Writing Historical Fiction? Best Tip Ever!

by @ AnnieDaylon

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Looking for a great tip for writing historical fiction?

Try this:  “Once upon a time, it was now.”

I found this pearl of wisdom in The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction by successful historical fiction authorJames Alexander ThomThom sees this concept as most effective for storytelling and has adopted it as his credo. The author, Thom says, must write as if everything is happening now, with no thought about future. He further explains:

  • “Today is now.

  • Yesterday was now.

  • Tomorrow will be now.”

How do authors of historical fiction make any time now? By taking the reader there, into that exact time.

For me, this means  that authors must provide not only authentic historical details, but also authentic character reactions. Yes, the authors know the future. Yes, the readers know the future. But the characters know nothing of the future. Authors must make readers so enmeshed that they forget the future, that they are there, now, with the characters, looking forward, experiencing the same emotions, reactions, and  uncertainty the characters do.

I am in the editing  process of Book I of a trilogy which is set on the island of Newfoundland, one hundred years ago and the phrase “Once upon a time, it was now” is never far from my mind. I am determined that my ‘once upon a time’ will be a now.

Many thanks to James Alexander Thom! 🙂

Do you have a favorite tip for writing historical fiction (or any other genre?) If so, please send it along!

 

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by including your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Many thanks!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: May, 2014

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter Picks for May, 2014:

 

  1. 13 Ways to Convince a Literary Agent to Represent You   by @Rachelle Gardner

  2. Twitter Tools: HootSuite & TweetDeck Highlights  by @laurazera via @mollygreene

  3. The Hectic Life of a Multi-Published Author  by @JodyHedlund

  4. What to expect when you attend a literary conference, trade show, or book fair by @chrisrobley @BookBaby

  5. How to Book a Successful Blog Tour  by @stephaniebond via @bkmkting

  6.  Questions about Editing by @CSLakin

  7. How to Easily Double Your Traffic from Social Media via @Mariner_Consult

  8.  Writing Tip: #23 The Notecard System  by @JakeVanderArk via @EricStoffle

  9. Smart Quotes by Ilene Strizver   (Annie here>>>I’m curious: Authors, do U use smart quotes? Do U turn them off? Which is better?)

  10. Being an Author vs. Running a Business as an Author  by @JaneFriedman

  11. What Do I Do with Random LinkedIn Connections?  by Ezra Chasser  @sorethumbnyc (Loved this post. Great info!)

  12. How to Keep Your Writing in Your Over-the-Top Busy Life: Helpful Techniques from the Experts by Mary Caroll Moore

  13. 10 Pinterest Rules Every Business Needs to Know Before Posting by Matthew Kobach

  14. Consider Advertising Your Book Locally by Richard Ridley @CreateSpace

  15.  7 Times When A Comma Has Made A MAJOR Difference  by @MaddieCrum @HuffPostbooks via @RandomHouseCA

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: April, 2014

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten oops! Twenty** Twitter picks for April, 2014:

**I usually pull 16 or 17 tweets at month end and pare down to 10. This time around, I dug up 32. So many great posts! Thus, the 20! Enjoy! 🙂

  1.  5 Marketing Strategies for Writers Who Hate Promoting Their Own Work by @HughOSmith @thewritelife

  2. So You Want To Make A Living Writing? 13 Harsh Truths.  by @Bob_Mayer

  3. How to Cheat to Find More Work Time   by @Jody Hedlund

  4. Why Author Email Addresses Make a Difference by Caitlin Muir @AuthorMedia

  5. What “Learning to Say No” Really Means by @alexisgrant

  6. The Writer’s High by Harrison Demchick  @BookBaby

  7. Productivity For Authors. Fighting Overwhelm And How I Am Refocusing My Workload by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

  8. How to Use Research to Take Content From Flimsy to Fabulous by Emily Gaines Buchler @socialmedia2day

  9.  Want to be a better writer? Read more! @HuffPostBooks

  10. I love my job, oh yes I do   @Janet_Reid (I love this agent’s blog!)

  11. Revising with the Present Perfect by Maeve Maddox  (Excellent revision tip!)

  12.  5 Tips to Speed Up Your Writing and Skyrocket Your Quality by Danny Iny @WriteToDone via @EricStoffle

  13. The Art of Creating Memorable Villains Whatever Your Genre by Lisa Alber @WriterUnboxed

  14. The Story Grid: A Writer’s Tool   by @Bob_Mayer

  15.  The 10 best books about self publishing – a reading list by Robert Wood @standoutbooks via @elizabethscraig

  16. The Complete Guide to Query Letters That Get Manuscript Requests  by @JaneFriedman

  17.  Must Have Conflict! How to Introduce Conflict into your Fiction by @CSLakin

  18. The Perfect Storm that All Writers Need to Avoid by James Chartrand  

  19.  Five Tips for Cutting through Twitter Noise: by @PGillin  @skyword via @BrianHonigman

  20.  5 Beautifully Written Books To Inspire Your Writing by Diane O’Connell @WriteToSell

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Pick of the Twitter: March, 2014

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten Twitter picks for March, 2014:

  1.  3 Reasons Aspiring Novelists Should Retreat by Diane O’Connell @WriteToSell

  2. The New Publishing Platform on LinkedIn: Why You Should Care and How to Contribute  by Stephanie Chandler @bizauthor

  3.  How To Complete Every Writing Project You Start: Become a Completion Addict by Jessica Baverstock @WriteToDone

  4. 29 Ways to Stay Creative: VIDEO INFOGRAPHIC by Dianna Dilworth @GalleyCat

  5. Book Promotions That Work by Molly Greene @mollygreene

  6. What Do Agents Like to See When They Google Writers? by Carly Watters  @carlywatters

  7. How to Find the Time in your Busy Life to Make Writing a Priority   RT @AmazonKDP via @HuffPostBooks

  8. Should You Write the Whole Book before Pitching?  by Rachelle Gardner @RachelleGardner

  9. THE VARIED EMOTIONAL STAGES OF WRITING A BOOK by Chuck Wendig  (I can relate to this! How about you?)

  10. QueryTip: Wait! Wait!  by Janet Reid @Janet_Reid

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Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

For the Love of Reading

by @AnnieDaylon

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Are you a reader? I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. I read for many reasons: escape, meditation, knowledge, meaning, and pure love of story.
What follows are some quotes about the love of reading, most of which came from two great sites: Search Quotes and Quote Garden.

 

 For the Love of Reading

  • Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere. ~ Mary Schmich

  • To read a book for the first time is to make and acquaintance with a new friend; to read if for a second time is to meet an old one. ~ Chinese Saying

  • I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve. ~ Charles De Montesquieu

  • The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. ~ Rene Descartes

  • A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. ~ George R.R. Martin

  • A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. what I began by reading, I must finish by acting. ~ Henry David Thoreau

  • I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke in me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. ~ Malcolm X

  • To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ~ John Andrew Holmes

  • The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it give you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination. ~ Elizabeth Hardwick

  • If you read a good book, you’ve got a friend for life. ~ My nephew, Matthew, at age nine.

 

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Are you a reader?
What is special about reading for you?
What books are you springing into right now?

 

 


Please subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the upper right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

P. S. If you can read this, thank a teacher. ~ Harry S. Truman

 

 

Book Club Request: Discussion Questions for “Castles in the Sand”

by @AnnieDaylon

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Just a few days ago, a Book Club contacted me saying that they have chosen my novel Castles in the Sand as their April’s read.(Pause here for dance of joy!) The group requested discussion questions and I was delighted to comply. I had not prepared such questions before but knew that character, plot, viewpoint etc., should be incorporated. I chose to share the resulting questions here (minus the spoilers) on the chance that my efforts might be of use to other authors.

 

BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION:  CASTLES IN THE SAND

1. Castles in the Sand is written in the first person from a single viewpoint, that of Justin, a homeless alcoholic. Why might the author have chosen to tell the story this way? Why is Justin’s voice so truncated?

2. The author tells the story by slipping between present and past. Why do you think the author chose to do this instead of telling the story chronologically?

3. Were you aware of the author’s subtle use of foreshadowing? (Example: At what point in Justin’s life did he learn of the existence of Steve?)

4.  In his review of Castles in the Sand, author Michael Hiebert states that “the plot hits the ground running and never lets up.” Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

5. Castles in the Sand is a cautionary tale, one of love and family, ruin and rise. The author incorporates symbols, such as the aquarium castle, to reinforce the main themes. What other symbols are prominent in the book and what do they represent?

6. Do the main characters, Justin and Steve, change by the end of the story? If so, is one arc more prominent than the other?

7. Steve is a shape shifter; both Justin and reader are kept in suspense about his motives. Eventually, Steve’s secrets are revealed. Should he have kept this secret for so long?

8. Justin feels betrayed and acts out violently. Have you dealt with someone who betrayed you? How did you respond?

9. Justin is stuck in a time warp and cannot progress until he deals with the past. There is a Buddhist proverb: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” What was the readiness factor for Justin?

10. Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?

