Celebrate a Book Birthday!

On this day in 2017, M.A. Lee published Old Geeky Greeks, third in the Think like a Pro Writer series.

We published with one cover. At the end of 2019, as part of the year-long updates to the entire Think like a Pro Writer series, our cover designers Deranged Doctor Design came up with this wonderful cover.

Here’s information for this book. Click the link to Amazon to purchase.

What do these have in common?

Atonement. I, Robot. The 13th Warrior. The Hobbit. Jurassic Park, in all its iterations.

Harry Potter. Ironman. Perseus. Dudley Dooright. Macbeth.

5 Stages of the Hero and the Monster. Blood tragedies. The scariest woman in all literature. Hubris.

These oddly-matched items all have origins in the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The first storytellers discovered many ways to intrigue and thrill their audiences.  They laid strong foundations for what worked and what didn’t work. Their techniques are still used, re-packaged as exclusive insights, glittery infographics, three-point seminars, and Wham-Pow webinars urging modern writers to Buy Now!

Old Geeky Greeks: Write Stories with Ancient Techniques presents these techniques in a clear, organized method for writers.

Chapters in OGG cover understanding characters, plot requirements and the oldest plot formula (the Blood or Revenge Tragedy), and such concepts as in medias res and dulce et utile and more, all to solve the sticky problem of audience expectations.

The bright minds of Classical Antiquity first explored that problem, and the answers that they developed are applicable in this age of the internet, special effects, and infographics.

Save yourself the hours spent at seminars and in webinars or scanning social media. Spend that time writing—and study the Old Geeky Greeks at your leisure. Whether writing novels or plays, blogs or non-fiction, poems and songs, this guidebook offers information to improve your writing.

Old Geeky Greeks is a seminar in book form, 28,000 words of time-proven techniques.

Writer M.A. Lee has published 25-plus titles under various pen names since she began self-publishing in 2015. She has over 30 years of experience in guiding college and high school students as they examined, analyzed, and applied these techniques.

Writing Short Stories ~ the Presentation

Here’s the powerpoint for my “Writing Short Stories” presentation to the SinC Smoking Guns on Writing Short Stories with Lester Dent’s plot formula. (This is what those attending the meeting would have seen while I rattled about the other information. IDK if the computer crash was a benefit or not.)

Scroll to the bottom to open the pdf document. You have permission to print.

The slide show is very bare bones.

If you would like to hear how I related the plot formula to four popular songs, then here’s a link to the first podcast episode on Writing Short Stories.  It’s a four-part series that aired in May of 2022.

In that series, I did breakdown the  plot formula for short stories in detail.

These narrative songs use Dent’s short story formula, a big surprise when I realized the connection of the plot formula to poetry. The four songs on the podcast, in order, are

  • Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”
  • Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls”
  • Carly Simon’s “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be”
  • Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Puff, the Magic Dragon”.

The Write Focus podcast is available on Podbean, Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Spotify, YouTube, and many more podcast distributors.

Writing Short Stories Presentation

Celebrate! *Discovering Your Writing*

It’s the anniversary of the bundled Discovering Your Writing”, the epic journey for writers.

cover by Deranged Doctor Design for Writers Ink Books

Designed for writers at any skill level, this four-book bundle of the acclaimed series is a resource-rich compendium of craft information.

4 Books

for Writers

Bundled together

Discovering Your Plot covers six types of plot structure and the necessities of genre expectations. In its detailed examination of the major sections of a novel, it offers clues to pacing, tension and suspense, and sequencing of events.

Discovering Characters guides writers to create individuals rather than cookie-cutter stereotypes. This guidebook is designed to reveal the public and private interiors of characters. Templates and interviews are merely a start when delving into the backstories and relationships of our characters.

To hook readers, savvy writers manipulate cover imagery, titles, and the back-cover market copy. With the right keys, explored in Discovering Your Author Brand, learn how to brand your books, your series, and yourself as writer. A supplementary section covers writing a book trailer—the best guidance for writing any market copy.

Improving your writing craft is simple with the lessons and examples provided in Discovering Sentence Craft. A writer needs much more than grammar and spelling. Figurative and interpretive elements are the first step in creating rich text. Structural elements like opposition, repetition, inversion, and sequencing offer additional methods to polish your words.

