When to Quit Writing

Write to see victoryAuthors tend to have a little more determination toward success than many career minded people because of all the “rejections” that come at us along the way. Those rejections, as cold and heartless as they may seem, can be the fuel that gives us the strength to keep fighting to be accepted, or they can become the disturbing factor that makes us want to give up and quit writing.

But that is not an option.

We must NEVER give up because we WILL succeed if we keep at it.

When we’ve written a couple of books and we believe that they’re good, we want them to sell, but sadly, the market is flooded with books of every genre and our book often gets lost in the crowd, so to speak. We become discouraged and wonder if there is any point to writing another book.

Yes, there IS a point and we need to keep pressing toward the goal of success!

Then we ask, is it me? Is it my poor imagination? Poor writing skills? Bad taste in a storyline? What is it that forces my book to stay on the shelf and collect dust while a book like Fifty Shades of Gray flies off the shelf with record-breaking sales?

There are a lot of reasons why some books sell and others don’t. Timing is a crucial consideration so we have to study the market to know what books are in demand and those are the books we should be concentrating on. We don’t all have the same ambition to dare to defy the underlying rules of publication and write books like the above mentioned one, so we need to do two things: keep writing and submitting AND keep polishing our writing skills along the way.

So, how do we polish our writing skills without paying a fortune for college courses or personal tutoring? We join writing groups and learn from everyone’s experiences and knowledge.  There are physical local community groups that we could search out, and there are online writing groups that we can join and learn from in the comfort of our own home.

LinkedIn is one of the largest online business networks in the world and it’s the perfect base to plant ourselves and grow. There are numerous writing groups that we can join where various discussions will teach us more than we imagined about writing anything from poetry to flash fiction to short stories to full length novels. One such group is the Aspiring Writers Short Story Competition and Discussion group.

This group is filled with new and experienced writers who are passionate about their work. There are discussions about every aspect in writing short stories and flash fiction, as well as books. And one thing this group offers is a monthly writing competition where the winners are published in a yearly anthology…and number three is coming up.

Not only is there the monthly writing competition, but there are other fun challenges, as well. There is also an ongoing critique discussion where writers can present a story and have it critiqued by other educated and experienced writers. It’s the perfect opportunity for writers to submit their work and learn how to improve their writing skills.

If you’re not already a part of this wonderful group of writing enthusiasts, then I invite you to join today because we all need to be encouraged to fulfill the dream that’s in us. Often it’s just the lack of writing skills that prevents us from making it to the top, and so if we can perfect those skills, learn how to respond to writing competitions and accept constructive criticism, then we are on our way to success.

And if you want to learn about other writing competitions and know how to write professionally so you can submit a story to them, you’ll learn all about them in this group. You will get a good understanding of what you’re lacking and you’ll learn how to improve your writing and your presentation. This is crucial because whether you realize it or not, publishers are watching everything you write online!

Support groups like this are all around us and we need to find them so we can benefit from them. When we work together, we can learn from each other. When we share our knowledge, we can support each other. And when we care enough to be part of a great writing group, we will make friends who will inspire and encourage us.

If you have a desire to write and a creative mind to generate a great story, do not let it slip by. Instead, perfect your writing skills. Join a writing group and learn what the professionals already know. And don’t put it off because YOU just may be the next best-selling author in the making!

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged Aspiring Writers group, don't give up, perfect writing skills, writing competitions, writing group, writing skills

Missing: Little Boy with Autism!

 

My latest book, RAGING WATERS was released this week from iUniverse and it’s already making an impression on some of the faithful fans of the Sarah Davies series. It’s the fourth book in the collection of fast-paced, action-packed adventures, and one that’s filled with emotion and driven by fear.

The little boy, Joey, is modelled after this author’s grandson who suffers from the severity of the disease. I’ve watched him grow up and learned his actions and reactions to the things that go on around him – things that most of us would just take for granted. For him, though, these situations are horrifying because he cannot understand what’s going on and he cannot express himself. So as a result, he clings to his comfort zone and relies on his family to get him through each day.

Raging Waters is available at Amazon.com in soft and hardcover copy and in all e-book formats.

Please visit my website and read the prologue to the book. It’s exciting, inviting and yet taunting as Sarah talks about the dream that has filled her with so much fear for a day that is supposed to be happy family reunion. When she realizes that her dream is a premonition of things to come, she becomes even more frantic in her search for the missing little boy with autism.

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged autism, books, family reunion, Joey, missing boy with autism, raging waters, Sarah Davies

Tripping Over Words

One of the most relaxing and entertaining things we can do to unwind is to curl up on the couch with a comfy blanket and steaming mug of coffee as we dive into our favorite book. It’s what many of us wait for; that little bit of quiet time where we can live in that other world and forget the stresses around us. And yet, nothing can destroy the mood faster than a book that has words in it that trip us up and take us away from our story.

