Saturday, December 31, 2011

Super Saturday-Not;But

Here's a few things I saw online today...thought they looked alright.
-Owner's Don't Knock
Not: She read the letter after she opened it.
But: She opened the letter and read it.
Not: He spoke softly and gently.
But: He whispered.
Not: They began to speak
But: They spoke...
Not: "Please don't do it," she cried, and fell sobbing to her knees.
But: Her grip on his arm tightened and her voice grew raspy. "Please don't do it."
Not: After lunch, she decided to go for a long walk.
But: After lunch, she went for a long walk.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Word Wednesday

Don't have much time so I thought I'd do a few more thesaurus words.
-Owner's Don't Knock
  1. Skinny-bony/lanky/skin-and-bones/twiggy
  2. Hello-bonjour/good morning/hey/what's up
  3. Good bye-farewell/adieu/on the rocks/split
  4. Pretty-adorable/alluring/foxy/charming

Sunday, December 25, 2011



And may you all get that set of pencils you've been praying for.

-Stoss Cue

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fun Friday

I really liked Wednesday's idea with giving you guys other words to describe things so I thought I'd go ahead and do a bit more today.
Merry Christmas!
-Owner's Don't Knock
  1. Sad-woebegone/bitter/gloomy/glum/heavyhearted
  2. Happy-chipper/upbeat/vivacious/hearty/perky
  3. Smart-apt/genius/sharp/slick/clever
  4. Stupid-foolish/dull/sluggish/half-witted/thick
  5. Frightened-appall/make blood run cold/daunt/horrify/unnerve

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Word Wednesday

Just a bit o' fun tonight. Thought I'd share some things from
-Owner's Don't Knock
  1. Ugly-appalling/beastly/dis-figured/uncomely
  2. Fat-beefy/jelly-belly/bulky/whalelike
  3. Nasty-grubby/horrid/revolting/vile
  4. Poor-bad-off/dirt poor/stone broke/empty-handed
  5. Noise-babble/bang/uproar/pandemonium

Monday, December 19, 2011

God Bless Us, Everyone!

Hello all! Can you believe it? Its been seven months two days ago, since Abbi and I first started Authors Anonymous. We have really enjoyed doing this and getting to know you guys. As this year comes to a close I'd like to share a few things with you all:

As most (if not all) of you know, I am a Mormon. And as this Christmas season has come to a head I have had a chance to play a ton of Christmas songs for our congregation. I love Christmas music and it really lifts me up. I can truly feel my Savior's love when I play those songs that tell about the angels singing to the shepherds. I really would have liked to have been one of the angels singing to praise the Christ child. To let the world know that the Savior of all man kind had been born! That would have indeed been a blessing.

But I will have to settle with singing (in my not so angelic voice) here from the church benches and hope he can hear me!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hold your families tight and remember; Christmas isn't what you make of it, but what it makes of you.

-Stoss Cue

Don't you just love this picture? It's probably the most touching Mary and Jesus painting I've ever seen!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


So do I say that I've just tossed out my entire plot line and OE because of a short story I wrote? Oh, like that? yep that's what I did! I think that it's a important step for me to take, it will make my story tons better but still I'm a little teary and not a little terrified...

Back to the drawing board - again - oh well...

Have any of you had to deal with something similar in your creations?

-Stoss Cue

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This will make your head hurt but if you're brave enough to follow...

The following conversation has been rated a R for Ridiculous. User discretion advised.

Any errors, be they grammar, spelling, or incorrect verb usage, are all protected under the Authors Clause of 59.

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 6:23 PM, Abbi Pope wrote:

Hey Shayla! I haven't talked to you in a while. I've got a bit done with my'd help if we had another sleepover though ;)
I'm trying to keep the blog running, if you can post something (I know you're busy) that'd be great!
Anywho...miss you bunches girly! Hope to hear from you soon.
xx Abbigayle Rashae

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 8:32 AM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

Well, DMACC is having  ashort story writing contest that I'm entering. I'm in the process of writing it, it's a short story based around K'mar and his start as a Muse. When I finish it I'll send it to you for feedback.
I'll try and post something. I have some books that I should do a review on.
I can for sure post on Friday, right now is finals week and I have to work up my Spanish, and get this
stinkin story done by Friday. AGHHH!!!!!
It's good, it means I'll actually finish a story but right now it seeme impossible!
You'll get the story in a couple hours hopefully....
I miss seeing you too! I'd have liked your thoughts on this story!
Love you lots girl!

P.S my copy of Cobbogoth is getting here on Monday!!!!!! 

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 11:47 AM, Abbi Pope wrote:

Ahhh! Good luck on your story! Andd...the cover for that book is SO amazing! You're going to absolutely LOVE reading it! We really should do another sleepover soon :)

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 12:27 PM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

Hah! I'll see what I can do date wise. This weekend won't work
since I have a jazz thing and I think that I might have something
next week...I'll have to see.
Story's finished! Now i just have to go and revise it... : P

I love her cover too, I con't wait!!!

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 12:38 PM, Abbi Pope  wrote:

Sweet, we'll see if we can't set something up!
Can't wait to hear your story(:

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 10:24 PM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

Well here it is...and remember! The best friends are the ones who
tell you when you stink!
I'll appreciate any ideas you have. I've been staring at it for four days
and I'm at the point where I couldn't describe my own nose if I had to.
So what makes sense to me will probably not make sense to you.

Hope you love Nolan as much as I do! I wish I could have given him
more space, but I had a twenty page limit...
The title will probably change, the one I have there is just to make it
look more complete.
Ughh!!!!!!!! I finished it!!!!!! I think I'll go cry somewhere... :)

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

DONT READ THAT DRAFT!!!!! Scratch that! Just talked to my grandpa
 and I've gotten some awesome ideas. But they entitle a new story.

You may read the one I've sent you only when two things have happened:
(1. I have entered the contest with my new story.
(2. I tell you it's ok.

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 5:58 PM, Abbi Pope wrote:
Haha, it's ok. I haven't read it yet.

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 6:29 PM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

Hehe. I'll be a zombie next you hear from me. I don't plan on
sleeping for the next two days...

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 8:39 PM, Abbi Pope  wrote:

Dudee..I can NEVER sleep.
So, I'm with you.

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 8:46 PM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

lucky you!
I'm leving on bark chocolate righte now..

On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 8:49 PM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

I mean... I'm living on Dark chocolate right now.
 On Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 11:01 PM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

Six pages of 20 done. I also realized that frozen green beans are the way to go
if you need a healthy, keep you awake snack. I just have to make sure I don't
get a brain freeze.

My goal. Stay up until this gets done. If I have to miss seminary I will!
This is a scary possessed author side of me that I didn't know I had...

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 12:05 AM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

It's me again! I'm onto page 8 and think I'm doing about two pages an hour....I need to write an additional twelve so I'm looking at finishing at 6 am or so. then I have to read over it and revise it. Make it work and flow. Perhaps you will have woken up by then and will have a chance to read all of these.

I need something to do every hour that takes my mind off reading so I am going to write you, do twelve sit-ups or pushups, use the restroom and drink water. I ate all of my beans
and quite honestly cannot eat anymore *They started getting soggy =P* . Maybe I'll break down and eat the leftover chocolate...

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 1:09 AM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:
I've gotten a little faster. I am two lines away from getting onto page 12!
things are looking up and my story is really starting to get going.
I think I will have to go and rewrite parts of the beginning but the end is in site! *so niave...*

Twelve situps, a bottle refill, and a potty stop. Another hour has passed!

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 2:06 AM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

I'm so close! finishing 13, and then on to 14! I think the way this thing is playing out though I might be done before pg. 20. woudn't that be nice?

time for a break and then back to the drawing board!

(no chocolate yet! I just might make it the whole night! ) *I didn't do that either...*

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 3:06 AM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

I'm doing it Abbi! I think that I have almost finished, another hour or so and the book is done! I might be well on my way to revising before 6.
To be honest, the only reason I've made it this long is because I'm sending these
stinking mensajes (as the mexicans call them) to you. It makes me feel like
I have someone to be obligated to...does that even make sense?
Idk...I have to remember to not use txt lingo in my story from time to time,

a couple lol's and 2maros about made their way in.

I'll be back in an hour!

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 4:04 AM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

What do you know? Its 4 and Im still awake!
Almost done...K'mar's creaming the bad guy as I type...
:) I love pandora! It has made tonight/day so much easier!

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 5:06 AM, Shayla Danielson  wrote:

Done! but I have an alternate ending in mind so I'm writing that up now.
I've made it all night! I think that I'll probably sleep from seven to 11, then study for spanish, excercise and go to band. Then fail my spanish finals (not really :) ). come home work on revising the book...
I'm going to die tonight. *I didn't die....but I really wanted to, especially at midnight Thursday night, reworking that ending!!!*

On Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 8:39 AM, Shayla Danielson wrote:

So I didn't fail my spanish final...but I didn't finish my book either...Mom and Dad found my battered corpse at 5:30 am, and promptly sent it to its crypt. I slept tell 11...dead to the world. I don't even remember taking a shower that day. I even skipped karate testing and worked on that book. Then Friday (the ninth) I worked on it until I finished it at 12, left for school, then came back and worked on it with my grandpa (who kindly kept my sleepdeprived mind on track). We had it finished ready to go an hour before the deadline. I sent it, only upon reading through it (outloud) realized that I had a couple corrections that still needed making! AGHHHHH!!!!!! Always, always, ALWAYS read your stuff outloud, it's the only way you'll pick up those small details you miss when reading. Also giving yourself more then 36 hours wouldn't be a bad idea...

I told you this would hurt...

- Stoss Cue

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mindful Monday

Just a little bit of everything. Tips, quotes, etc. Hope you've enjoyed the last few posts!
-Owner's Don't Knock
-I’ve seen some writers avoid “said” as if trying to impress us with their array of synonyms. These days, “said” is the preferred verb to use in dialogue; most editors will reject a manuscript which uses too many “said” alternatives. It’s almost always better to use “said”, a neutral verb, and let the dialogue itself convey the tone.
-What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. ~ Samuel Johnson
-We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. ~ Ernest Hemingway
-Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
-My first rule was given to me by T.H. White, author of The Sword in the Stone and other Arthurian fantasies and was: Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else from Bunyan to Byatt.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Super Saturday-Basics Of Creative Writing

Some more good tips from the same site I've found the ones for the last two posts on. Also, I've been trying to post more so you guys could have regular advice rolling in to help you out.
-Owner's Don't Knock
Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
Start as close to the end as possible.
Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fanciful Friday Part Two

I loved these tips as well! There's also never such a thing as too much advice, I mean, well, it gets to a point. But little helpful hints here or there have never hurt anyone. I hope that these along with the other things Shayla & I post have helped you in some way or another. Could you do me a favor and say if you've tried anything we've posted or if you've got a sure-fire way to jump-start your writing? Thank you so much everyone!
-Owner's Don't Knock
Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
Laugh at your own jokes.
The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

Fanciful Friday

I found these tips online today and thought they were worth sharing.
-Owner's Don't Knock
When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
Don’t romanticise your “vocation.” You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer's lifestyle.” All that matters is what you leave on the page.
Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.
Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet.
Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
Don’t confuse honours with achievement.
Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand—but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mindful Monday

"Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals." -Don DeLillo
"There is a common belief that because most of us are literate and fluent, there is no need to serve an apprenticeship if we want to become a successful wordsmith. … That’s what I thought until I tried to write my first novel. I soon learnt that a novel, like a piece of furniture, has its own set of requirements, laws of construction that have to be learnt. Just because I had read plenty of novels didn’t mean I could write one, any more than I could make a chair because I had sat on enough of them." -Nigel Watts
"Creative writing is writing that expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in an imaginative, often unique, and poetic way." – What is Creative Writing?
-Owner's Don't Knock

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Word(s) Wednesday

Word(s) of the week! Found something random online, thought I'd post the definitions for ya'll. It'll give your brain a little workout as well!
-Owner's Don't Knock
Agnomen - nickname
Selcouth - rare, strange, marvelous, wonderful
Vernorexia - a romantic mood inspired by Spring

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sleepover

It was so amazing going over to Shayla's! We worked so hard on both of our books and got quite a bit done. We also had lots of chocolate. And got really tired. Haha..anywho, I'll get to the pictures now for you guys. Have fun!
-Owner's Don't Knock
(I think this is all the pictures...we didn't remember 'till the morning.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Super Saturday-Special Secrets

Thought today I'd do something special and tell you a bit from my Special Big 10 Issue of Reader's Digest.
*The things in () is sort of a small explanation of whatever is listed*
-Owner's Don't Knock
10 Things For Every Writer's Bucket List
  • Publish a Short Story (to have a sense of accomplishment)
  • Go to a Writing Conference (to learn a bit more about what you're a part of)
  • Freelance for Money (it's very empowering)
  • Visit City Lights (because it's still there)
  • Write/Publish an Essay (it feeds your brain)
  • Take a Writing Retreat (to see how much you can accomplish w/o distractions)
  • Write a Novel (because it's the biggie)
  • Go to BEA/Score a Tote (it's a trip)
  • Read Shakespeare (ridiculous)
  • Fill in This Blank with Your Heart's Desire (because you know you want to)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thinking Thursday-Tried & True Tricks

Just got another issue of Writer's Digest in the mail today! I swear this thing is sent from God. It always has exactly what I've been looking for at that time. It's so worth the teeny investment you guys. If you're serious about writing-or looking for fun, new ideas, Writer's Digest is the way to go! I'm telling you..
Anywho, the advice from today is straight from the magazine. Have fun!
-Owner's Don't Knock
PS-They're not in any order-I just randomly picked a few.
Tried & True Timeless Novel Advice
  • "The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again."
  • "Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there's an explosion-that's Plot."
  • "The first sentence can't be written until the final sentence is written."
  • "What the young writer is looking for is not a critic who will slap him on the back and say. 'Greatest things since O. Henry,' but rather the one who will toss the manuscript down in disgust, with 'You know better than that! It's rotten! Do it all over again!'"
  • "If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley i a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully with snake's blood in his veins, the reader's reaction may be, 'Oh yeah!' But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or him him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!"
  • "Genius gives birth, talent delivers."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where'd That Come From? Wednesday.

