Steak House

A Place Where People Can Share Their Ideas
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#Write about things that you care about and are important to you. Only then will other people care about what you write. #writingtips #tipsonbeingawrite  #creativewriting

Don’t hang around with people who are negative and who are not supportive of your writing. Make friends with writers so that you have a community. Hopefully, your community of writer friends will be good and they’ll give you good feedback and good criticism on your writing but really the best way to be a writer is to be a writer
Augusten Burroughs: On who to hang out with…

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In recent years, less and fewer people are visiting bookstores to buy their books. They’ve resorted to online shopping, which has proved to be more convenient and less stressful as oppose to visiting a traditional book store. If this was 20 years ago, getting your book published and featured…

I update my Facebook page weekly with quirky and useful writing tips and blog posts to help you become a better writer. Come on over and say hello.

In recent years, less and fewer people are visiting bookstores to buy their books. They’ve resorted to online shopping, which has proved to be more convenient and less stressful as oppose to visiting a traditional book store. If this was 20 years ago, getting your book published and featured in a book store under ‘New Releases’ would have been enough. This is because 20 years ago before tablets, e-readers, and smartphones, people were actually visiting book stores to buy their books.

Now things have changed, and continue to change.

Traditional publishing is being replaced by e-readers and print-on-demand books. Therein, this change the way authors’ books are promoted.

It used to be, the better your idea was, the better writer you were, the most original your voice was, and the more radical your writing proved to be, the higher your chances of your manuscript being published. That isn’t the case anymore.

Now-a-days, many publishers are interested in publishing authors who have a lot of experience in D.I.Y. marketing. In simpler terms, publishers are really interested in manuscripts by authors if they’ve already proven that they can stomp with the big dogs. The less money publishers have to spend marketing you, the happier they are. If you think about it, when you walk into book stores you usually see posters hanging and cardboard stands promoting various authors’ books. Well, those posters and cardboard fixation cost money, as does ink…..

Do you get it?

If a publisher were to look you up online either by your name or even by your already independently published e-book, and you popped up on page one with enough links, webbing back to you and your work, the more interested they are in you. This shows them that you are serious about your work and that undoubtedly you know what you are doing.

So then, if you want to go through with traditional publishing, just keep the above pointers in mind. Have a track record already (sales, search engine ranking, fans, etc…) to let them know that in the end, you will save them money all the while making them a decent profit at the end of the day.

I hope this was helpful. Be sure to like, comment, share, and subscribe to receive regular writing tips and posts weekly.

Thanks for reading

Lasheda

We live in the 21st century, the information age, where anyone can hop on the internet and search for any and everything of interest to them. All they need is a computer and internet connection, and in less than a minute they will have access to tons of blogs, websites, videos, and pictures of whatever their hearts desire.

With that being said, if you are looking to publish independently, that is without the traditional publish house contract, rules, and regulations, now is the time to do it. When it comes to publishing independently, the best platform to use is the internet, and let me tell you why. As I already mentioned, the internet community is rapidly growing everyday, with millions of people surfing the web looking for information, products, and services that fit their needs. It has been said that the estimated number of Facebook users, from the time of its inception until now, can be likened to a populated country. In other words, if Facebook wanted to, it could formulate itself into an online, virtual country with enough citizens to rule over. The same goes for Twitter and Pintrest. If the number of social media users were ever combined to be added and calculated, the number would reach over a billion.

This means that as an independent author, you have the opportunity to sell your book online, to millions of people interested in your writing without spending tons of money on advertisement, and without having to pay a publishing company a huge percentage of every book you sale. With tons of self-publishing and indie-author websites zipping through cyberspace, just waiting for you to click on and tap into, making money from your passion has never been this easy.

See, here is the thing about traditional publishing companies. Believe it or not, but in the year 2011, in the United States alone, there were only a little bit over 250,000 books published with traditional publishing companies. That is such a small percentage compared to the countless number of books people published independently using the internet that same year. That means out of the thousands manuscripts sent in to publishing companies for review only about 2-5 manuscripts were published through major publishing houses.

