Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Guest Post by Selah Janel

As a writer, I’m used to surprises. Characters suddenly piping up with new tangents don’t freak me out anymore. New plot twists, subplots, or taking out something that just doesn’t work isn’t new. Still, it seemed that In the Red was a title that was determined to throw every single curve ball that it could in my direction.
From the start it combined my love of fairy tales, my love of rock music, and my love of the Midwest (though the characters perceive don’t exactly appreciate that last one).Originally it was a much (much, much) shorter piece, more of a narrative, and more of a “punch line” story, where the ending was a shock and the rest was buildup. It would have been right at home on a new style of Twilight Zone, and it wasn’t a bad short story. I got a lot of decent feedback on it, but still, something bothered me about it. I adapted it and worked with it off and on for eight years, putting it away, pulling it out, making it shorter, making it longer, and just trying to figure out what it needed.
And suddenly, at the eleventh hour, I knew. I don’t even remember what spawned this sudden epiphany, but I was chilling out one evening, rereading one of the shorter versions, and suddenly realized that there was more story to tell – a hell of a lot more story, in fact. I didn’t realize it at the time; I assumed it would be a novella, maybe a short novel. It definitely had plans for me, though, because it kept going, and going and going…I began to wonder if I was at the mercy of my imagination, being dragged along by my ideas for the ride. At the end of the day, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It had to be this way. I didn’t have it in me to give Jeremiah (my lead character) his original fate. He had a lot more growing to do, and he deserved to be given the time to do it. The other characters, too, had a lot of surprises up their sleeves. His sister, Daniella, evolved from a single reference to an important character. Jeremiah’s wife grew important enough to warrant a grisly little scene of her own that to this day makes me shudder and makes me feel sorry for her.
All of the supporting characters that I had swept aside before had something to say, and longings of their own. While they don’t all go through their own character arcs, you get glimpses into their lives, former lives, and own personal hells. Even Jack Scratch, that shadowy, ruthless manager, has his moments. That was what was fascinating to me. When I took my time and gathered the courage to add in the sleazy moments, the painful moments, the slow and fumbling moments, it made me look at nearly every character in a whole other light. I had a definite plot in mind, but the twists and turns the book took towards getting there definitely made it a better work. I’ll go out on a limb and say I needed that time, too. I needed the time to gain confidence in my skills as a writer, time to get over my trepidation about people I know reading some of the scenes, and time to really get to know and appreciate my motley cast of characters for who they really are and what they had to go through.
I had to decide what I’d be willing to trade for if it was me in Jeremiah’s place. I had to remember my frustrations and loves of small town life so I could reflect it through his eyes. I had to decide what I would do if knocked to my knees and faced with the long climb back up. I had to decide what the people in my life meant to me so that I had some sort of comparison of his feelings. We’re very different personalities, but in a lot of ways I had to really get in touch with myself so I could understand Jeremiah’s conflicting viewpoints. I go around these days asking readers “Are you in?” but really, that’s exactly what I had to ask myself as I was writing it. Before I could toss around a clever tagline, I had to take a deep breath and forced myself to slow down as I expanded, polished, edited, and re-edited. I had to gather my courage and my personal feelings and jump right in.

~ Selah Janel

You can purchase 'In The Red' here: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and No Boundaries Press




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips

Hey everyone! Good to see you all here.

So there's been several blogs circulating the web these days on whether or not all authors need to blog.

First, let me just say that this is NOT a necessary thing for authors. Each of the blogs talking about this topic have asked publishers and agents if this is something they look for in an author.

Seems the stress of blogging (if you feel any and if you do, in fact, blog) is all on you.

Personally, I do not find blogging stressful. Hell, I have my own, plus I add to the blogs here on WW. What stress?

I do have a few tips for you, though, if you want to start a blog and maintain it. Mind you, these are things I learned from other bloggers, authors and lots of trial and error.

* Be consistent. If you want to blog, but don't have a lot of time, then figure out what you can commit to. Choose how often you want to post. Be it once a week, twice a week or every single day, you better figure that out now. Of the blogging sites I know of, Blogger and Word Press both allow you to schedule blogs in advance. Utilize this. Spend a day writing up some blog posts and scheduling them to appear throughout the week. It would also be a good idea to connect your blog with your Facebook and/or Twitter account. This way, the moment your blog is published, a link is automatically sent out. You have very little to do other than send out the link again every so often.

* Comment. Not only on other blogs you follow, but respond to comments left on your own blog! Be interactive. Even if you just check up on your blog once or twice a day, take a moment to respond to comments left.

* Be concise. Don't ramble on too much in your post. (I have a very bad habit of doing this sort of thing.) You want people to read your blog, leave a comment and possibly share the post. So be short and to the point.

