Tag Archives: Top ten list

Top 10 Alternatives to National Novel Writing Month

I wish nothing but success to those writer friends of mine who are in the middle of NaNoWriMo. But for those who didn’t join in the verbosity, here are my Top 10 ways you can fill the remainder of the month with your own nifty writing challenges.

# 10:  NaWriBacMo:  (National Write on Bacon Month) Try to write a novel on strips of bacon! Trust me, it’s not easy…er…I mean, I imagine it’s quite a challenge.

#  9:  NaStaEdMo:  (National Stalk an Editor Month)  This is really self-explanatory…not to mention the fact that it will most likely leave you with taser marks and research material from the local jail.

#  8:  NaDaParMo:  (National Dangling Participle Month) Being snarky with this activity, the month will go by quickly.

#  7:  NaFloBoPaAwaMo:  (National Floating Body Parts Awareness Month) Turn your favorite floating body parts into characters in a story. Write an entire novel featuring them!

#  6:  NaPoHoCoYoLaMo:  (National Pour Hot Coffee in Your Lap Month) Try different blends and see which one gets the old blood pumping the fastest. This is also a good cure for Writers Block…never mind how I know that.

#  5:  NaCreWePeNaMo:  (National Create Weird Pen Names Month) Just imagine you couldn’t write using your real name–due to legal ramifications connected with # 9–and come up with a new weird pen name every day. I’d give you suggestions, but I’m saving those for another Top 10 List.

#  4:  NaWriWhiWeSpanMo (National Write While Wearing Spandex Month)  Just because.  And I strongly discourage mixing this one with # 9 because…well, it could get real ugly.

#  3:  NaPreTeDeMo (National Pretend to be Ted Dekker Month). See how many books you can sign at Barnes and Noble before they kick you out.

#  2:  NaDreLiYoFaAuMo (National Dress Like Your Favorite Author Month)  I’ll just let you conjure up your own images on this one. All I can say is there REALLY needs to be more male authors in ACFW!

#  1:  NaPoSarGeHiBaNeNaMoKaQuZiLaPoMo  I have no idea what this means, but it will take you a month to make something up yourself. Besides…it’s just plain fun to say. In fact, just walk up to someone and say it, then turn around and walk away. Enjoy!

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Filed under books, Christian Fiction, editing, Larry W. Timm, Top 10 List, Top Ten list, Writing

Top 10 Unfortunate Responses to a Book Proposal

I just submitted my first book proposal. Now I’m worried how it’s going to be received. And that led me to today’s Top 10 list. Here’s what my weary and worried mind came up with:

Top 10 Unfortunate Responses to a Book Proposal:

# 10:  “ROFLOL! By the way, when will you sending the real proposal?”

#  9:  “Thanks for letting me read your book proposal. I haven’t slept this good in a long time!”

#  8:  “Were you drunk when you wrote this?”

#  7:  “Dear Mr. Timm, you can’t list Jim Rubart as an endorser of your book just because he said ‘Hello’ to you at a conference. And Nancy Mehl said the restraining order is not just a joke. Additionally, you can’t say that Chevy Chase is co-author simply because you sort of look like him.”

#  6:  “Your proposal was greatly appreciated. Our parrot, Mr. Snarky, has diarrhea, and we are out of newspaper.

#  5:  “Having read your book proposal, I’ve believe the best way to fix the problems within the pages is to hold the entire proposal by the upper left hand corner, and then set the bottom right hand corner on fire.

#  4:  “After reading your proposal, the editors of four publishing houses have met and unanimously agreed that you’re insane. Have a nice day.”

#  3:  “Please be informed that our legal department has carefully studied the marketing plan you submitted with your proposal–along with the photographs and drawings you unfortunately  provided–and we have determined that all of your ideas are either illegal, physically impossible, or would require surgery to undo.”

#  2:  “Dear Larry, while it’s true that Dr. Seuss wrote some really suspenseful stories, and although we agree that some might think of The Grinch that Stole Christmas as a real spine-tingler, you need to send us more recent comparable titles right away.”

#  1:  “I’m sorry to report that a swarm of dung beetles has rolled your book proposal away. Better luck next time.”

 

Okay, friends…if I get any of these responses I’ll let you know. Have a nice day.

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Top 10 Reasons People might be glad I’m not going to the ACFW Conference this Year.

The American Christian Fiction Writers Conference is less than a week away. People are packing bags, picking wardrobes, pressing kilts, and preparing one sheets. But not me. Sniff…sniff. This year I will not be attending. And that got me to thinking (ouch!).

