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KathyS
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It's All About Writing

Because there are so many writers out there (as well as readers), I'm creating a thread for that discussion.  Anyone can participate (even if you are not a writer).  If you have something to say to the subject of writing, as an editor, publisher, art designer, anyone...say it here.  We can discuss!  The forum is open.

 

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KathyS
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It's All About Writing

Recently, I joined a writers group.  We bring what we have written, read it to the group, and discuss it.  It's been an invaluable learning experience, as well as being the most fun I've ever had. 

 

I've never taken a writing class, or anything remotely close, but I have spent my lifetime writing in one style, form, or another.  It's also been a huge boost to my ego.  When a writer, such as I,  is told that their work is very good, and their opinion is valued, and glad they have joined in this group, there is nothing like that feeling. 

 

One of our writers is a man by the name of James Hitt.  Find him here.  

Click on the link below for Dec. 6, 2010 The Hitt List
http://www.hittlist.straitjacketsmagazine.com
Last Saturday, Jim gave a talk at our local public library.  He was also promoting and signing his latest novel,  Carny 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven't read it yet, so I can't give a review, but you can read a story chapter of it here: 

http://straitjacketsmagazine.com/support4/table.contents.fall.2010.htm

 

Jim gave us printouts of what he considers every writer should know.  I'll write about those in separate posts.

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KathyS
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It's All About Writing - Hitt's Golden Rules Of Style and Grammar

[ Edited ]

1.  Remember the HITT #1 GOLDEN RULE OF WRITING:

 

      Brevity and clarity equal good writing.

       Brevity means to say as much as you possibly can in the fewest amount of words:

       Clarity means to go directly to the point.  Say what you mean!

 

2.  Remember that the most important word in the sentence is the verb. Make sure you have chosen the strongest possible verb for your sentence.

 

3.  Whenever possible, use active verbs rather than passive verbs.  Especially avoid is - are - am - was - were.  Also had - has - have.

  

4. Avoid the use of be - been being (to be is an exception.)

  

5. Avoid the use of no - not - any contraction using - n't.

 

6.  Avoid all use of the forbidden words:

      Always seems you got a lot guy.

      (note:  Remember that this means any form of these words, i.e.. Your and you,   seems or seemingly, etc.

 

7.  Avoid whenever possible the uses of adverbs, especially those that end in - ly.  You can do this by choosing strong verbs and strong adjectives.

 

8.  All the above rules are void in the case of dialogue or quotes.  They do not count against you.

 

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KathyS
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It's All About Writing - Links For Writers

http://www.writersmarket.com

 

If you are a serious writer, this is a must site to join.  It gives far more information than the print version of Writers Market.

 

https://www.firstwriter.com

 

Another excellent site for writers to connect with agents and publishers.

 

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com

 

This site , some free listings of agents and publishers.

 

http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/

 

A blog from author/editor Jane Friedman that gives good, practical advice on writing from manuscript to query letters.

 

http://www.raymondstrait.com/index.htm

 

If you are in need of a good editor or ghost writer, this is the place to go.  Ray Strait has more than 30 books to his credit plus screenplays.

 

 

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KathyS
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It's All About Writing - Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules

1.  Never open a book with weather.

2.  Avoid prologues.

3.  Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.

4.  Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said"....he admonished gravely.

5.  Keep your exclamation points under control.  You are allowed no more than two or three per 100, 000 words of prose.

6.  Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."

7.  Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

8.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

9.  Don't go into great detail describing places and things.

10.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

 

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

 

If it sounds like writing, I write it.

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KathyS
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It's All About Writing - Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates:

 

1.  Don't try to anticipate an "ideal reader" - There may be one, but he/she is reading someone else.

 

2.  Don't try to anticipate an "ideal reader" - except for yourself perhaps, sometime in the future.

 

3.  Be your own editor/critic.  Sympathetic but merciless!

 

4.  Unless you are writing something very avant-garde - all gnarled, snarled and "obscure" - be alert for possibilities of paragraphing.

 

5.  Unless you are writing something very post-modernist - self-conscious, self-reflexive and "provocative" - be alert for possibilities of using plain familiar words in place of polysyllabic "big" words.

 

6.  Keep in mind Oscar Wilde:  "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

 

7.  Keep a light, hopeful heart.  But expect the worst.

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KathyS
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It's All About Writing - From Thomas Maltman, author of The Night Birds

"There are three rules to writing a novel, "W. Somerset Maugham once said, "but no-one can agree what they are."  (However, Mr. Maltman gives it a try.)

 

Before Beginning to Write: 

 

1.  What does your protagonist want badly?

 

2.  Who or what is in your protagonist's way?  ("Who" will be more dramatic)

 

3.  Get into the skin of characters who are different from you.

 

4.  Why would you want to spend time in the company of the person you are choosing as your protagonist?

 

5.  How do your characters view each other?  Write a short paragraph about each character's views of the virtues, faults, and follies of other important characters.  Save these paragraphs for referral and guidance.

 

6.  How are you planning to hook your reader on page one?

 

7.  Consider starting with a scene that is already underway.

 

8.  What are the dramatic conflicts you intend to let the reader see in each chapter?

 

 

Keep in Mind While Writing:

 

 

 

1.  The "engine" of your story needs to be turned on as close to the beginning as possible.  The "engine" is the point at which a story involves a reader, the place at which the reader can't stop reading.

 

2.  Keep the action visible on stage as much as you can.

 

3.  Don't mark time; move the story relentlessly.

 

4.  Is your hero or heroine actively doing something rather than being done to?

 

5.  Use surprise (such as an unexpected obstacle) to create suspense.

 

6.  During your descriptions of places do you also move the story along?

 

7.  End scenes and chapters with thrusters that make the reader curious about what happens next.

 

8.  To increase a reader's interest, deprive him of something he wants to know.

 

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Jefferson_Thomas
Posts: 462
Registered: ‎08-04-2010

Re: It's All About Writing - Hitt's Golden Rules Of Style and Grammar


KathyS wrote:

1.  Remember the HITT #1 GOLDEN RULE OF WRITING:

 

      Brevity and clarity equal good writing.

       Brevity means to say as much as you possibly can in the fewest amount of words:

       Clarity means to go directly to the point.  Say what you mean!

 

 


You are SO right!  I think Strunk and White put it best in The Elements of Style:  Omit needless words!  Clear and so brief!

 

Jeff