Monday, February 13, 2012

So you want to be a writer, eh?

I asked my Hubby, who is the real writer and author in this house to help me out.  I always have all kinds of ideas swirling around in my brain, but actually pulling an idea together and having it make sense, well I was struggling. I have little pieces of notes jotted down from one  end of the house to the other,  but to sit down and get started pulling them together, seeing I've no SIT in my pants, was getting to be a problem for me.

I long ago did "Story" blogs on a site and they were lots of fun but totally different! There were also normal blogs and I did one or two, but stuck mostly to the Story ones.  I had some learning to do.

  After reading multiple posts on how to blog etc, etc. I needed to put all the information in some kind of simple for newbies type of format. This is what he came up with for me, and maybe it will help another confused soul out there who'd like to blog but is stuck.

I'm going to insert some shameless advertising here for his series of ebooks he's in the midst of writing. Hey, he stopped to help me so payback time.

 Check out The Walker Chronicles.

Doug says: Now that we'll all be staying close to home and out of the snow, maybe some of you would like to do some reading. Here's a cop story with major twist or two: When is a cop not a cop?  It's a three novel series (more coming) for the price of one paperback novel in most stores. Yup! All three novels for just under nine bucks. Kinda hard to beat, eh? Wander over and look. You can read a couple of chapter in each while you're there, too.



                 So you want to be a writer, eh? 

Normal morning coffee!
 It’s easy, actually.  Just write a subject in a sentence that can be written on a napkin and use a proper verb to go with it.  As long as said sentence makes a complete thought, you’re in business.  Later, write a few more sentences to go along with it.
         Don’t think so?  Let’s make up a simple subject we want to relate to our reader: “The dog jumped over the box.”  That’s a complete thought as well as a complete sentence.
         The problem is, it’s also boring.  To make it interesting, we’ll need to offer a bit more information.  In old time journalism, the rule of thumb is that an article must answer the who, what, why, where, when, and how of the topic.
         So if the story was about a little brown dog jumping over a large wooden box this morning because the neighborhood bobcat was chasing him to eat for breakfast, things get a bit more interesting for the reader.  And if you use a sentence or two to describe each of the aspects in the above sentence, you end up with a complete article ready for publication.
         See . . . it’s easy!
         Anyone can write that way.  Even me.  Basically, I published over three-thousand editorials that started out more or less like that.
         Everyone has dozens of stories to tell at any moment.  There’s no such thing as writer’s block when you write the core of what you want to relate in one sentence first, then expand on the points around it later.  Who, what, why, where, when, and how.  Answer each of those with an individual sentence or so and your done.  So stop writing.
         It’s not true that you must be a master of the English language, either.  The best thing you can do for your readers is to speak the text you have written.  You must be able to speak the text easily. It must flow nicely.  If you cannot, then change it.  Text you can speak easily is easy to read.  That’s important for all but the flowery, classical writers to remember.
         We’ll find all sorts of “experts” on the net giving writing advice.  Some of that advice is good but much of it seems suspect.  Why?  Simply because they have little more than a blog and web page published.  Sure, it may be a nice blog and a pretty web site, but a nice design doesn’t make them a writing expert.
         For beginners, I recommend visiting Professor Jane Friedman’s web site. (  She teaches electronic communication at the University of Cincinnati and was publisher and editorial director at Writer’s Digest for quite a while.  If you want to learn “Writing for the Web,” Prof. Friedman’s site provides plenty of good hints to get started.
         Even so, you still should not push that send button.  Nope, not until someone else has read the text.  Most of us read right over our typos and mistakes.  Others will see them, though, you can bet on that!
         Or, if you don’t have anyone else to read it over, at least let it sit for a couple days and then come back and read it again.
         The art of writing is rewriting.  Most of us do as much of that as writing.  I sure do.

                                    Thanks Doug.

 Now to practice this, it looks like I need a napkin to scribble on. You said you're taking me where for dinner?


  1. YES! I need an editor. I ALWAYS send my stuff out thinking it's perfect. NOT! You guys are quite the team!

  2.  I need an editor -- or t least a proofreader -- for everything. 

  3. Yup...that's...(at)...

    Betsy, he's really good at punctuation and I totally flunk at that. Spelling I like!  So we do team up.

    I've never seen your stuff NOT perfect, my friend!

  4. Well, Hullo, Stranger! LOL!

    I pretty much told Zachy that just recently- "I don't know what to write" was the cracking-teenager-whiney-belligerant voice following me around the house.

    It is one of the things I learned here, online in the last year- JUST WRITE. One thought, one sentence, then another....

  5. Hi Amber..stranger..BaWaHahaa......I've got the "Just Write" down when I sit down to finally you know it take a boot in my hiney to get me to sit long was putting all the things/ideas zipping around in my head that I wanted to write about..picking one topic and not getting off on a long rambling tirad..kind of like my emails?!  I really do have scraps and notes all over..with bits and pieces of started things...I can plop down a title from a thought..and then I go all over with it..instead of sticking to one topic...Doug goes to read and edit I start over.
    Now one wandering..and then park it and write...

    Thanks to you and Betsy for the push and Boot!! and Doug for positive pushing.. or this would not even be here..perfect it is not..but I'm working on it!

  6. I had to go look at his pic on Face Book when Doug said he "didn't know who I was"!! (just to be sure I hadn't heckled the wrong dude!)

    I'm tired. So much is going on, the pictures are giving me fits, the logo and changing the website are giving me fits, the coaching on my website from the other side of the world (which means we are asleep when the Coach is awake), I've missed some awesome pictures, one after another this last month (not that I can share them....), trying to prevent the turkeys from keeping me away from the eagles I wanna fly with.......

    I need to go for a ride. I don't know that I have ever felt this feeling this strongly this long away from Spring....

  7. LOL..he's used to Alaska Chick...and a different photo!..I thought you guys were already friended...

    Sounds like you need a Major up the Sno Go and go Hug a Horse...if ya can't ride em' Hugging works!!  Not as good as a long hard ride, but Spring can't be to far away..Hope. Hope..(((Hugs)))..I'm not a Horse but.....Keep Hangin' put on the BB and shit kickn' boots and go get Em' !!!!!

    How many more Awesome pictures can you find to put up!!!!!!!!!   Sigh....