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Do you share my literary DNA?

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Now, here is the thing. Do you believe your writing has been enriched and influenced by the books you have read? If so, is it just the good books, the ones you love, the ones which made some connection with your soul? Or… would you say the bad books have an equal hand in affecting your stories? By ‘bad books’ I don’t mean the poorly written, but stories that aggravated, annoyed and even rasped on your sensitivities. The ones that you recall for the opposite reasons to those you loved, which means, in their own way, they too made a connection with your inner being. So, did those bad books achieve the aim of their authors and if so, should we consider them good books for that very reason? Some...
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Good news, for (a few) authors.

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We live in an ever-changing world, one where change is happening at ever increasing speed. The truth of the old adage which says, “If you stand still long enough you’ll end up going backwards” has never been so evident. This competitive hunger for transformation is affecting all areas of the publishing world, from the major players like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, to Random House, Harper Collins and Hachette Livre. It is no surprise then, this onslaught of rapid change is influencing and shaping the future of the indie author and writer markets in ways never seen before. The warning is, most writers are, “stuck in their ways.“ Too many indie authors have become comfortable and clearly rel...
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About:  Questions on Editing.

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I often see writers asking for an editor on social groups. Frequently the post asks for ‘someone’ to ‘help edit’ or ‘look over’ their book. (Which is not a book at all just a manuscript and more often than not, only part of a first draft.) Occasionally the person posting may ask for a ‘beta reader or editor’. The common factor is, to the eyes of an experienced author or publisher, the people asking have no idea who they need, what skill set that person should have or, indeed, the actual reason they need ‘someone’ to ‘edit’ their work, which, in all honesty, will be a far cry from the thoughts they hold when they ask the question in the first instance. This naivety is not wrong. We have all b...
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Introducing ‘@Open24’ a resource for authors.

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I do not use Ramblings from a Writers Mind for direct promotions because it is not the raison d’etre of this blog. These ramblings are about sharing knowledge and experience. They are about in-depth consideration, informative articles, about highlighting the good and bad regarding writing, publishing and indie authorship. It is not a place for advertising. Considering the above, the following may seem directly opposed to this ethos. But read on, you will see I am seriously designing something to help and aid writers and authors like ourselves. What is more, I am asking for your views and feedback on this project, a project I have called, @Open24. @Open24 is an online Amazon store, my online ...
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Where to Start?

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I shall start this post with a quote attributed to that most literary of bears, Winnie the Pooh. “The beginning is a very good place to start.” I cannot agree more. BUT… Knowing where the beginning is, is not always as clear cut as many may think. You see, your story, any story, must start somewhere, but that start is often not at the beginning. Take yourself. Take a tale you told about yourself the last day you did something… silly/forgetful/made a mistake… whatever it may be. Now, consider how you began to tell your tale the first time you related it. I bet it was not at the beginning, at least not the real, the true beginning of the string of events which led you to such an occurrence. Fi...
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Why reviews don’t count for much… unless…

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I am not above posting articles which could be classed as controversial, such as this one, because I think it is a writer’s duty to bring into the open topics which can be discussed and debated among one’s peers. Therefore, your comments and viewpoints are most welcome, even if they are incorrect! Many indie authors tend to ‘chase’ reviews for their books. Many more coerce family, friends, co-workers, fellow authors and the like to write a ‘good’ review, even a ‘five-star’ review for their newly released novel(la). After which, the race is on, posting to social networks, giving away volumes of volumes, (pun intended), to gain several more one or two lines like: “I loved this book, you will t...
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Seeing beyond…

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  You will know, or most of you will know, I am an author. It is not a secret. What many of you may not know is how I get the ideas, not only for storylines but situations, characters, actions, sub-plots and such. The answer is the stimulus comes from the everyday. There is no magic. A short while ago I posted a heartfelt outpouring written by someone going through a low patch in their life. You can read it here. That post, or rather the content, the spirit in which the content was written will, no doubt, lend itself to a character, or reveal the personality of a character going through a situation, in one of my stories. Along with the above I often hear or read a certain line which is so sp...
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Inspiration does not have to be Pretty.

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A good writer has no need to look for inspiration and ideas, they will come flooding unto them. The fact is, each moment of every day we are surrounded by a million and one stimuli which only need us to recognise their being. We must feel, hear, sense what is around us, what is happening in front of our eyes. We must allow our perception to absorb, to let our mind create fiction and fantasy from implied interpretation. We must permit our creative seed to run wild. I have written on this subject before, albeit from another perspective, in a post called The Cures of the Muse   This post is a little different. A short while ago, possibly a good few months past, I read a post on a social media s...
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Stewart who?

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A short while ago I wrote a post as a guest blogger for Noreen Lace on her ‘writing 365’ blog. The post is about the love one must for writing to succeed as an author. These are some of the words I posted on Noreen’s blog. But it’s just a dream, I guess. I write to leave a trace of my being, however faint that may be. I hope, or dream, at some point in the future, someone somewhere will dust off the cover of one of my books and open it. Turning the yellowing, fragile pages for the first time in a millennium. As they read my words, they shall hear my voice echo through the centuries, be touched by my narrative. I wish them to become one with my story, lost in the world of fantasy and fiction ...
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An Open Invitation for Submissions

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An important message for Book reviewers, Bibliophiles, Bookworms, Publishers, Illustrators, Editors, Cover designers, Writers and Authors. May 2019 will see the publication of the new, quarterly digital literary magazine, the ‘Electric Press’. The Electric Press magazine is directed toward the book lover, the book worm, bibliophiles and those whose literary bent drives them to frequent the libraries and dusty bookstores of the cities and towns they visit. The Electric Press advocates the independent writer and author, small-press and hybrid publisher by providing an online global platform for engagement and communication by way of stimulating, informative and illuminating content. A series o...
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Why author’s should listen to the radio more often.

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Okay, so this is another long (and boring) title for a post. But you know what? I have found oblique or inferred titles do not get the views, irrespective of how well thought out those titles may be, and regardless of the quality of the post’s content. Possibly, this is because many readers just ‘don’t get’ them? Or it maybe it is because people think the writer is being ‘a bit too clever’? So, here I am with a plain statement for a blog post title. At least this way you get the gist of what the article is about… or do you? Read on to find out… I am a regular listener of the radio. I don’t just mean music radio, the odd quiz show or sport. I am referring to ‘talk’ radio, interviews, articles...
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Publishing Trends & Indie Author Insights for 2019.

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Those of you who follow Ramblings from a Writers Mind will know at this time of year I write about trends and marketing projections for the forthcoming year. On December the 15th 2017, I published ‘Insights & Publishing Trends for 2018’ , in which I mentioned Data Breaches , GDRP, Narrative Advertising, the rise of Hybrid publishing, Books Shelf Life, the growth of Audiobooks and more. The post is still available to read  HERE I think you will find I was scarily accurate. This post, my I nsights and Projections for 2019 , I hope will prove to be just as precise. The following opinion is more than me simply licking my finger and holding it aloft to see which way the wind is blowing. It is fro...
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Moment of the Muse

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How often do you struggle for something to ‘write about’? or face the so-called writer’s block because you cannot find a topic for your next piece? I know many writers frequently struggle with finding subject matter. It is something I hear often via author groups and writing associations. I am a prolific writer, yet have never suffered from either of the above. Most often, I can be found tapping away on my keyboard as I continue my ‘works in progress’. I usually have a few of these on the go at once; non-fiction, a novel, some short stories, a compilation, it is pretty much par for the course. I have files called ‘stuff & stories to read’; ‘story Ideas & notes’; ‘more writing notes’; ‘other ...
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Associating the Oblique and Ambiguous.

