Wednesday, April 28, 2010

E-mail Addresses

From Bill:

I've added the e-mail addresses of the members who were at the last meeting like we talked about.  One cannot click the address to send an e-mail.  You have to cut and paste the address into an e-mail.

Let me know if anybody starts getting wierd messages from people you don't know.  One party just started to get them this week and I deleted her e-mail address.  I think it was coincendental, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Week's Lunch with Books at Wheeling Library

From Bill:

Last Tuesday at the LWB, Stan Cohen, who has published many books on WV history and was to speak on the Civil War in WV, instead spent 40 minutes talking about his exploits as a publisher of said 'History' books and only about 10 minutes talking about some Civil War events in WV.  He took some questions from the audience and it was obvious that practically everyone knew more local Civil War history than he did.

94 people showed up expecting to hear a talk on the Civil War.  Sean Duffy who heads the LWB program apologized to everyone about how the talk was off the subject that was advertised in his weekly e-mail to his patrons.

The moral of this story is:  When each of us has a chance to talk about our latest book, make sure that's what we do for the allotted time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meeting of April 19th

We had a good turnout of 9 expect-to-be authors last night, including two new people. Welcome, Sara and Janice. Make sure you mark off the 3rd Monday of each month for our meetings.

Carla and I showed our handiwork in the photography field.

Rich passed around some info on the WV writers organization. The link is on this blog.

We discussed being able to upload PDF files on our blog. It seems like we can upload videos and images, but we can't upload PDF files. We can always add a link to a site that stores them on the WEB. I'll work on getting us some free space where we can store our stories.

For those of you who do not know how to create PDF documents, here are the directions to follow:

It is very easy to convert your word documents or anything else to a pdf file. Go to this WEB site: and download the free software on the left side of the screen.

This will give you another option on your PRINT function. When you have a file you want to convert to PDF, just go to the Print file and click on PrimoPDF. Everything is done automatically.

A PDF file is a good way to attach a document to an e-mail because there are so many different formats that you can write the document in and, if your respondent doesn't have the same SW package, they may not be able to open it.

There was a post made this morning outlining a scenario for a short story to work on before the next meeting. It looks like it could be an interesting exercise.


Monday, April 19, 2010

May Writer's Prompt

Your Story #26: Bloody Knife in Your Hand

You wake up to find a dead body on the floor -- and a bloody knife in your hands. You can't remember what happened so you piece together the clues.

The online contest deadline is May 10. Have fun and good luck if you enter!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Blog

Hi everyone,

I finally decided to add my blog to our site, despite always being nervous about putting anything I say "out there." Currently I've had a readership of oh, maybe two people, so I wasn't too worried. But now -- dun dun dun -- I'm taking a step to just get over it. That, and I trust you guys :o)

Anyway, not to delve too far into my personal history, but I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder as a child, and anxiousness and sensitivity have always sort of stuck with me. So I've put lots of time into reading about ways to bring peace, calm, and a zen-like spirituality into my life, and I just thought that I have learned so many helpful ways to do this that I should share them so others can benefit as well.

Writing this blog has been very therapeutic, and if nothing else, helps me come to a better understanding of all the things I've learned -- which, is essentially one of the things we all love about being writers, right? Thanks everyone...hope all is well!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Inciting Incidents in Books

Hi Writers,

It's Jason in Salt Lake City again. I'm sorry to keep plaguing the blog with my incessant posts, but I have a legit question for everyone — or anyone.

Of course, everybody knows that the "inciting incident" is the momentous event that occurs early in your story and serves as the catalyst that knocks your protagonist's life out of balance, compelling him or her to embark on a journey to try to restore that balance once again. It jump-starts your story into action. And naturally, all of this revolves around the protagonist's having some kind of goal, want, need or object of desire.

So, I was wondering, does anyone know (or has anyone read anywhere) a written or unwritten rule that specifies how many pages into your book that this inciting incident should occur? In other words, is it within the first five pages, 10 pages, 20 pages or when? In screenplays, this typically occurs within the first 10 to 15 pages, but I'm not sure about novels.

Thanks for your insights.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Examining Your Genre's Writers

Hi Friends,

Jason Pyles here again. I know you wouldn't think it, but that Fast Freddy Connors is smarter than he looks. I remember him encouraging us to browse through our genre of choice, noting how other writers successfully published the kinds of books we're hoping to someday publish.

Well, Fred is brilliant (though he won't take credit for initially having the idea). Indeed, it works wonderfully well! And trust me, you can glean a lot more than you might think:

For example, through some comparative study, I've noticed that the authors who write in my genre typically make their books between 275 to 350 pages. And since I'm writing a novel and a screenplay of the same story concept, I've noticed that for every one page of screenplay plot, there are approximately three pages of novel plot that cover the same ground — just more in-depth. (These are generalizations, of course.)

You can note how each writer's subplots are interwoven with one another, as well as the main plot; how character story arcs are developed and interrelated; etc. Oh, and I've been browsing through bookstores and just looking at how each author begins, noting what works and what doesn't work. The key is to be analytical and to make good notes for yourself.

In short, I'm glad I tried Fred's suggestion. I would encourage anyone in our group — regardless of your genre — to spend some time browsing through your section at the bookstore and see how the apparently successful writers do what you want to do.

And hey, who knows, at the very least, we can imitate what those writers are doing, and at most, we might even find a way to improve upon it.

Writing away from Salt Lake City,