Tag Archives: writing

The Window of Opportunity

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Introduction

When Opportunity knocks I’m usually in the bathroom or at work and I’m almost always missing the visit. However last week, when it came along, I opened the window and shouted, “Don’t move I’ll be right there.”

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A Startling Announcement

On Wednesday I shocked my friends on Facebook that I was quitting writing for the time being as my books were going nowhere. However, this announcement was misunderstood as I didn’t announce it properly. I was getting comments about take a breather, sit back, and you can get going again. Only two or three people actually got the initial idea as I explained it further in the comments section.

What I meant was, since I no one was reading my books and reviewing them, I had nothing to gage my future writing on and therefore I thought, “What’s the point of continuing if no one will read them?” I have had a few sales of my stories but yet people tell me that they just don’t have time to read them. Really? My books aren’t that long or complicated. I have three short stories available that could be read in about twenty minutes or so.

 

What about Giveaways?

Yes, I have given my books away as a promotion for myself through other Facebook pages. The response I get from them is, “I have a lot of books on my reading list right now, but I’ll get to yours.” How many is ‘a lot’? I’m not trying to turn this post into a rant; I just want you to know the frustration I am feeling. Yes, I know all writers go through this. What irritates me the most is that I’ll support another author’s work; read and review it, but not receive the same in return. I get that you are too busy writing but how is it that you’re able to praise other writers’ works but not mine?

A New Opportunity

As I stated before I’m not giving up writing totally and to be honest I just couldn’t anyways. It’s a part of who I am. Even if I’m not writing things down on paper or on the laptop, I’m writing in my head. Since March 2016 I started writing poetry in conjunction with this site on Facebook called Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam. I was pointed out to me by a fellow writer and I decided to visit. I hadn’t written poetry since high school, about 30 years or so, and even then it was mostly sonnet-based verses.

The page is rather simple: an image is posted on Saturday and you have roughly until the following Wednesday to post a poem that was inspired by the image. From there it is voted on and the winner is announced on Thursday. My first attempt, The Green Blade Witch, actually got me the win. Not bad for being 30 years out of touch.

From then on the creativity that creates poetry was awaken within me and I participated almost every week. Then early last week I was told that the page had disappeared. I was heartbroken as I found something that, not only was I interested in doing, but something that could keep the writer in me writing. I contacted the administrator of that page and asked if one of us could take over. She and her associate were too busy to continue the page and so she handed it over to me! Thank you Opportunity!

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New Year, New Writing Possibilities

            With the new year beginning, this gave me the motivation to make new ideas come to life via the poetry page. So for now, this will be my muse for the next few months or so. I’ll still be working on my other projects; either by typing them on the laptop or just writing them in my head. But with this poetry page I want to turn things around for myself and head in an entirely new direction and see where this adventure will take me. I have have plans to publish a collection of poems that are Fanstasy-based and from there we’ll see where ‘the road not taken’ leads me.

Conclusion

Where is the New Year taking you? Are you on track in your writing life or has something occurred to encourage you to take another road? Feel free to comment and if you get the chance visit us on the poetry page over at Facebook!

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Happy Adventuring!

Chris

D.I.Y. The Writer’s Platform

 

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Introduction

This week we are going to look at what is known as The Writer’s Platform. We’ll answer the questions: “What is it?” “What’s involved in making one?” “Do I need one?” And “How soon should I make one?”

This idea also works for other businesses as well. Anyone who is to looking to have a presence online to draw people to their company or service would do well in learning about the platform idea.

What is a Writer’s Platform?

If you think of it as a physical thing, a platform is a raised area like a stage which would put someone, in this case the writer, above the crowd to be viewed by everyone at once. Online, it’s a central point to attract fans and future readers to one location to get to know you as a person and what you’re up to in the world of writing. From that point, you can direct them to other points of interest that are a part of your platform.

Usually a Blog is the center of a Writer’s Platform; a place where a writer can share articles and ideas about the writing and publishing industry, projects they are currently working on, and general knowledge of “Who you are” and “What makes you tick.”

From there you can provide links that lead people to other social media sites to see photos, further articles, and give your readers a chance to actually interact with you on a regular basis. The more a reader gets to know you as a person, the more they will be interested in buying your books and telling others about you.

