Showing Tag: "tips" (Show all posts)

5 Reasons Authors Are Socially Awkward (And How To Fix it)

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, January 17, 2016, In : A Writer's Life 
It's very interesting being a published author of not much note (yet, I hope) who meets new people all the time. It brings up a problem every author I know has: talking about your books with strangers is as awkward as discussing sex with your child.

This actually goes for all writers of fiction. Non-fiction is much easier, for reasons that will become apparent soon. Even if you have only written a short story, when someone you don't know very well asks about it, you stumble.

Why do published au...

Continue reading ...
 

Conflict: Not Just For Reality TV Shows

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, January 11, 2016, In : Writing Advice 

Conflict. I finally understand now why it is the single most important thing to many creative writing teachers. I grabbed a book to read while waiting on my computer to update and returned to I Brake For Bad Boys, a collection of erotic romance short stories I bought back in college.

The second story, Something Wilde, by Janelle Denison, was so well-written I bought two of her books. And then, in my twenty-two year old clumsy and unpolished way left scathing reviews of how bad they were in com...

Continue reading ...
 

I'm Bringing Crazy Back

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, September 20, 2015, In : A Writer's Life 
I apologize for the break in blogging. I've been taking care of some medical issues lately, and thankfully progress is going well. Nothing life threatening, just major enough I will be requiring minor exploratory surgery in the next few weeks and might be requiring more serious surgery in October, we'll see.

However, blogs will appear every Sunday, I've had a chance to work on many, and I promise barring emergency or prior notice to resume weekly blogging. So with that in mind, let's get to th...

Continue reading ...
 

106-3: I Have That Goddamn Vitamin C Song Stuck In My Head Too....

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, August 8, 2015, In : Writing 106 

We made it to the end. If you are reading this, you have a website, a blog, and social media accounts under your publishing name. You have a completed, published book, you are a member of a writing group, you’ve been attending events as an author, and you’re working hard at marketing yourself. Maybe you have an agent, a publishing contract, or you have a growing reputation as an Indie author.

If you followed all the lessons, whatever your goal was, you have reached it, the first and most i...

Continue reading ...
 

106-2A: The Greatest Lie The Devil Ever Told....

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, In : Writing 106 
Today we are going to talk about personal appearances, such as radio/television/print interviews, appearing at conventions, and presenting at conferences. Please note that most websites that push these concepts as good ideas are run by people who have been in publishing for over twenty years, who may not understand why publishing is so massively different today than it was back then.


Let's take a trip in the way-back machine



We have to take a diversion here. Some of us are old enough to remembe...

Continue reading ...
 

106-1C: Liars, Tycoons, and Bars, Oh My! (Dorothy Hits the City)

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, June 22, 2015, In : Writing 106 

You’re at the point of marketing where things get tricky. You may be Dread Pirate Roberts, and you got the girl, but now we enter the Fire Swamp. We have fire spouts, lightning sand, ROUSes, and an evil prince waiting for you.


Let’s get down to honest brass tacks now. In a perfect world you will have blog tours, contests, and giveaways planned before you publish. And almost every writing website on earth will tout these. Though when used effectively they are the BEST promotional marketing ...

Continue reading ...
 

Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay....

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, In : A Writer's Life 

For the first time in my life since I began writing fiction at age four or five I am taking an intentional break from writing. I’ve taken long breaks before (when school/work got too heavy, or due to suffering depression I couldn’t focus) but those were times I had to. Now is by choice.

I freely admit I have suffered three bouts of depression in my life. The first time was when my mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and quickly faded, dying just one year later. That was the worst ...

Continue reading ...
 

105-2-1A: (Legacy): When Dancing With Veils, Never Remove The Last One

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, February 27, 2015, In : Writing 105 - Legacy 

Welcome back my friends. You have sent your manuscript and supporting materials off to the agents you selected as most likely targets. Now, the burning question you want to know is: how long do I have to wait for a response?

Bear with me here, because there is good and bad. I believe in eating your vegetables before dessert, so first the bad: most agents these days only respond if they want your full manuscript, most will not even send a rejection letter. You. May. NEVER. Know. 

The second bit ...

Continue reading ...
 

So, A Dyslexic Walks Into A Bra...

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, February 23, 2015, In : Strangeness 

So I have two jobs, writing and, er, being Catwoman? Yeah, let’s go with that. The strange thing is in the world of writing I’m supposed to be myself, and in my day job I’m supposed to be stern.

Now, I use HootSuite to Tweet, Facebook, and whatever fucking verb we may decide to use for Google +…(Google+ing?). Anyway, I use it for both jobs because I can do a week of social media in one hour on a Sunday while doing my laundry. It’s a lifesaver.

However, I have noticed it’s almost 100...

Continue reading ...
 

