Tag Archives: book recommendation

Self-Publishing Checklist

25 May

Shannon again to announce two events and today’s guest blogger.

Books for Thought posted an interview I recently had with them where I discuss even more of my strange writing habits, my ultimate dream, and what I like and dislike about the writing process. Check out my answers and more by clicking here.

Also, I would like to thank Reviews and Recommendations for recommending me!

Today’s guest blogger is Jonas Lee. He also hosts the blog Jonas Lee’s Imaginarium. A writer and challenger of the imagination, Jonas Lee is on his publishing adventure, and he shares his thoughts with the world.

Welcome today’s guest blogger, Jonas Lee!

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley said it best in the last line of Out of the Night That Covers Me. Since I’m foregoing the traditional path, I decided on looking into being self-published. Self-publishing is a new opportunity for every writer to become an author. You can write a 400 page novel saga about the differences of Coke and Pepsi and make it available to the world. Keep in mind, self-publishing does not equate to selling.

So, you’ve gotten to the point where no one is biting at your manuscript; or you just want to get your work out there and let it spread slowly throughout the world of literary media like a virus. Self-publishing is the way to go. Where to start though?

Well, first things first…

  1. Book finished? Check
  2. Book edited? Check
  3. Book edited by someone other than you? By at least three different people? A professional?

If that last one is a no, ease back before you just wildly post it on the Interwebs. I thought mine was good on the second round of edits. Then taking a week, stepping back and hearing from a couple of people on a few  flaws (by few I mean tons), it was obvious that I should take more time. Then after having a cursory edit from someone who edit for a living, I am certain that editing is key. Think about putting your work, your art, your passion out there and it contains simple typos, grammatical issues or a problem with flow.

JonasReap(1)First impressions happen once and you don’t want to be caught seeming like you are incompetent or don’t take pride in your craft. If you are setting out on your own, you want the first experience to be the best and kick-start the momentum from there. What I’ve found from my research so far on self-publishing is that it takes a motivated person with a clear plan to reach the heights they want to achieve.

Unlike being picked up by a literary agent, you will act as your marketing department, publicist, publisher, proof-reader, editor, legal consultant, accountant and artist for your cover art. Granted, you can hire out a majority of these functions, but how much would you like to sink into your novel before you get any return? Get that figure in your mind first. Then break it down to a time table that you’d like to see. First things first, before you submit an eBook or self-print, edit your book! Professionally. Then you’ll need cover art.

Cover art can be anything. There are websites out there to help guide you through some basic covers to get you started. *Note: Do not just pull images off of the internet and use them because “you found them for free so they must be free.” Artists can sue you for using their images without their consent, and it doesn’t have to be immediately. You can push out a book and it takes off and soars and reaches the top of Amazon. Then the artist whose cover art you pilfered from sees it and he wants his royalties. Do you want to be sued for up to $125,000? Take the time and buy the prints. Prints can cost from $20 and up, but then they are yours to play with and manipulate. C Your A.

How many people in your family or social groups would be willing to help in any occasion? Don’t expect the world to do your bidding, but trade services. If you know an artist that will do your cover art for helping them sheet rock their basement, do it! If you know an accountant that will give you advice for wine, barter and make it work. 

Cover art done and editor lined up, so what next? Like any hopeful author should do in these circumstances, read up. Research your audience and get a clear idea of who you want to buy your book. I know we’d like everyone to buy it, but let’s face it everyone has a genre or niche they are appealing to. Then use that to find creative ways to market and get known. 

Next in line, talk with an accountant. Seems presumptuous? No, seriously, if you are going to spend your money on a “business venture” such as writing, they will be able to help you find the right path to start on. First off, you are a business once you post your work for sale, so you need a Tax-ID or and EIN (Employee Identification Number). In my state, you have to register yourself as a company. Sounds silly when you are just hoping for a few sales at first, but trust me, when you start propelling and picking up speed, it’ll be a great investment. Plus, if you wind up getting signed by a literary agent, you’re eliminating steps they have to take. Who doesn’t want less work?? Your accountant should steer you towards any paperwork that you need to accomplish that. Oh, and yes, it will cost money to register yourself. On the plus side, it should be tax deductible.

