Dec 10

Opening Paragraphs

Tips on writing your storyContributed by Suzanne Lieurance

What’s perhaps the most important part of anything you write?

The opening paragraph, of course.

Yet many times, that’s the part writers have the most trouble with.

They end up with an opening paragraph that is too long, too
unfocused, and doesn’t really lead to what happens next.

With that in mind, here are some tips for writing a winning opening paragraph.

1. KEEP IT SHORT.

If your opening paragraph is clear and to the point, you shouldn’t need more than a sentence or two.

Also, keep the sentences in your opening paragraph short and easy to read.

2. MAKE IT ACTIVE.

Passive sentences can slow down your article or chapter from the
start.

Avoid this by using active sentences—subject, verb, object, for example—for the most part.

3. REWRITE IT LATER.

After you’ve written your article or chapter, go back and look at your opening paragraph again.

Does it really prepare the reader for what comes next?

Is it short?

Is it active?

If not, simply rewrite the paragraph.

Take time to carefully craft your opening paragraphs and you’ll have stronger, more focused articles and chapters as a result.

Try it!

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

WANT TO BE A CHILDREN’S WRITER?

Learn to write for children

Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out this 180 page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.

Writing for children tips

Traditionally Publishing – Keep Submitting

Small Book Publishers Fill the Gap

The Author Website – 5 Top Tips to Optimization

 

Dec 03

Writing Success – Do You Really Have the Power?

How do you become a successful writer?The question in the title has been asked for hundreds, probably thousands of years.

The simple truth of the matter is you have the power. You are in control of whether you become successful or not. Most of it has to do with your thought process.

Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

These two men were giants in the business world and they knew the power of positive thinking.

So, it’s easy to see that what you think has tremendous power over you and what you can accomplish.

But, how do you change your thought process?

The Fix

To get on the right track, you have to stop making excuses and playing the ‘woe is me’ card. Stop thinking and saying, “I can’t do it.”

It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, you have the ability to learn what you need to learn to do what you need to do to be successful.

Maybe you want to be a working freelance writer who actually gets gigs and earns a good living.

Maybe you want to be an author of an award-winning book and make money from that book, or use it to make money from opportunities that arise from writing a great book.

Maybe you want to have a successful business with 5, 10, 100, or 1000 employees.

Whatever you want to do . . . whatever you REALLY want to do . . . is possible to do.

But, there is a second part to the success process.

German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

Ah ha!

Are lights blinking and bells chiming?

You can wake up every morning and say I’m going to make $500 today, but if you don’t work toward that goal, you won’t make a penny.

It’s your thoughts in collaboration with your actions that will give you the ability to succeed.

Below is the two-part success process broken into eight bite-size steps.

8 Steps Towards Success

1. Decide what you really what to become or do.
2. Find out what’s needed to accomplish what you want.
3. Believe you can do it.
4. Learn whatever you need to learn to get started and move forward.
5. Take it a step further and become an expert in one particular niche or industry.
6. Prepare a detailed business plan with short and long term goals, along with actionable steps to accomplish those goals.
7. Work, work, work.
8. If you need help, get it.

Start your success process today and take your positive thoughts into the NEW year with you.

This article is reprinted from: http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/2015/10/business-success-do-you-really-have-the-power-8-tips/

Be a children's writerWhether you need rewriting or ghostwriting, let me take a look at your story. Just send me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com. Please put “Children’s Writing” in the Subject box.

Or, give me a call at 347—834—6700

Let’s get your book in publishable shape today!

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Writing – 6 Essential Steps to Publication

Writing with Focus

Ghostwriting Warning – Don’t Try This at Home

Oct 15

Writing Success – Commit to It

Tips on achieving writing success.Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

Become Totally Committed to Your Own Success.

Why do some people succeed against all odds while others never live up to their potential?

Those who succeed aren’t necessarily more talented or have more valuable contacts than those who don’t succeed.

But what they do have is a total commitment to their own success.

You may be somewhat committed to your own success right now.

Somewhat committed means you take action now and then to move ahead toward your goals.

And you make a little progress toward those goals from time to time.

But you don’t really have that much invested (in terms of time, money, or effort) towards your goals.

