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The Method Writers Arrives!

Yes, the long awaited novel, The Method Writers penned by your neighborhood friendly Rogues Gallery Writers is now out! The hardcover book is available at a retailer near your fingertips (like Amazon, BarnesandNoble, and preferably ClearView Press Inc).

Most of our blogging these days is occurring on our novel site, TheMethodWriters.com. Come check us out! For a copy of the book, click on the image in the right column. Have a great day!

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Focus Writing Groups

Do you want to know what embodies a great focus writing group? Dedication to craft, commitment and a comfortable personality mix. The Rogues Gallery Writers have been meeting weekly for years now. We’ve undergone a couple member changes, but we never missed a beat. In fact, my opinion stands that we’ve grown stronger as a group, as writers, and as friends.

Dedication comes into play in our meetings as we go over news and insights about writing and publishing that we can all use in our individual endeavors. We each stay connected to the writing world and bring what we’ve learned to each other as topics allow. We each absorb so much information each week about writing and publishing, we could never exchange it all. But when a topic comes up or a question gets thrown out to the group, invariably someone has an answer.

The Rogues commit to meeting weekly. Sure we’re tired. Sure we each have our own set of familial issues, work issues, life issues, but we always find a way to get to our meetings. Sometimes someone gets sick. Thanks to Bridget, we’re in the habit of taking minutes of our meetings, so the person who could not attend at least gets caught up on important happenings within the group.

While we’ve completed two books together as a group now, we each maintain our individual writing tasks. I believe we all benefit from our collective undertakings in our private writing pursuits. We’ve built a camaraderie like the Musketeers, all for one and one for all. As diverse as our writing styles are, the precepts of writing apply to most all genres. I always come away from a Rogues meeting pumped up.

Our personalities gelled over a year ago, and we feel we’ve produced a helluva book in The Method Writers. The book has just been sent off for final edit, so we’re particularly excited at this point. Writing is a passion, a pursuit one does not go after unless infected by the writing bug. Writing is something an author MUST do. I must say, writing with these authors is nothing short of an honor.

Cheers fellow Rogues!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in The Rogues Gallery Writers

 

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Book Writing, Editing, and Publishing

The Rogues stay busy. This fact gets chronicled often. We each work for a living, we each possess passions for writing, and we each strive to marry the two into a cohesive, workable life. Today, I am blogging five different sites as well as posting an article on HubPages.com. This, in addition to working with my incredible Office Administrator Cindy on four books-in-progress at ClearView Press Inc and two books-in-progress with the Rogues.

Jeff stays swamped these days with his work. I am amazed at the quantity of writing he manages to produce. Top notch writing at that. The Rogues currently swim in the ocean of editing. Our book, The Method Writers, nears completion. Each of us struggle to make time for our writing, and Jeff brings energy, ideas and commitment to finishing the project.

Nancy happens to be the most swamped person I know. She amazes me that she can even muster the energy to attack her days, much less be as productive as she is. Between her work, her writing business, her writing in general and The Method Writers, this lady shows me what work ethic and determination are all about. Nancy is an excellent editor, and the Rogues are truly blessed with her dedication to our group.

Bridget currently resides in Michigan until February. All we ‘southern’ Rogues miss her sorely and look forward to her return. Don’t think for a moment we are disconnected by distance. We Oovoo (meet online in video chat) each week. We use technology to keep our group and projects moving forward. Can you believe, busy as we all are, that we’re writing two, yes two books together, editing, and meeting weekly online. Bridget keeps us on track by taking meeting minutes. She just started doing this out of the blue, which has been a HUGE benefit to the group.

The Rogues are writing. We’re editing. We’ll soon be publishing. This all in addition to owning hectic lives. I write all this as encouragement to all writers who say they “don’t have time to write”. None of the Rogues have time to write – yet we do. We make time to write. So can you. Sacrifice something. TV time. Sleep. A couple games of Spider Solitaire. You can do it. I know you can, because the Rogues do.

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in The Rogues Gallery Writers

 

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Sex and Writing – Nobody Teaches You How to do it Well!

Isn’t writing a lot like sex? Think about it. For those of you struggling with the writing life, we are groomed to speak and write the ‘Queen’s English‘ throughout our school years, but who teaches us how to do it well (as in get published)? When we are young, we get the obligatory ‘sex talk’ and may even get sex ed in school, but again, who teaches us to do it well (as in get…well, you know…)?

I know, experience and repetition. But there are shortcuts to better writing getting published (and better sex for that matter, but not on this blog…) available to us today. We have a populace that is interconnected like no generation in the history of mankind. I can talk, face to face, with anyone in any country that has an internet connection – for free.

Ok, so the ‘for free’ statement is not totally accurate. There’s the cost of electricity, internet service, the computer and camera with which to connect, and probably a host of other insidious expenses. But from our perspective today, the call is free. We can speak as long as we like. Heck, my daughter talks with her friends, one from England and one in Las Vegas, at the same time on ooVoo (similar to Skype, only better in my opinion…).