Hello fellow avid readers! Hope you're all doing great today. I decided to start scheduling posts so you wouldn't be waiting for a week to read something new.
I thought today I'd tell you a bit about my book. Like, not a teaser. The nitty gritty stuff.
My novel is about a teenage girl that lives with her Uncle. There's murder involved, along with romance..well, a bit. Amazing twists and turns. Hopefully. Anywho, it's a paranormal/mystery type novel. I'm not good at writing happy stuff. For real, I suck.
I don't wanna give away too much information you guys! I'm trying to figure out what to tell you..'cause some things are still a bit foggy. Not sure if it'll stay or go.
I'm going to spend the night at Shayla's house this Friday, so hopefully that'll help with me getting finished with my Order Of Events and get me started on my Chapter Outlines!
Ta-Ta For Now.
-Owner's Don't Knock

Book Review

So about a month ago I wrote a post about one of my favorite books "The Thief". I also told you that I was going to read the other books and let you know how they are. Well let me tell you, Miss Turner is a writing wonder! All of her books are incredible and they've brought me to tears. And laughter. I've shouted in anger a couple times too...

To be quite honest Megan Whalen Turner is my favorite author (sorry Jane!). She is a bold writer, leaping into the story and expertly weaving it into a tale so intriguing that it's addicting. I made the mistake of checking out the last three books all at once and I was up until two in the morning finishing them (which wasn't smart seeing as I had to get up at 5:30). She has such a way of grabbing the reader with subtle plot twists and endearing characters. The tales seem simple and very up front, but that is simply because they are so well written. If I could write like her I'd be happy. I'd also be a published author...which would also make me happy...deliriously so.

So without further ado, I present the second book of this fabulous foursome:

The Queen of Attolia

Doesn't Gen look dashing handling that boat? *Sigh* I'd almost give up's the book's synopsis:

"When his small mountainous country goes to war with the powerful nation of Attolia, Eugenides the thief is faced with his greatest challenge. He must steal a man, he must steal a queen, and he must steal peace.

But his greatest triumph - as well as his greatest loss - can only come if he succeeds in capturing something the Queen of Attolia may have sacrificed long ago."

So this book has an immediate plot twist that makes you shriek "WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE???". The twist, is good. The thrill as you wait for the next page, is good. Shrieking whenever you get hit by such awesomeness, is bad for your hearing.

So please read this book, it is incredible.

Oh and did I mention that it's a bit of a love story? No? Dang. Should have done that...

-Stoss Cue

Have any of you read books that you just absolutely love? I'm always looking for good reads. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's Tips

Just a bit more creative writing tips for you all! Hopefully these things have helped you guys! If so, comment below, and if you've got your own tricks then share them to. Pretty please with cherries on top? Haha, I don't even like cherries.
This time it's prompts you can do.
-Owner's Don't Knock
  1. Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, cruelty — but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.
  2. Write a poem about a first romantic experience or encounter.
  3. He turned the key in the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he saw…
  4. The doctor put his hand on her arm and said gently, “You or the baby will survive. Not both. I’m sorry.”
  5. A twinkling eye can mean many things. The one that is twinkling at me right now…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Right Name

Hey all!

Right now I currently trying to find the name for my capital city. Just some background on this city, it is freakin huge. Tucked away at the base of some large mountains with a natural harbor leading out to the sea, fishing and selling merchandise are a big part of this city's commerce. It has the School of the Muses (also undergoing a name change) and the army base headquartered there. Marble is a large part of the building materials used in the main structures, as well as some of the darker woods such as black walnut. There are a lot of white/dark contrasts. It is going to be beautiful! But I lack certain artistic skills to make it come to reality on paper...I will give it my best anyway (or ask an artistic friend to put it together ;D ). But back to the's a list I am considering:

  • Tylam
  • Lethmore
  • Lethchem
  • Hillmore
  • Dokmoor
Those are the ones I narrowed it down to and I like Tylam and Lethchem the best, but they still don't fit quiet right. Any thoughts? I will take any suggestions, compare them to my own then post a poll on the side so you guys can vote on your favorite. Have your names in by Saturday if you want them to be considered for the poll. I need help guys, any ideas will be welcome!
-Stoss Cue

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Tips

Sorry it's been so long. I'll get back to normal posting soon.
-Owner's Don't Knock
Brainstorm words or images about your topic. Don't stop to evaluate their worth. Keep writing down ideas. When you can't think of another word, wait a while. Often the most powerful idea will surface after you have cleared all the less valuable ideas out of the way.
Write a page or two with your eyes shut. It doesn't matter if you can't read what you've written. You are giving your mind permission to make "mistakes" and just get on with it.
Write with music in the background. Experiment to find the style that you like. I prefer baroque or classical music. One of my writing teachers needed country and western.
Give yourself permission to be emotional. If your writing begins to move you, experience the full emotion. Before your writing changes others it will change you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Shining Star

Without you I'm nothing. I swear I am. Without you I wouldn't be where I am. You changed my life. You're my shining star, don't ever leave. I need you to help me through the dark. The mountains are high, the waters ruff, but this love is ours. Do you really love me the way you say you do? 'Cause I can't picture me without you. Do you really feel this way about me? Oh baby please try to see. If the answer's yes then spend your whole life answering it. Answer it for me.
-Owner's Don't Knock

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letting Go-October 18th

My writing prompt for today.
I had to explain a scene.
I chose; a rock concert.
-Owner's Don't Knock

I take in the scene. Let it all soak in. The music blaring in my head; all around me. Everyone's got their hands in the air, jumping up and down. It smells like sweat, beer, and weed.
I'm near the front so I've got a clear view of the band that's up. Everyone seems to know the words. This is so simple. It all seems so easy, getting away from it all. Just living.
The singer asks if they can calm things down; saying a song title. Everyone screams. Obviously it's alright. A girl stumbles into me, muttering 'sorry.' She's completely drunk.
Life like this, it won't be here for long. That's why I snuck out; went to this thing. For memories. Drama, lies, tears; cheers to the teenage years.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Stinkin Step at a Time...

Hello Avid Writers!