It will be nice if you reach your goals, but you’ll still be okay if you don’t—so you don’t mind losing focus now and then.

Someone who is totally committed to their own success, though, doesn’t look at or think about anything that causes them to lose focus on what they want.

They know they will be successful because they are totally committed to doing whatever they need to do to make it happen.

So consider this.

If you aren’t totally committed to your goal, then it isn’t a goal.

It’s just a wish.

Wouldn’t you rather be totally committed and know you were going to get what you want instead of wishing you were going to get it?

Try it!

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

Be a children's writerBeing a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 180 page ebook (or paperback) that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.

Writing – Showing vs. Telling

Tips to Overcome Writing Procrastination

6 Book Marketing Tips Sure to Boost Your Author Online Platform

Sep 10

Be a Successful Writer Even if You Don’t Think You Have Enough Time

Being a Successful Writer

I always think about time and how there just isn’t enough of it to do all the things I must. Then, I look at two quotes that put time in perspective:

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Pretty powerful, right?

Well, Suzanne Lieurance (a member of Writing for Children’s ghostwriting team), wrote about time and writing and how to get a handle on both.

Why You Don’t Need MORE Time to Be Successful

Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

Many people who wish to be best-selling authors or want to build a thriving freelance writing business think they need more time to be successful.

Maybe they have a regular day job, a family, and many other commitments.

All these things require time, so they feel they simply don’t have enough time for their writing.

Does this sound like you?

You think you just don’t have enough time to become a best-selling author or a successful freelance writer?

Well, that’s simply not true.

Think about it.

Most best-selling authors also have families.

Many started out writing while they had regular jobs and many other commitments.

But they also made a commitment to their writing or their writing business.

If you think you don’t have enough time to become a successful writer, start tracking the way you spend your days.

Are you “thinking” about writing for quite a bit of time each day rather than actually taking action and writing something?

Are you letting yourself get distracted all the time so you very rarely follow through with any of the actions it takes to become a successful writer?

Do you have a plan in place for reaching your writing goals, so all you need to do each day is follow your plan?

You have just as many hours in your day as everyone else on this planet.

So start telling yourself, “I have plenty of time to become a successful writer.”

Then make a plan and a regular schedule for reaching your writing goals.

You can do it.
Try it!

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

Children's ghostwriterOKAY, SO YOU STILL DON’T THINK YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO WRITE YOUR OWN CHILDREN’S STORY? OR, DO YOU NEED HELP WITH A STORY YOU STARTED?

Well, that’s where I come in.

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a publishable book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Articles on writing for children

Had a Children’s Book Ghostwritten? Now What?
Point of View and Children’s Storytelling
Storytelling – Don’t Let the Reader Become Disengaged

 

Aug 27

Writing Nonfiction – Using Quotes

Quotes and nonfiction writingIf you’re a fiction writer, you know there are a number of elements that a writer needs to incorporate to create an engaging and believable story, such as characterization, plot, structure, clarity, and so on.

Well, Writing nonfiction also has a set of elements that must be incorporated into the piece to create similar results, such as clarity, structure, and an engaging story. But with nonfiction the writer also needs to provide authentic information.

Merrian-Webster.com defines ‘authentic’ as: “worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.”

If you think about it, this makes complete sense. Anyone can write an article or a book and purport that it’s fact.

But, what gives your content the authentic, credible element that it needs to be convincing, to be taken seriously?

The answer is simple: Using quotes.

While your nonfiction article may be accurate, you researched the information thoroughly and created your own content, there’s no real authenticity or credibility without relevant quotes from reliable sources to back your piece up.

Along with adding credibility, using quotes increases your professionalism and expert status. Those who read your content will assume you know what you’re talking about because you provided evidence from reliable/expert sources.

The quotes can also be the cornerstone of your story, allowing you to build upon them.

First off, quotes offer variety by changing the voice of the story. These tidbits by other authors/experts have their own voice and writing style. This will help keep the reader engaged and helps keep the content fresh.

It helps break up the monotony of a possibly long drawn out monotone piece, which in turn will help keep the reader reading.

It’s also a good idea to sprinkle your article with quotes, maybe one every few paragraphs. Along with increasing the story’s credibility, it also adds white space to the piece.

