Tag Archives: Amazon

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Don’t Do What I Did

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Some examples of my errors and how to avoid the same.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Without Mercy 07-09-16

Nothing can bring a story to life like listening to it on audio. I am currently in the process of having Without Mercy made into an audio book. My narrator is fantastic. She is so good that sometimes, I’m caught up in my own story, and I’m anxious to see what happens next, even though I know exactly what happens next.:)

On the down side, it also brings mistakes or poorly worded sentences to light in full blown clarity. Some of the issues I’ve ‘heard,’ and this doesn’t include just good old-fashioned typos and such, are…

Times when I use pronouns when I should use proper names:

1 – “Shut up.” Royce whacked the butt of the gun into his chin. Steve’s head jerked back, and he grunted in pain.

~ Sure, it’s obvious Royce wouldn’t whack the butt of the gun into his OWN chin, but this part still took me out of the story for a second. Would have been better off to word it as: 

“Shut up.” Royce whacked the butt of the gun into Steve’s chin. Steve’s head jerked back, and he grunted in pain.

2 – During the trip up, Aiden had removed the handcuffs, and Bishop made a few calls to Royce with updates, making him think all was going according to plan. He seemed convinced he had to help them for the safety of his family.

~ Better: 

Bishop seemed convinced he had to help them for the safety of his family.

3 – Bishop trailed behind him as if concerned he’d rob the place. “I don’t know what you expect to find.”

Aiden shrugged. “Maybe nothing.”

He rifled through dresser drawers, kitchen drawers, every potential hiding place.

~ Better: Aiden rifled through dresser drawers, kitchen drawers, every potential hiding place

It’s preferable to repeat names than to have readers pause or be confused, even a little.

Unnecessary information:

“Steve, I’m sorry, I told you, Emma’s ill, and I don’t think—”

“Steve!” Emma’s voice sang out from behind her, and China cringed. Damn, she was hoping to send him on his way before Emma found out he was here. “I missed you!”

If you read the entire section and know the context, it’s obvious that China was hoping Steve would leave without Emma seeing him. This part just sounds telling: she was hoping to send him on his way before Emma found out he was here. I should have eliminated that phrase completely. 

Poor word choice:

He was comfortable, a rock. Exactly what she needed.

A rock is comfortable? I don’t think so. Better: 

He was comfortable, solid, a rock. Exactly what she needed.

Misplaced modifier:

Moments later, coming from outside, he heard a grunt and a strangled yell.

~ Sounds like he was coming from outside. Better: 

Moments later, he heard a grunt and a strangled yell coming from outside.

Yes, I used a filter word, ‘heard’ as well. I could have done this:

Moments later, a grunt and a strangled yell came from outside

As many times as I went over this manuscript, those issues never occurred to me. But, with some distance and hearing it all read aloud, I’m picking up on things that need improvement. I know I’ve previously suggested reading aloud into a recorder, but I want to reiterate and show examples of issues you might not notice until you do.  So, if you can, set your story aside for at least a few weeks, a month is preferable. And, definitely read it aloud into a recorder. Or, ask someone else to read it for you. You’ll be amazed at what you pick up. You can also have a PDF read aloud to you, or you can have your Kindle read aloud to you. Those voices can be a little robotic, but it’s much less time consuming than reading it all yourself.  ;)

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

Leave a comment

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Suggestions to Tweak Your Wording

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Words that can be rearranged or eliminated for better flow.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

This is going to be very brief today, and probably not all that helpful. But, I notice this sort of thing often, either unneeded words or poorly arranged words. 

Examples: (I am aware, even with the ‘better’, that the below sentences could be improved further, but these are just quick samples of minor tweaks)

He had his hands cuffed in front of him. ~ Better: His hands were cuffed in front of him.

They both sat at the table. ~ ‘They’ is all you need, ‘both’ isn’t necessary. Better: They sat at the table.

With a sour expression on his face, he left the room. ~ Where else would his sour expression be but on his face? Better: With a sour expression, he left the room.

