Category Archives: Sharon C. Williams

Do you know your writing voice?

According to Margaret Maron, creator of Judge Deborah Knott: Voice is the most important ingredient in a successful book. The plot may be clever, but if the voice doesn’t engage us, how can we care?

According to John Morgan Wilson who writes the Benjamin Justice mystery series: There is difference between voice and style though it is difficult to get at. To me voice is closer to attitude and the emotional quality of the prose, reflecting the personality of the author.

Jason Pinter, ( an author who I love reading) a former St. Martin’s Press editor states: Voice is the conversational quality of your writing, the way you “talk” to your reader. It’s as important in writing as it is in conversing aloud with someone or speaking to a group. If your voice isn’t confident, assured, authoritative, natural, and appropriate for your characters and story, the writing will feel stilted, forced, ragged, weak, awkward. Just as speaking aloud is ineffective if one is halting, hesitant, lacking in confidence, and so on

Now that is all well and good until I try to find my own voice. My Character Development instructor said he knew my voice and I did as well. I do? Funny I thought to myself for my last instructor told me the same thing. This is a trend for people out of my writing groups concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.

One good way is to read your story aloud. It may sound silly but it is a good way to hear one’s errors, pace and flow. Perhaps a writer will discover their voice. Will I ever be able to describe this important ingredient to others, I do not know. Hopefully though my voice is being written loud and clear in my writings.

I have an addiction: Author’s life

 

I have an addiction. In fact it started early on as I was growing up. It has continued to grow within me. To make it worse I married someone who has the same addiction.

Books.

My husband and I love books. We love going to used book store and scoring the deals and also books we been looking for. In fact one of our moving trips from one home to another involved a U-haul van that had only books in it.

The shame of it all. But we are shameless. One of our problems is we rarely give the books away. I did purge about 110 books years ago by getting rid of 95% of my James Patterson books to a battered women’s shelter in town. I have donated a bit to the local libraries. I have placed some on my book swap site online.

I alone have nine bookcases. Six of which are large-sized. And while that might seem a lot it does not come close to my husband and his own bookcases. We are addicted. Again we are shameless about it.

It doesn’t help that companies have asked me, and yes I have accepted, to review for them meaning free books for Sharon and hubby.

It’s a disease. It is. I don’t try anymore to explain it to non readers. There is no point. Either you get it or you don’t. Either you love it or you run away from it.

This is my addiction. I might need to purge some more to make room for the others I am more than sure to bring into the house.

But this an addiction that we are glad we have.

Book contract: Sign readily?

 

When I was offered my first book contract I was over the moon. I had a few people look it over and did some research to make sure it looked good. I signed it and we proceeded to getting the cover, more edits and all the things involved in getting a book out in print to the public. And the rest is history as the saying goes.

Time move on and things didn’t sit right with me after a couple of years so I asked for my rights back. That prove problematic. Very problematic to be more specific.

I could write a small book on what to look for in a contract, what to question and to know if you should sign or walk away. Things I did not know at first and as a newly signed author would not have known until something went wrong.

One has to ask questions, do the research and make sure your book and yourself are being represented well. It took such a long time for you to get to this point. Don’t get so excited that someone wants to put your book in print.

As a new author back than I did the research but I didn’t know what to be looking for or asking for exactly. I did the best that I could. And for the most part it worked out.

So what to look for?

-make sure there is a termination clause listed and that is is specific.

-make sure you learn when the royalties will be dispersed

-make sure you understand the double secret code some might use when they explain your royalties and how the money is divided.

-make sure you are able to contact them in time of need besides the website they run

-ask if they have ways of having your book reviewed and how they go about doing that

-what happens if they fold?

There are more but this is what cam to mind at the time of this blog. Not all of the above applied to me but from other frustrated authors.

There will be times where it all looks good and it could be exactly what is written down on paper. There will be times where blips will occur and it seems the publisher has all the rights while you have none. But there are many people out there who are willing to work with you in looking over your contract and helping you when times go south.

Don’t be in a rush to sign over your rights to your book. It is tempting but this your baby and it deserves the same TLC that you gave it while creating it.

I am more cautious with anyone who is interested in any of my manuscripts. And that is a good thing.