* Help the reader. Okay, what I mean by this is simply: DON'T make them have to put in a Captcha code to leave a comment. I have a huge blog list I follow. When I leave a comment, I want to just hit one button and go. Having to leave a comment, type in the captcha and then wait... well, sometimes the captcha is wrong so you have to retype it. The frustration of doing such a thing will piss off your followers and they'll never comment. They also will skip over your blog, knowing this. Blog sites are pretty good about catching all the spam comments. I have to delete maybe one every three months.

Something else that helps the reader: Have share buttons handy. Want this posted to Facebook? Twitter? Have a button nearby.

Now, while blogging is not a necessary tool to get your book published, I will say this: it will help your reader connect to you if that is what you are looking for. If you don't want people to connect with you, then don't blog. I followed a couple of author blogs loyally for a short while. What irritated me was the fact that I would leave a comment and the author would ignore it. I watched for awhile and realized that people either didn't comment or they did, knowing they would not receive a response. Sorry, but if you are blogging, acknowledge the reader who took the time to leave a comment. It's a modern day version of fan mail. Don't be a jerk.

If you liked this topic, I do have more things I can share with you. Leave me your comments and you know I'll get back to you!

~ Mel

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Network: Hearse-Say Magazine


David Lingbloom offers free advertising and promotion and greatly encourage that it be mutual (the more people know about Hearse-Say Magazine, the more people know about you, etc.). His numbers on the Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress fronts are growing gradually, and it's all because of great people like you wanting to connect and enrich each one's personal lives.
David takes on links to personal/professional blogs, sites as well as excerpts and full stories. 

Concerning stories: "I have no true limit, but no novels please. You all know what would be a worthy subm
ission. Also, I'd like to stay in the realm of horror, paranormal, mystery, crime, and sci-fi/fantasy. 
Please go ahead and send submissions to advertise.hearsesay@gmail.com and take a look and see what I'm doing with the site by clicking on the banner above."

Monday Network: Selah Janel

Monday is all about networking. Each person who sends me their "promotional packages" will get their own blog post throughout the day. I'll follow up with Twitter, as in each post will get its own 'Tweet' all day long on Monday. Feel free to help me spread the word on these posts!

Meet Selah Janel:

 Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town.
Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

'In The Red':

What kind of a rock star lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere and plays at weddings and funerals? That’s what Jeremiah Kensington is thinking after an unsuccessful bar gig one night. Then Jack Scratch comes into his life, ready to represent him and launch him to stardom.
Jack can give him everything: a new band, a new name, a new life, a new look, and new boots…although they aren’t exactly new. They once belonged to The One, a rocker so legendary and so mysterious that it’s urban legend that he used black magic to gain success. But what does Jeremiah care about urban legend? And it’s probably just coincidence that the shoes make him dance better than anyone, even if it doesn’t always feel like he’s controlling his movements. It’s no big deal that he plunges into a world of excess and decadence as soon as he puts the shoes on his feet, right?

But what happens when they refuse to come off?

Here is where you can find Selah Janel:

Monday Network: Infernal Ink Magazine

Monday is all about networking. Each person who sends me their "promotional packages" will get their own blog post throughout the day. I'll follow up with Twitter, as in each post will get its own 'Tweet' all day long on Monday. Feel free to help me spread the word on these posts!

Infernal Ink Magazine:

Meet Hydra M. Star, creator of Infernal Ink Magazine and 'No One Makes It Out Alive' anthology.

Volume 1, Issue 1 for October, 2012 ~


Infernal Ink Magazine is a different sort of a literary magazine, in that we are focused on publishing extremely dark fiction and poetry, of all genres. We favor pieces with erotic, sexual, or humorous aspects, but love anything that disquiets the minds of our readers. In addition to our fictional offerings, we offer non-fiction content in this same vein with columns, articles, and interviews that explore everything from music to the paranormal.

This month's issue includes an interview with Les Hernandez lead man of the horror punk band The Quintessentials, true stories of the paranormal, and the sorts of violently erotic tales that Infernal Ink is known for.


October's issue is on sale now in Print, PDF, Kindle, and Nook.


No One Makes It Out Alive: an end of the world anthology


"No One Makes It out Alive: an end of the world anthology" is in short a collection of writings about the end of the world. The genres and subject matter of these stories stretches from zombies to nuclear war and from comedy to erotica, with mostly everything else covered in-between.

This anthology was edited by writer, columnist, book reviewer, and magazine owner Hydra M. Star.

Cover art provided by Dave Lipscomb.

Foreword by Garth von Buchholz.

Includes stories from; Andrea Dean van Scoyoc, Joseph DeRepentigny, Josephine Seven, Ken Knight, Larry Lefkowitz, Magan Rodriguez, Tibbie X, and W. Freedreamer Tinkanesh.

On sale in Paperback, Kindle, Nook, and PDF

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Is All Of This?