105-1-3B: (Indie): I Can't Define Art, But I Know It When I See it

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, February 21, 2015, In : Writing 105 - Indie 
Welcome back my Indie friends. You just finished editing and assembling the basic images for your cover. Feel like ritualistic suicide yet? If not, don’t worry, eBook formatting is yet to come. As my roommate and best friend will tell you, she’s known my twenty years, seen me in fistfights, and never has she seen me as angry as when I first dealt with Smashwords. 

But for now we get to ignore the looming dragon and assemble a cover! Let’s pull back. Did you study the psychology of color?...

Continue reading ...
 

105-1-2A: (Legacy): Always Play The Raffle, Not The Lottery

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, February 13, 2015, In : Writing 105 - Legacy 

Finding an agent can seem a daunting prospect, but here is a quick little secret: finding agents is not hard at all. Selecting the right one is the trick. In the past this was much harder. To master this process, you have to understand it, so let’s go over it now.

An agent is the person who represents your business interests in terms of the books you write. They will market it to publishers, help you polish it if it needs, negotiate the contract for you, and help smooth any difficulties you ...

Continue reading ...
 

What Smokey The Bear Actually Meant

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, February 9, 2015, In : Strangeness 

I know I can get pretty passionate in rants, but please know there is a method to my madness. I feel that what is happening to the world of publishing is kind of a microcosm for society at large, and I desperately wish to change both.

Yes, I see that eyebrow raised! I know you’re baffled, how are these two things related? Here the problems I see are quickly explained: In publishing an old, guarded system left millions of people dissatisfied , and now technology has melted the walls and peopl...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 104: 2-C: Does This Make My Ego Look Fat?

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, In : Writing 104 

In 103-3B we covered how to build your author platform. Now, no matter who you are this is the final step that applies to both independent authors and those seeking traditional legacy publishing until after your book is out and you’ll have to market it yourself no matter what. Next, after we discuss polishing your author platform, you go in different directions.

Oooh, branding! Yeah, it's about this painful


To peek ahead, those seeking traditional publishing must find agents, mail them, and s...

Continue reading ...
 

Important Writing Lessons from Stalkers

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, February 2, 2015, In : writing options 

Art is an all-encompassing thing. I can’t speak for other writers, and maybe it’s because I have ADHD and need to keep background noise going while I work on anything in order to focus, but I have to listen to music whenever I write. 

I’ve talked in writing lessons why it’s so important to get into a mood when writing, and how what you read, what you watch, what you see, and what you hear helps. But of those things, I hold music the most sacred. 

Nothing else can get you into a certain ...

Continue reading ...
 

Hindsight May be 20/20, But I Prefer A 9mm

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, January 26, 2015, In : Strangeness 

I am going to deviate from the world of writing today because all of my rant thoughts have sort of been able to camp put together under a giant umbrella of “things I wish other people knew.” But since I try to put myself in other people’s shoes and see things from their point of view before going off on them, it made me realize a lot of nice people do bad or stupid things out of ignorance.

 

So today I want to talk about things I think will help people to know in this day and age. Som...


Continue reading ...
 

Writing 104: 2- Supplemental C: Also A $64,000 Pyramid Cheat Sheet

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, January 24, 2015, In : Writing 104 
Hall Marks of the Major Genres:


Crime
- Major crime (murder, grand theft, kidnapping, arson, rape)
- Cabal of guilty parties
- Cover up involving official compliance or ignorance
- Protagonist in legal line of work or associated with the law (lawyer, detective, cop, informant, prison guard, etc)
- More MacGuffins than red herrings

Erotica
- Copious amounts of the tubesteak boogie
- Minimal plot (mainly a series of connect MacGuffins)
- Highly descriptive horizontal mambo scenes with common words (i.e. ...

Continue reading ...
 

Reflections on Plotters Vs Pantsers

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, In : Writing Advice 
I have recently been exposed to the terms plotter and pantser via a Red Sage author questionnaire. Basically a plotter plots everything out in advance and a pantser makes it up as they go along. Let me make clear: I HATE pantsers with the fire of a thousand suns. That is my gut reaction, but let me give you real world examples why being a pantser is horrible for your readers.

First up, let's take an example most people know (but know that I had to vomit about twelve times while writing this): ...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 103: 3-B: If A Mime Falls In A Forest, What Is the Sound Of One Hand Clapping

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, October 3, 2014, In : Writing 103 
Well you're on a break from writing and editing now. First up, why the break? The short is you will return to editing again but you need a fresh mind. By now you have read your work so much you'll be tempted to skip parts as you read because you have memorized them. You need a good, productive break to keep your mind engaged elsewhere so when you return for your true, final edit, you will be the most effective.

Sadly, this isn't either type of break


Now is the time to start marketing yourself. ...

Continue reading ...
 