She refused to answer his calls, because she wasn’t going to go down that road again. ~ ‘Because’ is telling and sounds like you’re stopping the story to explain. Plus, ‘going to’ is unnecessary. Better: She refused to answer his calls. She wasn’t going down that road again.

“I wish you’d listen to reason”—with that he stood abruptly—“but I suppose that’s too much to expect.” ~ “With that” isn’t needed. Better: “I wish you’d listen to reason”—he stood abruptly—“but I suppose that’s too much to expect.”

She aimed toward the couple at the bar with her camera. ~ The couple at the bar didn’t have her camera. Better: She aimed her camera toward the couple at the bar .

In these last few, it’s not necessary to name the body parts. What else would you kick, nod, or shrug with?

He kicked him with his foot.

She nodded her head.

He shrugged his shoulders.

As I said, a brief one today. Just a suggestion to be aware of crowding your prose with unnecessary and obvious words.😉

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

9 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing (Marketing) Tip – Promotion: Thunderclap vs Headtalker

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Comparisons between two ‘Crowdspeaking’ platforms

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

Most of you have probably heard of the ‘crowdspeaking’ method of promotion where you can launch a ‘campaign’ to gather support for your book. If you meet your support goal, then on the day of your scheduled promo, your message will be blasted from the account (Twitter, Facebook, or whichever platform the supporter chooses) of every person who supported you.

It’s an excellent way to broaden your reach, and potentially get your message trending, although there is no guarantee that it will actually compute to book sales. However, it takes very little effort, so it’s worth a shot, right?

One of the concerns people have in supporting a campaign is that the app asks for permission to access your account. The only purpose for that is so they can  send the tweet or FB post in your name and to calculate social reach. Thunderclap and Headtalker have been used a multitude of times by millions, and, to my knowledge, there has never been an issue with them illegally using or gathering information. They have no benefit or interest in doing so. I have supported tons of Thunderclap and Headtalker campaigns and have never had a problem.

I have used Thunderclap in the past, and I like it a great deal. Now, I am trying the ‘new kid on the block,’ Headtalker. If you’d like to see how ‘supporting’ works, and you wish to support me, here is my link.:) I’ve almost reached my goal, but the beauty is, you can expand beyond your goal. The more, the better, right?

Devil’s Promenade on Headtalker

Here are some differences between the two sites:

THUNDERCLAP

Has a free option but also charges for some things that Headtalker doesn’t, such as campaign analytics, full supporter list, campaign updates, etc

Requires a minimum of 100 supporters

Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr

Approval can take 3 days

Their ‘hours of operation’ are Mon-Fri, 10-6 EST

HEADTALKER

Is completely free

Requires a minimum of 25 supporters

Sends to their followers as well, which increases your social reach

Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn. 

HeadTalker offers advice on managing a successful campaign.

Approval within 24 hours (mine was only a few hours)

Hours of operation – 24/7

Whichever one you choose, I encourage you to give this marketing method a try. As I said, it takes very little effort and it could be quite beneficial. Have you tried one or both? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Until next time…Happy Writing (and marketing)!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

15 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – How to Write Quickly and Crappily

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Freeing yourself to truly write a horrendous first draft.

 

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

 

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

We’ve all heard the advice about giving yourself permission to write badly, but I’m not sure we really understand the concept. In your first draft, in order to get the story down quickly, you have permission to write atrociously, so atrociously you might begin to wonder if you’ve ever read before, let alone written before. I know, some of you are perfectionists and can’t move forward until you have a scene just the way you want it. You like to edit as you go, and I won’t hold that against you.:) But, for those of you who are like me and need to just get the story down as quickly as possible, knowing you will have to make extensive revisions, this method is for you.

The story that I just finished was a struggle. As I am wont to do, I procrastinated and it got down to the wire, then I fell ill and lost a week of writing time. Even knowing I HAD to get the story done, I would sit down to write and freeze up and my brain would say, “You can’t do this. You don’t have a good handle on the story and you CANNOT do this.”

