Fast Track to Being a Writer


Fast Track to Being a Writer

By Rory C. Keel

Does the sound of being a writer intrigue you? Have you ever expressed the desire to write, only to be told, “You can’t write.”

Perhaps deep down inside you have a gnawing interest, an unquenchable desire, but you keep telling yourself, “I could never be a writer.”

The first definition of a writer is n. One who writes,” American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

The way to be a writer is to write. Start by writing about yourself or describe an object on your desk. What senses such as taste, touch, sight and sounds describe your perfect vacation getaway destination?

When you write, you become a writer. What are you waiting for? Grab a pen and sheet of paper or start typing on the computer keyboard. Be a WRITER!

www.roryckeel.com

Who Am I?


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

Who Am I?

By Nandy Ekle

 

I am a writer. I’ve always been a writer and I always will be. Sometimes I have periods where I cannot write my stories fast enough. The words parade through my head like raindrops in a storm. There are times when I hear the characters talking but my hands pause long enough that the words melt away like snowflakes on a not quite cold enough sidewalk. And then are the days when the characters are quiet.

These days are the reason for my day job. And what is my day job? Well, I’m a writer. I’m part of the correspondence department of a major world wide corporation. Granted, this is a different type of writing than the story telling I do after hours. But it is writing, just the same.

I open a letter from a client and the first thing I have to do is read their request, or their concerns. I notice the appearance of the letter, the handwriting, the typing font, the spelling and grammar. What is their voice? Most of the letters I answer are from the elderly, their family, or attorneys. The next step is to analyze what they are saying. Do they need help, information, confirmation, or do they need to be comforted and soothed?

Next, I try to find out why they need what they are asking for. Sometimes their reasons for contacting our company determines how we will answer them. Then I compose the company’s response.

I’ve trained several people for this job and one of the first things I tell a rookie is that each case is a new story. You have to find out where we are, how we got here, and where we go next. This is why I love to write.

Think About It and Become Inspired


Think About It and Become Inspired

By Rory C. Keel

Recently I found myself bogged down in writing my Novel. My first thought was that I had lost my ability to write. However, I seem to be able to spell and put a sentence together and my computer still functions. My fingers are flexible enough to hold a pen write on the reams of paper I have so what’s the problem, the lack of inspiration.

Inspiration

Inspiration doesn’t fall from the clouds nor is it mystical but it is a product of action.

When we feel inspired, it’s because we’ve been thinking and meditating on information we have taken into our minds through our senses. We take all of this information and then twist it, shake it, mold it and place it into a certain order in our minds that makes sense to us.

We then become inspired.

This process is action that produces inspiration.

roryckeel.com

ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES


 Endless Possibilities

By Rory C. Keel

Why do I write? Is it because throngs of fans demand it, anticipating every word of my next masterpiece? Is it because I honestly expect to make millions of dollars on a bestseller, or desire to be famous? No.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Endless Possibilities                                                    

On a recent business trip to the west coast, I noticed something amazing. Traveling along the highway, I read the billboards. Some of them knew I was reading them and said things like, “Caught you looking!” or “You’re so good. You read me like a book!” As spots on a connect-the-dots drawing, these towering advertisements had information about the grandest hotels, motels and the cleanest restrooms. They pointed the way to the best buffets and restaurants. Some revealed the places to go for the nightlife, and what it will cost if you drink too much of the highlife and turn into a lowlife while driving.

Occasionally we pulled into roadside rest-stops for short breaks and “free coffee,” and then we would load up on all the local vacation magazines, free maps and tourist information to read along the way. One visitor’s guide said that Arizona has more boats per capita than any other state in the nation—and they’re a land locked desert!

My point is that the possibilities for writers are endless because writing is everywhere. From billboards along the American road to epic novels, behind everything you read is a writer.

roryckeel.com

ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES


Reasons to Write

By Rory C. Keel

Why do I write? Is it because throngs of fans demand it, anticipating every word of my next masterpiece? Is it because I honestly expect to make millions of dollars on a bestseller, or desire to be famous? No.                                                                                                                                                                                   

Endless Possibilities                                                    

On a recent business trip to the west coast, I noticed something amazing. Traveling along the highway, I read the billboards. Some of them knew I was reading them and said things like, “Caught you looking!” or “You’re so good. You read me like a book!” As spots on a connect-the-dots drawing, these towering advertisements had information about the grandest hotels, motels and the cleanest restrooms. They pointed the way to the best buffets and restaurants. Some revealed the places to go for the nightlife, and what it will cost if you drink too much of the highlife and turn into a lowlife while driving.

Occasionally we pulled into roadside rest-stops for short breaks and “free coffee,” and then we would load up on all the local vacation magazines, free maps and tourist information to read along the way. One visitor’s guide said that Arizona has more boats per capita than any other state in the nation—and they’re a land locked desert!

My point is that the possibilities for writers are endless because writing is everywhere. From billboards along the American road to epic novels, behind everything you read is a writer.

roryckeel.com

It’s Never The End


It’s Never The End

By Natalie Bright

I typed THE END several weeks ago on a middle grade novel set in pre-civil war Texas. The spark happened years ago from my Uncle Milas telling me about my grandfather Cline’s adventures in Fort Towson, Oklahoma when he was a pre-teen. His best friend was Indian Joe, a full blood Cherokee. My grandfather describes that time as the best years of his life hunting, fishing, and exploring the wilds of the Kiamichi River area. He remembers the day he told his best friend they were moving to Texas. Indian Joe beat him to a bloody pulp. My grandfather asked him, “Why’d you do that for?”. Indian Joe replied, “You’ll never forget me now.” How can you not love those two characters?

As I thought about my grandfather and Indian Joe, the idea for a lower middle grade high-adventure along the lines of Jack and Annie series came to mind. The characters were a white kid and a Comanche kid, brought up to be enemies, but becoming friends. Oh the adventures they could find. I started writing, but what I just typed THE END on the first of this month is nothing like the story I had imagined a year ago. The characters took me along a totally different path.

The book was helped along by my brilliant Wordsmith Six critique partners and is now in the capable hands a small group of Beta readers before going to my brilliant agent. From there, with his insight and expertise, I hope it finds a home someday.

Do you have tunnel vision in the outline you’ve created for your work in progress? Don’t ignore all of the possibilities for your story. It may take you in a direction you’ve never even thought about before. So, in other words, it’s never really the end. This process continues on and on and on.

Happy Writing!

N. Bright

nataliebright.com

 

Going to school


A Pinch of Rodeo

By Joe R. Nichols

 

Going to school

I went to my first bronc riding school at 18 years of age as a freshman in college. Taught by Lyle and Ike Sankey, it was a three-day event that benefited me immensely.

Since age converted me to a team roper, I have attended numerous roping schools. You have to have high credentials to put on a school. These are people who have achieved great success, or are making their living at what they are teaching.

However, I have been around some of the most talented and accomplished cowboys in the world, that couldn’t teach you how to tie your shoe. Some folks have such a natural talent for doing something, they don’t even know how they accomplish it. Therefore, they are at a loss at how to explain the method to someone else.

In contrast, I’ve never encountered a published author that I couldn’t learn  from. They all seem to have the ability to pass along valuable, helpful, information. They are willing to encourage your given voice, without imposing their own style as the only correct way of writing.

I’m grateful for the talent I’m surrounded by in my critique group, and the other contacts I’ve made through Jodi Thomas and her Writers Academy at WTAMU.

I intend to keep learning and improving in my writing and roping. I just wish some cowboys could express what they know as well as authors.

Craft a Bridge


Craft a Bridge

By Rory C. Keel

The Writer

Within the writer is an individual not much different than his readers and in some ways similar to his characters. Filled with personal life experiences and holding a small piece of the lives of individuals around them, the writer can create worlds and invent unique characters to fill them.

The Reader

The reader wants to know about the writer’s characters. He is curious about the details of the lives written on the pages of story. The reader says Show me, let me ride with them, Let me join in the battle, make me laugh or reveal the suffering and let me cry.

The bridge between the two

The bridge between the writer and the reader is the book. Study the craft and write in such a way that it compels the reader to cross the bridge to find the answers to his curiosity.

ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES


Reasons to Write

     Why do I write? Is it because throngs of fans demand it, anticipating every word of my next masterpiece? Is it because I honestly expect to make millions of dollars on a bestseller, or desire to be famous? No.

This week I will share with you the 5th reason of why I write                                                                                                                                                                                   

Reason #5 – Endless Possibilities                                                    

On a recent business trip to the west coast, I noticed something amazing. Traveling along the highway, I read the billboards. Some of them knew I was reading them and said things like, “Caught you looking!” or “You’re so good. You read me like a book!” As spots on a connect-the-dots drawing, these towering advertisements had information about the grandest hotels, motels and the cleanest restrooms. They pointed the way to the best buffets and restaurants. Some revealed the places to go for the nightlife, and what it will cost if you drink too much of the highlife and turn into a lowlife while driving.

Occasionally we pulled into roadside rest-stops for short breaks and “free coffee,” and then we would load up on all the local vacation magazines, free maps and tourist information to read along the way. One visitor’s guide said that Arizona has more boats per capita than any other state in the nation—and they’re a land locked desert!

My point is that the possibilities for writers are endless because writing is everywhere. From billboards along the American road to epic novels, behind everything you read is a writer.

Rory C. Keel

Resurrection


Outtakes 65

Resurrection

by Cait Collins

It’s almost time to take on the final edits for HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? That means it is time to think about the next project. I have a short story entitled Borrowed Uncles in the works. I’m still working on my contemporary western Wildfire. But my next novel will be a resurrection of one of my under-the-bed works, MACON GEORGIA.

MACON GEORGIA is a person, not a place. Macon is part of a covert ops recon team assigned to scout an event for women in Afghanistan. I was well in to the story when the events of 9/11 derailed the piece. I shoved it in a box thinking it was beyond salvation. I opened that box before I moved and reread some of the chapters. I truly believe it is some of my best writing. The question became how do I fix it?

The thought of resurrecting an earlier work is intimidating. I want to keep the tone and suspense of the original, but bring it up to date. Technology has changed. Governments have toppled. Leaders have been assassinated. The whole make-up of the Middle East has changed. Still, I know I can make it work. In many of the countries, women have no status or freedom. I can work with that.  My characters are solid and the premise is valid. I look forward to the challenge.

While there will be bumps along the way, but I’m glad I did not toss the draft into the shredder. No story should be dismissed out of hand. I believe in maintaining a file either electronically or on paper of unfinished works. Why? There are several reasons. 1) What if you are meeting with an agent or editor and he asks, “Okay what else do you have?”  You can pitch your hidden-in-the-box novel. 2) Parts of a discarded work might be applicable for a new story. 3) Even stories that have problems can be reworked into updated and modern novels. Another reason to hang on to an old work is the writer has gained experience. The story that failed earlier may have new life because a more seasoned author has a different perspective than he had years earlier. He can envision alternatives to the original outline. He’s able to give CPR to the story. In the end, the piece rescued from the box will be better because the author has become a better writer.

My advice is to hang on to your unfinished projects. If you don’t have room to store the paper copies, scan the hand-written and printed notes into your computer. Back them up on flash drives or an external hard drive. Revisit them occasionally to ascertain if there are lines, settings, or characters that might fit into a current work. You just might find a treasure among the trash.