The Rule of Three in Writing

by @AnnieDaylon

The Rule of Three in WritingHave you noticed the prevalence of threes in writing?

I was reminded of it last week during a beginning course in photography when the instructor explained the rule of thirds in the composition of a picture. Instantly, I thought of creating a blog post about the rule of three in writing (defined by Wikipedia as a principle that suggests that threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying or more effective than other numbers of things.)

When a smattering of research on my part revealed an abundance of readily-available info, I chose to share rather than reinvent. What follows are posts (three, of course) related to the rule of three in the writing of speeches, blogs, and stories.

 

1. How to Use the “Rule of Three” to Create Engaging Content by Brian Clark
“…Think in terms of three when crafting your content, and you’ll likely end up with a more engaging outcome. If at first you don’t succeed, remember—the third time’s the charm…” Read More

2. How to Use the Rule of Three in Your Speeches by Andrew Dlugan 
“The rule of three is powerful speech-writing technique that you should learn, practice, and master.
Using the Rule of Three allows you to express concepts more completely, emphasize your points, and increase the memorability of your message.
That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.What is the rule of three? What are some famous examples? How do you use it in speeches?”  Read More

 3. Omne Trium Perfectum by L.G. Smith
“Omne trium perfectum! No, it’s not an incantation lifted from Harry Potter, but it could be considered a magic spell for crafting effective stories. Literally it means everything that comes in threes is perfect. In writing it is referred to as the Rule of Three.” Read More

Many thanks to bloggers Brian Clark, Andrew Dlugan, and L.G Smith.shutterstock_48236599

My favorite post from above?
As a lover of Latin, I have to tell the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The third one’s a charm. 🙂

Latin Textbook Series, Grade 7-11

Amo, amas, amat… From my past: three Latin textbooks that have been in my library for more than three decades.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: March, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing/tech tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for March, 2015:

  1.  How are short stories evaluated for publication or awards? by @JodieRennerEd via @KMWEiland

  2. 5 Ways Pinterest Can Help Authors  @IndiAuthorALLI via @K8Tilton

  3. Top Ten Things You Need to Know About the Writing Life  by @JamesScottBell via @thecreativepenn

  4. How to make pictures behave in WordPress  @BakerviewConsul via @sugarbeatbc  @christinenolfi (Love this one!)

  5. Great Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary by Maria Popova @penguinrandom @brainpicker

  6. Blogs Vs. Newsletters: What’s the Diff? by Jim Devitt

  7. Tips on writing an e-book series by Nikki Moore via @WomenWriters

  8. The Complete Italicization Guide  @write_practice

  9. The Benefits of Hybrid Publishing by Melissa Donovan @WritingForward

  10. Build your audience WHILE writing your book! -Jason Wiser, The Author Hangout! @bkmkting

  11. 21 Book Marketing Tips for Authors by Heather Hart

  12. 10 SIMPLE, CLEVER TIPS for Computer, Web, Smartphone & Camera Users.  by columinist David Pogue @Pogue (Great Tips! Love this!)

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!shutterstock_48236599

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

Self-Publishing a Story Collection? 6 Tips!

shutterstock_163750679 (2) story collection

by @AnnieDaylon

Are you about to publish a collection of your short stories? I have done that once and am considering a second. Here are six suggestions based on hindsight:

  1. Go for a ‘sense of book.’ Group stories around one theme, one character, one setting. My first collection is varied: most of its stories were written, not with the idea of a book in mind, but for contests based on prompts. It was long after their completion that I chose a theme.

  2. Give thought to the title.

    Take time to examine your collection. Perhaps, as book title, you might choose the title of one story or the name of a place that is common to all stories. After I read through my stories, I realized there was indeed a thread: the choices we make and the paths we take. Thus the title: Passages.

  3. Consider, as title/subtitle, “a collection of short fiction,” not “a collection of short stories.”

    I used stories in the subtitle of Passages and wished I had used fiction, especially after I dropped a narrative poem into the mix. (Yes, I know: could have eliminated the poem. Sigh.)

  4. Acknowledge previous publications.

    List the stories that have been previously published, and include publisher, publication, and date of same. In Passages, in acknowledgements, I thanked creators, administrators, and judges of writing contests, and named a couple of specifics. There was no ill intent in my lack of a list of previous publications; I was simply unaware of the courtesy.

  5. Share background of story.

    Many of the short stories in Passages were written for contests. In retrospect, I could have enhanced the reader experience by writing a paragraph or two before each short, revealing the prompt or inspiration for the story.

  6. Give thought to the placement of stories.

    You might consider placing your best story first and your second-best last. I went a different route: I put an award-winning short story first because I wanted to draw attention to the fact that it had grown into an award-winning novel. As for the last story in Passages, it is a very short piece called Final Passage, a piece that is more than appropriate for its position in the book. The only thing I would have done differently with it is listed above: I would have revealed the inspiration for the piece.

    shutterstock_163750679

    Why do I love story contests? Click on image to link to “Why Enter Story Contests.”

    Are these suggestions helpful to you? If  you have already published a book of short fiction, what were the steps that worked best for you? What, if anything,  would you do differently the next time?

