6 Tips that will change the way you write

What is your Best Unconventional Writing Advice?

It has nothing to do with grammar, or the English language, or what sells or doesn’t sell. I follow a few simple rules.

  1. I think I read this in Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott) “You have to stop writing as if your mother is reading over your shoulder!” I paraphrased, but you get the idea. Tell it like you see it and feel it. Be true to your thoughts, heart, and feelings.
  2. Develop a thick skin—armor. You’re going to need it. Bite your tongue at the critics. Remember if everyone loved the same things, there’d be no fashion industry or book genres, or millions of songs on the market. We are all different. Your readers will be from different walks of life and you will get reviews that hurt. Forget about them. Focus on the ones that think your work is great.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up about your writing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but after agonizing over a novel you can’t seem to get it finished. It’s three years and still, it’s incomplete. It’s not from lack of time, writing might not be for you. If it’s not, let it go. When I was younger I took ballet. I loved it, but I couldn’t follow the line. I’m a good actress, I love to perform. But I can’t memorize a sentence! Hah, I could never make a career of acting! Let the dream go and enjoy reading instead.
  4. Editors and first readers will want you to write a certain way. One of my best friends enjoys giving me plot ideas. Recently I went crazy for about 6 weeks, trying to work with a plot idea that wasn’t right for me. You have to let that stuff go. It’s your story, book, novel, blog, whatever. It’s yours to write any way you want. I struggled to read my first Bukowski book last summer—Women. It was horrendous. Yes, he’s brilliant. But the plot was about an alcoholic loser writer and all the women he used and threw away. Really? And yet he’s considered a great author. I finished the book… I don’t know if I bothered to review it.
  5. Sometimes you have to turn off Grammerly or whatever editing program you are using. You will have a style. Not everyone will like it. Get over yourself. Think about it this way: Some will, some won’t. Next reader coming right up.
  6. Last, as an author if you are looking for someone to motivate you, forget it. Writing is a solitary career. You literally turn off the outside world and go into the one you have created in your mind. You’re the only one who sees the pictures you have created. And you are the only one who can pull those ideas away from the invisible muse and get them down on paper. You are unique. And you have to find that voice inside of you and believe that you can do this. You have to become your very own cheerleader.

Now stop hanging out on Quora (Lynda) and get working on book 7 in the Code Raven Series!

Reprinted from Author Lynda Filler on Quora

BY THE WAY, I almost forgot!! Book 2 in the Code Raven Series, ABDUCTED IS FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!

Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


10 Successful Writers Secrets

  1. Read, read, read. I love my iPad for reading. I know, lots of my friends want to touch and feel the paper. But I love my iPad, #2 will tell you why.
  2. When you read your favorite authors, as a writer, on an iPad you can highlight. Remember when you were in school? For some of us, it was a long time ago. I learned by taking notes. I might never even refer back to them, but the act of ‘highlighting’ and thinking about a phrase, description—or in Lee Childs case, a lack of description—helps me hone my craft.
  3. Follow your heart, not the trends. Write about what you love to read. For me, that means a memoir, contemporary edgy romance, and thriller/suspense/spy stuff.
  4. Make a schedule and stick to it. (That’s for you, not me!) I am the Queen of Procrastination. Here I am on Quora after I promised myself I wouldn’t do anything except writing today—hah, I’m writing! But I’m also in the middle of Code Raven 7, and the plot thickens as I play over here. Today I will write 4000 words before I stop!
  5. Forget the critics. Don’t write to make someone else happy. (Don’t read your reviews—I break this one all the time) Some will love your work, some won’t, next.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. I was devastated by a recent conversation with a book critic. I value his opinion and he loves my work, but… He has suggestions I’ve not implemented and he literally destroyed me with his scathing remarks. I couldn’t speak to him for a week. He didn’t even understand what he did wrong. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!
  7. I received a great piece of advice from the above critic: create your own worlds. Who cares if the facts are correct or the settings exist. At some point, stop researching and start writing. It’s your party, it’s your story. That’s why you write!
  8. You better love what you do. Being Creative is like being married. It’s going to be a love/hate relationship. But if you plow on through the hard times, the good times are amazing.
  9. Talk to people, watch foreign movies, travel, read the newspapers, interact on social media. Be a part of the world you write about. Ideas are everywhere. They’re just waiting for you to grab onto them and run with it.
  10. There’s someone out there waiting to read what you are writing. If you have a fire inside yourself to write, never ever give it up.

BONUS: Don’t be afraid to feel (un)comfortable.

