Howard Jacobson Writing
"Thank you for
your relentless support and encouragement for the writing community
throughout the world, Mervyn. Have a splendid day!
With all best wishes,
Andre L. West,
Don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for freebies -
especially if they turn out to actually be useful! Here are two that you really must try.
You get a cornucopia (that's posh talk for lots) of Writing Giveaways from one and a barrel load of
Software Giveaways from the other.
What's the catch? None really, you just sign up to the associated newsletter and that gives you
access to the goodies.
So click on one or both below and be amazed.
CLICK HERE for Writers Giveaway
CLICK HERE for Software Giveaway
And there's more! If you're into
Self-help/Self Growth, you'll love
CLICK HERE for Self-Growth Giveaway
Welcome to WritersReign Creative Writing Website
This Month's Feature Article
The Magic of Reading to
by Aaron Shepard
Authors have many opportunities to read their stories, and children love to hear them. If you can
bring your stories to life, you unlock their potential for young listeners—and perhaps the potential of
reading in general. You are living proof that reading is not boring!
With some help from our friends in storytelling and reader’s theater, here are
some hints for effective reading.
—If you can, check out the room and P.A. system ahead of time
to take care of potential problems. (Just to be safe, I usually bring along my karaoke machine, which is better
than many school P.A. systems.)
—For a forceful presence, stand up. For a more relaxed image,
use a stool or chair. But in all cases make sure you’re high enough for everyone to see your face.
—Introduce the book by showing its cover and announcing the
title, to help your listeners find it later. Your introduction can also mention something intriguing about the
story, or some background on how it was written, or on what it means to you. But if your listeners don’t already
know the plot, don’t give it away!
—Wait for silence before reading. After that, DO NOT stop at
every little noise. If the story is working, noise will be minimal and will probably taper off, because your
audience will be listening hard. If someone is making a disturbance you can’t ignore, you can perhaps tactfully ask
him or her to stop, explaining that it distracts you. But DON’T COME DOWN HARD! Remember, you’re a celebrity to
those kids, and an attack by you could be devastating, with long-term effect.
—If you choose to show the pictures while reading, hold the book to the side at about eye-level, grasping the bottom edge with one hand
and looking sideways to read. Turn the pages by reaching up without moving the book. Remember to swing the
book toward the sides of your audience once or twice for each illustration.
If you’re not showing pictures, hold the book in front with one hand, leaving the
other hand free for gesturing and page turning. With a hardcover, the spine can lie loose in your palm, or you can
grasp the top edge. Keep the book low enough so you can see everyone up to the front row. Remember, if you can’t
see them, they can’t see you!
—Give your listeners the full force of you. When sitting or
standing still, keep your back straight and face your listeners squarely. Don’t sit or stand sideways, slump, sag,
or shift from foot to foot.
—Make sure you are heard well. If using a mike on a stand, keep the mike at a steady
distance—close enough so it picks you up properly, but not so close it distorts. If not using a mike, speak
loudly, aiming your voice at the back row.
Good volume requires good breath support, so be sure you breathe from your
diaphragm. This is the muscle that lies below your chest and controls the expansion of your lower lungs. To check
yourself, place your hand lightly on your stomach and inhale deeply. If you’re using your diaphragm properly, it
will push your stomach out. (The extra air in your lungs may make you a bit dizzy till you get used to
—Make your words ring, by pronouncing each syllable distinctly.
(Tongue twisters provide good practice.)
—Take your time and read slowly. Your listeners must recreate
the scenes in their imaginations, and that takes time and unhurried concentration. Many readers will speed up when
they sense they’re losing their listeners’ attention. In most cases, they should instead slow down.
—Look out at your listeners as much as you can—ideally about
half the time, and especially at the ends of sentences. To do this, know your selection well enough so you can look
at the page and “gather” the words ahead of where you’re speaking. With a book held in front, you can keep your
place in the text with a finger or thumb, running it down the page or along the edge.
DOWNLOAD THIS ARTICLE IN PDF
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Write A Novel In A
Review by Mervyn Love,
Can this really happen? Well, after putting it to the test, my personal answer is 'Yes' and 'No'. I purchased this eBook at the beginning of July 2010. The
author, Dan Strauss, who has written a number of books for writers, gives a plan on how to tackle, what to
many, would seem an unlikely task. He writes in an engaging and upbeat way and lays down exactly what you
should be doing from Day 1 to the completion of your book. His premise is that by the end of a month you can
have your book ready to send to a publisher.
This was exactly what I needed as, although I've written many short stories, I've never tackled a complete book
as it seemed like a daunting chore to me. I had a children's book in my mind which I wanted to get down on paper,
and by following his plan and his methods I set about writing it. The plan, and all his other tips and shortcuts,
were easy to follow, and I actually enjoyed the process which before had seemed onerous to say the least. And the
result? After starting at the beginning of July the book was done by the end of the month! But...
Was my book ready for a publisher at this point? Well, actually, no. Why? Because I had not stuck entirely to
the time schedule Dan Strauss sets out. Lost some Brownie points there, I know, but still, I kept going and did all
the revision, corrections and so on. This took me another two months so that by the end of September my book was
ready to send out. Being a children's book it was shorter than your average blockbuster too, weighing in at just
over 54,000 words.
So is writing a Novel In A Month pie in the sky? Well, if I'd stuck to the letter of Dan Strauss's law it
could have been done much more quickly. And when I get to work on my next book the experience of doing the first
one will be invaluable in completing it faster. Whether I personally could manage it in a month remains to be
seen, but come on, be honest, even a book done and dusted in three months by someone who has never written one
before is pretty good. Isn't it?
Find out more yourself here: Novel In A Month
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