The number of social media sites to have depends on what kind of presence you want online and how much time you have to spend at each place. The more sites you use, the more time will be required of you, so don’t spread yourself too thin. Otherwise, someone might post a question on one site and you might not see it for a week or more if you don’t frequent it very often. Smartphones are very handy to provide you with notices of when some comments on one of your pages and it keeps you in the loop as it were.

What’s involved in making one?

 Social Media

WordPress.com

            As we stated previously, a blog is a good focus. A lot of writers that I know of use WordPress.com for their blog posts but you don’t have to join it because we do. There are a variety of places where you can set up a blog. Just make sure that you post regularly and commit to doing it for as often as you say.

There are a few that make blogs posts daily, some weekly, and others monthly. I chose weekly as I don’t have enough time to write daily, since I have a job to make a living. I wouldn’t recommend monthly as a lot of your followers make lose interest quickly awaiting your next post. Here’s a link to my blog. Of course, if you’re reading this article you are more than likely already there.

 

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Facebook

In addition to the blog, I would suggest having a presence on both Facebook and Twitter as they will establish who the REAL you is. I would also suggest an author page on Facebook where you can post updates concerning your writing as well as excerpts from upcoming projects. Individual profile pages only allow a maximum of 5000 friends whereas a page gives you millions. It depends on how many people you expect to follow you.

Don’t deny future readers access to your personal profile as this proves you are a real human being. Sure they may not be interested that Junior is finally potty trained or “if your boss looks funny at you one more time…” The idea is to let them know that although you are a writer, you have everyday accomplishments and problems just like them. As the old saying goes, “I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like you.”

Here is my Facebook Profile Page and My Author Page.

 

Twitter

Twitter

On Twitter you can post, or rather, tweet things as a writer would. With the limited amount of characters allowed per tweet, this is where you want to focus more on your life as a writer as opposed to the fact that you and your “peeps” are hanging out at the mall. You can provide story updates like: “Finished first draft, now comes the editing” or “I can’t believe I had to kill off Ol’ Doc Bradley, I may cry for days”.

You can also find a lot of fellow writers on Twitter and find out what they have to say, make comments, and Retweet their Tweets to show up in your feeds. More writers prefer to be on Twitter as it encourages people to come to the point whether asking a question or making a comment about what you just said. Here’s my Twitter Account.

 

YouTube

YouTube

Creating a YouTube channel has its advantages for writers as they can post trailers they’ve designed for their books or upload videos of themselves talking about their writing process or giving writing tips about what’s worked for them and what hasn’t. You can also save a collection of your favorite songs/videos to show people what you listen to while writing or you can show people what a soundtrack for your latest novel would look like if it were turned into a movie. Here is my YouTube channel.

 

Pinterest

Pinterest

This site is a place to collect pictures, sayings and motivational quotes all one a page known as a board. Think of it as a bulletin board where you pin different things that mean something to you. I have one called the Writer’s Platform and post pictures of my cover images, inspirational pictures, quotes from writer’s, and other helpful writing tips. The only drawback to this page is that I can’t get pictures lined up in the order that I want them. If anyone out there knows how to do this please share in the comments below. Here’s a link to my boards on Pinterest.

 

Instagram

Instagram

A couple months ago I signed up to be on Instagram hoping to attract more people to my books. This site is for photos mostly and the occasional mini-video; anything that you can post straight from your phone. You can’t update from your laptop, I’ve already tried.

The focus here is to show people pics of yourself, plus book covers of current and/or upcoming releases and further helps prove that you are real person.

I’m not 100% sure if I’ll stay with this or not but time will tell. I may give myself until the end of the year and decide then. Here’s my Instagram account.

In addition to these, I’m also on Google +, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. However, I don’t frequent them as much as I’m not all that familiar with them and I haven’t benefitted from them as much as I have from the other media site. That’s not to say that you won’t have any luck with them. As I stated earlier, just be careful as to how many sites you want to be on so you don’t spread yourself too thing.

NOTE:  In regards to all of these accounts, I would highly recommend that you use your name or pen name for both your screen name and online handle. Remember, you want people to find you, the writer, not Lovehandles46.