I told myself to write badly and just power through, and I thought I was doing that, then I realized, I wasn’t writing badly enough. So, I buckled down and used all the talent I could muster to write shit. (Pardon my language). I closed my eyes and did this…  

(Forgive me, this post is a little longer than two minutes if you suffer through reading my scene examples)

EXAMPLE 1:

Scene note:

She’ll see the ghost again while she’s out watching for the light but doesn’t believe it’s the ghost. Add a bit of setting

Scene draft (this is just a partial scene, I won’t bore you with the entire scene):

Tree limbs hung in the air heavy with ice.  A howl rose in the distance.  I looked around but saw nothing.  But then, coyotes were creatures of the night they wouldn’t just be roaming around in sight.  I walked until I reached the spot I’d read online was the best place to see it.

Snow started falling more heavily in a blink of an eye and I pulled my coat up around my neck.

A three quarter moon hung in the sky surrounded by a spattering of stars.  It was so quiet out here.  I didn’t see stars like that in Miami.  From the corner of my eye I saw a glow.  IT was translucent and not fully formed figure hovered above the ditch on the side of the road.  I gasped.  My legs shook.  It’s not real, whatever I’m seeing it’s not real.

The figure floated toward me I stepped back keeping my gaze on the glow.

What was it?

Not the light.  It wasn’t in the right spot nor was it the right shape.

Final:

I parked on the shoulder and snuggled into my coat. Above me, ice-coated tree limbs drooped heavily. A howl rose in the distance. I looked around but saw nothing. Of course, coyotes and mountain lions were sneaky. They wouldn’t be parading around in plain view. From what I’d read, they kept mostly away from civilization. Even though this area was hardly what I’d call civilized, it wasn’t the wilderness either. I was certain whatever had made that sound was a safe distance away.

A three quarter moon hung in the sky surrounded by a spattering of stars. Beautiful. I didn’t see stars like that in Miami. I focused my attention back to the end of the road. From my understanding, the best spot to see the light was just to the left of a cell tower. I could see the red lights of the tower. I studied the area left of it.

In my peripheral, a brief glow appeared. I whipped my head around. A translucent, but not quite human form, wafted above the ditch on the side of the road.

I gasped, and a tremble shot up my legs. It’s not real, whatever I’m seeing, it’s not real.

The figure floated toward me. I lifted the plastic, keeping my gaze on the glow.

What was it?

Not the light. It wasn’t in the right spot nor was it the right shape.

EXAMPLE 2: (an even shittier draft)

Scene note:

First dinner/meeting Declan.

Scene draft (partial): 

There will be convo about Oklahoma weather and how this isn’t typical, but they usually get maybe one or two blizzards a year, and this one happened to fall during their visits. Also, it should be mentioned about how ice can cause problems with power lines, etc.

Also, there should be something mentioned about the lack of cell service. Maybe Cami has tried to call editor and it didn’t work. Declan says if you’re one of those who is tethered to technology, you’ll not have a pleasant stay. No wifi, sporadic phone reception, depending on carrier. We do have phones in all the rooms, or maybe a guest phone. (I later decided Loretta would be the one to relay this info to Cami)

They will have more conversation.

They should talk about the Spooklight. Wife in couple believes it and husband makes fun of her. Declan and Loretta maybe can tell a few stories about the legend. No, he wouldn’t do that because of sis. Or, maybe Cami hears about sis and it’s nothing to do with Spooklight but she hopes it might be. Or, perhaps just wonders. What do they have for dinner and who serves it?

After dinner, dessert.

Final:

“I’m so glad you could brave this weather to join us,” Declan said, favoring us all with a glance. Whether he meant it or not, I wasn’t sure, but it was a polite and hospitable thing to say. “Have you been to this part of the country before?”

“We haven’t,” Roxanne said. “We live in Arizona. We heard about this place and were fascinated.”

