You don’t have to be a successful standup comedian to write convincing humor. In fact, you don’t even need a keen sense of humor. And you don’t have to worry about your sex scenes turning into pornography once you know the difference between romance, eroticism and pornography.
Humor, sex, violence and foul language are elements of writing that can cause problems for writers. How much violence is too much, or too little? Where do you draw the line with profane language even when you have a character based on a real-life person whose foul language almost obscures everything they say?
Four of the sessions in my Writing Hurts Like Hell workshop deal with these topics. This little ebook presents those sessions along with some exercises to help you tackle these problems in your writing.
When you've finished the first draft of your novel, the fun is over. Now, it's time to get into the real work: re-writing.
This is a multi-step process and the steps have a very distinct order. Break that order and you could be letting yourself in for a lot of heart ache. Re-writing is where the real writing begins. Everything up till now was getting an idea out where you can see it.
On the other hand, there are those writers who seem to get everything down on the first draft. I hate those people. Fortunately, they're rare. Rare enough that you're likely not one of them, so this ebook might just help you to get through the revision/re-writing process with your sanity relatively unscathed.
Based on a workshop I gave at the 2011 Maritime Writers' Workshop, the information is dated in some parts and I'm sure some of the links are dead, but the basic concepts for finding a publisher or agent remain the same...some of them still want snail mail submissions.
Everyone is creative
This isn’t a mind-boggling, back-breaking treatise on creativity. Much has been written on the subject and there are hundreds of approaches to help you become creative. In this workshop I cover a handful of these...the things that have worked for me and for the folks who’ve taken my writing workshops over the last decade and a half.
Keep this in mind: Everyone has a creative wellspring. Many of us lose it for whatever reasons, but it’s still there and you can release it.
That’s what this workshop is all about.
I used to do all my writing in coffee shops...six novels, dozens of short stories and essays...even some poems. However, that's been put on hold for a while in view of current matters. Like a plague.
The coffee shops will re-open in time. Some already are. It's going to be a while before that familiar coffee shop ambience returns and, hopefully, this workshop will help you to find the best coffee shop for you and help you get the most out of your coffee shop writing experience.
BTW, this is for anyone who writes in coffee shops.
It’s no longer enough for writers to just write books. Increasingly, publishers expect their stable of writers to play a role in marketing their books and, the smaller the publisher, the larger and more crucial that role becomes. It was with this in mind that I wrote the first edition of this book over a decade ago.
I completed the third edition for this book eight years ago, so many of the links no longer work, some of the options are no longer relevant and, definitely, there are many new options for writers to market their books.
However, this book can still provide a starting point for writers who know nothing about marketing and don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to a marketing agency without first trying a few things on their own.
The idea behind the book is to provide writers with a quick overview of marketing options offered online and break each into three parts:
The book follows a format of define, demonstrate and explore. This allows you to read through the book, pick a handful of options and start using them right away. Most of the options are either free or inexpensive. As you become comfortable with whatever options you’re using, you can add others.
Becoming familiar with, and using, these marketing options step-by-step (without being overwhelmed) will help you identify new options and assess their usefulness in your personal marketing.
Always keep in mind the immortal words of Gangshen Barto:
“No great product was ever greater than its marketing.”
Some folks say you're born with it, or not born with it. We're ALL born with it.
We just tend towards losing it until we find our way back.
OK, so this one pokes fun at writers, but it presents a view that many writers may recognize...and especially the people around them
Don’t let the hard voices get to you.
You’re a writer.
Yes, being a writer does have an upside.
This is a collection of stories mostly on the humour side and sometimes exploring some unknown region of writing that puzzles me.
One man's struggle to accept the inevitable is everyone else's sob story.
What if you suddenly had super powers? How would you test them? How would you know exactly what they are?
And what if they weren't exactly what you thought?
You don't kill coffee. Coffee kills you. Sweetly.
Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Wrote this one over a ten year period. Wrote the the last six pages (minus the last page, which came almost five years later) in pencil while working at a bar and passing each finished page to three customers who kept telling me to write faster.
I started posting the Searching for Peace blogs in December 2014 and into March 2015. All two people who read my blog were astounded by the sheer absurdity of the posts and read them only so they could laugh at me. But that’s OK, I laugh at myself and the blog posts gave three people a reason to laugh.
By the time March rolled around Biff and the Fox still hadn’t found peace, though they’d almost come close somewhere in their minds. So, this is an unfinished story, serialized over several months. Boy…my two readers were pissed.
They said, unison, “We hate you, Biff, for doing this. There’s no ending. Where’s the ending? It’s like losing power just before the end of a mystery movie or missing the last five minutes of a Leafs game when they’re up 5 points and still manage to lose. We want to see how they do that. We want to see how Biff and the Fox either find peace or don’t find peace. Where’s the ending, Biff, where?”
All I can think of is this: Successful or not, if the search for peace ever ends, we’re screwed.