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Writing Creative Non-Fiction, how to make readers love your true story.

The New Genre of writing.

Creative Non-Fiction

I am excited about being able to put my descriptive fiction writing abilities to work when I write non-fiction articles.

“Creative Non-Fiction Writing” is finally coming into its own. The first time I became aware of the power of creative writing when you are writing a non-fiction piece, was when I read of Pulitzer winner Rick Bragg, News Correspondant for the Atlanta Journal, and saw some of his writing style. For example, he was writing recently about Louisiana Oystermen, and here is some of his description of the area he was writing about: ”egrets that slip like paper airplanes just overhead, and the jumping mullet that belly-flop with a sharp clap into steel-gray water.” Now that is writing that puts you right there where the action in your story takes place. Now you are there on the scene rather than just reading a cold narrative about the facts of the story.Here he puts you in the situs of the story, and began to put into motion the essential parts of this writing: Narrative art, dramatic conflict, interesting believable characters—the three elements necessary in a good story.

There is another dimension now, one with color and depth. The reader will come away with pictures, images, action, motion, rather than an easily forgotten set of facts. Maybe some readers prefer facts to color. I think taking a shot at color is hitting a larger audience than the fact-only group. If you are selling something, you plant the product deeper and more desirable with color. Envision a juicy hamburger in full glowing color compared to one in black and white. Which is more desirable? Enough said.

So you can give them color, and stay true [...]

My Professional Biography

My Bio

A book written by you is the most convincing business card that you can have. It tells the world that you are on top of your business or skill, and that you are not afraid to flaunt it. You are an instant authority and the book moves you into a higher level of esteem in your business and eyes of your peers and competition. You also have a legacy that continues to speak and promote for you even when you are not there. It will catapult you into a totally new range.

As a writer, author, ghostwriter, I have written over a million multi-genre words in editorials, blogs, novels, manuals, short stories, and poems. I practiced law for forty three years as a successful courtroom lawyer, trying nearly 300 jury and non-jury trials, running my own firm with 18 employees at one period. I was a specialist in highway safety and design, traumatic injuries, death cases, hiring, employment law, and general personal injury. I did criminal work early in my career, but I stopped for the only criminals who had money to pay were drug dealers, and I refused to represent them.

I recently completed a ghostwritten project for Dr. Ernest Pecoraro entitled Riches to Rags, Why Rich Celebrities and Pro-Athletes Go Broke and How to Avoid It.  This simple how-to book on money management applies to anyone, but is designed to help suddenly wealthy celebs and athletes survive their financial success and grow their money. Here is what Dr. Pecoraro said about my work:

“I hired LD Sledge as a ghostwriter for a book about financial management. I can’t speak highly enough about his work! Besides being a great writer and a thorough researcher on the [...]

Ghostwriting is a Marriage of Minds

You came to this site to learn something about Ghostwriting—and something about me. If you are just cruising, satisfying curiosity about ghostwriting, I hope my site answers that. If you are wanting to know something about me, the best thing to do is get a feel through the site, read some of my writing, and then we should talk.

        It’s a two way flow. You have to like my writing a lot, and you have to like me a little, preferably a lot, because we will be working together for a while. And I have to like your project and I have to like you. If we talk and there are some good laughs in that first communication, it’s a good sign. If we laugh a lot, that means that something special can happen in the chemistry of creation.

       If it’s serious business all the way through, that’s OK too—we work on the level that we find comfortable. But there is one vital element:  If we resonate with each other personally and on the project, then the rest is a flow for we blend our intentions into a marriage of minds and I produce what you want and you are happy. I am happy. Sounds simple? It is. All of my clients and I have become lasting, warm friends. Let’s see if we can ring those chimes on your project. There’s nothing quite like it when everything fits.

     Give me a call, now.

     Like my British friend says in the video on the landing page: “What have you got to lose?”

 

 

 

 

     

 

By |October 17th, 2014|Book Projects|0 Comments|
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    Random Uniqueness, or Off the Grid and Kicking Ass–Write that story

Random Uniqueness, or Off the Grid and Kicking Ass–Write that story

 

 

 

All I hear on the radio are the same old sixties and seventies hits—now going on a half century old. I guess many of us are wondering, “where did the music go?” I think I know. We are in one of those doldrum periods, like in the Sargasso Sea, where there is no wind and sailing ships got stuck there for there was no way out. This happened in the simple, unadorned, saccharine sweet fifties.

