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340 Posts tagged with the author tag
1

A couple of Saturdays ago, my good friends Martha and Tanya had a "stoop sale," which is what we apartment-dwelling New Yorkers call a good old-fashioned garage sale. As the three of us were discussing how much to charge for a beaded purse and why no one had yet bought the wooden elephant, a kind older gentleman strolled by. He struck up a conversation about the stack of books Martha and Tanya were selling. He said his name was Leland William Howard and explained that he'd written a memoir about the 20 years he'd spent with his beloved dog Betsy.

 

With tears of joy in his eyes, Mr. Howard told us how writing the book was purely a labor of love. He'd published it on his own and hadn't sold many copies, but that didn't matter to him. He had a story to tell, he told it, and he was extremely proud of having done so.

 

Bravo, Mr. Howard!

 

With all the focus on what to do once our books are "out there," too often we authors forget why we wanted to create a book in the first place. I've written seven novels now, but I remember the moment I finished the first one as if it were yesterday. I was overwhelmed with an incredible feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of fulfillment. And that was just the first draft! I had no idea what would come next, no clue that I would one day become a full-time author. And you know what? Since then I've have a lot of success with my writing, but none of it surpasses that initial feeling of pride, of I did it! I'm dead serious.

 

So many people want to write a book, but so few actually do. Try to remember that the next time you're feeling discouraged, OK?

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Those Wonderful Bumps in the Road

How to Write without a Plan

4,986 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writing
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Using Fiction Techniques for Writing Nonfiction - Helen Sedwick

How to get the logical side of your brain to have a little fun. 

                           

Eavesdropping for Story Ideas and Other Tips from a Veteran Novelist - The Book Deal

Bestselling author Warren Adler shares advice on writing and publishing.      

 

Film

                                                        

Do You Know What the Difference Between a T-Stop and an F-Stop Is? - Noam Kroll

Do you know your aperture settings?    

                                          

Attention, Filmmakers: Here's 10 Tips for Finishing Your Documentary - IndieWire

Defining the narrative structure of your documentary.  

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

How Valuable Is Your Voice? A Lesson from Van Gogh's Shoes - Judy Rodman

The marketplace does not determine the value of your voice.

 

How Changing It Up Can Help Build an Audience - musicgoat.com

If you want to draw more people to your shows, don't be so predictable.   

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup - December 19, 2014

Weekly News Roundup - December 12, 2014

1,337 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, book, music, film, documentary, author, self-publishing, promotion, movies, writers, blogging, writing, promotions, musicians, branding, audience, writing_tips, target_audience
0

Confidence: it is a magnet for success. Athletes know it. Business moguls know it. Top entertainers know it. It's not necessarily a secret, but it can be an elusive state of being to achieve. Let's face it, if it were easy to feel confident, we'd all wave at each other from our own yachts. Earlier, I wrote about how to find your strength as a writer. This blog discusses why I think it matters.

Arrogance is often mislabeled as confidence. The two are similar in meaning, but while confidence attracts admirers, arrogance can repel them. Confidence means you are self-assured and comfortable with your ability to do well. Arrogance means you are overly-assertive in your insistence that you are the best. There are some cases where an arrogant attitude is fashionable. Athletes often insist they are the best at their sport, and they are forgiven because their prowess can be demonstrated on the field or on the court or in the ring.

 

Authors are less appreciated when labeled as arrogant. The key to building a successful author brand is to exude confidence without even trying. Here's how to tap into that Zen-like feeling: know your craft. Practice it every day. Understand the elements of story and constantly challenge yourself to be a subject matter expert when it comes to writing. Study your preferred genre. Know the intricacies of your chosen category. Never stop learning how to write better. And, as we discussed before, know your strengths.

 

If you are in a constant mode of growth as a writer, confidence is an inevitable side effect of that growth. If you want your author brand to succeed, never rest on your laurels. Live in a state of Zen by creating confidence through knowledge, both of your craft and yourself.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Evaluating Your Author Brand
Be Authentic to Build Your Brand

1,500 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, author, promotion, writers, writing, branding, author_brand, brand_identity, author_advice
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I hit a milestone this year in my publishing journey. The first novel I published was completed 10 years ago. How did I celebrate? I published a 10th anniversary edition of the book. While it is similar to the original, it is not the same book; there are significant differences.