Here are 10 reasons people might be glad that they won’t see Larry W. Timm in Indy.

# 10:  No one has to watch the pathetic display where I stand in a corner and try to work up the courage to walk up and talk to one of my favorite authors.

#  9:  There will be a few less dumb questions asked in the workshops.

#  8:  None of those awkward, “I’ve got one ear lower than the other…what’s deformed about you?” conversation starters.

#  7:  Michael Ehret or Peter Leavell won’t have to introduce me with the phrase, “I’m sorry for doing this, but have you met Larry Timm?”

#  6:  No one will have to witness me get on…off…on…off…on…off the elevator until I remember which floor my room is on.

#  5:  The local pizza delivery people won’t have to “stand by for emergency delivery to the crazy guy who claims the voices in his head are hungry.”

#  4:  No murmured questions about the misuse of plaid.

#  3:  There’s much less of a chance of hearing, “Hey, look what I can do with this pudding!”

#  2:  No one has to see my Salute-to-Spandex outfit at the costume dinner.

And the #1 reason people might be glad I’m not going to the ACFW Conference:

#  1: More BACON for everyone!

Hey, have fun everybody. I hope you have a great time.

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Top 10 Ways to tell if a Writer’s Spouse is needing Attention

The writing journey is hard on writers. Can I get an “AMEN!”? Pressure…hard work…did I mention pressure?

But being married to a writer can also be stressful. With that in mind, I present to you the Top 10 Ways to tell if a Writer’s Spouse is needing Attention:

 

#10:  They’re making prank phone calls just so they can have someone real to talk to. And if the person is normal, that’s a bonus.

# 9:  They come to a book signing just so they can have some face-to-face time with their writer spouse. And they keep getting in line because they’ve “got a lot on their mind.”

# 8:  They walk around the house naked just to see if their spouse will notice.

# 7:  They get in trouble with the IRS because they tried to claim the characters of their spouse’s current writing project as dependents since “they’re sooooooooo important!”

# 6:  They picket their spouse’s writers group meeting and chant, “Watch more TV! Watch more TV!”

# 5:  They call the county courthouse and offer to “Track Change” their marriage license.

# 4:  They have a shirt made that says, I got your inciting incident right here!

# 3:  They refer to their children as “precious consequences of writer’s block.”

# 2:  After planning the family vacation, they dance around the house and giggle profusely because they managed to find a spot in the desert that is hundreds of miles from a Barnes & Noble or a Starbucks.

# 1:  They call 9-1-1 and claim that an unfinished manuscript is holding their spouse hostage, and add, “the office is in the apartment above the garage…bring tear gas and those things that flash and go BOOM!

How about we just be sure to take care of the wonderful spouses that support us, so we avoid any of the above?

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Top 10 Wrong Ways To Deal With or Avoid a Sagging Middle

This is not a post filled with diet and physical fitness tips. I’m not what you’d call a real good role model in that particular area. I did buy a pair of running shoes a while back, and if you just look at my feet, I look like a runner. However, if you scan up from there, the illusion is quickly blown (but I digress).

I don’t run. I don’t even hike…wait, did I say hike? Well what do you know…hike rhymes with like! And since you mentioned it, I’d be appreciative if you’d hike over to my Author Page and click Like. It’s at www.facebook.com/larrywtimm I’d love to break the 200 mark by the end of August. Tell your friends to go there too. The person who is my 200th Like may just win something (of course they may not, but let’s not dwell on that now.)

As writers, we all have had to deal with middles (of our manuscripts) that are saggy. Perhaps even sluggish and unappealing (which is how people often describe me). We seek out advice on how to deal with and/or avoid the dreaded sagging middle.

“Larry, do you happen to have any advice on what to do?”

Thanks for asking. But…nope, I don’t know what to tell you to do, but here are some things not to do. It’s my duty & pleasure to introduce…the Top 10 Wrong Ways To deal With or Avoid a Sagging Middle:

#10:  By having a blurb on the front cover that boldly declares, “This is the first novel in history in which the brilliant author has skipped the middle all together!

# 9:  By claiming that the middle has international intrigue just because you put an “o” on the end of every other word so readers will really like the the “el-middle-o.”

# 8:  By including a bibliography of “books that have more horrible middles than mine.”

# 7:  By putting a pop up section in the middle so that when opened paper villains jump up from the page and scare people to death.

# 6:  By printing the middle on edible paper so that readers can “at least get something good from it.”

# 5:  By drawing a little cartoon character in the upper right hand corner that looks likes he’s running from a stick Grizzly bear when people flip through the middle chapters really fast.

# 4:  Put 100 blank pages in the middle so that “readers can write their own snappy middle…if they think it’s sooooo easy!”

# 3:  Fill the middle chapters with 20 car chases, 14 gun battles, 12 knife fights, 10 kissy-face scenes, 8 explosions, 6 sharks, 4 pits of nasty snakes, 3 hurricanes, 2 giant ill-tempered turtle doves, and 1 immodest partridge in a pear tree. (and, no, I have no idea what that means).

# 2:  By putting in a “Smells of the Bible” scratch-n-sniff section.

# 1:  By dedicating the book to “My dear, sweet, recently deceased mother who used her last breaths of life to dictate the middle of this book, right after she single-handedly saved 75 poor, blind children from roaring inferno that swept through their orphanage on Christmas Eve…so they could live to enjoy the box full of puppies and kittens that Mommy had purchased for them from the humane society…with the money she’d received by selling her fake leg. It was a good thing she recently been evicted from her home by evil bankers and that the walls of her old cardboard box in the alley were thin enough to hear the little frightened voices calling for help from the broken windows of the condemned building they called home. The middle of this book meant a lot to my mom…I hope you like it too.”

Now…how does YOUR middle look?

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“Top 10 Signs You Need a Break from Writing”

Hey, even writers need a vacation. No matter how much we love something, we sometimes need a break from it. Here are the Top 10 Signs You Need a Break from Writing. If any of these describe you, put your hands above your head and back away from your WIP slowly.

TOP 10 SIGNS YOU NEED A BREAK FROM WRITING:

#10:  You are stalking someone so you can eventually interview them and ask them how it felt.

# 9:  You refer to your spouse as “the antagonist I’m currently married to.”

# 8:  Your best friend cries on your shoulder and shares a terrible problem they’re having in their life, and all you can say is, “Ohhhhhhh, this will make a great inciting incident in my book!”

# 7:  When you go on vacation, you pack a suitcase for each of your main characters.

# 6:  One of your children interrupts you with a question, and you say, “And what chapter are you in?”

# 5:  You dial 9-1-1 and say, “I need to see how fast you can get here! ready? Go! Hurry, this is research, lady!”

# 4:  When you’re in jail for repeatedly calling 9-1-1 for research (see #5), you scare the beejeebers out of your cell mates by telling them how you once used a flip-flop to kill a man, and then disposed of his body with a wood-chipper…and you forget to tell them it’s fiction…or was it?

# 3:  You let one of your favorite characters die and then refuse to speak to yourself for a week.

# 2:  You realize that you just dictated the last six chapters of your book into your electric razor. (And now your chin is bleeding).

# 1:  You run up to the poor kid mowing your lawn and scream, “I said to leave one inch margins, moron!”

Soooooo, anyone (else) need a break? 🙂

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“Top Ten Bad Back Cover Blurb Ideas”

These would probably be really bad ideas to include on the back cover of your book.

#10:  “If you hate this book as much as my mother did, you’ll get your money back.”

# 9:  “Why buy this book when you can get it at the library?”

# 8:  “Scratch & Sniff section inside!”

# 7:  “The blank pages at the end are so you can write your own dumb ending.”

#6:  “Book Two will probably be a lot better.”

# 5:  “There’s not going to be a movie. Get over it!”

# 4:  “Discussion questions? Are you crazy? It was hard enough to write the stupid book!”

#3:  “Here’s a few hours of your precious time, you’ll never get back!”

#2:  “This is Christian fiction…if you don’t like this book, it means you’re a pagan.”

# 1:  “What a coincidence…the ISBN number and my Social Security number are exactly the same!”

Any other bad ideas?

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Top 10 Ways to Serve God as a Writer

#10:  Make your writing a celebration of God’s love, not an attempt to earn it.

#9:  Stay amazed by the creative process in which God has allowed you to take part.

#8:  Realize that writing is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

#7:  Be diligent to keep yourself humble & teachable.

#6:  Approach writing as a ministry instead of a hobby.

#5:  Recognize the responsiblity that comes with being a “steward of story” who is entrusted with the power of words.

#4:  Take time to be a blessing to other writers.

#3:  Embrace contentment while pursuing excellence.

#2:  See Writing as an act of worship.

#1:  Know that, as a Christian Writer, you are involved in spiritual warfare. Believe YOUR writing can be a powerful weapon against the forces of darkness, a source of comfort and healing to the wounded, a line of encouragement and strength to other Christian soldiers, and can bring hope and victory to those who need to be freed from the power of the evil one.

 

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