Writers Platform

Do I need a Writer’s Platform?

In a word, Yes! With the creation of self-published sites where you can do the publishing yourself, and with the concept of E-books, a writer’s platform is very necessary to get the word out that you are an author and you have books to be read.

Social media has become huge in the last ten years or so and without a presence online it’s impossible to let people know who you are. Even if you are publishing the traditional route, you can’t expect them to do all promotions for you and your book. You’ll want to make the effort yourself to establish an online presence. Furthermore, with you in control of your own presence you can decide how often you post and make comments online. Once your book has been out for several months, or even years, a publishing company will not promote you as often as you’d like.

When should I create my platform?

This question has been debated for quite some time and I’m surprised that there are people still asking it. My advice is to create your platform long before the first book is published. You want people to get to know “YOU”, the author, first. That way when you book is ready for purchase; you’ll already have a line of people ready to buy when it becomes available.

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Let’s look at this through the lens of a historical landmark event. Everyone is familiar with the moon landing in 1969. We are introduced to the astronauts, we follow them to the rocket, we cheer the liftoff, and then we rejoice as it lands and the astronauts walk on the surface. The significance of this (besides the event itself) is that we know a great deal about it before long before the rocket leaves the launch pad. In a speech on May 25, 1961, President Kennedy promised we would put a man on the moon before the decade was over. That was eight years before it happened.

Now, let’s suppose that you, the author, are an astronaut, and your book is the moon landing. NASA is your publisher (traditional or self-publishing). Your platform then is the announcement to the country that you are heading to the moon writing a book. The news travels around from one person to the next, interviews are posted in papers and on television online, and this leads up to your departure into space book release day. If you release the book first and then develop a platform, it’s the same as landing on the moon first and then telling everyone about it. Imagine the disappointed astronaut on the moon’s surface jumping up and down and waving his arms at the people on earth—and nobody is paying attention.

Conclusion

Even if your book is already out, don’t despair about the writer’s platform. Get one together and get the word out! Make sure you focus as much on yourself as you do your book. Personally, I’d rather have fans of me who will buy my books, then fans of my books. There is a difference especially if you write a series. Once your series is over, fans of your books may not follow you to your next novel or series. They may just sit back and hope you will put out more books based on the series. I want people to be fans of me and read everything I write regardless on the genre.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned from it. Please share with me in the comments below of your own platform experiences or your concerns. Feel free to follow me on social media and get to know me more than what you have here.

Happy Adventuring!

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Chris

The Askinar Towers: Flash Fiction–2

Once again I am sharing some flash fiction that I wrote inspired by a character seen in Chapter 15 of book 2, “Sibling Rivalry”. If this were an actual part of the story it would take place towards the end of the book around chapter 26. Enjoy!

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Better With Bacon

Russ Richards and his family had just finished with Floor 91 when they wearily boarded the elevator to Floor 92. The baby strapped to Russ’ back was fussing.

“Can we stop and get something to eat?” asked Joanne, his sister. “I believe Jacob needs a fresh diaper and could do with some formula.”

“If there’s a place here on Floor 92, we’ll stop and eat. Maybe even get a little rest.”

“After the ogre tribes we countered on Floor 91, I’ll be happy to rest anywhere,” said Andy, his brother.

“Including a Roadside convenience store that smells like microwaved burritos,” added Steve, his uncle.

“We have just a few more floors to cover and then we’re done with the Tower of Water,” said Russ.

“True, but according to those girls we met, there are still three more towers,” said Andy.

“All in good time,” said Russ.

The elevator arrived at Floor 92 and the doors opened. Beach Boys music was heard as they stepped into a diner.  The décor was out of the 1950s with posters of music groups of that era. The metal top counter was shiny and clean as if it was never used. A couple were sharing a soda in a corner booth.

BWB Rick

A young man came out of the kitchen chomping on some bacon. He looked up at the people who’d just arrived. “Welcome to ‘Better With Bacon’! Every meal is served with a side of bacon!”

“Do you have a bathroom?” asked Joanne.

“Yes, just on over there by the front door. I’m Rick, by-the-way. Please seat yourself.”