 

If writing discussion questions, you can find help  by: talking with other authors, scanning the back pages of current novels, many of which now include such questions, and by searching on line. (Try Lit Lovers for the basics; you may even use their questions verbatim, with attribution.) 

Another suggestion: If requested to write discussion questions, jump at the chance. This activity will give you an injection of  joy and enthusiasm. You’re a writer and readers are interested in discussing your work. Celebrate!

A FREE short story is yours when you subscribe to my newsletter! Simply place your first name and email address in the box provided on the right.  Many thanks!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Pick of the Twitter: February, 2014

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten Twitter picks for February, 2014:

  1. 11 Fantastic Apps for Writers   @HuffPostBooks
  2. 5 Ways to Make Time to Write by Diane O’Connell  @WriteToSell
  3. A Quick 5-Point Checklist for Writing a Scene @JodyHedlund
  4. The (Quiet) Omniscient Narrator by Celeste Ng  @glimmertrain via @JaneFriedman
  5. Timeless Writing Tips from Successful Writers Of Our Time by Irwin Lagman  @bloggingtips
  6. Why Your Antagonist Needs a Mushy Moment  @KMWeiland
  7. A Template for Marketing Books: “The Official Self-Published Book Marketing Plan”  by Nick Thacker @CSLakin
  8. Radio 101: Tips for Authors & Speakers Doing Radio Interviews  @BookBaby
  9.  Why You should Embrace Your Creative Blocks  by Melissa Dinwiddie @HuffPostBooks
  10. 10 Tips for Aspiring Historical Fiction Authors   @stephaniedray

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

Please subscribe to my blog by including your email in the space provided on the right.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: January 2014

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten Twitter picks for January, 2014:

  1. Ten Lessons in Non-Fiction Writing by Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn
  2. Question: Book Promotion on Twitter by Janet Reid @Janet_Reid
  3. How to Get Others to Do Your Social Media Marketing for Free – by Mark Lerner on jeffbullas.com via @111publishing
  4. 101 Fabulous Plot Resources For Novelists  by Molly Greene @mollygreene via @markbrassington
  5. My Process for Approaching Large Revisions  by Elizabeth S. Craig  @elizabethscraig
  6. How Pinterest Can Turn Your Boring Writing Portfolio Into a Lead-Generating Machine   by Wendy Parish @thewritelife
  7. The 15 Best Twitter Lists for Writers by Carrie Smith @thewritelife
  8. It Takes the Time It Takes “You should always be writing, but never be hurrying.” by Chuck Wendig @ChuckWendig
  9. Thinking of doing webinars? Check out this article on MeetingBurner vs GoToWebinar by Alexis Grant @AlexisGrant
  10. Killing Characters? Do It Successfully with Tips by K. M. Weiland  @KMWeiland

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!
Please subscribe to my blog by placing your email address in the box provided (upper right.) Thanks!

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: December, 2013

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Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Ten Twitter picks for December, 2013:

  1. 14 Publishing Predictions for 2014   @Author Media

  2. How to Find Your Writer’s Voice @HuffPostBooks

  3. 7 Best Writers’ Resolutions from Psychology Today via  @JamesScottBell

  4. Henry Miller’s 11 Rules for Writing @GalleyCat

  5. How Much Does author Platform Impact Sales? @JaneFriedman

  6. From Writer to Author to Publisher to Marketer  by @CSLakin via @EricStoffle

  7. Writers: What is a Galley and Why Do You Need One?  @BookBaby @ChrisRobley

  8. How to Free Your Mind: 15 Decluttering Tips @arkathick via @AnnTran

  9. Tips for Writing in Short Blocks of Time by @elizabethscraig

  10. Character Development: Finding a Friend for Life by @RichardEPreston via @WritersDigest @ChuckSambuchino

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Writing Resources: My Current Favorites

by @AnnieDaylon 

Looking for Writing Resources? Here, categorized by Story, Style, and Sell are my current favorites.

shutterstock_107880212Story:

  1. Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence  by Lisa Cron

  2. How to Write a Damn Good Thriller  by James N. Frey

  3. The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction  by James Alexander Thom

  4. The Writer’s Journey  by Christopher Vogler

Style:

  1.  Finding Your Writer’s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction  by Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall

  2. The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed  by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

  3. Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation  by Lynne Truss

  4. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression   by Angela Ackerman

Sell:

  1. The Frugal Book Promoter   by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  2. Blog It! The Author’s Guide to Building a Successful Online Brand  by Molly Greene

 

There you have it, my current Top Ten writing resources. Am always looking to update; any suggestions as to resources I can add?

 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

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