In Writing, How Long is a Pause?

pausing in writing coffee-3456215_1280My main difficulty when I switched from writing plays to novels was my use of pauses. It took me a long time to figure out that the time sense of a person conversing in real life or watching a play is very different from the time sense of someone reading prose. And that has repercussions in novel writing and the use of punctuation.

What’s Happening in Life?

In plays, movies and the reality they are imitating, a pause happens because something else is going on. Someone is thinking, reacting, showing emotion, waiting for attention or performing some task. Often the pause is used to heighten the emotion while we wait for something important to happen (see ‘Earned Pauses’ at the end of this article). Continue reading “In Writing, How Long is a Pause?”

Working with Editors

editing-1756958_960_720 (002)A while back, Laurie Boris gave us a very helpful and comprehensive overview of what you should consider when choosing and working with an editor. While I see no need to amend her concise guide, we here at IU did think it was time to take this a bit further. What can you do to make the overall experience of working with an editor better? What can you do to make sure you are getting your money’s worth — but not paying for things you don’t need — and creating a productive and enjoyable relationship with your editor? Here are a few things to consider. Continue reading “Working with Editors”

April Is NaPoWriMo (for the poets who didn’t know it and those who did)

book engagement-1361074_1280 (002)Let’s be real: poetry is often treated like the wayward stepchild of the writing world. It doesn’t sell as well as other genres, so it’s not produced in the same quantities. But sales don’t equal love, and in April, poetry takes center stage in NaPoWriMo (aka National Poetry Writing Month).

Much like its better-known cousin, NaNoWriMo, NaPoWriMo is a month devoted to poetry. While the goal of National Novel Writing Month is to have a completed 50,000-word novel at the end of 30 days, NaPoWriMo wants authors to have 30 poems by month’s end. Continue reading “April Is NaPoWriMo (for the poets who didn’t know it and those who did)”

Must You Publish a Print Book?

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/RobinHiggins-1321953/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3061646">Robin Higgins</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3061646">Pixabay</a>Sometimes when you’re cruising the intertubes, something jumps out at you that makes you want to spit out your coffee. For me, it was a gem of advice in a Q&A on Quora.

The query, edited for length, was: “What do traditional publishers provide that self-publishing doesn’t?” The question drew the typical answers: a cover from a professional cover designer (which indies can also buy), great editing (ditto), marketing assistance (a little harder, but doable – and midlist authors at traditional houses often have to find help, too), and placement of your book at brick-and-mortar stores (okay, I’ll give them that one – although it’s not impossible for indies).

But it was this throwaway line at the end of one comment that caused my spit-take: “Don’t forget to do a POD print edition, even if its layout is pure template-driven and it’s not up to pro standards in production values. Ebooks with print editions sell better than ebooks without.”

There’s so much here to unpack. Continue reading “Must You Publish a Print Book?”