Archive for the ‘About Writing’ Category

How to redeem a gifted Audible Book direct from the author

November 30, 2018

If you are interested in historical fiction about strong female leaders, try this!

via How to redeem a gifted Audible Book direct from the author

A Salute to C.S. Lewis

November 30, 2018

lewis via A Salute to C.S. Lewis

 

How to Write a First Draft

November 28, 2018

via How to Write a First Draft

Don’t Blog. Write!

November 25, 2018

Some great thoughts about becoming a ‘writer’, when so many people believe they can’t.

via Don’t Blog. Write!

Getting Your Book Translated Into Other Languages

March 21, 2018

Many writers have thought about getting their books translated, but are worried about the expense. This is certainly an issue, as it is both good for visibility (‘platform’) and adjunct sales.

 

I have tried to use BabelCube, with no success. I had a couple of offers to translate one of my books, but the deal never got done. I think most of the people they connect you with are amateurs looking for something easy. Furthermore, you sacrifice a lot in using that service. If I remember correctly, the translator gets something like 85% of the profits, which leaves you more like you would from a publishing company. Fair enough, I suppose, but you also lose some control over the product, as you only get a short period to approve the translation. If you have only one book and are not concerned with money, but simply in getting your book out there in different languages, that’s probably a reasonable way to go. All in all, I chose not to pursue that route any longer.

 

As an alternative to employing both a professional translator and then an editor, I have devised a less expensive way, especially as I currently have half a dozen books. First, use a translating software. Then employ a good editor for quality and accuracy.

 

If you want to use a professional software, I found several. For example, there is Systran Professional Translator – Spanish Language $249. I don’t know how good it is, but it is more oriented to business documents.  If you have several books, it might be worth the cost.

 

However, there are several pretty good free versions you can download. They include Google Translator, Microsoft Translate, and the one I tried, Babylon. I tested it on the prologue of “The Grindstone”. I’m not fluent in Spanish, but good enough to know it was a very good translation. On the positive side, it kept the paragraph formatting and phrases I had in Italics, and punctuated the sentences well. On the downside, it did not translate colloquialisms (e.g., ain’t) and some contractions, as well as words it did not have in its dictionary, such as ‘bastard’. Some of those I could correct, others could just be left for the editor. You can probably increase the dictionary, although I did not check.

 

With the free software, you have to do the manuscript in chunks (such as chapters), and spend your own time checking for the non-translated portions. But then you get to hand a pretty close translation to a professional editor of that language who would be charged with making those corrections anyhow, as well as ensuring the quality of the translation. This gives you complete control of the final product, and gets that first big step done at little or no monetary cost.

 

If you are a serious writer, having translations of your work is a powerful tool. If you spend the time, you can greatly reduce the costs while maintaining control of your work. Good luck!

 

“Fools and Mortals” by Bernard Cornwell

November 8, 2017

via Book Corner: Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

I’m a huge fan of Cornwell (currently reading his “Last Kingdom” series), and my WIP (work in progress) is called “The Shakespeares and the Crown”, so I am very excited to read his version of Will’s story. Cornwell’s a great storyteller, and I hope to glean a couple of lessons from his work.

John Shakspear’s (Shakespeare) Contribution to Art (and Catholicism)

February 6, 2017

http://hyperallergic.com/344523/saved-by-shakespeares-father-a-series-of-medieval-murals-is-finally-restored/

The above article proves that John Shakspear (as he spelled his name), then an official in the borough of Statford upon Avon, was a dedicated Catholic who defied the dictates of the new Protestant regime in England. Rather than destroy the artwork in the church, he had whitewash painted over. This evidence helps to prove my contentions about John, and then William, in my upcoming novel “The Shakespeares and the Crown”.

Essay ‘beta readers’ Wanted!

December 17, 2016

I have written an essay for Notting Hill Editions, a prestigious British essay publishing company. I would really love a couple of beta readers to give me feedback.
shakespeareThe title is “Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’: A Warning to Elizabeth?” The thesis is that the play was much more of a political message than a simple love story. Including the bibliography (which you can ignore!), it’s 7,000 words, or about 15 pages. Please let me know if you might be interested. Thanks!

You can email me at donmakerauthor@gmail.com

Tribute to Tolstoy

September 9, 2016

I read “War and Peace” a few centuries ago (it seems), but I had no idea Tolstoy wrote essays on pacifism and philosophy that greatly influenced Ghandi and King, Jr.! Always interesting to learn more about great writers. Thanks to Abbie Lu for blogging this.tolstoy

(Click on the link, then on the ensuing link for her blog.)

“We can know only that we know nothing.”

Source: Tribute to Tolstoy

Plot Arcs

September 8, 2016

I’m not a great fan of ‘formulaic writing’, but this is a very good analysis of the basic structure of all fiction.

STORY STRUCTURE: The 5 Key Turning Points of All Successful Screenplays