Plagiarism and Copyright: The Dark Side of Publishing in the Digital Age

Those dreaded words. Plagiarism. Copyright. Infringement. Fraud.

Plagiarism of online work and exploitation of a person’s online profile and platforms are very real fears. As someone who can be very easily searched and found on Google in various results, I know this all too well. Continue reading “Plagiarism and Copyright: The Dark Side of Publishing in the Digital Age”

Poorly Written Headlines #4

This one was a sub-headline, but I still have issues with it.

Want to learn how to write good headlines? Check this out. Perhaps it’s time to write a post about creating good sub-headlines…

What this sub-headline does right:

  • Tells us the author’s purpose for writing the book… I guess?

What this sub-headline does wrong:

  • Takes a cliche expression and makes it blander.
  • Doesn’t actually tell us anything about the book.

History repeats itself, if we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it, etc. This sub-headline is essentially those cliche phrases except worded more poorly.

We can glean from this snippet (and the headline if you saw it), that this is for a historical novel. What type of history? That’s a mystery! (Not even the headline made that clear.) Maybe this book is really a detective caper where we have to guess which historical event it’s actually talking about, giving us clues along the way, but then there’s a big twist at the end!

The sub-headline of a press release is supposed to provide those little extra details that are just too wordy for a short snappy headline.

Here’s the how Google populates the press release I sent announcing that WoEM had been published. See that smaller text beneath the main headline? That’s officially called the meta description, but for a press release, that’s where the sub-headline would populate.

My sub-headline isn’t perfect, but it provides at least a little extra information. Notice how Google truncates it after about 150 characters? That makes it even more important that you front-load that summary with information that potential readers can act on.

What could be done differently:

Just rewrite the whole thing. Replace it with a description of the book, perhaps an actual piece of advice that could be taken from this mysterious history lesson. Or maybe tell us When and Where the book could be purchased.

As it currently reads, this sub-headline is effectively wasted space.

Steve D

From Writer’s Block to Overflowing with Ideas

It would be nice if my brain would just balance out for a bit. Like… a week? No? We’re going to swing wildly across the creative spectrum in a matter of days?

Got it.

Through a (completely unintentional) process of reading a fairly wide range of short fantasy stories, reorganizing some of the sections in my draft, and outlining the next few chapters, I managed to collect enough creative juice to write a ton over the weekend for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy.

And now I have too many ideas and I want to write ALL OF THEM! Continue reading “From Writer’s Block to Overflowing with Ideas”

Building a Plot through Dialogue

Plotting the first draft of a novel can be difficult. Oftentimes, you’re not sure exactly where the story is going until you get there. Weaving together multiple characters, their micro-conflicts, and the larger plot is impossible unless you already know how the tapestry should look.

I’ve been having trouble recently with writing my first draft for The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Some of that has been due to travel and other things going on in life, but a big part of it has been a bit of writer’s block. Luckily, I found a way around that, at least for now. Continue reading “Building a Plot through Dialogue”

Haiku Friday – Decompress

“Decompress”

End of day tension.

Neck crack. Exhale — temple rub.

Hope for no emails.

I went to a conference in Chicago for work this week. The conference was a great experience, and I stayed in downtown Chicago and got to wander around a bit on Tuesday night. But after being stuck at Midway for 8 hours on Wednesday and dealing with canceled, delayed, and re-booked flights, I still felt like I was recovering on Thursday. This coming weekend is very much welcome.

Hence, the non-post 🙂

Steve D

#AmConsuming: No Time for Binging

My lack of real consuming time continues, but there are a few interesting things I’ve picked up over the last month or so.

No more procrastinating!

#AmFinished

The Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan

I finished the eighth book of The Wheel of Time last week, and overall, it was alright. I gave it a 3-star review on Goodreads, because the ending I thought was coming was sort of punted into the next book (or three). Jordan also yadda-yadda’d what probably should have been a pivotal battle sequence in the epilogue.

I’m definitely going to keep reading this series, but I’m taking a break with some other things for now.

#AmReading

The Horse, The Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern Worldby David W. Anthony (Audible)

I’m still plugging away at this extremely long audiobook, but I’ve largely enjoyed it. The main reason I haven’t finished it is because by the time I get into my car for my evening commute, my phone is nearly dead and I need to charge it. In short: I need to have a phone charger at work.

Click., by Luther M. Siler

This is the next book I started as a break from Jordan. I won this book from the author’s blog by being the first to respond to one of his posts. It is otherwise only available from his Patreon site, or directly from him at conventions. Considering he’s based in northern Indiana (and I haven’t yet delved into Patreon), I jumped at the chance to pick up a copy.

Like his other writing I’ve read, this book is quirky, sarcastic, and a little bit goofy–and I’m enjoying the heel out of it. I’m a measly 20 pages in, but I know I’ll like it. His writing style is infectious.

City of Bridges, by Stace Dumoski (Wattpad)

I am also still picking away at this one, and enjoying it very much. Some of the more fantastical and world-building elements of the story are starting to poke through, so I’m looking forward to continuing this one.

#AmWatching

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hulu

I started watching season 7 episode to episode on Hulu, and it’s been alright. This show has recycled previous plot devices and characters in interesting ways for a few seasons, but this season feels a bit more redundant than before. I get the feeling were nearing the end of this show’s lifespan, unless Disney gives it new life on their streaming service.

Still, I’ve enjoyed spending time with Daisy, Fitz, Simmons, and various versions of Clark Gregg this long, and I see no reason to stop now.

That’s It!

Told you I have little time for binge-watching/reading.

On a side note, my wife and I “inherited” her brother’s PS2 recently, and I started playing through Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I’ve never played any GTA game except to wreak havoc on my friend’s versions, so this is a new experience for me. I also haven’t had time to sit down more than once, so I didn’t add this to the list yet. My wife, however, is really enjoying Ratchet and Klank, so there’s that.

Steve D

August Write Day: Trying to Get over the Wall

July flew by. We were out of town a couple of weekends, and I went to Chicago for about 36 hours for work. It seems like that type of quick business trip for conferences and such will be a new normal for me. I’m going back to Chicago next week for not very long.

I’m not against it. It just means I need to take those trips into consideration when I’m thinking about my writing goals. Writing while traveling is hard. Writing on business trips and basically being “on” for work for the duration of the trip is nigh impossible.

So, July was a good writing month, but not a great one. Continue reading “August Write Day: Trying to Get over the Wall”