Black lives don’t just “matter.” They are our world.

So, so sad for George Floyd and his family and friends: with love and fondest condolences from me and HTWB. Suze.

Racism is a poison.
Please help destroy that poison.
George and many others like you in the past: you never, never deserved this hideous end to your lives.
We cry for you: not just for you, but for the implications of how you died and what those have come to mean in the USA – as in, for that matter, other countries around the world.
And we cry even more about the hideous mess that US politics has become; ironically at a time when national unity should have been even more important than ever.

George Floyd, RIP.

 

How important are grammar and spelling? Really?

Now that the mass media with its “newspeak” vocabulary has been part of our lives for several generations we really can’t afford to be pompous about spelling and grammar any more.

Even the stuffiest of academics has had to admit that stiffly formal writing is not clever; it’s boring. They may look down their noses at the language of popular websites, social media, blogs and so-on, but that’s the language nearly everyone speaks today.

article about spelling and grammarI won’t waste your time with my theories on why that has happened, but the bottom line is that English as a language has become simpler and less complex than it was 100 years ago.

And quite right, too. I’ve never understood why some people get so uppity about the fact that a language has evolved.

Well, you and I haven’t got time to mourn the relegation of Shakespearean English to the theatre, even if we want to. We’ve got work to do here and now, and these days we write as we speak.

“Writing as people speak” is not a cop out

[Read more…]

Are our storytelling tenses getting too tense? YOU decide!

Have you been reading a lot of books during coronavirus lockdown? I have – my particular favourite genre (not exactly intellectual but provides what I need as a light-hearted break…) crime and psychological crime fiction. Yum, yum.

The current fashion in high-anxiety fiction like this is to tell it in the present tense…presumably to increase the dramatic speed.

Fine for a film or TV synopsis. But a whole, 80,000 words or longer novel?

I suppose this should be OK with me, largely because I spent years working with film and TV synopses in which it’s customary to describe the main action in the present tense, using the past and other tenses to suggest action movements in the story other than what’s happening right now.

But do I have enough lung power to keep up with the breathless pace of present tense narrative in these best-selling contemporary fiction hits that fester within my Kindle? [Read more…]

Why you’ll never need me to help you write a book

It’s no longer a twinkle in my eye. No longer a metre-high pile of scribbled notes.
The sequel to my Amazon bestseller How To Write Winning Nonfiction … a complete new self-coaching book, not just an update.

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I must be out of my mind.

On Amazon pre-order soon:
The ultimate book on how to write a book.

36 published books’ worth of writing experience
35 years’ worth of marketing experience
To be published by BetterBooksMedia

With this book, you won’t need me.

Contains everything you need to make
your nonfiction book a successful reality.

Want to reserve your copy now?
Drop me a note on suze@suzanstmaur.com

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Here’s what the beta readers have to say about it

[Read more…]

A fumbler’s guide to live online video chats and meetings

How are you doing with your Zoom / MS Teams / Facebook Lives / Facetime and various other incarnations of live video on the internet, especially now that there are very few – if any – ways to communicate with our clients / customers, colleagues, friends and family otherwise?

The Zoom meeting … our new normal?

A while back I wrote about, and asked my learned colleagues to share their advice on, how to perform on online video as you’ll find from this incredibly comprehensive guide here. And that was before the coronavirus stopped us talking F2F.

But today, as we cope with the most recent restraints … let’s take another look at how we are communicating now. Speaking as a prime techno-fumbler myself and a beginner at this talk-and-chew-gum-at-the-same-time online video lark, I sympathise with other beginners starting out … especially as so many friends and colleagues are becoming online TV superstars…

Some tips about live online video that I’ve discovered the hard way

[Read more…]

What to write when someone has lost their job due to coronavirus

One of the most popular articles here on HTWB for the last four years has been “What to write when someone has lost their job.” As you know, at the moment (May 2020) this has become even more of an issue due to social distancing, self-isolation and of course the closing down of many businesses.

Even a short email or private message on social media can help support someone who’s facing job/income loss due to coronavirus, but it’s a delicate path to travel. Here’s how to help, not hinder…

Some workers are lucky and have been furloughed, but others – especially in small businesses and the self-employed – are facing not one but two major dilemmas: one, loss of income, and two, no clear vision of how – and when – the job and business markeplaces will get back to normal … if they ever do. [Read more…]

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