About SharingwithWriters Blog


Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please join the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Friday, November 26, 2021

James Aura Music Writing Prompts on Twitter and Picture Prompts on Instagram

James Aura Music Writing Prompts on Twitter and Picture Prompts on Instagram

Did you know there are free many writing prompts on social media? This is a recommendation for one such writer who shares music lyrics as food for thought. 

James Aura Music Writing Prompts on Twitter and Picture Prompts on Instagram

James Aura is an author of historical and environmental mysteries, climate fiction, and SciFi. I reviewed two of his books on Carolyn Howard-Johnson's The New Book Review site. His writing includes music lyrics and links to soundtracks to accompany the text. A "novel" approach! 

When Saigon Surrendered: A Kentucky Mystery by James Aura, Book Review
and
The Cumberland Killers: A Kentucky Mystery (Kentucky Mysteries Book 2) Book Review


So, this month I posted picture-only writing prompts for the 15th of the month, my regular post. I realized that Aura had text prompts on Twitter and so that inspired this post. Here are some samples of his tweets. You may be familiar with these songs or find them to be an inspiration. 
"No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun . . ."

James Aura Music Writing Prompts on Twitter and Picture Prompts on Instagram

"And you run, you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking . . . "

James Aura Music Writing Prompts on Twitter and Picture Prompts on Instagram

"Music is my sanctuary
Music is my blanket . . ."


Aura writes for Medium, is on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites as well. He shares images on Instagram that could be used for picture prompts, in my opinion. He kindly shared several of his own photos for The Cumberland Killers post I wrote. 


James Aura Music Writing Prompts on Twitter and Picture Prompts on Instagram

If you like music and writing prompts, find @james_aura on Twitter. Of course, #writingprompt will bring up all sorts of links and ideas. 

Thank you for reading, Carolyn
BS Elementary Education, MS Gifted Education, and MA K-12 Curriculum and Instruction
Wise Owl Factory


MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered in its third edition by Modern History Press. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The one on writing book proposals is also available as an Audio Book. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon at http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A Little Humor Anyone? It's My Holiday Gift for Writers



I just had to share this resource with my #SharingwithWriters visitors and subscribers. It's one of  my favorite writers' conferences of all time (time that it is getting longer and longer with more and more #writersconferences to choose from!). A writers conference for humorists? you are thinking? There is nothing like a sprinkle of humor.  Since I presented at this conference (twice now!), I use humor in more and more unexpected places. Subject lines (can you imaging how boring subject lines can get for feature editors and other gatekeepers that writers send emails to?), in query letters, and my how-to books for writers (you know you've thought you'd like to read one but dread the idea of a whole book full of bullets and advice, but really. Read my reviews. Every once in a while someone mentions that a little humor keeps them going!).  It's not LOL-funny stuff, but when I can work it in, it serves to set even the driest documents apart and give me an edge. You'll even find a humorous poem or two in "Blooming Red," the holiday chapbook I wrote with Aussie Magdalena Ball. So, after this long introduction, here is a little holiday gift (and resource!) for you!


PS: My writing friend Dr. Bob Rich even uses humor in most of his biographies! 




On Nov 24, 2021, at 4:13 AM, Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop <erma@udayton.edu> wrote:


It's Erma Time on the Dayton Riviera!
Registration Opens Dec. 9 for In-Person and Virtual Experiences

The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, slated for March 24-26, 2022, on the University of Dayton's campus, will feature New York Times’ bestselling authors, Saturday Night Livelegends, Emmy Award winners, Thurber Prize winners, a Moth GrandSLAM winner, the author of the Bible (The New Comedy Bible, that is), screenwriters and a slew of celebrated comedians and authors. The slate includes an amazing 11 former keynoters. With her special blend of grace and humor, stand-up comedian Leighann Lord will emcee.

Registration for the in-person workshop* opens at noon (EST) on Thursday, Dec. 9. A link will be posted that morning and shared via our e-newsletter. Fee: $499, which includes keynotes, workshops, meals and full access to a *virtual* package of the keynote talks and the always-entertaining and educational Pitchapalooza. You're invited to relive the Erma experience long after the workshop ends.

