Tag Archives: Publishing

How to Step out of the Dark

How to Step out of the Dark

A Writer’s Guide to Creative Self-Expression

As first published on Medium. Please feel free to join me there.

Writing is by its nature a solitary affair. Although we may duet on a poem, seek advice on this fact or that, in essence, we sit, write and publish on our own. Other people walk by our windows, peer in at our small, homemade offices, favourite seats and coffee mugs, shake their heads with pity at our flickering candles and laptop screens and wander away. Yes, writing is a lonesome trade, and it’s just how we like it. It’s the others that don’t understand, not us that’s strange.

For most writers, the hours typing on a keyboard are the best hours of our lives. We love the act of creation, be it in the thinking, or transferring said thoughts to paper, so to speak. There’s no effort to being alone because being alone is what we crave: time to think; time to reflect; time to unravel the worlds that others will tread. We impart our ideas to books, short stories and poems, lean back in our chairs and then think: what now?

For the introverted writer, the next stage of creation is the hardest. There are so many places to send work, so many ways to publish and we’re too scared to use any of them. At least, most are and I include my past self in this. So, what do we do?

The first thing is to not stop. No matter how scary the great, wide world appears, we should never stop doing what we love. Writing out our hearts gives us the same freedom that others find in sport, communal drinking, and social networking. And it is this latter item that can help a writer most.

Hiding behind a computer screen is much easier than hiding behind a book and not just because people cannot see your feet and hair — if you’ve got some. A computer gives us access to the world beyond our windows in privacy. And I assure you, the people out there really do want to read what we’ve written. There are so many great ways to find readers, magazines and publishers out there and just from asking/typing the right questions. We can all do that when no one is watching.

Below is a list of the most active and easiest Social Networks to scan and glean information from:

  1. Twitter
  2. Medium
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Google Plus
  6. Pinterest

All the above can furnish a novice or accomplished writer with great information. Type for example ‘UK/US Publishers’ into a Facebook search or Twitter and you will be amazed at what is revealed. Type ‘Literary Magazines’ into Medium and you’ll be furnished with lots of ‘in-house’ publications to try your hand with. Type ‘Writer’s Resources’ into Pinterest and it will knock your socks off. Then see if you like the look of what they have to offer. Do they sound like your cup of tea? Do they look good? There’s even a chance you’ll already know by association someone that writes for them. Just try those searches and different connotations of the same questions — they invariably yield contrasting results.

Then comes the hardest thing sending your precious work out. The worries begin. What happens if they don’t like it? What happens if they think I’m rubbish? And the list goes on. Think of it this way and it might help. When I first started submitting work, I was very nervous. My self-confidence was low. I then saw an article backed up by several quality Online Magazines that said this: only three percent of all submissions are accepted. Argggghhh!!!!

You could go ‘OH NO!’ and never submit so much as a haiku. But I looked at it rather differently and it was a great help. I said to myself that I should not worry in the least until a piece of work had been returned to me ninety-seven times. Only after that was I a failure and even then only due to someone else’s opinion. But I’ve never had a piece of work rejected more than six times as it happens. So what a fool I would have been to have given up. You should never give up if you are doing what you love.

In conclusion, I say the following. Enjoy writing what you want, how you want, where you want. When you’ve finished, don’t be scared. I’d be surprised if you aren’t a member of at least one of the social networks above — you’re probably reading this on one of them right now. Use them. Plunder them. Take advantage of the world that is only a keystroke away. No more hiding in the dark when you’ve such wonderful lights to shine for others.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Into Eternity (Soon!)

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New Writer’s Resources Page

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I thought I’d give everyone a heads-up that I have a new page on my blog. After the wonderful responses to the posts I’ve meant mostly for my Medium account, I have decided to collate all that information (and more to come) on a separate page. I hope this enables people who haven’t read them, and those who have but can’t find the information, to access them more easily. I have already added some extra useful stuff and shall endeavour to keep doing so.

Find it HERE

PS. It should all be clickable now.

Richard

A Super-Swanky New Me

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Any of you who have read or purchased my books will know that I am published by a company called Creativia. The lovely people involved have just upgraded their website so that their authors and books are put front and centre. The result is the page that I had with them is now brand new and (as stated in the title) a Super-Swanky New Me.
Some of the publicity links I have received are now actually included on my author page with more to come. Accordingly, I would like to say a special thank you to Chris the Story Reading Ape and also Sally Cronin whose links are already being used there.
Please feel free to click HERE and have a nosey and see what you think. My book pages are clickable so you can peep at them too. I would be extremely grateful for any social media shares from those pages. These things are a great help to Indie Authors.

Thank you as always for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of The Eternals Series
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Alternate Writing Resources

Alternate Writing Resources

There’s Always Help Available

Author’s Note: Here is my latest post on Medium. Please feel free to click the link and join me there.

