Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thoughts from The Writing Mama Blog: Is Research Really Important in Fiction Writing?


In a lot of the writing groups and conferences I've been to the topic of research has come up from time to time. There are many different opinions on the subject, and many will tell you research is only necessary when you are writing about something you know very little to nothing about. But is this really the case and if it is, does your writing suffer from not doing research all the time?

After writing many short stories and picture books for young readers, my opinion on doing research might be very different from yours. I have always felt research is critical no matter how much I know or don't know about a certain subject. There is always something I learn each time, even on topics I know a lot about as things are always changing, and changing fast sometimes these days. However, I thought I was just one of the weird writers out there feeling this way until I took a research workshop with James Patterson, who had this to say about research.

"Research really helps your confidence." —James Patterson

He also talked about how it can enhance your writing, even on subjects you may know a lot about. I was surprised to find out Mr. Patterson never writes any of his books without doing research, long before sitting down to write, on everything from locations to types of characters (i.e. Police Officer, School Teacher, etc.)

I tend to do a lot of job shadows, character interviews and even have gone to high schools, shadowing the students and getting ideas of how my teen characters will behave. I find my characters are more authentic because I take the extra time to do this every time I set out to write a new story. Just doing research once with a police officer for one book doesn't mean you shouldn't interview an officer, sergeant or captain of a police department the next time. You should because interviewing a different person or someone who holds a different title will give you more insight to what you are writing about the second time around. Unless, you're writing book two of your series. In this case, you would want to interview the same perons again or get their feed back on what you are writing.

Research should also be done for locations as well. I"m working on a book currently based in my old hometown of AppleValley. I lived there for a number of years, but there are things I may not remember or may have changed since living there I might want to know about now for my book. Also, walking the streets and visiting old hang outs brings back memories and ideas I can use in my book, too.

The point is research is important no matter what you are writing about and should always be done before you start working on drafts of your manuscript if you want top notch writing. After leaving Jame Patterson's workshop I felt good about the path I was on as a writer and even better about now hving more imput and focus on how to keep moving in a postive way with my writing. Even though I was doing much of what he talked about, I also learned new ways or reevlauated how I was doing things. I feel my writing will benefit from his adavace and I find myself looking forward to sitting down and working on my book ideas with a better attitude and as he said with more confendance.

Still not sure you need to to research before you set out to write..then read this article http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/columns-and-blogs/soapbox/article/55152-what-i-learned-from-james-patterson.html

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hot Sexy Romance - Happy Valentines Day- A Good Story Is A Good Story 02/09 by WorldOfInkNetwork | Books Podcasts

Hot Sexy Romance - Happy Valentines Day- A Good Story Is A Good Story 02/09 by WorldOfInkNetwork | Books Podcasts: Please join Marsha Casper Cook on February 9 for a live sexy romance author's party. Valentines day special at 9 PM EST 8 PM CST 7PM MT 6 PM PST. Join the fun - with Elizabeth Black, Melissa Keir,Sandy Sullivan , Lindsay Downs, Bernard Foong, Walter Jay Bissett and William Maltese



. Call in to listen or ask a question - 714 - 242- 5259.



For more info to advertise with World Of Ink Network go t o: http://www.marshacaspercook.com http://www.worldofinknetwork.com

WOI BlogTalkRadio: Hot Sexy Romance - Happy Valentines Day- A Good Story Is A Good Story

Join Marsha Casper Cook on February 9 for a live sexy romance author's party. Valentines day special at 9 PM EST 8 PM CST 7PM MT 6 PM PST.

Join the fun - with Elizabeth Black, Melissa Keir,Sandy Sullivan , Lindsay Downs, Bernard Foong, Walter Jay Bissett and William Maltese.

Call in to listen or ask a question -  714 - 242- 5259.

For more info to advertise with World Of Ink Network go t o:
http://www.marshacaspercook.com
http://www.worldofinknetwork.com


Listen to the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2016/02/10/hot-sexy-romance--happy-valentines-day-a-good-story-is-a-good-story

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

From The Writing Mama: Where Do Ideas Really Come From?

There are many different methods to get and collect ideas. Every writer has their way of coming up with ideas, but where do these ideas come from? James Patterson says, "The more you know about, the more likely you are to combine things to make an idea that’s striking."

I found this to be a fascinating thought as many of my ideas come from my life as I have moved more times than my age. I have experienced many things for only being 40 years old. Yep, I just told you how old I am. However, my ideas don't only come from my experiences in life. I also talk to and ask questions of loved ones, family members, friends, etc.