For those interested in the virtual option only, the registration fee is $79. From the comfort of your home (think: pajamas!), you can enjoy the keynote talks and Pitchapalooza in real time, participate in a live chat with other writers joining virtually or tap back in later at your convenience.

For both options, expect to laugh, learn and network with a supportive writing community.

Read more about the 2022 keynoters and faculty as well as the workshop sessions. New this year: sessions such as "Erma would KILL on TikTok — a Writer's Guide to Social Media Videos" and "When Humor Goes, There Goes Civilization: How to Use Your Gifts to Change the World (and have a laugh along the way)." 

If you're looking for a creative (and fun) pilgrimage, *this* is the one.

*Masks are required indoors for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status. While proof of vaccination to attend is not mandatory, vaccination is highly encouraged. The vast majority of faculty, staff and students are vaccinated at the University of Dayton. 



MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER




 Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered in its third edition by Modern History Press. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The one on writing book proposals is also available as an Audio Book. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon at http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Writing Elements Mix – Is There a Right Balance?

 


Writing can be thought of as a recipe, a handful of plot, a quarter cup of setting, a half cup of dialogue, and a half cup of action and forward movement. Then you also need to add just the right amount of theme, character, setting, and style. Stir it all together and bake for several months (might be longer, depending on your oven), and that’s it.

Ah, if it were only that simple.

Today, there are a number of rules to writing that didn’t plague writers years ago when the world was slower and people actually had time to sit and read at a leisurely pace. Writers had the luxury of setting scenes in detail and didn’t have to worry about ‘telling’ too much.

Now, publishers want your story to begin with a BAM. Grab the reader right away or you’ll lose her. And, it’s important that setting and telling are limited. In addition, don’t forget to magically weave backstory for your characters seamlessly into the mix.

This is especially true for children’s book.

So, what is the right balance of writing elements that will create a successful story?

Well, there really isn’t a pat formula. Each story will call for its own particular amounts of elements, and each publisher will have her own set of rules that the author must adhere to. But there are certain basics that all stories must contain.

The five basic elements of a story are:

Plot: The arrangement of circumstances and/or events in the story, including conflicts and resolution.

Character: Without the main character and supporting characters the plot is useless. It is the character’s struggle to overcome the conflicts or obstacles in his path that gives the plot life.

Setting: This element includes the physical backdrop of the story, the time period and location.

Atmosphere or Tone: The mood, including the setting, characters and their clothing, weather, and other elements within the story, determines the tone of the story.

Style: The author’s way of expressing herself is the style. Sentence structure, diction, choice of words, point of view, imagery, and symbols are all means of conveying a story that is unique to the author.

In regard to the amounts or balance of each element, the objective is to create a story that continually moves forward toward a satisfying conclusion while holding the reader’s attention. You can have a plot driven story or a character driven story. You can also have a story with a lot of dialogue, but you need to be sure the story is focused, coherent, and engaging.

Often, as you self-edit your own work, you won’t be able to see if the elements are just right. To remedy this, you should have it critiqued and have an editor take a look at it to see if you’re on the mark. Then after all that, it will be up to the publisher’s acquisition editor to give the final say on whether you have just the right balance of writing elements for a successful story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



 

 

 

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach with clients worldwide. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

Karen’s children’s books include Walking Through Walls and The Case of the Stranded Bear. She also has a DIY book, How to Write Children’s Fiction Books. You can check them out at: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/karens-books/. If you need help with your children’s story, visit: https://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com.  
 
A feature in the right column of this blog lets you subscribe to #SharingwithWriters so you don’t miss any of Karen’s posts on writing for children.  

MORE ABOUT THE BLOGGER Howard-Johnson is the multi award-winning author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered in its third edition by Modern History Press. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. She has two booklets in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series, both in their second editions from Modern History Press. Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII) and The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) are career boosters in mini doses and both make ideal thank you gifts for authors. The one on writing book proposals is also available as an Audio Book. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it helps them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com). Learn more and follow for news on her new releases direct from Amazon at http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile.