General Tips on Using Social Media


General Tips on Using Social Media

By Rory C. Keel

  

Now that you have jumped into the deep end of the pool of social media, here are a few tips to keep you afloat.

Double–check content, editing errors

Before hitting the enter button, check your writing for content and editing errors. Bad grammar and incorrect content will cause the reader to lose interest in what you post.

Be consistent

Keep your online presence active for your readers. By posting regularly, you develop your brand and credibility in your writing.

Reply

When you begin to build a platform on your social media, participate with them by replying to questions, offer helpful content, “LIKE”, “Share”, “follow”, “Plus” others to build your fan base.

Keep tone positive, uplifting

Nobody likes a grouch. Readers will become weary if every post is a gripe or complaint. While you may be frustrated, agitated, or you’re just plain mad, keep your writing positive.

Politics, social issues & religion

Talk about hot topics. Nothing creates a fire more than politics, religion or a social issue. If the focus of your work is in one of these occupations it’s a given that your focus will necessitate writing about them. However, you need to understand that by getting involved in a debate online you could limit your followers. You have the right to post on any topic, but others have right to block your writing.

Roryckeel.com

MELLOW YELLOW


MELLOW YELLOW

By Natalie Bright

 

One of the first colors recognized in prehistoric cave art is yellow, a pigment made from clay. The color was used widely in tomb paintings by Egyptians, although the billiant orpiment, from arsenic, was highly toxic. The pigment orpiment was included in a paintbox found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

The color of sunshine, Vincent van Gogh was a fan, writing to his sister in 1881, “Now we are having beautiful warm, windless weather that is very beneficial to me. The sun, a light that for lack of a better word I can only call yellow, bright sulfur yellow, pale lemon gold. How beautiful yellow is!”

Creativity, cheerfulness, and good-humor side of yellow emerged into a dark side in the 20th century. Yellow triangles with the Star of David were sewn onto clothing of the Jews in German-occupied countries. The color yellow became a symbol of exclusion, judgment and spite.

Yellow is the most highly visible of all colors which is why it is used for pedestrian crossings. In some communities, red emergency vehicles are being replaced with yellow fire trucks and ambulances. It is the most popular color for neon signs.

Write deeper using Yellow:

Beige straw peach apricot butter buttercup lemon chartreuse citron canary chrome gold topaz ochre Sulphur mustard butterscotch orange tangerine persimmon

The Wizard


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Wizard

A recent series of young adult books has reminded me how fun it is to believe in magic. Can you remember the first time you watched the movie The Wizard of Oz? How about Cinderella or Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Remember sitting in front of the television and not even being able to blink your eyes as magical things happened to make scarecrow talk and pumpkins turn into carriages and little orange people mix chocolate by waterfall? And how did you feel when the words “The End” scrolled up on the screen?

Writing is that way. You know the story because you’ve listened to the characters tell it in their own words. Your job is to take the story they told you and find the magic words that will weave a spell around your reader and keep them glued to your words.

Stephen King uses the term “telepathy,” and that’s a very good description. But J. K. Rowling goes a little further and alludes to “a book that casts a spell that won’t let the reader put it down.”

The magic comes from words spun like a spell, winding around the reader’s eyes and pulling their imagination to the page. They can’t put the book down until the story ends, and then they turn back to the beginning and start over.

Look for magic all around you and the words will appear.

Congratulations. You have received a post card from the muse.

Nandy Ekle

It’s the Little Things


It’s the Little Things

by Adam Huddleston

 

It’s the little things that stick with you. My wife and I just returned from an anniversary trip to Omaha, Nebraska. We heard they had a wonderful zoo and children’s museum so we took the kids with us as well. While there are a ton of memories I will always cherish, there were many small events here and there that made the trip most memorable. Although these tidbits may not make an entire story on their own, they can be woven into my prose, making it much more meaningful.

Memories like: the feeling of cold, sticky orange juice running down my leg after my three-year old spilled his drink at the hotel’s free hot breakfast, my children’s laughter after seeing a primate’s hairless bottom, the rich, creamy texture of a slice of cheesecake for dessert one night, and the constant hum of the road under my tires as the white dashes seemed to come at me forever.

Observe the world around you during your daily activities. While many events might seem insignificant, they can make a big impact on your work.

Happy writing!

Television Opportunities


Outtakes 198

Television Opportunities

By Cait Collins

 

I am enjoying the History Channel’s presentation of Texas Rising. I truly appreciate the advancement of original programming on the cable networks. The major networks have positioned themselves to become real leaders in the entertainment industry. Major performers used to shy away from the “small screen” as they appeared to think accepting a television contract would destroy careers. Not so any more.

Last season Kevin Costner brought The Hatfields and McCoys to the History Channel. The production quality rivaled that of the major movie studios. An all-star cast, spectacular cinematography, top-notch writing, excellent marketing, and an attention to historic detail created hours of entertainment. Game of Thrones is one of the most popular series on TV. TNT has hits with Major Crimes, Rizzoli and Isles, Under the Dome, and Cold Justice. Suits will soon begin a new season on USA. Higher budget shows have resulted in more quality programming. The trend toward short seasons calls for more original shows. The new series have brought more viewers to the Cable channels and created a higher demand for good writers.

Actors may be talented, costumers and set designers creative, directors motivating, and producers quick to come up with cash, but without inventive writers, there is no program. The writer creates the characters and keeps them alive and vibrant by giving them new challenges and a stream of secondary characters to play off of. The settings are developed by the writer and have led to memorable locales. Cabot Cove, Maine; M*A*S*H’s O R’s and the Swamp, South Fork Ranch, and Walton’s’ Mountain can be found in the television atlas.