Then comes the mavericks: Elvis, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, James Brown, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Jimmy Hendrix, Willie Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis. What were they?  How did they get there?

They were different; they had a random uniqueness and they were off the grid and they kicked ass because they were good and knew it. They rode high in the saddle and didn’t look back. Sure, they had problems, but it didn’t keep them from playing their music.

I could name writers, painters, sculptors, artists of every genre who bucked the system and moved over and beyond the old mossbacks that tried to stop them. They then set the standard.

I remember when Elvis took the old blues song by Big Mama Willie Mae Thornton, “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog,” and made it into a golden hit. Hear her on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCKNErNkMRw.   The mossbacks, resisting the juggernaut of huge popularity of black Rhythm and Blues and its kickass child, Rock and Roll, had Pat Boone, the vanilla wafer with white bucks to sing it.  It was pathetic. He even tried to do Little Richard’s “Tutti Fruiti, wop bobba loobap a bop bam boom,” and some others that were total flops. See Little Richard doing it on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6eV2EUxW8E.

Rock and [...]

Unique Men, Unique Lives, Write your book now.

 

I would imagine that Batman would even think his life is boring. It depends on what you get used to. Live at a certain level of action and it would become ordinary. Then you would think there is nothing interesting or exceptional that would interest others.  I try to convince men and women I know, whose work and their results have been extraordinary, to write about it—others would love it, be inspired and motivated by it, how else can they judge themselves?

Having lived the life of a courtroom lawyer for 43 years, I have stories to tell, and I have written many in the form of short stories.  Growing long in the tooth, even I am growing nervous about not having completed them all. I wish my ancestors, great grandpa John Sledge, who served in the Civil War, and his son, my grandpa, Dr. Chester Sledge, who worked as a logger to finance his dental school, and then practiced thirty years in a small southern country town, had written memoirs. They probably thought their lives were boring. Anything but boring.

How about these three lawyers?  In the turn of the century, smoking was allowed in the courtroom.   You would do anything to distract the jury. The famous Clarence Darrow, who defended the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial” against Williams Jennings Bryan, on evolution would run a wire into a cigar and would smoke while his opponent was making argument. The ash would grow and grow, and never fall off. The jury would pay more attention to the ash than to the other lawyer. Do you think he had stories to tell?  You bet. And books were written about him and his famous trials and sayings:  “Just [...]

YOU CAN DO IT!

 

Can you stand erect, take nourishment, walk, talk?  Can you bend, stretch, lift light objects, write, read, spell, add, subtract?  If you can do any of these things, you can do anything.  All you have to do is decide what you want to have, what you need to do to have it, and what you need to be to do and have this. Then see what is the first step it will take to get you there.

Life is made of baby steps, gradients.  You crawl before you can walk or run. So be willing to crawl some.

Maybe you need to get trained. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, or do what it takes to learn how to do the simplest task of the first step and learn it cold. Then move to the next. Don’t look back or sideways; drive forward knowing precisely how it will be when you are at your goal, but knowing all the while that you need to learn and do everything that needs to be learned and done to backfill your progress with knowledge and substance.  Be an expert at what you do at the time you do it before venturing out into the next part of your dream.

Everyone knew nothing about his job before he started. You see that top executive?  You think he knew all about it when he started?  You can bet he got where he is by starting at the bottom – maybe as a paperboy if he is the top editor of a newspaper. Maybe he was a carpenter’s assistant before he became a real estate developer, or a Swabbie before he became an Admiral. That way the top players understand how [...]

HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT GHOSTWRITER FOR YOU PERSONALLY

 

I am going to presume couple of things. First: You have decided to find a ghostwriter for your book or memoir. Second: You have a budget and you are prepared to pay for the work.
I. It’s not unlike getting married. You are looking for that just right guy or gal and as Sherlock says, “the game is afoot.” So you have your periscope up and you are checking out the scene. It’s choosing a partner; you had better have everything in sync when you do the uplink because you are going to have to resonate with each other for many months, even up to a year. In other words, you need to like each other personally. A lot.

II. Make it known that you have a list of questions you would like to have answered. Get right down the nitty gritty and find out how much it is going to cost. You can tell right away if you are dealing with professionals for there will be no doubt in their mind how much money will be required to do the project because they know what they are worth and will not compromise just to get the work. If they are hungry, or trying to please you, chances are that they may not be as professional as their hype suggests. You can tell by their confidence and how they set the fee if they are really good. Get the money sorted out quickly—high and low, so you can see if you can afford it.

Just remember, “you don’t know what expensive is until you hire a non professional.”

III. Move on to credentials. These are the testimonials, which you could read in their websites, and their [...]

Hook Your Reader, Play Him, Get Him In the Boat Happily

 

The sweetest five words to a fiction writer: “I couldn’t put your book down!” “Kept me up all night!”

Isn’t that what we write for? How about the most valuable three words you can ever hear while telling any story—“then what happened?”

When you hear those, you have the reader-listeners by the ears and if you don’t stumble, you will keep that rapt look in their eyes until the “amen” at the end or the last period in the last sentence.

The trick is, how do you do it?

It depends on how you hook him, how long you can play him, and then how you get him in the boat, flopping around in the delight of your mystery and your magical words. I have been hooked by the first line, or first paragraph, only to yawn within the next few pages because my fisherman-author didn’t keep a tight line on me to hold my interest. I simply shook the hook and shut the book.

What would grab your attention, and then hold it? Like a beautiful aria, one of those great Beatles melodies or a knocked out riff by Pink Floyd, the reader doesn’t expect a killer moment to last on and on. The author just can’t maintain that excitement to continue. He drops it on the reader and then goes into exposition or dialogue which will carry it for a bit and then increase the tension on the line at just the right moment. This is the craft of the art or the art of the craft-knowing when to tighten the line.

What hooks me certainly isn’t like the Bulwar-Litton first lines–“It was a dark and stormy night.” Look at the beginning lines of authors who write for [...]

By |February 24th, 2014|Book Projects|0 Comments|

Sometimes I think I am writing for my cat, Thibodaux

Are you writing for your cat?

Sometimes I think that I may be writing for my cat, Thibodaux, because today’s paradigm for success seems to be one of two ways: (1) plug in lots of keywords so you can get it up there on page one of Google (ugh!); (2) Write like blazes, get out a novel every two weeks, sell it on Amazon as ebooks for ninety nine cents (.99!), and get rich! Hey, it can happen!

My friends, both of these fly in the face of the art and craft of writing. Of course you should write every day, and write a lot to perfect your craft and keep your flow moving. But to whore out by wanting my stuff to be on page one so badly that my attention is on getting the right keywords that people search for into my work? Your thoughts, while writing, are “where can I stick this essential word or phrase in so that it looks natural yet so that the spider algorithm will suck it up in its mindless mind and thrust my name high in the kingdom of Googleland.”

Is that creativity? Sacrificing your writer’s soul to rise into the inflated popularity of Google isn’t what I call being a writer—it is being a damn engineer or accountant. Your muse will go into a sulk or pout at your perfidy and you will have to rely on something besides her help. And being on page one of Google certainly won’t guarantee sales or substitute for quality.

OK, how about those guys like John Locke, who sold a million ebooks in six months? (I bought his book by the same title) I also bought a couple of his very [...]

By |February 21st, 2014|Book Projects|0 Comments|

Writing subjects and your muse

 

If you are just starting to write, or if you have been writing for a while, and you have that almost desperate urge in you to “just write something,” “anything at all,” but plots and ideas escape you. I know, because I have lived with that for years until I learned how to overcome it. I just wrote a blog on how to jumpstart your article, novel, blog or whatever you want to write, and I am going to talk about more now.

There are so many writing prompts everywhere. Look around at the objects in your room—that favorite pair of shoes—where have they carried you? And that particular piece of jewelry in that box on the dresser—you have an emotional attachment to it. What happened there? In the more abstract, what about something or someone you really want to have in your life?

 

Longing? The very word gives me an ache in my chest. It isn’t just an occasional glaze of wistfulness—for the past—for a simpler time—but heartfelt yearning for something or someone. It is an all powerful emotion. We all have it to some degree. I know I have, for there is a lady I really long to be with, but she didn’t want me. Rejected love is similar to it, but with pain. Longing is as near pain as you can get and still not cross that line. If you want to experience it second hand, watch some of those old Italian or French movies. They know how to stretch you out on a tortuous longing about someone or something that they want and cannot get.

Longing is always about something just out of reach, yet still either in sight or memory, and [...]

By |February 19th, 2014|Book Projects|0 Comments|