A Book Review on Kristen Lamb’s “We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media”

I haven’t blogged for a while. That’s because I’ve been busy having my world turned upside down. Someone said, “A writer MUST have a blog,” so I made one. Somebody else said, “Start a fan site on Facebook,” so I did. Then they tell you to build a what? A platform? How the heck do you do that?

Well, you start by reading We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide To Social Media by Kristen Lamb. Am I a social media success story? Seriously, people… it’s been, like, a week since I read the book. No. Baby steps. Or they will be baby steps when I get that far. Right now I’m doing that thing babies do before they crawl. You know… the squiggling around on their belly stage? But I’m beginning to “get” it. It’s not quite as terrifying as anticipated, and best of all, it’s attainable.

If you are a writer with no idea of where to begin, or you have been making efforts that aren’t progressing as you’d hoped, check out this book.

Anyway, here’s my Goodreads review:

Laura Ritchie‘s review

Feb 25, 12    5 of 5 stars

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Read in February, 2012

I came across Kristen Lamb’s blog, and after reading a few posts, I immediately purchased two of her books. “We are Not Alone” is a great tool for writers trying to find their way in the big scary world of social media. You will learn a lot about setting up your accounts on sites like WordPress, Facebook and Twitter, but more importantly, you learn what you should do with those sites once you have them.

Her clear instructions and great sense of humor ease the process, however, you should be aware that there have been upgrades made to the social networks, so some of the step-by-step instructions won’t be spot-on.

Ms. Lamb is the first person to make the concept of “building a platform” seem achievable to me… not just that, but made me happy about jumping in with both feet. I look forward to reading her next book: “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer”.

Keep writing!

Laura

A Great Writing Resource for Fiction

Just finished one of the best books I’ve ever read on story structure. Some complained that the author repeated himself a lot, and I can see their point on that, but it wasn’t really an issue for me. I guess I was busy trying to absorb everything as best I could, while picking apart my own works-in-progress in my mind. I have finished this with a lot of new ideas to put into play, and some excitement that the knowledge imparted here will get me closer o where I want to be. My Goodreads review:

Feb 13, 2012
5 of 5 stars
Story Engineering- Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Succesful Writing

I have only found a couple books on writing over the years that gave me more than just a few gems of useful info, but I have to say that this book was pure gold!!! If you are writing fiction, it is a must-have. I learned so much about story structure, character building, scene creation, theme… the list goes on and on.
Those who do little or no pre-planning before starting a story will be terrified of the ideas here, but I already used simple outlining to put my stories together. This just takes it so much deeper. We aren’t talking formula, but he clearly explains what nearly all good stories have in common, and how you can put those structural examples to work in your own writing. I take my goal of achieving publication very seriously, and I truly believe this is a tool that will help.
Keep Writing!
Laura

Been Reading the Dresden Files

One of my goals for 2012 was to do more reading. I kept it easy, only two books a month, more as a reminder to break away from the computer once in a while. So, I started reading the Dresden Files series. I’m going to add my posts here from Goodreads on both of the first two novels. I know I’m going a lot easier on these books than some reviewers. I just really enjoy the premise, and have had a good time reading them so far. Two books down… twenty-two to go!

Storm Front- A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

My Goodreads review on “Storm Front”:

I started out on the audio book for this one, and I loved listening to James Marsters. His voice is great for the part. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish the audio, and switched over to my print copy.
I’m not great at reviews. I just enjoy something, or I don’t. This novel had a few problems, but overall I loved the concept of a practicing wizard with a listing in the yellow pages. It was entertaining enough to make me overlook things that others complained about. I’m more than willing to continue the series.

Check it out at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8149249-storm-front

 

 

 

 

Fool Moon- A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

 

My Goodreads review on “Fool Moon”:

I know folks have some complaints about this series,and I can see some of their points, but I still really like it. It’s a fun adventure and an enjoyable read.

That said, my worst problem with both the first two books has been with Murphy. In “Storm Front” I kept thinking that for such a great cop, her actions were kind-of stupid at times. The feeling only got worse in “Fool Moon.” Granted,she’s not the hero, and isn’t meant to save the day… but does her behavior have to be a major cause of problems that seem to make things change for the worse?

This was another neat take on supernatural beings. It looks like Harry might be opening up to the idea of a relationship, and we got to see some more glimpses of his hidden past. Most of the time, the story moves along well, making this a fairly fast read. I’m looking forward to the third installment.

Take a look at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8150561-fool-moon

Keep Writing!

Laura

My Writing Goals for 2012

20071126-todo-list

A fellow blogger wrote a good piece about setting some writing goals for 2012, and I thought this would be a great plan for me. First of all, I love to make lists. It’s something about the sheer joy I get from check-marking tasks as they are completed. My way of presenting myself with a pat on the back or a gold star, I guess.

Also, with a  mind that spends a great deal of  time in my own personal Never Never Land (I warned you—unrestrained fancy.), I need occasional reminders that keep me grounded. The plan is to hang my list across from my desk. That way I see it all the time, and have no excuse for forgetting things.

Several of my items concern the internet. I’m planning to set up my website this year. Also, I want to blog regularly, and stop ignoring my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ll be sending out queries for The Enduring, and as soon as I finish the major edit in the works, Heart of the Jagdiip will start going out again too. I wrote a few chapters of the sequel to TE, and I’d like to complete the first draft this year. There’s another story idea on the back burner that I’m trying to develop enough to get a rough outline laid out. Then, I added one goal to read 2 new novels a month, and another to spend on night a month gaming or watching movies to give myself the occasional break.

It’s a pretty tough list. Knowing my schedule, things might not get done as quickly as I hoped. But I thank S.A.M. for inspiring me to actually put together some kind of game plan!

 

Keep writing!

Laura

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