Tag Archives: Amazon

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Stop Showing, Start Telling?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Lee Child’s advice: Tell, don’t Show

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.

Lee Child is one of my favorite authors. I LOVE the Jack Reacher books. He, like a lot of my favorite suspense/thriller authors, does not write with a lot of emotion. It’s a style that is part of that genre, and it works well for me. I don’t need a ton of emotion, especially when I’m engrossed in an intense thriller. I hadn’t really thought about his voice/style, but after reading his advice on ‘showing,’ I wondered if he did a lot of telling, which is supposedly a no-no, and I just hadn’t noticed. Here is what he had to say about it:

Picture this: In a novel, a character wakes up and looks at himself in the mirror, noting his scars and other physical traits for the reader.

“It is completely and utterly divorced from real life,” Child said.

So why do writers do this? Child said it’s because they’ve been beaten down by the rule of Show, Don’t Tell. “They manufacture this entirely artificial thing.”

“We’re not story showers,” Child said. “We’re story tellers.”

Child said there’s nothing wrong with simply saying the character was 6 feet tall, with scars.

After all, he added—do your kids ever ask you to show them a story? They ask you to tell them a story. Do you show a joke? No, you tell it.

“There is nothing wrong with just telling the story,” Child said. “So liberate yourself from that rule.”

Child believes the average reader doesn’t care at all about telling, showing, etc. He or she just wants something to latch onto, something to carry them through the book. By following too many “rules,” you can lose your readers.

I think he has some good points. We don’t want to get so bogged down in rules that we lose our story.  Also, you can overdo it with the showing. However, I think Mr. Child does more ‘showing’ than he would lead us to believe.

Excerpt from “Worth Dying For” by Lee Child:

Reacher checked the window. There were four tires in total, big knobbly off-road things, all of them on a Ford pick-up truck. The truck had a jacked suspension and lights on a roof bar and a snorkel air intake and a winch on the front. There were two large shapes in the gloom inside. The shapes had thick necks and huge shoulders. The truck nosed slowly down the row of cabins and stopped twenty feet behind the parked Subaru. The headlights stayed on. The engine idled. The doors opened. Two guys climbed out.

They both looked like Brett, only bigger. Late twenties, easily six-six or six-seven, probably close to three hundred pounds each, big waists made tiny by huge chests and arms and shoulders. They had cropped hair and small eyes and fleshy faces. They were the kind of guys who ate two dinners and were still hungry afterward. They were wearing red Cornhuskers football jackets made gray by the blue light from the cabin’s eaves.

The doctor’s wife joined Reacher at the window.

“Sweet Jesus,” she said.

Reacher said nothing.

The two guys closed the truck’s doors and stepped back in unison to the load bed and unlatched a tool locker bolted across its width behind the cab. They lifted the lid and one took out an engineer’s ball-peen hammer and the other took out a two-headed wrench at least a foot and a half long. They left the lid open and walked forward into the truck’s headlight wash and their shadows jumped ahead of them. They were light on their feet and nimble for their size, like football players usually were. They paused for a moment and looked at the cabin’s door, and then they turned away.

Toward the Subaru.

They attacked it in a violent frenzy, an absolute blitzkrieg, two or three minutes of uncontrolled smashing and pounding. The noise was deafening. They smashed every shard of glass out of the windshield, they smashed the side windows, the back window, the headlights, the tail lights. They hammered jagged dents into the hood, into the doors, into the roof, into the fenders, into the tailgate. They put their arms through the absent glass and smashed up the dials and the switches and the radio.

Shit, Reacher thought. There goes my ride.

“My husband’s punishment,” the doctor’s wife whispered. “Worse this time.”

The two guys stopped as suddenly as they had started. They stood there, one each side of the wrecked wagon, and they breathed hard and rolled their shoulders and let their weapons hang down by their sides. Pebbles of broken automotive glass glittered in the neon and the boom and clang of battered sheet metal echoed away to absolute silence.

Reacher took off his coat and dumped it on the bed.

The two guys formed up shoulder to shoulder and headed for the cabin’s door. Reacher opened it up and stepped out to meet them head on. Win or lose, fighting inside would bust up the room, and Vincent the motel owner had enough problems already.

The two guys stopped ten feet away and stood there, side by side, symmetrical, their weapons in their outside hands, four cubic yards of bone and muscle, six hundred pounds of beef, all flushed and sweating in the chill.

Reacher said, “Pop quiz, guys. You spent four years in college learning how to play a game. I spent thirteen years in the army learning how to kill people. So how scared am I?”

Sigh….when you’re Lee Child, and your character is Jack Reacher, who needs showing? However, lines like this: ‘Pebbles of broken automotive glass glittered in the neon and the boom and clang of battered sheet metal echoed away to absolute silence.’ In my opinion, are showing. As far as emotion, you don’t need melodrama. I felt the emotion in that scene, easily. Even though Reacher is not given to hysterics, and even though it was brief, the doctor’s wife’s emotions were clear. And, Reacher’s intent to do bodily harm was clear. I was completely in the scene. I could see it, feel it, hear it. I will say that, writing in first person helps. You naturally ‘show’ more when in first person. 

