Some Things You Should Know - About Self Publishing

I thought I'd do something a little different with this e-zine newsletter thing this month. Please let me know it you like it, or don't. Either way your feedback is very much appreciated.

Self Publishing is easier than, but just as treacherous as, Conventional publishing.

Follow a fellow writer while I navigate the shark infested waters of Self Publishing.

Click here To Keep From Getting Ripped Off. What you don't know about Self Publishing could cost you dearly.

You'll want to bookmark this page and check back often as I'm adding articles to this page on a regular basis.

Book Marketing

While book marketing is very important for authors especially self publishers it's not necessarily the right place to start. For some interesting and useful insight into this confused subject click here.

The Information Super Highway

Borders (the 3rd largest bookseller in the US) is filing for Bankruptcy. Is this yet another sign that the traditional book publishing and distribution channels are in trouble? Fewer people are reading and more of those fewer are turning to e-books.

While at the same time Miramax is said to be stepping into the home delivery of movies and going after Netflix's business.

So, we have more moving pictures and fewer readers reading.

But I think everyone is missing the bigger picture.

Are people actually reading less and if so, why? Could it be that the quality of available reading material and education have sunk so low that all people read are Tweets, email and Facebook messages?

Miramax should focus on making better movies. Distributing old movies (that weren't very good in the first place) does not a business model make.

And Borders should get its head out of the sand and embrace e-books like Amazon and Barns and Nobel.

We are experiencing a paradigm shift of grater magnitude than the industrial revolution. It will be swifter and more dramatic than ever experienced before. Those who adapt will survive and prosper - those who don't will leave their bleached bones on the shoulder of the Information Super Highway.

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword.

First Tunisia and then Egypt.

Can there be any doubt; "The pen is mightier than the sword" ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton?

Two long standing dictatorships have recently been toppled by cell phones and Facebook. And now there are protests in the Sudan and even Iran. Global politics is being reshaped by global communication.

The king is dead, long live the king.

FAQ's - Writers Resources

The best writers resources are the comments and advise of other writers. Ask questions and share your advice and find links to books, movies and other resources for writers - in this Writers Community.

Fiction Writing news, Self-publishing and Books in the news.

Stay up to date with news and trends about Fiction Writing news, Self Publishing and Books streaming from the major news services.

This is a special page I set up that is constantly updated with the top news stories relating to Fiction Writing, Self Publishing, Books etc., specifically of interest to writers.

Check it out and bookmark Fiction Writing News.

You Can Learn a Lot From Movies

I love movies. Some I watch just for fun and some are worth owning to watch over and over.

There is a great deal that a writer can learn by studying the simple storytelling structure apparent in movies. But you must watch the same movie several times before you can get past the emotional aspects and appreciate what the storyteller is doing and how he is doing it.

I've started building a list of my picks for movies and books worth studying. You can find it here. Books and Movies for Writers.

It's also extremely helpful to have some like minded sole to discuss movies and books with. What you are looking for is similarities in the structure of successful stories. You want to study what the majority of sorties have in common. Similarities will reveal the universal laws and principles that govern good storytelling.

Writing Poetry

Writing Poetry is a highly compressed and stylized form of storytelling and therefore the Mount Everest of writing fiction and not the training ground for aspiring writers.

See "Writing Poetry" for some invaluable insight into this misunderstood and fading art form.

How to Write a Novel

Contrary to what you've been told; How to write a Novel isn't hard, the only problem is What to write. For that you need a process.

See How to Write a Novel and discover the process that you been missing.

How to Write a Novel

How to Write a Novel - The top 5 mistakes of the aspiring novelist, and how to solve each one to keep you manuscript out of the rejection pile.

See How to Write a Novel - The Top 5 Mistakes and see if you're making any of these 5 deadly errors.

Characters and The Nature Of Man

There are two basic and opposing viewpoints regarding the fundamental nature of man.
  • Man is basically good and therefore must be free, or
  • Man is basically evil and therefore must be controlled.
These two viewpoints are the respective motivations for all political activity.

There is a third viewpoint forming the large middle who are continuously whipsawed between fear and hope.

These three fundamentals form the foundation for all character design.

The problem is that people are more easily motivated by fear of what might happen than by hope of what should.

The artist can become convinced of the inherent evil nature of man (and therefore himself) and thus be encouraged to assume a self destructive path as the only way to restrain him/herself from using the powerful influence of art to harm his fellow man.

The Dude Abides

Actors and Writers are Cut From the Same Cloth.

One can gain some very powerful insights into writing effective fiction by approaching the writing craft as a performance art. And one of the most effective ways to accomplish this insight is by studying actors and acting.

I've long been a fan of Jeff Bridges, but in this PBS film I saw sides of the man and actor that I've never seen before.

If you missed it you can watch the full documentary of actor Jeff Bridges who is called "the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived."The film originally aired on PBS-American Masters.

Click here to watch The Dude Abides.

And, No that's not me without my hat;-))

How to Write Realistic Fiction

For the reader to experience this "fiction", the story must seem "real" or "realistic" to the reader.

There are two sides to this "reality".

The writer must provide the realistic fiction - fiction that is believable, experienceable, and "real to life".

And the reader must provide "the willing suspension of disbelief".

The writer agrees to provide believable fiction and the reader agrees to believe in that fiction.

In this way we have a sort of contract, an agreement, between the writer and the reader.

This unwritten "contract" is a vital component in the writer/reader relationship and is the cornerstone upon which the whole fiction writing/reading magic act relies.

And although this is a two-way contract - the impetus to perform is upon the writer; the reader only agrees to provide the willing suspension of disbelief as long as the write provides fiction that is realistic.

At the moment the fiction becomes un-realistic the reader withdraws his/her suspension of disbelief.

The bulk of the reality of the fiction is conveyed in the emotions and thoughts of the characters.

How does the writer determine what the characters would "think" or "feel" about what happens to them?

This is accomplished via a writer's technique.

The technique involves the writer assuming the viewpoint, the identity, of each character he/she is writing about.

What that means is "mentally" becoming the character. It's like being an actor, on a stage or in a movie. But unlike an actor who only needs to read the lines, and take "direction" from the director; the writer must become the director, actor and playwright, all at the same time.

Sounds complicated. But it's really not.

Presuming, of course, that the writer understands and can competently execute the principles of storytelling in the first place.

If, on the other hand, the writer does not understand the basics of:

  1. what a story is,
  2. how a story works, and
  3. why it works the way it does,
then no amount of discussion or instruction in the finer points of realistic fiction will make any sense.

Fiction that is realistic compels the reader to experience the story "as though" the characters, and events, were real and happening to him/her.

And simply put, the reader can only experience what the writer experienced when he/she wrote the scene.

So, to the degree that the writer was being and experiencing what the character felt when they wrote the scene then the reader will be able to experience being the character when they read that scene.

Writing realistic fiction simply requires that the writer experience realistically his fiction as he/she creates it. If we cry, when we write it, chances are that our readers will cry, when they read it. That's realistic fiction.

You can always write to me. Your comments and questions are always welcome and very much appreciated.

Write on... Richard A. McCullough

"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~ Ghandi

Copyright 2010 - Richard A McCullough is the creator & editor of the Fiction Writers source for Writing Better Fiction Faster and Selling More of What You Write. - Copyright: you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, active links and this copyright notice remain intact.

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