Monkeys on Typewriters: Creativity vs Grammar

Ape using a typewriter
Yes, we know this is an ape, not a monkey.

Creativity walks a tightrope. If you are not creative enough, your readers will be bored. If you are too creative, your readers will be mystified.

“Oh!” says the Creative Soul. “That’s what I want. I want my reader to be mystified.”

Not this way, you don’t. I mean mystified as in “mixed up, baffled, confounded, deceived and perplexed.” None of these are particularly happy emotions, especially “deceived.”

Yes, there is a challenge in reading a piece of work that sets a puzzle you must solve in order to understand it. For many experienced readers, the joy of solving the puzzle is a great part of the pleasure of reading. Witness the popularity of Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

But… Continue reading “Monkeys on Typewriters: Creativity vs Grammar”

Seven Years and Still Going …

Seven years ago, the Evil Mastermind launched Indies Unlimited. Since then, we’ve had over 2.5 MILLION page views, been named as one of Six Great Blogs for Indie Authors in Publishers Weekly, and ranked as one of the top writing-related sites by Alexa.

We have evolved greatly since those early days, but never lost sight of providing free, high-quality content for independent publishers and readers.  We’re proud that readers and authors alike trust our content, and we’re grateful to all of you for spreading the word about us.

Indies Unlimited is run by volunteers. Kudos to all the minions past and present for donating their time and energy to provide excellent articles, advice, and tutorials for our audience.

Thank you, everyone, for making Indies Unlimited a success and a community. It could not be one without the other. We look forward to another year filled with great things for all.

Tips to Help Pantsers Get Moving Again When the Story Stops

writers block solutions light-bulb-3104355_1920 (002)Those who are pantsers (who write by the seat of the pants, rather than outlining a story) can run into a problem that outliners don’t encounter as much: the story stalling.

It’s happened to every pantser at least once, where they’re in a groove, the story is moving along nicely, and then bam, nothing seems to work. Everything they want to write seems flat or the story just doesn’t move in a compelling way anymore. So, if you’re a pantser and your story has stalled, here a couple of things to try to get your writing mojo flowing again. Continue reading “Tips to Help Pantsers Get Moving Again When the Story Stops”

Indie Author Newsbreak 10-05-2018

indie author newsHappy Friday once again. Where does the time go? Your intrepid IU admins have once more scampered, scurried, and scoured the interwebz looking for yummy tidbits to feed your ravenous minds. So, here is another truckload of writerly stuff, things, and to-do that you may find of interest!

It is always good to have some options for getting your writing and your name out there. If you’re into nonfiction or perhaps tripping over boxes crammed with old personal essays, the Write Life provides this list of 19 websites and magazines that want your personal essays.

You may remember that in the movie, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, the father was always saying that you could give him any word, and he would show you how the root of that word was Greek. Of course, English as we know it today is a hodgepodge language consisting of Latin, German, French, and many other languages. However, the influence of the Greek language on our own is strong.  Here is a handy list of Greek words that have become mainstays of modern English.

One of the common failings we see in character-driven popular fiction is that the characters seem two-dimensional. It may not be easy, but it is necessary to render your characters whole, so the readers can become more fully immersed in the story. Of all the different approaches we have seen to accomplish or improve upon this, Sarah Gribble offers a really interesting and unique approach: Write a Eulogy to Get to Know a Character in Your Novel.

While we in the main room argue back and forth about whether print books will ever be replaced by eBooks, audio books are gaining in popularity. Have you ever thought about narrating your own audio book? (H/T The Book Designer)

That’s it for this week. We’ll close with a philosophical question: as a writer, are you more plagued by procrastination or ambivalence? Leave a comment and tell us. If you can’t decide, maybe just come back later and do it. Or not. I dunno.