“I was concerned when I saw the blizzard warnings,” Jin put in. He placed a hand over his wife’s. “But this is where my sweetheart wanted to celebrate our first anniversary, and I wasn’t going to let weather ruin that for her.”

Her face glowed with happiness as she leaned over and kissed him.

I forced a smile while my gut churned with nausea. Seriously? Was anyone really that happy? You thought you and Lance were, a little voice inside my head irritatingly reminded me. Yeah, well, you see how that turned out.

I jerked my head up in a moment of panic as I wondered if I’d said the words aloud. All eyes were on me. Had I?

“Ms. Burditt?” Declan stared at me curiously, making me think it wasn’t the first time he’d spoken to me. “Have you been to Oklahoma before now?”

My face heated at the same moment relief swept through me. I hadn’t spoken aloud. “No, no I haven’t. I’m from Miami.” Then I remembered the nearby town of the same name. “Miami, Florida, not Oklahoma,” I added hastily, and unnecessarily, since I’d just told them I had never been to Oklahoma.

“Miam-a,” Declan said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“The Miami in Oklahoma is pronounced with an ‘a’ sound at the end.”

I frowned. “Oh, well, that makes no sense.”

A small grin appeared on his full mouth. “Yes, well, what are you going to do?”

I smiled back. “Right?”

Conversation rose around the table about Oklahoma weather and how this wasn’t typical, but they usually experienced maybe one or two blizzards a year. This one just happened to fall during our visits. “The worst thing for us about this kind of weather is the ice.” Declan pushed his plate back and picked up his champagne. “It can often cause problems with power lines and roof cave-ins. If we happen to lose power, we do have a backup generator.”

“What’s the deal with the spook light?” Roxanne asked. “Do you think we’ll be able to see it while we’re here?”

Jin laughed. “Now, sweetheart, I told you, that’s just a bunch of nonsense.”

“I don’t know.” Declan’s voice lowered into an almost hypnotic tone. “There have been many sightings and many unexplained happenings over the years. Who are we to say whether or not it’s real?”

“Exactly.” Loretta took up the cause, which I was certain was just a ruse to stir up interest in the spook light. “I’ve seen it many times. And, I’ve heard the legends all my life. So far, no one has come up with a logical, scientific reason for the spook light’s appearance. So…”

Silence fell. Roxanne’s eyes were round, her face animated. Jin still looked skeptical, but said nothing further, perhaps out of politeness, which is the same reason I kept my mouth shut. Supernatural spook light indeed…strange occurrences. Did they think we were children? Or gullible, like Roxanne?

After a delicious dinner of prime rib and truffle mashed potatoes, with apple crisp and homemade ice cream for dessert, Declan stood. “Would anyone like coffee or a cocktail in the library?”

So…there you have it. I went from a brief thought about the scene to a shitty draft to a less shitty (I hope) polished scene. I did that over and over until I had an entire novella. Laugh, if you must, but I wrote a 35,000 word novella in approximately two weeks, including revisions. And that was while I was working full-time, editing for The Wild Rose Press, coordinating a contest, watching television (a girl has to have some down time), freelance editing, promo, etc. (although my amazing friend and co-moderator for my AHA group, M.J. Schiller, took over most of those duties for me during that time).

It helps to tell yourself, “No one has to see this until I’m ready for them to.” (Unless you’re like me and foolish enough to blog about it and share your embarrassment.) I also tell myself, “Each pass will improve.” And, it did. Although I can now see how I would tweak my ‘final’ scenes a bit further. Such is the way with writers. We will always want to revise, but at some point, we just have to be finished. And breathe a huge sigh of relief….then start on the next shitty draft.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

7 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Writing Back Cover Blurbs and Tag Lines

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Sharing some articles about writing blurbs and tag lines…

 

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

Today’s post is going to be a bit of a cheat. I have been more crazy busy than usual these past few weeks, so I don’t have anything prepared. However, I am sharing a few links with you regarding writing blurbs and tag lines. I rely on these sites often, and they make something that is normally a torturous chore much easier. SO…without further ado…

********

This site is just a big long list of movie tag lines. But, reviewing the list helps to see the purpose of a tag line and helps to get my mind zeroed in on the important elements of a good tag line: Impact and brevity.