It's a Thin Line Between Love & Hate

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, June 30, 2013, In : Strangeness 
For those of you who read urban fantasy and are familiar with the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (re-christened the Sookie Stackhouse novels after the cinematic abortion that is True Blood went on air), if you haven;t read book 13, Dead Ever After, quit reading now. This post has more spoilers that Fast and Furious 6.

There is an eternal struggle between writers and readers, and it is indeed confusing. First off, every writer began as a reader and is still a fervent reader. Sec...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 103: 1-G Watch the Showgirl, Not My Hands Nor the Rabbit

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, In : Writing 103 
Welcome to break time. You've finished for first, most grueling editing, you've done background work on finding copy editors and/or critique readers, so now it's time to back off the manuscript, and resume marketing.



Readers should focus on the rabbit, not the false bottom and trap door that got it there. Credit




What's that, resume? You don't remember doing this before? Well, you should; Marketing 102: 1-A was important. In that phase you started joining story sites, uploading free work, and ga...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 103: 1-D There's No Business Like Show Business

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, In : Writing 103 
By now in writing your first novel you've completed your first draft and your first edit. It's time for a working vacation! Put your manuscript aside, take a break, but now you need to make some really hard choices.



This difficult choice will also come up often during this step Credit




All along in these writing lessons you've heard my thoughts on traditional publishing. And now self-publishing is bigger than ever. Still, if you want your book in hard copies in stores, you have to go traditional...

Continue reading ...
 

Bad Writers and the Readers Who Hate Them

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, In : Writing Advice 
In Media Res is a valuable tool for any author. Starting your story in the middle of an action scene sets it up as fast paced, instantly has a bit of mystery to hook the reader, and saves you the pain of figuring out how much back story to throw out with the first over-thought line. Done right it's interesting. Done wrong it's a migraine.

I don't like to pick on many other authors because much of our opinions on their work are merely just that: opinions. I have no wish to start a war, but some...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 103: 1-C Get A Grip

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, March 29, 2013, In : Writing 103 
Last time we examined word count issues, and if you fell on the too-low or too-high side, you did a lot of work. In fact, if you did, please read this section, but you can likely skip it. For those of you who are proud your word count was just right...it's time for the heavy lifting.

 

Powerlifting and editing will cause you to make the same face


  

Today we review the first part of the aforementioned heavy lifting, the most difficult (emotionally) part of your journey as a writer: editing for co...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 103: 1-B The Thick & Thin of It

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, March 16, 2013, In : Writing 103 

 
Now that you have taken a break, it's time to begin the most difficult phase of writing: editing. Before you get into the nitty-gritty of editing for grammar and spelling, and even for content, we have to revisit an old friend: word count.

 

 
It's okay, go ahead and scream if you like
 

 
Yeah, I heard that groan. How many times do we have to revisit this, you're likely asking yourself. Well, given the fact that we have time and time again should clue you in to how important it is to have an outl...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 102: 2-F Fun Facts About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, December 10, 2012, In : Writing 102 
This is the final lesson of the Writing 102 series. This is the last lesson that you should read while writing your first draft, and today I'll show you how to conquer the nagging urge to make changes to previous passages while writing.

 


In the immortal words of Mr. Peanut: "Tonight's the night we ALL go nuts!"



  
 

First up, why should you resist it? Well, making such changes is the number two reason some writers can never finish a manuscript. Back in writing 101 I explained the number one reaso...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 102: 2-D Alms for the Poor?

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, November 2, 2012, In : Writing 102 

If you've been following along with Writing 101 & Writing 102 you're in good shape. This lesson should come when you are 50% done with your first draft.It's time for critique partners!



Put that gun down! You'll need it for when you get the critiques back.


  
 

If you just groaned then you remember this from school. Yes, it's still that bad. Yes, it can work. No, I don't do this really. It's up to you, but the very first time you write fiction I recommend this. If you have any parts of your work y...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 102: 2-C What's Your Kryptonite?

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, October 21, 2012, In : Writing 102 

Now that you're writing, one issue you may face is writer's block. Remember our first, best defense against writer's block is a proper outline & summary. Why? Struggling to generate content is one main cause of writer's block. Let's examine the causes now:



Here is one of the few places where "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" rings true


  
 

1. Inability to generate new content
2. Difficulty maintaining attention
3. Strong desire to work on another project
4. Not being in the mood (aka ...
Continue reading ...
 

Writing 102: 2-B Get Bent, Tax Maaaaaaan!

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, October 12, 2012, In : Writing 102 

It's time to audit yourself. Does that word make your flesh crawl? Okay, goof off for a moment and watch Stranger Than Fiction. Every writer should watch a movie about writers just to see how amusingly insane they are, and how far off from reality they'll be. Bonus: you'll also get the title of this post.