Joanne took Jacob and went to the bathroom, while Russ, Andy and Steve took a seat at the counter. Rick came back around the counter and handed them each a menu. “Coffee?”

“Please,” said Russ. The other two nodded in agreement.

“First time to the diner?” asked Rick.

“Yes! We’re on a mission to create a guidebook for this tower. What all is on this floor?”

“Just this diner and a small park on the other side of the parking lot.

“What’s the special?” asked Steve. “I don’t see it on the menu.”

“Ah, well, today’s special is ‘I can’t Believe I’m not Dead Yet’.

“Sounds, uh, interesting,” said Andy. “What’s in it?”

“Bacon wrapped in bacon, dipped in bacon grease, deep fried, with crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.”

“Served with a side of bacon, right?” asked Joanne as she came out of the bathroom.

“That’s right!”

“I can feel my arteries hardening already,” said Andy.

“Oh, that’s tomorrow’s special. You should come back then,” replied Rick.

“Seriously?” asked Joanne.

“No, not really. Tomorrow’s special is Bacon wrapped Steak, dipped in bacon grease, deep fried and topped with crumbled bacon.”

“And served with a side of bacon,” said Joanne, Andy and Steve.

“What’s it called?” asked Russ.

“The Heart Stopper,” replied Rick with a smile. “It was called the Major Coronary, but the burger joint on Floor 93 tried to sue me for infringement because they had a burger of the same name.”

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“What’s the name of this burger joint?” asked Joanne.

“The Meat Grinder. Their special of the day today is, Cow Meets Grinder.”

“What’s in it?” asked Andy.

“How should I know? They’re my rival, after all. Of course, with the name, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that burger meat is in it.”

“Personally, I could do with a burger,” said Joanne.

“I agree,” added Steve, then turned to Rick. “No offense.”

Rick shrugged his shoulders. “To each his own, come back for breakfast when you can.”

“What’s the breakfast special?”

“Rick’s Scrambled Omelet,” he replied.

“Served with a side of bacon I assume,” said Joanne.

“No, it comes with sausage.”

“Really?” asked Andy.

“NO! Of course it comes with bacon. This is ‘Better with Bacon’, after all!” Rick stormed off into the back.

The group quickly got up, returned to the elevator, and went up to Floor 93. Russ jotted some quick notes about Floor 92 as he waited for the doors to open.

“Maybe we should have looked at the park,” said Steve.

“Why?” asked Russ. “A park is a park. I’m sure there was nothing spectacular about it. Besides, I really didn’t want to hear about bacon anymore.”

 

At Floor 93, the doors opened to reveal a small restaurant styled like a meat locker. As they came out of the elevator car, a young man came out of the kitchen.

Burger Rick

“Welcome to ‘The Meat Grinder’. I’m Rick, your host and owner.”

“Weren’t you just down in the diner of ‘Better with Bacon’?”

“Who me? No, that guy is so ten minutes ago. I am the future!”

The End

I hope you enjoyed this story. I hope to share more pieces of flash fiction in future blog postings. Eventually I’d like to put  them all together and create a book, but time will tell. Please share comments that you might have on this story. To buy copies of my trilogy, see my author page at Amazon.com. If you want other links, please state you interest in the comments section below.

 

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ll be sitting in the Red Chair for an interview this Saturday with Lucy Mitchell AKA The Blond Writer.

Who Am I? The “-tion” Edition

Me and Girls

Me and my daughters, February 2016

Introduction

This week’s article I want to talk a little about who I am and how I come to be where I am and what I am. But rather than bore you with an autobiography of this, that and the other. I’m just going to share with you the highlights of my life; one phrase at a time with a word ending in ‘—tion’.

I am…

A Christian through salvation

An American through Declaration

A high school graduate through education

A former Ohioan through relocation

A Writer of fiction through imagination

An unknown author through procrastination

A father of two through procreation

An ex-husband through legal documentation

A retail employee through incarceration

A photographer of landscape through transportation

A former magician through prestidigitation

A hiker of trails through exploration

A lover of pizza through mastication

A sufferer of fools through exasperation

 

Conclusion

I am all of these things as well as others. I hope you enjoyed this little exercise of vocabulary. Can you think of any others that you might add to your own list? Please share in the comments below.