While I haven't written anything prompt wise (I know, tsk tsk...) but I kept my word and started my chapter outlines. I even managed to get my brother's approval on my Order of Events! *Cue cheerleaders and pom-poms* Almost there, but still feels like I haven't done much though a lot of work has already gone into this anonymous child of mine. I've just discovered that it's not the Authors that are Anonymous...its the books the authors write! *growl!* I guess I don't have to come up with a name for the dear anytime soon, but I'm starting to seriously think about thinking about it. When I think I know, I'll put a list of possible names up here for you opinions (I might even do that for some of my character names...who knows?).

And a final piece of fantastic news, Hannah Clark at her blog Hannah L. Clark has posted a 100th post giveaway and the prize is her new book Cobbogoth! She has the first two chapters posted at her website and I about tore my hair out when she left it off! I seriously can't wait for this book!
The link to her book trailer is here. Please give it a look and then run over to her blog as fast as you can! You only have until Saturday to enter her giveaway!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

-Stoss Cue

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Writing Prompt For October 6th

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry for not posting in forever!
This is a writing prompt I did last week. I could write whatever, so I did.
Something I feel strongly about. And that I have a problem with.
-Owner's Don't Knock

In a way, everyone's living a lie. We all have regrets, thoughts, things that we never want to get out. Stuff we'd like to say, do, but know will never happen. Tears that fall in the middle of the night, knowing that only then is safe. You don't want anyone to know you're weak. Writing poems to express feelings you'd like to get out. A certain person you'd like to be. Changes you make for somebody special. No one shows their true colors. I think they're scared of rejection; they'd rather fit in. Be accepted. You know? Most people are hiding something from their past. Something they're ashamed about. Why isn't being yourself enough anymore? Explain. Please.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

For the love of a Grandmother...

This past week my grandparents came to my house to celebrate my youngest sister's baptism! We were all so happy to see them and had a great time. While they were here I got a chance to sit and talk with my grandma about my book. She has done some editing for papers and books, and is currently in the process of finishing off the final editing on her own book before she starts going to publishers.

Anywho... I was thrilled to have the chance to talk to her, but when she started asking me questions about my book and characters I was pretty ashamed (and surprised!) to learn how much I didn't know about my own book!

Parts of the conversation went something like this...

"How are you going to instigate this revolt?"

A mumble about how I was hoping I'd publish this book first and then move on from there...

"So your main character...he isn't that much of a wimp is he?"

Unborn protest filling the room, followed by panicked and incoherent babbling that seemed full of "well he's not" and "well its complicated "and ending in shrieks of "please!!!! NOOOO!!!!"
Really -- I was pathetic.

But I learned a lot from it, and now I know a lot of things about my characters. Things that have opened up my plot line and given my characters more breadth and stability. So after a lot of broken lead and murdered erasers, I have finally created my people like I want them to be.

The crime scene has been cleared, and all that's left is the next step: The Chapter Outlines. EEEEEEEKK!!!! (So I'm thrilled but still...I'm terrified.)

Sigh...My baby's growing up and I haven even named it yet... :')

-Stoss Cue

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Writing Prompt-Sept 20th

Not much else to write about right now so I thought I'd share the story I wrote with you today.
The prompt was suppose to be about 'Imagine the time is late at night and the phone rings. Describe the scene.'

As the clock struck one o' clock the telephone rang. My heartbeat sped up. Who could it be? I decided to let it ring. After a minute, it stopped and then started up again. Sweat beads ran down my face; my breathing continued in short little gasps. The same number. I tried to ignore the ringing in my head. Then that same number popped up again. I screamed and unplugged the phone from the wall. Still ringing. I panicked, grabbed the first thing I saw and started bashing the phone, in hopes that it would somehow stop. It wasn't. I decided to answer it. I cautiously picked up the mangled phone and said 'Hello.' Screams sounded through the receiver. 'Hello?' Still nothing but those horrid screams. I set down the phone, but the screams were still heard. Oh my...I flung open the door to the attic and all was silent. The dusty curtains swayed in the breeze from an open window. I walked to the edge, peeked over, and saw a bloody, crumpled body sprawled on the grass. A phone lay right beside them.

I know it's a bit cheesy, but not too bad I think.
Your thoughts?
-Owner's Don't Knock

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Questions

Just a reminder to send in any questions that you might have to .
This week I have one for you; how much detail is too much detail? I have a hard time knowing when I should keep writing, and when I am being too redundant. Any thoughts anyone?
Thanks! We'll have answers and thoughts on questions posted by either next Wednesday, or the Saturday.
- Stoss Cue

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Work On Adverbs

Do a search for "ly" and edit as many adverbs as possible. The strongest, most powerful writing uses few adverbs because adverbs assist weak verbs, which should be replaced with stronger, more accurate verbs.

Not: He spoke softly and gently.
But: He whispered.

Another way to resolve the "adverb problem" is to rewrite the sentence.

Not: He wrote magnificently, and his essays gained the respect of all.
But: He wrote magnificent essays, respected by all.
-Owner's Don't Knock

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update On My Novel

I've done quite a bit with my book. Getting these Writer's Digest magazines have really helped me. There's stories and tips that are just what I've been looking for. It's been amazing!
I've redone the Order Of Events, worked on Character Profiles, and am soon starting Chapter Outlines.
If you'd like to see more about it, check out my page Abbigayle's Novel.
-Owner's Don't Knock

Wednesdays Questions

Sorry guys! I haven't done this for a while, and Abbi decided that it's time to pick things back up.
We had a great question from Shelby a while ago that I didn't really know the answer to so I've done some research. Please take note, this is just what I've researched so it's a good idea to make double checks before you make any final decisions.

Shelby asked:
"Do you know anything about self-publishing and if its safer to do (you know, so you can get all the credit), if its expensive, etc. because I would much rather do self publishing when I get older."

So keeping that previous rant of mine in mind, here's part of a goldmine article:

1. Self-publishing is easy.

Here's how it works. You choose a size for your book, format your Word manuscript to fit that size, turn your Word doc into a PDF, create some cover art in Photoshop, turn that into a PDF, and upload it all to the self-publisher of your choice and get a book proof back within a couple of weeks (or sooner) if you succeeded in formatting everything correctly. You can then make changes and swap in new PDFs.

After you officially publish your book, you can make changes to your cover and interior text by submitting new PDFs, though your book will go offline ("out of stock") for a week or two. BookSurge/CreateSpace charges $50 for uploading a new cover and $50 for a new interior.

(Lulu offers very good, detailed instructions for the DIY crowd, doesn't require any upfront fees, and is very popular as a result. Ironically, I used Lulu's how-to content to put my book together for BookSurge, which had very poor instructions for DIYers. Interesting stat: Lulu claims to publish an average of 4,000 books a week. Oddly, the company didn't offer the size of the book I wanted to create (5.25 x 8 inches--the standard size for trade paperback novels; Lulu only offers 6 x 9, which is too big).)

2. Quality has improved.

I can't speak for all self-publishing companies, but the quality of Booksurge's books seem quite solid. You can't do a fancy matte cover (yet), but the books look and feel like "real" books. The only giveaway that you're dealing with a self-published book would be if the cover were poorly designed--which, unfortunately, is too often the case.

