Learning to be a Writer

Learning to be a Writer

By Yen Ooi The journey in becoming a writer neither starts nor stops at writing itself. Of course, producing copious amounts of stories, prose, poetry, and text is vital for a writer, but there is also the much ignored fact that in becoming a writer, one must be like a writer. Don’t worry—last I checked, writers are not a different species or a specific sub-species, but there are two important characteristics of a writer that I believe are key. These characteristics are probably true across all creative types, all artists. Neil Gaiman famously said that, “If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.” So, I twist his words and say, pretend to be a writer and just behave like writers would, and slowly, you will be one. But what is it that makes a writer, a writer? In the last few years, I have met many people in various creative careers—writers, artists, designers, musicians—and I realised that everyone is creating something, and that we are all passionate about our own creations. I also realised that there are those, like Gaiman, who are a cut above the rest. I believe that this is because of two characteristics. Good artists are: 1) humble 2) proud.   Yes, I know. It sounds like the above makes all artists hypocrites, but hear me out. All artists, people who create, know that their skills and quality of their creations can always be improved upon, and that there are always people out there who are better than them. This keeps them humble. This also is how they are able to accept criticism at a level that no other jobs require, whilst giving them an open heart and mind to be able to work with others collaboratively. However, to be a good artist in today’s world of social media, self-publishing, and accessible technology, artists need also to be proud. Proud enough to believe in their own work and sell it. The solitary writer is a dying breed, preserved only by the archaic functions of traditional publishing houses. A writer needs to be able to approach future readers and say, “I know you’ll love this!” and believe it. Writers and other artists have a difficult job to do today. Humble and proud are antonyms of the other, but they go hand-in-hand in creating a good artist. It is the balance of the two that we all seek, in order to survive in a very harsh environment that destroys all who fail, and makes celebrities of those few who shine. So, if you are thinking of becoming a writer or if you are in a transition to do so,...

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SPMG and You—Online

SPMG and You—Online

By Joy Shearer To contend in today’s publishing environment, you must consider how many digital outlets you can get your work into. Spectacle will help you develop your online presence to get the attention you need for your audience to notice your work. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are all simple, effective ways to be a part of the online writing world. They are all free and easy to start and are phenomenal media to write brief notes or longer pieces showcasing your particular style. These are also wonderful ways to connect with your audience, communicate with them, and contact them when one of your works is being published. Other forums for this kind of interaction include Goodreads (which is particularly popular with readers and authors), LinkedIn, Google+, and other social media platforms. The numbers show that while some readers are still choosing print books, these books are often textbooks or long-ago published favorites. More and more readers are choosing eBooks for pleasure reading. This is why it is important to consider publishing your work in a format that will appeal to your audience best. SPMG specializes in digital publishing and online marketing, even for print editions. In the publishing world today, it is vital for you to engage in a variety of online forums. Spectacle is the vehicle to your success in the digital world.   Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Will Wretched Fate’s Characters Find the Change They Crave?

Will Wretched Fate’s Characters Find the Change They Crave?

by Joy Shearer Wretched Fate is the second novel in the Detective Sam Osborne series by mother-daughter authors Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope-Parente. The crime/romance novel is, in part, a story of metamorphosis. Each of the main characters must leave their past behind, if they can, to build a better life. Will they be able to achieve their dreams? Rosalie struggles with her weight, self-confidence, and her relationship with her mother.  She doesn’t look like the women in magazines and her mother is no help in her attempts to lose weight. She cooks for Rosalie and serves her fatty foods in heaping helpings. Rosalie puts much effort into accepting herself while aiming to get healthier. Will she find a way to accept who she is now and make the changes she wants? Jacob strives to leave behind his troubled childhood. His parents had an odd relationship that left him leading an isolated life. He hardly ever leaves his mansion where he writes best-selling romance novels even though he has no real experience with romantic relationships. He doesn’t like others to disturb his schedule, so he’s hired a groundskeeper who very rarely enters the house. He has a cook who lives in a cottage on the property and only comes to the mansion briefly to drop off his meals. Can he learn to connect with outside world? Wretched dreams of having a real family and normal childhood, but can’t see how. He only has vague memories of a woman holding him close. Now, still a child, he is living a nightmare. He is in bleak circumstances and sees no way he’ll ever have a life like the kids he observes at a carnival. Can he escape his condition? Wretched Fate’s main characters all want to change their lives, but are unsure if transformation is even possible. Read the intriguing novel to find out what happens to Rosalie, Jacob, and Wretched.   Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Creating and Developing Characters

Creating and Developing Characters

by Ashleigh Galvin When an author is struck by a bolt of inspiration for their next “bestseller,” it’s often accompanied by character ideas. A lot of my story ideas are based around characters I would like to write about, personalities that I want to stick into certain situations just to see how they are going to act. But it’s important to learn as much as possible about a character before you start writing about them. Note that I said “learn,” not “make up.” You can’t tell people how to react. For example, you cannot tell your boss he isn’t going to be annoyed that you just spilled coffee all over his urgent paperwork. It’s the same for characters in your books. How they react is all about how you develop them while they are still budding ideas, barely on paper. This article is a short piece on creating and developing compelling characters. When I have an idea for a new character, I try and name them as soon as possible. A good name is everything. Not only will it endear the character to readers, it will help make them feel “real.” Once you have named your character, they will start to take form in your mind; they won’t be just a thought any more. A name is also important for the character’s impact on the story. If you name your rough and tough biker Ichabod Osmond Nadeir, then he is going to get some strange looks. Perhaps that’s why he always introduces himself as Ion, his nickname. Personally, I like to know what my characters’ names mean. In this instance, Ichabod means, “the glory is gone.” The nadir is the lowest point of an object. However, Osmond means ‘divine protector’ and Ion is an ancient Greek hero born of the Sun god Apollo. This man must have a hard past and an interesting future. Once your character has a name, you’re ready to start fleshing them out. I always start with their past as it’s what makes them who they are now. Look at the character’s life prior to the beginning the story. Look at their parents, their birth, how they were raised, where they were raised. Did anything important happen when they were young? A few years ago I created a profile template, which I use for my characters to this day. It’s about five pages long and it’s a great point of reference if I get stuck. It has the basic questions like “Who is their Best Friend?” But it also has some more interesting questions like, “What is their favourite food?” and, “Their most hated colour?” While these little questions might never be mentioned in your...

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Why SPMG?

Why SPMG?

by Joy Anne Shearer   Looking for a publisher? Spectacle could be the answer. The following are advantages to working with this dynamic and personalized publishing group. At SPMG, the author and their work come first. One of the biggest indicators of this is that no agent is necessary. You can request assistance in putting together your query and you will be apprised of every move along the way. From access to staff by phone or email any time you might have a question, to workshops for your piece when it needs a few improvements to be the best it can be, Spectacle will walk you through the publishing process. We’re writers too, so not only do we understand where you’re coming from, we’ll help you take advantage of each step so that your work will be given the attention it deserves. SPMG is experienced in and prepared to assist you with what’s new, including eBooks and audio books. The number of readers on digital devices increases all the time—readers who the people at SPMG want to help you reach. Traditional book printing is also available. Before your book ever hits the stands, our Public Relations and Marketing Department will work with you to develop your brand and get your name out there. All in all, at SPMG we truly support what writers are doing and want to promote your art. You can find more information at http://spectaclepmg.com. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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