Why is adding white space to your article, report, or book important?

It aids in easy reading.

This is a known writing technique that is used in various forms of writing, including copywriting. You don’t want the reader to become hypnotized and blank-out from too much continuous text.

If your content goes on and on with very few breaks (white space) the reader will lose interest. Using quotes will force you to create new paragraphs, which will usually be short. This adds additional white space and gives the reader a breather; it also creates a less cluttered piece, which is also something the reader will appreciate.

When using quotes in your article or book, be sure to offer information pertaining to the author of the quote.

You must give credit where credit is due.

As an example, suppose you are quoting from this article. You might do so by saying: In her article “Writing Nonfiction – Using Quotes,” Karen Cioffi explains . . .

Or, you might say: According to Karen Cioffi, in her article “Writing Nonfiction – Using Quotes,” she believes . . .

Or, you might input the quote first and then say: “This is a known writing technique,” according to Karen Cioffi, in her article “Writing Nonfiction – Using Quotes.”

You can see there are a number of ways you can attribute the quote to the author.

Sometimes, especially when writing health or scientific information, you may need to include quotes from research teams. Here is part of the information used in a health article I wrote regarding a particular quote used:

Researcher Talal M. Nsouli, MD and his colleagues at Watergate Allergy & Asthma Center in Washington reported their findings at an American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) meeting.

Also keep in mind that you may need to list the sources for the quotes. This is usually done through footnotes or endnotes. According to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), “The notes, whether footnotes or endnotes, are usually numbered and correspond to superscripted note reference numbers in the text.”

Important question: How much can you quote within quotation marks?

If your quote is six or more lines, you need to block off the quotation – each line of the quote needs to be indented. You would not use quotation marks.

There is also the matter of using part of a quote or shortening a quote. In this case you will need to use ellipses and possibly brackets.

Most importantly though, always be sure you’re allowed to use the quote. For more on this, check out: Quoting Material

When in doubt, you might want to paraphrase. For more information on this, check out: Paraphrasing

For in depth information on using quotes and verifying current information, you can check out the CMS and/or the APA Publication Manual.

Articles on writing for childrenWriting with Clarity
Writing Rhyme in Children’s Stories
The Writing Elements Mix – Is There a Right Balance?

Children's Nonfiction Ghostwriting

Want to have a nonfiction children’s story written for you. Or, do you have an outline that needs the professional touch?

I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter I can turn your story into a publishable book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Aug 20

Raise Your Writing Standards

Are Your writing standards high enough?Contributed by Suzanne Lieurance

I watched a video of Tony Robbins on YouTube the other day and he said something that really stuck with me.

He said, “If you are unhappy with anything in your life, simply raise your standards in that area.”

So what did he mean by that?

Well, according to Robbins, we all have standards that we have set for ourselves in all areas of our life.

These standards are the way we see ourselves and the way we think we are supposed to live.

We have health and fitness standards, relationship standards, and wealth standards, for example.

We probably set these standards for ourselves long ago based on something we were told or taught.

But, the thing is, many times these standards no longer apply to the life we want to be living now.

For example, long ago someone might have told you that you were overweight and it was a genetic thing.

You were just destined to be overweight and there wasn’t much you could do about it.

So guess what?

You either accepted that and used it to create low health and fitness standards for yourself or you failed to believe it and raised your standards in this area.

If you raised your health and fitness standards, you started eating right and exercising regularly and eventually you were no longer overweight.

It might not have been easy.

But it wasn’t impossible once you raised your standards.

We Set Writing Standards for Ourselves, Too

If you’re a writer, you’ve set standards for this aspect of your life, too.

But have you set your writing standards too low?

If so, you probably aren’t getting published regularly and you aren’t making much money from your writing.

Examine the way you have set and accepted low standards for yourself as a writer.

Next, decide to raise your standards as a writer.

Write down your new standards so you’re really clear about how you want to see yourself as a writer and how you want to live the writer’s life according to these new standards.

Try it!

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

Reprinted with permission from:
http://www.writersonthemove.com/2016/09/raise-your-standards.html

Writing for children tipsTraditionally Publishing – Keep Submitting
Small Book Publishers Fill the Gap
Building a Writing Career Takes Practice and Focus

Be a children's writer

Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 180 page ebook that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.

