Tag Archives: Writer Resources

The Hybrid Author


You’ve heard the term, but just what does it mean?

Simply put, it is a writer who publishes their work both traditionally and through self-publishing channels. The hybrid chooses her own path and isn’t inhibited by the prejudices of the past in an ever changing publishing industry.

Dianne G SaganDianne G. Sagan, long-time Panhandle Professional Writers member and award winning author, has released a ground breaking and timely book — The Hybrid Author. If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, should I self-publish or traditionally publish, this is the book that will help you make a well informed decision. The Hybrid Author explains in detail what makes a writer a hybrid, examines the pros and cons of the four paths available in the publishing industry, and assists the reader in making career decisions from a neutral position. Bob Rich, international author and editor of the popular Bobbing Around Newsletter, says in his book review:The Hybrid Author

“The Hybrid Author is a treasure house of useful suggestions and resources for any writer, already published or still merely hopeful. While reading, I followed up some of Dianne’s recommendations, particularly in the areas of marketing and publicity, which are my weak points. This useful information is logically organized, clearly presented, and is in a style that is a perfect compromise between being chatty and formal. My only suggestion for improvement is that each resource should have a web link accompany it. I’ve been a hybrid writer for many years, but didn’t know it until I read Dianne’s definition. It is someone who has some books out through royalty-paying publishers, with other books, or other versions of these books, through a less conventional path such as self-publishing. She sets out the advantages and disadvantages of each of four options, and I cannot fault her reasoning. I agree with everything she has stated. A useful feature is Chapter 8, which is a series of interviews with successful authors. I was fascinated by the commonalities and differences in these people’s opinions. Chapter 10 is also particularly useful in a different way: it is an extensive list of questions to an intending author. Thinking about the answer to each will help you to choose the uniquely right path for you.In short, this book is a useful resource for any writer.”

The Hybrid Author can be purchased at: The Hybrid Author Kindle version

The Hybrid Author print version

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GETTING THE CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING


Typing Paper SkullRecently, I saw a great post on one of my favorite websites, Writer Unboxed, by Barbara O’Neal titled, The 20 Minute Win.  In the article, O’Neal describes how she manages to stay on task with her writing.  She focuses on her work each day as soon as she can possibly get to it by creating a 20-minute window to write. She got the idea from the late Ray Bradbury who said, “A writer should begin writing before he lets the world in.”

When O’Neal sits down for her 20-minute session, she sets the timer and writes whatever comes up.  Sometimes, it’s a blog.  Sometimes, it’s a scene that comes later in her book.  Sometimes, she even writes in a journal.  The point is, she writes uninterrupted for 20 minutes for the sole purpose of getting the juices flowing.Bottle of Creative Juices

This accomplishes two major things.  First, it warms up her writing muscles and gets her into her Writing Work Room.  Second, it reminds her how little time it takes to actually put words on a page if she will just show up to do it.

I decided to try it for myself.  The only modification I made was to shorten the sessions to 15 minutes.  I wrote the first piece in the allotted time. I started with this sentence: “Am I the only one who thinks the term baby bump is obnoxious and unflattering?”  When the timer sounded, I checked the word count.  Three hundred twenty-nine words.  About baby bumps.  I agree with Barbara.  It gets the writing juices flowing.  Can I sustain the pace of 1,316 words per hour all day – every day – when working on my latest novel?  Probably not, but that’s not the point.  The point is if I will just show up to write and get to it, I can actually produce words on the page.

What then shall I do with this newfound way to exercise my writing muscles and get the juices flowing?  Blog of course.  In the very near future, I will post these 15-minute writing exercises on my new blog.  After spending 15 minutes writing with no internal editing, I go back and spend a few minutes cleaning up the prose.  Then, since I’m in the writing groove, I find it easier to get to work on my latest project.   I have a short story with a February 1 deadline and then it’s back to revision hell with my first novel.   It’s a good thing I have writing to occupy my time.  Otherwise, I might end up watching reality TV.  Oh, wait, if I watch reality TV, I’ll have something to blog about!

Try Barbara O’Neal’s 20 Minute Win http://writerunboxed.com/2012/10/24/the-20-minute-win/ and see if it doesn’t get your creative juices flowing.

Matt Sherley

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The Muse Takes a Holiday


Some call it Writers’ Block. Others refer to it as a simple lack of inspiration. What happens when you just don’t know what happens next in your story? The words won’t come. At all. What is the author of the next Great American Novel to do?

Of course, there are lots of suggestions out there. Take a nap. Fold the laundry. Phone a friend. I’ll be the first to confess that most of these “tricks” are merely avoidance techniques. But why do I procrastinate with something that I love to do?

I’m certain that there is a deep psychological meaning behind it, but I refuse to research that right now, maybe it could be the subject of my next book.

In fact, research may be at the root of the blocked imagination. When I don’t know what should happen next, it’s often because I have no idea what would happen next. I haven’t researched that deeply into the technicalities or history of the subject. On the other hand, sometimes I find that I’ve researched so much that I don’t care anymore. Yes, it’s often the mystery that keeps me going.

If research isn’t the problem—if I just don’t know how my protagonist would respond in a particular situation—maybe I need to get to know him or her better. I could write a scene, completely separate from my story, in which my lead characters are all trapped in an elevator somewhere between floors of a Metropolitan high-rise. What do they say? How do they treat each other? What do they smell, see, or hear? Sometimes writing out these little vignettes can trigger something that will propel the stalled work-in-progress.

Another solution may be to skip to the next scene that I know, and write that. The idea is that having that next goal in sight may shed light on the path to get there. Or… it may not be that I have writers’ block at all, but that I’m trying to write too much. A minute-by-minute account of my hero may just be boring. Experiencing a stall may be an indication that I should skip that part. If the next scene makes sense without it, it’s highly likely that a reader would skip it, too. Leave it out. Write tight.

I hope that these suggestions help—I just thought of something…

Kimberly Black

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