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  Firstly, a note: It is a while since I have written a post focusing on the process of creative writing. The reason being, I have said much about other ‘stuff’ associated with authoring and publishing. Stuff I felt important  enough to warrant writing about. However, doing so led me away from the core value of this blog, which is to give, in my usual rambling and rather haphazard way, tips, advice and suggestions on improving one’s writing skills and understanding of authorship. Those of you who follow me will know I do not write in a scholarly constructive fashion, because I do not consider myself a teacher or an authority of literary genius. I prefer to allow indefinite abstract descripti...
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Gobsmacked

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Firstly, an explanation. Gobsmacked is a well-known colloquial saying in the county of Yorkshire. (That’s Yorkshire, England, for all my American friends.) Gobsmacked roughly translates as; So surprised you cannot speak. Overwhelmed with wonder, surprise, or shock. Astounded. Liken such a surprise to that of being punched in the mouth and you are beginning to understand the word. To break it down, ‘Smacked’ as in hit, slapped, punched, struck etc. and ‘Gob’ a slang word for mouth. Hence, I would say it means; So surprised you are dumbfounded, unable to speak, as you would be after being ‘smacked in the gob’.  Now, on with this post. I do not feel Gobsmacked about the general lethargy and apa...
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Lots of Author Stuff You Need to Know

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This blog is all about sharing ideas and information about writing, to writers and authors. Mostly, I share this information solely by way of a post, or two, on this blog. Occasionally, however, a blog post is not enough. The amount and complexity of the information given are far too great, as with the following. In these instances, I find it best if I assemble all the information and bind it together in one place. In other words, make it into a book. Recently, I have published a second book dedicated to answering questions I am frequently and regularly asked by novice and established writers and authors. This post is an introduction to that book. In February this year (2018), I published an...
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Internet data breaches, Google+ and more…

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Yesterday, the news broke that Google is to kill off its social media platform Google+ because of a massive unreported data breach. The official line is reported to be: “The company discovered a bug in one of Google+’s People APIs that allowed apps access to data from Google+ profiles that weren’t marked as public. It included static data fields such as name, email, occupation, gender and age. It did not include information from Google+ posts. The bug was patched in March 2018, but Google didn’t inform users at that point. “We made Google+ with privacy in mind and therefore keep this API’s log data for only two weeks,” the company said in a blog post. “That means we cannot confirm which user...
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Hluhluwe Umfolozi, feeding lions and a rather intangible abstract notion.

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©PaulWhite I was asked recently, by Francis de Aguilar, a writer friend, what first caused me to “Become interested in African wildlife.“   A simple question. I told him it was after visiting South Africa, particularly the time I spent in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve.  However, Francis’s question stayed in my mind; although I answered him, it left a nagging doubt in my mind I was wrong. I was. After pondering for a few days, the truth unravelled itself. I now knew the correct answer. My interest with Africa and its diverse multitude of wildlife was first stoked by reading the novels of Wilbur Smith. ©PaulWhite Back in the early seventies, I picked up a rather dog-eared and worn copy of...
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When I am not writing…

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“What do authors do when they are not writing?” This is a question I asked myself while pottering about in the garden. It may seem like a simple question, one which has a very simple answer; the likes and the things we do listed, almost ‘bullet-pointed’ as a reply. Sure. That’s fine, for most people. But I am an author, a writer. To me, even those simple answers have hidden depths, more meaning and a thousand stories each to be told. Here is where my writer’s mind went after I asked myself that question… I know what I do, but I wondered if that was ‘just me’? You see, I love travelling. I love to explore other countries, sampling their food, their culture, being amazed at wonderful vistas, c...
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Some tips to increase your book sales

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So much to do, so little time. (I think I have heard that said somewhere before.) At least I have found a few moments to share another post about being an indie author. I do not normally write a ‘list’ style post as they generally tend to be little more than ‘clickbait’. However, on this occasion, I have made an exception to the rule and produced a sort of list post myself.  B ut one I hope is better and far more informative than those ‘clickbait’  I mentioned above. I hope these tips will help you create a book which will sell in (vast) volume. “On with the post” I hear time after time and frequently read, on social media, authors asking why no one is buying their book(s). It could be down ...
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