Breaks are good whenever work has you feeling like this


  

Done? Good. It's time to revisit budgeting for time which we covered in Writing 101: 3-C.  Did you do those calculations? Realllllly? ...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 102: 1-A When Someone Offers You Free Drugs Say "Thank You." Drugs Are Expensive!

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, August 4, 2012, In : Writing 102 

Welcome to Writing 102. You should be 1/3 to 1/2 way done with your first draft at the time you read this. In Writing 102 we're going to cover the basic nitty-gritty that needs to take place NOW  in your process. We'll cover deciding how you will publish, tailoring your manuscript to market, and the most common issues that plague you while you write. Today we begin with finding a fanbase.



Today we learn the difference between self-promotion and attention whoring. Pay attention!



  
 

Whenever you ...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 3-D 10 Reasons Your English Teacher Would Shank You, Not Shiv You

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, July 23, 2012, In : Writing 101 


We have come at last to the final lesson of Writing 101! Once you read this you are truly ready to sit down and write. This final lesson is on grammar guides. The 102 series will pick up with deciding how to publish, and that series should be looked into once you've started writing, but before your first draft is 33% done. This is part of why in our last lesson you needed to plan by word count, it helps schedule the millions of tasks.



Finally! Er, wait...there's more?


  
 

For the moment let's ke...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 3- Supplemental A: Ein, Zwei, Drei, Horse 'n' Goggle

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, July 14, 2012, In : Writing 101 

When you write, you need to know how many words to aim for. Not only does it help you set goals and pacing, if you seek to publish this will help. Agents and editors abide by these informal guidelines of word count, and readers subconsciously judge books by size, aka word count. 

For your first attempt at writing a first draft, aim for the middle of each range. Remember good editing will make it shorter and tighter, and going for the middle means you often end up towards the low end, but still...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 3-C The 3 Kinds of People: Those Who Can Count & Those Who Can't

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, July 12, 2012, In : Writing 101 


It's a good idea to get familiar with budgeting time and word count before you actually write. Funny though, it works best to do this after writing your first chapter. Actually, it works best if you've written before, and kept track of your output, but let's be honest and laugh for a minute. Better? Good, now there's a method to this madness.



Don't worry, the only way to go from here is up    Credit


  
 
 

Budgeting time is the single biggest challenge any author will face if they already have the...

Continue reading ...
 

Feral Pet Peeves

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, July 8, 2012, In : A Writer's Life 


Don't ask me why, but I've been in the mood to read romance novels lately. Okay, I kind of know why; reading them shows me how much love is pure fantasy and illusion, which reinforces my commitment phobia. A good lesson there is readers will almost always get out of your stories what they want, so try never to get that hung up on your message, or you'll end up as crazy as Alan Moore.



This is not the face of sanity


  
 

Something I lament as a reader is due to my education, my writing, and teachin...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2- Supplemental C: 4 Out of 5 Voices In My Head Say I'm Sane

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, In : Writing 101 


In this supplemental we take a closer look at choosing your narrator. Let's keep it as painless as possible and dive right in to the different styles of overall narration to choose from.



There's a good reason Doyle chose Watson to narrate Sherlock Holmes' adventures


  
 

Third Person: The best according to writing teachers everywhere. The easiest for a reader to read and enjoy, think of it as how you'd tell a story about another friend. ("Then Suzie told the carnie to go fuck himself and dumped a...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 3-B Screw Feng Shui, I Practice the Ancient Art of Ikea

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, June 28, 2012, In : Writing 101 

We're here at an often over-looked but crucial step in the writing process. It's the one thing all writers (myself included) and bad at: organizing. Yet people who are organized know how much time it saves, and that's what we need.



We never know when we'll run out of time


  
 

At each step I'm going to write out directions for digital and hard copy organization. Despite the digital age some of us do better with hard copy as we're kinesthetic learners and hard copy helps. Some of us also have smal...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-F Combing the Desert

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, June 21, 2012, In : Writing 101 


We are at the final step requiring you to edit your Outline. Here comes the research.



Noooo! The horror, the horror! Keep calm, how to research comes later, now we're organizing research and minimizing it to remove some of the pain    Credit



  
 
In Writing 101: 1- we covered inspiration, in 101 2- we wrap up creating materials for guidance with this lesson, and in our next lesson we move on to 101: 3- where we cover the things you'll need to know when you start writing your manuscript. At this p...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-E Because...Fuck You, That's Why

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, June 18, 2012, In : Writing 101 


Conflict. It's what drives on plots in stories for readers and creates things to bitch about for suicide kings and drama queens in real life. For writers it is a tool. In editing it's a tool for managing length (gods it's hard not to laugh using these words) and before you write it's a tool for pacing and plot. Let's sink our teeth into it now.



