Authors who are "Differently Expertised"...

Authors who are "Differently Expertised"...

20 March 2012

Where Do I Begin?

Every writer has asked themselves that question.
Even in song:
Where do I begin
To tell the story of how great a love can be?
The sweet love story that is older than the sea
The simple truth about the love she brings to me.
Where do I start?*

Okay, so I'm dating myself, but the question is as relevant now as it was in 1970 when Erich Segal's Love Story was published and made into that sappy movie with Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw. (Though the lyrics to the song were at least more sensible than the insipid "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic. Of course your heart will go on; if it doesn't, you're dead. Can't wail about going on then, can you? )

Sorry, I digress. The point here is, Where do you begin as a fledgling writer? The very basic beginning is turning your computer on and opening a Word document. Sounds simple enough, right?

But, you may ask, how do I know how to lay it out? Do I start with Chapter One at the top of the page? What's a title page supposed to look like? How big are the margins? How do I set them? What font am I supposed to use, and how big? Can I use a fancy one for each character? What if I want to put a letter in the story? How do I set it apart? What do you mean by "cut and paste"?  What are submission guidelines? What does "rtf" mean and why should I have to use it?

Not so simple after all... To those of us who have grown accustomed to computer lingo, this all seems elementary, but there are folks who honestly are so intimidated by technical terms used in some of the submission guidelines, they never get their story idea out of their cranium.

We are here to help. At our April 14th Seminar, "Writing: From Start to Finesse," Gecko Gals Ink authors will help those stuck at the very beginning. We'll split the morning session class into sections: one to go over those basic set-up steps first thing and help you get started on the road to publication, the other for those further along in their writing. We'll demystify those terms you find confusing and show you how to simplify and conquer your fear of formatting.

If you have already written your story, the other section of the morning session is for you. Our experienced authors will help you condense and concentrate your story idea into a log line--a one-sentence description of the main gist of your tale. It's harder than you'd think: you've just taken 100,000 words to tell an enticing story, how can you enticingly describe it in less than twenty? A log line is invaluable in selling your book; not only to agents or publishers but to potential readers everywhere you go.

Of course, we'll cover more than formatting and log lines, but those subjects are for another blog post.

So if you've always had a special story to tell but didn't know where to begin, or you have your story written but you don't know what to do next, seriously consider attending our "Writing: From Start to Finesse" seminar at the Sheraton Hotel and Suites on Grant Road in Tucson on April 14th. At the very least you'll meet other writers and enjoy a lovely lunch.

Beats cleaning house, doesn't it?

For more information, go to our Seminar Page HERE.

~Jude Johnson

Cactus Cymry; (nonfiction) Open Books Press
Dragon & Hawk; Out of Forgotten Ashes (fiction) Champagne Books

* "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"  published in 1970, with music by Francis Lai and lyrics by Carl Sigman. []

1 comment:

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