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Paula Wynne (UK)

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Writing Scary Scenes (Writer's Craft Book 2)
Writing Scary Scenes (Writer's Craft Book 2)
Price: £1.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Add scary scenes to your chapters checklist, 6 Jun 2014
If you have written your book and need help to scary it up, you should use this book to write a new scene, or to add tension and excitement to a new draft. My suggestion would be to read the book and then create your own scene checklist based on the info you have gleaned and learned from Rayne's writing experience. And then keep your checklist handy while writing your scary scenes.
I have my own scene checklist which has different aspects of creating each and every scene I write about. I use this as a kick-start and then I come back to it at the end to boot my scenes back into tight and frightening order - I love writing thrillers.

I have now added some of Rayne's advice to my little scene format - escpecially her advice on using Euphonics to find the right words to scare, thrill or horrify your readers. And I have added Rayne's advice on the whimp effect to my scene checklist to ensure my hero does not act like a ... whimp!

If you want to know more - you can read my full review on U Self Publish under the blog gallery :)

Publish your own eBook
Publish your own eBook
by MagBook
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How to publish your own eBook Review, 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: Publish your own eBook (Paperback)
How many times have you heard that saying: I have a book in me? And how many times have you uttered those very words only to be put off with all the faff of getting a publisher?

Well now may be your big chance to get published by writing, creating and uploading your own eBook to the tops sites that could sell it for you.

MagBook divided their pocket guide into five easy to read sections. You start with `Why do you want to write a book?'

Most writers who have been toiling away at their craft for years won't need to spend time answering this question, instead they can jump right into the deep end and find out about plain text publishing with the ups and downs and why PDF formats became the open standard and long dominant professional format for publishing eBooks.

With the explosive growth of tablets and in particular the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle there is no reason why any aspiring writer shouldn't consider publishing their own eBook.

MagBook covers writing fiction and non-fiction in the second chapter `Writing your eBook'. Very important here is to find out about images in your eBook and why a picture is not only worth a thousand words but may cost that too! Learn about compression, colour, image size, embedding images and resolutions.

Chapter three covers all you need to know about `Creating your eBook' and goes into great detail about importing raw copy, defining your cover, your index and metadata (so eBook browsers can find your eBook amongst the millions out there).

The beauty of this chapter is that it shows visuals and in-depth steps on how to format your eBook with Calibre, Scrivener, InDesign, iBooks Authors and QuarkXPress. PS: win scrivener writing software in iHubbub's author competition.

iHubbub Quote

"A simple book with meaty subjects. With this guide you can be selling your eBook next weekend!"

Read full review on iHubbub's reviews.

Photographer's Market 2012
Photographer's Market 2012
by Mary Burzlaff Bostic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2012 Photographer's Market Review, 11 Jun 2012
When 2012 Photographer's Market arrived the postie thumped the door with it ... well not literally but it certainly sounded like it when it landed and on looking at it you can see why...
2012 Photographer's Market looks like a bible and apparently acts like one too - for photographers that is.

Opening this ultimate market research tool gives the photography reader a scratch patch to start a one year free online subscription to [...] to access updated market listings, easy to use searchable database of contacts for selling photographs to help student and freelance photographers to find the right market for their photography work, record keeping tools and professional tips and advice.

The advice doesn't stop at the online scratch card - the book dives straight in with listings, which feature groups of symbols that appear before each company contact. Scanning the symbols will help to quickly locate markets that meet your photography criteria.

Along with a fully comprehensive list for selling your photographs [more on this in a mo] this photography market-bible advices freelance photographers how to go about selling their work with all sorts of items covered such as copyright, contracts, rights and pay rates. And of course simple things like - how to get organised and where to start - which can be pretty daunting when you see the thumping big bible-book arrive!

It goes on to discuss how to run your freelance photography business explaining various submission procedures, formats, property release, stock lists, charging for your work, self-promotion and even small business taxes.

Before you get near the jam packed market listings [I did say more in a mo, but the mo is yet to come] you'll stumble upon ways to adapt and sell more of your freelance photography. This meaty chapter dissects selling yourself [as a freelancer photographer that is], building your brand, website and blog bits and bobs and staying focused on customer relationships.

A quick tweet or two about social media what and what-not and then you get `breaking away' and `breaking out' to help tried and tested freelancing photographers to explore new niches. Then some high flying professional photographers share their well-trodden recommendations with informative articles and inspiring interviews.

Phew ... now we get to the market!

Still lots more to say about this photography market guide. Read the full review on iHubbub ...

The Novel Writer's Toolkit: Your Ultimate Guide to Writing and Publishing a Successful Novel
The Novel Writer's Toolkit: Your Ultimate Guide to Writing and Publishing a Successful Novel
by Caroline Taggart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.38

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Novel Writer's Toolkit Review, 11 Jun 2012
Sub headed as `Your ultimate guide to writing and publishing a successful novel, this book does what it says on the tin ... err, cover.

Do you have a novel in you? True or not, this book is worth picking up if you believe you could have a novel inside you bursting to break out. The book is divided into three parts.

One concentrates on the practicalities of being a writer, suggestions for plotting, characterisation and dialogue and editing to make your novel as good as it can be.

When writing your rough draft you need a beginning, a middle and an end with chapter breakdowns, sentence structure and dialogue formats - you get all of this in short, snappy sound bites to make every word count.

If you want a more comprehensive view of how to set up your `First 50 Pages' to engage agents, editors and readers, check my next review on Jeff Gerke's outstanding book. Editing and keeping track of inconsistencies, spell checks, styles and `murdering' your babies ... err, words or chapters finishes round one.

Two dives into advice about how to prepare an outline and compose a covering letter that jumps out and grabs a busy agent, as well as what an editor is looking for when they get to your submission in the `slush' pile.

Check out `The Agent's View' if you really, really want to work with an agent. It covers how to find and approach an agent (only after you finish three) with a ten-stage guide to an agent's role.

If you don't know the difference between fiction and non-fiction the `Acquiring Fiction' fires bullets at you to summarise exactly what an editor is looking for in your work and three important reasons why your novel could be rejected. The moral here is to study the reasons and then be sure your precious story doesn't hit the road, Jack.

Three is an in-depth directory detailing agents and publishers who could potentially be interested in hearing about your book. Each entry will help you decide who is right for your story.

My review book for iHubbub quickly filled up with bright orange sticky post-it notes of all the agents I want to hunt down. I took the book along to the London Book Fair and sat having coffee comparing notes to their guide and found this toolkit extremely comprehensive and one I now keep dipping into ...

iHubbub Quote: "Any serious writer's completely crucial guide to agents and publishers."

Self Made Me: Why Being Self-Employed Beats Everyday Employment
Self Made Me: Why Being Self-Employed Beats Everyday Employment
by Geoff Burch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an extremely easy to read book!, 17 April 2012
iHubbub Reviewer, Rosalind Brookman has just put down her copy of Geoff Burch's new book Self-Made Me and gives it top marks for being so user friendly! Here is Rosalind's take on this book for anyone who is self employed or aims to go self employed ...

Self-employment guru Geoff Burch likes analogies; in this book he compares self-employment to `the good ship Freedom'; rebel guerrillas and an individual in a kayak. Employed workers' environments become beehives, a steam engine, training an elephant and a worker himself is compared to an aspiring vegetable (it makes sense in context...) amongst many other, equally interesting, concepts.

Geoff doesn't use business jargon - almost the opposite in fact. He is plain speaking, and pitches this book at exactly the right level for those people who might be thinking about stepping out on their own. It's not an in-depth look at how to run a business; there's no `how to manage your year-end accounts' or `how to set up a pay-role system' - it's more `Self-employment for Dummies'.

The only thing that lets this book down is typos - pg. 218 for example: `I received an email a while back from someone in Singapore who wanted me to collaborate with them on a book they were written.' This is one of several proofing mistakes, and it's disappointing; they jar your eye as you read and interrupt the flow of an interesting narrative.

Throughout the book Geoff speaks at length about professionalism and the importance of appearance - perhaps he should scour a freelancer's website for a more competent proof reader next time?

Whilst mistakes that should have been picked up are irritating, they don't change the fact that this is ultimately a book packed full of enthusiasm and motivation from somebody who is clearly passionate about being free from a 9 to 5 life; of being told what to do by a company who are only interested in you being a conforming cog in their machine.

Geoff speaks from the heart, and passes on the knowledge he has gained from his years of self-employment in the hope that the reader will listen, take it seriously and free themselves too. Read the full review on iHubbub's reviews.

PC Tools Internet Security 2011, 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
PC Tools Internet Security 2011, 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Offered by Surplus Trade Supplies
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PC Tools Security, 16 April 2012
We all need it -that's for sure! Internet Security is part and parcel of every freelancer, home worker and home business. With all the tools and systems on the market today it can be quite a muddle sifting through the requirements, trying to figure out what they offer and most importantly if they're easy to use!

So iHubbub Reviewer, Rosalind Brookman went undercover to review PC Tools Internet Security. Treat yourself to this value for money software.

The installation process for PC Tools Internet Security (Version 9.0) is quick, doesn't ask unintelligible questions and is clear about the process all the way through. There are 3 different types of scan; the full scan, the custom scan where you can ask it to look at particular areas, and the IntelliScan which heads straight to specific areas of risk. There is a tab where you can see the history of the activity PC Tools has taken, including the scans it has run and the viruses it has found.

The IntelliGuard system watches over your computer for all kinds of threats; it covers your email and any attachments received, websites you visit (it will warn you if it detects a problem with any site before you can open it), files you get sent etc., and you can turn all the filters on and off independently.

One of the most useful additions to the programme is the Scam Protection - this monitors websites that you might potentially come across whilst looking for home working jobs. There are many scams associated with home working, and this programme means that these imposter sites should be weeded out before they can rip you off. It works by monitoring keyword and website activity to determine whether the site is legitimate. If it thinks it is an untrustworthy website it will flag this up to ensure you don't lose personal or financial information. Read the full review on iHubbub.

Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang (Oxford Paperback Reference)
Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang (Oxford Paperback Reference)
by John Ayto
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Character Dialogue Must Have!, 7 Feb 2012
There's no end to the `mind-blowing' power of Modern Slang. As a mouse is electronically wired to a laptop so too will this dictionary become an intravenous drip to a writer. Hey ho, writers and authors ...

When Modern Slang arrived at iHubbub HQ to be reviewed it should have duly been stacked at the bottom of my review pile, but something about the cover (maybe the wedge of cheese) made me flick through it before jamming it under at least 17 others.

And before I knew it, I was in writers' wonderland!

At first flicking through and then avidly fixated with each page. If dinner, partners, kids and life in general didn't get in the way, an aspiring writer, and indeed any well-tuned author, could get lost in this book only to reappear when they've chewed through every word.
Character Labels

Not only can you find modern ways with dialogue, but you can create sparkling `labels' for your characters. Have a good nose through the thematic section, it's like bottled inspiration!

Don't give a boring account of a man with no hair. Bald is out. Slaphead is in - especially if you want him to be a ruffian or dodgy character. For example, when describing your suspect ... let's call him Mike ... why write `Mike was bald' when you could scribe `a slaphead in a three piece suit'. Why give another character `big eyes' when they can have `lamps' ... or they may have `peepers' for that matter.

Your teens or young guns wouldn't say `this room stinks' more likely they would grunt out a `this joint is minging'. If you had to kill off a character for whatever reason why would they be `dead' when they could be `pushing up daisies'?

iHubbub Quote:
"Every writer should devour this dialogue treasure trove to ensure their characters' dialogue is packed with human oomph. A writer's addiction!" iHubbub

You can read the full review on iHubbub - this book is excellent for helping aspiring writers to create excellent and very human dialogue for their ficional characters!

A Writer's Guide to the Zodiac: How the Stars Can Help You Understand Your Characters
A Writer's Guide to the Zodiac: How the Stars Can Help You Understand Your Characters
by Giselle Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Writer's Guide to the Zodiac: How the Stars Can Help You Understand Your Characters, 10 Jan 2012
After writing my second book, Pimp My Site, I started rewriting one of my novels I knew I needed to improve my characters and turn them into real life people not just names in a book.

To do this I have used several great titles for creating characters as well as information on the zodiac and stars. Although some people think it is a bunch of `hog-wash' the zodiac is a great way to forming various character traits, personality flaws and foibles that we all encounter in the best fiction `people'.

Enter ... A Writer's Guide to the Zodiac: How the Stars Can Help You Understand Your Characters!

For starters the book will not frighten off the nervous or anyone vaguely doubtful of star signs and the zodiac. It is a slim `little' offering with quick reference to each star sign. But don't be fooled by the `slim', it powers much punch!

The cover is delightful with each star sign stepping out onto the red carpet in high heels bespoke to their star symbol. They're all lovely shoes but take a look at Libra and how the `scales' are balancing. Clever.

So back to the content - the book allowed me to really climb inside the different star sign's minds to ensure my characters are complex, humanly believable and truly three dimensional.

iHubbub Review Quote: "Every aspiring writer has to have a permanent copy of this little book on their reference shelf. Handy when creating your character and while writing easy to dip in and out to check your character traits are in line."

Lots of little ... that word again ... details which mean so much when forming real people in your books.

I won't spoil it for you and give you examples, you have to see them for yourself and choose which star sign will 'star' as your hero or heroine and who will be your mortal enermy!

Well done, Giselle, your book will inspire many great works of fiction and help many authors and aspiring writers to bring their characters alive.

One day when my own novels are published [note positive attitude - which star sign am I?] I will explain what little nuances were inspired by your book and how my characters started `speaking' to me, some even stamping their foot and demanding attention.

Good English!
Good English!
by John Ayto
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Good English by John Ayto, 10 Jan 2012
This review is from: Good English! (Paperback)
Oxford Good English by John Ayto is simple to use and has most of the answers to everyday queries about English usage. It is a handy guide in a kinda-pocket size so easy to take out and about if you are an aspiring writer working in coffee shops or getting inspiration from your local village common.

The book is ideal for:
* Writers wanting to get Good English into their novels or non-fiction books
* Foreign students needing to perfect their English
* English students ... ditto
* New business start ups who NEED to write Good English in their business communication

* In fact - just about anybody who has questions on grammar, spelling and English language usage.

Good Example

invent verb and discover verb. You discover someting that was there before but which nobody know about. You invent something that wasn't there before. See page 164 to get examples of how to use both of these words in the right context.

iHubbub Review Quote: "We love the handy little tabs down the side of the book so you very easily flip-to-find alpha letters for quick easy searching."

Stop Talking, Start Doing: : A Kick in the Pants in Six Parts
Stop Talking, Start Doing: : A Kick in the Pants in Six Parts
by Shaa Wasmund
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stop Talking Start Doing, 15 Dec 2011
Generally I'm not into reading self help books. Not that I don't think I don't need help! Quite the opposite, in fact, I am proud to be a lifelong learner. And as the author of two books - Create A Successful Website and Pimp My Site - which show clearly that I taught myself so much over the past few years ...

But self help books in the way of motivation is not something I would naturally reach out and grab off the shelf. Until Shaa and Richard's book was sent to iHubbub by John Wiley for our home business reviews page.

Surprisingly, I found Stop Talking Start Doing a light and easy read, fun, even at times.

Lots of quotes offer non-stop inspiration.

An excellent quote on page 29 shows you have to bite the dust and face your fears. I won't spoil it for you, but just to say a photocopy of this page is now on my cork board above my desk.

Shaa talks about `your itch', that restless feeling of having to do something, such as lose weight, find a new job, go travelling.

We've all had one of those and the biggest ones are the toughest to scratch, like a horse rubbing his back up against a tree in a country paddock!

But Shaa says you should be more specific than that, don't just decide to lose weight, decide to lose 7 pounds in x number of weeks. And then they go on to tell you how - not lose weight, but how to make these decisions and stick to them! Hey Shaa, I have decided to scratch that itch and lose 7 pounds in January!

Did you know Bill Gates never finished university? Richard Branson not only left school at 16, but he was dyslexic and Coco Chanel was an orphan at 12 with no formal eduction and Simon Cowell started his working life in a mail room.

And it is inspiring for any start up to know fellow 'start up' Conrad Hilton had a torn, dog-eared photo of the Waldorf on his desk for 18 years until he finally bought the hotel. 18 years! Wow, imagine that kind of focus and determination and vision!

The point: this is solid proof that your attitude, not your education, is what really counts in today's world.

Shaa finishes by showing you how to deal with the `itch' by taking several actions that will help and pointing out obvious things that don't help, such as staring at the problem, challenge or itch and doing nothing about it.

Mohammed Ali said: "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

All in all, a good read, highly recommended for anyone with a restless urge and even more important for those who don't even know they have an itch!

Mark Twain's advice is to "sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover."

My favourite quote in the book! Well - one of my favourites ...

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