3. Some of the more successful self-published books are about self-publishing.

I don't know what this says about the industry, but it's probably not a good thing. I didn't read any books because I was busy scouring the Internet, but there are a few that appear to have some useful information. However, take everything with a grain of salt because things change quickly in self-publishing and analysis of the industry tends to attract a lot of qualifying statements. As Mark Levine notes in a "sample" review of his The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, "Will BookPros provide a service that is $20,000 better than anyone else in this book? If your book takes off, then yes. However, if your book isn't very successful, you may not think so." In another noteworthy book, Stacie Vander Pol takes a stab at ranking top performing POD self-publishing companies based on sales performance. I'd like to see this stuff on a free website rather than a book. But that's just me.

Note: April Hamilton, the author of IndieAuthor Guide, is offering a free HTML download of her book to readers of this column. I don't agree with all her points, but her guide has a lot of useful information, particularly for DIYers.

4. Good self-published books are few and far between.

Because the barrier to entry is so low, the majority of self-published books are pretty bad. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say less than 5 percent are decent and less than 1 percent are really good. A tiny fraction become monster success stories, but every once in a while, you'll hear about someone hitting it big.

5. The odds are against you.

The average self-published book sells about 100-150 copies--or 2/3 to 3/4 of your friends and family combined (and don't count on all your Facebook acquaintances buying). I don't have a source for this statistic, but I've seen this stated on several blogs and as a Publishers Weekly article titled "Turning Bad Books into Big Bucks" noted, while traditional publishers aim to publish hundreds of thousands of copies of a few books, self-publishing companies make money by publishing 100 copies of hundreds of thousands of books.

6. Creating a "professional" book is really hard.

Barrier to entry may be low, but creating a book that looks professional and is indistinguishable from a book published by a "real" publishing house is very difficult and requires a minimum investment of a few thousand dollars (when all was said and done, I'd put in around $7500, which included about $2,500 in marketing costs). You wonder why "real" books take 9 months to produce--and usually significantly longer. Well, I now know why. It's hard to get everything just right (if you're a novice at book formatting, Microsoft Word will become your worst enemy). And once you've finally received that final proof, you feel it could be slightly better.

7. Have a clear goal for your book.

This will help dictate what service you go with. For instance, if your objective is to create a book for posterity's sake (so your friends and family can read it for all eternity), you won't have to invest a lot of time or money to produce something that's quite acceptable. Lulu is probably your best bet. However, if yours is a commercial venture with big aspirations, things get pretty tricky.

8. Even if it's great, there's a good chance your book won't sell.

If your book is really mediocre, don't expect it to take off. But even if it's a masterpiece, there's a good chance it won't fly off the shelves (and by shelves, I mean virtual shelves, because most self-published books don't make it into brick and mortar stores). In other words, quality isn't a guarantee of success. You'll be lucky to make your investment back, let alone have a "hit" that brings in some real income. Don't quit your day job yet.

These are just 8 of 25 tips this guy gave on self publishing. The website for the rest of them are here. I think that in general this is a good place to start. Second I'd suggest you find a good book website, or go to kindle's website and see what you can find. There's some ladies on my Jane Austen website (that I love) who have talked about publishing with kindle. I'd check that out.

Hope this was helpful!

-Stoss Cue

(This is also going to posted in the Q&A page, so you can go back to it for an easier reference.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Creative Writing Tips For Beginners

Do some short exercises to stretch your writing muscles – if you’re short of ideas, read the Daily Writing Tips article on “Writing Bursts”. Many new creative writers find that doing the washing up or weeding the garden suddenly looks appealing, compared to the effort of sitting down and putting words onto the page. Force yourself to get through these early doubts, and it really will get easier. Try to get into the habit of writing every day, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
  • If you’re stuck for ideas, carry a notebook everywhere and write down your observations. You’ll get some great lines of dialogue by keeping your ears open on the bus or in cafes, and an unusual phrase may be prompted by something you see or smell.

  • Work out the time of day when you’re at your most creative. For many writers, this is first thing in the morning – before all the demands of the day jostle for attention. Others write well late at night, after the rest of the family have gone to bed. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

  • Don’t agonize over getting it right. All writers have to revise and edit their work – it’s rare that a story, scene or even a sentence comes out perfectly the first time. Once you’ve completed the initial draft, leave the piece for a few days – then come back to it fresh, with a red pen in hand. If you know there are problems with your story but can’t pinpoint them, ask a fellow writer to read through it and give feedback.

  • HAVE FUN! Sometimes, we writers can end up feeling that our writing is a chore, something that “must” be done, or something to procrastinate over for as long as possible. If your plot seems wildly far-fetched, your characters bore you to tears and you’re convinced that a five-year old with a crayon could write better prose … take a break. Start a completely new project, something which is purely for fun. Write a poem or a 60-word “mini saga”. Just completing a small finished piece can help if you’re bogged down in a longer story.

  • -Owner's Don't Knock

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Creative Writing Tips

    1. Who is your protagonist, and what does he or she want?
      (The athlete who wants her team to win the big game and the car crash victim who wants to survive are not unique or interesting enough.)
    2. When the story begins, what morally significant actions has he or she already taken towards that goal?
      (“Morally significant” doesn’t mean your protagonist has to be conventionally “good”; rather, he or she should already have made a conscious choice, with repercussions that drive the rest of the story.)
    3. What unexpected consequences — directly related to the protagonist’s efforts to achieve the goal — ramp up the emotional energy of the story?
      (Will the unexpected consequences force your protagonist to make yet another choice, leading to still more consequences?)
    4. What details from the setting, dialog, and tone help you tell the story?
      (Things to cut: travel scenes, character A telling character B about something we just saw happening to character A, and phrases like “said happily” — it’s much better to say “bubbled” or “smirked” or “chortled.”)
    5. What morally significant choice does your protagonist make at the climax of the story?
      (Your reader should care about the protagonist’s decision. Ideally, the reader shouldn’t see it coming.)
    -Owner's Don't Knock

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Question Wednesday

    Hey everyone! Today is the day where you can send in any writing related questions to our email for us to answer!
    We'll answer them and post' em on the blog for you guys to see by next week.
    We haven't gotten one for a while so we're hoping to get one today!
    -Owner's Don't Knock

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    The rest of them

    Sorry guys for the late post!

    4. Speech

    What is the tone of the character’s voice? Smooth, or harsh? Quiet, or loud? Do they mumble, or do they enunciate carefully? With a high pitch, or a low one? Are they taciturn, or voluble? How else is their personality conveyed in the way they speak or how talk or think to themselves? Are they kind, or cruel, in their speech? Respectful, or insolent or condescending?

    Do they have an unusual accent, or do they try to suppress it, and are they successful all the time, or does the accent prevail when they are emotional or unguarded? Is their general mode of speech an effort to hide or overcome their origins? If they must speak a foreign language, are they fluent, or merely competent, or not even that?

    5. Environment

    How does a character relate to their surroundings, and how does the person manipulate the environment? What is the person’s dwelling like, and what do the characteristics of that place convey personality? How does their workplace do the same? Is the personal environment functional and practical, or is it expressive of the character? Do their possessions convey a simple lifestyle, or one devoted to acquisition of goods?

    A fascinating book called Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You, by psychology professor Sam Gosling, concludes that the way personal items are displayed in one’s home or workplace reveals much about the person, and that there are three general categories: things displayed ostentatiously (certificates, trophies, autographs), things displayed unselfconsciously for both the person and for visitors to see (vacation photos, knickknacks), and things displayed solely for the benefit of the space’s occupant, not its visitors (mementos, notes from loved ones).

    Hope that these are helpfull! My particular favorite is #5. It had never occured to me how important stuff is. I'll keep that in mind when my Mom tells me to clean out my room "But Mom, stuff can be so inspiring." :)

    -Stoss Cue

    P.S I have started a blog called Unread Pages about gardening and just everyday things about life in general. Give it a look!

    Monday, August 29, 2011

    Monday's Writing Tips

    Found these online.
    Soon I'll get some up from Writer's Digest!
    -Owner's Don't Knock

    These tips are more for Aspiring Freelance Writers

    1. Write, don’t procrastinate!

    I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it had to be first on the list, and I speak from experience! Even the master storyteller, Stephen King, in his 2000 memoir “On Writing” admitted “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
    This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan your piece, far from it, but despite ongoing technological advancements in almost every industry, writing still requires a writer, so write.
    Edit, re-write, discard, re-invent, even all of the above, but you need to have written something first.
    Whether you produce a single sentence or twenty pages, the feeling of achievement will be tangible, as Henry Ford once observed “There is no happiness except in the realisation that we have accomplished something”.

    2. Recognise that all feedback is good feedback

    We all feel protective about our written output, and it’s our prerogative, because we’ve toiled and sweated over it. But being a freelance writer is about producing work that will meet the needs of a specific market or audience and any feedback that helps in achieving that goal can only be good, however hard it might be to read and digest.

    3. Broaden your horizons

    Having an appetite to learn and undertake new experiences, not only keeps life interesting, but also ensures we maintain a healthy stock of subjects to write about . “Write what you know” is advice frequently given to writers, so expanding what you know can only broaden your writing horizons.

    4. Believe in yourself

    Although an overused phrase, this really is sound advice. Writers will endure many knockbacks and rejections throughout their careers, and it takes a lot of self belief to persevere and keep submitting work.
    The self help author Dr. Robert Anthony’s view was “You can have anything you want if you will give up the belief that you can’t have it.”

    5. Have a Goal

    It doesn’t matter whether it is big or small, but by setting a goal and working towards it, statistics show that you will be one of only 3% of individuals who actually do this.
    Philanthropist Hannah More wrote “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals”
    A goal gives meaning to what you are doing, it adds perspective, and some days, it will be the prospect of achieving that goal that compels you to return to that project you’ve not been able to finish or even start.
    One final piece of advice, when you achieve that goal, win that commission or succeed in getting published, share your success. Whether it be on your favourite writers forum, with your family, friends or colleagues, or on your blog or website, not only will it feel good, you might even inspire others to try and emulate your success.

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Book Review

    So this is a book I really enjoy reading. Chalk full of details and good humor, The Warrior Heir is the first of three books in the Heir trilogy. While there is rumor of a possible fourth book (fingers crossed!) I won't put that down as final.

    Back to the book - I really enjoyed it. The plot is sometimes predictable but none of the important parts are, and there are many surprises. It is a fairly easy read, not that the words are simple but that they flow really well. Basically the plot goes as follows:

    "One March day, Jack Swift, a high school student in a small college town, forgets to take the medicine he’s taken daily since he was an infant. There ensues a cascade of events that puts him in mortal danger.

    Jack discovers he carries a secret within him that has made him a target of the ruthless wizards of the Red and White Rose. Jack is a Warrior Heir, the last of a dying breed, sought after by the Roses to fight in the tournaments that are used to allocate power among the Wizard Houses. Unknown to him, Jack has lived all his life surrounded by members of the Magical Guilds: wizards, enchanters, soothsayers, and sorcerers. They are determined to save him from the Roses.

    With the aid of his aunt, a beautiful enchanter, Jack desperately tries to acquire the skills that might save his life. Jack and his friends, Will and Fitch, unearth a magical sword from a cemetery and fight off the wizards who would take it from them. Jack begins training with the dark and dangerous Leander Hastings, a wizard with a mysterious past.

    Meanwhile, Jack is torn between his attraction to Ellen Stephenson, a new student at Trinity High School, and Leesha Middleton, his former girlfriend, who decides she wants him back.

    Discovered and besieged by treachery at home, he flees to the Lake District of England. There he is confronted by the greatest challenge of all."

    This is directly from the Cinda Williams Chima website where she has all of her other books posted as well (I'd suggest you give it a look).

    Last note, I LOVE the romance in this series. Normally I am not one for angst but in this book it's done so well that I just can't resist it, even though it drives me crazy!!!! There are so many different levels for the different characters and the relationships are so intricate that they make me want to cry. Go ahead and give it a try. You'll love it!

    -Stoss Cue

    (Sorry, I'll post the rest of the character tips either later today or next week)

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Wednesday Tip

    I found these tips to be really helpful. We really want to make good characters and compelling ones, but that can only be done if we make them believable. The website I got this from is a good resource for tips and ideas and I have found it very helpful.

    1. Appearance

    Writers are naturally inclined to make their main characters especially attractive unless they believe there is a very good reason to do otherwise: The character wishes to avoid attention, the story has an ugly duckling theme, or the character is reprehensible (in which case they might nevertheless be, for contrast, extremely good looking).

    Just a realistic is it to have a character that is good looking, has perfect teeth, no bad breath and can juggle ten knives at a time?

    Don’t introduce your character with an extensive physical appraisal, but do sprinkle hints about their appearance (or don’t — many great works of literature don’t describe main characters’ looks at all). Make sure that physical features are consistent with that person’s ethnic origins, unless there’s a good reason for exceptions.

    If you do want readers to visualize your conception of the character, consider not just physical characteristics but also carriage and comportment. How does the person move? Fast, or slow? Purposefully, or uncertainly? Gracefully, or awkwardly? Self-consciously, or without regard for how they are perceived?

    2. Attire

    How do your characters dress? The period and locale will determine the general costume, but personality is still easily conveyed within these parameters. What does what the people wear say about their social status and about their character? Is their clothing austere, or ostentatious? Prim, or provocative? What kind of accessories, if any, do they wear, and why?