 

Wonderful World of Rhyming Words

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Introduction

Over the last several years I’ve been participating in various writing projects. I took part in the 100 words a day challenge in which your daily post is exactly one hundred words; I’ve taken on Round Robin Stories on the Nano boards in which you add a paragraph or two, or an entire scene, to a community story; And participated in a GIF interview hosted by the talented Kate Tilton.

Recently a fellow author, and friend, Elyse Salpeter, discussed how writers should become poets as well to help flesh out their creativity in other forms of writing. So I joined in as it looked like fun!

My Early Days of Poetry

Writing poems is not new for me; in school, as we studied poetry, we were required to write our own. The only one that I can really recall from memory is a limerick I wrote for 8th Grade English:

There once was a man named Reagan,

                        Who often looked like a dragon.

                        He climbed up a wall,

                        Although he did fall,

                        On top of Prime Minister Begin.

My senior year in high school we studied the sonnets of William Shakespeare and, as an assignment we were to write our own sonnet. If you’re not familiar with a sonnet it’s a poem that consists of 14 lines that make up three stanzas and a couplet at the end. Each stanza is 4 lines long and the couplet is two lines and is used to wrap up the poem. Below is the first sonnet I wrote for my Senior English class:

 

Does Anyone Care?

Does anyone care what goes on in the world?

With people that hunger and need much care?

They have bloated stomachs and legs all curled,

All shriveled, yet young, and entirely bare.

 

A war goes on every day of the year;

With constant killing and threats made to all.

Everyone is dying and living in fear,

The world around us will fail and then fall.

 

Won’t someone please stop the hunger and war?

Can’t someone stand forth and give us a hand?

We must feed the people and prevent the gore,

To make life sound and have a better land.

 

But do not think that the world is a mess;

With all your help we can make it the best.

 

I enjoyed this experience so much that I went on to write six more poems each titled, “Does Anyone Care?” using a Roman Numeral to identify each. I even wrote five love sonnets about female classmates in high school.

The Acrostic Poem

I read an article in a February issue of Williamsburg Magazine and it spoke of men writing acrostic poems to their sweethearts in the 18th Century. An acrostic poem consists of the girl’s name written vertically and each letter began the next line of the poem. I was very intrigued by this and wrote my own for a short story I had written around 1998. I put the first letter of each line in bold print so you can read the name:

An Ode to Elizabeth

 Every time I look into your eyes I know,

Love for me is there it really does show.

I have seen it since I first went to the tower,

Zelphine the sorcerer has no greater power.

Although your outward appearance is new,

Beauty within remains as sweet as the dew.

Every flower bows to your grace,

There is such kindness, I see, in thy dark face.

How I love thee more in your present form,

Still I feel sorry for your previous forlorn.

Kiss me, you cried and when I finally did,

I knew your true self was no longer hid.

Stay by my side my dear sweet companion,

Strength that we share will make us a champion.

 

Poetry Today

I hadn’t written poems for almost twenty years though I made an attempt a couple times within the last two years for a story project. Recently I was introduced to a poetry page on Facebook called, Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam. Every Saturday a picture is posted and you had roughly until the following Wednesday or Thursday to create a poem for the picture. Elyse wrote an article about this and I tracked down the page and knew I wanted to participate. Here’s the first poem I wrote for their picture of a girl who was dressed like a cat burglar and brandished glowing green blades:

The Green Blade Witch

I am not the night,

Nor am I the day.

But I bring justice to this town,

In a stealth-filled way.

I enter like the wind;

Silent and unannounced.

I take vengeance on criminals,

Like a cat I do pounce.

For my husband I do these things,

Though he’ll never return.

I’ll continue to feed my anger,

Until I no longer burn.

The Green Blade Witch,

Is what they call me,

My methods are referred to

As a killing spree.

Stay out of my way,

Or you will be next.

To the criminal underworld,

I do deeply vex.

 

You can view my other poems on the page under each picture posted.

Conclusion

If you think writing stories is a challenge, poetry is more so as you have to connect lines with rhyming words, and the cadence of each line. Granted, there are poems that don’t follow these rules but are no less challenging.