 

Let me explain. About four years ago I spoke with an editor about releasing my first book traditionally. They loved the book, but they wanted major changes. Yeah, I'm not sure how that works either, but I took notes and then diligently did a rewrite incorporating the editor's "suggestions." I emailed the new version of the book to my agent and awaited my contract. After a couple of weeks, I got a figurative punch to the gut instead. The editor hated the changes. He thought I made the book worse and proceeded to send me on my way. My agent and a few other readers loved the new version, so we circulated it around and got some mild interest, but ultimately never got a contract offer. After getting the official word from my agent that there was nothing more he could do, I decided there was something I could do. I could self-publish it, and the timing couldn't have worked out better. I wrote the original in 2004, so I released the rewrite as the 10th anniversary, reimagined edition.

 

I was concerned that some readers may be upset that I was just trying to sell them the same book in different packaging, so I did a quick survey of readers to gauge demand and discovered that it would be well-received. I also used the author's note at the beginning of the new edition to explain why it existed.

 

How far are you into your publishing journey? Is it time to reimagine one of your early books? That's the beauty of the digital publishing age: alternate versions of books are not only feasible, they are starting to become commonplace. The comic book world has been releasing "alternate universe" versions of their storylines for decades. Why not novels? As long as you make enough changes to present a new story, retelling a story you've already told could be a viable publishing option.  

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The Value of Rejection

Indie Freedom!

1,498 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, self-publishing, revisions, writing, launch, craft, book_launch_party, book_relaunch
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

 

Books/Publishing

 

Why You Should Welcome Anything Less than 5 Star Reviews - The Future of Ink

An interesting look at those less-than-stellar ratings. 

                           

How to Edit Your Self-published Book like a Pro in 8 Steps - Self-Publishing Review

How to make self-editing work.    

 

Film

                                                        

Need to Splice a Line In? Try Placing Your Edits in the Middle of the Word - Filmmaker IQ

Call it cutting inside the lines.    

                                          

Top 10 Tips for Being a Cinematographer - BBC News

Leave your ego at home if you want to be a great cinematographer.  

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

How to Create Amazingly Powerful Video Testimonials that'll Get More Gigs for Your Band - Gigging Success

Video testimonials are social proof your band is worth listening to.

 

How to Promote Music if You Don't Play Live - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

If you're the kind of musician who makes music in the comfort of your own home, there's still a way for you to promote your songs.   

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- December 12, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- December 5, 2014

1,489 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, music, filmmaking, film, author, writers, publishing, writing, films, musicians, filmmakers, reveiws, film_editing, editorial_reveiws, music_video, music_promotion
1

I did it. I participated in my very first NaNoWriMo. Well, more accurately, I kind of participated in NaNoWriMo. My project was nonfiction, and I had written 12,000 words prior to the November 1 start date. I essentially used the event to contribute 50,000 to my next book.

 

I have to say I found it utterly exhilarating. Getting up every day facing a new word count goal kept me hyper-focused on the book for 28 out of the 30 days. The first 14 mornings, after my coffee, of course, I sat at my computer and wrote 420 words. I then broke away and answered e-mails. Then I sat down to write 420 more words. Another break to tend to other work was followed by another 420-word writing session. The final 420-word session would come before dinner. Most days looked like this. The ones that didn't required slight adjustments due to other obligations. I took day 15 off and then broke my four sessions into 448 words each. I took one more day off and adjusted my word count sessions to make up for the lost time. In addition, I kept myself honest by updating my progress on my blog and Facebook every day.

 

I have written 12 books, but I have never done it with this much pressure before. I loved every minute of it. I am not finished by any stretch of the imagination. I have a very rough first draft that needs a lot of tender loving care, but thanks to NaNoWriMo, I have it in record time. If you have not participated in NaNoWriMo before, I would highly recommend it. Get ready for next November. I know I will be.

 

How was your experience with NaNoWriMo? Did you find, as I did, that the pressure helped keep you productive?

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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How to Get and Stay Motivated

Is the Early Bird More Creative?

1,279 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, writers, timeline, writing, nanowrimo, national_novel_writing_month, craft
3

No matter who publishes your book, I strongly believe that every author should have a launch party because writing an entire book is an accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated! Many indie authors, however, believe that launch parties cost a lot of money. They also believe that traditional publishers throw elaborate launch parties for all their authors.

 

Neither is true.

 

Each time I have a book come out, I have one launch party in New York, where I live, and one in Silicon Valley, where I grew up. My publisher doesn't pay for the parties, but neither do I. I don't pay for anything. I do, however, organize the events. And by "organize," I mean that I call up a bar and ask if I can have a book signing there. That's literally all I do. Most bar owners/managers would be thrilled to give you a table to sign books in exchange for your bringing in a small/medium/large group of patrons on a slow evening.

 

It's really that easy!

 

So there you go. There's nothing stopping you from doing exactly what I do. Find a cool bar on Yelp, call them up, ask to speak to the manager, and then have a friendly conversation. It might take a few calls to find the right venue, but you will find one. Then spread the word, sell some books, and enjoy! Who cares if you don't have any fans (yet)? Invite your family and friends. They will be happy to come!

 

NOTE: Don't forget to take photos, especially a few of yourself signing copies of your book. You might feel a little silly at the time, but trust me, it's not silly. Not at all!

You worked hard to become an author, so be proud of yourself and celebrate! You deserve it.

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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The Big Book Launch Follow-Up

Book Launch Sponsors

 

 

6,079 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, promotion, writing, book_launch_party
0

Find Your Strength

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Dec 15, 2014

In order to be able to successfully market yourself as a writer and build a strong author brand, you need to be confident in your writing abilities. We all have different things we do well as writers. Find what you do well, and you will be able to market yourself more effectively and with greater confidence. Here are four ways to identify your strength as a writer.

 

  1. Pretend you have been hired to write a book as a member of a team. Each team member is given the task of developing an element of story: character, dialogue, setting or plot. You are given the opportunity to choose which area you wish to develop. Which do you choose?
  2. Take the four elements of story listed above and write each one on a slip of paper. Place the slips of paper in a hat, shake the hat vigorously, close your eyes, and draw a slip of paper from the hat. Pretend that this element is how you will be judged as a writer. Write down how this makes you feel. Repeat this exercise as often as you wish.
  3. Describe in 140 characters or fewer what you do as writer that no other writer does. Make sure your description is clear. Be humble but confident. When you've crafted the perfect description of your uniqueness, tweet it out to your followers.
  4. Pretend you've been hired to design a curriculum for a novel-writing class. There are three exams in your class. Each exam can cover any subject you choose on writing a novel. But, the first and second tests each make up 25% of the final grade. The third test counts as 50% of the final grade. What are your three exams, and which one counts the most?

 

You should detect a consistency in the results of these four steps to identifying your strength. If you take the time to find your strength, you will be a more confident writer, and the readers will follow.

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Productivity vs. Perfection

The Pitch Test

6,316 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, identifying_your_strength
1

Lie vs. Lay

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Dec 9, 2014

I recently started taking a crazy fitness class at my gym. I like the instructor, but I secretly think he may be trying to kill us! I spend most of the class praying for it to be over, keeping one eye on the clock while trying not to fall off the medicine ball, or out of my plank, or messing up some equally torturous position.

 

When the time to catch our breath and stretch finally comes, I'm always thrilled. However, I often have a hard time relaxing right away because the instructor makes the same error every class: He says "Lay down on your backs," and it makes me cringe. (My yoga instructors often make this same mistake.)

 

Im not going point out my instructors error to him because hes not a writer. But I know this one can be confusing even for writers, so I thought it was worth explaining in my blog:

 

You LAY something else down. You LIE yourself down.

 

In the present tense, here are some examples:

 

Correct: I lay the fork next to my plate.

Correct: We lie down on our backs at the end of class and rest.

Correct: To end this war we must lay down our arms.

Correct: If we lie down and stay still, maybe they wont see us.

In the past tense, things get a little tricky. You LAID something else down. You LAY yourself down.

 

Correct: I laid the fork next to my plate.

Correct: We lay down on our backs at the end of class and rested.

Correct: To end the war we laid down our arms.

Correct: We lay down and stayed still, hoping they wouldnt see us.

 

In the present perfect and past perfect tenses, you HAVE LAID or HAD LAID something else down. You HAVE LAIN or HAD LAIN yourself down.

