Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Site for Indie Authors & 10 Writing Tips from A Fantastic Linguist

Blogging five days a week about Reading, Writing, and Publishing demands that I use Google Alerts.

Sometimes, I get reminded about important topics that slipped under my radar. is one of those topics:

“Publetariat is an online community and news hub built specifically for indie authors and small, independent imprints. Who needs another online writers’ community? If you’re an indie author or a small imprint, you do. There are plenty of online sites and communities for writers, but none of them serve all the specific wants and needs of indie authors and small imprints.”

So, Google Alerts reminded me that I hadn’t visited Publetariat in some time and alerted me to a particular article: Tolkien’s 10 Tips for Writers.

I noticed that Publetariat’s front page was full of “tease” posts—a title and around 20 lines of text followed by a link to the originating site.

Tolkien’s tease got me to Roger Colby’s blog, where he reveals tips for writers he’s gleaned from the book The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

I realize many blog readers don’t click-through on links, so, here are the headers for the tips:

Vanity Is Useless
Keep a Stiff Upper Lip
Listen to Critics
Let Your Interests Drive Your Writing
Poetry As A Road to Prose
Happy Accidents
Dreams Give Us Inspiration
Real People Make Great Characters
You May Be the Next Best Selling Author
Books You Write May Seem Trite

Did those make you want to click-through and read the article?

If you do read the article, please come back and let us know your thoughts and feelings

N.B. I realize Tolkien was technically a master of Philology ( a combination of literary studies, history, and linguistics ) but I thought the title should have the most recognizable concept :-)
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8 responses to “Site for Indie Authors & 10 Writing Tips from A Fantastic Linguist

  1. Barbara Blackcinder May 2, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Yes Alex, you’re feeding us the highlights of the post (Tolkien’s 10 Tips for Writers), did require me to advance to Roger Colby’s blog, which was inspiring of course. And having finished it my first impression is to refer to your own blog that asked if you can ever read enough advice about writing/publishing. The answer is always going to be negative, because one or the other, and likely more than one of these sets of tips will mean something that another did not to any given reader. There is something new to glean from any and all of them. I will now go on to read some more advice by other Great Writers referred to by Roger Colby;s blog. Thanks.


  2. Alexander M Zoltai May 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Thanks, Barbara, for your enlightening comment!

    BTW, I heard about your wild ride in the Limo with Arton :-)


  3. Simone Benedict May 2, 2012 at 11:56 am

    After reading what you had to say, I couldn’t resist going to Colby’s article. I’ve come to learn the tips are true, but it’s a delight to hear them stated in such a beautiful way. Very grateful, I didn’t miss this. :-)


  4. Alexander M Zoltai May 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    So happy it pleased you, Simone :-)


  5. Barbara Blackcinder May 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    She never did pass me the whiskey. Lol


  6. Alexander M Zoltai May 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Hmmm… She said you were driving under the influence so I can only assume you had the bottle first :-)

    Or, you were under some other Influence


  7. Jane Watson May 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

    In Barb’s defence she did drive exceptionally well, especially as she had someone in the back being car sick…and especially as we did have a few quasi Tolkien moments of mythological terror…And just in case anyone is wondering what on Middle Earth we are talking about, Book Island, in the virtual world, Second Life, has just put out a car tour of the island for guests to enjoy and Barb and I took a ride ;) I did read the linked article. I loved the “Poetry As A Road to Prose” – I have had some success with this in the past and, after reading this I will try it again!  “It will cause your brain to think deeply about the phrasing, the structure and the literary devices needed to excel in writing prose…” I hope so! Thanks for putting this link up..:)


  8. Alexander M Zoltai May 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

    You’re very welcome, Jane; and, I’m grateful for the clarification on the Limo Tour :-)

    Perhaps, like Barbara, Tolkien thinks in poetry??


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