In fact, keep receipts for anything you spend time or money on (this includes your writing time). You never know when something can be written off. Another perk on registering your name as a business is that write-offs for business expenses are possible. Check with an accountant on what those may be. However, your business registration will also allow you to set up back accounts (very handy for people using a pen name).

After your editor, cover art and your accountant, now… Refer to the C Your A comment above. Copyrights. DO NOT post a book or set of short stories or poetry without making sure that they can’t be picked up and sold by another. Unless you are wanting them to remain free to whomever wants it. Copyrighting can cost money but its a wise investment. Otherwise, the free way to copyright, albeit less formal and more work, is to seal your manuscript in a waterproof envelope and mail it to yourself. Keep in mind, don’t open it. You do that and it’s back to being a stack of paper up for the taking. Mailing it and keeping it in a safe or at least a secure place ensures it in case your story winds up in a publishing house somewhere or on TV. The government basically time-stamped and delivered your insurance policy.

Lastly, a great option an aspiring author should be looking into formatting your manuscript. Even though it looks great on Microsoft Word, e-Readers speak a different language altogether and your masterpiece might look like it was shuffled into a deck of hieroglyphics and empty space.

So, stew on those tidbits. 

Self-Publishing Shopping List:

  • Finish Book
  • Edit, edit, eidt (sp) – {then hire a professional}
  • Social Media
  • Copyright
  • Editor
  • Formatting
  • Cover Art
  • Tax Preparedness
  • ISBN Registry – Not needed, but handy for referencing materials later
  • Marketing – Think of what you want to spend (publicity, flyers, social media boosts, shwag, QR Codes, domain-name purchases, website)
  • Get to know your local businesses, book stores, book clubs and writer groups
Jonas Lee, photo provided by Jonas Lee

Jonas Lee, photo provided by Jonas Lee

- Jonas Lee

Connect with Jonas Lee by clicking here

Thank you, Jonas Lee!

AEC Stellar Notifications

3 Jul

First Update: In order to celebrate Minutes Before Sunset winning Goodreads Book of the Month, ebooks are on sale. Starting July 4th, Minutes Before Sunset will only be $3.89. AEC Stellar Publishing is also giving away free ebook copies in exchange for a review. Simply comment below with an email address or email shannonathompson@aol.com.

I know I promised more writing tips today, but I’m unable to do so today. I apologize, but I hope you understand. However, I will post one shortly. That is a promise.

So what’s the plan today?

I was interviewed by Ink Waters: Freelance Writing Agency, and I’m sharing more exciting news from AEC Stellar Publishing:

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 4.08.39 PM

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 4.09.11 PM

If you like these updates, you can sign up on the reader’s distribution list here. 

Other than that news, I was also interviewed by Ink Waters: Freelance Writing Agency, and I wanted to share it, because it’s short, but it’s also very informative. I was asked six questions, and they really defined what happens behind the scenes with writers.

My favorite question?

“Do you have a particular writing style or any odd writing habits?

I know I talk to myself and make faces when I’m trying to figure out what expression a person would make, but I’m most amused when I take out my hair bun and numerous pens fall out. Just goes to show how much I get distracted by my fantasy land.”

Read the rest of this interview here.

If you want to interview me, send an email to shannonathompson.com. I love talking about anything and everything, so don’t hesitate!

If you’re in America, I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day tomorrow (but I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow!) And I will surely get on writing tips as soon as I can.

Thank you for understanding :D

~SAT

Book of the Month: Minutes Before Sunset!

30 Jun

If you read the live updates, then you already knew this, but I wanted to post about it for those who follow me strictly on this website.

Minutes Before Sunset is officially Goodreads Book of the Month for July.

grbomYou can join the discussion by clicking here.

My best friend, Cassie, drew this of me, and it's an accurate description of what I look like as I head off to my cousin's wedding!

My best friend, Cassie, drew this of me, and it’s an accurate description of what I look like as I head off to my cousin’s wedding!

You’re encouraged to discuss what you think about the novel and/or thinking about the novel as you read along. I’d love for everyone who’s reading to participate, so other readers who might be on the fence decide to read it, but I understand if you’re busy! And, again, Making Connections is a great group to promote yourself as well as meet other authors and readers.