Yeah...kinda like that


  

Most writing teachers will preach conflict as some kind of holy grail. Nope, it's more like a handy all-in-one drill, hammer, a...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-D The Long and Short Of It

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, June 15, 2012, In : Writing 101 

If you've been following along with the writing 101 lessons, it's time to write your outline. You will only have 2 more steps before writing your story, but both can only be done once you write your outline. You won't need your summary to write, but you will need your outline, character bios, and stat-sheets. You're almost home and ready to write.



If your office/writing area looks a bit like this, you're on the right track    Credit



  
 

Why use an outline? As we've covered an outline is best for...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-C Clowns To the Left of Me, Jokers To the Right

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, June 11, 2012, In : Writing 101 


By now you have your fleshed-out idea, you've mastered the complex art of creating strong protagonists and antagonists, and you have a summary. Before we get to the outline, you need to determine your secondary characters.

 

Secondaries set the tone of the story, fill out the world, further the plot, and aid in character development. Don't neglect this step!


  

Remember how in your summary some came up, and some became protagonists/antagonists? Well if they didn't become a major player these are ...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-Supplemental B: The Same Thing We Do Every Night, Pinky...

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, In : Writing 101 

Please read Supplemental A first. Trust me, it makes more sense that way.
 
In the post Writing 101: 2-A we went over creating protagonists and antagonists. In Supplemental A we covered the 12 steps of the protagonists's journey. These are the 12 steps of the antagonist..Remember your antagonist will have gone through some of these steps before your story start. They should have completed 7 of them by the time the protagonist starts so that the protagonist's step 2 (Call to Adventure) lines up ...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2- Supplemental A: Hoagies, Grinders, Subs, and...

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, In : Writing 101 


 
In the post Writing 101: 2-A we went over creating protagonists and antagonists. In it we covered the hero myth, 12 (or so) steps taken from the great hero epics, and we discussed how they are key to fully-fleshed-out protagonists and antagonists, and how applying the 12 steps can help generate your plot.

The names of these 12 steps give you a clue:

Act One (Separation)
1. Ordinary World
2. Call to Adventure
3. Refusal Of the Call

Act Two (Transformation)
4. Meeting the Mentor
5. Crossing the Thresh...

Continue reading ...
 

Can't Write? Happens To Us All

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, In : A Writer's Life 


There's something worse than writer's block: it's those times when you want to write, have ideas, but no time. You've probably read many patronizing lists of writing tips on the web that always say "write every day." It's good to try, but sometimes it's just not possible. That's life. 




Unless life also gives you water AND sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck     Credit



So what can you do? Keep in the right frame of mind. Yeah, easier aid than done, right? Well I'll use myself as an example here. ...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-B Just the Facts, Ma'am

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, June 3, 2012, In : Writing 101 


It's time to revisit, in detail, writing your summary. I often talk to people who tell me "I get started writing but it never gets going, my mind wanders," and when I ask them if they write a summary they always ask me "wha?" This is how important the summary is: it's nigh fucking impossible to write a full story without one.

 

With no summary, you look like this when writing.



  

Some people can do it. I can, but the stories I write without one always need heavy editing for continuity. Shorter sh...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 2-A The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, In : Writing 101 


How do we select the main characters? Often we speak in terms of heroes and villains, but what we mean is protagonists (heroes and anti-heroes) and antagonists (villains). These will be the first characters that spring to mind when you think up a plot and you have to make them follow a delicate balance. The #1 protagonist is the person narrating the story or the person the narrator follows, and the antagonist is the person or thing that sets the plot into motion.

 

Sometimes it's easy to tell p...

Continue reading ...
 

With a Little Help From My Friends

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, May 21, 2012, In : A Writer's Life 


Here I was working on the next Marly Jackson novel The Violin Case, having panic attacks. Why? Because before this weekend I realized  the first half was so damn boring it put me to sleep and it was MY work.

 

If this happens to you, first blame something else to blow off steam.    Credit



How did I fix it? Well, you can probably guess from the title of this post how: I re-learned the importance of having non-writer friends. They ask questions writers never would, and questions are what make you ...

Continue reading ...
 

Creating Your Own Landscape

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, May 19, 2012,


I write this rewatching Stardust the film. I confess though Neil Gaiman is awesome I have a hard time reading most of his work, but the film adaptations are much more accessible. Why? Because Gaiman has the most completely unique landscape of any author I have ever encountered. Though it makes him slightly inaccessible to me, that's a good thing.
 


Many Gaiman stories have certain parts that make as much sense to me as this sign. Credit


  

Every writer should have their own landscape. What is a l...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 1-D This Is Your Life

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, May 17, 2012, In : Writing 101 


We continue our work on the background of writing- inspiration and plotting, with how to turn real life into a story. First let me state all writers do this, you HAVE to do it. Still, you must always make clear when you get too close to reality, in a forward or author's note, that any coincidence to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Yeah, right.

 

 
Who me? I'd never do that!




