IF you never ask, how do you get? Nominate Zak for 101 Websites


Writer’s Digest* is now receiving nominations for their 2010 list of 101 Best Websites for Writers.”

If you want to nominate, Zakgirl On Writing (this blog), all you have to do is send an e-mail with your nomination to “writersdigest@fwmedia.com” with “101 Websites” in the subject line.

Include my blog’s web address: "http://santaisreal.blogspost.com" in your e-mail’s content and let them know why you think my site should be featured on the list (Um, things like, I get fun ways to write, I get lot of tips,  or Zak makes writing easy and fun - you know? You're a writer now use your imagination!   

Deadline to submit your nomination is this Saturday January 1st, 2011 (American time so us Aussie's have a few extra hours up our sleeve but don't wait - do it now!)...

That means you've got today to nominate Zakgirl On Writing TODAY! NOW even... (Sorry for such late notice, but I was on, Word Dreams (a really great site that you should nominate too), today and realized I'd just about missed the boat as well).

Thank you again and again for all your support this year and if you are not following this blog yet, get started and follow today.

Have yourselves a Happy! Happy Zak! New Year.

Zak :)

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy and Enjoyable 2011...

Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas with all the Ho! Ho! Ho! from Santa too.

Zak hopes you have a wonderful Christmas and an even better 2011.

Be good to yourself this year and take care of those around you too.

Don't forget to jot down the key things that happen this Christmas Day and coming up to New Year even if it's only bullet points for now. Christmas is a time of high emotion and that is exactly what writers need to write good stories so grab out your hand held recorder or use your mobile phone and capture those thoughts that may inspire you in 2011.

Otherwise have a great day and take it easy.

Whatever you decide ENJOY!


Are You A Real Writer?

Taking a break...

Here's a quotable quote:

"It is impossible to discourage the real writers -- they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write." --Sinclair Lewis


New and Experienced Writers, Rules and Finding Your Voice ~ Make Up Your Own Mind...

When we are new to writing we are told to learn the rules and stick with them. 

For someone who has been writing for years before learning the rules it can seem like cruel punishment to suddenly restrict your writing with rules and regulations. Sometimes we lose heart while trying to stick with the darn mechanics. The rules tend to mess up our natural flow for a while so it’s best not to submit any of the “learning” works until you get your flow back. The most critical part of our writing that seems to become affected by learning the rules is voice. It often becomes stilted and unnatural and this can be very frustrating for the new writer.

Writing is a tricky thing anytime and especially for someone who is lucky enough to have a natural talent (imagination) for writing but it becomes tougher when you try to beat your writing into “RULES submission”. It gets tough alright, and then tougher and tougher until finally you feel so beaten about the brain that you almost hate writing. (I know how could a writer ever really say that?). It’s about then that things turn around and you somehow learn to fit the rules into your natural flow again. Personally, I don't feel I'm there yet but with more experience I'm sure this battle will be won in the end.
My wonderful mentor (who is no longer here on this incredible Earth) once told me you have to “learn the rules before you can break them”. When I started writing I was always breaking the rules and shunning my nose at them. Then, after being beaten about the head by my mentor I went the other way and applied the rules so strictly that my writing seemed as interesting as a flat piece of cardboard left out in the rain. Nowadays I'm aware of the rules (most of them) and tend to break them quite deliberately. It’s all part of the learning process. Yet I still feel I have a long road to travel in my writing career.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to PunctuationI’d like you to read this article from copyblogger and this one about grammar and punctuation then form your own opinion. 

Forming your own opinion is a crucial part of becoming a great writer. You need to think, and evaluate then think in the opposite direction and back again, big breath, and then work out which style suits you. This is when things get really interesting. This is when you find your voice.

Always remember the stories you write are YOUR stories - not anyone else’s. 

Even editors and readers of your work can be wrong. “Oh-my-heaven forbid!” Humans can be wrong? They are not Gods? Humans make mistakes all the time. See every war or battle humans have ever been involved in and you'll find mistakes, and it’s up to you to figure out when the human is making a mistake and when they are damned-well-right! Oh, and just to make it a bit harder it’s also subjective but that's a whole-nuther topic...

NaNoWriMo ~ Has Ended for 2010... What Day Is It? What Now?

Now that NaNoWriMo has ended for 2010 I'm not sure I know what day it is...

Firstly though, I'd like to say a special THANK YOU to those people who cheered me along in the month of November, only you know who you are!

Only a writer truly knows how hard it is to write an average of 1,667 words consistently for a whole month and only a fellow writer would truly care, so for that, I say THANK YOU to you who have helped me...

Now that Nano is over for a another year, it's time to focus on WRITING and some of what we have learned threw? (through) the process of NaNoWriMo. [Note to Self:  Nano has me forgetting the writing rules because that is the nature of the NaNoWriMo challenge; I shall work on my grammar and punctuation and spelling from this point on...]

One thing that became blatantly obvious to me was having a plan and sticking to it.

As you may already know I'm not much of a planner because I find it restrictive but through the Nano process this year I've realized if you really want to achieve something in particular you do indeed need a plan.

I had part of a plan.

Part of a plan is not a plan.

Well, it's not enough of a plan to get you where you want to go.

Where did I want to go?

Well, I wanted to write a fantasy novel. I set my Nano up so that I had thirty chapters of around four pages space to write hell for leather. I even had little prompts written under the chapter numbers for inspiration and you'd be surprised how apt they were throughout the process. Things like this:

Chapter One:
Start here… [replace this text with today’s 1,667 words] don’t think, just write!

Chapter Two:
Day two start here… [replace this text with your 2nd days 1,667 words]

Chapter Three:
C’mon, this is just the beginning! [replace this text with your 1,667 words]

Chapter Four:
Now you’re on your way… [place your 1,667 words here]

Chapter Five:
Keep going! [place your 1,667 words here]

Chapter Six:
Now, you’re getting it… [replace this text with your 1,667 words]

Chapter Seven:
And you thought this was supposed to be fun? Keep going! [place your 1,667 words here]

Chapter Eight:
Are we there yet? [Place your 1,667 words here]

Etc, etc, etc... (The King and I)

Stuff like that and it helped me keep writing throughout the month of November.

I've attempted Nano in years gone by and I must say this year was my best year as far as learning writing lessons and you get to learn a lot about yourself too. It's a great challenge.

Next post we shall look at the editing process...

Until then, C U.