Ok, so we can string a good story together, make it into a novel – then what? Yes, a plethora of publishing options that make even those of us in the industry shake our heads and go, “Huh?” Who teaches the novelist what to do with their craft?

No one. Who taught Don Juan or Cassanova (or their real life counterparts) how to make love? Many women that came before the notoriety, that’s who. For the writer, their first books teach what to do and what not to do and what can be done better.

Still, this is a very crazy way for people to learn, is it not? In this age where everything is available to everyone with internet connection, you would think there would be definitive teaching institutions who regale students with the proper steps in writing, publishing, marketing and promoting their books.

I see workshops all over the Master of Arts landscape. I also hear quite a bit about MFA grads struggling to make it in the writing world because of ego or too technical of a writing style.

One of the reasons publishing marketing and promoting is not well organized and taught in my humble opinion is that the creative muse flees rigid order in our most creative folk. Creativity needs to live and breathe in freedom and non-restriction. To create this environment, the writer must be able to reach a ‘peace’ in solitude where he or she can connect with their muse. Thus, writers often do not make good business decisions. Publishing, marketing and promotion are all business concepts.

Do you begin to see the difficulty in teaching this? To run the sex analogy again, some people like a soft touch, others a more assertive touch. The varying personalities of men and women deliver a range of sexual experience that can cover incredible differences and nuances. This means what works for one, won’t necessarily work for another. Finding that mate where everything works together well is important to us – and there is no way of ‘knowing’ this.

When we get our book to a finished product, we know it. Real scientific, eh? Your best writing comes when you let go – fear, critic, judge, peer pressure, bias, etc. But what happens once the mate has been selected (the book is written)? Most writers bumble their way through the publishing landscape, many getting fleeced along the way.

The suggestion here is that you consider forming a small focus writing group. That’s what the Rogues Gallery Writers are. We banded together and learn collectively. Writers should educate themselves. One of the best ways to do this is with three or four other people of like mind who need to learn as well. You accelerate your learning curve. We each look at the publishing process from slightly different angles. We share knowledge collected from our unique perspectives. We each then, have a baseline for making publishing, marketing and promotion decisions.

Do not go into writing thinking all you’re going to do is write. Realize this is a business. Hedge your bet with trusted writing partners who will walk through the crazy writing-life-landscape with you. You must be careful to select people who are of like mind, ie, focused on getting published. Stay away from people who are looking for a social hour or just in it for fun. Those folk should join their own respective groups of people. If you’re serious about getting published, find a few good people who feel the same and work together.The rewards are great!

For those of you wishing to continue the sex analogy, I stop here. I would not advocate where some of your minds are going…

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in The Rogues Gallery Writers

 

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Guardian Angel

We, the Rogues of course, have been excerpting pieces of stories from our book Writing is Easy. For those fiction readers out there, here’s a sampling of Guardian Angel, by Michael Ray King

Guardian Angel

When the time comes, pull the cord.

Freefall exhilarates.  Frightens.  Freefall delivers beauty and danger.  Jake licked his lips.  Skydiving dominated his heart like a medieval lord jealous for his lover.  Jake strangled the parachute cord in his right hand.

A roaring sea-rush of air surrounded him.  He plummeted, a vertical freight train, headed for mother Terra in an unplanned and certainly unorthodox flight.  A city dotted with rooftops and church steeples approached at an alarming pace.  Wouldn’t it be a hoot to be impaled by one of those suckers? he thought as he admired the heaven-pointed church-fingers.

Lights popped on like kernels of corn at critical mass as dusk handed off its remaining diffuse light to the night.  Faint smells wafted up from a thousand houses – apple pies, wood fires and lover’s scents mingled as one.  He flattened out, the resistance of air acting as invisible hands on his shoulders, abdomen, legs and feet, lifting him from the earth.  He glided and soared, his nose dividing air to his cheeks so that it flowed past his ears and roared its approval.  The knowledge that eagles feared him wrenched a maniacal laugh from his soul.

He ripped at the cord and the chute yanked him heavenward.  The world slowed down to a single moment in time – his descent, the movement of the early evening moon and his mind.  Nothing to do now but float back into oblivion and obscurity.  Unless he could maneuver over the lake and drown . . .

Everyone called Jake a junkie, but he had a secret that none of them could imagine – he could fly.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2011 in The Rogues Gallery Writers

 

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Insane Writers – Great Stories

A short post on the comings and goings of the Rogues Gallery Writers. We meet nearly every Tuesday evening. We go over the plot lines of our book – The Method Writers which is shaping up nicely. Each of us is writing a character who is a member of a writers group and is writing a book.

