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June 04, 2004
Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
Summer is here!


Hope your promotional efforts are going extra great this week!

We have a few items to share with you this week. But we won't take up much of your precious time, so on to the good stuff!


The best way to get to be a published writer is to keep practicing. If you want to dance professionally, you have to practice every day. If you want to play baseball in the major leagues, you have to get out and throw the ball hundreds of times. Writing requires the same thing. You must practice which means you must keep writing and reading. Buy a journal for yourself. It doesn't have to be fancy. A simple three ring notebook will do. Put down in it what happened to you and write down how you felt about it. If you want to write stories, you must learn to become an observant witness of your own life. Be aware of your own feelings and write them down. Tell yourself on paper why you feel happy or sad or discouraged or eager or frightened. It will help you to figure out how your characters feel. Look around you. Look at the way people dress, listen to the way they talk and put down your impressions of all of this. You do not ever need to show your journal to anybody else. It is for you alone. It is all practice.


Why do we write them? To help our friends: you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours?

No, not quite, though certainly many authors have written quotes for their friends' books. (And, okay--I suppose there are occasions when an author grits his/her teeth and writes a quote with more generosity than truth.)

Here's why I do it, and why I think most authors do it: to help out a deserving book. In most cases, the book's author has asked me to take a look at it before publication, but sometimes I've asked to see it myself. Once or twice, I've volunteered a quote because I simply loved a book and wanted to do what I could to help.

Do I ever decline to review or blurb a book? Yep. I say no if a book doesn't appeal to me, or if I think it would be misleading to have my name attached to it.

The tricky part is when I like a book but don't love it--but do want to help out, especially if it's by a newer author. In these cases, I tend to give a thumbs-up if I like the spirit of the book, even if I don't find it wholly successful in execution. I won't say, "Best thing I've read in years!" but I might say, "Told with passion by an author to watch for."

I try to be true to what I think a book is really about- - placing myself in the author's shoes and to understand the message embedded within the pages. I do it out of respect for the writer, his/her creativity, and hard work.

How to make your collaboration go a bit more smoothly.

The most critical advice is to make sure that all of the authors involved have the same expectations for who will do what, and when it will be done.

Another thing you can do is to make sure you start on a short project instead of a long one. It's a lot easier to decide whether you want to keep working with a particular person when you're jointly developing a five-page article then when you're trying to write a 500-page book. It's also much easier to write something with one co-author than with two, three, or more.

The first model, called: loose collaboration. In this model, each author is responsible for their own part of the book, and takes that part from start to finish: outlining, writing, author review, and galleys. With this model, each author can focus on a particular part of the topic, and learn it in more depth. You can also finish the book much more quickly, since two sets of chapters are being written in parallel. The disadvantage to this model, though, is that coordination becomes a problem. If you refer to something that will be discussed in chapter 17, and you're not writing chapter 17, you'd better make darned sure that your co-author knows to cover it there. It can also be a problem to get a consistent authorial voice with this model; there may be jarring changes between the two sets of chapters.

The second model, called: tight collaboration. In this model, each author works on the entire book. Normally this model identifies the lead author for each chapter. That author writes the first draft and then passes it to the other author to finish. The second author polishes the chapter, fills in any missing material, and submits it to the publisher. I find that it works well in most cases to alternate lead authors, so that both authors do the hard work of first drafting about half the chapters. They can also switch at the galley proof stage, so both authors are reading each other's galleys; this seems to catch stubborn errors. Tight collaboration tends to lead to cohesive and well-done books. But it's more work than loose collaboration and doesn't speed up the book-writing process any, which may make it economically marginal.

Finally, there's the specialist model. This happens when the two authors choose one another or are placed together for having distinctly different strengths. Taking a pile of chapters in various states of completion, finishing them up, and getting the whole ready for publication. This model works well when both authors agree about the division of labor and their respective strengths.

When you're contracting for a jointly authored book, there are three things to make sure you see in the contract:

Book credits (whose name goes first on the cover, and whether it's "Joe and Mary" or "Mary, with Joe", or what)
Split of advance checks
Split of royalties

The splits need not be 50-50, and they need not be the same (for example, one author might get 30% of the advance but 50% of the royalties), but everyone concerned had better agree on them up front!

Resources for Poets
Here's a few portals for the aspiring poet, with up to the minute information for writers on how to improve and where to get help.

scripts wanted
--------- 1) Dream 2 Reality Films ---------

I am looking for two different types of scripts

The first one I am looking for is a character driven (strong protagonist) mild black/dark comedy script more in the vein of 'Get Shorty' rather than 'Reservoir Dogs'.

The second type of script I am looking for is a cultural comedy along the lines of 'Monsoon Wedding' and 'Bend It like Beckham'.

Budget range will not exceed 2 mil. WG and Non-WG both welcome to submit

I am a director and my credits include 'Flavors' and ''.

Please email a logline followed by a synopsis (no email attachments will be read) to: Raj Nidimoru ---

Publishing Announcements
FIRST NOVEL EXPLORES ISSUES OF GENDER, POWER, AND SEXUALITY Reserve, LA (PRWEB) June 28, 2004 - One evening three years ago, Louisiana native D.A. Arthur was watching a television program in which a beautiful girl with long red hair appeared. The next day, she typed in some words on an internet search engine. She looked on the bottom of the page and found a writeup on what would be the subject of her debut novel, The Maverick Princess, published by PublishAmerica.

Joseph Foti, ESQ.'s The Carrot and the Mule, has received international praise in the form of reviews, newspaper and magazine articles. His short story "Kings & Queens," a poignant and vivid modern immigration tale about the dangers of unrealistic expectations, the lure of bigotry and the destruction that it causes; has been included in Katha Kshetre Literary Journal (Vol.5 No.02 Apr-May-June 2004.) Katha Kshetre is an international literary journal of fiction, news, views and commentary, based in Bangalore, India. It has been called "...a brilliant light illuminating world literature...," Dr. Kazuyosi Ikeda, Japan. Also Fusing Horizons Magazine, a literary magazine based in England with a circulation that includes the US and UK will be featuring the author's dark satire "The Sweater". A journey into the mind of a manic depressive and social commentary on the dangers of anti-psychotic medication. "The Sweater," will be included in Issue No. 4, due out August 2004. Finally Samsara Magazine, has published Foti's short story "Vegetable Lasagna," a surreal tale of corruption in the meat industry which features an ethereal court unlike any other.

Sunshine by Sharon J. Long due for release Dec. 2003- Jama Greene lived her whole life devoted to her mental abusive husband. A possive person and even jealous of her apartment management job. Jama accidentially falls in love with a contractor and he is everything she had dreamed of. Now comfortable in her own skin, he worships the air she breathes. Jama eventually leaves her husband with the courage from her lover and finds he is also now leaving her due to death. But one thing is for certain, her husband's Sunshine is now gone!

BLP's Book of the Month
The Piaculum by Richard C. Gray

This is the most moving, inspirational tale of faith I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Not only does it inspire those struggling with life's woes, but it also teaches how to maintain a closer walk with Christ through faith and love.

phone: not available

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Thank You for reading, see you next week!

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