For example, my first published short story was inspired by my dad's childhood. I took three different stories from his youth to write the short story "Flying Upside Down" for the former Fandangle Magazine (see below), which was later republished in Stories for Children Magazine.



Story ideas can come from other sources too like a writing prompt or a simple thought. The point is no one knows where ideas come from as they are all around us in many different forms. What a writer needs to understand and what I think James Patterson means is we need to view the world around us at all times. If we truly want to write then we need to keep the blinder off and expose ourselves to everything happening around us so we can let the great ideas truly find us.

Teresa M. Amabile, a creativity expert, argues that creativity is not a quality of a person. Rather, it is a quality of ideas, behaviors or products. I believe this is true and why it is important for us to walk around with our blinders off and our minds open to experience the wonders.

One of the best writing tips I have heard in a conference talk was directed at those who wanted to write picture books. I don't remember who the speaker was, but I do remember this one thought the speaker threw out to us. "When you sit down to write a picture book, get down on the floor like a small child and view the world from the ground up. Make sure to taste the paper and smell the pencil, too. Why? Becuase this is what a young child would do. Children (babies) experience life through touch, smell and taste. They also see and hear too."

Sometimes as writers (if you are not writing for young children) we forget the importance of our sense and the role they play in our lives and in our creativity. When I sit down to write I always keep what this speaker said in mind no matter what I'm writing  because it helps keep me self-aware. We should experience our lives the same way and be open to try something new, too.

It's also important to record your ideas and experiences. I use journals. Others use a crisp notebook, a Microsoft Word or Google Drive Document, or a 3x5 card file. In the course I'm taking by James Patterson, he uses a simple file folder. He says, "Having a dedicated place for your working ideas is crucial for collating and finding themes or plot lines to begin researching." I couldn't agree more.


Follow The Writing Mama at http://thewritingmama.blogspot.com

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hot Romance Sells -Naughty Nights Press















Link to show 


Please join Marsha Casper Cook and Gina Kincade from Naughty Nights Press and the authors of ALPHA SHIFTERS AFTER DARK on February 2 at 9 PM EST 8 PM CST 7 PM MT 6PM PST- it's going to be a lot of fun! The authors will be discussing and reading from their new Boxed Set.
 
Action, passion, danger, and true love: alpha shifters rule the night in this red-hot collection of ***NEW*** stories by your favorite Amazon, NYT & USA Today Bestselling Authors.

12 sizzling stories of seductive shifters ready to battle any foe to claim their fated mates.
Featuring werewolves, bears, cougars, coyotes, and scorching-hot dragons in never-before-seen stories guaranteed to keep temperatures high and the pages turning.

                                            MEET THE AUTHORS   

Anna Lowe - Cara Wylde - Phoenix Johnson - Lori King - Crystal Dawn - Kiki Howell - Rachael Slate - M. Corchis - Angelica Dawson - Ariana Hawkes - Ann Gimpel - Amber Ella Monroe - Gina Kincade

Limited time deal so grab it while you can!
Amazon Link

                                                   


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Selling Books Isn't Easy





Please join Marsha and Virginia when they welcome Jack Remick on January 27 at 3 PM EST 2 PM CST 1 PM M T NOON PST.


Selling your books is one of the subjects to be discussed. Everyone tries so hard to get it right but is there an easy solution? Maybe not, but that shouldn't stop an author from writing a good book and hoping there will be readers interested in their story.

Number one rule! Write the best book possible.


Please feel free to call in and ask questions - open topics.
Call in  (714) 242-5259

For more info on Advertising and info about World Of Ink Network http://www.worldofinknetwork.com  

other links - 
http://www.marshacaspercook.com
http://worldofinknetwork.blogspot.com/
http://whatsnewwithmarsha.blogspot.com
http://bobandjackswritingblog.com/

Monday, January 18, 2016

Live Radio - World Of Ink





 Link to the show  
 Link to the show

Please join Marsha Casper Cook on January 19 at 9PM EST 8PM CST 7PM MT 6PM PST when she welcomes Mike Pettit when he discusses his successful wriitng career and how to write a series. If you haven't heard him speak listen live or on demand.

Feel free to call in and ask questions - 714-242-5259

You can find Mike at
https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/3442766.Mike_Pettit
http://mikepettitactionmystery.blogspot.com/





You can find Marsha
https://www.facebook.com/marshacaspercook
http://www.marshacaspercook.com
http://www.worldofinknetwork.com


Coming soon!