Writing Children's Fiction

Aug 13

Read as a Writer

Tips on writing your storyEvery writer has been told to read, read, read. Read as much as you can to improve your own writing skills.

Well, I read an interesting article at Writer Unboxed that explained why simply reading to improve your writing won’t cut it.

According to the author, Julianna Baggott Faculty Director of Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing and Publishing, “I’ve found that some of my most thoroughly read students – the ones who devour and love every book they come across – are some of my hardest to teach. I believe that how one reads is essential. And if you don’t master reading as a writer, sheer quantity will be of little use.”

Baggott broke down reading as a writer into five categories: blueprint reading, territory reading, language reading, portal reading, singular lens reading.

Breaking them down:

1. Blueprint reading.

This goes back to read, read, read. While she kind of said this doesn’t work, she does agree that reading in volume does give you an idea of how a book is written to get published. (assuming you’re reading traditionally published books.)

For my writing, I like this type of reading. Seeing how the author puts the story together, how he builds his characters, how she keeps the conflict rising, how he ties up all loose ends . . .

It is a great tool to learn ‘good’ writing.

2. Territory reading.

This is reading to take ideas away with you. It could be from the topic, a chapter, a scene. At least this is what I think the author is saying.

I’ve done this. I’ll be reading a children’s book and an idea pops up. It may just be something I’m reading that takes me in a new direction. But, it can get the creativity flowing.

3. Language reading.

Reading with language in mind is to see the words that are used.

I do this often. While Baggott uses it for ideas and transitions into topics, I use it for the actual words. I love to see what words authors use to convey an emotion, a sensation, a description, and so on.

I also keep a database of words I find that I might be able to use down the road. So, just like the author of the article, I’ll have words circled or underlined in the books I read.

4. Portal reading.

I’ll be honest, I’m not quite sure what the author is saying for this reading experience. As far as I can tell, it’s reading and through the scene be transported into your own story. The book somehow acts as a muse to give you insights into your own story.

This hasn’t happened to me.

5. Singular lens reading.

This one is more about seeing everything through the story you’re writing. You look at book covers, titles, contents and how it relates to your story.

As Baggott puts it, “This reading is how you look at the world around you when you’re so deeply involved in a project that everything you encounter gets filtered through that one lens.”

As a ghostwriter, I’m usually working on more than one story at a time plus my own stories. Because of this I don’t really get ‘singular lens’ anything.

But, it’s easy to see how this can happen.

Summing it up.

Being a writer, I notice how I read different than someone who doesn’t write. I see grammar. I see sentence structure, chapter structure, story structure, character building and sometimes all this is at the sake of the story itself. I’ll have to stop myself to actually just read the story.

But, this is what writers do consciously or subconsciously. We can’t help it.

And, now you have five reading styles to help you write your stories.

Have you found yourself using any of these?

Reference:
5 Ways to Read as a Writer

Articles on writing for childrenWriting for Children – Character Believability and Conflict
The Outline Method of Writing (Are You an Outliner?)
The Book Summary – Five Must-Know Components

Let's talk about your children's writing project

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn your story into a publishable book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

Aug 06

Traditionally Publishing – Keep Submitting

Traditional PublishingWhile most of my ghosting clients self-publish, there are some who go the traditional route. This is definitely commendable, but it does require patience and tenacity.

If you have a story you believe in and want to go the traditional route, then dig your heels in, roll-up your sleeves and start submitting.

Keep in mind you don’t have to submit to publishers only, you can submit to agents also. Whoever you’re submitting to, just be sure to read their guidelines super-careful and adhere to them like your life depends on it. Give your manuscript every chance it deserves. You don’t want an acquisitions editor to immediately dismiss your manuscript because the query letter or cover letter isn’t in line with the guidelines. You want to at least get your manuscript in the door and read.

Another thing to remember is that it’s not uncommon at all for an author to receive well over a hundred rejections before the story finds a home. I always use Chicken Soup for the Soul as an example because it’s stuck in my brain. The authors were rejected 144 times before getting a contract!

