Write for the Jugular

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Lessons My Evil Twin Taught Me

What happens when your evil twin Francois screws you over on a corporate project?

You take a lesson (or three) and get on with your life.

Read the full post at Write-Hook.com

6 Things the Academy Awards Can Teach Authors

The Oscars are more than an embarrassing stroke-a-thon. They actually can teach you a lot about being a better writer and author. If you’re paying attention.

Check out the full breakdown at www.Write-Hook.com/blog

Guest Blog: Gregory G. Allen On The Working Writer

When people ask me ‘what do you do’, isn’t it strange I still don’t say “I’m a writer”? Instead, I talk about my day job. You know – the one that pays the mortgage, the bills, and allows me to be a working writer.

But just what the heck is a working writer anyways?

Read Greg’s full blog, including how he balances his work life and his writing life, at http://www.Write-Hook.com. Click here, and make sure to leave some feedback!

Catch Scott Morgan On the Authors Show Jan. 30!

Here’s something I’m genuinely excited about: January 30 through February 1, you can catch my interview with Don McCauley of The Authors Show.

Come catch me talking about character development, as Don McCauley and I discuss my Amazon bestseller, Character Development from the Inside Out. The show is recorded, so when you tune in, it’s always live, from the beginning. Click here to tune in.

Check out my Media Appearances page for more on where I’ll be.

Fiction ‘n’ Nonfiction Sittin’ In a Tree

Writers can be a bit territorial. It takes so much of yourself to be a writer of anything that people get a little . . .  what’s the word? Prickly?

Yeah, let’s go with prickly. It’s a nicer word than “arrogant” and I’m not really trying to start trouble here. I just want to stand by nonfiction’s side and say that I sanction a peaceful coexistence between fiction and nonfiction. I like them both and they both have a right to live.

What we’ve had for some time now is tolerance between the two camps. Poop on tolerance. Tolerance is an ugly word. Tolerance means “You suck, but since I can’t do anything about you, so just don’t bother me.” What we need is acceptance.

As wars go, this one between fiction and nonfiction is delightfully non-destructive. The worst it gets is just really, really annoying. Fiction writers bust out the Rudyard Kipling (“Fiction is truth’s older sister”) to remind us that news stories, biographies, scientific fact books, and histories are all just works of opinion, really, and, therefore, are not the actual truth. Fiction, on the other hand, is pure. There are no lies, just representations of the writer’s soul.

On the other hand, nonfiction writers condescend fiction as make-believe. Not a word of it actually happened, they say — it even says so in the disclaimer that no part of the work is real. Nonfiction, therefore, is important. Instructive. Real.

Okay, everybody. . . take a breath and relax. Everything’s all right.

The disharmony, at least to me, seems to be over the words “truth” and “fact.” Truth changes, fact doesn’t. Truth is a product of its time and of those who perceive it. Who’s the nicest guy in the world? Ask ten people and you’ll get ten different answers, all of which will be the truth to the person answering. No one is lying, they all just see things differently. What’s two plus two? Ask everyone at any point in history, and they will all say four. That’s a fact.

If nonfiction, then, were to be judged on its adherence to inarguable facts, then the only true nonfiction would be mathematics books (not science books, because science changes all the time).  And that would be really boring reading. Even Einstein liked detective stories.

I make no greater point this week than this — it’s all good. Fiction has its value and nonfiction has its value. Both have their strengths and their flaws. So let’s, everybody, stop fighting over which is the more valid. It doesn’t matter.

And that’s the truth.

Visit me at www.Write-Hook.com

And follow me on Twitter too.

Guest Blog A-Comin’

I’m very excited: Novelist Melissa Foster (she’s @Melissa_Foster on Twitter) will guest-blog at http://www.write-hook.com on Sep 26: Her topic will be “Balancing Social Media and Family” bit.ly/m8J1Wz

 

Stay tuned for updates.

Friends, Followers, Connections — Lend Me Your Ears

I can tell that social marketing is a good and permanent thing, something all writers, editors, and publishers are just going to have to accept, because of how ambivalent I feel toward it. On the one hand, I love it. I’m meeting a whole crop of nice and interesting people who for the most part been helpful, instructive, and encouraging.

The question I have is, when does it stop?

Wait, let me put that another way. The real question is, how do I keep it from taking over my writing life?

A brief, but I hope helpful, example of what I mean comes from a short email exchange I just had with a new online buddy of mine who gave me a tip about networking on GoodReads. When I thanked him, I mentioned off the cuff how social media marketing and networking have become their own second job. He told me he feels the same way and added that it’s getting to the point that his creative writing self is dead, replaced only with a marketing self.

Well put. And terrifying in its own way. Recently I’ve spent a lot more time following up on social networking than actually working on my writing. And it finally has dawned on me that we are in the New World. Writers, you see, used to think they only had to write.

I don’t know if that ever was actually true, but writers today who don’t take an active part in marketing are doomed. And I’m not just saying that. If you think you’re going to just write and the world will find you because you’re brilliant, BAH-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!!!

So writers need to promote themselves, and social media platforms are the way to go. But too much marketing won’t do you any good. You’ll end up building a huge following but have nothing to offer it. Seriously, do you think your books are going to write themselves while you’re tweeting away?

In a less capitalistic vein, too much social media marketing can make you crazy. We all want broad, deep networks of friends and followers and circles and contacts, but there has to be a point at which you cut it back. My wife and I realized just yesterday that we’ve made a whole ton of new friends online, but hadn’t spent any time, just the two of us, doing anything. So we went for a bike ride. And it did our brains a world of good.

Is there a moral here? I don’t know. If there is, it’s something like this: Market your work. But remember what you’re marketing — your work. Make sure you get it done. And build your relationships. But don’t forget the ones you’ve had all along.

Stay up with the latest about Scott Morgan’s new book, Character Development from the Inside Out, right here.

And don’t forget to visit me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Goodreads