Many new aspiring authors, in their need to prove to the world that they can write fiction stories better than anyone else, will inadvertently show off their lack of writing skills by using long and unusual words. As readers, we have to stop our flow with the story to focus on these words, one syllable at a time, while our mind goes crazy trying to figure out what they mean.

The words in a book, especially fiction, should flow together smoothly. They should be easy to pronounce, simple to understand, and should add to the thoughts around it. The words should never cause readers to have to break their captivation of the story because when they do they also turn them right off of the book. Why? Because the book becomes another point of stress and not the relaxation or the thrill the readers were looking for.

We need to use variety in the words we use as we write our story to make it interesting and attractive, but we shouldn’t use words that are outside of commonly known words or that we can’t pronounce. Our aim isn’t to impress the reader with our expanded vocabulary; our aim is to write a book that readers like.

Which sentence is easier to read and understand?

1) The large, brown cat jumped over the broken wood fence.

2) The inestimable, brown cat capered over the slipshod fence that was made from wood.

Both sentences say the same thing, but the first one flows smoothly, is easy to read and clear to understand.  The second one has words with too many sharp syllables, and words that cause us to have to stop and think about them as we try to picture what is happening.

When we’re writing a book we want to draw the readers into the story and we want to keep them there. When the story has  sentences or words that make us stop and lose our concentration just to focus on what’s going on, our minds get tired and they don’t want to read anymore because it’s too much work.

As authors, we need to write the way we like to read, and not write to try to impress the readers with big or flattering words. We want readers to keep buying our books because they like to be drawn into the story. They won’t come back if they can’t understand it, and our big words that we thought would impress them will only turn them away. We need to use variety and yet simplicity so that readers can comprehend what we’re saying and easily relate to it.

When we’re not sure how to describe a scene or an action, or how to write something dynamic, a great way to learn is to read the work of someone who writes well, whose books are best sellers and whose name is highly respected. And hopefully in time, as our writing improves and our stories become known, we will become the mentors who other aspiring authors seek to learn from.

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By Ronnie Dauber Tagged aspiring authors, captivation, coffee and a book, comfy blanket, flattering words, good author, good book, literature, quiet time, readers, reading, simple words

Free E-book Giveaway

We often hear about free kindle books and wonder what indie author is trying to promote their books. I know because I do it with the hope of getting my books into the hands of worthy readers. But we don’t often hear that a well-known and highly respected author with a long list of best-sellers would present the same offer.

Yet, I have the honour of announcing that Warren Adler is giving away free e-books. You may recognize some of his great novels – War of the Roses, Random Hearts, Trans-Siberian Express or Mourning Glory. He’s offering many of his books, one at a time, as a free gift to readers who would like a copy just for the enjoyment of reading.

Just go to the site of Warren Adler and sign up for your free copy.  This week’s free e-book is Casanova’s Embrace. And when you fill out the form to download your free copy, you’re also entered into a draw for a free Kindle Fire tablet. It’s a win-win situation no matter how you look at, so take advantage of this special offer and enjoy an exciting e-book by one of America’s successful authors, Warren Adler.

 

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged best sellers, books, free e-books, great novels, mourning glory, Random Hearts, trans siberian express, War of the Roses, Warren Adler

Writer’s Block

Has this ever happened to you?

We sit at the desk with our pen in hand

but our thoughts have jumped the track.

We stare at everything around us

and we can’t seem to get them back.

It’s as if the brain has called a strike

and says, “Don’t make me work today,

I’m taking a break from thinking

the fiction world can just go away.”

So, we stress to focus on what to write

and then set our plans in motion,

But the mind laughs and ignores us.

It’s got different notion.

We read all the tips that will start it again

and make our mind think of the plot,

But nothing comes out and we’re amazed

that we’re suffering from writer’s block.

So let’s give it a break and let it alone

and do something real different today.

Let the mind relax with something new

and that block will soon fade away.

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged block, brain, can't think, desk, fiction world, jumped the track, pen in hand, think, writer, writers block

Not Just Another Writing Contest

There are many writing contests on the internet and sometimes it’s hard to pick which one is best suited for our stories. We try out a few and then after getting those “Dear John” rejection letters, we give up. But stop! Don’t give up!

I am fortunate to be able to manage a writing group on LinkedIn called The Aspiring Writers Short Story Competition and Discussion group.  We have monthly competitions where the winners have their stories and biographies published in a yearly anthology, and we are currently working on our third edition and have two anthologies published.

But there’s more! We have just started a writing competition that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s called The Mayan Madness Manuscript Challenge and the goal is to see who can submit the most stories in a designated timeframe. If your story is rejected you could win; if it’s accepted you could win.

In this competition, you can enter and win in one or all five of the qualifying categories.

What is the competition?