Lynda Filler Photography

republished from Quora

https://amzn.to/31Glian First 3 book in Code Raven Series

Dangerous and/or taboo topics…

repost from Quora

How do you research dangerous or taboo topics for your stories? Do you ever worry that people will get the wrong impression?Lynda Filler, Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

That’s a great question!

I think of that when I start going deeper into things like the “dark web” or “how to hack… “ and even anything about weaponry!

The good news is, I’m sure being an older female is a plus. I certainly don’t look or act like I’m involved in anything nefarious. But these are a few things that you might find interesting.

  1. I live in Turkey right now. Although I’m a Canadian and have been living in Mexico for the last 17 years.
  2. That means that since 2016 coup attempt things like this routinely occur when I am researching for my Code Raven Series:

At first, I thought it was my internet connection. I also discovered they block porn sites (research, remember!!) But when it happened day after day, I did some research. Wiki was blocked in April of 2018. These were some facts and conclusions I came to:

  1. Turkey coup: Court hands 17 top generals 141 life terms The accused were charged with crimes against the state, attempting to kill the President and the deaths of 249 people.
  2. Last year 251 journalists languished in jails as a result of doing their jobs, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based NGO. It marked the third year in which at least 250 journalists were imprisoned around the world, though it was also the first decline since 2015. (Jan 16, 2019)
  3. Turkey Leads the World in Jailed Journalists
  4. It’s probably a great idea to stop telling people that I’m a writer/author/novelist. And if this is being read by anyone in Turkey, I write fun thrilling, mystery suspense action books that have nothing to do with any kind of political affiliation or government hate!! I LOVE Turkey! That’s why I decided to get a visa and stay awhile!!
  5. And then I remembered Kashoggi. Hmm.

The solution to the issue as all techies will tell you is using a VPN. If you have any concerns whatsoever, I suggest you get a techie to help you set up your computer for your projects.

CODE RAVEN SERIES https://amzn.to/2YSQAst

How to be unforgettable

How did Toni Morrison influence your life?

At this time in my life as I’ve allowed myself to fall in love againI would say her words on love touch my soul in profound ways.

Every great author and some who never achieve world-wide acclaim has affected our lives in a multitude of ways. Toni Morrison’s work is in a class by itself. Maybe right up there with Maya Angelou.

I will let her words speak to you in honor of her memory.

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

“Something that is loved is never lost.”

“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose, not to need permission for desire, well now that was freedom.”

“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind.”

It is the courage of authors like Toni that have opened their hearts and bared their souls, that gave me the guts to write the stories that I write. My memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On is so personal and revealing it took me years before I would publish it.

“Make up a story. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” Toni Morrison

So I went on and wrote about a 50 year-old-woman and her 20-year-old lover in Target in the Sun. And then I exposed the lives of several male prostitutes in Mexico writing in the first person as Layla, in Lie To Me, again opening myself to major criticism, but also an award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues.

It’s not easy to reveal yourself because that’s what I do when I write. Yes, my books are “fiction” but as in the current Daniel Silva book The New Girl, our stories are often based on fact. Some hide it better than others.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Toni Morrison

This sums it up for me:

Lynda Filler photographer

Answered on Quora

Warning: This will blow your mind.

You know I love to write for Quora. Yes, it could very well be my guilty pleasure. But seriously speaking, today is a very sad day for America. In the last 24 hours there have been two mass shootings reported. My heart hurts for those whose lives were cut short, and the loved ones whose hearts are breaking in this very moment.

But the sad part is, it will all be simply a news bite, a politician’s rant, and a forgotten by the end of the week.

The following is the piece I posted in Quora. I’ve been living in Istanbul for almost five months now, and this question comes up all the time. I won’t say enjoy this piece, rather it’s time to wake up to the reality of the way the world is changing.

Is it safe to travel in Istanbul?

Lynda Filler, lives in Istanbul (2019-present)Answered 4m ago

The El Paso Shooting Is The 249th Mass Shooting Of 2019

There’s a tweet that will trend on Twitter today about Mass Shootings around the world.

I googled mass shootings and the above is what showed up. Imagine if the USA reported every single mass shooting that occurs throughout the USA? What are the chances that you will be close to/a victim of/know someone who/or are friends with a friend who is a victim of Domestic Terrorism?

I lived in Mexico, in a lovely town called Puerto Vallarta. From 2002 until 2019 when I decided to sell everything and travel the world. I used to get asked this question all the time about Mexico. I never had nor witnessed any violence all my time living in Mexico. Not that it didn’t happen. I would answer people in this way: If you’re doing something illegal, or looking for drugs, then you are opening yourself up to unsavory individuals in any country. But shootings? In Mexico, the killing is between rival cartels. And even that I’ve not witnessed.

I’ve been living in Istanbul, a city of 17 million people, for five months now. I’ve never even seen a fight or argument on the streets. I walk the hills and come home from late-night dinner through the city neighborhoods and feel safe.

I will tell you what the biggest danger in Istanbul is for a woman: falling in love with a Turkish man!!

My Istanbul and my life today

What is something that needs to be written?

QUORA: What is something that needs to be written?

Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2018 Readers Favorite at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

My best friend J. was a showgirl in Vegas, married a famous Hollywood photographer, made a trip to the Far East to smuggle drugs, and brought up three grandchildren because her daughter is addicted to meth! J. has a story to tell.

A fourteen-year-old Muslim boy in Istanbul is learning English in Sultanahmet Square. He comes to the Blue Mosque every day and makes friends with tourists from all over the world. He wants to know everything about their lives and gets to practice the language. He also speaks French, German and Turkish. He’s outgoing and absolutely delightful. He has a story to tell.

A friend of mine has been confined in a hospital for years. He was working for a group he can’t talk about, doing things in countries that don’t show up on his passport, and he is a patriot. He can never tell his stories. But I immortalized him as Luke Raven in my Code Raven Series. His story would be too dangerous for anyone to know, never mind tell.

My friend’s son was the most popular kid in school in Whistler, a ski resort in Canada. He was a star snowboarder and taught kids younger than him just because he loves little kids. He thought he could handle smoking pot, hanging out on peoples’ couches, and dabbling in heroin. He’s 35 now and been jailed twice, or more—I’ve lost track. The last I heard he lives on the streets in Vancouver. My friend cries herself to sleep at night because she knows no one can save her son but himself. They both have stories to tell.

I was approached recently to help a woman tell her story. Her ‘daughter’ is actually not hers by blood but belonged to a drug-addicted boyfriend. He abandoned them when the child was very young, and my friend loved and cared for the child as if she was the birth mother. Throughout the years, the authorities tried to take her daughter away from her because she not only had no legal right to the child, but they were both from different cultures and different countries. My friend fought the system and by some miracle, she managed to hold onto her daughter. Her daughter graduated high school this year. Momma is very proud! And Momma wants to share her story.

When I wrote my first memoir, LOVE the Beat Goes On, I came across a quote that I’ve never forgotten. “When you write a memoir there is nowhere to hide.” I wrote my first memoir. But I too, have life stories that need to be told. And I will continue to write them.

There isn’t a human being alive that doesn’t have a story to tell. Including you. And your story needs to be written because there will always be someone who needs to read it.

How do you see the world around you?

I always find find photography to be an inspiration in my writing. I use places and people that I meet along my way to create characters and locations for my stories. My walk in Istanbul yesterday morning and the tram ride to Sultanahmet Square in the afternoon, are great examples.

I’m currently working on Code Raven 7 which features Turkey and the Middle East. One of my key characters in this book is a DJ named EM+EM. He’s currently on the trail of terrorists after a horrific event during his wedding the night before. He is taking a jog from Kariköy to the Blue Mosque and these are photos of things he would see during his run.

I hope you enjoyed a slice of my life. If you wish to see more, please join me on Lynda Filler Author and/or Lynda Filler Creates on Instagram

Code Raven 7 is untitled but will be out late fall. In the meantime, don’t miss the fun! LYNDA FILLER AMAZON Code Raven Prequel it’s $.99 and gives you the background on who is Luke Raven?

I refused to die!

If you were writing a memoir about your life, what story would be the most important to tell? Lynda Filler, Writer, Novelist, Top QUORA Writer 2018 at Lynda Filler Author (2009-present)

I published my first memoir, LOVE The Beat Goes On, in 2017 because I wanted to save lives. No, I’m not a medical doctor, nor do I have any kind of certification. But in 2007/8 I had a series of events that turned out to be Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

So let me take a moment to give you some back story so you will understand why ‘saving lives’ became a mission in my life. Women tend to neglect their health. It’s not unusual to self-diagnose and keep on going. Unfortunately for me, I was having attacks/gasping for breath and assumed that I was allergic to allergy meds. With what I know today, it’s possible that the allergy meds triggered the attacks. But I never went to the doctor! This went on for almost a year until I sat on a bench in a ski resort in Whistler, BC unable to breathe and suddenly it dawned on me I was having a heart attack.

There were so many lessons to share about my fight to survive, my determination, and my unorthodox methods of healing. People often ask me what I did—I have to respond, get the book! The information is there.

AND it’s on S A L E for $.99 cents.

LOVE The Beat Goes On $.99 AMAZON DEAL https://amzn.to/2Fol8eG

What followed my diagnosis was a series of events, my emotional reactions, my body’s resistance to medication, a cardiologist who advised me I had six months to live, and an amazing Irish GP who reminded me: “You know you can heal yourself.”

I wanted to tell my story, shout it out to the world, because if my body could heal from an “incurable” situation, maybe yours can too. You might not have a heart issue, it might be cancer, or it could be depression or any other ‘dis-ease’.

I began writing my book in 2009, but someone said to me: “What if your healing doesn’t work? What if you die?” So I stopped writing, and put the manuscript away, for several years. Then I had a Dr. Wayne Dyer experience that thrilled me and let me know that it was time to get my story out there. And from the emails, texts on FB, Twitter, or responses to my website and YouTube videos, I know I did the right thing putting my personal life on display. But I must tell you, writing a memoir is super scary: when you write a memoir, there’s nowhere to hide.

Now it’s 2019, I’m traveling the world. Currently in Istanbul, Turkey. I know I’m going to die someday. And it might yet be heart-related. My life has always been heart-centered so I expect that’s how I will exit this particular realm. But while I’m here, my desire is to share my story, my beliefs, and to live life to the fullest. I want to inspire others to do that too!

Free from Me! A celebration.

If you occasionally drop by my Instagram account you will see photos that make you smile, giggle, downright laugh-out-loud, and shake your head. You might ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ and wonder how my mind works! You see, I’m in love with creativity. I have a passion for fashion, design, street-art, people, faces, places, night time, day time, words, film, photography, writing–well, you get it, right? So when you drop by my blog, you never know what you are going to get.

Today we have two new book covers.

When I started Code Raven XPOSED, I had no idea it would turn into a series! Therefore, it doesn’t have a cohesive feel to each novella/book. So I started with the PREQUEL and worked with a talented designer from South Africa. I hope you love the results as I do because not only does it look great, but the novella introduces you to LUKE RAVEN and his Raven Group. This is where it all began.

In honor of it’s new cover, it’s F R E E on AMAZON! TODAY AND TOMORROW

CODE RAVEN PREQUEL

FREE TO DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON

IF for any reason it’s not free in your part of the world, drop me a line at fillerspv@hotmail.com AND PUT FREE COPY PLEASE and I will send you a link to your free copy!!

I love the way my designer works. She blends photos to create this ‘feel.’ We have Ravens, and hieroglyphs, thunder and road maps!

The world’s most elusive billionaire. 
A brain trust that cannot be controlled. 
A warrior and a patriot. 
After the brutal murder of Luke Raven’s wife and seven-year-old daughter, Luke disappears for several months. When he returns, get ready for the non-stop action of Luke, Luci, Zach, RB, Maggs, and a cast of unforgettable characters who form the Raven Group. Discover the secretive life of billionaire Luke Raven, how he made his fortunes, and where his true loyalties lie.
The Code Raven Series is a page-turner, an action-packed adventure. 
This is where it all began.

And for my second reveal, the first in the series is XPOSED. The new cover was uploaded to Amazon less than an hour ago and it’s already online! Now that’s great service.

XPOSED takes us on a wild journey of a mother and child running from the drug cartels in South America, Also free to read if you have a PRIME MEMBERSHIP!!

If you’re addicted to reading like I am, you want to have this subscription so you can BINGE read like me!

X P O S E D

Blurb:

XPOSED is a wild action-adventure novella that uncovers a dark and dangerous world of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.

After seizing millions of dollars from an illegal arms-for-drugs deal between a rogue CIA faction, and a South American cartel, Luci retires from clandestine operations and hides out in Central America with her four-year-old daughter. Spotted by her enemies, she is chased up the Pacific coast to Mexico where she is saved by teammates of ex-Navy SEAL Zach, a member of ‘Raven’s Group.’

Meanwhile, the US government is in the throes of cyber warfare with China. Luke Raven, a high-tech billionaire, is the only man that can save America from the deadly fallout. He enlists the help of Luci, an ex-Mossad assassin, who now feels an obligation to Luke Raven for rescuing her.

They take their high-stakes adventure across the USA and over the ocean to Paris. The action culminates in Shanghai, China where an ultra-wealthy and ruthless business tycoon possesses highly sensitive information that would have catastrophic results for the USA in the wrong hands. But will they get there soon enough to secure the data from their enemies?

As usual, thanks for joining me in this wild and exciting journey. I’m currently working on Code Raven 7. And all I can say is wow!! TEASERS: ISTANBUL, Syria, Iran, and the usual fast-paced-action-based stories I love to write and you love to read!