At 129,00-plus words, Discovering Your Writing is truly an epic undertaking, a heroic journey necessary for anyone wanting to grow as a writer.

Writer M.A. Lee worked as a journalist and copy writer before pursuing the challenge of teaching high school students the triumvirate of literature, composition, and grammar+. Those years of teaching meant that she continued learning herself, sticking fingers into the writing craft and twisting things around to understand them before conveying that knowledge to students. The Discovering guidebooks for writers are proof that her internal teacher keeps presenting lessons.

Since beginning her self-publishing journey in 2015, M.A. Lee (under her pen names) has published more than 30 works of fiction and nonfiction.

 

Discovering Your Novel

What kind of writer are you?  Planner or Plotter?  Pantster?  Puzzler?  Muse Muffin?

Whether you use the mosaic method or a chronological one, whether you outline every scene or let the words flow, the method does not matter.  What matters is the end goal.

So, what’s the end goal with your writing?  Just to write?  To publish?  Fame and fortune?

Plenty of frittery flutter-bys write and write and go nowhere.  As for fame and fortune, those can’t be guaranteed.

However, when your goal is publication, Discovering Your Novel is the guidebook to help you overcome the Sisyphean task of first word to publication.

With the goal of completing a novel in 52 weeks, this guidebook can be self-paced or tracked week by week for persistent success.

  • If you have a half-completed manuscript that you’re lost in, use the Foundations and Visioning sections to work your way out of the labyrinth.
  • If the story’s a mucky mire more like quicksand than a novel you can build on, use the Analysis section to clear away the mud and weeds.
  • Like a long ball of string, the multiple charts will help you keep track of where you’ve been and where you will head next.  Printable charts are available for free at the website address provided in the guidebook
  • When you complete the manuscript, what do you do next?  The sections on Harvesting and Finishing answer these questions as they guide you to creating a professional career as a writer.

Launch your writing journey at your current location on the publishing road—incipient idea or character sketches or story plan or struggling manuscript or completed novel looking into publication.

Track your progress with daily word counts recorded on the charts.

Learn the devices and definitions that pro writers have swirling in their heads.

Maintain the discipline and preparation that keeps pro writers at work, no matter the interruptions.

Writer M.A. Lee meandered along the road of unfinished manuscripts and completed novels with nowhere to publish for many years before she decided to drive to her own destiny.  If you’re tired of gatekeepers and pay-to-play schemes, if you’re weary of elitist traditional publishers and you’re eager to jump on the self-publishing juggernaut, then Discovering Your Novel will give the guidance you need.

*Just Start Writing* Celebrates a Birthday!

Are stories swirling around? Are ideas to share whirling in your mind? Are you on a carousel, all colors and mirrors with unicorns and griffins and dragons to ride?

That carousel of ideas tempts you to step on and enjoy the ride—yet you hesitate to pass the gate and climb up and select a ride. It’s too wondrous, too dreamlike for any reality.

Just Start Writing is designed to convince you to buy that ticket, walk through the gate, spy out the animal you want to ride, and climb on. The carousel is real, not a wonderful dream.

“Wait,” you may say. “I’ve tried before. I’ve read writing guidebooks until my eyes glaze over. I joined a writing group. I scan Pinterest and read the links. Writing just—it looks overwhelming. It can’t be that easy.”

Writing is that easy.

Just pour those swirling ideas onto the page.

And you want this dream, don’t you? Hasn’t the dream of writing persisted? Don’t you keep jotting ideas down? Aren’t you investigating and exploring because you can’t release the dream?

That was me. I’ve wanted to be a published writer since the Dark Ages. A few years ago I became serious about my dream. I set a deadline to publish my first book in 2015—and I succeeded! Since then, I haven’t looked back. As M.A. Lee and my other two pseudonyms, I’ve published 30 titles, mostly fiction.

Now people ask, “How did you start writing?” and “How do you come up with all of those stories?”

Writers ask, “How do I start writing? and “Where do you get your ideas?”

See the difference in those questions? Most people don’t care about the process. Writers want the process so they can apply it to their own carousels of struggles.

That’s our first admission, you and me:  Writing can be a struggle. It’s easy, but it’s also a dizzy whirl.

If these questions are yours—How do I start writing? and Where do you get your ideas?—then Just Start Writing is for you.