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Friday, January 10, 2014

Two drops of Ink is moving!

Dear friends, followers, and fellow writers: Two drops of Ink will move to a wordpress site very soon. I`m not moving because of fashion or trends, I`m doing so because wordpress gives a writer more security in terms of intellectual property. Some of my work--poems in particular--have been plagiarized from this site. I hope you will continue to follow this site at wordpress. Here is the new address: http://twodropsofink.wordpress.com/

I will post a final note when all is complete. God bless. WP  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Tips for Writing a Book After Getting Rejected : Bounce Back Babe

Book Reviews: `Spider Catchers` by Marilynn Larew



Marilynn Larew`s novel “Spider Catchers” is a page turning adventure from the first paragraph. The protagonist, Lee Carruthers (a CIA operative) is an interesting, unpredictable, and believable character. Often, female characters playing the role of a “tough guy” are over the top and cliché—not the case in this novel. Larew`s knowledge of her topic, the region, the lingo, and the world of terrorism is quite impressive and reminiscent of Tom Clancy in terms of its realism. Larew takes the reader on a fast paced, gripping ride through the terror networks of Morocco and beyond. Although the story in this book is complete, the ending leaves the reader hanging with a question—a classic and clever hook—leading to an obvious second book, and a possible upcoming series. Lee Carruthers is a strong character—one that readers (I believe) will continue to follow in future novels. I give this book 5 stars because of its originality, its clever plot, and Larew`s ability to write with great clarity and fast paced action in every chapter. This is truly a great book, and Marilynn Larew is a very talented writer.

William Power

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Poetry break!



Time

Turning, I looked over my shoulder,
I was watching life’s scenes reappear,
when I looked in the mirror I was older,
with the cries of past sins in my ears.

The past feels like a dark valley,
or a dark forest where soldiers were slain;
muddy rivers from a great storm's finale,
an old mansion with spirits, insane.

And how do I find a wise answer,
to leaving the past far behind?
Sin glares from afar like a dancer,
whose smile is erotic and kind.

Wave upon wave of each memory,
crashing the shores in my mind,
pushing the sands of experience,
into dunes on a beach I can't climb.

Until finally the winds of tomorrow,
grab hold and they rush me away;
To a place where there is no more sorrow;
and my mind always stays in today.
William Power © 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Are You a Storyteller, Teacher or Enchanter?


Marilyn Davis is a very talented writer, counselor, and mentor to many. Her skills of explaining the complicated in a simple and direct fashion, as a writer, have gained her a large following. This article gives writers a look at some of the styles, or voices, we as writers choose to use as we write. I hope you enjoy this article and that it enhances your skills as a writer. WP

Are You a Storyteller, Teacher or Enchanter?

Here LinkedIn profile: Marilyn Davis

Thursday, December 12, 2013

An analysis of self-publishing, traditional publishing, and hybrid-publishing

This is a post I did on LinkedIn.com that I wanted to share with readers here at Two Drops of Ink. I wrote this post answering a question about self-publishing. I found some interesting data in my research (and it back up my own experience as a self published author) that I thought authors and writers should consider as they move forward with a book idea. I hope you enjoy it. WP


Linkedin post
I recently read an article that posed some harsh news for the indie author. It was an article discussing the statistics of authors published in the three main categories: Self-published, traditional, and hybrid (both traditional and self-published). The statistics were quite clear that indie authors (98%) make less than $5000 on a book; moreover, only about 2% make $100,000 or more. Traditionally published authors made various amounts but the chart showed a vast majority made less than $30,000 (per book) and a small percentile (less than 5%) made above $100,000. Finally, the hybrid authors made more than both self & traditionally published authors did, in all categories.
I learned a couple important lessons—or at least some prior advice from my publishing professor and my own lessons and experience were confirmed. No one can simply launch a book without a good marketing strategy, or an audience that is already in place. This is why the big houses will pay $70,000 for a one page print ad in the New York Times to launch a book—even if it`s a relatively well known author. They build an audience first—then release the book.
My first eBook sold 1200 copies on smashwords.com. My second book, "Voices from the Heart," (createspace.com) was a flop. It had a horrible cover and short stories and poems are two very tough genres for an unknown author. I recently decided to use wattpad.com as a forum to build an audience, and then go from there. It has its ups and downs in terms of the audience; however, there have been several authors that have developed an audience and then took that audience to an agent and said, “Look, 500,000 people have read this book." There is no doubt about it—if you have several hundred thousand readers, an agent will pay attention. 
A final example that brings this point home is a manuscript I recently helped edit for my university press. Lyons Press previously published the author; however, the manuscript he turned in to our press was a nightmare in terms of format. The press decided to publish this book (it was of course sent back for the author to clean up a bit first) mainly because he has a large following on social networks and an email list that is 10,000 strong. These recent experiences have made me re-evaluate my pathway to a successfully published work. I hope this helps. I`m sure some here may disagree, but I`ve been on both sides of this issue. God bless.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Passive voice sentences

                                                             Cartoon: conservationbytes.com

I never claim to be an expert grammarian, but I love grammar and have enough knowledge as a grammarian to share some valid thoughts with my readers—I hope they help.

We writers work so hard to run away from the passive voice in our writing, and why? We are told in every instance—don`t use the passive voice! Our instructors teach us this, prescriptive grammarians scold us, and every writers` advice website or book commands us to run away from a passive voice sentence construction, but is this always true? No.

Most writers know that a paragraph filled with passive voice sentences makes for a boring read—this is true; however, there`s a need and a purpose for passive voice. Let`s explore.

First, let`s look at a passive voice vs. active voice sentence.

Active voice: Lori baked a red velvet cake for Scott.

In this simple sentence construction the subject Lori and the action of baking is in focus rather than the direct object (red velvet cake) or the indirect object/object of preposition (Scott).

Sometimes the object in a sentence, or the action in a sentence, needs more attention than the original subject does. In this case, we move the direct object “cake” to the subject slot of the sentence and add a form of the verb “Be” to make it a passive voice construction:

A red velvet cake was baked, and Lori baked it for Scott.

Now, this sentence is boring and a bit awkward; however, it simply shows how the focus of a sentence can change if the writer needs to use this rhetorical device for some purpose. The focus of the original construction was on Lori, and the fact that she baked a cake. In the passive construction, the focus shifts to the cake.

If an action is more important than the subject as a writer constructs a paragraph, often the passive voice will help in this situation. Passive voice is not the death of a writer, nor is it leprosy—it has a purpose at times.

One final note: The “Cleft” sentence is another way a writer can shift the focus.

Examples:

It was Lori that baked the red velvet cake for Scott.

It was the red velvet cake that Lori baked for Scott.

It was for Scott that Lori baked the red velvet cake.

All of these sentence structures simply show how to shift the focus of the emphasis in the sentence using a “Cleft” structure. God Bless. WP