Think about that. One hundred and forty-four times! That’s a lot of rejection. If they had stopped at 143 . . . well, you get it.

And, it could be your manuscript won’t be acknowledged until 160 or 170 or more submissions.

That contract could be down a very long winding road, but you never know when it’s just around that turn. If you don’t submit, you’ll never know. If you don’t persevere, you’ll never know.

Once you have your finished manuscript, do the research. Find publishers and agents who handle your genre. Find out how to write an effective query letter. Then submit, submit, submit . . .

You’ll also want to attend in-person writing conferences, if it’s feasible. I had a middle grade story client who got 10 out of 14 bites at a conference in New York. Strong enough bites that she was asked to send chapters of the book.

Again, you just never know. Go for it and keep going for it until you get it.

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Storytelling vs. Writing a Story
6 Tips to What Makes a Good Story?
Submitting Your Manuscript – 8 Tips

Be a children's writer

Being a writer, like being any kind of artist who creates something from nothing, is an amazing ability. It’s almost like magic. And, you are in control. You decide what to create. The only limit you have is the cap on your imagination.

Check out my 180 page ebook that gives you all the basics of WRITING FICTION FOR CHILDREN. It’s newly revised and includes information on finding a publisher or agent, and marketing your books.

Writing Children's Fiction

Jul 16

Writer’s Digest Annual Conference , NYC

Writing and Book MarketingThe Writer’s Digest Annual Conference August 18-20, 2017 in New York City

This “conference offers everything you need to advance creatively and professionally as a writer—no matter what stage of your career. And it’s all brought to you by Writer’s Digest, the experts at nurturing and developing new writers for more than 90 years.”

Speakers lined up include literary agents and bestselling authors.

Topics that will be covered include:

Getting published
Platform and promotion
The business of being an author
Writing craft
Genre studies

And, there’s a ‘Pitch Slam.” You get to pitch to agents!

One of my middle grade clients went to the 2016 one and took part in the ‘Pitch Slam.’ She got interest from several agents.

If you have a manuscript and want an excellent event to show it off and find out what literary agents are really looking for, click the link: http://writersdigestconference.com/index.php

HERE ARE A COUPLE OF ARTICLES ON WRITING YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:

Getting to Know Your Characters

Plot and Your Story – Four Formats

Submitting Your Manuscript – 8 Tips

Jul 09

Are You a Writer? You’ve Got to Keep Learning and Growing

Writing tips and tricksGuest Post by Suzanne Lieurance

I can always tell when someone knows almost ‘nothing’ about writing.

They are the ones who think they already know ‘everything’.

They’re the ones who can’t be bothered to take a writing class or a writer’s workshop, or work with a writing coach.

They are the ones who believe they don’t need to have their work critiqued.

Or, if for some reason they do manage to have someone critique their work, they don’t think the suggestions they get for improving their writing have any merit.

After all, they already know how to write.

Why do they need to make things clearer?

Nonsense. If the reader can’t figure out what they are trying to say, that’s the fault of the reader, not theirs.

So why do I tell you all this?

To help you realize that all writers have much to learn.

All writers can benefit from a writing class, a writer’s workshop, or from working with a writing coach or a mentor.

The writers who tend to know the most about writing are the ones who realize how much they ‘don’t know’, and they do everything they can to learn more all the time.

Whether you’re new to writing or you’ve been at it for awhile, be sure you continue to read, read, read the types of things you wish to write.

Continue to take classes, attend writer’s workshops, and even work with a writing coach so you are learning more about the business of writing and the writing process all the time.

Above all else, practice, practice, practice your craft, which means you must simply, write, write, write.

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.

—–

Suzanne’s right. Honing your writing craft is a must, if you’re a writer.

But, what if you’re not a writer and don’t want to become one. But, what if you have this amazing idea for a children’s book and desperately want to get it published. You want your name as author on the book. What do you do?

You hire a children’s ghostwriter. You hire me!

Let me take a look at your idea or outline or story. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and rewriter. I can turn your story into a publishable book that you’ll be proud to be author of.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

—–

MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Writing Skills – Spread Your Wings

Writing Success – Know Your Intent

10 Tips to Hiring With a Children’s Ghostwriter