Organize your thoughts and get writing with this book!

Home Forums Writer’s Digest Forum Recommended Resources Organize your thoughts and get writing with this book!

This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Doug Stone 9 years, 10 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #327267

    Bluebonnet
    Participant
  • #500651

    Bluebonnet
    Participant

    I’ve started several books in my time but finishing them seems to always be a challenge. I lose interest, my time is required elsewhere, my thoughts are so unorganized that finishing seems overwhelming – any number of factors may come into play when I work through story ideas, as I’m sure they do for others as well.

    I started researching some books to help me stay on target and settled on one by Karen S. Wiesner called “First Draft in 30 Days.”  So far, I am really enjoying the structure she sets out for you. Whether you’re new to writing or you’re a seasoned veteran, this book could be very beneficial in streamlining your writing process.

    Wiesner covers basics of building a well-rounded story and explains the “why” of the things she shares in her book. She provides several examples and templates for organizing your ideas as well as time-management planners and charts to help you organize your time and stay focused. She takes the sometimes overwhelming task of writing a book and organizes it into a very do-able task.

    The audience is primarily fictional writers, I believe, but the ideas in her book(s) could be applied to other genres as well.

    Available at Amazon for under $14 (at the time of this post):
    First Draft in 30 Days by Karen S. Wiesner

    She also has a followup book which I intend to buy once I’ve gotten a draft or two together. Also available from Amazon for under $14:
    From First Draft to Finished Novel: A Writer’s Guide To Cohesive Story Building, by Karen S. Wiesner 

    I’m sure I will continue to research some helpful resources and will post them here if I find others worth sharing.

  • #500652

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    How many novels has she written and sold?

  • #500653

    Laurie Zupan
    Participant

    This is copied and pasted from Amazon:
    K.S. Wiesner is a pen name of award-winning author Karen Wiesner. Karen started writing poetry when she was very young and had her first poem published in an anthology when she was 16 years old. She went on to sell seven more poems before turning to fiction, and eventually nonfiction and children’s stories. Soul Bleeds The Dark Poetry and Other Wanders of K.S. Wiesner is a compilation of the poetry Karen has been writing for almost 20 years. Karen Wiesner, named a “leading romance writer” by The Writer Magazine, is the best-selling author of the Gypsy Road Series, the Angelfire Trilogy, Dare to Love Series as well as upcoming, six-book Wounded Warriors Series (coming 2002) from Hard Shell Word Factory. Her fiction novels from Hard Shell have been nominated for Romantic Times’ 1999 E-Book of the Year, the Frankfurt Award, and multiple EPPIE’s. In June 2001, Hard Shell Word Factory will publish ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING Q&A, the compilation of Karen’s now-defunct Inkspot column. The book includes bonus columns never previously released. Karen is also the author of ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING The Definitive Guide {The Most Complete Reference to Non-Subsidy E-Publishing}. The 2000 Edition of the Guide is published by Avid Press, LLC and won the 2000 EPPIE for Best Non-fiction. Avid Press is also the publisher of Karen’s first paranormal romance, SWEET DREAMS, which was a Reviewers’ Top Pick for 2000 and received a coveted 4 ½ star, Top Pick review from Romantic Times Magazine.

  • #500654

    Bluebonnet
    Participant

    I hadn’t realized at the time of my post that her “First Draft in 30 Days” book was published by Writers’s Digest and was promoted as the Main Selection for the Writer’s Digest Book Club in March of 2005. Karen’s followup book was also published by Writer’s Digest in 2008.

    According to her website (at which, as a professional website designer/developer, I shudder) she has had 55 titles published in the last 10 years. Her work includes poetry, childrens stories, several romance novel series, an e-publishing guide, plus other fiction and non-fiction titles.

    Here is another bio if you’re interested: http://www.writers.net/writers/3581

  • #500655

    Laurie Zupan
    Participant

    jmmac13 – 2008-10-24 9:22 AM

    According to her website (at which, as a professional website designer/developer, I shudder)

    Bwahahaha! My husband is a software engineer and starts ranting every time he opens a website with things that flutter, flash, or make noise…

  • #500656

    Ann Emmert Abbott
    Participant

    Jamesaritchie – 2008-10-24 7:29 AM How many novels has she written and sold?

    See?  Legitimate authors are unafraid to reveal their identities and make their verifiable credentials available to all. 

  • #500657

    Deminkspot
    Participant

    The audience is primarily fictional writers

    …this gave me a giggle… can you imagine anyone writing a book for imaginary readers? 😉

  • #500658

    Laurie Zupan
    Participant

    mammamaia – 2008-10-24 4:57 PM

    The audience is primarily fictional writers

    …this gave me a giggle… can you imagine anyone writing a book for imaginary readers? 😉

    Hmmm – maybe I could do a press release and fudge a bit as long as I say I have 2 million fictional readers…

  • #500659

    Mikala Engel
    Participant

    Georganna – 2008-10-24 5:50 PM

    Jamesaritchie – 2008-10-24 7:29 AM How many novels has she written and sold?

    See?  Legitimate authors are unafraid to reveal their identities and make their verifiable credentials available to all. 
    I have no idea what that means, but those who can do, those who can’t write how-to books and whine.
    As for credentials, one of the biggest problems this country has right now is credentialism.  Credentials usually mean you can’t do something, but you have a certificate that says you can still teach it.
  • #500660

    ljb1947
    Participant

    Geo, maybe you need to get a life and stop attacking other posters? Honestly. It was and is an excellent question.

    Until James starts asking us to pay for his advice, he can keep his identity as quiet as he wants to. Few people who post here do so under their real names that they publish under, although I happen to be one of the exceptions. There is no reason he should be held to a different standard. Now if he asks for money, I’ll demand a list of what he’s published. He gives, consistently, excellent, knowledgeable FREE advice and his comment on this issue was perfectly valid.

    Arguing with him if you think he is wrong on a specific topic is fine, but your personal attacks should stop.

    The book in question was written by a published author whose advice I’d be willing to look at. But before you read and take someone’s advice on in a book on writing, make sure they actually know something about it. A lot of the writing how-to books out there were written by people who have never successfully sold a thing EXCEPT a how-to book. Avoid those like the plague.

    James was just saying look before you buy. I second that. This particular book sounds interesting.

  • #500661

    Bluebonnet
    Participant

    That is sound advice Jrtomlin. I always find it best to research an author who’s trying to TEACH me something to decide for myself if they have the experience needed to really know what they’re talking about. I had already done the research in this case, so I didn’t post it at first (just didn’t occur to me since it’s a natural part of how I pick out viable books) but I was happy to post links to the information once people asked for it.

    The information on her career wasn’t hidden. It was easy to find, in fact it was right there on Amazon’s site when reviewing the book. I’ll be sure to include bio information on books I suggest in the future. 😉

    The book, in my opinion, is well written and has a well-thought-out system/approach. But I’m not everyone, so others may not agree. That’s fine. We all should take the time to look into things before we just follow along like lemmings. 😉 This book is just something I was happy to find and felt others might also enjoy/benefit from reading.

  • #500662

    Bluebonnet
    Participant

    mammamaia – 2008-10-24 5:57 PM The audience is primarily fictional writers …this gave me a giggle… can you imagine anyone writing a book for imaginary readers? 😉

    HA! I hadn’t noticed how I had written that until you pointed it out. Rather funny. 🙂 I’m happy to amuse and I’m sure you will find more accidental amusement in my future posts. It seems I have a hidden talent for bad spelling. 😉

  • #500663

    timmahon
    Participant

    It’s great advice to look them up first. Over a year ago, I took an online writing class. I kept thinking how the advice and homework seemed completely opposite of what I’ve read before. Finally, I looked up the instructor and discovered she only wrote how-to books published on Lulu. Discovered her pen name too, which the only book she wrote under it was self published by her. I’m not saying that self publishing means anyone is a bad writer, but if you’re doing how-to books on writing shouldn’t have some proof that you know what you’re talking about? I bought the book under her pen name. Found it full of mistakes, spelling and grammar. Plus, she didn’t use anything close to what she taught in the class.

    The book you mentioned sounds interesting. I’ll look it up.

    -Trace

  • #500664

    OpalRhea
    Participant

    Jamesaritchie – 2008-10-25 6:05 PM

    As for credentials, one of the biggest problems this country has right now is credentialism.  Credentials usually mean you can’t do something, but you have a certificate that says you can still teach it.

    This is so true. Having just gone through a Ph.D. program and graduating (thankfully), I have to agree with this statement. We are fixated on credentials – but all they really mean is someone paid their dues. Not that they are really an expert or qualified in that area. You can buy any credential these days if you have the money.

  • #500665

    Ann Emmert Abbott
    Participant

    jrtomlin – 2008-10-28 8:28 AM Geo, maybe you need to get a life and stop attacking other posters? Honestly. It was and is an excellent question. Until James starts asking us to pay for his advice, he can keep his identity as quiet as he wants to. Few people who post here do so under their real names that they publish under, although I happen to be one of the exceptions. There is no reason he should be held to a different standard. Now if he asks for money, I’ll demand a list of what he’s published. He gives, consistently, excellent, knowledgeable FREE advice and his comment on this issue was perfectly valid. Arguing with him if you think he is wrong on a specific topic is fine, but your personal attacks should stop. The book in question was written by a published author whose advice I’d be willing to look at. But before you read and take someone’s advice on in a book on writing, make sure they actually know something about it. A lot of the writing how-to books out there were written by people who have never successfully sold a thing EXCEPT a how-to book. Avoid those like the plague. James was just saying look before you buy. I second that. This particular book sounds interesting.

    I’m not sure anyone here sets the rules or standards here, but nowhere have I mentioned “teaching” credentials.  I’m talking about identification, writing credits, exactly the same point James made and you’ve made in writing:

    But before you read and take someone’s advice on in a book on writing, make sure they actually know something about it.

    How does this not apply to advice generously doled out here in the Forum?  And how are the new members to check on our identity and credits if we don’t at least give them some leads. 

    This idiot “credentialing” non-issue is simply a red herring dragged across the path of my cogent point that readers need to know the identity of advice givers before they can even consider following it.  It’s similar to James’ position on the feedback that writers receive from usual critique groups.  What good is advice from someone equally ignorant and inexperienced?

  • #500666

    Bluebonnet
    Participant

    Georganna – 2008-10-24 5:50 PM

    See?  Legitimate authors are unafraid to reveal their identities and make their verifiable credentials available to all. 

    With all due respect, I did not interpret any advice from this post. I read only sarcasm and as if it were alluding to part of a conversation from another thread. If anything, I interpreted this as a statement that because the author’s bio/credentials weren’t included with the post, the author must not be legitimate or know what they’re talking about. (I really didn’t know how my lack of posting the credentials made the author less credible, but that was all I could get out of that post.) So, from that I made a mental note to always include the bio information in the future when suggesting a good book to others. I always research authors before just picking up a book of this sort, but I know no one here knows that I do that, so I will be sure to include bios in the future.

    The post did sound more sarcastic to me than meant to be advice, so perhaps this is what others are suggesting is part of the concern? Sorry, but that is what I, as a new poster here, saw. I thought I’d share from my point of view…. I’m certainly not trying to pick a fight or irritate anyone. Just trying to help by sharing another point of view.

    The bottom line, about which it is clear that we all agree, is that researching an author of a how-to-book is essential and just good practice. It’s important to know that you’re not falling into a case of the blind-leading-the-blind. So make sure the author has the necessary experience before following their advice.

  • #500667

    Doug Stone
    Participant

    Thanks JMMAC for your helpful information. I’ve been trying to find the best ways to write a good book, how to organize, etc. I am re-writing my autobiography, and need all the help I can get. I started it about 4 years ago, and when I went back recently to look it over, I realized I have a lot to edit. (I’ve learned a lot about writing since then). 😮

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.