The truth is, traditional publishing companies are not going to publish your manuscript if they don’t deem it worthy to publish.

Several factors determine whether or not a publishing house publishes an author’s book.

1. How marketable is your book?

2. How much money can be made from sales?

3. How much money do they have to spend publishing and advertising your book?

These are three important questions that many publishing houses ask when considering whether or not to print a manuscript. And if you sent your manuscript in to a traditional publishing company, rest assure that if your manuscript make it farther than the other thousands manuscripts they become bombarded with, they ask the exact same questions regarding your manuscript.

So then, what makes a book marketable in the eyes of traditional publishing companies? Stay tuned for the next post answering that question.

I hope that this post we helpful. Be sure to like, comment, share, and subscribe.

Thanks a lot- Lasheda

In the context of writing, narrative is defined as relating a series of events within a writing composition. The narrative of a story is what keeps it going because it explains what is happening as the story progress from beginning, middle, climax, and all the way to the conclusion. Having a narrative is what shapes a story and gives it purpose. It is why the story was written to begin with. Narratives explain the motives that are behind the actions outlined within the writing. At times, they offer lessons and insight into certain occurrences.

There are three main qualities of good writing. They include:
1. Freshness
2. Sense of style
3. Effective Organization

Let’s tackle each one at a time.

Freshness in writing means to present a new and fresh idea in your writing, or to take an old idea and present it in a new way with a new meaning.
To be completely honest, there really isn’t one topic someone hasn’t written about or address. New ideas and information are scarce, yet and still, freshness in writing can be accomplished by taking an old idea and putting a twist on it to present it in a new and unique way.

Having a sense of style in writing refers to what words are used. By using powerful and vigorous words, a writer can convey their ideas strongly, and they will stick in the readers mind much longer. The message should be related clearly in order for readers to follow the happenings of the writing.

Effective organization is essential as it makes for an easy read. All literary writing should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. These can be translated into: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
The introduction of a writing is meant to grab readers attention and spark their interest. The body expands on the ideas presented in the intro; it delivers the main message. The conclusion wraps everything up, leaving readers satisfied with the end result, rather than cutting them bluntly.

Freshness, style, and organization will vary greatly depending what kind of writing is being written. Yet and still, when it comes to literature and essays, the above can determine whether or not the writing is good.

What else do you think constitutes good writing? Share it here. Be sure to comment and share this post with others. Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful.
Until next time,
Lasheda

Don’t ever compliment me by insulting other women. That’s not a compliment, it’s a competition none of us agreed to.

jaythenerdkid (via escapedgoat)

"it’s a competition none of us agreed to"  I want to give the author of this quote the hardest dap ever. 

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In this world, there are two types of people: men and women. Both sexes posses characteristics and traits distinctly different, yet unique to each other. This isn’t to say that we are all mindless robots programmed to express only what we’ve been designed to feel. While we are all individuals and one-of-a-kind whatever our gender may be, it still stands to reasons that for the most part men and women exhibit certain traits and characteristics designated to their genders.

If you were given a novel size book to read, with no book cover, no title, and no author name printed on it, do you think as you read the book, you would be able to identify whether or not the author was a male or female?

I didn’t write this post to show that the psychological differences between male and female should be measured on a scale of which gender is better than the other. These differences just provide a different perspective, a unique view of the world seen through the eyes of male and female.

Below, I will list a few psychological characteristics that differentiate males from females and vice verse.

Male vs. Female

For the most part, women are better at communicating than men. Science shows that the female frontal lobe, which works to solve problems, and the limbic cortex is a bit larger than in males. This not only allow women to excel in problem solving, but it also adds the element of women being a tad bit more emotional than men. To relieve stress, women find it easier to talk about their problems instead of keeping them bottled in, which is what many men to.

Men prefer to solve their problems alone. They are very independent and their masculine attitude and approach to life makes them believe that in order to be a man, they must take care of whatever problems are present in their own life without the help of someone else.

