This week’s recommended reference comes from Trisha Faye. Trisha writes in an eclectic mix of genres. You can catch her in between queries and caring for her collection of rescued cats, at www.trishafaye.com. Friend Trisha on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/trisha.faye.5 or sign up for her monthly newsletter Backstory: Footprints from the Past on her web page.
Title: The Shy Writer Reborn
Author(s): C. Hope Clark
Year Published: 2013
If you’re like me, and most of the writers I know, your bookshelves are probably bulging at the seam with books on the craft of writing. Mine has a myriad of how-to books including plotting, characterization, dialog, book proposals, blogs, along with the perquisite Writer’s Market, dictionaries, and style guides. One of my favorite writer’s tools has turned out to be an unexpected one: The Shy Writer Reborn, by C. Hope Clark.
I discovered this book through Hope’s Funds for Writers newsletter that arrives in my inbox every Friday. I stalled for a year before I finally purchased this treasure. Now, I kick myself for procrastinating.
A one-liner that Hope uses about this book is:
“The Shy Writer Reborn helps introverted writers understand their shyness and work through it to promote their careers.”
Yes, it does. Very well. While the book is geared towards the shy, or introverted writer, the knowledge and advice between the covers is useful to any writer wishing to advance their career and hone their presentation skills.
Seventeen chapters covers a wealth of information, including: Labels, Pessimism and the Voices in Your Head, Three Tricks, Passion and Platform, Priorities, Preparation and Promotion, Blogging, DIY, Interviews, Queries, Meeting Groups, Building Confidence, Planning, and much more.
Hope does more than merely toss words about on the page. She also offers concrete, easy to implement steps. She shares anecdotes from her own life and writing experience to illustrate the information. Each chapter ends with exercises applicable to what that particular chapter covered.
On the subject of blogging, Hope writes,
“The basic requirement for a blog: Solve a problem or provide entertainment.”
She states that each post must do one of the following: Draw a laugh, Solve a problem, Provide tips, List references, Show beauty, Excite, Provide an A-HA moment, or Provide an AAH moment.
She follows with advice about good blogging habits, expounding on each:
When the subject turns to pitching, Hope offers a story of one of her less-than-memorable pitches. She then proceeds to tell how to prepare for a better pitching opportunity than the one she shares with the reader. She writes:
“Prepare your elevator speech. That’s a thirty-second description of your project, book or story. Genre, setup, conflict and character-defining resolution. Don’t go into the plot points unless asked. A solid one-liner is pure gold. Practice long and hard to get one right, and then be able to spout it like it was your Social Security Number.”
Following this tip, she also suggests: Know your readership; Why does your project stand out?; Why does your project fit who you’re pitching?; Know your qualifications; If you have a platform, mention it; Have a comment to break the tension; Flip roles, and Come armed.
The exercises at the end of this chapter include:
“Write a one-sentence summary for your current project to be used in your query letter,”
“Record yourself speaking the one-sentence summary and determine if it still sounds as remarkable as when you wrote it.”
Links, suggested web sites, resources, and suggested authors abound in these 266 pages. I’m now on my second journey through The Shy Writer Reborn. I recommend reading slowly, a chapter at a time. There’s too much to take in and absorb with a fast read. The first time through the book, I dog-eared many pages, so this time I’m making my way through with a highlighter and pen in hand.
The writing books on my shelves may shrink and expand through the years. But The Shy Writer Reborn is going to be with me for a long time, as I grow and advance, and become not so shy.
©2015. Zetta Brown. All Rights Reserved.