    When I first started writing I would detail every little thing that my character wore. Down to the last pin-knife in her boot. It got boring for me to write, and my intended audience (my brothers) had no patience for which dress went best with which boots...

    3. Business

    I refer here not to business as a synonym for commerce but in the theatrical sense of the character’s physical actions. What facial expressions do they employ? Are they self-conscious about them, or are they natural, or does it depend? If the character is physically demonstrative, how is this characteristic conveyed?

    Do they use their hands a lot, or is the person’s entire body an instrument of expression? Do they often handle or caress objects? Does their business convey calm, or are they fidgety? Do they make physical contact with other people? Do they observe conventions of social distance (the space people leave between each other according to their social status and relationship)? Do they establish and maintain eye contact — and is this a sign of forthrightness, or an effort to discomfit or dominate others — or are they evasive about it?

    What implements do they carry and use? Are these objects practical, like tools, or are they talismans? Does this person rely on instruments, or on thoughts and ideas, or on both?

    All I can say is that my life better not depend on my ability to do this any time soon.

    There are two more points but since it's super long as it is I will post those tomorrow as part of the book review. I hope this helps!

    - Stoss Cue

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Monday Writing Tips

    I got these online.

  • Brainstorm words or images about your topic. Don't stop to evaluate their worth. Keep writing down ideas. When you can't think of another word, wait a while. Often the most powerful idea will surface after you have cleared all the less valuable ideas out of the way.

  • Write a page or two with your eyes shut.

  • It doesn't matter if you can't read what you've written. You are giving your mind permission to make "mistakes" and just get on with it.

  • Write with music in the background.

  • Experiment to find the style that you like. I prefer baroque or classical music. One of my writing teachers needed country and western.

  • Give yourself permission to be emotional.

  • If your writing begins to move you, experience the full emotion. Before your writing changes others it will change you.

  • -Owner's Don't Knock

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Book Review

    Hey Everybody! Ok so this is no kidding probably my favorite book in the whole entire world. And honestly as a wannabe writer this book scares me like nothing else. I have read it over ten times, and out loud to my siblings twice. This book is the wittiest book I have ever read. There are some books that you can sit there and go "yeah then he kills this guy, then he goes out with this girl but she's not the one" etc, fill in the blank, you know the predictable stuff. But if you can do that with this book I'd be very much surprised.

    As an author I think that the difficulty in writing is coming up with something that will pull you back again and again, this book does that. I read it and I want to be like that when I write. If you need an author to go after look to Mrs. Turner here. And no kidding cross my heart and hope to never write again, you will find something new in this book every flippin time you read it. But anyway here is the back cover description:

    "Gen is released from prison by the magus, the king's scholar. The magus finds Gen filthy, uncouth, and insolent, but he needs Gen’s skills as a thief. Without telling Gen where they are going, he takes him out of the city. They are joined by the magus’s two apprentices, Sophos and Ambiades, and by Pol, a soldier.

    The journey is dangerous, and the travelers grate on each others’ nerves. None of the main characters are exactly what they seem to be. By the end of the book, secrets are revealed, relationships adjusted, and respect between the travelers is lost and won."
    Actually this is Wikipedias description of the book and its a decent synopsis. But believe me, you will come away from reading this book with a greater desire to work harder on your writing. Also I discovered while looking for a cover to show you that there are 3 more books!!!! So I am going to get my hands on them, and if I like them, you will no doubt hear about them from me.

    -Stoss Cue

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011


    Hello everyone! It's a beautiful day here in Iowa, and I'm thoroughly enjoying my last day of freedom before school starts. Some things that I've been thinking about for awhile and I'd like some of your thoughts:
    I have a hard time setting time apart for things like writing and such. What are techniques that you use to set time aside for stuff like this?
    Also while I love listening to music for inspiration, sometimes I feel like it directs my stories just a little too much. What other routes of inspiration do you guys use? Have you had this problem? If so, how do you deal with it?
    I'd appreciate any (or all) advice that you guys could give me.
    Also I've posted some writing that I've done (not finished worked on) that I'd like you guys to look at. It's on my Trilogy page. If you have any thoughts on this or my Q's either send me a e-mail, or post here.
    Thank you!
    -Stoss Cue

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    No Air, No Breath, No Life

    Just posted on True Blue Abbi
    A bit of my writing I did this morning.
    -Owner's Don't Knock
    I'd really appreciate it if you told me honest opinions in the comment section.
    Thank you.

    I talked to you last night. I swear there was magic in the air. Why do you have to be so far away? I want you here to hold me close and whisper in my ear. "Darling it's alright, I'm not going anywhere." But no, you're leaving me behind with tearstains on my cheeks. You have to go, you say but it's for your family's sake. I hate that you're gone, I hate that I'm here. Let's just run away dear, find somewhere safe to hide. I need you close, for you're my air ♥

    TT-Different Writing Styles

    I thought that since we'd been slacking off I'd hurry and find you guys another post topic. Just make sure to read the last post to... I found that this was a little helpful in learning the different writing styles. Maybe you'll find out what type of writing you do, or would like to do!
    -Owner's Don't Knock

    While researching this topic, you may have found many different answers to what are the different types of writing styles. No two answers are the same. They range anywhere from your personal way of writing that is your writing style to formal and informal. Many people feel the best answer to what writing styles are those that will be outlined below. You can decide for yourself if this definition suits yours.

    The term creative writing covers a range of writing areas. Poetry, fiction books, short stories, and screenplays are considered creative writings. Any writing in which is not strictly non-fiction is classified as such.

    Journalism and news reporting are forms of Expository writing. The purpose is to focus on one topic and inform the reader by providing the facts. These writings can be seen in the form of travel brochures, professional journal, business reports, and newspaper articles.

    Descriptive writing is what gives you the mental pictures of what we have read. It uses a lot of adjective and adverbs to describe things. When descriptive writing is very good you can close your eyes and know exactly what the author is saying. The kind that makes you taste what the characters and see what they are seeing.

    Analytical Writing is a writing that focuses on a topic and then verifies the purpose of it. It is often taught to school age children throughout their years because it is something they will use in their life.
    Book reports, conference papers, thesis, essays, and dissertations are all academic writing. It is created using a third person point of view and deductive reasoning supported by facts. Its purpose is to show a clear understanding of a subject by presenting information.

    Technical Writing is used in owners manuals, how to guides, magazine articles, and design specs just to name a few. Its purpose is to take complicated technical information and turn it into something the intended audience can understand. Technical writing usually deals with electronics of all sorts, chemistry, robotics, and finance.

    Any kind of writing that has to do with business matters is considered business writing. It is concise and to the point. Your intended audience wants to know what happened and why, but with minimal detail in between. An active voice is necessary in business writing. It keeps people focused and shows that you are in control of situations.

    Correspondence is the writing of memos, letters, or emails between people. It is a message that is sent between two people or groups of people.