The truth is, on a large-scale, men and women process information differently from each other. Men and women solve problems differently from each other. In order for women to feel as if they are working toward finding a solution to their problems, they feel the need to express themselves verbally. If a woman comes to a man with a problem, the man will most likely give a one liner for advice. He will not feel the need to be elaborate with his words or attach any emotional aspect to his advice. And even though he only said one sentence throughout the entire conversation, to him, that one sentence contained important and meaningful advice he wouldn’t have given if he didn’t deem it important.

Here’s another difference between men and women: men tend to take more risk than women, especially when they are being watched by a female that fits their fancy. Women on the other hand, feel the need to exhibit a bit of caution and planning before jumping with both feet in.

This tid bit of information reveal that while both genders are capable of feeling the same emotions, how they process these emotions vary greatly and this can be seen in the difference between male and female writers.

While surfing the web to gather information about this post, I came across an article entitled, “Men vs. Women…Are Their Writing Styles So Different?” and it included the quote of an up and coming author named David Jarret.

“I am not being chauvinistic here, but I have a hard time reading books written by women. When I read a book I really enjoy, I become part of it. Men and women are very different in their thinking and their approach to various situations. Call it a flaw in my character if you want, but I cannot identify with a female protagonist, and I have found almost no female authors who can “get inside the head” of a male one.”

Jarret, makes a good and interesting point. For the most part, male and female can only see the world “accurately” through the eyes of their own biological makeup. If a man wants to see the world through the eyes of a women, he must put in the work to do so and gain the experience as well . Some do this by reading books about the psychology of women, while others gain the experience by building as many relationships that they can with women throughout their life course. The same thing can be said about women wanting to understand the male psyche.

For some readers, they can’t connect with the author’s story and characters because whether they understand it or not, the author has not appealed to their biological makeup. If a man reads a book written by a woman, he most definitely will not understand it from the perspective of a female reader. The same holds true with a woman reading a book written by a male.

When women write, they write for other women. When men write, they write for other men.

Why can that be said? Because for both sexes, it is natural to see the world from their biological makeup.

Take for example, the French writer Gustave Flaubert‘s debut novel, Madame Bovary. Flaubert wrote narrated the lifee of a female, revealing to readers the difference between the psychology of male and female. And even though he was writing from the perspective of a woman, Flaubert does not outspokenly condemn Emma for engaging in her adulterous affairs. Here is a brief summary and analysis of the novel:

While Emma was involved in extramarital affairs as many men were in France at that time, she only found momentary enjoyment. This was because what she was searching for was true and lasting love. For men, it is easy for them to engage in fleeting relationships, end them, and have no emotional attachments. This can be seen in the example when Rodolphe left Emma. He viewed her as all of the other mistresses he had possessed in the past. They had all declared their love for him and he had promised each one that he would be theirs forever—that was until he had gotten bored and decided to end the relationship. In contrast, when Emma attempted to do the same as Rodolphe had done to her to Leon, she could not bring herself to do it. She wanted to do things as men (particularly end her relationship with Leon as Rodolphe had ended theirs with her in the fashion of a man) but because she possessed the mentally of a woman, she could not; in the end, she wanted love more than anything else.

The letter in which she had written to end her and Leon’s relationship amounted to nothing. And when the love she had initially felt for Leon died, she realized that what she was looking for she did not find. She went away empty-handed. Emma’s mental capacity becomes weak with every lustful endeavor she treks upon. This is because she wanted to taste the excitement of freedom 19th century French men had. She became dissatisfied with her lavish buying and her relationship with Leon. Emma made it difficult not only for herself, but also for Leon. Since she was always striving for new pleasures and adventure, he never seemed to know how to please her or what to do to rekindle the flame of love. And because of this, Emma perceived his efforts as mediocre and boring. Therefore she left the relationship dissatisfied and even more desperate than before.

