Ask Dan ANYTHING!

dan
your humble host
Each week we’ll take five, maybe ten, of YOUR writerly questions and set about answering them for you. When this post appears, get your questions in QUICKLY via the “comments” section below.

Simple enough, right?

Ask Dan ANYTHING

Well, maybe.

See, a lot of you don’t know what you don’t know, and some of you know things others don’t; so the idea is for you – and I mean YOU – to just ASK the questions you have and let’s get the ball rolling. I’ll opine; maybe some others will chime in with their thoughts, and hopefully YOU will get several good solutions to choose from.

Or something like that.

  • Wanna know how to work an author event?

  • Wanna know how to get an author event?

  • Wanna know what author events are?

  • Wanna know how to get more blog followers?

And it doesn’t have to be directly writing related. Sometimes you need to get in the writing mood by NOT doing writer stuff. Maybe you wanna know about doing author events, but maybe you wanna know about public speaking, or… I don’t know; the London train system. (I had some trouble there, if you’ll recall.)

Or why so much of Europe requires you to pay to pee…

 

I don’t want to suggest ideas TO you, I wanna know what’s on YOUR mind.

What are YOU struggling with?

So ask.

Ask me anything.

We have lots of smart people here; if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does. Or I’ll make something up.

Go ahead, you know you want to.

ASK ME ANYTHING!

Post your questions in the comment section below. I’ll answer the first five, maybe the first ten – so don’t goof off. Post your question NOW!

.

danDan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious romantic comedy “Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure.” 

Click HERE to get your copy of Poggi FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Also available in paperback.

 

19 thoughts on “Ask Dan ANYTHING!

        • Pfft.

          Keep it simple and save yourself headaches.

          When you send your manuscript out to critique partners and then beta readers, ask them to highlight any words that are jumping out at them as crutch words.

          Once they read a little bit, they will see them and start identifying them.

          Just make a list based off of what they tell you and keep the list in a separate file. You’re going to use 80% of the same crutch words in your next manuscript.

          I have a few critique partners that I regularly work with, so they are quick to point those words out to me.

          But I keep a list.

          And when I think I’m done with my manuscript, I bring out the list and I do a keyword search for each one of those. Often beta readers will see a list of crutch words at the beginning of my document!

          Anyway, I type them into the front of the document and then I highlight them individually and ask do a “search” – as in, find/replace, etc. It will then tell me how many occurrences of that word there are.

          One per thousand is OK as a rule of thumb, but you still have to go through the manuscript to make sure that you don’t have five in the same paragraph, you know?

          After changing 5000 occurrences of “smile” to grin or some other type of appropriate action, you will almost get an electric shock from your keyboard every time you type S – M – I…

          That said, as well as it works, you still have to run it by some other people to catch the ones you miss.

          Because you always miss some.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Running the contest is pretty easy.

      You think of an idea that’s something people might want to write about. Mostly, I want to encourage all my readers who want to be writers… which is most of them… to submit something and get that first step going.

      Second, you contact a handful of friends and ask if they would like to donate a prize. You be surprised how many will say yes. Even if it’s “just” a book, it’s a big gift on their part and if it’s something more than a book, like an editing service or a book cover, that’s a pretty big catch to a contestant who’s working on a tight budget – as all writers usually are.

      The real challenge came in taking a book from person X and awarding it to contestant B. Actually that doesn’t sound too difficult at all, but when I had something like 15 or 20 door prize winners and a handful of sponsors who had each donated several books each, it got a little tricky.

      For that, believe it or not, I did it like I was dealing a poker hand. The first sponsor is giving away five books and he is located in the UK. The second sponsor is giving away three books. The third sponsor is giving away five books…

      I wrote down each sponsor’s name on a “card” along with the title of the book they were giving away – because some were giving away three or four different books – and then I laid out pieces of paper with the randomly selected winners’ names on them. Some winners were getting one book, some were getting more than one.

      Then I just shuffled the cards and dealt.

      The winners were chosen at random by way of a random number generator, and were numbered in the order in which they were received.

      Out of all the prizes I gave away, I think I only screwed up two or three. That’s not bad, especially for a first time around.

      The other things I did was – as you probably noticed – I tried to place an “ad” in all of my blog posts during the month the contest was going on, mentioning that there was a contest and using the contest logo. Additionally, I tweeted a lot and I bought some paid advertising on Facebook ads and some other places. I didn’t spend a lot of money because you don’t have to, but I got a lot of entries and was very fortunate to get plenty of sponsors, too!

      Of course, I encouraged all the sponsors to re-blog and retweet and talk about it on Facebook. I’m fortunate to have such generous friends who stepped up to become sponsors.

      I learned a lot, I had a blast, and obviously I’m doing it again, tweaking it each time until we get the right balance.

      And I feel truly fortunate to have read so many good stories by so many authors. You guys are shy, and you should not be. We have a lot of talented people in this audience!

      Liked by 1 person

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