Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Online Grammar and Punctuation Tool

It is easy to forget the rules of writing sometimes. Refresh your memory, see real examples of how to use punctuation correctly, and even test your knowledge if you dare. Visit the GrammarBook Today.

Free Online Thesaurus/Dictionary Resource

I found this tool especially useful when I was writing my book. I even came across slang words not included in Word’s main dictionary for my main character’s southern speech. I now use it when writing articles and I need some more suggested synonyms than my Word processor offers. You can check out this free thesaurus and dictionary using this link.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Writer’s Roundtable

Happy Valentine’s Day Wishes to everybody. I have my TV tuned to NASCAR, with the race delayed by a pothole of all things. Sounds like Indiana roadways to me. I have spent weeks editing my novel and I am now happy with everything although I accept the fact that an editor will suggest even more changes. Welcome to the realm of working to get your works published. I have also sent out queries to a few literary agents seeking their representation so I am now in a pins-and-needles wait mode which may continue for quite some time. Through my research, I have learned that waiting...waiting...waiting, is pretty much to be expected. I am trying to steel myself against the inevitable rejections which every writer gets. Wow! That is not so easy when writing is your passion and you pour your heart into the words you write. This is how it goes though and I have signed on to see this through knowing that I will gain experience and knowledge from each facet of this process of trying to get my first novel into publication.

In fact, I have already learned several aspects from the novel writing and publishing industries that I did not know before. I did know beforehand that I could not simply write a novel and “poof” it would somehow magically wind up on a Barnes and Nobles store shelf or listed for sale with Amazon.. I was under the false impressions that if I could write it in 30 days, I could edit it in 30 and have a publisher pick it up by day 90. Yeah...I will wait while you all laugh your butts off over that one. In actuality, it can take a year or more to get a book published and on store shelves and that is assuming you have an agent that can convince a publisher to take a chance on you and your book. Even many established writers still need a skilled literary agent to broker publishing contracts for them. I discovered that how you format your novel manuscript is ripe with controversy. Some say to format your manuscript using the font Courier 12pt. while others insist it should be Times New Roman 12pt. No one seems to be able to agree on word counts either. The more I read the more confused and worried I got that I was not doing something right. I finally decided to just write my novel and to worry about formatting it to suit a particular publisher’s editor when the time came which freed my mind up to let my creativity flow.

I will share more of what I have learned so far and what I discover as time goes on in with my first novel writing experience in future posts. Feel free to add your comments about this post and to share your own experiences with writing and publishing your book length works.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Did It!

Hi Everybody,

I know I have been away from this and my Glad Living blogs for the past couple of months. I thought I would update you all on what I have been doing. I took the NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge back in November and wrote 60K words. I finished my novel on January 9th and pre-editing I have 146, 548 words. This has been a wonderful experience overall, despite a few times where I doubted I could actually do it. I would encourage writers with novels inside them that have been putting them off for another day to learn more about the NaNo Challenge, and to look around the various communities there where writers can find plenty of free resources to help with writing that blockbuster novel. Bookmark this blog first and then follow this link for more information.

What’s next for my novel? Editing, editing, editing! I am also researching going the route of obtaining a literary agent to do the work of shopping my book to publishers. I know there is a lot of “buzz” about self-publishing these days, however this just does not seem appealing to me at this point. I may change my mind on down the line, but for now I will polish my manuscript, draft a powerful query letter, and make a few submissions to literary agents and see what happens. I have read in various web articles and blogs that it can take a year or more for a good novel to make it onto bookstore shelves. I will keep you updated on what happens with my novel Wish me luck gang!



Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Plunge in and Write that Novel You’ve Been Putting Off!

Do you have a book-length story that you have been meaning to write but have put off doing for one reason or another, possibly for years? Take the NaNo challenge along with many other authors ready to stop procrastinating and start creating next years blockbusters! November is national novel writing month and just the kick in the rump that many of us need to get past the initial hurdle of just getting ourselves writing. Writers from around the world will work on the first drafts for their novels from Nov, 1-Nov, 3oth, and you can be one of them. Hurry before the writing starts and sign up for your free NaNo account today, join a region so that you can attend write-ins with other writers in your area and help your region beat other regions out in word count, put off the housework it will be there in December when you will make any needed revisions to your novel, write everyday and update your word count stats, have a completed novel and a great sense of personal achievement on November 30th 2009! Click on the banner below for more details.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chronicle Your Life: It Could Lead to a Novel

Dear Diary/My Life

As many young girls do, I kept a diary that I wrote in every single night before going to bed. Making my nightly diary entry was something that I really looked forward to as bedtime approached.

I had received one of those 5-year diaries as a holiday present at around age 12, and was immediately hooked on the idea of writing down my private thoughts and feelings. I especially liked that my diary had a lock on it to keep prying eyes from reading my most intimate feelings that I was not always comfortable sharing with others.

To be sure, there was not much room to write the days events in such a diary. That didn't sour my enthusiasm to make an entry however. I enjoyed the challenge of condensing the detailing of my day. After making the present day's entry,I would read the entries I had made previous years. I found it kinda "neat" to read them and remember what I was doing and how I felt on that same day, in different years. I even discovered times I had detailed an event thinking that what had happened was the end of the world, only to be reading it a year or so later, and realizing I was no longer even bothered by it.

I fell out of the habit of keeping a diary for a while when I became an adult and started to make my way in the world outside the walls of my bedroom, family home, and high school. I came back to it soon enough though with the grown up version of a teenagers dairy, the journal. Through the years, I have found that keeping a journal has served many purposes for me. I have recorded events that I never wanted to forget exactly how wonderful I felt when they happened. Journaling has helped me to sort out my feelings and work through some of the darkest times in my life as well. My journals could even lead to a novel or several: one day. Yours could too.

You might not think that your life is interesting enough that anyone else would want to read about it, much less buy a book inspired by your life. However, people find first-hand accounts of common and not-so-common situations of living, quite intriguing reads. Sometimes mere curiosity draws people to such personal chronicles,while others want to know they are not alone in having certain life experiences. For some writers there would be no greater accomplishment than if something they have lived through might offer someone else hope as they face a similar circumstance in their life. Perhaps your journal or multiple journals, could lead to a book that offers understanding and hope to someone who really needs it.

Whether your personal journal ever results in a publication for writer creds: and money, there is good reason to consider keeping one. A journal records happy times you want to remember always. Journaling can be therapeutic and even help you to know, understand, and love yourself more. A journal can be a keepsake, a legacy of you that generations of your family can read and know the person, and the times they lived in of the person who wrote it-You!

Include photographs with your journal entries whenever possible, to add pictorial documentation that will aid you in keenly recalling or better illustrating for others, those memories later.

Author: Julie Morris. Freelance writer and blogger, all rights reserved. Visit my website: Contact me: