Barnes & Noble store

Writing Descriptions

Have you ever watched the movie, “Charade”? If not, go and watch it. This movie keeps you on your toes after scene after scene takes you in different directions. The movie stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

When I taught writing, I showed part of this fast-paced movie to my students and had them write down what they saw. This made them pay attention. What often happens is we observe the world around us without really studying our environment.

Many years ago I took a course titled, “Writing for Children and Teenagers.” In their lessons, they told you to keenly observe the people in your life. Watch them and listen to the way they respond to you. Look for such items as the way they speak, what color are their eyes – really are – not just green but a grey-green – to how they grasp your hand from strong to weak or what?

When you “keenly observe,” you notice those hidden things you take for granted. Jot these down. Take a notebook and go outside and just watch life. As I drove Saturday to a writing-group event, I glanced at the sky. It was blue but not just blue it was aqua-blue with pure-white clouds. Notice I used specific words here, and this is what you need to do in your writing.

A place becomes “real” in writing when readers see and feel it. This includes the five senses – sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Of course, not every scene allows you, for instance, to have a character sip tea, for example. However, when you can incorporate all of these, it adds “reality” to your work. Here is a scene from Lockets and Lanterns, which critique readers said made them feel as if they were there:

“Florence pulled her cuffs over her knuckles. Her fingers cool [touch] to the spring breeze, which drifted in from the window behind her. The pot roast smothered in gravy sat on the china platter. [taste] She inhaled [smell] the potent onion aroma and passed the plate to her left.”

Descriptive scenes are important. It lets readers know if the work is an imaginary place, such as in science fiction and fantasy, or something they are familiar with either in today’s world or in the past. In Ruth Ann Nordin and my anthology, Bride by Arrangement, I set the scene for my novella, She Came by Train, included in the anthology as such:

“The train chugged toward the station. Smoke bellowed from the engine’s stack. Standing underneath the roof of the brick-and-mortar depot, Opal gulped as she watched it approach.”

What words give you clues to the time period? They are the smoke bellowing from the engine’s stack (denoting a steam-engine train no longer in existence) and her standing underneath the roof of the brick-and-mortar depot (giving you the impression of a past railroad station).

Thus description brings in your audience and helps them experience that period. However, you do not always need a long span of descriptive words to set a scene. In Ruth Ann Nordin’s Return of the Aliens, you learn through a few choice words that the setting is contemporary.

“‘Thanks for the reminder.’ She walked over to the closed door of the dressing room in the bridal shop.”

How do you learn to make scenes come alive? Write, write, write and learn to add such items as a breeze (touch), a fragrant flower (smell), a food (taste) and a character’s voice breaking as he/she remembers or experiences something tragic. You cannot do this in every scene, but you can, as previously stated, do that in a lot of them if you make an effort. Lead the reader in and let them truly “live” with your characters, and you could do this by simply watching your surroundings and remembering to choose specific words and include the senses.

Remember also to use your thesaurus whether it is the old printed copy or online.

Below is a simple observation test to get you started.

******

Observation Test 

 Ask yourself questions as you watch your everyday life. Do you see the details and/or remember them?

1. What specific colors are the sky and the clouds today?

2. How many doors are there in front of the school nearest you?

3. In a traffic light, is the red or the green on top?

Now, come up with some of your own to stimulate your mind. Have a pleasant day and many of the Lord’s blessings to you.

Categories: Amazon store, Barnes & Noble store, General Writing | Tags: , , , ,

NOOK Press

If you logged into PubIt recently you may have gotten this pop up:

Image1

But what is it talking about? Nook Press is Barnes & Nobles new self publishing platform. To tell you a little about it, here is the email they sent out to users today:

Dear Publisher,

Over the past two and a half years, our working partnership has made PubIt! a resounding success. Because of PubIt! publishers like you, we’ve been able to offer millions of NOOK® customers exciting new content from independent authors.

Our success is your success, and we’ve been working hard to bring you a platform that takes our partnership—and self-publishing—to the next level. Today, we’re pleased to introduce to you NOOK Press, our new and improved self-publishing platform!

NOOK Press is self-publishing made simple. With the NOOK Press platform you can write, edit, collaborate, publish and sell your eBooks all in one place—at no cost.