Each contestant will write and submit as many stories to professional publishers as possible and record each submission on a special score sheet. In the end, we will choose winners who have the most submissions in the following categories:

The winner with the most submissions

The winner with the most acceptances

The winner with the most rejections

The winner with the most variety in genre

The winner with the most variety in publishers

What is the purpose?

The purpose is to encourage writers and authors to keep submitting regardless of the rejection letters. It’s too easy to get discouraged and quit writing so we want to encourage you to keep writing and keep submitting because in due season you WILL get your work published. In the past you may have written a great story but you submitted it to the wrong publisher or at the wrong time, but eventually, through the spirit of competition, we hope that you will find that perfect publisher and get your work published.

You need to be a group member to join in the challenge so if you’re not already a member, please join the Aspiring Writers Short Story Group and then sign up, read the guidelines and get going. Let the competitor in you out so that you can run this race, have some fun, meet some great people – and win!

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged anthology of short stories, Aspiring Writers, Mayan Madness, rejections, short stories, short story competition, submissions, writing, writing challenge, writing competitions

What Reading Fiction Means to Me

When I sit in a quiet place with a good fiction book, I’m captivated and drawn into the story in a way that no movie can compare. For me, there is nothing more invigorating than reading a good book.

For years, the high quality and integral standards of cover copy books have been controlled by traditional publishers, and the fight for authors to get their stories accepted has been intense. But while the traditional publishers depressed the hopes of many aspiring writers, technology continued to move forward and gave authors the ability to publish their own books.

Digital books, aka e-books, offer the freedom and incentive that allows authors to get published, and in the last few years the market has been overwhelmed with every type of book imaginable for a low-cost – which is great for readers. Authors are able to publish their work for free and have it marketed around the globe – and this is good for them. But there is a downside; many authors, anxious to get their books published, ignore the need to have their work edited and censored, which leaves the e-book market flooded with books that are poorly written and lacking in morals and discretion.

Am I worried about this new market of books? No. The book market is like a big department store with levels of quality goods and a bargain basement where quality and prices are low. And shoppers know what they want.

This is an exciting publishing era. Authors can publish books and reap the royalties that they set without waiting, and readers have the benefit of paperback and e-books. I guess this is why diversity is such a benefit in today’s publishing world, and why great authors like Warren Adler have moved into the digital world to capture the full market.

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged aspiring authors, Aspiring Writers, authors, bargain basement, book market, copy books, digital books, e-books, fiction book, good book, literature, readers, traditional publishers, writing

Life Support

Being an author can have its challenges, but it can also reap great rewards. I’m not talking about that big cheque that finally makes it to our mail box, I’m talking about the people we meet along the way who become our encouragement and our life support.

Today I was featured on Chuck Douros’s blog as a guest author on Runwritedig.com and it was a total surprise to me, but more than that, it was a tremendous blessing of encouragement. I have written several books and literally thousands of articles in the last many years, and I’ve had my bouts of hardships and struggles that have challenged my very existence. I’ve tried hard to keep my eyes on my goals and push pass the obstacles that got in my way, and I never gave up. And when I read the favourable things that was written about me I was encouraged beyond words.

My passion is to not only write good books but to help other authors improve their skills so they can write good books, as well. It’s thrilling to know that there are so many other authors and writers out there who feel the same way and who share the same attitude. People like Chuck Douros, who not only writes interesting and exciting articles but who lives out what he writes as he runs marathons for worthy causes.

There are many kinds of authors who write within an amazing spectrum of attitudes, ideals and passions, and whose writing cover every style imaginable, and we don’t all agree on how to write or what to write. But as we become part of the author network on-line, be it LinkedIn, Facebook or individual media networks, we will soon find ourselves mingled together as we share similar interests and values. We become each other’s encouragement – each other’s life support.

When rejections come and struggles overwhelm us, we have a bond with these fellow authors and writers, and we have to know that they will be there when we think we’re alone, when we think that we’ll never make it as an author.  There will always be at least one who is ready to give encouragement and support when we need it.

I feel privileged to be the feature author today on Chuck Douros blog because to receive this honor I know that I have earned his respect, and this to me is very special and more valuable than any royalties I could make from selling my books.

* If you enjoyed this blog posting, please subscribe and you can receive them all directly into your own inbox. Life Support.

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged author network, authors, Chuck Douros, douros, fellow authors, friends, hope, life support, writing

Share the Joy Not the Envy

As authors, we can get so involved with our own work that we totally segregate ourselves from the rest of the writing world. When we do take a break and look around us, we see that an author here and another author there has reached their accomplishments, and we question our own feelings. Do we feel joy or envy?

Sometimes, we work really hard to write a particular story or article or even a book, and it’s taken all of our thoughts and our time as press towards the mark of getting it published and making it a successful publication. Many of us are linked together in different social or business networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn, so we have met many other authors and we have an idea of where they’re heading.