     

    My best to you, Annie Signature Light Blue    

Two Routes to Publishing Short Stories and Poetry

by @AnnieDaylon

Looking to Publish short Fiction and PoetryAre you looking for ways to get your short stories and poems published?

I recently received an email from a writer who was seeking ways to do that. What follows is what I offered her, what I thought could be shared here as well.

I have used two avenues for publication of short stories: Story Contests and Literary Journals.

I use story contests to hone my craft; therefore, I’ve researched them and have entered many, including 24-hour story contests. This has resulted in having many stories published, both online and in journals in Canada and the United States. 

The most comprehensive resource for contests in Canada is the Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar.  This calendar is published in the fall of each year, usually by November. All contests are listed by deadline. Everything you need to know—submission guidelines, eligibility, word count limits, etc. — are given for each contest and, yes, poetry contests are included.

The best site I’ve found for information on contests and journals in the U.S. is Poets & Writers, “the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers.”  On the right hand side of the landing page, under Tools for Writers, you will find an impressive list of databases for literary magazines, contests, agents, etc.

I know how much time and energy go into the pursuit of publication. I hope the above is helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions to share? Please send them along.

Annie Daylon reading Buryin' Day

Annie Daylon reading short story “Buryin’ Day” at launch of Freefall Literary Magazine (Vol XIX, Number 1) in Calgary. (First contest entry, second place!)

Good luck on your journey.

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

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Pick of the Twitter: February, 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for February, 2015:

  1.  Literary lingo to know by Kristen Kieffer @Shesnovel via @elizabethscraig

  2.  Novel Writing Tips: How to Keep your Novel on Track  by Lisa Wingate via @WomenWriters

  3. 10 Brilliant Tips for Writing Fiction Inspired by Famous Authors  by @WriterJoMalby via @SarahBrentyn

  4.  24 Things No One Tells You About Book Publishing  by Curtis Sittenfeld via @Buzzfeed via @HughOSmith

  5. Twitter has Analytics? They sure do and here are five key ways of using them by Larry Kim via @Mobilized_Social

  6.  Should You Self-Publish? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself  by Claire Cook @ClaireCookwrite via @elizabethscraig

  7.  Nonfiction Authors: How to Find Your Ideal Reader  by @CathyYardley via @JFbookman, @WritetoSell,  @thecreativepenn

  8.  Attending a Writers’ Conference Soon? Here’s how to prepare by @ChuckSambuchino via @thewritelife @WritersDigest

  9.  How to Overcome Writer’s Block: 14 Tricks That Work by @JeffGoins via @writerstevens, @RMFWriters

  10.  How to SUCCESSFULLY Announce Events on Your Social Media Sites @111publishing

  11.  10 Ways to Leverage Google Alerts for Your Business http://ow.ly/FhU1r   by Stephanie Chandler via @bizauthor

 

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

 

10 Tips for Page-Turning Plots

by @AnnieDaylon

shutterstock_124823272

At the Surrey International Writers’ Conference a while back, I introduced, and took notes on, a workshop facilitated by New York Times Best Selling Author and dynamic speaker, Robert Dugoni. The session, Creating Plots for Page Turners, was a combination of lecture and writing exercises designed to give participants a better understanding of classic story structure. Here are 10 tips:

 

  1. A story is dialogue in action.

  2. The purpose of a story is to entertain. The characters, not the authors, are the entertainers.

  3. A story is a journey—beginning, middle, end—and is both physical and emotional.

  4. The tone is set right away. What kind of story is it? (Make a promise.)

  5. Interesting character should appear at the onset.

  6. The beginning introduces the story problem. (Who, where, what does main character want, what stands in the way?)

  7. The middle develops the problem through obstacles.

  8. Stories should move! Excessive narrative—opinion, bio, flashbacks, info dumps, anything that can be presumed—should be cut.

  9. The end must be satisfying (Keep the promise you made at the beginning.)

  10. The 1st sentence in every chapter should hook the reader.

shutterstock_48236599Many thanks to Robert for an excellent workshop. To learn more about Robert and his writing visit: www.Robertdugoni.com.

Please subscribe to my newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared in any way.

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

Pick of the Twitter: January 2015

Pick of the Twitter 005

Looking for writing/marketing tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for January, 2015:

  1.  TWITTER TIPS for AUTHORS  @IndieAuthorNews

  2.  Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2015  @WritetoDone

  3. What Are The Best Times to Post on Social Media  @Mariner_Consult

  4. How are You Using LinkedIn as a Writer?  @ebooksintl  via @111publishing

  5.  Book marketing tips, quotes and more on our Pinterest board @bkmkting

  6.  Top Tips for writing Historical Fiction  by @DinahJefferies via @WomenWriters

  7. Tips on how to take care of the inner and outer writer @CSLakin

  8.  17 Tips How to Successful Run Book Giveaways  @111publishing

  9.  101 Fabulous Plot Resources For Novelists  @MollyGreene

  10.  The Ultimate List of Social Media Acronyms and Abbreviations @buffer

 

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: December, 2014

 

