“The Last Post”

Farewell. Adieu. Ciao. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen. Yes. This is my final Post for Transplanted Heads: Your Muse Can’t Write Worth Sh*t. It’s been a wonderful year and I’ve enjoyed sharing what I learned over the years. Much of what I shared I learned through attending the meetings and workshops of Canadian Authors Association – National Capital Region Branch. (That’s Ottawa.) http://canadianauthors.org/national/ I also learned a tremendous amount about writing when editing other writers’ projects at http://crowecreations.ca/ . Why did IRead more

Don’t Muzzle Your Characters

(Excerpt from Really Stupid Writing Mistakes: How to Avoid Them) Many of us are sweet people who write the most gentle of stories, poems, and prose. We speak softly and would never dream of offending anyone. It isn’t in us to do so. We are genuine. We are thoughtful. We wouldn’t dream of being politically incorrect even in our own nightmares. We are not uninformed. We watch the news on TV. We hear stories of murder and mayhem and earthquakesRead more

Let’s Get Started

(Excerpt from Really Stupid Writing Mistakes: How to Avoid Them) Blank page. Blinking cursor . . . Now what? As an illustration, I’ll use one of my own genres, horror. In a way, the horror genre is an easy one to work with, but in another way, it’s extremely difficult because everything’s already been done to death — there are only so many monsters, only so many ways you can kill somebody. When I speak of horror, I refer toRead more

Taming the e-Monster

Creating a project to upload as a print book is a relatively simple procedure: design the book save it as a PDF upload it An E-Book Is a Different Creature What’s the difference? A print book is a physical being; an e-book is a nebulous changeling whose form depends entirely on the e-reader it’s downloaded into. The more-popular readers are Kindle, Kobo, and NOOK and the many distributors of e-books have their favourites. Smashwords has a huge list of distributors:Read more

Do-It-Yourself Publishing

Offset Printing Back in the days when I was typesetting, there was only one [modern] way to print a book. The process produced galleys* — long strips of photographic paper with “type” (set up in required font, point size, column width, etc.) — that the artists would trim, wax and paste onto perfectly measured and marked sheets of paper. These in turn would become photographic negatives that were “burned” onto thin metal plates which would be wrapped around the hugeRead more

Indie Publishing

Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing With the advent of the Personal Computer (the PC) came the downfall of the book industry in its original state. I was a typesetter from the late 60s to the late 80s. The process from an author’s mind to the final product, The Book, was long and involved. The author typed, retyped, used Wite-Out®, scissors and Scotch® tape to produce a physical manuscript. S/He made last-minute hand-written notes in the margins and sent it offRead more

When Do My Millions Start Rolling In?

Filthy Rich or Rolling in It? Self-publishing rarely brings in millions of dollars. With Traditional Publishing, bringing in millions is rare as well, but we have a better chance at it. Then Increase the Odds Back when I was editing, to a [wo]man, a first-time author would exclaim after the editing process was over: “Thanks be! That was really hard.” I would reply with: “To that comment, I always reply with: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haRead more

I Don’t Know How to Finish

I Can’t Believe it! I’ve written a book! I’ve created people who ran around and did things, loved each other, hated each other, saved each other from danger. I love them ALL! Yesss! But I can’t seem to stop going back into their lives and “fixing” this and “fixing” that. Just in case. Two posts ago (“Blame it on Writer’s Block”), I wrote: We need to choose one story/book/article and be faithful to it until the end. When we getRead more

I Don’t Know How to Start

I was looking after the book table at a colleague’s launch last year when a woman approached me and very quietly told me: “I want to write a book but I can’t seem to get started. How do you start?” I asked: “Do you know what it’s about?” “Yes.” “Do you know who’s in it?” “Pretty much. Yes.” “And you’re having trouble starting it.” A nod. “Do you know how it ends?” She brightened up. “Yes! Of course I do.”Read more

Blame it on Writer’s Block

  Back in the old days when writers wrote things out in longhand then either typed these pages up themselves or paid out good money to have someone else do it for them, it must have felt like they couldn’t change a single word without causing a great deal of anguish. Enter the computer. No more need for Wite-Out® or scissors and Scotch® tape. We could cut and paste and re-type to our hearts’ content. Hooray! Life is good! SoRead more