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Style is a writer’s fingerprint

 

When I researched the Style Guide, I was surprised by the way selections of writing clustered according to genre. The other thing that staggered me was how volume after volume stacked on top of other volumes. I have absolutely no doubt that if we kept inputting data we would build on the mass of data clustering on top of itself.

So does this mean that writers are not unique individuals after all and all that time spent crafting a sentence is simply repeating a collection of words written in the same way by someone else?

Writing so readers see as they read

When I was young - a long time ago now - my father took me to see a movie. I can’t remember the name, but I have never forgotten the image of a wide band of soldier ants moving across Africa eating everything in sight, including people. Not a particularly pleasant way to end one’s sojourn on this planet, but a riveting story nevertheless. I especially recall the army of these small creatures cutting leaves from trees and sailing across rivers on them….masses and masses of tiny boats carrying the ants across to the other side. They landed and clambered on.

Big Equals Good. Only big can succeed. How true is this?

 

A recent report by the World Bank states that support for small businesses (SMEs) is ill founded. ‘They do not create jobs’ and are ‘less productive than big businesses’ (Sunday Star Times Jan 20 2013).

Writing in a community

When I launched the beta for The Story Mint in October 2010, part of the test was around whether or not writers would participate in an exercise around collaboratively writing serials. I believed it would give writers a reason to get together, to meet each other and to talk about their common passion – creative writing.

I found they worked really well and I was amazed by how quickly the community developed around this common activity.

So it was a ‘no brainer’ to continue offering serials when we launched our full service in May 2012.

Selling or Problem Solving – which?

 

This may be a strange heading to those who make their living from selling and are very comfortable with it.

Many years ago, I sold memberships and marketed services. Back in those days I never hesitated about telling people what we offered, what the benefits were and how much the services cost.

Recently I faced the prospect of selling again and found I was terrified. This was a surprise but then I realised that if you have been away from a selling environment the prospect of facing people you don’t know is indeed daunting.

Keep the reader’s eye gliding along

 

 

Writing well is all about putting words down on the page in a way that keeps the readers eye gliding along the page. If the eye stumbles, it interrupts the reading experience. This may sound obvious but recently I went back and read some of our serials from start to finish. I always knew that, when we publish them, they will need editing but I was disappointed to see how much work they will need. There are some excellent chapters but also some that require considerable work in order to make the story flow – a job for the future.

Is a CEO a leader or a Manager?

For some time, I have been aware of a transition happening within myself. There have been occasions when I’ve not wanted it to happen, others when I’ve worried about how people will react and finally acceptance that the change is inevitable if The Story Mint is to survive.

I have to be the CEO of The Story Mint and that’s the way it is.

Why do I keep turning the pages?

 

Welcome back to 2013. I hope you had a great break and read lots of books.

I’m reading a crime novel by James Lee Burke called Heartwood, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

So why is it enjoyable?

Within the first two pages the scenario is laid out.

Happy New Year from The Story Mint.

I thank all my readers for following my blogs and leaving your comments. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the ideas I have had around setting up a business and writing.

So I leave you with this one thought. As many of you are reading over the holidays (I know I will be) consider what it is that prompts you to turn the pages of your book.

Is it characterisation, description or is it something else?

I suspect that when you look for that element you will find one element that holds the story together - conflict.

Roads that lead nowhere often have another destination

 

It is an interesting phenomenon that, when we hit what appears to be a dead end, our stress levels rise and we start to worry there is no way out.

There is always a way out, but it may not be the one we first imagine. Often these are opportunities disguised as dead ends. They may even be opening a door we have not yet seen.

This process can be painful. Nevertheless, our answer to the question, ‘knowing what you know now, would you do that again?’ is usually, ‘yes.’

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