Thank you for voting and supporting me! This has been a very exciting experience for me, and I am proud to move into the future with such great supporters. More writing tips and publishing tips are coming next post, but I have to keep it short today! As of right now (June 29, 2:48 p.m. CDT) I am off to see my cousin get married!

Looking forward to future posts and getting back into the swing of things. But, if you’re interested, AEC Stellar Publishing is offering free ebooks of Minutes Before Sunset in exchange for a review. Simply email me at shannonathompson@aol.com, and I will get it sent over to you right away!

Have a great day,

~SAT

July 2 (or 3): Holidays in Writing

Last Day to Vote

28 Jun

June 29 Update: Minutes Before Sunset won Book of the Month on Goodreads! Check it out here, and share your thoughts in an open discussion group. Thank you so much for your support, everyone! If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be here, and I owe every delightful moment of excitement to you! Thank you!

If you follow me on a regular basis, then you already know what this is, but today is the last day to vote, and I had to share it. Minutes Before Sunset is nominated for Book of the Month on Goodreads, and I’m very excited and flattered to be a part of this competition, because it’s a physical gift for all of the hard work everyone has gone through to help me achieve this.

These are the current rankings (showing the top five):

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 8.33.45 PM

As you can see, Minutes Before Sunset is in first place with 53 votes, but every vote brings me happiness through the encouragement you all have shown. In order to vote, you either need a Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads. When you click on this link, join “Making Connections” (top right of the picture) so it can register the vote. 

This is another reason I’m sharing this.

Making Connections” is a great group which allows authors and readers to connect and promote their novels. For instance, Book of the Month for August is up for nominations, and every month in the future will come after. There are also groups within the groups in order to talk about marketing within the indie publishing industry and beyond. Even if you don’t vote, I highly encourage checking out this group

This is the group’s direct description online: “Over 1000 books listed to Read & Review…..come join us. This is a place for Authors, Bloggers, Publishers, Reviewers, Book Tours, Giveaways, and Interviews to make connections, find followers, ask for help with Blog Tours, Interviews, or just need some help with your blog.”

Again, please vote for Minutes Before Sunsetbut I understand if you can’t. “Making Connections” is a fantastic meeting place for authors, and I hope some of you join. You’re always welcome to add me as a friend too!

Photo on 6-25-014

Bogart and I are working hard, and by that I mean I’m working hard and Bogart is working hard to distract me with cuddles. (Don’t worry; I love it.)

As I finish up the editing of “Seconds Before Sunrise” (Book 2 of a Timely Death series), I wanted to share something I received from a reader.

Upcoming author, Gregory Lamb, gave Minutes Before Sunset 5 stars and wrote this review: 
“I loved the character development. I think young adult readers will be able to identify with them. I’m looking forward to reading the the other books in the series.”

Read this rest here, and I’m looking forward to posting more in the future. 

~SAT

July 1: Winners

July 3: Holidays in Writing

Website Wonders: For Readers & Writers

20 Jun

Website Update: 2.40 p.m. The host of Goodreads has clarified the poll is working and no one is cheating. She’s excited when new members join and vote, so I’m still in, and I feel much better about the situation. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me, voted, and even returned to explain who you are, so your identity was verified. I really appreciate this. I couldn’t have better people helping me :D (If you didn’t see my last post, some authors accused others of cheating to get votes last night.)

If you all recall, Minutes Before Sunset needed nominations for “Book of the Month” on Goodreads, and you all succeeded! But I need votes. PLEASE VOTE BY CLICKING THE LINK. We’re in first place thanks to your votes, but I need all of the support I can get to stay in this position.

Thank you for voting: Gregory S. LambChristina ChannelleAmber ForbesBob WilliamsMarie BaileyLaura B., Raymond, Silver WolfChristieKristy Feltenberger GillespieDale SpillerDan PawlowskiPeter JohnTuan HoRaul DiazNada FarisChrisJessicaMerilyn DignumAndreeCharles E. YallowitzVickie KayukKerriSarahKy Grabowski,David ThompsonChris the Story Reading Ape, Hereswhatsgoingon, Daryl Stewart, Emma, Heather, Abbie, James, Kendal, and Camrin!

