural speech.
However, if your character is, for example,
an uptight academic, or someone unfamiliar with
English etc., then perhaps avoiding contractions
would more clearly capture their voice.
sentence fragments. We often speak in bits and
pieces in real life. Used judiciously in a
passage of dialogue this device can add realism.
Read the entire article here
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