Pick of the Twitter 005
Looking for writing/marketing/reading tips? Here are my Top Twitter picks for December, 2014:

  1. Marketing your book on Goodreads via @BookTemplates @CiaraBallintine

  2. 13 Podcasts That Love Books as Much as You Do via @VanWritersFest

  3.  Your 2015 Blogging Roadmap. @WritersDigest

  4.  We remember the great authors we said good-bye to in 2014 @CBCBooks

  5.  What Do Agents Like to See When They Google Writers? @carlywatters via @elizabethscraig

  6.  5 Steps to Clutter-Free Writing @WriteToSell

  7. Our Most Popular Posts on Writing  @thewritelife

  8. The 25 Best Websites for Literature Lovers via @ZeBookman

  9.  How To Approach a Bookstore: Tips for Authors   @HollyBrady via @WriterUnboxed

  10.  Overcome Procrastination: Steven Pressfield’s Top 12 Tips  via @EricStoffle

 

Many thanks to Tweeters and Bloggers alike!shutterstock_169020800

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

Want to Write More in the New Year? Just Show Up.

 

by @Annie Daylon

PIANIST by author/artist, Ben Nuttall-Smith.

PIANIST by author/artist, Ben Nuttall-Smith.


My 2015 calendar from the Federation of British Columbia Writers arrived the other day and, from all of Ben Nuttall-Smith’s stunning illustrations, one jumped  at me– Pianist. It triggered memories of my beginnings at a keyboard: the Leila-Fletcher-on-staff-Middle-C-approach to the piano, taught  by Sister Mary John Hughes and her trusty pointer. Ouch!

Over the years, I worked my way from Fletcher’s C-D-E to Debussy’s Reverie. I never mastered the art of sight-reading (the ability to pick up a piece and play it as you would pick up a book and read it.) Once, when I was a student of music at Mount Allison University, a friend suggested we partner up and plunge into the world of sight-reading, an attempt to conquer the beast. I started, half-heartedly, and fell away from it: for me there was a gaping hole where passion, drive, and above all, confidence should be.  My friend persevered and became a long-time professional musician. (Thank you, T: I never did excel in sight-reading but I did learn from watching you gain mastery.) My piano, except for the annual Christmas carol, is now a silent shadow in the hallway of my home.

However, another keyboard has replaced it.

My passion is writing. I dipped my toe in the water seven years ago and I stayed. In that time, I have written three novels, each better than its predecessor, and I have a fourth awaiting editing. I have also penned forty+ short stories, sixty-five blog posts, and a few articles. Apparently, what I could not apply to music–commitment and perseverance– I can apply to writing.  Doubt may knock once in a while but I don’t let it in. I just show up and write, daily. My routine: coffee, crossword, computer. Three hour minimum.

In the coming year, whatever your passion,  just have at it. If writing is your passion,  park yourself at that keyboard and plunk away. One letter, one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page… eventually becomes one book.

shutterstock_110397353 (2) Happy New YearJust show up and you will create a wonderfully accomplished, well-written new year. One key at a time.

 

Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your email address in the space provided on the right. Many thanks.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

My Write Before Christmas: 2014

by @AnnieDaylon 

 Sardis, Retreat, Christmas 034 2014

It’s my Write before Christmas, my time to send

Best wishes to wordsmiths and readers and friends.

Authors work solo, yet none are alone

For it takes a village (an adage well-known.)

 

Critique groups are crucial, a part of the team;

Online or in person, they endorse your dream.

(An aside: Many thanks for your commentary,

My critique angels–Fran, Michael, and Mary.)

 

A new writer? This world’s a mysterious place.

Catch a conference! It’s there that you’ll come face-to-face

With writers and editors and agents and such.

Volunteering’s an option if the cost is too much.

 

Like story contests? They’re fun, teach deadlines,

This>Contest Calendar’s < a favourite of mine.

As is Poets & Writers, a site that makes space

For a Contest and Grants and Awards Database.

 

Having trouble with structure? Can’t seem to outline?

K. M. Weiland has guidelines to help you refine.

Seeking courses or webinars to carry you through?

Writers Digest will surely have something for you.

 

If a positive thought is what you require,

Tweets from Rock Christopher will keep you inspired.

If you’re looking to blog but don’t know the scene,

Check out Blog It for authors penned by Molly Greene.

 

Got a post that helps others? Want it retweeted?

@MondayBlogs is a place you’ll be greeted.

Want to do marketing? Don’t know the score?

Book Marketing Tools has ideas galore.

 

Do you have a routine? Great tales must be spun

and writers toil daily to get the job done.

(On that note, dear writers who are reading this verse,

If today you’ve not written, go away and WRITE FIRST!) 🙂

 

Thanks, avid readers on whom writers rely,

The work’s not complete ’til you choose to stop by.

Samuel Johnson once said (and I paraphrase herein)

‘A reader finishes what a writer begins.’

 

That’s it, the year’s end! Best wishes to you

as 2015 comes into view.

And now, ere December slides out of sight,

Happy Christmas to all! Have great reads and great writes!

 

Annie Signature Light Blue