We'll go over how to take a entire plot from reality and adopt it, how to make yourself the protagonist i...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 1-C Once More With Feeling

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, May 13, 2012, In : Writing 101 


 
Yes, we're still on Inspiration, or getting started writing. This shouldn't surprise those of you who've tried it, writing is hard work. If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth doing.



If you look like this, you're doing it right.   Credit.


 
One of the most common problems for authors is the plethora of old ideas that frustratingly never came to fruition. Maybe you just couldn't take it in the direction you wanted, or it simply stalled. It happens all the time, and it's not a mistake. The only mis...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 1-B Under the Influence

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, May 4, 2012, In : Writing 101 

Last 101 lesson we discussed gaining inspiration from direct sources, basically crafting tasteful fanfiction. Today we delve into the world of "no copyright lawsuit worries" inspiration drawing again from stories, movies, and TV shows, but using basics and not directly specific plot points and characters. Indirect influential inspiration is about using voice, themes, and imitating minor arcs.



Just hang in there, we'll get through it. Credit.


 
A note on voice: it is basically comprised of your w...

Continue reading ...
 

Writing 101: 1-A Ode to Joy

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, April 22, 2012, In : Writing 101 


A series of blog posts I've wished to do are based off my lesson plans from when I taught creative writing. I've been debating for a while, but then Fifty Shades of Grey came along. Oh, I have no intention of reading that crap, and if you like it...sorry, it's crap.



OMG! You mean I can re-read Twilight but there's sex in it? EEEEK! 


 
I've worked in BDSM and have been a Dominatrix for almost 13 years. As much as I enjoy BDSM I personally prefer Dominant Women/ submissive men which don't sell, so...

Continue reading ...
 

Developing A Thick Skin

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, April 16, 2012, In : A Writer's Life 


Most writers are introverts. No, that doesn't mean we're shy, it just means we work better alone, socializing tires us out, and we always think before we speak. Another trademark for introverts is we do tend to be thin-skinned.




This is a writer's natural sleeping position, with that exact expression


  
 

I have yet to hear anything bad about Marly Jackson but since I've taken a break from updating Fey World on literotica.com, I've been getting many negative comments on my other storie...

Continue reading ...
 

All Things Must Pass

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, April 13, 2012, In : Writing Advice 


Happy Friday the 13th to you all. For you superstitious ones, avoid black cats today, and don't walk under ladders, or break mirrors. For the rest of us, happy Friday.



Ignore the hoomin, we're not bad luck, we're too busy taking over the Internet

 

I had an interesting conversation last night over very good beer with a fellow writer, one who's somewhat starting out, who asked a good question (that proved he was a real writer): "How do you stop?" As in, once you get going, and you have to be some...

Continue reading ...
 

Battling The Sexes: Genderbending Writing

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, April 2, 2012, In : Strangeness 
So...a little divergence for a moment from writing into the land of my personal insanity. First off, I have a shaman named Steve. He's full-blooded Navajo, I just find it hilarious to call him Steve. Now, why a shaman? Well I was raised by hippies, and I am also a licensed therapist. Knowing all the tricks of therapy kind of ruins it, so for my therapy I turned to Navajo shamanism, something my parents touched on in my childhood.




With a childhood that looked like this is it any wonder I retrea...

Continue reading ...
 

Intro To Marketing

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, March 29, 2012, In : Marketing 


 I was just featured over at The Indie Spotlight (permalink is here), and learned a few things about marketing. Imagine me sighing heavily, because that's what I do when I hear that word. I'm no expert, I'm still learning it myself, but I did just learn an important lesson to share with you, and I have a few others for the self-published author.




For every writer figuring out any part of marketing feels exactly like this 

 

There are 5 stages of marketing: 

1) Before writing your book
   - Marketin...
Continue reading ...
 

Smoke. Smoke. ARE YOU SMOKING YET!?! (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, In : Writing Advice 

 

There are many “subliminal” messages we are “treated to” every day. Even if, like me, you don’t watch TV to escape them, they’re still there. I can’t tell you how many damn times I’ve watched a “public good” ad online about taking to teens about sex and had to run out to buy a burger. Wait, wha? Well, those ads always seem to take place at the dinner table and families always eat either chicken or beef. Come to think of it, I eat way too much beef. Humans should only have...


Continue reading ...
 

Fantasy v. Reality

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, March 25, 2012, In : Writing Advice 

Fantasy wins, but reality pwns
 


Before the official post, I'll share a funny story with you that's true. Friday I met up with my best friend who gave me a tray of baklava, for she knows my sweet tooth is small, but I can never pass up baklava. Ever. She called to let me know she got home okay and asked me to kiss my dog for her. So I did, but at that moment he smelled the baklava, jerked his head, headbutted me...and broke my nose. Kind of funny, but now after 36 hours the swelling is going do...

Continue reading ...
 

The Remainders Of The Day or Fucking Muse (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, March 23, 2012, In : Writing Advice 


Inspiration is one of the most common things writers struggle with. It either rains or pours. We know about the drought times, aka "writer's block" but not about the buffet time. It's frustrating just as much, and if you've never experienced it, picture this: you had a big lunch at home and are stuffed when a friend calls you up and invites to you a $2.00 all you can eat steak buffet, but you're so full you feel sick, and now you feel pissed off in three ways. That is the feeling of having to...

Continue reading ...
 

An Apology From My Liver

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, March 15, 2012, In : Strangeness 

Sorry, but  sometimes Yola (my host) is about as useful as as a one-man-band sidekick to a ninja. Since there are videos in today's post, it has to be on a different page.

Continue reading ...
 

Technical Sensuality

Posted by Nora Quick on Thursday, March 8, 2012, In : Strangeness 
Today's post is going to be a rant. I never noticed this until I got into the publishing side of editing my writing, but now technical problems with stories drive me up the wall. I've been trying to stay in the frame of mind for erotic romance and as such I've been reading many. I've come to the conclusion it really is like porn: 85% sucks.



Er...that's what he said?

 
There's one author in particular I've hated for years, and I'm not sure why they keep pushing her as an erotic romance writer. Ma...

Continue reading ...
 

Pet Peeves

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
How would the story have gone if Scrooge had a beloved cat? What if Scarlet O'Hara had St. Bernard in the middle of house training? What if Heathcliffe and Catherine had to argue over which one got the beta fish? Yeah, there's a reason why pets aren't very common in novels; they're expensive, time consuming, and little shit factories.

 

Or sometimes downright shit-your-pants scary, suitable only for Bond villains


 Oh, they are also our best friends, and the unconditional love of...a dog is a bea...

Continue reading ...
 

Mental Illness in Fiction

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, March 5, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Hello my friends, I do apologize there was no post this weekend as promised. I was kept busy with my night job dissolving a business partnership that had reached its limit due to mental illness. My former partner has Borderline Personality Disorder, Manic Depression, and of course underlying anxiety with Histrionic tenancies and solid Narcissism. I am a licensed therapist so this means plenty to me; in layman's terms she's batshit insane.
 

Imagine if craziness were this simple...we'd be callin...

Continue reading ...
 

How To Be Starving Artist 101

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, February 22, 2012, In : A Writer's Life 
Ok my pretties, sorry for the delayed posting. I'll fess up: Star Trek Online is my new crack and I've been smokin' it nonstop for almost a week. I'm 39 levels up in just 6 days and I'm only not smokin' it right now because there's a server issue so the game is down. Yup, I'm that kind of geek.

However, I had a planned post mulling around in my head. How can one be a starving artist and not go insane? Look at the great writers, musicians, and artists (most of them) who committed suicide when t...

Continue reading ...
 

The Dangers Of Reading

Posted by Nora Quick on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
If reading isn't dangerous, why ban books? Why was illiteracy so popular when the Christian church ruled the western world? Reading gives you ideas, makes you think, challenges you perception. Dangerous stuff right there, those in power prefer ignorance in the masses, and writers are the vanguard of freedom of the mind.

Still, there is a reasonable line of too dangerous, when you just have to say "fuck it, censorship got it right!

Now we've all heard the reading-is-fundamental spiel, but we're ...

Continue reading ...
 

Conflict or How to Make Writers Fight

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, February 6, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Conflict, conflict, conflict. Just hearing it makes me feel like Marty McFly being called "chicken." Most so-called experts and teachers will try to tell you conflict is everything. Once you write enough, you realize just what it is:

It's a *spoiler* TRAP!

Seriously, some say "conflict is everything." Oh, really? Let's invent time travel and ask the greats that. Seeing people get bitch-slapped by Dickens could become my new favorite hobby. In prose you have important elements: characters, plot,...

Continue reading ...
 

Scheisse! or How Real is Too Real? (NSFW)

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, February 4, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Eating, drinking, fucking, shitting, pissing, belching, sweating, farting, nose-picking, wedgie-undoing...these are things all humans do. However, of this list, what is the only one you regularly expect in most fiction? Fucking. Humans are weird about that, they love their fucking, and disavow their nose-picking.

 
Fetish erotica manages to combine many taboo behaviors into one!


However when was the last time you read a story where the protagonist solves the crime while taking a shit? How many t...

Continue reading ...
 

The Art Of Murder

Posted by Nora Quick on Monday, January 30, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Death is the answer to life, the final summons for the jury-duty of the afterlife. One truth of fiction is the average novel has more death than a battle between clashing ethnic clans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Writers are obsessed with it.

The beauty of doing it creatively is most deaths you create will have as much forethought put into them as only serial killers can execute.

Meet your writing soul mate!


 There are a few keys to stick to when murdering a character. Remember that murder is most oft...