Have you ever written poetry or considered doing so? Please share your experiences in the comments below and feel free to join us on the Facebook page—Peanut Butter and Poetry Jam.

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

10 Responses to Non-writer Comments

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Introduction

This week’s article is a coping mechanism for you when you have to deal with family, friends, coworkers, and fellow coffee shop customer, AKA the non-writers. This is your everyday group of people who just don’t understand the writer mentality and why you do what you do.

Below are ten basic comments that non-writers will say (or have said) to you. I’ll attempt to translate what they are really saying, offer advice to the situation, and then provide you with suggestions as a response to their comments. If you haven’t heard at least one of these comments, I figure you’re not doing the writing gig correctly would be very surprised.

Ten Comments Non-writers make to Writers.

 1. So you’re still writing your little story/poem/etc.

Translation: I thought for sure you would have given up this silly little dream of yours and moved on to something more productive.

Advice: Non-writers can’t believe your determination for any project you are working on. To tell them that it takes a long time to complete any writing project will add fuel to their fire. You know you need to be patient when it comes to writing, you also have to be MORE patient when it comes to dealing with non-writers.

Response:  “Yes, I am still writing my little story/poem/etc. As long as my hands are on the keyboard, they aren’t crushing your windpipe. Now BUZZ OFF!!”

 

  1. Must be nice not having a real job.

Translation: Boy, I wish I could sit around all day and earn a paycheck doing nothing.

 Advice: Believe it or not, preachers hear the exact same thing. Everyone assumes that all THEY do is preach on Sunday. But I digress; if writing is how you earn a living, you’ll definitely hear this one a lot. Naturally they wouldn’t say that of Stephen King or James Patterson. But since you’re not them it’s open season for comments.

Response: “It may appear that I’m not working but let me introduce you to my fans and see if they think I need to get an actual job.” (Take non-writer to your platform and your reviews section. If you don’t have either, get some!

 

  1. Writing doesn’t sound too difficult.

Translation: You just put words together to make sentences, and sentences together to make paragraphs, and then you make it long enough to turn it into a book. Simple!

 Advice: They’ve just explained everything they now know about writing which is what was taught in elementary school. Beyond that they are clueless.

Response: “Writing is just a tad harder than that. You see, first I have to research my idea and take notes, then I find some images for inspiration; and take more notes, then I write down a character list; which stems from webpage after webpage of names (male and female, plus ethnic background), then I outline my story; taking more notes, then I jot down snatches of conversation (overheard on the bus or in a restaurant) which might add to the flavor of the story, then I come up with a few twists that will totally catch my reader off guard, and then I will write my story.

Of course, that is only the first draft. I will then go back over all of my notes and double check my research; possibly researching some new stuff which came up and make new notes, then I will edit my first draft and begin the second draft.

        Then a few more drafts later, I will send it off to my beta team to read all the while compiling notes and suggestions they have for the story, then I will write another draft or two before it’s finally finished. But yeah, it’s not difficult.”

 

  1. I always thought I’d write a book after I retire, when I have some time to kill.

Translation: Writing for is for old people who have nothing better to do with their lives now that they don’t have a job. Sure beats sitting on my butt all day and watching paint dry.

 Advice: Everyone wants to write that great All-American story; the next Harry Potter or Twilight. But to them, there’s no time to do it and by the time they’ve retired there is no initiative to start which is why watching paint dry becomes easily fascinating.

Response: “Waiting until retirement may be fine for you. However, I figure by the time you retire and begin your first novel, I should have 30 done and available for purchase, and at least 6 of them already made into movies.”

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  1. Wait a second, creative writing degrees are a real thing?

Translation: You actually went to college to become a writer? It must be one of those ‘gimme-courses’ like Basket Weaving 101.

Advice: This will be a hard one to live down because if you’re not a journalist then, to them, all you did was take a bunch of “fancy” college courses to make you seem smart. And for all they know, you printed out your own degree found on some instant degree website.

Response: “Yes, it’s a real degree and I didn’t have to memorize all 31 flavors to earn it like you.” (OR something along the lines of whatever their job involves; hopefully retail or fast food. If they have their own degree…good luck with that.)

 

6. Have you been published yet?

 Translation: Obviously if you are a writer you should already have something available for me to pick up at my local bookstore to read.

 Advice: At first this sounds like a question of genuine interest but given that this comes from a non-writer it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. This question goes hand-in-hand with questions 1 and 2.

Response: (If unpublished) “Thank you so much for your interest. I am still working on my novel but I will make sure that you are the first to know when it is available for reading. Perhaps you’d like to be a Beta Reader or a member of my Street Team? You know what? Nevermind, I forgot who I was talking to.”

         (An e-book author) “Yes, I do have a book published but it’s only available online. That means you have to buy it from the internet. You know the place where you visit those sites about Justin Bieber to express your man crush? Yes, I have been looking at your browser history.”

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 7. Can I be a character in one of your stories?

 Translation: Gee, something tells me that you might just be famous like Stephen King or that Patterson guy. Maybe if you put me in your book, I’ll be famous too!

 Advice: Everyone wants a piece of the action and you just know that they would actually make a great character. I mean after all, your serial killer needs an extra victim and it should really be a gruesome death.

Response: “It’s funny you should mention this. Why just this morning my agent called and said my story was one victim short and I think you would be perfect to play the fanboy who gets knifed backstage. Or perhaps a grisly death in the mosh pit.”

 (Give updates to him on the whereabouts of the character and slowly describe the horror that he’s experiencing.)

 

  1. So I have this great idea I think you should be using in your book…

 Translation: (See #7 above)

 Advice: I don’t know how many times I personally have been told this. I was once told by a maintenance employee that I should be writing her life story and how difficult it was for her to leave her homeland and enter America. Some people, I guess, think that fictional stories are unnecessary.

Another friend of mine came up with this idea that everywhere this character went he would trip and stumble into another world. It’s one thing to be accident prone but that is one of the worst running gags I have ever heard. After the second or third stumble my readers would riot and burn me in effigy.

Response: “I’m sure you have a great idea but why should you share it with me? You should write you own book and use the idea in that.” OR “Hey, I heard (insert author’s name) is looking for new ideas why don’t you send them an e-mail with your idea in it? Chances are they’ll use it and have it published long before I do.”

 

  1. Aren’t writers just professional liars? They tell stories for living, after all.

Translation: Yes, I’m jealous of your creativity and yet I’m not man enough to admit it, so here’s a diversion instead.

 Advice: This question comes at a point when they have nothing else annoying left to ask. It sounds more like a lame attempt to keep asking you questions when in fact they have run out.

Response: “Professional liars? I’m sorry you have us confused with politicians.”

 

  1. You’re writing a book? Tell me everything.

Translation: I’m not one to wait until it comes out, I want to know now!

Advice: Yet another attempt to get involved in your story. (See also #7 and #8) It could also be that he is fishing for ideas that he might sell to another writer in the hopes that THEY will use them and give him the credit for the idea.

Response: Tell you everything? Sure! (Describe the last TV episode of one of your favorite shows but change it into the genre that you write.)

 

 Conclusion

Overall, whether we like it or not, we have to contend with non-writers on a daily basis and their questions. One thing to remember though is that any non-writer could be a future reader of your as well as a fan.

Let me know the difficulties that you’ve had in dealing with non-writers. Do you have other questions you’ve been asked? Share with me in the comment below.

To check out copies of my books and stories, visit my Author Page on Amazon.com

Happy Adventuring!

Chris

Shout out to a Fellow Writer!

This week I want to give a shout out to a fellow writer known as The Blond Writer. Recently she has posted a couple of really interesting articles that caught my attention and something that I, as a fellow writer, wish existed.

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The Theatre of Rave Reviews

The first is about a place called Writer Town. It’s broken down into sections that would be very familiar all writers. *I even donated a couple of places to the town.*

The second is a Writer’s Support Helpline. Trained individuals are there to help when a situation good, bad, or dire.

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Operators are standing by!

These and other articles bring a smile to one’s face as they trudge their way through life in the world of the writer. If you don’t follow her, you should!

Next week, I hope to bring you a brand new article.

Until then, Happy Adventuring!!

Chris

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