So, I'm sure some of you are asking by now just what the heck is all of this? Word Weavers, just what is it you guys do?

Well, I'm more than happy to tell you.

Q: Who created Word Weavers?

A: Word Weavers was founded by Jennifer Miller and Mel Chesley way back in 2006.

Q: How did it all come about?

A: Well, Jennifer and Mel were both published by Publish America at that time. Neither one of us knew what a scam it was until Jennifer found some links on Absolute Write dot com's Water Cooler. I don't want to speak for Jennifer, but I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.

But let me back up a bit. When you are a part of PA, they have forums on their site. Other 'authors' (I don't want to belittle the term or some of the people who knew full well what they were getting into with PA...so... sorry) would ask for reviews in their book's genre. As you can imagine, fantasy wasn't a thriving posting thread. I think Jennifer and I were like the only two on there. I had a couple other people offer to read mine, but they weren't too thrilled with my choice of genre. So Jennifer and I decided to help promote each other as well as ourselves.

Q: Where did the Trading Card idea come from?

A: That was Jennifer ~ "I stumbled upon an online trading card editor - so we took the idea a step further, designed our own templates/icons/card designs, and then went out on a limb asking our members if they'd like a free one.

A lot of them did - that began a trading card ring - where they would host each others cards for a week - spotlighting them on WW and other places, and then being asked to mail a printed set to the trading card museum."


Q: So what exactly does Word Weavers do?

A: Word Weavers consists of a group of authors who are looking to get the word out about their books. Word Weavers offers up several different avenues to help. We have the Facebook 'Like' page, the Facebook group, this blog and a website.

Every week, we spotlight an author. This gives them the opportunity, for a whole week, to promote. They're given a day for links to all of their pages and sites. Links to purchase their books, etc. They get a day of Q & A where they have the option to give away a copy of their book(s) to anyone who posts a question. They have links and information on our website. And finally, we offer them the opportunity to share their own books on this blog. We also ask that they guest post and/or do book reviews for the blog as well.

I hope this helps shed some light on what exactly Jennifer and Mel do. Their efforts would be for nothing if not for the support of the group. While they manage the group and maintain a lot of the different aspects of it, there is always a way for someone to help out. In the writing industry, you get further by supporting your fellow author.

If you would like to contribute, please read our policies and contact us through the contact page of this blog.

Thanks!
~Mel

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Writing To Perfection

Well, while the title for this blog might seem a little off, I do have a point to it.

When you write your story, you work hard at polishing it to the best it can be. Your goal is perfection. You edit, you send it off to beta readers, you submit query after endless query.

At some point, you decide to skip over all the rejection and move on to self publishing. Now, this isn't a bad thing! Indie authors are doing well these days, as long as they work hard and polish their story to a shine.

So, now your book is out on the market. Reviews are coming in and people love. Your. Book!

Hooray!

Then you get that bad review.

Uh oh...

What do you do?

Well, there are lots of viable options. You can run screaming into the night. You can curl into the fetal position and suck your thumb while cuddling with your wubby. You can crawl into bed and cry for days.

It's better to just take the criticism and learn from it. Use it to help you grow as a writer. Learn. From. Your. Mistakes.

Nobody is perfect. And no story is perfect. Even if six different editors and proofreaders went over it with a fine toothed comb, I guarantee there will still be mistakes.

Now, since you've self published this book, you do have an opportunity here. You can take it down off the sales sites and fix it, right? Absolutely. But how often should you do this? Should you even do it to begin with? Well, that will be our poll over on our Facebook page. If you are an Indie Author, I'd love to hear from you and get some insight to this issue. I'll share the results with everyone next week.

In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

~Mel

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In The Red Blog Tour


Hey everyone! This is just a quick post to give some information on a blog tour for Selah Janel's book, 'In The Red'.

Drop by the blog 'Breath of Life' here to see the guest post and keep tabs on the blog tour.






Want to see your book release or blog tour announced here? Send details to us from the contact portion of this blog.

~Mel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Welcome

Welcome to the blog pages of Word Weavers. Here is where you will get to know us a little better.

Word Weavers was originally created by Jennifer Miller and Mel Chesley. We offer up author support and promotion, writing tips and new release information for any writer, involved in our group or not.

Since this is the first post, I'll keep it short and sweet. My name is Mel. Our goal is to help authors in all stages of the publishing process. We'll have guest posts from other authors, so the tips on writing will always be different, no matter your genre preference. We'll also share some short stories, a little bit at a time, of course, to keep you coming back. Coming soon will be anthologies and a website.

We are currently on Facebook and Twitter: @WeaversofWords. Feel free to join the group or just go to the 'Like' page.

For any information regarding guest posts or anthology submissions, please contact us through our email: WordWeaversGroup at gmail dot com.