Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Roz Morris

What is “Author Voice” ?


To start today’s exploration of Author Voice, I’ll excerpt a bit from a post I published in November 2013—How Do Writers Find Their “Voice”? 

Author's Voice

Image Courtesy of Svilen Milev ~ http://efffective.com/

“For those of you who’ve never considered what a writer’s Voice is, Wikipedia has a decent definition:

“’The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of idiotypical usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).”

“And, whoever wrote that definition (or, considering it’s Wikipedia, however many people worked on editing that definition) it has a peculiar Voice since it uses a completely non-typical word (not even in my Oxford dictionary)—’idiotypical’…”

And, in December of 2014, I published the post: The Writer’s Voice ~ More Than A Certain “Style”…

That one has a valuable video; however, the video is about qualities of voice in speaking

I say this about that:

“…I am a writer and I find using the tool of Analogical Comparison, applied to other arts, is a valuable source of learning in my art—painting and music are also great for this creative-borrowing of tools…”

I use a different flavor of Analogical Comparison in a post I published in October 2012—Can Writing Poetry Help An Author Find Their “Voice”?

This is the beginning of that post:

“Writer’s Voice is one of those terms that seems to change its meaning depending on who’s talking about it—almost as if ‘Writer’s Voice’ were capable of sensing who’s writing about it and letting that author’s Voice decide what ‘Writer’s Voice’ means…”

And, to round out the information in those posts, here’s a video about Author Voice with Joanna Penn (she’s “written 21 books and sold over 500,000 books in 84 countries and 5 languages”) and Roz Morris (“professional writer, editor, and writing blogger”—“sold more than 4 million copies of books worldwide”) ENJOY!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

#MainStreetWriters ~ Moving Forward


I started promoting Main Street Writers Movement on the 12th of February with a re-blog by Roz Morris, where she said the Movement is, “…a campaign that aims to represent the work of literary writers, small presses, independent bookshops and anyone who struggles to be heard or find their audiences.” Main Street Writers Movement

The next day, I did a full-on post about Main Street Writers Movement and I urge all the following folks to go to that last link and find out what’s going on:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

Since then, there’s been a post on their site from author Kate Ristau about Building Writer Relationships, which I’ll do a bit of excerpting from:

“Writing is lonely. For many of us introverts, spending the day by ourselves, sitting at a computer, maybe not even taking a shower, is . . . awesome! Am I right?”

“But occasionally, even I want to get out of my shell – to peek my head out and see what’s on the other side of my computer. And sometimes, I need more support than my dog.”

“…how do you build your own writing community? How do you find other writers and hang out with them in a not-weird way?”

She then goes on to list four ways to engage in Community…

And, if you go to their Pledge page, you’ll find this line of reasoning for forming Community:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words….The Main Street Writers Movement urges experienced writers to strengthen the national literary ecosystem through passionate engagement at the local level. Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

Plus, a few days ago, I received the first Main Street Writers Movement Newsletter, which had valuable information from a literary agent, a sharing from Laura Stanfill (Founder of the Movement), and this rousing statement:

“If you’ve been waiting for years for someone to give you permission to join the parade instead of waving your flag from the sidewalk, here’s your letter of recommendation, your megaphone, or (if you’re a pessimist) your umbrella. It’s time to get off the sidewalk. Let’s go. Let’s do this together.”

If I’ve piqued your interest in the Main Street Writers Movement, do check out my full post with all the details

I should also link to the hashtag you can follow on Twitter — #mainstreetwriters  and, if you’re in the USA, check out this site for getting in touch with folks in your neighborhood — NextDoor

Though, I truly hope folks from places other than the USA will leave a few comments on engaging in Literary Community in their own countries…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Main Street Writers Movement ~~~ for: “Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.“


Main Street Writers Movement

This Movement is for, “Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.”

Yesterday, I posted a re-blog by Roz Morris about the Main Street Writers Movement.

She touched on all the top reasons to be interested, whether you’re a writer, publisher, or reader.

But, I thought I’d add my voice to Roz’s, since most of my visitors come from Google searches, meaning they could hit this post and never see Roz’s…

I’m going to share the kinds of folks you’d encounter in the Movement and their Pledge; but, I’ll clear up a small confusion first.

In Roz’s post she said, “There’s a pledge (which, alas, you can only sign if you have 5-digit zip code), but you can register separately for the blog and the newsletter.”

Laura Stanfill ~ Author & Publisher

Laura Stanfill ~ Author & Publisher

The woman behind the Movement, Laura Stanfill, of Forest Avenue Press,  has told me (in an email response):

“You ‘signed the pledge’ by filling out the form [Join The Main Street Writers Movement], which subscribed you to the monthly Main Street Writers Movement newsletter and made you a Main Street writer who has pledged to build community.”

So, there is a Pledge page; and, there is still a place to put a zip code (for those in the USA); but, Join The Main Street Writers Movement has the proper form to join the movement and pledge your efforts if you’re not in the United States.

So, here comes the Pledge:

I pledge…

  1. To encourage my neighbor writers in the creation of art.
  1. To attend local literary events, because gathering to discuss ideas and encourage creativity is an essential and radical act in these times.
  1. To support my independent bookstore or, if I don’t have one, order direct from the publisher.
  1. To foster a healthy small press and literary magazine climate by reading new work and submitting my own.
  1. To introduce new friends to my core community, allowing us to grow louder and stronger together.
  1. To credit writers and presses publicly for their ideas, photos, and efforts, and to be genuine with praise.
  1. To celebrate every success in my community as a shared success. This is Main Street. Parades welcome.