Movie Taglines from Tagline Guru

********

On this site, Janalyn Voigt shows how to break down your story in a handful of steps that lead to a great tag line. As a bonus, her steps for breaking down the story are helpful in getting to the crux of your novel, which is sometimes difficult (for me, at least). This site is so helpful, you might come up with too many taglines, which is great, because you can use them as promo teasers. 

Live Write Breathe: Cook up a Tantalizing Tagline for your book

********

And, finally, blurb writing. I have read several articles on this topic, but none have proved to be as thorough and helpful as this one. the author offers advice on blurbs based on genre, and even shows how to shorten them, along with some other handy tips. 

How to Write a Blurb (Back Cover Copy) by Marilynn Byerly

Please accept my apologies for my laziness. I hope you found these helpful. Do you have any ‘go to’ articles, about taglines, blurbs, or otherwise, you’d like to share?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

8 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – It’s Not Writer’s Block…It’s Writer’s Panic

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How to get un-stuck when you’re stuck and can’t write.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

 

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

I am under a deadline, an intense, terrifying deadline that I set for myself. I’ve been in similar situations, and I have always accomplished what I needed to. Right now, I’m not gaining as much ground as I would like. I know exactly what is going to happen in the last handful of scenes I need to write, but I can’t seem to get them down on paper. And I’m starting to panic. I even gave myself permission to write crappy, although I’m not sure myself is obeying my directive.

I have a list of tips for times like these, and I’m going to give them a shot. I’m sharing them today, just in case I’m not the only writer in the world who experiences Writing Panic/Anxiety/Block/Freezing. (Although, I actually suspect I AM the only one. I believe all other writers sit down at the computer (or at the paper with the pen), and flawless words flow like a river of magic from their fingertips…sigh…) 

Tips for un-sticking a stuck scene/writer’s brain:

  • Isolate the scene from the rest of the book. Open a new document and write the scene all on its own.
  • Write the scene like you’re telling a friend about it. If it helps, pretend like you’re telling a friend about a movie you saw. Write it crappy, conversationally. Just ‘tell’ what happened. You can polish and ‘show’ in revisions.
  • Write gibberish. Just string a bunch of nonsensical words together. Anything that comes to mind. Try this for 5 or 10 minutes. It can be quite freeing. And, writing is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the better it works.
  • Close your eyes, picture the scene, the setting, the characters, feel, smell, hear the scene…and spew out crap.  Total, poorly written crap.
  • Read something in the genre you’re writing (something brief, a scene or two, NOT an entire book). Try reading it aloud and/or typing/writing from the book (just remember to NOT use what you type in your story. That’s called plagiarism)
  • Take a scene (copy and paste from a word document) from one of your own books and type over it with the events in the new story. Reminding yourself you’ve done this before, and seeing how you were once able to get words on paper, can help jumpstart your brilliance again.
  • Write it like it’s the first scene in your book. We all know we take more care and time with our opening scenes. And when we are writing them, we are powerful, fearless, full of optimism and hope. The world is ours to command and nothing can stand in our way. (This is just before reality bites us in the arse, but it’s a good feeling while it lasts). Adopt that same attitude with each scene. (Not the biting in the arse attitude, the fearless one)
  • Say these words: “I am not a bad writer, I’m just having a bad time writing. I will push through it, keep writing, and it will all come together.”
  • Then, write. No matter how awful the writing is, or how hard it is to push the words out, keep writing.

What tricks do you use when you’re stuck? (Oh, wait…I’m the only one who ever gets stuck, I forgot.)

Until next time…Happy Writing!

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NEW RELEASE – Now Available 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

10 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Interview with Margo Bond Author of Under Her Skin

We were treated to Margo’s lovely cover reveal recently, now I’m happy to share her interesting interview…

  1. You probably get asked this a lot, but for my readers, please tell us…was there a ‘moment’ in your life where you decided ‘I am going to be a writer!’

I’ve always known. The first story I remember actually writing down was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since.

  1. If you were stuck on a deserted island and you could bring 3 of your favorite books, what would they be and why?

This is an unfair question, so I’m going to cheat. :)  I would bring an anthology of British literature, an anthology of world literature, and an anthology of science fiction and fantasy.

  1. In today’s hectic world, it seems like people just don’t have enough hours in the day to do the things they want to do because of all the things they need to do. If you had 72 hours of uninterrupted ‘me time’ what would you do? Would you write? 

Oh. 72 whole uninterrupted hours all to myself? That sounds heavenly. I would definitely write. I would also read. And I would sleep. A lot. I don’t get enough time to do any of those things!

  1. If you were to remove the actual title – so that only the ‘cover’ was visible to readers – what do you think would make your book stand out from other in the genre?

The snake, definitely! And the tattoo of the mongoose.

  1. Who designed your cover? Did you play a major role in how it came out looking? Or did you say ‘I really don’t know what I want on it – but when I see it…I’ll know’?

Kelly Abell did the cover, and I had quite a bit of say in it. I love what she came up with based on my sketchy description.

  1. Thinking of the First 500 words to your book, what was the main idea you wanted your readers to walk away with?

I don’t want them to walk away at all after the first five hundred words! :)  But if they do, I want them to wonder what the hell happened to cause Callie to wake up dead in Alabama.

  1. If possible – please write ‘the hook’ of your story in 25 words or less.

When she died, Callie Taylor expected heaven or hell. She got Alabama.

  1. If a Hollywood agent came to you today and asked you to choose your dream cast to be in the movie version – who would you want to play the leads?

Here’s my dream cast:

Callie: Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence has the perfect girl-next-door vibe, and if you’ve seen the clip of her joking with Jack Nicholson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJmhsJ5T5L0), it’s clear that she can also do funny and snarky, which is an absolute necessity for any actress who plays Callie!

Ashara: Kat Graham

I just love Kat Graham. I love it that she’s beautiful and smart (she speaks something like five languages!). Ashara has to be strong and kind, too, and having seen Graham’s work in Vampire Diaries, I think she would make the perfect Ashara.

Maw-Maw: Ruby Dee

There was never any question about my dream actress to play Maw-Maw. The first time I saw Maw-Maw in my mind, she had Ruby Dee’s face (and my grandmother’s way of moving and my great-grandmother’s voice!). Maw-Maw is canny and wise and smarter than anyone gives her credit for being.

Stephen: Chris Hemsworth

Because who wouldn’t want Chris Hemsworth in a movie?! Seriously—Hemsworth’s blond good looks will suit Stephen nicely. Also, he can do quiet and strong nicely; Stephen often takes a supportive role, keeping Callie, Ashara, and Maw-Maw safe and working to help all of them as they solve the mystery surrounding Molly’s death.

Clifford Howard: Billy Burke

The villain needs to be creepy! Burke isn’t ugly like Howard is in the book, but he can do an amazing sneer. I think he could play up the psychopathic elements of the book’s villain.

Molly McClatchey: Jessica Alba

Although Molly has only a small appearance in the book, as the victim, it’s an important one. I think Jessica Alba would be perfect for this role—her dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin are important to the plot, and Alba’s sweet demeanor would play nicely, too!

Rick McClatchey: Jared Padalecki

Jared Padalecki does emotionally distraught so perfectly that he would be a great candidate for the role of Rick McClatchey, a man wrongly accused of killing his beloved wife.

  1. What is next on the horizon for you?

I’m working on sequels to Waking Up Dead and to Legally Undead, the urban fantasy I have  coming out from World Weaver Press in 2014. I’m editing a young adult paranormal romance. I’m also working on a contemporary romance novel. And I have the beginnings of two others—one’s a paranormal romance, and the other is what I’m calling my Regency Romance in Space.

  1. Please, indulge the readers of this review – Do you have any sort of ‘ritual’ you go through when you’re working? Perhaps you must always have a cup of coffee and a cheese Danish before you can even consider writing? Maybe you only write after you’ve had your morning walk? Mayhap you wait until it’s completely quiet to gather your thoughts – or – you like to ‘rock out’?

I used to have elaborate writing rituals, but now I just write whenever I can get a spare minute! I usually have to have coffee or tea. I have an office that I use for all my work: academic writing, fiction writing, editing, and online teaching. My desk is against a window so I can see outside. I’m surrounded by books and papers. I write directly on my laptop, but when I get stuck, I sometimes switch to handwriting; this seems to shift my brain onto a different track and helps me get over writer’s block. I write something every day, whether it’s academic writing, fiction, or my blog.

  1. What sort of advice would you give to new authors? 

The very best advice I ever got was just this: keep writing new things. Always have a work in progress. Finish writing a piece, do a quick edit, and submit it somewhere for publication. Then move on to the next project. Don’t wait to hear back—that way lies madness! If it’s rejected (and often it will be; that’s the nature of writing for publication), don’t let it get you down. Just send it out again and go back to your work in progress.

  1. Have you ever experienced ‘Writer’s Block’? If so, what do you do to get over it? (Or, are you a writer who feels there’s no such thing as ‘Writer’s Block? If so, please explain your thoughts)

I get stuck, like everyone. I hit writer’s block sometimes. But when that happens, I usually switch over to another project or go for a walk. Sometimes I’ll go back and try to work on editing what’s already done. But I loathe editing and revising. I know it must be done, but I hate it with a fiery passion. So that usually prompts me to go back to writing!

Wow, enjoyed the interview. Loved seeing your entire cast of characters. I am a Vampire Diaries fan and I agree about Kat. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet her and she’s even more gorgeous in person, if that’s possible. LOVE your hook. Who would be able to resist that?

Thanks so much for joining me!

 

Close-up of Snake, a Small Python, on Back and Shoulder of Naked Muscular Man against White Background

About Under Her Skin

She’s lucky he’s a charmer…

Lindi Parker works hard at being human, not an easy task for a snake shifter. She has no desire to search for others like her—until a new case changes everything. When Lindi learns that she she’s not the only shapeshifter in the world, she also realizes she might be next on a killer’s list.

In order to save herself and the abused children she works with, she will have to team up with Dr. Kade Nevala, a member of the shifter tribe responsible for eradicating weresnakes—and the most attractive man Lindi’s ever met. Even more terrifying, she’ll need to embrace her serpent side, a choice that has enormous consequences for Lindi, and for everyone around her. 

Excerpt 

I’m not the kind of woman who goes around kissing strange men—especially strange men with hypnotic gold eyes who set off every internal warning system I’ve got.

And as a general rule, I avoid making out with men who drag me into dark rooms against my will.

But all those rules went out the window when this man kissed me.

His lips burned against mine, searing something deep inside, heating me to my core.

The almost peppery scent that had frozen me earlier now flooded my senses. His hands dropped from my shoulders and ran down my arms, wrapping around my waist and pulling me closer to him.

Muscles that moments ago had been writhing in an attempt to shapeshift now twisted to move closer to him.

Buy Waking Up Dead on Amazon in Kindle for $2.99: http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Dead-ebook/dp/B00FOXWLM8/

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead

UnderHerSkinPromo

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is addicted to coffee (mmm…caffeine) and SF/F television, especially Supernatural (mmm…Winchesters). She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mystery. She lives in Texas with her daughter and several spoiled pets. Although she teaches college-level English courses online, writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and the women who love (and sometimes fight) them.

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575

Tumblr: http://vampirarchybooks.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release