In relation to the discontentment Emma felt toward her loveless marriage and the restlessness of her spirit as a mother, she constituted herself to adulterous inclinations. A reason for this is that Emma eagerly sought to find the thing that could fill the void she acquired as a married woman. Numerous times in the novel she related in word and deed what standard French women lived under. After the birth of her daughter, Emma contemplated on the life her daughter would be forced to live. Flaubert explained it with this statement, “A man, at least, is free; he may travel over passions and over countries, overcome obstacles, taste of the most far-away pleasures. But a woman is always hampered. At once inert and flexible, she has against her the weakness of the flesh and legal dependence. Her will, like the veil of her bonnet, held by a string, flutters in every wind; there is always some desire that draws her, some conventionality that restrains.” (Part II Chp. 3) And so it was with this statement that Emma committed adultery.

In the end, Emma did not find the emotional sanctification she so longed for, and Flaubert showed the distinct difference in the psychology of men and women.

All of that to say this:

Men and women are different psychologically and their outlooks on life and responses differ based on their gender. At times, both genders can switch perspectives so to speak, only momentarily and see life from the eyes of the other, yet in the end, when women write, they write for other women.

Be sure to comment, like, and share :)

More often than not, writers who take their manuscripts to be read over by publishers are told something like this, “I am looking for a writer who has a distinctive voice.”

What do they mean, when they say they are looking for a writer who has a distinctive voice?

Some mistakenly combine the meanings of voice and style into one. They reason that their voice as a writer reflects their syntax.

There are many who beg to differ with the above definition and I’m one of them. I believe that style should be defined separately from voice. The style of a writing is more than the arrangement of words the author use to convey their thoughts. Voice, on the other hand, is the perspective in which the author see and explain the issues presented in their writing.

Let’s put it this way: Would you be able to discern an authors work based on the writing style of the passage? Not necessarily. Why? Because in most cases, depending on what the subject matter is and what form the subject is being written, different styles, or different composition of words will be used.

However, if you were told to distinguish writers from each other based on their voice, you would probably have an easier time doing so. Why? Because a writers voice, or distinctive way of looking at the world, is what will set them apart from other writers.

For example, if a group of four writers were told to express their thoughts in regards to the issue of abortion, each writer will write about abortion from whatever perspective they may choose from. One may choose to write about the subject matter from the perspective of the woman getting the abortion, while another may write about the issue from the perspective of the fetus. Yet and still, another may choose to write about it from the perspective of the doctor performing the procedure, while the last writer decides to write about the matter from the viewpoint of the father of the child. Regardless of whichever perspective each writer choose to write from, one thing will remain constant with each of them: their voice. Their voice is what makes them stand out from each other and exemplifies their originality.

A writer’s voice should be distinctive and unique among their counterparts.

So then, how do you go about developing a voice?

Developing A Voice

A Writers Digest article written September 12, 2013 provides a little help on developing a voice:

“How can you develop your voice? To some extent it happens all by itself. Stories come from the subconscious. What drives you to write, to some extent, are your own unresolved inner conflicts. Have you noticed your favorite authors have character types that recur? Plot turns that feel familiar? Descriptive details that you would swear you have read before (a yellow bowl, a slant of light, an inch of cigarette ash)? That is the subconscious at work.

You can facilitate voice by giving yourself the freedom to say things in your own unique way. You do not talk exactly like anyone else, right? Why should you write like everyone else?” -Writers Digest, 9/12/13

Take for a moment to formulate a real life example–your example.

Who is your favorite author? What books have you read by them? After reading their stories, did you notice recurring details, plots, and characterizations?

Ellen Hopkins is an author whose books have recurring themes and characterization. When you pick up one of her books, you can expect to meet damaged and marred characters, living in scenarios that require them to loose themselves at the expense of their inner most pleasures and desires or other people’s inner most pleasures and desires.

The point is, having your own voice as a writer is important. It is what sets you apart from all other writers in this world, and it gives you the opportunity to express yourself in a way that is comfortable to you. With that, I encourage you if you haven’t already to work at producing and perfecting your voice as a writer.

Thanks for reading and be sure to comment, like, and share.

Not sure that style is? No biggie. Read this short post and find out what it is.

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Lasheda Harper (@LashedaHarper) March 11, 2014

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Lasheda Harper (@LashedaHarper) March 10, 2014

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