The NOOK Press platform features these exciting new tools and services:

  • NEW! One-stop Publishing Solution: Write, edit, format and publish your eBooks in our web-based platform, instantly reaching millions of NOOK customers within 72 hours.
  • NEW! Easy ePub Creation and Editing: Upload your manuscript file and make changes directly in NOOK Press. Editing and previewing in one session saves you time and effort.
  • NEW! Integrated Collaboration: Collaborate with editors, copyeditors, and friends, allowing them to review and comment on your manuscript without ever leaving NOOK Press.
  • Visual Sales Reporting: Our new visually-enhanced sales report makes tracking your sales progress even easier.
  • NEW! Instant Chat: Live Chat customer service is now available to quickly answer your questions Monday through Friday between 9am-9pm EST.
  • Pathway to Passionate Readers Everywhere: Publish once and reach millions of customers using NOOK and NOOK Reading Apps in the US and UK and more coming soon.
  • Same Great Terms: Our favorable PubIt! business terms and commitment to a transparent retail partnership remain unchanged.

NOOK Press Presents
Our booksellers are currently hand-selecting titles for a new merchandising program: NOOK Press Presents — Our Top 100 Picks for Summer. NOOK Press Presents will be an ongoing merchandising channel for independently published content that comes to NOOK through NOOK Press.

Once you moved your existing PubIt! account to NOOK Press your titles will be considered for this program, which will promote books across the NOOK ecosystem.

Get started with NOOK Press today! Click here to be guided through a quick, one-time account syncing process. Once completed your PubIt! account, sales, payment, and title information will automatically appear in NOOK Press. To find out more about the changeover to NOOK Press, see our support page here.

We’re excited to turn the page together on a new chapter in self-publishing!

Sincerely,
The NOOK Press Team

If you go to the NOOK Press page - https://www.nookpress.com/ -  and scroll down to the very bottom, you can find links to some Frequently Asked Questions. Among them are a few I found interesting.

One thing they tout is the manuscript editor, however:

Can I edit my old PubIt! titles in the Manuscript Editor?

No. You will not be able to access the Manuscript Editor for any titles you created in your PubIt! account. If you need to upload a replacement manuscript file for a title that was created in PubIt!, you can go back to PubIt! and upload your new manuscript file there.

Perhaps not a big deal except that the pop up clearly says PubIt is being phased out in a few months. What happens after that?

Another concern I have is this:

Can I edit my Project after I put it On Sale?

NOOK Book Details can be changed after you put your Project On Sale as a NOOK Book, but at this time, the NOOK Book itself cannot be updated or replaced. To update or replace a NOOK Book that is currently On Sale, you would need to take the Project Off Sale, download the ePub from the Project page, create a new Project, upload the downloaded ePub or create a new Manuscript in that Project, and then put that new Project On Sale as a NOOK Book

Essentially this says to me that if you need to upload a new version ie. you’ve fixed typos, or you’ve added a preview of your next book, or you’ve just updated your bio and your list of “other books by” you will lose your reviews and your ratings. Not a very cool prospect in my book. Of course, it does say “at this time”, so perhaps this is something that is coming in the future?

Because of those two questions I have not switched my PubIt account over yet, however I have shot off an email to the NOOK Press support and will happily share whatever they answer me.

Have you switched over yet? What has your experience been?

signature
Categories: Barnes & Noble store | Tags: , , , , ,

Amazon and IPG Books Contract Ends

(I posted this the other day to the wrong blog – ha! This is what happens when you use your phone…)

Amazon is in the news again. This time IPG ( Independent Publishers Group) has declined to renew a distribution contract with them because Amazon wanted a higher discount on books than they were willing to give them. Of course all IPG books (about 4,000 so one article said) have been pulled or will be pulled from Amazon. From what i understand B&N etc. are still carrying them, though.

Just wanted to share these links real quick. I’m home but on my way out the door, so no long winded Jo interpretation this time ;-)

http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/02/ipg-amazon-bn-ann-patchett-colbert-report.html

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/uk-publishers-concern-over-amazon-e-book-removals.html

If you have a better article link on this please post it.  Thanks!

Categories: Amazon store, Barnes & Noble store

Blog at WordPress.com. Customized Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,549 other followers

%d bloggers like this: