Guest Post: Storytelling, and Editing, is About Intent

Manuscript THE ALTERED I

Today I have the honor of sharing a guest post from Krystal Pyatt, one of the editors of Pypeline Editing. When people find out that I wrote and book and it was published the response I often hear is how they, too, would love to write something. That is terrific, I say in reply. But, often these starry eyed dreamers have little idea of what the writing process is all about and how crucial having a clear goal is to a finished, and polished work. Critical too, is the editing process. Few realize what effort goes into making that writing project sparkle and glow off the page. Here to give a glimpse into what objectives you, as the writer, should take into consideration when mapping our your story is Krystal.

 

Storytelling, and Editing, is About Intent

 

Writing is a magical thing. It is the activity where you place on paper ideas, stories and lessons. It is the ultimate way to share knowledge with others and even generations. To read it is to be entranced, immersed, captivated. If you do not believe in the magic of books, then you may not have found the right ones yet.

That being said, I can think of a few books that have failed to become anything magical. Perhaps it was the writer, the concept or even the editing—or maybe it was a combination of all of the above. Anyone reading this blog may have a few stories in mind as well that did not meet expectations.

The good news, intent can impact everything. Tweet That!

Writing is the process to dump all of your ideas and place the contents in your head to that of your story. However, having intent, having a purpose, can greatly impact the success of any book.

Free writing is important; some of the most creative ideas can come from free writing. However, having a clear intent, a clear message, a clear purpose when writing, can make sure the story moves in a particular direction. This can make it so the story is cohesive to the point of excellence. The reader will lack nothing in terms of the story and, in fact, the reader will be treated like an ally rather than an opponent. They will be in on the secrets of your world, they will be privy to foreshadowing even the characters do not know and the readers will then stay along for the ride, even if it is a torturous one for the beloved characters.

Intent extends to editing as well. In fact, this is when intent shines. It is valuable for each and every author to then ask themselves important questions while editing.

  • From the writing stage, what is the overall purpose of the story?
  • Does the chapter apply to that larger goal?
  • Does the character apply to that larger goal?
  • Does the event apply to that larger goal?
  • Is there anything missing the reader would not know?
  • Are you going in chronological order or is the timeline intentional at least?
  • Does the ending serve its purpose?
  • Is there too much going on?
  • Is everything clear and concise?
  • Are the words strong enough to convey the necessary emotions?

At the end of the day, the story should be a pleasure to read, not painful. The way to accomplish this it ensure, through the editing process, that every word, every punctuation mark and every page contribute to that purpose. Editing helps you cut out the excess content, albeit painful at times.

So, decide your intent and set sail. Create the masterpiece readers will find magical.

 

Author: Krystal Pyatt from Pypeline Editing

Pypeline Editing is a local editing firm in Reno, Nevada. Two editors work on every book. That’s two sets of eyes to ensure grammar problems and typos are completely eradicated. With copyediting, Pypeline Editing also offers professional insights in order to make each book ready for publishing using developmental suggestions.

 

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April Voytko Kempler is the author of The Altered I, a  memoir about Joseph Kempler’s Holocaust experiences. Joseph was sent to six different concentration camps throughout Poland and Austria between the ages of 14-17. His story can be found on Amazon and Google Play books. 

Altered I Sample-April Kempler

Joe and I Meet Winston Churchill’s Secret Agent Max Ciampoli

Joe sitting with Max and Linda Ciampoli. Photo courtesy of Linda Ciampoli

Joe sitting with Max and Linda Ciampoli. Photo courtesy of Linda Ciampoli

Joe and I had the unique experience of meeting Mr. Ciampoli and his author wife Linda at a recent book signing event celebrating the sixth printing of their fantastic book at a local Reno bookstore Sundance Books and Music.

April, Linda and Max Ciampoli Churchill's Secret Agent

But really my first encounter with the Ciampoli’s begins a couple years prior to this fun event. As a member of the Historic Reno Preservation Society I had a chance meeting with my co-tour guide Anne Simone at a local Trader Joe’s parking lot. As we were standing there a petite, attractive woman who also knew Anne joined our conversation. I really can’t remember how it all transpired, but regardless Anne introduced us and Linda handed me her business card featuring the book cover of CHURCHILL’S SECRET AGENT. I recognized it at once because I had recently purchased it! I was excited to meet a local author who actually had a publishing agent and a book contract with one of the Big Five Publisher’s. I pocketed the card and went on my way.

Now fast forward to December 13, 2015 and Joe and I are invited to the book signing event! I found a couple of interviews on YouTube of the Ciampoli’s. You might want to check them out. Running time approximately 12 minutes each.

Linda Ciampoli sent me a couple of photos marking the event.

 

Part One

 

Part Two

The Web site: Churchill’s Secret Agent

CHURCHILL’S SECRET AGENT is available:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

Thanks for checking out this blog and sharing with me a highlight of our year.

 

If interested in Joseph Kempler’s memoir…

Joe’s memoir THE ALTERED I MEMOIR OF JOSEPH KEMPLER HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR is available from: 

Sundance Bookstore

Grassroots Books

Amazon paperback and Kindle

Amazon UK

Google Play books

What’s So Great About Publishing Anyway?

Reading The Altered I at Sundance Books and Music

I had to clear up some misconceptions some of my friends had about the business of publishing. Perhaps I was in a sour mood, or I was tired that day and didn’t want people having fantasies about the wonderful world of publishing. I don’t know. At any rate, I told them that the business end of writing a book was not as glamorous as they thought it was. In fact, it’s a lot of work and worry and time spent trying to figure out where or who your target audience is. Publishing for a writer is more than good formatting, perfect editing and a pretty cover. Part of the work involved is distribution, making your book accessible to the readers, and before a reader can get their mitts on it, the bookstore owners need to see it in a catalog and order it. It can be frustrating, and sometimes daunting.

But then, as I usually do, I cheered myself up with some positive thoughts about publishing. Without getting a book published, whether traditional or self, I wouldn’t hear what people thought about the book, the topic, the writing, or any of it. And when it comes down to it, that is the fun part, the real glamorous part, in my opinion.

Nevada Humanities recently invited me to participate in their inaugural Literary Crawl in support of Reno’s Artown project. It was the most fun I’ve had promoting the book. It was one of the shortest times I’ve spent, but the most gratifying in that all I had to do was read a passage to some book lovers. There was no big two hour long presentation with power point, or sitting at a table hoping some people interested in my genre would stop by and talk to me, or maybe want a signed copy of the book. I was scheduled third to read at a local bookstore, but there were twenty-two authors scattered about mid-town at various locations doing the same thing.

As I arrived I saw a large crowd of people. I wondered if any would stay to hear my reading. After the poet ahead of me finished with her reading, people took off for the next reading on the list, but some stayed and some new arrivals joined the waiting audience. I was so nervous. Probably because several of my dearest friends showed up to support me. I’ve been publicly speaking, and reading, and signing books for several months, so I didn’t need to feel nervous, but I was scared out of my mind! Also, reading in a real brick and mortar store just sent me over the moon!

I read from the Prologue, which is not too long and not too short. Although, I’ve been toying with the idea of adding more to the reading, like a small section of the first chapter, or just jumping to a more tense section of the book. But, for this venue, the Prologue was about right. Then there was a question and answer session, which I always love. My total time was a mere thirty minutes, but people stayed after to talk a little longer.

One college aged boy stopped by and said he had picked up the book mark for the book somewhere (I suspect one my library presentations), and he had been using it to hold his place for every book he had been reading. It was funny, because on the book cover is a large blue eye, and that is the section of the book mark that stuck out of the book, the eye just watching everything.  Then he told me he saw the advertisement for the Literary Crawl. Featured as one of the books to be read on the crawl was the cover from my book (which matched the book mark!) and he just had to come to the reading, where he purchased the book.

Another young lady remarked on the byline of the book. It is rather unusual. It doesn’t say “by author so-and-so” rather it says “As told to” because in all truth, the story was told to me. I translated that story into the written word, and hopefully added enough descriptive language to enhance the reading experience. The young lady remarked that she liked that it was “as told to” because “You aren’t saying you wrote it, it’s his story,” she said. I took that comment as a compliment. I try to be humble in what I’ve done, and take myself , as the author, out of the story and make room for Joe to tell his story.

Those are the beautiful things about being a published author, sharing the story by reading parts from it, giving presentations to school kids, or library folk, and hearing what readers have to say about it. That’s the great part about publishing. The rest is numbers, charts, and graphs–business as usual.

reading - 5

THE ALTERED I: MEMOIR OF JOSEPH KEMPLER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR is available at Amazon, Google Play books, and LeRue Press.

2nd Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Event Guest Speaker: Me!

Joseph Kempler

 

April 7 is a special day for me and Joe. This year we were invited to speak at the Second Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day event at the University of Nevada, Reno. This is event is sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in partnership with the University’s Interfaith Students Club. We were invited to speak on the theme Genocide. We have been generously given twenty-five minutes in which I will speak for ten minutes about Joe’s history and the six concentration camps he was imprisoned in as well as a plug for Joe’s memoir THE ALTERED I. Then I thought it would be neat if Paul (Joe’s youngest son) would speak for five minutes on what it was like to have a Holocaust survivor as a father and how genocide has affected his life as a second generation Holocaust survivor. And the crowning jewel of our presentation: Joe will have ten minute for a Question and Answer session. I think this will be a stupendous opportunity to spread Holocaust awareness as well as share Joe’s story. I’m nervous but happy and greatly honored that we were asked to speak at this important event.

 

OLLI_Holocaust_Flier_March21_14

Joseph Kempler to Give Holocaust Presentation at the Washoe County Northwest Library

Front Cover-Altered I 3rd revision

Saturday, April 5 from 2-4 p.m. Joseph Kempler and myself will be on hand for a special presentation at the Washoe County Northwest Reno Library.  I will give a brief biography of Joseph’s life as well as a description and overview of the six concentration camps Joseph was imprisoned in. Also, Joseph will be available for a Question and Answer session. In the background, projected onto a screen, will be a photograph display of some of Joseph’s family pictures. Books will be available for purchase and signing. We are excited to share Joseph’s amazing story of survival, of faith lost and regained, and of family bonds strengthened.

About THE ALTERED I:

Joseph Kempler is eleven years old in 1939, when World War II begins. German soldiers have invaded his hometown of Krakow, Poland. Forced with his family to leave their home, business, and belongings, Joseph embarks upon an adventure that will change his life forever. Joseph survives six concentration camps, some of them death camps, from the ages of fourteen to seventeen. Along the way he abandons family and faith. He curses God for allowing the Holocaust to happen and becomes an atheist. When he arrives at the concentration camp Melk, he encounters, from a distance, an unusual brand of Christians. He is told they are called Bibelforscher, Bible Students. He is astounded to see these Aryan’s imprisoned in the same concentration camp as Jews. He is further shocked when he learns that they can leave the camp anytime, all they have to do is renounce their faith by signing a document. But they won’t do it. This leaves and indelible impression on young Joseph’s mind. Many years later, after emigrating to America, Joseph encounters representatives of this group when they knock on his door. Always curious about their faith he questions them and ultimately converts to Christianity. THE ALTERED I chronicles Joseph’s life and the circumstances leading to his life altering decision, while shining new light on an untold story of the Holocaust.

About the author:

Born in Southern California, April Kempler currently resides in her “adopted” city of Reno, Nevada. She lives with her husband, who doubles as her editor-in-chief. April Kempler’s first book entitled The Altered I, a Holocaust Memoir, is a first-person narrative about the Holocaust. April loves reading, a habit she picked up as a child. Instead of playing with the other kids, she could be found with her nose in a book.  She reads a variety of genres, but is especially drawn to historical fiction.

When Kempler is not writing or reading, she assists her husband in their window treatment design business answering the telephone, making appointments and helping to install gorgeous draperies on naked windows.
Where to purchased The Altered I online: Amazon.com and Google play.

Vacation: The Number Three Worst City in the USA and Why I Disagree

Recently Reno, Nevada was listed as the number three worst city to visit. OK, that got my attention since I live in Reno and think it is a pretty darn nice city. Here’s the link and here’s why I strongly disagree:

The events hosted here are terrific. Where else can you see a camel race? (it’s a mere technicality, but the race takes place in Virginia City) we also have hot air balloon races, and the famous Reno Air Races. Among all these sensational events is the Tour De Nez (pronounced NAY).

Tour de Nez 2010

Tour de Nez 2010 (Photo credit: RenoTahoe)

This is an annual cycling race that has been hosted in Reno for many years. New management has affected the race’s publicity and yesterday’s turn-out was only so-so.  But it’s the cycling fans that make Reno such a great place to visit. I can’t think of a nicer group of people. Yesterday’s event attracted a number of families and dog lovers. Why dog lovers? Well, it seemed I missed the memo, but a large number of people must have gone to the Reno animal shelter and said, “Hey it’s the Tour De Nez, I need a puppy, STAT!” Just kidding. But, there were puppies and dogs every where. My favorite was a sweet little Pomeranian named Gracie who sported leopard print Doggles.

Courtesy of Brad21Photo Tour De Nez 2013

Courtesy of Brad21Photo Tour De Nez 2013

Nothing is cuter, plus by strategically being seated in the basket of her owner’s bike, she placed third with her owner Dean just seconds behind, placing fourth in the Clunkers division. But, I digress. Back to the fans.

Cycling fans are among the crème de la crème of fans out there. They are a clean cut bunch, as I mentioned before, family oriented, polite, supportive, accepting, open and happy to know you. No one got rowdy, unless you count the belly dancers near the back end of the park, which I don’t. I have to admit it lent a certain Mediterranean flair to the otherwise American upper middle-class ambiance. But, nevertheless, the whole day was rather peaceful. It was a safe and fun environment to bring your kids and pets alike.

Was it hot? Yes. Was it windy? Yes. None of these things are my cup of tea. I’m really not the out-of-doors type, ask anybody. But, this was my husbands deal. He was in his glory. He knew everyone. Every ten steps he was greeting and shaking hands with someone he knew. He knew several people in the three races we watched, plus others who competed in races we missed. I can say with strong conviction that Reno is a friendly town.

Reno, Nevada should be one of the top cities to visit, not considered the worst. Mid-town is up-and-coming with hip, locally owned restaurants serving fresh vegetables and meats without hormones and other nasty chemicals. We boast a co-op grocer, Sundance books is one of the few independently owned retail bookstores in town, the Truckee river has never looked more beautiful.

running through downtown

Reno has history. Reno was a city made out of bricks, after all they were manufactured right here! If you pay a visit to Reno you will see brick buildings designed with panache and class, like the Riverside Hotel on the Truckee River.

Reno Riverwalk

Don’t you think it is well worth your while to visit my town? What is so great about your city? I welcome your comments!

Related links: Brad21Photo 

Related articles

Local Reno History: Monroe Street Walking Tour Presented by Historic Reno Preservation Society

In order to get to know my little town of Reno, Nevada, I joined the Historic Reno Preservation Society. Immediately I was launched into role of tour guide. Tour guide! I was here to learn, but what better way to remember than to repeat to someone else all the neat things I’ve learned. Bear with me, I’m still learning, and in actuality I assist Elsie Newman and Anne Simone, two of the best little ladies in Reno, who really know a whole lot about Reno history!

If you do happen to be on the Monroe Street walking tour here are a few things you will see:

  • Historic Reno seems to be a city that was made of brink. You will see this brick done in a variety of designs and colors. My Clinker Brickfavorite is clinker brink. Clinker brick is a darker, purplish color. Apparently, clinkers are the bricks that were too close to the fire in the kilns. Around the turn of the last century architects discovered how attractive they were when combined with regular looking bricks and added them to their designs. You will see a lot of clinker brick usage in our historic districts, but there is one house in particular where it is used on the Monroe Street tour.
  • Rose gardens. Reno has many lovely rose gardens, but what is so unusual about the rose garden on this tour is that it is well over sixty years old! The story goes that the present home owner found numbered Jackson & Perkins (well known sellers of roses) Rosa 'Poesie' Deutsch: Öfterblühende Beetrose ...tester tags. After calling the company it was related to her that those numbers weren’t even in the computer system and that those roses were indeed quite old.
  • Down the street a bit we will see the home of Pappy Smith of Harold’s Club Casino fame. This home was built in the mid-50s. It is
    reno - Harold's Club floor5000 square feet upstairs and 5000 square feet downstairs. There is a hidden elevator in the drive-way leading to a storage area  that held the liquor that supplied the club. Harold’s Club Casino catered to a female clientele, who were otherwise overlooked at other gaming establishments. Pappy Smith created a safe environment where ladies felt welcome.
  • My personal favorite home on the tour is located at 975 Joaquin Miller. This briefly was the home of boxing legend JackJack Dempsey and Jim CorbettDempsey.  In its time this was a charming Tudor style home.
  • One last notable home on the tour was once owned by artist Lyle V. Ball. He was known for his water color paintings of aging barns and ranch houses. He lived here during the 50s and 60s.
    Project 365: June 30 - Olinka Hrdy's Palette

There are a few more surprises in store on my home tour, but these are some of the highlights. If you are in the Reno area and are interested in the tours please contact the Historic Reno Preservation Society for details on walking tours and rates, 775-747-4478.

Click here for walking tour descriptions.

Other source material:

http://voices.yahoo.com/notable-home-famous-boxer-discovered-10206865.html