This is by far my favorite writing conference. Each year that I attend I am never disappointed with the high caliber of organization, key note speakers, and break-out sessions. This year was no different... except that this year, I was granted the honor of being a presenter and panelist! I was so very pleased to be selected to present a workshop on "Building An Indie Publishing Company". I appreciate everyone who attended, and I am grateful for your kindness.
This conference focused on the nuances of Self or Independent Publishing. There's a lot of information out there, and Conference Leader, Michael Dwyer, was able to pull some of the best minds in the Indie Publishing world together to empty their brains for those who wanted to learn more. I was by far, not the strongest speaker, but I was pleased to share the day with Mel Corrigan, Sylvia Hubbard, Lev Raphael, Coleen Gleason, Weam Namou, and a fantastic collection of Michigan's Indie Authors.
Presentations included "Why I'm A Self-Published Author", Publishing from Indie Author to International Distribution"; "Is Self-Publishing Right For You", "Self-Publishing: The Numbers", and much more. The day was full of fun, encouragement, information, and creative inspiration.
More than reasonably priced at $160, with lunch included, this is one of the best-value conferences I've ever attended. Usually, after an event like this, I'm pleased if I go home with 10% of useful information. With Rochester Writers', I always go home with 90% or more useful information. If you're an author, or an aspiring author, I highly recommend that you attend. Held twice per year, once in Spring and again in Autumn (October 19, 2019, this year) at Oakland University, you'll walk away knowing more than you did before, and surged with energy to finish your book or perhaps write another one!
A Huge Thank You goes out to Michael Dwyer and Sonya Julie for continuing to present such a valuable resource to Michigan Writers!
Learn more about Rochester Writers at their website: www.RochesterWriters.com
Take into consideration these factors when thinking about the revenue your writing career may generate:
Writers, below are some fabulous websites that we think might benefit you and your writing projects. Some are tools, others are for research, and some are great resources for other information. We’re not being compensated in any way for sharing these links with you… we simply thought they might be of interest. When you have time, we hope you’ll check them out! WritersDigest.com - Probably one of the best all-around websites for writers, Writer’s Digest offers information on writing better and getting published. The site also includes community forums, blogs and huge lists of resources for writers. Their sister site, WritersDigestShop.com is a fantastic place to buy all the resources you could ever need on craft – from books, to CD, to webinars. They have a resource for ever type of writer in the world. (And, if you click the button on our website, you’ll get a deal on shipping!)
Merriam-Webster.com - Merriam Webster is the perfect place to look up words and find information. The site offers a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, podcasts, word games and a lot of other things that may be of interest to writers and word-lovers.
Publaw.com – The Publishing Law Center – This site also provides important legal information for writers. Topics include licenses, trademarks, copyright, intellectual property and contracts.
NaNoWriMo.org - National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo, challenges writers to pen 50,000 word novels between November 1 and November 31 every year. The site provides articles, forums and all kinds of motivators to help them get the work done.
WritersFM.com - Writers FM is an online radio station created by writers, for writers — streaming LIVE 24/7. It broadcasts author interviews, writing prompts, upbeat music and mini mysteries throughout the day.
Behindthename.com – Behind the Surname is a website for learning about all aspects of the etymology and history of surnames. Its scope is broad: all surnames from all cultures and periods are eligible to be included in the main name database.
Babynames.com - Need to name one of your characters? BabyNames.com lets you search for names by gender, origin and letter.
Etymonline.com - This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they’re explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago. The dates beside a word indicate the earliest year for which there is a surviving written record of that word (in English, unless otherwise indicated). This should be taken as approximate, especially before about 1700, since a word may have been used in conversation for hundreds of years before it turns up in a manuscript that has had the good fortune to survive the centuries.
Catholic-saints.info - List of Patron Saints and Patronage – The term ‘Saints’ is used in Christian religions to describe a person who is perceived of being an example of great holiness and virtue and considered capable of interceding with God on behalf of a person who prayed to them. A person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization. The Roman Catholic Church has an official process for creating saints.
Exploreforensics.co.uk - For many people, forensics is a fascinating but confusing field that is full of mystery and intrigue. Whether it’s learning more about how criminal evidence is collected and stored or finding out how the legal system uses this information, everyone should explore the world of forensics.
Seventhsanctum.com – A wonderfully user-friendly tool that helps you to create names (and more) for just about every genre you can think of… Anime/Manga; Beings; Characters; Combat; Darkness/Evil; Equipment; Humor; Magic; Media/Fandom; Names; Organizations; Setting; Skills/Abilities/Traits; Superheroes/Sentai; Technology; Writing.
Onlineconversion.com - Convert just about anything to anything else. Over 5,000 units, and 50,000 conversions.
Howstuffworks.com – This is a fabulous research site for any writer who needs to verify that the process or effect or affect they are writing about is actually plausible. They cover nearly every topic, Adventure; Auto; Culture; Entertainment; Home & Garden; Money; Science and Technology.
