“Writers need to put skin in the game…”

 

…and money.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I’d already had a bad day when I read that comment initiating a LinkedIn post by a neophyte publisher. Not only did she make egregious errors in her post, but she insulted writers at our basic level. When she received a response commenting on her misuse of words, you could almost hear her giggle as she noted that she always gets those words mixed up. Never mind the misspellings and poor grammar she used. Yes, you will find misspellings and grammatical mistakes in my work, but I’m not putting myself out there as a publisher or offering to copyedit anyone. So I lambasted her–and later discovered that she’d removed the post.

But let’s talk about skin in the game.

What do publishers and agents think we do all day? How many hours did you spend on that book that wasn’t even acknowledged? How many months and years?

And money? How much money have you spent on office supplies and technology and websites and books and research and…and…and…How much unpaid time did you use up instead of spending time doing something that actually paid you?

And that doesn’t even get into the emotional cost.

Skin in the game? Next time you are negotiating a contract, ask your agent or your publisher how much skin they are willing to put in the game.

Master’s Workshop: 5 Keys for Fixing Your Story

September 27, 2014

WC2 Masters Workshops – 3 One-Day Masters Workshops with Art Holcomb, Ace Antonio Hall, or Nancy Ellen Dodd, Los Angeles Valley College, CA
http://www.wcwriters.com/workshops

Nancy’s Workshop: “5 Keys for Fixing Your Story”

Frustrated by your progress? Wondering if you’ll ever be able to figure out the problems so you can get your story published or produced? The goal of this class is to teach you 5 Keys that will help you figure out what you are trying to write about and how to write it in the best way you can.

The 5 Keys covered are:

  • Where are you in story development?
  • Which voice should you use?
  • How do you punch up the characters?
  • How do you figure out where to begin the story?
  • How do you incorporate details, background, and flashbacks?

Author, teacher, and writer Nancy Ellen Dodd will help “you” analyze your story, the problems you need to address, and your next steps toward completion. This workshop includes advanced material not available in her book The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages. This is a writing and lecture class. Examples will come from participating student’s work during the class and pages submitted in advance.

You’re Invited Inside for a Peek

The Writing Nut publishes a blog about writers and their writing space and rituals. July 9 she featured me with pictures of my writing work space, including my 5′ nutcracker, and some of my thoughts about finding time and the rituals of writing. The blog can be found http://www.thewritingnut.com/wednesday-writers-workspace/wednesday-writers-workspace-welcomes-nancy-ellen-dodd/

 

Conventions of the Screenplay

For those of you interested, tomorrow starts my 8-week online screenwriting class, “Conventions of the Screenplay,” through Screenwriters University. See the full description at:
http://swu.register.fwmedia.com/Course?CourseId=7016-4&utm_source=SUPromo&utm_medium=wid&utm_campaign=kahsuwid022014

Teaching New Online Class

I am teaching a new Writer’s Digest 12-week session, “Creative Writing 101,” starting October 17, 2013. If interested, go to the following link for more information:

http://wdu.register.fwmedia.com/Course?CourseId=1120-2&utm_source=WDUPromo&utm_medium=wid&utm_campaign=wdukrwid101113

Available Classes

For those of you asking where they can take a class from me, here are a few of the classes and workshops I have scheduled.

Writer’s Digest University Online – “Creative Writing 101″ August 22 thru November 14. This is a 12-week course.

Screenwriter’s University (part of Writer’s Digest) – “Conventions of the Screenplay: Formatting, Dialogue, Imagery and Genre” August 29 – September 19. This is an 8-week course.

Writer’s Digest West 2013 Conference – “The Writer’s Compass: Using Story Maps to Build Better Fiction”September 29, 9:00-9:50 am.

Conejo Valley Writer’s Group – October 12.

GLAWS Digital Author and Self-Publishing Conference – October 12-13.

Conejo Adult School – 2 classes over 2 Saturdays, October 19 & 26, “The Writer’s Compass” 9:30 am to 12:30 pm,  and “Seven Stages of Revision” 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Writers of Kern, Bakersfield – November 2 & November 23, contact me for more info.

So. California Writers Association Workshop – January 18, 2014, contact me for more info.

San Miguel Writer’s Conference, San Miguel, Mexico – February 12-17, 2014.

Time To Write

One of the faculty at the Graziadio School at Pepperdine suggested starting a group to encourage academic writing. Several of us thought it was a good idea. He referred me to a great book, How to Write a Lot, by Paul J. Silvia, PhD. The book is actually about developing a plan to write directed to psychologists who need to do more academic writing. However, it’s a small book, written at a very readable level, and has several ideas useful to all writers for getting your writing on track and staying there.

I write about writing time and issues and I read a lot of information on this topic, but this book had basic suggestions I thought were useful and applicable to all types of writing. If you are serious about writing, but having a hard time getting/staying on track, this book might help you.

He offers information on starting an academic writing group, which might help your with your own writing group. You will also find a free pdf on guidelines for critique groups.

Happy writing.

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