Featuring an Interview 
with horror writer
Teri Jacobs

Welcome to issue # 11!   

The theme this month is Promotion.  Have you ever wondered what makes a good web site for a writer?  This is the issue to check out, with advice from a number of people on web design tactics.  In fact, web site promotion seems to be the most popular form of self-promotion for writers.

As usual, we have a number of other interesting articles, both in the advanced writing (be sure to check out Damon Lord's article on swords), and tips specific to writing different types of genre.

If you have any comments, drop us a line at vision@lazette.net.  We would like to know what you think of Vision, and what types of material you might find interesting in future issues. 

Vision is  also available Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ downloadable versions.  We also have a new archive section for the on-line back issues.  (Please note that Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ versions will be available one week after the html version is posted.  This allows us to catch as many typos and mistakes as possible before turning to formats that are not as easy to correct.)

Interview: Horror Writer Teri Jacobs Interviewed by Shane P. Carr

I cannot understand how inspiration works, nor explain it.  I can only accept the mysterious force and allow my imagination to fly wild with it.

Promotion Tips from Pros By Mindy L. Klasky,  Bruce Holland Rogers, and Vera Nazarian

Some of the members of the Publicity And Self-Promotion For Writers list offered a few tips for Vision readers.

How about an entire set of articles on web site design for authors?

Putting the "Design"  in Your Web Design   By Jennifer Dunne

If you're a working author, you need a web site.  In today's Internet-based society, where research is equated with typing keywords into a search engine, you can't afford not to have one.  But just as you'd never send a manuscript to an editor that was filled with typos, on ragged paper stained with coffee, so too your web site acts as a first impression to people who may never meet you.

Image Counts: Your Professional Web Site By Linda Adams

You've just decided to put up a website to promote yourself as a writer.  Obviously, you want to make it look the best you can, but you don't have a lot of web design experience.  What should you do?  

Hits and Visits 101: The Myths and Realities of Website Statistics  
By Linda Adams

You've just visited John Q. Author's site, and you see by his hit counter that he's received 100,342 hits.  Then you read on a message board that Sally Writer has gotten 200,000 hits.  So many potential readers are looking at their websites!  And then you look at your own writing website and wonder why it isn't doing as well.  Are you doing something wrong?

Websites for Writers: What To Do and How By Kim L. Cole

Everyone has a website.  Each new movie, months before it premieres, is granted an extensive website.  Software companies have websites, as do fast food restaurants, museums, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry.  You're a writer.  Do you really need a website?  That's just one of many questions that face writers in a cyber-filled world.  

Submitting Your Web Site to Search Engines By Bethanny Davis

If you want to get traffic to your web site, you need to get it listed in search engines. Not all search engines are created equal, however. There are hundreds of search engines out there, but you don't need to worry about all of them.

Networking for Authors By Emory Hackman

You hold your full-length fiction manuscript in your hand.  There is a blinding flash.  Your job just changed from writing your manuscript to marketing your book.  

Marketing Ebooks By Lazette Gifford

Advances and other financial backing aside, authors who have been published by the well-known print houses have one big advantage over ebook published authors: bookstores.   People gather in bookstores, look at books, and buy them. Without a central "store" for electronic published works, they buying process becomes the equivalent of sending readers wandering from publisher to publisher and buying directly from the factory. 

Cutting Edge Mediæval Technology By Damon m. Lord   

One of the greatest problems in fantasy or historical novels is accurate weaponry. A knight with a sword may very well be quite appealing, but the fact remains that the first weapon of choice might not have been the sword. Here’s a rundown of some of the various weapons that would have been available to the armies in Mediæval times, a period which is often used as a source for creating fantasy worlds.  

In a Revision Rut?  Try 52 Index Card Pickup By Carol J. Stephenson 

One of the hardest tasks a writer can face is the revision letter.  Here she has a completed manuscript, and <gasp> the editor needs changes before she'll buy.  The required tinkering can range from Band-Aid to Demolition Derby.  

What Does Your Character's Body Say? By James Francis

As writers and readers, we all recognize dialogue because whatever a character speaks is put into quotes. But using speech alone to convey what your character means could leave your story thin. Your character's body language -- what she says with gestures, body movement, and facial expression -- bolsters your prose and gives weight to your story. More than sixty percent of communication in real life is said to be non-verbal, either confirming or contradicting the verbal.  

Self-Editing: Why It is a Good Thing By L. Ruben Willis

For many years, I have had the displeasure of going through a singularly frustrating experience – reading a published short story or novel and discovering a glaring spelling or grammatical error.  This frustration fueled my feeling of “I can do better at this than they are – and they are published!”  This feeling was one of the reasons I turned from the role-playing hobby to a more structured form of storytelling.  

Computing for Heretics  By Bob Billing

I spent two years writing and then editing Run from the Stars. The manuscript is well over six hundred pages, or one hundred and twenty thousand words. In twenty-four months and around a million keystrokes I didn't have a single crash or loss of data.  

The Care and Feeding of Fantasy Creatures By Stephen Bresnehan

Knowing your world is a critical part of creating your novel. World building, no matter how you do it, will provide the information necessary for your dramatic needs. With fantasy creatures, there is a certain dual quality to the information you need to invent - first and foremost are the creatures themselves, and then comes how your fictional societies view these creatures. As a starter, it is worth revisiting a few articles that have appeared in prior issues of Vision.  

The Line between Horror  and Dark Fantasy by Lazette Gifford

I do not write horror, nor do I even read much of it, but I am drawn to dark fantasy.  Both of these genres can have much the same type of scene -- dark alleys, creatures of the night, necks ripped open by vampires, and any number of other ghoulish additions.  

Mystery & Suspense:
Praying for Inspiration: Using Mystery's "Holy Trinity"  to Generate Ideas   By Rob Flumignan   

What?  Another article about where ideas come from?  Not exactly.  Among many non-writers there seems to exist this notion that story ideas come out of nowhere, like little blessings from fairies powdered with magic dust.  I'd like to counter that belief by encouraging mystery writers to make ideas rather than get them. 

Publishing Poetry  By Helen Ambler  

I was six years old when I first saw my name in print, on a two-line story in our school magazine. I think it was then that my addiction to the written word began. 

Pitching the Category Buzz Words By Carol Stephenson

There I sat, with my heart in my throat, trying to string together a coherent sentence.  The Harlequin editor politely waited.  Somehow, I blurted out a gush of words.  The editor first frowned, then smiled.  "Oh, you have a repressed memory book."

Science Fiction: 
Putting the Science in Your Science Fiction  by Karen J.H. Thistle

The good news about writing fiction is that you don't have to describe the workings of the internal combustion engine every time one of your characters wants to go for a drive.  That is also the good news about writing science fiction.

Young Adult & Children: 
And The Moral Of The Story Is...  By Justin Stanchfield

Once in the not so long ago, children's books were seen as little more than mini-morality plays, a vehicle to present a lesson or teach a moral, a learning experience wrapped up in the guise of a story.

Young Writer's Scene:

How to Get an Idea By Ernst-jan Heijnis

So you've finished that last WIP, sat back and sighed in satisfaction, congratulated yourself, had a private toast to your success. Maybe you've even taken a little time off from writing. But at some point you're going to want to get to work again. So you sit down at your desk, boot up your computer, or put paper in your typewriter. Then it hits you. What are you going to work on?


And much more!

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