 

Correct: I have often laid the fork next to my plate.

Correct: We have lain down and rested on our backs at the end of every class.

Correct: To end the war we had laid down our arms.

Correct: We had lain down and remained still, hoping they wouldnt see us.

 

Im not going to lie; this can be a little confusing! But like all grammar, its also important. So lay down your pen and think about it before you put anything in ink.

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Grammar Tip: She and I, Not Her and I

Grammar Tip: Don't Overcapitalize

1,660 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: author, writers, writing, craft, writing_advice, grammar_tip, grammar_advice
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Your Facebook Fan Page - Author Culture

Ever wonder why you need an author fan page on Facebook?

                           

If Your Book Isn't Selling, Do the Hokey Pokey - Color Your Life Published

Can the hokey pokey be the secret to selling more books?      

 

Film

                                                        

How We Got to Now: Measuring Sound - Filmmaker IQ

How to manage the sounds of a city during shooting on-location scenes.    

                                          

Top 10 Most Effective Editing Moments of All Time - Filmmaking.net

Editing is the unsung hero of filmmaking.  

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Thursday Therapy (for Musicians) - Musicgoat.com

Singer/songwriter Cynthia Brando shares her experiences in the music industry.

 

How to Write a Song - Guitar Coach Magazine

Which comes first, the melody or the lyrics?   

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- November 28, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- November 21, 2014

1,409 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, selling, music, author, movies, facebook, films, promotions, social, musicians, filmmakers, lyrics, songwriting, social_media, writing_advice, film_editing, music_industry
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Years ago in my life as a trainer for a piece of hardware used in the broadcasting industry, I was invited to the headquarters of the developer and manufacturer to get a pre-release rundown of the latest version of their product. They took the visiting trainers on a tour of their outrageously cool facility. Everything was modern and in pristine condition until we got to the engineering department. It was a mess. Computers and machines of various types were gutted and laid open like a macabre butcher shop for electronics. What were they doing?

 

They were reverse engineering the leading product in their field. They didn't want to reinvent the technology. They wanted to make it better, but they needed a reference point.

 

When you are developing a marketing strategy for your book, you should take the same approach. There's no reason to take a complete stab in the dark when there are millions of examples out there to be reverse engineered. Where do you start? Start with you.

 

What do I mean? Well, I'm guessing you've purchased a book before. Answer the question why you bought it, and you've reverse engineered a sale. You may discover that a friend told you about the book. Ask your friend why they bought the book. Keep chasing the sale down until you can build a profile of a sale. Once you see how a sale is more or less built, you get a better understanding of how the market works, and you'll be able to develop a marketing strategy that will be much more effective than blindly trying ideas.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Host Your Own Webinar

Elements of the Author Brand

4,672 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, author, sales, social_media, marketing_ideas, marketing_strategy, marekting_tip
0

Who doesn't love receiving a gift in the mail? I certainly do! And book lovers do too. Now that the holidays are approaching, why not put together a list of target readers for your work and send them a signed copy to curl up with on the couch? You never know what it might lead to.

 

I've mentioned in this bloghow I once conducted a successful holiday marketing campaign that targeted presidents of my sorority at 15 major universities across the Unites States. I did so because they represented my target audience. Who is your target audience? I can't answer that for you, but you must have an idea. Is it hiking enthusiasts? Wine lovers? Adventure travelers? Divorced moms? NBA fans? World War II buffs? Dog people?

 

The Internet makes it relatively easy to find anyone these days, so if you're willing to put in the time and energy, you should be able to put together a list without too much trouble. (I'm not talking about home addresses; I'm thinking associations, clubs, institutions, etc., many of which list their officers online.)

 

Once you have the list, here are some helpful tips:

 

  • Include a personalized letter with each signed book so the reader can contact you if he/she enjoys it. If you have a Facebook page, newsletter, Twitter account, etc., you can also include this information.
  • Include your e-mail address beneath your signature in the book.
  • Request the "book rate" at the post office - this will keep your mailing costs down.
  • Follow up! Even if you don't hear from the readers, there's nothing stopping you from reaching out after the holidays. If you don't have an e-mail address, try sending a friendly postcard.

 

If you have absolutely no idea who your target reader is, head to a local mall and pass out some books to people you think might want to read it. Then ask yourself why you chose those people, and how you think they might spend their time when they're not at the mall. Once you know the answer to those questions, head home and start building your list. You can do it!

