Aspects of Writing with James Kelly, Marketing Yourself and Your Work

aspects of writingUse Your Journal to Dramatically Improve Your Writing — The Easy Way

By Will Kalif

If you are keeping a journal on a regular or even semi-regular basis, you have made a great step toward developing your skills as a writer. But, you are probably only using a small part of what a journal can be. You need to take the next step in journal writing and make your journal work for you. Here are some practical tips on how to do that.

Your journal is a place where you put down your thoughts and ideas and this is a great way to keep the creativity flowing and to keep you writing on a regular basis. But thoughts and ideas are not the only things that go into writing fiction. Your fiction takes place in a world and it has people in it. In order for you to successfully communicate your story to your reader you have to create a world that is tangible and people that are believable. These aspects of writing are just like any other aspect in that they takes practice and your journal is the perfect place for you to practice. Here are some basic and easy exercises that will develop your skill as a writer through your journal writing.

Add Descriptive Writing to your Journal

Make a concerted attempt to describe things in your environment. This is a good practical exercise that will help you find your voice in your writing. Writing for an audience means being able to describe your created world to them accurately. You should practice this in your journal and it can be as simple as choosing any object and writing about it.

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Here are several different techniques for descriptive writing.

1. Describe things – This is an important skill because the description of things can enhance your story. And it makes use of one of the most important rules in writing: “Show don’t tell” Here is an example of two sentences about a pencil:

The writer held a yellow pencil in his hand.

The faded yellow pencil the writer held in his hand was pockmarked with dozens of bite marks, and its eraser was worn right down to the metal band.

In the first sentence the reader understand the situation. But in the second sentence the reader gets an insight into the writer. This is much better than telling your reader that the writer in the story is a nervous type that frequently erases his work and is prone to biting his pencil.

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2. Describe Environments

Choose any environment and describe it. Start with the room you are writing in then move outward. As you move about your daily life take note of the different environments that you pass through. Describe these in your journal. Remember that this is not an exercise in storytelling. It is an exercise in building a believable world with your writing. And you should do this exercise in two different ways. First do it as you look at the environment you are in. Second you should do it from the memory of an environment that you are not currently in. It is amazing how radically different your perspective of an environment can be between your eyes and your memory.

3. Describe people

This is the most important aspect of description. A good description of a person can tell your reader much about the character. Choose a person you know and write a description of him. Don’t just describe his face, describe his body and his gait. Describe the mannerisms he has. Does he use his hands when he talks? Do his arms swing when he walks? What other things should you describe? Remember that your description of him will paint a picture in your reader’s mind.

Aspects of Writing with James Kelly, Guests – Jodi Ambrose, Helen Havlin OReilly and Chris Hammer and co-host Dana Micheli and Janet Coursey.

Add Dialogue to Your Journal

Another skill that you should develop in your writing is the art of dialogue. What your characters say and how they say it can either enhance a story or confuse it. You should practice writing lots of dialogue. Here are some good techniques for incorporating this painlessly into your journal.

1. You should first practice writing dialogues that you have overheard. Do this from memory. What did each person say? And what were the responses and counter responses.

2. You should also practice making your own conversations. This is what you will do in your writing so you should practice it a lot.

Blend Dialogue and Description Together

old-28701_150Now try to put the techniques together. Imagine two people engaged in a conversation. Tell your reader the conversation and show your reader the mannerisms of each speaker. Use your descriptions of the speakers and their surroundings to enhance the meaning of the conversation.

Remember that the greatest thing a writer has to offer is his ability to observe and then to think about his observations and communicate those thoughts. But the first thing you have to do is observe. Don’t just use your journal as a way to put down your thoughts and ideas.

How should you integrate these new techniques into your journal writing?

Don’t change your current habit of journal writing. When you take out your journal write in it the same way you always have. Let your thoughts and ideas flow. But, when you feel that you are done with your journal writing for the day go a little bit further and append one of these techniques to it. Add a paragraph describing something or someone or add a paragraph of created conversation. This will add a little bit of time to your journal writing but it will help you quickly develop some new skills as a writer.

Will Kalif is the author of two self-published epic fantasy novels. You can download free samples of his work at his personal website:
Storm The Castle – Creativity and Fantasy with an edge

Or you can visit his site devoted to fantasy on the web at:
The Webs Fantasy Guide

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Aspects of Writing with James Kelly, Marketing Yourself and Your Work

Aspects of Writing with James Kelly, Guests - Jodi Ambrose, Helen Havlin O'Reilly and Chris Hammer and co-host Dana Micheli and Janet Coursey.

Webinar: Self Publishing a Children’s Book

Webinar with international best selling author and illustrator Jo Linsdell about self publishing a childrens picture book. Whats covered: – Why you should …

Webinar: Self Publishing a Children's Book

Webinar with international best selling author and illustrator Jo Linsdell about self publishing a children's picture book.

What's covered:

- Why you should consider self publishing.
- The process of creating children's picture books.
- What your audience wants.
- Marketing children's books

How to Self-Publish A Book

Book Publishing Secrets: Interview with Gwen Knight, author of ‘A Hunter’s Passion’ (via Book Publishing Secrets: How to Publish Your Book!)

Our guest today is Gwen Knight, author of A Hunter’s Passion and is published by Harlequin.  She is here to give her experiences with a traditional publisher. Starving Writer todayThank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. 

CLICK for more self-publishing info: http:www.publishingsolo.comlandingpagenew-publishing-development How to Publish a Book Publishing SOLO is putting o…

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How To Self Publish Your Own eBook Or Print Book

How to Self-Publish a Non-Fiction Book and Become a Successful Author

By Irina Webster

Get PublishedSelf-publishing process of a successful non-fiction book can be subdivided in 7 logical steps. I use this process in writing my books and it proved to be very useful. Also, I know many other prominent authors who follow these steps religiously while creating their books.

These 7 steps suit non-fiction books best. While fiction writing and marketing process is similar – there are some differences and you can read about them in our next article which talks about fiction writing.

But now, let’s start with the steps…

1. To write a non-fiction best-seller you must know the reasons “why” you want to write a book.

Many authors don’t even think why they want the book they just start writing anyway. But your outcome for the book depends heavily on your reasons “why”. From personal experience, I noticed that most people write books for reasons like:

-leaving a legacy

-increasing credibility and authority in a certain area

-stand out from the competition.

-promote a cause or something they believe in

-make money by creating an income stream.

-create a business around it.

So, before you set out on your exciting adventure of book writing, think seriously why you need a book.

2. You must choose a great topic with a huge crowd of followers.

This one is simple to understand. Even if you write the best book in the world but there are only a few people who are interested in the topic – then you will never have a best-seller. You may sell one or two books to your friends and that will be it.

Therefore, before you start, check out who you are going to sell the book to and how many people in the world will be interested in buying it.

3. Write the book yourself or get it written for you.

Get your book onto their shelfIf you want the book for credibility or for other business purposes you can outsource the writing bit of the process. There are many ghost-writers out there who are happy to write a book for a fee. In fact, many books you see in shops nowadays are written by ghost writers. But if you decide to do it yourself then, you should consider these elements:

– write a grabbing and concise title and subtitle

-research on the topic and find out what people want to know about, so you can make the book interesting for the reader.

– outline the chapter’ name in logical sequence

– write the content chapter by chapter

– write a table of content, glossary, index, forward etc.

– proofread and edit (it is better be done by someone professional rather than yourself).

4. Make the covers of your book and decide on other graphics, photos or pictures.

The front cover is one of the most important selling points for your book. Spend as much time as you need to create a unique front cover. It should include the title and subtitle, author’s name and relevant graphics.

The back cover is the second most important part of your book. It should include: a blurb, testimonials, barcode and ISBN.

Remember!!! The front cover should give the buyer the first impression of your book. You only have 4 seconds to do this. If in that time if your reader is not attracted to your book he will put it back on the shelf and continue browsing other books.

5. Get the book published.

Get Published: Take your book from manuscript to the masses with self-publishing and print-on-demand from CreateSpace.

Look for a publishing company you can trust and where you are able to keep all the rights to your book yourself.

Warning!!! Many companies you find on-line charge you for publishing your book and also take some or all of your rights from you. Many authors have been caught like this.

Always remember that self-publishing is about keeping all the rights to your book. So, when you start dealing with companies who claim to help you with publishing – check them out and ask about your rights and read all the contracts properly. Never sign anything that you find that is not understandable to you.

6. Create a marketing plan.

Marketing is the king of publishing. Even the best book in the best topic area will not do you any good if it is not marketed properly. You can hire a marketing expert to promote the book for you which can be expensive. Either way you choose (with a marketing expert or without one) you need to prepare a press kit to make yourself ready for any media opportunities.

A Press kit should include:

-short biography related to the book

-PR (press release, one page long)

-professional photos of yourself

– a few credible testimonials about your book

Create a monthly residual income self publishing your own book.

Now look for any opportunities that arise in the press on your books topic then send press releases out, call the local or national radio, check out journalists to contact etc. Make sure that everything you do is relevant to the topic of your book. Relevancy is the one of most important things in the media.

7. And of course you should shamelessly promote yourself on-line and off-line.

Create a web-site, blog, write and distribute articles, make a Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn account related to your book.

Become a public speaker and speak about your topic. Remember, that your speeches should include selling. Offer your book every time you speak.

To conclude, if you follow and implement all the 7 steps I described above, I guarantee your book will be well on the way to becoming a best-seller. Just try and see for yourself!

Dr Irina Webster MD is an author, public speaker and publisher. She owns a publishing company – Australian Self Publishing Group. If you want to know how to self-publish a book go to

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