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ePublish or BUST! is a one-stop site for independent authors to find resources available at participating public libraries.  At your fingertips you'll find the information and tools needed to go from a great idea to a published masterpiece.

Amos Ballesteros's picture

Outlines

I have been trying my hand at a few different styles of writing. Now normally I am a “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” writer and I never had any intention of changing that. However, when I started writing an autobiography I needed a method to keep track of all the ideas floating around inside of my head. I decided that I would try to do an outline and plan out the avenue the writing would take. When I finished writing the first part of it I looked at it and thought it was probably the worst thing ever, but I was committed.

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John Beemer's picture

Simplify

I almost titled this post “Simplify, Simplify, Simplify,” but I remembered my theme. Only one “Simplify” is required; why would I need two extra words to say the same thing? As in many other cases, the adage “less is more” rings true. I’m a fan of simplifying, trying to cut out what isn’t necessary but still maintaining my central message. Usually I do this once I reach the revision stage when I can take a step back and distill the writing to its essentials. To use a cooking metaphor, it’s a lot like reducing a sauce: boiling away the excess concentrates and intensifies your writing.

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Laura Osterfeld's picture

The Truth is...

In one of the stories I’m working on, my main character is a drug addict.  I’d gone back and forth on what point of view to use, ultimately testing out both.  I like third person.  It’s where I’m comfortable.  But there’s something unique about first person, something that makes it special.  With first person, you can make your narrator unreliable.

Amos Ballesteros's picture

My Life Whether You Like It or Not

These last few weeks I have had the rare privilege of meeting my fiancé’s family. I had met the whole of her immediate family before but I was given a morsel of what it was to know her whole family in one place when I attended our wedding shower. Now most of you read that sarcastically and are thinking to yourself, “He hated the whole ordeal and now he wants us to suffer alongside him.” Well If I’m being frank, you would only be mostly wrong.

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Laura Osterfeld's picture

Re-Write

A few weeks ago I did something I didn’t think I’d ever do—I revisited the first book I’d ever written.  I was inspired by a writing prompt and for some reason that story came to mind.  I call it my first book, but in reality it’s my second (I don’t typically count the angst-ridden, vampire book I wrote in 2002.  It’s too painful to think about.)  I haven’t worked on it in more than five years.  But something called me back to it.  I’ve decided that maybe I need to work on it in order to finish all the other writing projects I’ve started and never finished.

Amos Ballesteros's picture

Read it and Weep

Now normally I’m an avid fan of just writing and not worrying about making things pretty. However, when it comes to asking someone to critique your work, I have to at least stress a little review. Now if you’re paying someone to help you, then yeah, make them jump through hoops and see if you can get your money’s worth. I looked over a novel not too long ago and I never could make it past the first page.

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John Beemer's picture

Setting as Character

What’s the best part of a good story? Most people would say it’s the characters. Without interesting, compelling characters, stories can’t really go anywhere. Of course, other elements matter, too: there usually has to be a plot, a general tone or feeling, and generally some overarching theme. Besides character and plot, there’s probably only one more all-important element of storytelling, and that’s setting. The setting isn’t just the time, place, and context in which the story exists—it’s the entire framework of the story. Everything hinges on it. Our characters are actors, moving and interacting in the world we create. As a writer, detailing the setting offers an interesting way to enliven these actors, giving a chance to peer inside their inner worlds.

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Jim Blanton's picture

Enter Jim Kelly

 
Enough with the mystery already, here’s the BIG reveal!  The subject of my book project is the late actor/martial artist Jim Kelly.  For those not familiar with Jim Kelly, he was one of the most prominent African American action stars of the 1970’s.  His most well-known film is the 1973 action classic Enter the Dragon, in which he starred alongside genre icon Bruce Lee.  Although Enter the Dragon was not his film debut, most aficionados regard it as such.  That’s because Enter the Dragon established his action chops with authority, so much so he came close to stealing the show from Bruce Lee (no easy feat).  From the moment Kelly appears onscreen, he exudes an undeniable presence and charisma.  He balances being a likeable hero, and an individual not to be taken lightly.

John Beemer's picture

Breaking the Rules

Rules are meant to be broken, as the saying goes. With writing, especially creative writing, this is often the case. Endlessly avoiding the wrath of the grammar police can limit artistic expression, preventing you from exploring the richness of the written word. It’s also boring. That said, I’m not endorsing sloppy English or ignorance of grammar. As a writer, you have to know the rules in order to break them effectively. Whenever you intentionally flout the rules, you should be prepared to defend your choice from proofreaders and critics who are more than happy to leap at the chance to correct you. We can look at some famous examples to see just how so-called “errors” can be art.

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Amos Ballesteros's picture

May the Fourth Be With You

We have come upon a hallowed time for my people this last Monday. Most of you will think that I’m talking about Cinco De Mayo but you would be wrong. I’m talking about May the Fourth… and yes I did say that it was a hallowed day for my people. (Nerd level: epic) Those people that I speak of are the ones that are preordering tickets as we speak for the next Star Wars movie and if you listen intently enough you can probably still hear the hum of light sabers being tested for the camp out on opening night. I only bring up the holy grail of nerd-dom to share with you something that may affect your writing. I’m talking about prequels and sequels.

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