Bottom line, I think it’s about a few things…

  1. Don’t worry about showing in the first draft. Write it as quickly as you can, just get the story out. Perhaps even write in first person (you can switch to third in the second round) so you’ll be inclined to ‘show.’
  2. When you are revising, look for places where you can make the scene a little more vivid by using senses and unique descriptions and avoiding ‘filter’ words such as ‘saw’ ‘heard’ ‘realized’ ‘noticed’ ‘felt’ etc.
  3. Find a balance between showing and telling. Like in the excerpt above, a few well-chosen words can put us immediately in the scene, right with the action.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

9 Comments

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

A Plethora of 99 Cent Ebooks!!!

99 Cent Ebooks galore

Check out our monthly list of 99 cent reads. All different genres, all great bargains!

***Just click on the cover to be taken to the purchase page.

PLEASE CONFIRM BEFORE ORDERING!!! – We are not responsible if prices are no longer 99 cents

Hope you discover some enticing reads!

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For a limited time, the authors of Chick Swagger are offering their Hard Men of the Rockies as a complete collection. Five stories, five men who will spice up your library and leave you looking for Mistletoe and Lace.

Find the authors of Chick Swagger at ChickSwagger.com.

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Knight Geoffrey de Montfort vanishes for seven years after his wedding night—then returns without revealing to his wife where he has been. Will Geoffrey’s silence create a rift too large to heal—or can he and Merryn recapture the love they once shared?

Find Alexa Aston here: https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

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Sophie Davenport returns home from London without a marriage proposal, determined to remain single and do charitable work–until Jeremy Wyatt shows up at her doorstep.

Find Becky Lower here: http://www.beckylowerauthor.com

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dutycalls

Lt. Col. Dale Mitchlen doesn’t believe year-old Katie Ann is his—until he sees her picture. With the child’s mother KIA, he informs Alyson Sander, Katie’s aunt, that he’s seeking custody, pending a DNA test. Despite instant attraction, Katie’s future hangs in the balance and neither wants to make a mistake by following their heart.

Find Sandra McGregor at www.SandraMcGregor.com

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A naughty novella. Erotic strangers-to-lovers costume party adventure.

Find Kris Pearson here – http://www.krispearson.com

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Sharon Parker’s daughter convinced the family to go to Blythe Cove Manor for Mother’s Day. Little did she know that the simple act of love would unveil a long held secret that could bring the family together or tear them apart.

Find Shirley Hailstock here: http://www.shirleyhailstock.net

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How can he stay with the woman he married once he learns she may have hired someone to kill him? And what if she isn’t really his wife?

Find Debby Conrad here:  www.DebbyConrad.com

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Miss Laura Stokes is a man with a mission. The Duke of Rothmore must convince the girl-in-disguise to give up her vendetta–but can he also win her heart?
Find Deb Marlowe here:   www.DebMarlowe.com
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lico
Traveling during the holiday season doesn’t sound romantic, but a star in the East, an abandoned child and a quest for holiday cheer might just convince these two that love is the best gift of the Season. 
 
Find Deb Marlowe here:  www.DebMarlowe.com

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Kathleen James looked forward to an intimate dinner and an engagement ring. Dominic Lawrence planned this marriage proposal for six months. Nothing can go wrong—until his Nonna calls.
Can Antonia’s romantic WWII tale of her American GI and a very special collie bring these two hearts together?
 
Find Aubrey Wynne here: 

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Uncovering a lie drives a new marquess back from a self-imposed exile at Christmas to find the only woman he’s ever loved. Finding her turns out to be easy, uncovering her stunning secrets, a bit harder. But winning her back will be the greatest challenge of all.

Find Alina K. Field at http://alinakfield.com

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Are you on the Naughty List? A boxed set guaranteed to warm up your winter! Thirteen Naughty Holiday stories by bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati. Last chance at 99¢!

Check out The Naughty Literati Bookshelf for more sexy boxed sets!

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Naughty Flames: Eleven Fiery Romances includes Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Menage, New Adult, Paranormal, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Rubenesque, Shapeshifter, and Stepbrother romance from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

Preorder at 99¢! Release date December 1st!

Check out The Naughty Literati Bookshelf for more sexy boxed sets!
http://naughtyliterati.com/naughtybookshelf/

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She’s a Time Lord, he’s a Trekker. When fandoms collide, the fun begins.
 
Come see what else is going on in Kathryn Lively’s strange mind: http://www.facebook.com/authorkathrynlively
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 Former navy SEAL John Huntington is the Midnight Man. He’s willing to put his heart and his life on the line for interior designer, Suzanne Barron. When unknown enemies come after Suzanne, The Midnight Man will do anything to protect her…and failure is definitely is not an option. 

