The Problem With Sentence Fragments.

I’ve read a couple of books lately that have been rather good, although plagued with something that is becoming the bane of my life as a reader: sentence fragments. 

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Words and Phrases

 

I’ve read a couple of books lately that have been rather good, although plagued with something that is becoming the bane of my life as a reader: sentence fragments.

There was one book I started reading a couple of weeks ago where this was rampant, along with other issues, to the point where I couldn’t continue.

A sentence fragment is something that presents as a sentence in that it starts with a capital letter and ends with a period, but doesn’t actually make sense on its own.

A sentence fragment is often added as an afterthought when it really should be tacked onto the previous sentence with either a comma or a semicolon.

Consider the following example:

Jack went into his bedroom and closed the door, preferring privacy for reading his new book. Which was something that he knew annoyed his little brother.

 

That last sentence fragment actually makes no sense without the previous sentence.

If this happens just once or twice in a book, it’s still too often. However, it happens a lot. To be completely honest, it’s something I mark my senior high school English students down on. It’s what I consider quite a basic error: it’s not that hard to read something you’ve written down and ask yourself if it makes sense.

I understand that some readers don’t notice it, but many others will find it very frustrating indeed.

The exception is in direct speech or train of thought writing. People do speak like that, and they often think in fragments of thoughts, especially when under stress or in pain. If it’s something a character is thinking or saying, there is no problem. When it is part of the narrative, however, it really is an issue.

I don’t want to come across as being all finicky and fussy. My intention is that writers might recognise and self-correct this problem in their writing, even if it means  revising an entire manuscript so that their book reads better.

This is also another argument for having any manuscript thoroughly proof-read and edited before you publish anything, especially as an Indie author who wants to be taken seriously as a writer.

In the end it will earn you more stars and more readers.

When your story is great, and your message is important, please don’t allow something that is easily fixed to compromise the success of your book.

Instead, take the time and effort to make sure that your writing, and the overall quality of your book, is the best it can be. You owe it to your readers, and you owe it to yourself.

 

The Passing Of The Night 

Most of my poems reflect some element of my own life in an honest and hopefully creative way.
I want people to understand that life is full of challenges and trials as well as moments of victory and celebration. I want people experiencing those trials and challenges to know they are not alone, and that someone else knows what it’s like to go through that.

The Passing Of The NightPoetry isn’t always whimsy and romance. In fact, my poetry is only ever infrequently either of those things. 

Most of my poems reflect some element of my own life in an honest and hopefully creative way. I want people to understand that life is full of challenges and trials as well as moments of victory and celebration. I want people experiencing those trials and challenges to know they are not alone, and that someone else knows what it’s like to go through those things. 

The Passing Of The Night is a new collection of my poems that reflects those truths honestly and, I hope, in beautiful language through varied and interesting imagery. It’s true that there is a piece of my soul on every page. 

People experience all kinds of night: loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, pain, and countless other darknesses. 

This newly released collection of profound lyrical poems explores the poet’s own experiences and observations of both dark and light, revealing her determination to not only survive, but to conquer whatever tries to overcome her. 

At the end of it all, the poet demonstrates that the smallest sign of light is enough to help a wandering soul find hope in the passing of the night. 

The Passing Of The Night is available on Amazon and all other major digital stores.

How To Write A Bestseller.

The question I hear most from aspiring authors is, “How do I write a bestseller?”

The question I hear most from aspiring authors is, “How do I write a bestseller?”

My answer is always the same: “You can’t. Nobody can do that. All you can do is write the story you want to write in the best way that you can. What happens after that is up to the audience.”

It’s a sad fact of life for writers, but there’s no proven formula for producing a best-seller.
J.K. Rowling must hear that question an awful lot too – that’s my assumption, but when you see an American news service running headlines like “JK Rowling gives ‘words of wisdom’ to emerging writers” you can safely bet that she’s answered the question a few times.

Her advice is good. Write what you’re passionate about. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. Keep going. Make it as good as it can be. And then keep going some more.

To that, I would add: Make sure you’ve got your word choices, punctuation, and paragraphing right. Don’t settle for a mediocre cover. And don’t be afraid to go Indie and self-publish: that’s how Charles Dickens and Walt Whitman started out, too.

In fact, some of the very best books I’ve read over the last 12 months have been Indie books. I honestly believe that people who dismiss Indie books as “not good enough” are missing out on some of the best books available.

If you’re an aspiring author, listen to advice from those who know.

It can be disheartening. I can be really hard, even when you know you have put a great book out there, and people don’t seem to be catching on that you’re a literary genius. These things take time.  But if you keep going when others give up, sooner or later, someone is going to notice you and, even more importantly, your book.

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On Being A Writer.

Tonight, an author friend posed this question in a discussion group: Is being a writer just a pipe dream?

She asked this in response to a controversial tweet by Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, last week:
‘English Major = Want Fries With That? Pick something that will give you enough money to write what you want.’ (Follow the link to the full article.)

It’s a thought-provoking question. Can I legitimately call myself a writer or a poet if that’s not my main source of income? Without a doubt, yes!

Authors throughout history have held other jobs to survive while they pursued their writing.  I’m just one in a very long list.

In this world, being “just” a writer is the domain of very few.

However, being a writer AND having another job doesn’t mean one is not a writer.
I don’t make enough out of writing to quit my job… far from it… but writing is both my passion and my therapy, so if I can cover my expenses… in my mind, that’s a good outcome.

If my writing helps someone feel that they’re less alone, or less weird, or can better understand someone else’s situation… that’s far more like what I want to achieve, particularly with my poetry.

I’d like to sell more books, sure. But not doing so isn’t going to stop me writing. And it won’t make me any less a writer.

You just wait til I’m dead. (Hopefully not any time soon.)
My poetry will go off the charts then.

Maybe you should buy a signed copy from me while you can.

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Just… wow!

I got published… again! In two issues in a row!
This is such an unbelievable feeling!

I got published… again! In two issues in a row!
This is such an unbelievable feeling!

I shared a fortnight ago that The Australia Times Poetry Magazine published one of my poems in their Vol 4, No. 25 issue.

I’ve just opened Vol 4, No. 25 to find that it contains another of my poems, Rogue Wave. That’s the poem that was shortlisted by Wildsound Festival of Poetry in November, and performed by Michelle Alexander as part of the Wildsound Festival.

Shiva XIV – The Riddle of the Gods by Lyra Shanti

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Shiva XIV  Synopsis

The war for Deius begins, but first, the battle for Sirin must be fought.

In this third and action-packed installment of Shiva XIV, Ayn yearns for freedom while Srah and Axis find their true home. All the while, Yol Notama brings The Tah to the edge of madness!

Fates will be decided and old Gods will awaken as the most ancient of riddles is finally answered.

About Lyra Shanti
Lyra is a novelist, singer-songwriter, poet,
and playwright.  Havilyrang grown up in Bellingham, Washington, Lyra is a nature and animal lover with a ferocious love of epic stories of every genre, but especially sci-fi and fantasy. 
 
At first, Lyra was drawn to writing songs, even at the tender age of 7 years old. Then, it was poetry, play-writing, and eventually, musicals. It wasn’t until much later that Lyra began writing novels, but between Lyra’s
Shiva XIV series and the many stories yet to
come, Lyra’s dedication to story telling has
only just begun.


Where To Buy Shiva XIV The Riddle of The Gods
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Lyra’s book Giveaway

For the latest news and possible giveaways please visit the Facebook launch event page for the book     https://www.facebook.com/events/1251196588275748/

 
My Shiva XIV The Riddle of The Gods Giveaway

Lyra has very kindly given me an ebook copy of the Shiva XIV The Riddle of The Gods to give away to one of my readers.  All you need to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this blog post. The giveaway will close at midnight, November 14 EST, when the winner will be chosen at random.
 
Congratulations Lyra

I’m honoured to be part of the launch team for Shiva XIV The Riddle of The Gods and wish both you and the book every success.

Featured!

I am excited to announce that Festival for Poetry have featured the poem I submitted to them for consideration.

I am excited to announce that Festival for Poetry have featured the poem I submitted to them for consideration.

You can read the poem here: Rogue Wave by Joanne Van Leerdam

I hope that if you enjoy it, you’ll go to www.jvlpoet.com and look under “new writing” for more.
You can subscribe to my mailing list there, too, so you don’t miss another update!

Remember to check out ‘New Horizons’, too! It’s launching next weekend and I’m keen to see it take off!

New Horizons!

I’m very excited about the launch next weekend of my second book, ‘New Horizons’.

promo-new-horizons-3

I’m very excited about the launch next weekend of my second book, ‘New Horizons’.

I’ve crossed into another genre and publishing a collection of my short stories, related by a common theme of people encountering new things, making a fresh start, or finding a new direction in their lives.

‘New Horizons’ will be available as a paperback or ebook from Amazon or Blurb.com, and as an ebook on iBooks and kobo.

Follow this universal book link to pre-order:
books2read.com/newhorizons

 

Book Review: Crazy for Alice by Alex Dunn

“…a really interesting and compelling book.”

This was a really interesting and compelling book. It had a satisfying balance of humour and desperation among the characters, with a few good heart stopping moments thrown in for good measure. The ending was very satisfying.

I’d definitely recommend it for any Young Adult audience, and for anyone older who still enjoys a good story.
It would suit anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling or A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

I’ll definitely be recommending it for a few people I know!

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Shameless self-promotion.

One thing I’ve learned about being a writer is how hard it is to get people to take notice of your work…

One thing I’ve learned about being a writer is how hard it is to get people to take notice of your work. It’s even harder to get them to get them to buy a copy. There are a lot of “that’s nice!” responses out there.

At no point did I go into this with glazed eyes and a plan to “get rich quick” – as I explained to one of my students who asked if I would make a heap of money and stop teaching them, “…nobody gets rich writing poetry!”

I would be really happy to sell a few more copies of my book, though. There are always expenses, and I’d like to think that I’ll make back what getting published has cost me. It would be great to break even on the box o’books I ordered on the assumption that my friends and relatives would all support me, because that is exactly what I would do for them. Some have, and I am super grateful for each of them…  and some haven’t. I guess I should have seen that coming. I’m still working on trying to not take it personally.

So, I’m busy engaging in shameless self-promotion. I’m posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and anything else I can think of to advertise. If you have accounts on any of those places, please friend/follow me (just click on the handy links I’ve created) and share my posts with your friends.
You can also follow me as an author on Amazon and Goodreads. (Again, handy links!)
Another thing you could do to help me out is to rate/review ‘Leaf’ on Amazon, iBooks or Goodreads, as that really helps to raise both awareness and book sales. (Yep… links!)

I’m also in the final phases of designing and producing a website, which may or may not help me sell books, but it looks impressive! I’ll be sure to let you know when it goes live.

I do have a couple of book-signing events at upcoming fairs and festivals, which will hopefully give me opportunities to bless people with hard copies of my book in exchange for cash.

It’s hard work, but it is satisfying. Nobody can ever say I sat back and waited for something to come to me. And in the meantime, I’ll just keep writing.