I think all writers (me included) have a tendency to complicate things overthinking what, how, why and where we write instead of just picking up a pen or tapping on a keyboard. We cogitate over so many variables with our already overstimulated minds (I blame coffee) that we sometimes neglect the simple things. When all is said and done, we only need one writing app be it Scrivener, Microsoft Word, Pages, Storyist, Google Docs etcetera, etcetera, often overlooking the more statutory writing resources available. Here is a collection of apps and sites that I hope might genuinely (damn, an adverb) assist fledgling writers. The more experienced, too.

Dictionary.com

There are many good dictionaries online and as apps but Dictionary.com is a double-barrelled bonus. Available as both a website and dual app, inclusive of thesaurus.com, it is essential to a writers arsenal.Such a useful fallback when one forgets how to spoll, spall, spell, a writer should never be ashamed to check the spelling or correct usage of a word.

Howmanysyllables.com

How many syllables, spelled as one word, is a sight with one simple purpose to count the syllables we might be unsure of or run out of fingers for. A very good aid for those who write poetry such as haiku, shadorma, tanka, etcetera (four syllables) and need to be sure of their syllable counts.

Hemingwayapp.com

In previous posts, I’ve talked of my love for Prowritingaid and Grammarly. However, there is another kid on the block which is more app-like in presentation. Available on the web or as a download, Hemingway presents the writer with a canvas to write on and then have checked for possible improvements. I would recommend trying this out in the same way I would my favoured two. If such devices/resources correct or help to correct even one mistake, they’re worth using.

Google Translate

Have you always wanted to add a little ’un petit quelque chose de plus’ a little something extra (according to the item in question). Google translate is available like all Google products on the web, but also as an app. It’s free, so give it a spin. Authenticity is priceless in text.

Wikipedia

We all know it. Or do we? I dare anyone to admit not knowing Wikipedia or even having visited it for one reason or another. But if you take it for a real spin (I use a lovely app called V for Wikipedia) you can soon use it for so much more than you’d think: colour options; geographical exactness; history; people, and the list goes on. Bookmark it and take it for a ride, it’ll soon eat up the hours.

Text Compare!

Text-compare.com opens as a dual pane editor for you to paste two lots of text in. The site will compare them and highlight the differences, What use is that? I hear you shout. Well, many apps these days save version histories (especially Dropbox and iCloud writing apps,) which you can browse. You might not even remember some of the changes but looking at them might make you think ooh, that was good! Being able to compare two side by side won’t be an everyday occurrence but it might help every now and again.

Last of all, something different.

Alternativeto.net. If you’re looking for software but don’t know where to start, or perhaps only know of one option, try this site. If you type an app or software name into its search bar, it will list more alternatives than your can shake a stick at. These can be filtered to your heart’s content.

As always, I hope something here assists your written work.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Into Eternity (Very Soon!)

2017 Writing Goals

I read an interesting article by some wiseacre who suggested making a list of all your writing hopes and aspirations for the forthcoming year. Now I’m a writeaholic, but after scanning through the following list, I aren’t so sure it was a good idea. Nevertheless, here it is. You can all hold me to account on December the 31st. I will, of course, have forgotten this list by then and think you’ve got it in for me, but them’s the breaks.

Writing Projects (All Novels)

  1. Final prowriter run through for Into Eternity book 3 of The Eternals Series. Look to publish somewhere close to Easter.
  2. Steampunk extravaganza, Britannia Unleashed, to be given last edit and then prowriter check. Make changes if required. Look to publish mid-year.
  3. Rewrite The Snow Lily to the level I would prefer. Look to have finished by Christmas if possible.
  4. Expand on The Repaired apocalyptic Sci-Fi. Take the story from the 40 000 words already written to closer to double that. Make Marianna Bosomsworth terrifying.
  5. Enjoy, as you already are, expanding Mortimer Headlock and the Case of the Missing Moonchildren on an evening. Try to tie in with Britannia Unleashed Timelines. If all goes well and you’re still enjoying it promote this story to third on this list.
  6. Flush out further the ideas for Wolfriders.

Note to self: Three of these stories are already written so take a deep breath and go for it.

Short Stories

  1. As time allows submit from short story collection to appropriate magazines.
  2. Watch out for the release of The Shark at the End of My Bed.

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Continue to support the release of The Eternals and Hunter Hunted in preparation for the release of Into Eternity.
Try your best to continue with three posts a day on WordPress and also post appropriate posts to Facebook Author Page and Instagram. And for God’s sake learn how to use Twitter properly.

Hopes

For continued success and the enjoyment of doing what you’ve always dreamed of.

Thank you for reading my 2017 writing goals.

Richard
Richard M. Ankers author of The Eternals Series.

The Eternals
Hunter Hunted

50 Word Stories: In Isolation

In the isolated nothingness between the dream and the realisation of that dream, I find myself at a crossroads. The what if moment, the great imponderable, I fear it for it is unknown. I wait, finger hovering over the publishing button, cold sweat dripping. Do it! says the Devil. Do it!

In Glass Published

I announced last month that a short story I’m very proud of, In Glass, was to be included in the Premier Issue of Phantaxis, a magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Today that magazine is published and available at all major outlets. Hooray!

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My thanks to all of you who asked to be informed when it was out.

Richard