So I used to do posts under the topic “Website Wonders.” Basically, I’d share a website that I thought was good for writers and/or readers to use in order to enhance their artistic lives. However, my “last” one was back in January, because I really stopped labeling them as such. (Mainly because they’d be a part of something else, like a Writing Tips post.) But today I bring it back.

On December 8, 2012, I wrote Website Wonders: Twitter: ShanAshleeT23, which directed followers to my Twitter while also giving tips on how to promote yourself via Twitter. I did this for an important reason. I often share websites I come across on my Twitter, and I do this on a regular basis. So today’s post will be the top sites I’ve found and shared on my Twitter in the past month or so:

Writing & Publishing:

 

 

Click the pic to join me on Twitter!

Click the pic to join me on Twitter!

Reading

I also share funny things on my Twitter about my every day life: This is a giant cinnamon roll I ate! It came with a steak knife. How awesome is that?

I also share funny things on my Twitter about my every day life: This is a giant cinnamon roll I ate! It came with a steak knife. How awesome is that?

Cinnamon Roll

If you all find any websites you like as a reader or a writer, comment below to share it :D Also, I hope you voted. It really helps me out. I’m simply flattered you support me here! And I’m excited, because so many more people are supporting Minutes Before Sunset now that the paperback has been released through all major retailers. Check it out if you haven’t already:

Click the picture of Minutes Before Sunset! Available as paperback and ebook on AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKoboDieselSony, and Apple

Click the pic and go to Amazon!

Click the pic and go to Amazon!

~SAT

June 23: It’s My Birthday :]

Paperback Published & Spotlight Interview

14 Jun

WEBSITE UPDATE: If you all recall, Minutes Before Sunset needed nominations for “Book of the Month” on Goodreads, and you all succeeded! But I need votes. PLEASE VOTE BY CLICKING THE LINK. I need all of the support I can get :D

Thank you for voting: Gregory S. Lamb, Christina Channelle, Amber ForbesBob Williams, Marie Bailey, Laura B., Raymond, Silver Wolf, Christie, and Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie.  (I’ll add your site here when you vote too!)

Minutes Before Sunset is officially available as a paperback through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s been available as a pre-order, but now it will ship to your house when you order it! I’m really excited, because this is a day I’ve been waiting on for a long time! If you click on the picture below, you’ll be taken directly to Amazon, which has the cheapest prices and the most reviews. I’m always excited to share my stories, but I’m even more excited to share your thoughts. If you do a review, let me know, and I will link your websites on this very page! Thank you for all of your support.

Click the pic and go to Amazon!

Click the pic and go to Amazon!

I wanted to share one of my most supportive followers, Ky Grabowski. A fellow writer and reader, you all may recognize Ky Grabowski. She hosts The Inner Workings Of My Mind, and she’s reviewed Minutes Before Sunset already. She also won a signed paperback. It’s a treat to connect with my readers like this. But she made my day when she sent me a tweet including a picture of her with Minutes Before Sunset

Ky Grabowski with "Minutes Before Sunset."

Ky Grabowski with “Minutes Before Sunset.”

I also mention Ky Grabowski for another reason.  Ky Grabowski is also doing a “Spotlight” feature on her blog, and I’m excited to announce I was featured on this yesterday. She interviews authors and other artists, and her questions include focus on Minutes Before Sunset, inspiration, advice for new writers, and fun questions. Here’s a preview

“What would you like readers to get from your book (s) ?

My ultimate goal when writing a novel is to help young adults understand decision-making and moral values. I also encourage teens to think outside the stereotype box. For instance, “Minutes Before Sunset” includes a character named Crystal Hutchins. She may dress like a “punk,” but she’s an aspiring journalist, and she loves events, so she’s very excited about prom. This character was created carefully, because I wanted to show there is more to a person than just their dress or their actions. She may contradict herself, but that’s simply an action created by her trying to figure out who she wants to be.”

Read the rest of this interview by clicking this link

Ky has graciously given me three spots for the Spotlight Feature to fill, so you can be showcased on her website! Comment below, and let me know if you’re interested.

And help me celebrate today’s release by checking out Minutes Before Sunset! Available as paperback and ebook on AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsKoboDieselSony, and Apple.

~SAT

June 16, 2013: Why I Won’t Give Up

Minutes Before Sunset Release Party ! ! !