Continue reading ...
 

Top 4 Pitfalls Of Being A Published Author

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, January 28, 2012, In : A Writer's Life 
There are only a few differences between an aspiring writer and a published author, be it through a vanity publisher or under contract. It's mostly disillusionment, twenty pounds lost due to stress, and a haunted look in an author's eyes that clearly says they want to watch the world burn.

It's come to my attention I need to hang out with more writers and artists. I love my friends and family, but most are of the yuppie persuasion. Why can't I get a real job? Why do I take my "hobby" so seriou...
Continue reading ...
 

Research: A Lost Art

Posted by Nora Quick on Sunday, January 22, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
When I was a child, born in 1980, I dreamed about the Millennium, and as a result I was fascinated with people alive at the turn of the previous century. How curious it must have been to have been born before the American West was settled, and live to see the blacksmith be replaced by the mechanic as the automobile came about. Stranger still to have been alive before women got the vote, or before penicillin. I wondered what I would see in the next century.

Some of it is pretty cool. Computers,...
Continue reading ...
 

New COMM Paperback & When the Banshee Sings

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, January 20, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
First up, the 2nd edition paperback of Case of the Missing Millionaire is now available on Amazon.com and ships anywhere! Click on this link to buy. It's $8.99 and available now.

Moving along, one of the hardest things for most writers is to finish a story. I'm not bragging when I say it's easier for me, I am many things but "sentimental" has never once been used to describe me. Still when I finish one I feel sad, morose, and mopey, and the only thing to cheer me up is to plan a sequel, even w...
Continue reading ...
 

Plagiarism: The Modern Twist

Posted by Nora Quick on Friday, January 13, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
Today I w as on the Literotica discussion board with fellow authors there, checking on things after posting a new story (Wolf Tales I: The Claiming) and found a thread about a serious plagiarism problem facing erotica authors. I snockered at how quickly professional writers who craft novels and smith-words devolve into name calling that would embarrass a ten year old, but one writer did contribute a good link: Amazon's Plagiarism Problem.

 Both writers and readers need to be particularly on gu...
Continue reading ...
 

Writing With ADHD

Posted by Nora Quick on Tuesday, January 10, 2012, In : Writing Advice 
The one surprising question I never get when telling people I have ADHD (going on 30 years since I was diagnosed) is how it affects me when writing. The short answer: I need to do 50+ things at once, but they need to have a theme and help me focus. So when writing I ignore the phone, limit browsing the web, and watch movies on my laptop while I write. Movies are better than music because they have both the audio & visual component, and tell a story.

Here is a list of the movies I most commonly...
Continue reading ...
 

COMM New Paperback Edition Coming

Posted by Nora Quick on Saturday, January 7, 2012, In : Books 
It's been a busy day in publishing for me. After recovering from the holidays and a toothache, now battling a chest cold, I did get 2 bright spots in my day. My publishing contract for the erotic romance novel came today and my lawyer is reviewing it this weekend. It's a 2 book deal, though they do have the option to cancel the second book order if they desire (fairly standard).

I also finished finalizing my creatspace account and so a new BETTER print version of Case of the Missing Millionair...
Continue reading ...
 
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

Notes on the Neurotic, Psychotic, and Erotic Art of Writing


Nora Quick A blog on writing and my thoughts on the subject, many humorous, and often birdwalking

Tags

""hidden magic"' "romance' 'literotica" 'erotica" "contests" advice agent agent rejection agents amazon author marketing author platform award awards barnes & noble blog blog tours blogging blurb book cover book marketing book promotion book tours books brand branding break catchphrase character bio character development characters christmas conference conferences confession confessions conflict contest contests contracts convention conventions copyright cover cover design cover image critics dark prophecy darkness calling designing a cover download ebook ebook format ebook formatting ebook publishing editing emotions erotica facebook feminism fey world finding agents finding an agent formatting formula free images funny getting published getting reviews giveaway giveaways goodreads google play google play books google play partners google+ halloween hidden magic hiden magic history holidays horror how-to humor ideas image editing inserting bookmarks inserting hyperlinks inspiration james the butler jasc kindle kindlesmashwords legal life lifehack list literary agent literary agents literotica madness make a cover marketing marly jackson marly jacksonpublishing mobipocket mobipocket creator movies music networking new year's eve news nook outline pacing paintshop pen name performance personal appearance photo editing plagiarism platform promoting your book promotion pseudonym psychology publisher publishers publishing queries query query letter rant reading reading'publishing red sage rejections research review reviews revisions romance royalties scam scams sci-fi secret desires self-promotion selling books short story smashwords social media social media marketing society something wicked strangeness summary synopsis table of contents television the dryad the longest midnight the violin case themes tips title titter tricks tv uploading ebook wolf tales wolf tales volume i writing writing advice writing break youtube