[authorme] PUBLISHING EMERGING WRITERS, APRIL, 2008

  • From: "Bruce Cook, AuthorMe.com" <cookcomm@xxxxxxx>
  • To: authorme@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 19:44:06 -0700 (PDT)

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   In this issue...
  
THE WRITER'S CRITICAL SENSE -  Bruce Cook
  BEST TITLE FOR YOUR MANUSCRIPT - Bruce Cook

PLEASE SUBMIT STORIES FOR THE NEW AUTHOR-INDIA.COM!
      (submit to cookcomm@xxxxxxx - marked Author-India)

  
===========================================================
  
THE WRITER'S CRITICAL SENSE
  By Bruce l. Cook
   
  Like any professional, a writer carries a heavy burden.
   
  The writer practices (and has practiced for years) to sharpen writing skills. 
Similarly, a musician rehearses for hours in secluded, echoing rooms. While the 
musician ends this practice in a public performance, the writer faces a mixed 
audience 
  
In a public performance, a musician might receive criticism, but more often the 
criticism is internal. The performer needs no help in knowing whether it's time 
to try out for ?American idol.?
   
  For the writer, internal criticism is usually absent at first. A teacher will 
make corrections, but cannot be expected to rewrite everything. However, at 
some point, the writer needs to build an internal monitor, a critical sense 
that offers an over-the-shoulder watch on the writing.
   
  Meanwhile, the writer faces several distractions. The writer might view the 
finished work in published form and then conclude that no further refinement is 
needed. Also, the writer's friends and family might offer praise, giving the 
author false hopes, for example saying, ?This should be published in a book. 
Why don't they publish it??
   
  Further, no matter how well the writer develops writing skills, 
disappointment abounds in the marketplace. Publishers seldom consider a new 
writer?s work. A prospective employer who truly needs to hire workers with high 
writing skills simply takes writing skills for granted and judges the applicant 
on the basis of what might be called ?HR factors?. Also, a supervisor or family 
member might react negatively when the writer tries to improve on their 
writings. These experiences threaten the writer's sense of self worth.
   
  Ultimately, writing skill is developed through individual determination and 
perseverance. It is a lonely pursuit, driven by a quest for perfection. If the 
writer can get past the tedious ?nuts and bolts? of grammatical correctness, 
the holy grail begins to appear in the distance. For the writer, this holy 
grail comes when the writer can pour strong feelings onto paper or a screen, 
and when the reader's heart throbs in response to the exact emotions the writer 
sought to share.
   
  Then, like the musician, the writer will know when it's time for the big 
leagues.
  

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  BEST TITLE FOR YOUR MANUSCRIPT
By Bruce L. Cook
  
  
Wouldn?t you think the story?s title would be the easiest part? Wrong! Many 
writers agonize over the best title to use, and seldom feel satisfied with the 
title they finally choose. So here are some guidelines.
   
  First, create the title last. The ?working title,? which you use during 
creation, states what you planned to do in the story. The ?final title,? which 
lasts forever, is what you actually did.
   
  Second, the title should be short and catchy. It tells the reader what the 
story is about, and should appeal to the reader?s curiosity. For example, 
?Walking to School? is short, but ?Bad Onions? appeals more to the reader?s 
curiosity. 
   
  Third, the title should relate to the story?s content, and even foretell the 
conflict. For example, ?Walking to School? may explain a story?s setting, but 
not let us know that our protagonist is about to confront an angry veggie 
farmer in North Carolina. Heed this rule. I have encountered manuscripts with 
clever titles but which completely fail to tell the reader what it is about. 
Such a violation is especially serious in nonfiction.
   
  We are dealing with readers here. We select a title for the reader, and even 
(hopefully) for readers in future generations. We do not select titles to tell 
the world how clever we are. 
   
  Think of the reader as a busy person who was forced to browse a bookshelf 
because the barrista is still steaming some coffee, and this reader will glance 
at your title for a scant one second among fifty titles on a dusty book rack. 
If the reader likes Irish Setters, and if your title evokes that image ? 
gotcha! He or she buys the book along with the coffee. 
   
  Please do not think of the reader as someone who grasps your book admiringly, 
browses the pages to see why you selected the title ?Red,? and sits down with 
the book on the spot. Readers are busy, scanning critters with no mercy when it 
comes to titles.
   
  Grasp the reader?s personal interests, title-tease them into chapter one, and 
you?ll have a reader friend for life. No ?bad onions? allowed!

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 ============================================================
   
      Publishing New Writers, April, 2008 (No. 904)
      Publisher: Cook Comm - Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451,
      Dundee, IL 60118 USA.
   
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