But sometimes when we see that they have become well-recognized and accepted because of something they published, our own reserves can be offended. We feel that it’s not fair or that it should be us out there being congratulated for our work. But it’s not because we’re still working on it, or maybe we finished it and it just didn’t make it the way theirs did.

It’s certainly normal to want to be a successful author and to be recognized as one. It’s the goal we all head for. But there are many reasons why another author has reached success ahead of us, and we have to control our emotions so that they are edifying and not envious.

We don’t know the details that influence the lives of our author acquaintances and so we have to be careful that we don’t judge them or get angered because they made it and we didn’t. Perhaps they’ve struggled for years and endured much criticism and hard work to get to that point, and perhaps they are well deserving of their success.

How can we support each other? If it’s geologically possible to go to book signings then we should go and support them there, and if we can’t get there then we can leave them a message when they promote it in the social media. We can read their blogs and leave a comment, visit their Facebook page and give our support or go to their website and leave a word of encouragement.

One of the greatest supports that authors can have is that of each other. We need to reach out with a happy heart and truly congratulate them when they succeed even in the smallest way. It’s our encouragement and inspiration towards each other that will keep us focused and on the path to success.

The life of an author can appear unrewarding and filled with struggles and unbelievable trials as each one continues in their endeavour to be successful. It’s very easy for an author to become discouraged and give up, and that could be very sad because there are many authors out there whose work is truly worth every word they write.

And on the other hand, when it seems as if the world is against them and totally dumping ice on their hopes to be a writer, there is nothing more supporting and uplifting than the encouragement of other authors. So, whether it’s an author who just accomplished a book that became a best seller, or an author who has written a worthy article on their blog, we should take the time to send them a few words of support that lets them know that their work is appreciated.

From one author to another, let’s support each other with words of joy and not with hidden feelings of envy.

*If you enjoyed this post, please click “like” and rate it, as well. Your support is appreciated.

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged author support, best seller book, blog, business networks, encouragement and inspiration, facebook, joy not envy, literature, support authors, writing

Following the Author

Many authors understand the importance of the use of past, present and future tense, and they will use all the correct wording in their stories. Others, however, aren’t trained and don’t know how to apply the correct tense, and so they will write their story with a mixture of all three. They know what they mean but the reader can get lost and confused, and the only venue they have to follow is the author.

Before we begin to write anything, whether it’s a story or a book, we must determine what tense we’re going to write it in.  Will we write about something that happened? Something that is happening now? Or that will happen in the future? Once we know this, then we know which tense to write the book in.

A story that has already happened will use past-tense verbs like did, was, knew, ran, cried or laughed. Present tense stories will use words like does, is, knows, runs, cries or laughs. Future tense stories might use wording like will do, will be, will know, will run, will cry or will laugh.

It’s a challenge to keep the story in the same tense all the way through and often success only comes after much editing. However, the greatest challenge is not just maintaining the overall tense of the book.

The more concentrated task at times is to write a complete sentence or paragraph and use all the same tense. Many writers do not catch this but it’s the clue that editors and publishers look for to determine the quality of your writing.

Within any given sentence the verbs must be of the same tense; not a mixture of past, present or future. AND in the context of any given paragraph the tense must follow the same rules. Every sentence within the paragraph must be written in the same tense.

Why is this important? The reader is always at the mercy of the writer and can only follow with what is written. If a paragraph has sentences that don’t all use the same tense, the reader must stop the flow of reading to determine if this happened or will happen or is happening now. The reader might not stop completely and ask the question out loud, but any break in the thought pattern that is stimulated by the flow of the reading will cause the reader to break their attention.

If the author’s purpose is to build suspense or thrill or adventure, then she doesn’t want the reader to lose one second of attention because even one second will break that inner hunger for more. Every time the reader has to mentally think of what tense is intended, the captivating interest of the story is broken. But if the reader can get through the entire book without questioning the author’s skills, then that reader will be left hungry for more from this author.

In our every day language many of use mixed tenses in our sentences, and as authors, if we aren’t careful we’ll carry that into our books. It’s acceptable for dialogue because it depicts the reality of the voices, but it’s not acceptable for the actual story.

Are there exceptions? There are always exceptions to every rule. A diary being told by the protagonist may use more common dialogue to tell their story, but still it’s crucial to the setting and to the content that the tense be the right one throughout the book.

Authors have an amazing ability to captivate readers, but the readers can only be absorbed into the story if their train of thought and direction isn’t broken from confusing words. Readers can only follow what the author writes so it’s important that we lead them through the book as easily and smoothly as possible.

By Ronnie Dauber Tagged author's skills, authors, complete sentence, followers, furture tense, future tense, greatest challenge, literature, past tense, present tense, readers, tense verbs, writing, writing tips