We are very pleased to announce that our author, Mick Bennett, will be hosted at the Belmar Public Library for their “Breakfast with the Author” event to discuss and read from his Belmar Series! Eat, mingle, and ask questions about Mick Bennett’s books while experiencing Belmar first hand.
“Breakfast with the Author”
Location: 517 10th Ave, Belmar, NJ 07719
Date & Time: December 3, 2016, beginning at 10AM and ending at 12PM.
Unfamiliar with his series? Check out his books:
Missing You in Belmar, NJ
We are also providing coupons for half off his first book exclusively for this event! Stop by the library and pick up a business card that includes information about this event and the coupon.
Cliches, the very things that strike fear into the hearts of writers. “Oh, look, you’ve used a...cliche!” *gasps from everyone reading your manuscript. The world that you have built is unravelling word by word...* Okay, we get the point, cliches are bad. But must they always be the villain when it comes to writing? If used correctly, I believe that they can, in fact, become a powerful writing tool.
What is a cliche? It’s one of those “you know it when you see it” concepts (hey, a cliche!). The actual definition from Dictionary.com is “a trite, streotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.” Here are a few examples of cliches that you’ve probably heard of:
And here’s a list of 681 cliches to avoid when writing.
Be wary about cliches popping up into your writing, but don’t feel like you can never use a cliche. Cliches are powerful because of their notoriety and, as a good writer, you want to be original. So make a cliche an original piece of writing by changing them slightly. The infamy of these phrases will allow you to subvert the expectations of the reader and surprise them. Check out these examples:
Each of these cliches has been changed slightly, emphasising the point being made and drawing the reader’s eye.
I caution excessive use of this technique to keep it fresh and original in your writing. As long as you use it sparingly, your writing will instantly become more witty. So give it a try!
You’ve probably heard of and played apps such as Candy Crush and Pokemon Go. You probably use Facebook and Twitter to obsessively check your social media accounts. And, I guess, you probably use your phone to call and text. Well my fellow writers, take a break from crushing candy because I’m going to tell you that your smartphones and tablets can go beyond simple entertainment and communication. They can become a tool to improve your writing. Below, I have listed writing apps that I believe every writer should have on their smartphone or tablet:
Friends is one of the greatest TV shows ever; there is no doubt about it. Since it is on Netflix and you are probably binge-watching it while reading this, use the storyline for inspiration.
All of the friends at one point or another lose their job. Take a trial like the loss of work to challenge a character, especially mentally as many Americans find value solely in their work. Force the character to find value in family, friends, or a hobby that inspires them.
People love to hang out at the same place over and over again. It becomes a daily or weekly ritual for some people. You can use it for normal purposes, hard conversations, awkward dates, or first jobs.
Take life’s occurrences like marriage and children to place strains on relationships. No marriage is perfect and kids struggle. Use these as growing processes for relationships or personal growth.
There are so many situations that you can use from this wonderful show. Take ideas from Ross and Rachel’s relationship or how Chandler and Monica came together. You can even match Rachel and Joey’s attempt not working but staying friends after an awkward period. Chandler switches from a job that paid well to a job he actually enjoyed after searching. Monica goes from being a sous chef to a head chef after many years.
Having a group of close friends makes for many funny and amazing moments. Use points of view from each of the friends for a drastic but intriguing feel. Get into each person’s mind and compare situations from opposite viewpoints.
Friends is more than a group of friends hanging out; it is a journey through life. Take life’s crazy moments from the show and use them to inspire your own character’s life. Just remember life’s a journey and so is the story you write.
There's been a lot of buzz in the office about having our authors write a few blog posts for The Buzz, and we've decided to go ahead with that idea. If you are an author who has published with us, then you are cordially invited to submit a post on anything you desire.
Topics are limitless and they do not have to be restricted to writing or publishing. We want your voices here with us! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many times writer’s block takes hold of a writer and nothing can get done. But changing up topics or genres of writing can bring one past writer’s block. It is also difficult writing about the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable.
One of the main ways to grow as a writer is to write about the unfamiliar or the unnatural. No one wants to do it, but it can make a huge difference in personal growth. Now, if you don’t have any training in these other genres or topics, it may be beneficial to take some classes or join a professional group. Once you take a class in a new topic, whether it be politics, journalism, literature, the arts, or insurance, you can expand your craft. Engaging in these new topics will grow your knowledge of the area and possibly bring in some new work too. Practice writing in various styles and voices in these new topics and it will become much easier to do so.
Once you do this for a while, reach out to different publications and see if there is any work available. This will improve your writing ability and build confidence in your craft. It might also bring in some extra funds while building a portfolio in different topics. Practice makes perfect, as they say. Use this practice to your advantage and reap the rewards from gaining knowledge and honing your craft.
Imagine as a writer that your friend gives you their manuscript and you’re expected to offer feedback, i.e. to criticise it. For many of you, you don’t have to imagine this cause it’s already happened. You don’t want to hurt their feelings but you also have a duty to help improve their work. Now, how to go about writing a critique letter without totally demolishing the moral of the author? Let's be honest, any kind of criticisms you give will hurt, even just a little bit. The best thing you can do is lessen the impact and here’s how.
The very first thing your critique letter should have is a summary of the manuscript. A general summary should suffice. Why? As the person who wrote it shouldn’t they know what it’s about? Not only does a summary show that you’ve read their manuscript, but what you understood and took away from the author’s story. From your summary alone, the author can pinpoint some of their strongest scenes and determine if the story they want to get across is actually being conveyed.
Over the past few years, we have discovered that print books will never be overcome by e-books. That is great news, but still people forget where to find print books to read. The library has had its ups and downs, but it will never leave us. Libraries provide readers with thousands of books to read, free of charge. They may not have the absolute latest books, but if you have a good library, they should come in soon. It is a great place to discover books on prize lists, like the Man Booker or the Pulitzer. Librarians should have great recommendations, too. They may recommend many unknowns, having read these wonderful books themselves.
Libraries are also a great place to meet fellow readers and writers. They normally have plenty of space for gathering, comfortable seats, and the smell of old books is always a plus. There is peace and quiet for a group to read and discuss together, as long as you don’t make too much noise yourself.
The sanctity of the library remains real. It is much more than a place that only a few go to anymore. It has more books than most read in their lifetimes, while having some of the most knowledgeable people at your disposal. Take the time to go to your neighborhood public library, pick up a card, and grab as many books as you can. It is going to make you well-read, and it will be more than worth it.
As the second release in our Rapid Fire Series, we are pleased to announce Michael Overa's short story collection The Filled In Spaces.
About the Collection
The stories in the Filled In Spaces investigate the intersecting lives of strangers and acquaintances, acknowledging that we are all a background character in someone else’s story. The stories investigate the nature of relationships and friendships.
About Michael Overa
Michael Overa is a writer out of the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Michael Overa on our authors pages.
You can also follow him on social media here: