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2012 in Review: It’s Been a Pretty Eventful Year

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for me and it gave me the idea to do a bit of a retrospective. First, here is the stats report for my writing blog. I was surprised to see which post was the most popular–the one about my brother, Roger, His Smiling Eyes. Rather than talking about writing, this post is an example of my writing and has a compelling title. I suppose those are the reasons it was the most popular post of the year. Something for me to remember.

Here is the WordPress report for those who are into stats. I think it’s pretty interesting to see what stats they have chosen to report and which of my posts were most popular.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Some of the other benchmarks of my year include learning a lot about writing through two excellent critiquers and excellent writing techniques through Author Salon. I started book 2 of my trilogy, tentatively titled The Loyalist’s Luck, and went to historical fiction writer, Barbara Kyle’s workshop where we presented our first 30 pages for discussion. I got a lot of excellent feedback and can hardly wait to pick up that project and finish the first draft.

In late summer, after much deliberation, I decided to leave Author Salon and forge ahead on The Loyalist’s Wife on my own. A final work through the manuscript was invigorating and fruitful. In late October, I finished. Then I immediately began sending out a flurry of querries to agents with the hopes of snagging one, a quest I am still on. Self-publishing has also been looming on my horizons and loads of related articles have caught my attention both on the Internet and through LinkedIn author groups.

A marketing course caught my attention in August and I signed up for fellow Canadian, Danny Iny’s course. I learned a lot about blogging, writing for a purpose, and just what I needed to write to attract the audience I’m writing for. I read several books for writers and commented in various places, but the one I read for Joe Bunting at The Write Practice really made sense for me. His book was about writing short stories. I got really excited about going over my 20 or so stories and submitting them. It was energizing. I’ve sent a couple out but need to do more. One I got published in Quick Brown Fox in November.

Just this moment I’m in Victoria with family, chomping at the bit to get writing again, after 2 weeks of very little ass-in-chair time. I am back on my path, know where I’m going, and want to move ahead every day. That elusive book cover is moving closer and  closer. 2013, here I come!

Wishing you all a very productive and energizing New Year!

Consider leaving a comment with your successes for 2012 and wishes for 2013. 

Download a free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing Booklet from the link in the side column.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in General, Personal History, Writing Tips

 

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7 Super Tips from Let’s Write a Short Story!

Today’s post is for writers in general but particularly for those who wish to write short stories. If you, like me, have a few dozen folders, printed or electronic, where you’ve stored those forgotten short stories, here is the book to help. I agreed to write a review of Joe Bunting’s book but couldn’t stop putting his suggestions into practice long enough to write the review. Until I had finished the book, that is, and reread all my stories applying his suggestions to them. And I felt energized and elated like I hadn’t felt since first I learned about sex. Well, not quite that long ago, but I was certainly charged up once more with the incomparable joy of writing. Here is what I posted on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Along the line of Let’s Write a Short Story! by Joe Bunting, I’m writing this review in a list format, so that I, too, can be straight to the point, yet include a lot of information.

1.  Accountability. Joe’s book starts right out asking the reader to promise to write and submit a short story to a literary magazine. He engages his readers by making them accountable. There is a curious satisfaction in doing that as the reader feels part of the process.

2.  How-to details are succinctly described and not lost in a lot of verbiage. Sort of like a short story which must be, well, short. “Besides length, one of the major things distinguishing short stories from other literary forms is they usually feature one major event. In this way, short stories are event-driven rather than character-driven.”

3.  The book has lots of helpful links just at the point where the reader is wondering how to approach a particular suggestion. These are like footnotes, only better, as the reader has the option to click and see so much more.

4.  He covers the five elements of storytelling in a short but complete list. This is a topic about which volumes have been written. Bunting assumes his readers (writers, after all)can fill in the spaces. Again, he mimics short story style in this way.

5.  Bunting has a way of challenging the reader to be the best he/she can be. He asks “What do you have to complete to die satisfied?” Wow! Talk about a cut-to-the-heart-of-the-matter question.

6.  The book also includes mundane but absolutely necessary notes on titles, correct format, fonts, weeding out weak words, spacing, margins and correct paragraphing for short stories.

7.  Oh, and finally, Bunting gives a concise accounting of rights and their reversion back to the author. He then proceeds to show what that author might do with them.

I planned to write this review last week but got so excited about following the book’s suggestions to revamp my own short stories that I needed more time. If that isn’t a telling comment about the effectiveness of Let’s Write a Short Story!, I don’t know what is.

Consider leaving a comment about writing your own short stories, whether you’ve written dozens or none, whether you’ve published them or not, and whether you, too, have found a wonderful book about writing them.

 

 
20 Comments

Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Authors, Book Reviews, General, Writing Tips

 

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