Category Archives: Meme

Meeting like minds is so refreshing. I so this just for fun.

Toolbox 22: What do you when your work is pirated?

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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 A long time ago I was told that one excellent use of Google Alerts was to check up on what was happening with published projects. When I created my alert, I used the work’s title and my by-line. On the weekend, I received an alert on “Dragon Eye”.

When I got the alert my work was on a reseller’s page, I wasn’t that worried. Alerts have popped up before with only some of the key words. So I’ve seen projects with dragon + Anna in it, but they were never mine.

Not so this time. Dragon Eye is available on Wattpad. It’s free and someone was selling my short for $6 USD. Wow!

I was upset that someone was using me to rip off readers.

Anyway I went to the sight and this one had this lovely DMCA form to fill out.

That was the beginning of my happy ending. They must have had an auto-response set up because my story was down within seconds. And I received an email telling me what they would do on their end:

  • They warned me that the work may be down, but it may still come up on a search until the delete rippled through the web.
  • The person who uploaded the book has been suspended (if I’m proved correct they will reroute all payments received to me).
  • They admitted that they do their best to avoid copyright complaints and have set this system up to prevent more.
  • They left me with contact info, including their physical address.

So this post is about being prepared. Create an alert for each work out there, follow-up on them; and when the worst happens, look for a DMCA page or contact DMCA directly.

If you have anything to add about pirates, etc. Feel free to comment below. Love to hear from you.

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IWSG 62: I Add Canadian, eh.


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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CO-HOSTS:

Erika Beebe | Natalie Aguirre | Jennifer Lane | MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard | Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Whether I mean to or not, all my characters are Canadian, so I guess I bring my country to the table. I don’t think we are much different than anyone else, but some might not agree.

Yeah. We say, ‘eh.’

A lot.

Makes me think back to Bob and Doug McKenzie played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. Clip below if you wanna see… but I warn you its from the ’80s so you might want to pass. 😉

If you’re my age you might remember them.

Some other Canadians you may know:

Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Kim Cattrall, Tommy Chong, Michael J. Fox, Brendan Fraser, Jill Hennessy, Joshua Jackson, Eric McCormack, Howie Mandel, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Matthew Perry, Jason Priestley, Christopher Plummer, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Reynolds, Caroline Rhea, Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Meg Tilly, Bryan Adams, k.d. lang, Avril Lavigne, Leslie Nielsen, Corey Haim, Carrie-Anne Moss.

And my most favorite—William Shatner!

Who will always be Captain Kirk of the starship Enterprise.

Canada’s birthday was on July 1st, so I guess I’m a little hyped up. Happy Independence Day (tomorrow) to all my US friends.

Can you tell I’ve been doing my best to avoid thinking about writing? No worries. I figure my mojo can’t stay away forever.

How’ve you done this month? Share some happy with me.

Toolbox 21: Synopsis The Hell Out of It

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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I’ve read several different methods on writing a synopsis.

Some suggest reading through the project, taking notes chapter-by-chapter, and going from there. This can work but I’ve always landed up with several pages.

Then I’m struggling all over again.

Others suggest only using plot points. This certainly shortens the summary, the number of characters included and cuts away sub plots.

I do a campfire story—my kind of outline—and tell the story as if I’ve got a captured audience. It comes out as third person present tense and I get the extra bonus of finding where the tension lags and plot holes hide.

It’s all done before the heavy lifting, my method may not be what an agent or editor wants and the why is covered farther down.

A Synopsis is a brief summary of the completed project and can range from one page to ten.

It should include the time and place, the goal, the obstacle, the main character’s motivations, plot twists and the ending. Don’t forget to show the main character’s arc.

That’s quite a bit, no need cluttering it up with the supporting cast (and their problems) or the subplots unless it takes direct action upon the outcome. Even then, keep it basic.

Read the agents/publisher guidelines for guidance. Some want the style of your project reflected (like my outline); therefore, it becomes a mini-version of the story with the same feel, word choices and emotional impact.

Others prefer a summarized report of what happens. Why and how the story is resolved. Clean, direct and sometimes dry. This one is more about the events than about writing style.

It’s a good idea to write one of each. There will be enough to worry about without adding unnecessary stress when submitting. Be kind to yourself.

Remember that a synopsis is not a book blurb (and you might as well write one of them as well). But the blurb is another beast, it is designed to prompt your reader once the cover has caught their eye.

Addition: If you use The Query Shark method, then the blurb is your query letter. Here’s the link for more on that.

To stay on track while summarizing, many write a logline. A single sentence description of the work. This is good too and could be punched up for later—twitter pitches, etc.

Formats demands vary so always check the submission guidelines. If none are available, it is safe to use what is suggested below.

One page or less general format: Single spaced with line space between paragraphs. Otherwise same as below.

Two pages or more general format: Third Person. Present tense. Double spaced. Align left. All margins 1.25 inches. Indent 0.5 inches. No spaces between paragraphs. Times New Roman, black, 12-point font. Use all caps for the first appearance of major characters. Header should include: left side only, author’s last name, title (or key words) synopsis, and page number if there is more than one.

Brenda Drake also says to include a hook as the first paragraph. Answer the question: What makes your story unique? She suggests finding and including that special something that sets a story apart from the rest. If you don’t use this in your synopsis, consider including it within the query letter.

Just a thought.

Do you have any tips that may help? I’m all ears.

Gleaned from:

IWSG 61: Lost and Confused


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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Co-Hosts:

Diane Burton | Kim Lajevardi | Sylvia Ney | Sarah Foster | Jennifer Hawes | Madeline Mora-Summonte

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I read everything, but have spent most of my writing life trying to figure out what genre I prefer to write in. Everyone that knows me knows I love mysteries. I read them and dabble in them. Sometimes it goes pretty well.

The IWSG question got me thinking about what I’ve been doing.

So far, I’ve jumped from sci-fi, fantasy—even tried magical realism—and mixing up my POV from first-person to third-person omniscient.

I hope I’m not sharing too much, but I have a huge fear of success, and change.

I thought I was rolling with it, but here’s the thing. A while back I started writing a magical realism and had a hard time pinning it down, so I returned to my middle grade. I’ve been working on it for years.

It looked good and I firmed up its middle. Left it to rest and it still needs a read through. Started a fantasy-mystery that with a non-magical detective. It’s fully outlined and I’ve written three chapters.

First chapter went really, really well.

But when put chapter two before my critters at the Grand Forks Writers Guild, it was not so good. The group is always supportive and kind. Chapter two fell flat. The emotion wasn’t there and I was left with trying to figure out how to find it.

I did in chapter one. I know it’s possible.

I feel like someone lost in a labyrinth. There’s a way out, but I just seem to go deeper.

Is the answer more knowledge? Is it facing my fear? I don’t know, but I’m back at reading how-to writing manuals to put the emotion into a scene and yeah—topping it off—I’m using omnipotent POV. Because I need a challenge or because failure is where I want to live.

I know one thing for sure: I’m lost and confused.

Anyone gone through this. What did you do?

 

Toolbox 20: Say, what?

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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Does anyone else have trouble finding/sharing/maintaining a narrative voice?

It’s supposed to be familiar. Similar to our speaking voice.

Easily recognized by tone, phrasing, and specific word choices.

Some might recognize our voice by the abundance of profanity—think Margo in The Magicians—or lack of it. Professor McGonagall, I’m talking about you. We may get louder the closer to heart we are, or in some cases quieter.

We might color our language with our own kind of slang. I’m thinking TV’s Buffy and Firefly. Joss Whedon was a master. Some people still use the term ‘Scooby Gang’.

Unless they’re doing a Lemony Snicket, the writer shares as much about their likes and dislikes as the characters. Examples: Love of Scooby Doo, or the colorful addition of human or fairy anatomy.

Whether we mean to or not, our voices can add our assumptions and prejudices. Personal perceptions can be in every descriptor. Pet peeves or favorite outlooks influence our themes. Not intentionally but naturally. The words flow from our fingers like magic because we see the world uniquely and we feel the inner need to share what we believe in.

We feel. We color. We decorate our work.

And it is glorious!

Don’t edit it out. It may bring on feelings of insecurity, a need to pull back, or worry about going too far. It’s natural because if the voice is too close to home, we feel vulnerable.

With our voice out there for everyone to read, it could be criticized. Takes bravery to put our work out there as it is.

It’s hard to stick to our decision when we seek out feedback.

But should their opinions or our inner editor squash the nuance of voice? What would Joss say to that?

“What! No Scooby Gang.”

We may choose not to be the next Joss, or Lemony. Many authors use a more neutral voice. That’s fine too. Whatever works.

You want to use your own voice? Then give yourself the freedom to say it how you see it.

Any other voices out there? How about books on the subject? Feel free to share.

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