1 May

Website Update:

7 p.m. Book Mavern’s Picks featured “Minutes Before Sunset” today. Special thanks Jhobell Kristyl, book reviewer and blogger. Click here to read.  

10 a.m.: ShannonAThompson.com has hit over 7,000 followers :D Thank you all for the tremendous support! 

After years of writing and reading, and being on ShannonAThompson.com for eight months, I am so excited that we are finally here! It’s absolutely breathtaking seeing my novel up on the internet, because I can finally share it, and I’ve been looking forward to it for so long :] Again, and I say this all of the time because I mean it, thank you for supporting me along this journey.

Published by AEC Stellar Publishing, Minutes Before Sunset is now available as an e-book for $6.99 (And there’s a 20% discount for the first week of sales! (It expires at midnight on 5/7/2013.) Just click here (or go to Smashwords) and use the discount code DM42Z. Please help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter :D I’d really appreciate it! And don’t forget there’s a surprise for you all (Yes, you all!) in my acknowledgements page. 

Here are other places you can buy Minutes Before Sunset:

Amazon: Kindle

Smashwords includes links for Kindle, ePub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, Plain Text Download, and Plain Text View.

I’ll be adding links periodically as I receive them ! But in case you’re just now coming to my site: I’ve added the Shan-002synopsis, the cover, and the first chapter below:

She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

 The first chapter (for free) click this link: First Chapter Preview

And excited things have happened! I’ve received another author review:

“Creative and well written, ‘Minutes Before Sunset’ keeps the reader intrigued and anxious for the sequel. Love it!” – T.L. McCown, author of Shifting Sands.

While this was happening, I also did another interview with upcoming author, Amber Skye Forbes, and that can be read by clicking here.

It’s official. I’m dancing around the room with my fat cat, Bogart. He’s excited. (I can tell by his lack of begging for food.) I’ll be close to the computer (as usual but even more so) this week, so don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail or ask a question in the comments section. I’ll get back to you right away! If you’re interested in an interview or planning on reviewing Minutes Before Sunset, let me know! I will link them to all of my websites!

In the mean time, I hope you’re enjoying reading Minutes Before Sunset as much as I enjoyed writing it for everyone! 

~SAT

See? We're dance-hugging :]

See? We’re dance-hugging :]

Relax & Read: The Unmemntioable by Erin Moure

8 Apr

23 days until the Minutes Before Sunset release!

April is National Poetry Month, so I thought I’d discuss a poetry collection today. So I read The Unmemntioable by Erin Moure for my Poetry Writing II class, and it is safe to say that I am in love. 9781770890046_p0_v1_s260x420

Moure’s poetry collection defies time along with persona. It’s the repercussions of identity within a family’s timeless love. As Barnes & Noble explains, “Moure’s poems, love is bound to a duty: to comprehend what it was that the immigrants would not speak of. Now they are dead; their children and grandchildren know but an anecdotal pastiche of Ukrainian history. On Saskatoon Mountain in Alberta where they settled.”

The history, along with the reflection from present day, is brought to life in the only life left to the known, knowing that the life is ultimately unknown. (Complicated, eh? But wonderful.) I have to admit that I also feel a connection within the mother-daughter relationship of the unknown. The speaker of the poems, Moure, is spreading her mother’s ashes in the Ukraine and is forced to wonder what exactly happened to her mother in order to understand who her mother really was, since her mother never spoke about it. (Considering how awful the Polish-Ukraine conflict was, this isn’t a surprise, but the contradiction this history caused is a thoughtful journey to take.)

Here are my favorite quotes:

“There are persons who can speak no more, whose very names have vanished. Yet a name excised from the verge where it once lived still casts its sound on all who sleep there and enters their throats.” (45)

[Take me in your arms] a way of seeing then.” (15)

“Today I refuse to be pinned down to an identity. Right away, I want to betray it.” (19)

“That there is a before-speaking, that we did not always speak” (41)

“this was passed to writing and the content of a writing burned can no longer be handed back to memory, for writing abolishes memory and as what was written can no longer be passed down, it has no Author in the old sense: no ability to act as proxy to, to verify on behalf of.” (13)

“For if thought that exceeds what has yet been thought were not possible, the infinite would not be possible, and self/ itself or subjectivity its intermediary transcendence/ incendiarry.” (39)

Check it out here: The Unmemntioable by Erin Moure

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

~SAT

April 10: My Thoughts On: Young-Adult Fiction  

Movie Mention: On the Road

29 Mar

Website Update: 1:00 a.m.: My Facebook Author Page hit 150 likes today! Thank you for making my Friday that much better. 