The twist of this book is that the characters decide to try something they dub ‘method writing’ after the similar occurrence in acting labeled ‘method acting’. The characters decide to pursue some aspect of the book they’re writing by physically experiencing whatever it is they want THEIR characters to experience. One of the writers is incorporating a bank robbery into her story so she plans out and executes a bank robbery. Another character is writing about a character that gets involved in the sex scene, so that writer dives into the world of sex.

The fun of this book is that our characters interact with each other and we must make sure we’re all on the same page. The book is being written with a lot of dark humor which should make it fun for the reader as well as getting the reader to invest in the characters. We are working at making this a big deal. We’ve planned to film a ‘Mockumentary’ about the project, again with loads of dark humor. We also are planning to come up with playing cards, trading cards, calendars, mugs, t-shirts and other promotional material. Keep checking out our companion blog, www.themethodwriters.wordpress.com for quotes from the upcoming book, some of the character pics and other book related tidbits.

Also check out our book, More Writing is Easy on Kindle or order a physical copy through the bookstore at ClearView Press.

 

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Everyday Neurosis – Writing Consistently

As writers we all possess the demon of procrastination in some hideous manner. We force deadlines or put off projects or drag our pens as if writing were some evil punishment. Yet when we get going, forcing us to quit can only be achieved through severe hunger and/or dehydration, volatile argument or collapse. This personality trait tends to come with the writing landscape.

We authors also own various means by which we goad ourselves (or prime if you prefer…) into writing. We discipline ourselves (isn’t that the antithesis of writing???) to regular schedules or use software that is playful or struggle under a constant barrage of self-loathing because we have not written every day like big time authors tell us we must. Whatever trick you use, whatever method gets you into the button chair (more appropriately spelled butt-in-chair), whatever sorcery actually hands you success in this area is worth its weight in sold manuscripts to other writers who can duplicate your success.

With that last little tidbit in mind, I present a wonderful website called 750Words.com. This site offers daily prompts to your email suggesting you write 750 words today. The site creator was brilliant in his site setup and theme. Any writer knows 750 words is not much. Once you hit that four digit number, writers begin to blanche, but 750 words can be knocked out in fifteen minutes if you have average keyboard speed.

The creator of the site also knows that if a writer puts down 750 words, most likely there follows an avalanche of ideas and projects to spring forth while at the computer. A writer on a roll will continue until some force of the outside world interrupts. Getting into the chair to begin with is the primary issue. One of the things that motivated me to take on one of the website’s challenges – write 750 words every day for the entire month – is that a fellow writer I know jumped on the site and joined in the challenge. Now, I won’t miss a day simply because she is still in the running to complete the challenge and I will not be out-done.

This challenge sounds eerily like Nanowrimo which runs each November. During Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) writers are encouraged to write 1667 words per day to achieve a novel of 50,000 words by month’s end. Yes, 750 words copies that little format, but it works. I’ve complete two first-draft novels thanks to Nanowrimo. 750 words only asks for less than half the word count per day. Since I began writing on 750words.com in March, I have written 26,012 words and for the month of April I have keyed 16,383 words.

These are pretty impressive numbers. These numbers do not include my blogs and other writing I’m doing. Can you say, “Motivational feedback?” Seeing myself put up those kinds of numbers gives me hope. I know I can do this daily now. I previously wrote garbage. Whatever came off the top of my head, I wrote, so as to achieve word count. Then I began incorporating writing projects into my 750 words. I write articles for Daddy123.com so I wrote four articles using four different 750 word days. I also wrote a chapter of the current book I’m working on during one of my 750 word posts.

In March, I often wrote over 750 words. One day I keyed over 2000. Loads of words keyed is confidence to  a writer, even if the words are not all that great. The simple discipline of doing what we love helps move us along. 750words.com’s motivational aspects do not stop there. The site incorporates some really cool analytics. Once you are done keying your words, the site’s analyzer scans your words and tells you what kind of mood your writing reflects, what topics were foremost on your writing mind, what sense, tense and time orientation is reflected in your writing as well as breaking down your use of profanity, interruptions, use of filler words and a whole slew of other observations.

These analytical observations can be used as writing tools or simple curiosities. On a couple of my writing pieces, I wanted to know if the mood I wanted to project came across in my writing. The analytics gave me the feedback I needed.

Have I mentioned this site is free? Yes, free. The gentleman who whipped this cool tool together does ask to be supported with donations, but there is no obligation beyond your own sense of responsibility to helping maintain a fun and helpful site. In fact, I have not donated any money to the site as yet, but as soon as I finish up here, I will pop over to 750words.com and slide him a fiver. I don’t begrudge it at all.

As writers, we all look for something that will move us forward, get us into that writing groove and help us produce on a more timely basis. I’m here to tell you 750words.com helps me. Give it a shot. What do you have to lose other than your writing inconsistency? It’s free and if you don’t like it, you’re not out anything.

 
 

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