Friday, June 29, 2012

Word of the Day - neophyte


Neophyte - 1. a new convert. 2. a novice or beginner. (p. 284)

Our company works with neophyte and unknown authors. One of the best things a neophyte writer can do for their career is join a writers group or fifty. The writers groups will be oh-so beneficial. They can help writers find and learn about their strengths and weaknesses. They can help with the editing process prior to submission or prior to the novel landing on your editors desk. They can help start a necessary network that will be able to provide new distribution avenues, and a plethora of other things - the latest industry news, contests, structure, formatting, reviews, sales outlets, tours, networking areas, media contacts, publishing contacts, associations. You get the point. A writers group(s) can help start the foundation you need to be a successful author.

You have to be mindful that a lot of publishing companies will not take the time to help completely re-write your novel. The writers groups can help get your work tightened up. They can help you identify if you write passive, how to watch for it, and keep your eyes open as you continue to scribe. Back story dump AKA catching up the reader is very common. Seasoned writers even do it. But going through writers groups on a regular basis will help you identify these areas, how to tell when you have done them when you start editing your own work, and how to fix it.

As a neophyte author part of learning your craft, your art, and evolving as a writer is learning from those around you. A writers group can provide one of many paths to support that evolution. Learn from the seasoned writers around you and apply those lessons to your writing. It is like any other career. You learn from those around you with years more experience than you.

I fully support an author who hits the ground running, taking their career in their own hands. However, part of that process is learning as you go and a writers group can help start that process. Find a good one. Find a structured one. Find one that has other writers that support and not inhibit your growth. Most writers band together to support each other. They were where you are now and understand the learning curve.


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Word of the day - gawk

Gawk - to stare stupidly: gape. (p 175)
Interestingly enough gawk is one word where its -y form means something completely different -

Gawky - Clumsy, awkward.

English is a very difficult language to learn. You have your hear, here; bear, bare; their, they’re, there’s. But then you have words like gawk, gawky. Gray and grey - American and British. Adding a -y to the end of the word can make it an adjective. Fun and funny.

Know thy audience, and remember that adding a letter or more to the end of a word doesn’t necessarily mean it has the same meaning with a different tense or possessive or plural.

Happy writing!


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Word of the Day - prognosticate

Prognosticate - to predict from current indications. (p. 337)

That word sounds a little archaic doesn’t it?

The publishing industry is full of prognosticators. Just look for op’eds on the Apple/DOJ case, Amazon, and e-books. There is a plethora (oo, maybe tomorrow’s word of the day) of them on the web. Read a handful of them and you’ll notice a distinct line, no happy medium, no gray area. Sign with a publisher, self publish. Print or e-book or both. Publishing is like any other industry - everyone has an opinion on the best way to move forward with your hard work.

What it boils down to is what is best for you, as a writer. None of it matters, though, if you do not continue to learn your art and continue to brand yourself as an author. The most profitable publishing company, with money to burn, is not going to be able to turn you into an overnight sensation if your writing does not appeal to a reader base and you’re not out hitting the pavement connecting with your readers.

Join a writers group, take writing classes, learn where your weaknesses are and focus on making them stronger. Continue to challenge yourself and push further and harder. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Network online and offline. Learn about the industry. Stay on top of the latest news. Do all of this before you publish your novel - traditionally or self publish. Continue to do this after you publish. Learn from others. Ask questions - a lot of them and keep asking until you understand. Do your own homework.

This is a new/current/future career for you. Your old/current career did not get successful because you expected someone else to do the work for you. Take the bull by the horns, kick it in the knees and become a pro at your craft, at your art.

Two things my grandfather tells me all the time - bend down, put your nose to the grindstone, dig in your heels, and push forward. The other?

Illegitimi non-du carbondum or very poor/mock Latin for Don’t let the bastards grind you down.


photo from:

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Word of the day - inflorescence

I thought it would be a novel idea to break out my old trusty dictionary and provide a random word of the day. My dictionary is old and should probably be updated with a newer one. It does not have the words recently added over the years - tweet, fist bump, bling, or even bromance - for more odd entries into our dictionaries just do a google search for dictionary additions and pick a year.

My dictionary was given to me by my grandfather when I was rather young. The copyright on it is 1988 and it is a Webster’s II home and office desk edition. I can remember reading and asking my mother what a word meant or how to pronounce it. Her canned response was always “Look it up, your grandfather gave you a dictionary. Use it.”

So hear we are, the dictionary is over 20 years old, and I still “look it up.”

Inflorescence - N. A Characteristic arrangement of flowers on a stalk. inflorescent adj. (Page 217)


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Monday, June 25, 2012


Have you ever read something or been listening to someone speak and raise an eyebrow at the wording? I had that moment this morning watching our local news. The last part of their slogan is “late breaking”. That made me think for a moment. I know what that means, but would someone who lives in another country or their primary language is not English? Both words, standing alone, do not mean the same thing.

late-breaking~late-breaking news concerns events that happen just before a news broadcast or just before a newspaper is printed -

late [leyt] Show IPA adjective, lat·er or lat·ter, lat·est or last, adverb lat·er, lat·est. adjective
1.occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time: late frosts; a late spring.
2.continued until after the usual time or hour; protracted: a late business meeting.
3.near or at the end of day or well into the night: a late hour.
4.belonging to the time just before the present moment; most recent: a late news bulletin.
5.immediately preceding the present one; former: the late attorney general.

break [breyk] Show IPA verb, broke or ( Archaic ) brake; bro·ken or ( Archaic ) broke; break·ing; noun verb (used with object) smash, split, or divide into parts violently; reduce to pieces or fragments: He broke a vase. infringe, ignore, or act contrary to (a law, rule, promise, etc.): She broke her promise. dissolve or annul (often followed by off ): to break off friendly relations with another country. fracture a bone of (some part of the body): He broke his leg. lacerate; wound: to break the skin.
When you are writing, be mindful of your audience

In today’s global world - books, like anything else, can and will cross borders. If your goal is to sell internationally, keep in mind words or phrases common to English speaking countries, or Americans only, will probably not be common to other areas. Know thy audience.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

And We’re Back

It’s been a bit since we had a blog running. It happens. Then some techy issues with integrating with our website. But it appears we’ve found a work around! Yay!


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