Yes. This movie is based off of Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road, and, before I continue, I have to clarify how much of a fan I am of Kerouac. I first studied him in 2010. I read The Dharma Burns, Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, and Dr. Sax–all under Ken Irby’s poetic eye–and I’ve been in envy of Kerouac’s philosophic and honest writing ever since. (If you’re interested, here’s a list of how to write prose like Kerouac himself.)

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

But–back to the movie.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on this Brazilian-French drama ever since it premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or in May, 2012, but I couldn’t–for the life of me–find it anywhere. Maybe it was just my experience, but it never came to theaters here (Kansas main theaters), and stores seem to always have to order it from somewhere else. However, after watching it, I think I know why.

On the Road is very controversial. If you don’t understand The Beat Generation (writers in the 1950’s who experimented with drugs and sex) I could see why the movie would come across as a giant party, rather than something truly challenging and real. In fact, many don’t even realize that On the Road is based on a true story, something that happened to Kerouac and his friend, Neal Cassady. I think these facts are really essential to seeing (and feeling) what the movie is truly about. But, nevertheless, my friend (who hasn’t read the book, but did have me to explain some things) loved it, and I did too.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it's no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of "Mary Lou" very well.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it’s no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of “Mary Lou” very well.

It was a beautiful adaptation of a such a striking traveler’s (and coming of age) tale. In the novel, Kerouac’s ability to discuss self-discovery within culture is magnificent–and so is the movie’s. Walter Salles did a wonderful job directing this film.

I really recommend both the book and the movie. (Book first, preferably, but it’s up to you.) It’s a great way to start the weekend. And, if you’re looking for a trip to take this summer, consider traveling On the Road (his map is available below) with Kerouac’s writing to guide the way.

Watch the trailer for the On the Road movie here.

~SAT

March 31: Writing Tips: Different Perspectives 

His map

His map

Relax & Read: How to Write a Sentence

19 Mar

As told in my Back to School post, my NonFiction Writing I class assigned Stanley Fish’s How-To book, How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One. We just wrapped up this short (only 160 pages) book, and, although my class had some complaints about simplicity, I really enjoyed it.

From the beginning, Fish describes the sentence as a medium (like paint to the artist) and how writers need to love the sentence before they can master the sentence. When he states, “I belong to the tribe of sentences watchers” I fell in love. I thought his honesty was relatable, and his task was courageous. As many writers like to believe they understand everything there is to writing, especially after practicing for years, no one does, and I think Fish acknowledges this very respectively. He doesn’t act as if he knows everything; instead, he opens up to forms upon forms upon styles that can be reviewed and studied, torn apart and understood.

This was the copy I bought, but it's often red and hardcover now.

This was the copy I bought, but it’s often red and hardcover now.

I really liked this, BECAUSE of his simplicity. I think, at least for me, I often get caught up in the complexity of language (meaning I’ve surpassed the basics, but I sometimes lose myself on complicating things too much.) Like an abstract artist, I may lose concentration on the overall piece, and Fish really grips reality when he discusses the relationships from word to word, sentence to sentence.

“This is what language does: organize the world into manageable, and in some sense artificial, units that can then be inhabited and manipulated.”

I really encourage others (and myself) to often return to the basics, because that is our foundation, and we need a strong foundation if we’re going to keep building up. You cannot neglect the support when it begins to topple. In other words, you cannot forget your basic structures, even if you’re working within complex ones.

On top of that, if you’re looking for some quick writing tips, Fish discusses first and last sentences towards the back of the book, and I think his insights are very useful.

So..if you’re in the bookstore, and you’re looking for a quick read to help improve writing, take a step backwards and relearn where you came from in the first place.

It will surely strike up that passion of our original love for our medium: the sentence,

~SAT

March 21: Publishing News: Synopsis & Cover Date Reveal

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