Screen and television scripts require special training and an understanding of basic production, but they are fun to write. They are also a great plotting tool for books and short stories which can be a second sales opportunity. And you don’t have to move to New York or California to get the necessary education. Check the catalogue for your local college or university to see what they offer in screenwriting and production techniques.

With this in mind, what is your idea for a new television series? Will you write a sitcom or a drama? What occupations will the characters have? What is the setting? Will they be wealthy or middle class? What are their flaws and what are their strengths? Happy writing.

How Do I Manage My Social Media?


How Do I Manage My Social Media?

By Rory C. Keel

 

As we have already discovered, social media will help the writer in building their brand, platform or fan base for their writing. Social media is expected in the modern world of technology.

We previously explored the large variety of social media applications available to the writer such as blogs, business-to-customer avenues like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. We also looked at business-to-usiness focused applications such as LinkedIN. And let’s not forget the use of picture and video oriented social media venues such as Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Managing Social Media

Now that we have a social media presence on the web, how does the writer manage the avenues he or she has chosen?

First, you must understand that social media is NOT FREE.

Are you surprised?

While you may not have pulled out your credit card to set up an account, you will pay by investing either time or money. Your time equals money and unless you are a professional blogger, the hours you spend managing your social media accounts are hours NOT spent on writing projects.

Secondly, you need to understand the different ways to manage your social media accounts.

Individual App Management

This will require you to log on to each application and enter information, reply to messages or requests for followers and manage the account yourself. If you have several different applications this can be time consuming.

The optimum average time one should spend managing all accounts should be no more than 15-20 minutes in the morning and the same amount of time in the afternoon.

Basic Simple Links

Basic simple links in the applications offer the user shortcuts to link them together. By linking these social media platforms, one entry can be made and it will be posted on all applications, saving time and money.

Management Programs and Services

When you achieve your fame as a writer, management services are available to manage these accounts for you. They range from free limited services to different levels of service for various monthly charges.

Next week we will discuss some general tips in using social media.

 Roryckeel.com

THINKING WHITE


THINKING WHITE

By Natalie Bright

Wholesome and pure white. In its most basic sense, white includes and equal balance of every color of the spectrum, expressive of both positive and negative aspects of all colors.

It’s reflective. Think about competent and sterile, and a doctor’s lab coat.

White can be sad and lonely, cold and isolated, empty.

White:

Snow, milky, marble, cream, ivory, porcelain, oyster, pearl, silver, platinum, bone, bleached

White is the color of the page that is waiting for you. Write on!

 

A THOUSAND WORDS


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

A Thousand Words

In the back of one of my closets is a green plastic tub full of the images of memories. There are pictures of my wedding, the births of my children and grandchildren. There are family photos, Christmas photos and birthday photos. I look in the tub and see reminders of children sleeping, playing, fighting, performing and posing. I also find reminders of places where we took those children, and when they left my house. And sometimes I find a face I don’t remember in my green tub.

One really fascinating place to find inspiration for writing is pictures, paintings, photos and mementos. Each little scrap of paper, ticket stub, greeting card or lock of hair brings up the memory of an incident.

Have you ever seen an old photo that brings memories and feelings to your mind and the story behind them begs to be told?  Did you ever come across a scrap of paper with what appears to be a coded message that you know you wrote but will never remember why or what it means? And who is the nameless person smiling at you in the photo begging for your attention?

Congratulations! You have just received a post card from the muse.

Nandy Ekle

My Favorite Works of Fiction-Part 2


My Favorite Works of Fiction-Part 2

by Adam Huddleston

I can hear the groans coming from the peanut gallery. Shouts of “Oh no, not another one!” pour from the rafters. Well guess what folks, one blog is not enough to cover the vast multitude of books that I’ve enjoyed reading throughout the years. That being said, I’ll try to keep this list to a minimum.

Dystopian fiction, in all of its dark and dreary goodness, can provide the backdrop for some excellent story-telling. One of the all-time greats in this genre is “1984” by George Orwell. The author does an outstanding job of infusing a thrilling story with a gloomy, futuristic backdrop. It is the quintessential cautionary tale of a federal government grown too large and powerful.

If you are looking for an excellent combination of horror, fantasy, western, and science fiction (this really exists), Stephen King’s magnum opus “The Dark Tower” fills that role. Be prepared to go on a massive journey through seven books with a large and dynamic cast of characters, a myriad of settings in both the real and make-believe worlds, and tons of connections to King’s other works.

The last entry this time around is an oldie, very old actually, but a goody; “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. If you’ve never read Shakespeare, it can be somewhat cumbersome to find your way through the King’s English (or Queen’s English if you prefer) but the story is well worth it. On the chance that it becomes too much to bear, I’ll allow you to cheat and watch one of the numerous motion picture versions of this classic tale. In my opinion, Kenneth Branagh’s version is one of the best.

So, there it is. I can’t promise that there won’t be a third part to this thread at some point in the future, but hopefully you’ll give these stories a chance and enjoy them as much as I did.

Happy reading!

Freedom


Outtakes 199

Freedom

 

I can’t believe it. After nearly a year of heavy overtime, we are finally caught up at work. My first thought was I get my life back. Maybe now I can write again. Or better yet, write something that makes sense. I’ve been very disappointed in my writing lately. Sometime I feel as if I’ve lost my creativity and my voice. After a bit of rest, I hope to finish a couple of projects that are stacked on top of my computer.

Sometimes the words come easily. And then there are the bad times when nothing works. I pray I’m coming out of the tunnel of bad times.