Duotrope.com – Duotrope is a $5/month subscription-based service for writers that offers an extensive, searchable database of current fiction, poetry, and non-fiction markets, a calendar of upcoming deadlines, submissions trackers, and useful statistics compiled from the millions of data points they’ve gathered on the publishers we list. They cover anthologies, journals, contests and a host of other “call for author” opportunities.
SFWA.org - Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America – The SFFWA, or SFWA for short-short, is one of the most effective and widely-recognized of all non-profit writers’ organizations. Members have access to all manner of resources and publications and can benefit from the protection offered by the SFWA.
PW.org – Poets and Writers is the largest non-profit organization that serves creative writers. Their website is full of resources, providing information on everything from job listings to writing contests.
Throughout all of literature, there are only twenty major plots. Don't believe me? Read this list and then, the next time you read a book or watch a film, you'll immediately be able to make the connection... no matter the time it was written, or the author! Of course, there are minor differences in all writing - but these are the foundations where everyone begins.
A little DISCLAIMER to start...
I am frequently asked how I work on my books. Not just my process, but which tools I use. So, I thought that today, I would share with you one of the writing tools I use, and let you check it out for yourself. Whenever I tell you about a new tool I'm using, please understand that I am NOT getting paid for the article. I don't get kickbacks from the companies. They don't even know (unless they find it in a Google search) that I'm even telling you about them. I'm sharing this information with you because it's been helpful to me, and I'd like to pass along the opportunity for you to find tools that enhance your craft and creative output.
I've written four books so far, and I'm currently working on about four or five others. I have used Power Structure to write all of them, and I will continue to do so. I've been using the program since 2004, and it is by far the best thing I've found for "Plotter Novelists" like me!
This is my all-time favorite writing software. I searched for many, many years to find a writing tool that would keep all my ideas organized, and grow with the stories as Drake and I created them. I'm a ferocious outliner. My writing lives and dies by my outline, so I needed something that was not only incredibly organized, but also very intuitive, because Drake has a short attention span, and has very little interest in large learning curves. Power Structure provided the perfect solution.
This program is set up to help you write novels, screenplays, stage plays, and television scripts. You can use the standard Mythic Structure (also known as The Hero's Journey) or set up a structure template that works best for you.
It has a fantastic outline window that lives at the left side of the screen while I write. This is enormously helpful when I forget what order things go in... Drake is constantly jumping about, filling holes, usually out of sequence. This program helps us to remember where things go, and it's powerful "drop and drag" capability means that I can move chapters and plot points around whenever I want without all that "copy and past" nonsense. Also, it has a fantastic thing called "Gestalt View" which lets us see acts, chapters, plot points and plot point details all on one screen! This is extremely helpful in maintaining flow when we write. Being able to see what comes before and after helps tremendously. There's also a nifty little note feature that allows you to instantly record notes that come to you on the fly, before you're really sure where they will fit in the finished product. I use this feature to keep research notes about certain aspects of the plot or characters that I may need to refer back to quickly.
There are a bunch of screens that help you move the story forward, too. This is not "select one and we'll write it for you" writing. It asks you intelligent questions and you fill in the details. The system asks you things like "What's the opening hook?, "What is the ending hook?", "How does this plot point move the story forward?", "What needs to be accomplished to get to the Act Break?" It helps to develop the story arc by asking you about what your characters will learn during the course of the story, and how they will be changed by having gone through the story experience. Again, the system doesn't give you the answers, but it does offer thought-provoking questions, which are immensely helpful when you're dealing with a Duck Muse who won't cooperate.
On top of all that, it gives you the flexibility to either write in full-screen mode, as if you were using MS Word, or with split screens to see individual scenes (up to five on a screen) and your outline while you write. It's tremendously agreeable to any writing mood we are in on any given day.
Add to that these incredible features: Spell checker, user dictionary so you can train it to your specific language needs, a thesaurus, name bank, character maps, word count and page count calculators, conflict tracking, index card view, story and theme pitch areas, exporting and full report printing - with divisions of your manuscript available in nearly every format, or full manuscript format - plus all the standard copy, paste, text format tools... and you've got one heck of a program.
And here's the kicker... you only have to use the features that work for you! You don't have to fill in ALL the blanks, or use EVERY view to write your book... you can use only what you're comfortable with and ignore the rest! You're in control. It's tremendously nifty!
When you buy the program, it comes with three licenses, so you can use it on three different machines... I have mine on my desktop as well as my laptop, and I sync and backup using Dropbox... and you get lifetime updates for no additional cost.
The only drawback is that they have not yet produced a version compatible with tablets. But they tell me that it is in the works and should be arriving shortly. Yes, you can work with the program in either a Mac or PC environment.
The cost for the program is $99.00 for the direct download, and $119.95 for the instant download plus the backup CD. AND... if that's not good enough, you can try it with the free 30-day demo, just to make sure it will fit with your writing style. They also offer a free, 30-day money back guarantee, and free technical support.
Here's the website where you can check it out: http://www.powerstructure.com/
You'll find some interesting stuff here... some Op Eds, some Information, Book Reviews, and More. Poke around the categories and see what ruffles your feathers... in a good way!