 

-Maria

 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Marketing Idea: Set Up a Card Table on the Sidewalk

 

Tips for Networking with Other Authors

1,649 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions, holiday_marketing
3

What time during the day do you write? If you had asked me early in my writing journey, I'd have answered, "Whenever I can find free time." But as writing became a passion I wanted to turn into a career, I came up with a set time to write. Since I was a cubicle-jockey through most of my corporate life, evenings were writing time. When I took the leap and left the corporate world, I switched to the mornings. And I was more productive, initially.

 

Studies have shown that our prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain where we develop complex cognitive behavior, is more active directly after sleeping. That makes perfect sense. Simple deduction will tell you that this part of the brain that cranks out all those creative juices is more efficiently used for writing during those first few hours immediately after waking from a good night's sleep.

 

Here's the slight hiccup for me. In my case, I have found that routine creates staleness. I will get stuck in the proverbial rut. I believe challenging the brain is a more effective tool for creativity than having a set time to write. Recently, I had a string of days when my schedule wouldn't allow me to write in the mornings. I found myself tapping away in the evenings, even into the a.m. hours. And this was honest-to-goodness "in the zone" writing. When you experience that type of writing, you realize you haven't had that feeling in a while.

 

So, for me it turns out a set time to write is less important. How about you? What is your writing schedule like?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The Distraction Fast

How to Write without a Plan

1,797 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, creativity
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Weekly News Roundup - November 28, 2014

 

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Do Writers Have to "Write What They Know?" - Backspace

Is it "write what you know" or "write what you're passionate about"?

                           

How to Build a Fictional World - TED Ed

Author Kate Messner reveals a few tricks of the trade to bring fictional worlds to life.      

 

Film

                                                        

Structures - Projector Films

Learn about the '5-act Pixar poker idea' in this podcast.    

                                          

Filmmakers Risk Everything by Doing These 7 Things - Film Industry Network

What risks are you taking?  

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

"Is It Realistic at My Age, to Think I Can Ever Really Become a Respectable Sax Player?" - Sax Station

Is there such a thing as being too old to pursue your musical dreams?

 

Is How You Label Yourself As a Singer Holding You Back? - From the Front of the Choir

If you call yourself a soprano, you may not realize you can sing in the alto range.   

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- November 14, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- November 21, 2014

1,127 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, music, filmmaking, author, self-publishing, indie, publishing, writing, fiction, writing_fiction, films, musicians, filmmakers, music_business, writing_tips, film_editing, music_industry, filmmaking_tips, music_advice
1

The Pitch Test

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Nov 26, 2014

Okay, you've published a book or two or three or four, and you are itching to get on to your next masterpiece. The problem is you don't have any idea what that next masterpiece should be. Or you might have so many ideas you don't know which one should be your next project.

 

Here's a strategy. This will work great if you are in the category of "too many ideas."If you have no idea, it will take a little more effort, but a sculpture starts out as an uncut stone until a sculptor starts chipping away. That's all you're doing here.

 

  1. Get five sheets a paper. On each piece of paper, hammer out a rough plot for a story. It should be a sloppy mess. Words will be crossed out. You'll have scribbles in the margins. You'll likely be disgusted by your lack of creative flow during the process. That's what I want. I want you to get angry at each piece of paper.

  2. Get five more sheets of paper. Each new piece of paper corresponds with the plot ideas you just killed yourself to create. Write three things you like about the plot, and write three things you hate about the plot. Force yourself to come up with three items for each category. You may notice something you overlooked the first time.

  3. Get one sheet of paper. Based on your likes and dislikes lists, rank your plot ideas.

  4. Get another sheet of paper. Write a one-sentence pitch for your top three plot ideas.

  5. Get yet another sheet of paper. Rank these three pitches in order of ease that it took to create them.  

 

If you go through all of that to find a story that's easy for you to describe in one sentence, you have found your next masterpiece. You know that story inside and out. It has taken root in your fertile imagination. If it passes the pitch test, it's worth writing.

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

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Unfinished and Happy

How to Write without a Plan

3,494 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, author, writers, writing, writing_process, writer's_block, writing_tips, writing_advice
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