Are those things you can pledge?

Are those things you can let others know about?

Once again, you can “sign the Pledge“, if you’re in the U.S.A.; or, do essentially the same thing if you’re outside the U.S.A., by filling out the form <— right there; which gets you the newsletter as well as, “…earning you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities.”

Is the Pledge talking about things we need?

I certainly think so; and, Laura’s reasons are powerful:

“The Main Street Writers Movement urges experienced writers to strengthen the national literary ecosystem through passionate engagement at the local level. Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

So…

Do check out all the links I’ve shared; and, even if you’re not a writer, you can still join; and, even if you’re not in the U.S.A., you can still join ( Roz Morris said, “Laura’s vision is for a number of hubs around the US with live events and networking, but if you’re not one of her geographical neighbours, don’t be put off. Wherever your desk is (I’m waving to you from London), we can blog, tweet, share, meet IRL (heavens!). And support each other to do what we must do.”)

So…

Here’s who should consider aligning with this new Movement:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

And, toward the bottom of this page on the site, there are more detailed descriptions of the Who (which I will now truncate; but, urge you to go read in their glorious fullness…):

“Writers whose voices are underrepresented”…

“Introverted writers”…

“Writers who have spent five or more years working on the craft and are frustrated”…

“Established writers”…

“go-to writers”…

“Debut authors”…

“Angry writers”…

“Feeling-ignored writers”…

“Writers who are tired of writing fluffy reviews about books they don’t particularly like due to a sense of obligation”…

“Those who are tired of staring at screens”…

“The writers who start podcasts and reading series, create publishing houses and literary magazines, volunteer for literary organizations, and those who stay up-to-date on the industry”…

“Publishers, agents, editors, and publicists”…

“Indie booksellers”…

“Readers”…

Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

How Long Does It Take to Write A Novel?


I’d done a re-blog today from Roz Morris about “writing at speed”; so, I thought it would be proper to share a video of Roz talking (rather poetically…) about the Long and Short of novel writing…


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

“Looking for Truth in Time of Hype” ~ Are Writers Doomed?


Three things before I get fully underway with this post:

Looking for Truth in Time of Hype ~ Are Writers Doomed?

Image Courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski, SXC ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/mzacha-39017

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Roz Morris

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Mark Coker… 

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Porter Anderson

All three of those people are involved in an article on WriterUnboxedLooking for Truth in Time of Hype.

Porter Anderson wrote the article—Roz Morris is frequently quoted—Mark Coker is also quoted

Porter Anderson Knows Media—Roz Morris Knows Writing—Mark Coker Knows Publishing

The article is primarily for writers struggling to make their way in the rapidly shifting BookWorld (with all the hype about “Branding”, “Platform”, Traditional vs Self-Publishing, “Promotion”, failing bookstores, etc., etc., etc.).

Here come the excerpts (but, if you’re a writer, you really need to read the full article…):

‘There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be A Writer’

Roz Morris’ comments on that quote:

“I’ve seen this mantra frequently over the past few years in blog posts, conference reports and news items. And I don’t disagree there’s been a lot to celebrate.”

“But from what I see right now, this time is also tougher for authors than ever.”

“Indie authors feel it in their book sales. Hands up, who is in a forum where the chief discussion is “what can I do about my dwindling sales?” “Anybody else had a dismal month?” “Should I drop my book’s price, put it on Kindle Unlimited, write something more popular, send out more emails, spend $$$ on a marketing course?”

“The traditionally published authors I know are faring little better, with shrinking advances, ill-supported launches – even the authors who have awards to prove their worth.”

A quote from Mark Coker:

“The market for ebooks has pretty much gone flat. And so we have a problem here…. There’s a glut of high-quality, low-cost books, more books than readers will ever possibly be able to read.”

Then, Porter Anderson comments on Mark’s quote with:

“That’s something, coming from a man who says his company is:

‘Publishing 360,000 books working with over a hundred thousand authors in small independent presses around the world.'”

A bit later Porter says:

“Publishing a book was never a contest. Presenting one path or another as a cause or a movement has never panned out as anything but…hype. The real goal, by whatever means you pursue it, is to get your work in front of the right audience and, we must hope, find some decent remuneration for all you’ve gone through to do that.”

And, if you do read the full article, you’ll know how important this comment from Porter is:

“You’re no traitor to the ideal of a publishing success if you speak candidly about the struggle. We all need to hear this much more than we need to see great phalanxes of grinning indies, sunglasses flashing as they pull down those “good livings” off their books.”

Then, Porter says this (which generated one Official Slew of Comments…):

“How frequently do you think authors feel they can share their experiences honestly? Do you feel the pressure to make it seem you’re doing better than you are? If you tend to sugarcoat your own experience for others, do you find that it’s helping your sales? —or your outlook?”

And, since I’ve been covering Reading, Writing, and Publishing on this blog for over 5 years, if you want more info on any aspect of those excerpts (or, what you might read in the full article), do put a few keywords in the search bar in the upper right or check out the Top Tags widget further down in the left side-bar—you more than likely will find more information :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com