    To provide facts & statistics and having the ability to influence your readers with your words is persuasive writing. This is used for products ads, political campaigns, or any kind of promotion. It is not necessary to prove why something else is wrong or bad. You just need to prove why your promotion is better.

    Narrative writing is used to tell a story or list of events that have already happened, might have happened, or could happen in the future. These writings may include novels, poetry, short stories, or a number of other things.

    A lot of times many of these styles are meshed together in our writing. Business writing and technical writings are often one in the same as are academic writing and analytical writing. With the overlapping of the styles it is hard to define one writing style from another, you can guess it is all a matter of the point of view you are looking at it from and your opinion.

    Tuesday's Tips

    Hey everyone! Sorry things have been crazy. I'm trying to find time to post. I think once I start school up things will get easier and both Shayla and I will be able to post on the blog more often.
    Thank you so much everyone for your patience. It means alot that you guys are with us on the AA team!
    -Owner's Don't Knock
    PS- If anyone would like to guest post this Saturday (on any writing subject) please email us at
    Reminder-Submit your own writing to be featured on the blog!
    Reminder-Make sure to vote on our poll and check out how we're doing with OUR personal writing when you stop by!
    Thank you everyone(:

    1. Do not compare yourself with others.
    We each have our own path to success. Some people are shooting stars. Others are slow and steady. Each may reach the same goal, but at a different pace. Do this: compare yourself only with yourself. Is each new manuscript better than your last? Did you send out more query letters this year? Were your contest scores higher this time around? And always remember -- another author's success does not mean your failure.
    2. Find your strengths.
    Forget what's trendy and discover what kind of story you write best. Perhaps your writing partner writes wonderfully emotional vampire tales. Does this mean you should write emotional vampire tales? Only if you're good at it. Perhaps you write light, funny, and inspiring tales instead. Write them. No market for them, you think? Doesn't matter. Any book that is strongly written and tells a compelling story will find a place in the market, no matter what the trend is that day.
    (And if you can spot today's trend, it's probably just about over.)
    3. Don't be in a hurry.
    Many yet-to-be-published writers yearn for publication (I know I did). Rejections can be heartbreaking. But take the time to make what you submit to be the very best it can be--no matter that it takes three years for you to finish. It will be much better for your career in the long run to confront the publishing world with a spectacular book that they will get behind, than a mediocre book that is just publishable and will languish in the warehouse.
    4. Don't be afraid to write in the manner in which you write best.
    Some writers outline, outline, outline then chart each scene before they can even put fingers to keyboard. Other writers sit down and start page one with no clear end in mind. Both of these writers can end up with a wonderful book. Neither is right. Neither is wrong. If you write best with charts, make charts. If you write best simply writing, then write. Never let someone else tell you that your way of writing stories is wrong. It is right--for you.
    5. Be strong.
    Readers read to live in a different world from the everyday one. Or perhaps they seek the same world, but one funnier, happier, more dramatic, more emotional, more passionate. Give it all you've got. If you write humor, be hysterical; if you write passion, be wild; if you write emotion, make yourself cry (your reader will too).
    6. Be knowledgeable.
    Market research is as simple as going to a bookstore and observing what's on the shelves. Do you love writing wild pirate tales? Who else is writing them? Who is publishing them? Find out who the publishers are and where they are. Most have their addresses printed on the copyright pages of books. Search The Writer's Market (the latest edition can be found in the reference section of any library) for names of specific editors. Mail your query or manuscript (Writer's Market will tell you which they want) to that editor.
    7. Read authors you admire.
    If you admire an author, it's probably for a good reason: they are wonderful storytellers, or they have a lively prose style, or their characterizations are fantastic--or all of the above. Learn from these authors, try to discover how they do what they do. That said, also read widely outside your target genre. Find strengths of other genres to pull into your own to keep it fresh. (And if you read a book that you love, that touches you in some way, write the author and tell him/her so. Authors like to know whether they have done their jobs!)
    8. Critique groups are not for everyone.
    Critique groups can be marvelously supportive, or they can be stifling. I personally write best in a cave, occasionally coming out to ask an author I trust whether I am going off the rails. If you feel your critique group will not you let you write the strong books you feel you are best writing, don't be afraid to go it alone. On the other hand, if your critique group gives you wonderful help and support, don't be afraid to stay.
    9. Don't waste time and money.
    The best way to write publishable books is to read books then sit down and write books. Everything else is optional. Develop a critical, honest eye for your own work. Many traps exist out there for the desperate-to-be-published author. Save your money. Never pay to get published. You are writing so that people will pay you, not the other way around.
    10. Write every day.
    If you produce only one page and you throw it away the next day, it doesn't matter. Writing every day keeps your writing muscles in shape. Continuing to write will teach you how to write better than anything else. You'll learn something new every day!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Tuesday's Tips

    So sorry the schedule has been out of wack. Things have been ridiculously hectic ALL summer. I thought I'd take a minute and post on here so you guys aren't stuck in the dust.
    Just a few random tips I found on google....
    -Owner's Don't Knock
    1. Cut the boring parts
    I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard
    Unless you’re writing for personal reasons alone, you need to consider the attention of your readers. There’s no point is publishing content that isn’t useful, interesting, or both.2. Eliminate unnecessary words
    Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
    I used to feel that using words like “really”, “actually”, or “extremely” made writing more forceful. It doesn’t. They only get in the way. Cut them and never look back.3. Write with passion
    Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
    It’s not hard to realize that unless you’re excited about your writing no one else will be.4. Paint a picture
    Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
    Simply stating something is fine, but when you need to capture attention, using similes, metaphors, and vivid imagery to paint a picture creates a powerful emotional response.5. Keep it simple
    Vigorous writing is concise. ~William Strunk Jr.
    Maybe it was all those late nights, struggling to fill out mandatory 10 page papers, but many people seem to think that worthwhile writing is long and drawn out. It’s more difficult (and effective) to express yourself in the simplest possible manner.6. Do it for love
    Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. ~Mark Twain
    When you’re just starting out it’s hard to decide where to begin. So don’t. Just start writing. A blog is a good place to start. The most valuable benefit is the feedback.7. Learn to thrive on criticism
    You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance. ~Ray Bradbury
    Writing means putting yourself at the mercy of anonymous hecklers and shameless sycophants. Learn to make the most of the insults and distrust the praise.8. Write all the time
    Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed. ~Ray BradburyThe way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn’t behave that way you would never do anything. ~John Irving
    9. Write what you know … or what you want to know
    If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul. ~Johann Wolfgang von GoetheLearn as much by writing as by reading. ~Lord Acton
    Successful writing is all about trust and authority. It makes sense to write about your area of expertise. If you don’t have an expertise, reading and writing is the best way to develop one and put it on display.10. Be unique and unpredictable
    I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. ~G.K. ChestertonConsistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~Oscar WildeZest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. ~Ray Bradbury
    Following what works will only get you so far. Experiment with new styles, even if it means taking criticism. Without moving forward, you’ll be left behind.