Reader’s Choice

Reader’s Choice

Today’s post is all about you, or finding out more about you. What do you like? What do you want to hear more about?

I’m busy editing and getting my novel ready to go to the next step: beta readers. Those are readers that tell me whether I’m on the right track or not to keep them engaged and turning the pages. If it’s not, then that’s motivation to change the things that are wrong to make them better. It’s best that you like the genre to begin with – if you’re not a fan of mystery, you’re not going to be a fan of this book.

But that’s for another day. Today, I’d like to know more about what you want to hear from me. I’ve done my best to stick to writing, how my book is going, the things that are influencing it, and a sprinkle of personal stories and activities. There are hundreds of “Ideas for Blog Posts for Fiction Writers” articles on the Internet. That’s just a start. It’s gotten the ball rolling for me to get into a groove of blogging on a regular basis. Now, it’s time to turn it over to my readers.

What do you want to know about me, my writing, whatever? I want to do more than inform, I want to keep you engaged and wanting more – like I want you to keep turning the pages of my book.

Check out the poll on my Facebook page and let me know!

I Got Busy and Forgot

I Got Busy and Forgot

I Got Busy and Forgot

I forgot about yesterday’s blog. I had a lot going on, like editing my book. I’m still figuring out how to juggle everything, now that I’ve made more work for myself.

I’ve been looking for a specific thing, but looking for that specific issue has caused me to find other issues. So I’m going through again, to make those changes. I got so wrapped up in the changes I neglected other things I wanted to do.

I started looking for a certain type of word: one that ends in “ing.” Focusing on the repetitiveness of these kinds of words, got me to focus on the repetitiveness of other words. Words like “just” and “that” can often be dropped without consequence to the meaning of the sentence. In narrative, I worked to drop them. Since many people use these words in every day speech, you’ll still find them in some dialogue. While adverbs can’t be dropped without a loss of meaning, it’s still easy to change them. I’m working on it.

The next thing on the list is the list of repetitive words I didn’t realize were repetitive until I started reading like a reader. My list:









Those are “just” the ones I’ve spotted. I try to remove these from narrative if I can. Again, since some people talk using those words, dialogue may still contain them.

If you write do you have words you repeat? What about in your speech? Do you find yourself saying the same words/phrases? Let’s talk more on Facebook!

Reading About Writing

Reading About Writing

I hesitate to write this, because writing fiction can’t really be taught. The mechanics of writing can be – nouns, verbs, sentence structure, etc. Even things like how to create well-rounded characters and rich settings and descriptions can be taught. What can’t be taught is creativity.

There are hundreds of thousands of books, blog posts, articles, and the like about the craft of writing. How to write, what to focus on, and the classic ‘write what you know.’ Creative writing courses force you to write in genres that don’t even interest you. I avoid those because who are you to tell me how to be creative?

But as I sit and struggle to self-edit my novel, I sought advice. I turned to a second edition of a book I had heard works well for many people in my situation. I skipped the ‘exercises’ at the end of each chapter, and only read the checklists. Those checklists were food for thought. I didn’t really realize how the advice had already translated into my work. Still, this was really about mechanics. It didn’t teach me how to be creative – it can’t because that’s a totally individual task.

Writing prompts are another useful tool, but only when they are something you want to write about. Whether it’s a picture or written question or statement, it will inspire you differently than it will inspire me. Even the cliched beginnings like “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once Upon a Time” catch each writer’s imagination differently.

My advice for writers just starting down the path of publication is: write what you want, not what people tell you to. The only reading about writing you should be doing is the kind that helps you tighten up the mess of a first draft you’ve created. Nothing else can be taught.

Let’s talk more on Facebook!

Owning Your Books

Owning Your Books

Most of the time the things I write about on this blog are just things I want to write about. There’s not a particular theme. Sometimes it will be about something going on in my life, sometimes it will be about writing, and sometimes I’ll ask you to brainstorm with me on Facebook to suggest something you’d like to hear more about.

Other times, like today, it’s to address something of concern.

Louis Rossmann has a very popular YouTube channel, with his main purpose being “right to repair” – you should own your electronic device (or anything really), and have the opportunity and right to get that thing repaired how you see fit, rather than being forced to buy new or pay pricey repair fees because you can ‘only’ get your device repaired by the company that makes it.

He’s also good at calling out other companies (any company that ends up stealing from you or misrepresenting their product(s) to customers).

My post today is a little bit of both. Imagine packing for a trip and loading up your carry-on with 3-4 large paperback books you intend to read – it takes up a lot of space! Grab your tablet, phone, or e-reader and load it up with the same 3-4, and possibly more, because all you’ll need is the device, right?

One of Rossmann’s latest videos shines a light on a case where a U.K. resident is moving to the U.S. The person in question contacted Amazon to ask why they couldn’t access their e-books after the move. Amazon replied that the books were there – under the U.K. Amazon account. The user would have to log in to the U.K. site to be able to access the books. Simple.

The next bombshell comes when the user is told by Amazon to make another, U.S. account, once they move. They then inform the user that the content they purchased on the U.K. account will NOT be available in the U.S. account due to “geographical restrictions.” Amazon makes you jump through hoops, offering a lengthy process to change your region and port over your content. For this customer in particular, it included contacting U.K. customer service. It took over an hour and three customer service representatives before the customer was finally able to get access once again.

Please keep in mind this is not to be down on e-books, they have merit just as physical books do. But if you want to make sure you’re going to own your item wherever you go without strings, you may want to pack the physical copy.

Let’s talk more on Facebook!