Find Lisa Marie Rice here: Website, Facebook, TwitterAmazon Author Page.

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A vampire won’t rest until they’re all dead… Until she meets him, and everything changes.

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The second daughter of a baron has somehow caught the eye of a duke… only he’s an imposter! Can the real duke save the day? Or will Christmas be ruined for both of them?
 
Find Nicole Zoltack here: http://www.subscribepage.com/m0k3l8

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SALE ENDS SOON!

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She spent her entire life fighting death. Now she’s falling in love with him…

When her loved ones are threatened, nurse Audra Grayson will risk her life…even her soul to save them. But can she risk her heart to a Grim Reaper?

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wendy

Charged with teaching the spoiled lad a lesson, Michelle has strict instructions not fall for his charm. Romance in the countryside. Riches or ruin?

 
Find Wendy Lou Jones here:  bit.ly/2fhhmrq

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When a rough-cut Texan learns he has a daughter and her mother, the woman he still loves, is ready to marry another man, he’s not about to walk away. Not without a fight.
 
Find ANN MAJOR here:  www.annmajor.com

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Can Leigh and Cy find love or will their attempt to find lasting happiness meet with disaster?  Join the Chance City adventure as its citizens battle opposing forces in their searches for love.

Find Robin Deeter here:  http://robindeeter.com/

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Will Brock come down from the fence he sits on to find a life time of happiness with Daphne or will he let indecision cost him the love of his life?

Find Robin Deeter here:  http://robindeeter.com/

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6-patriciakiyonotfi500x750copy
Caroline Duval wants to see the world, but as an innkeeper’s daughter, her opportunities are few. When a bloody traveler enters the inn, she recognizes him immediately. Could this man from her past be the key to her future?
 
Find Patricia Kiyono here: http://patriciakiyono.com/

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After eighteen years away, she’s home to learn the truth…If she murdered her own father.
Find Kathy L Wheeler at http://kathylwheeler.com

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When Tessa agreed to do a favor for her boss, she never thought she’d end up being a mistaken target for a hired killer or falling for the sexy cop who is determined to keep her safe.

Find Edie Hart at https://www.facebook.com/RomanceAuthorEdieHart/.

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Bonding to a female shifter is not part of King Noeh’s plan, not until his goddess insists he take a queen by the next full moon or lose his crown. When he rescues a beautiful female from the enemy’s grasp a forbidden attraction blooms, and he must decide between his kingdom and his heart.

Find Rosalie Redd here:  http://www.rosalieredd.com

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Hearts Across Time ~ medieval knights and time travel… What’s not to love? Sometimes all you need is to just believe…
 
Find Sherry Ewing on her website at www.SherryEwing.com

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$0.99 SALE ENDS TODAY 11/20!

11-hunted-cover-706kbjpg

How much longer would she be hunted? Two years had passed since Amber broke up with her obsessed boyfriend, but he continued to stalk her. The worst part was imagining him wearing every hoodie, hiding in every shadow, or following in every vehicle.

Find Marissa Garner here:  www.marissagarner.com

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12-lisabetsarai_2
Hot shot Boston lawyer Ian Pierce has everything but peace of mind. Then
he meets a raggedy girl who may well be a Christmas angel in disguise.

Find Lisabet Sarai here: http://www.lisabetsarai.com

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13-lisabetsarai_1
When her dominant husband Greg proposes that they attend a company
Halloween gala, Isabella is too excited to be suspicious.

Find Lisabet Sarai here: http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com

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14-helenafairfax_awayfromhearttoheartcover

“There is a way from heart to heart” is an old Afghan proverb . Can Paul find the way to Kate’s heart, or is it closed forever?
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From the heat of the Mediterranean to the heart of Scotland…A year of mystery and romance
Find Helena here:  www.helenafairfax.com

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16-fractured7

When Carter Phillips goes home after multiple deployments, all he wants is time alone to get his head screwed on straight. What he gets is Amy Williams, a woman who sets his blood on fire and has secrets even darker than his own.

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17-rebeccayork

A werewolf under cover on a slave ship of dark secrets.

Find Rebecca York here: www.rebeccayork.com

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She has a target on her back…only he can save her. With killers on their heels, can they resist simmering desire and uncover truth? Secrets, murder, treason, and fiery passion—who can you trust?

Find Virginia Kelly here: https://www.amazon.com/Virginia-Kelly/e/B001KDD8FK

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20-denisedevine

 Merry Connor and Anthony Lewis search for treasure and find true love.
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A desperate bachelor enlists his neighbor to pose as his wife to appease his dying mother and unexpectedly finds love under the mistletoe.
 

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Happy Reading!!!!

 

5 Comments

Filed under Ebook Deal, Uncategorized

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – The Lost Art of the Beautifully Turned Phrase

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Evoking imagery with lovely literary 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. 

Although beautiful, unique, metaphoric phrases and similes are normally associated with literary works, there is no reason that non-literary authors cannot use them as well. It’s not something I do well, or that I have even attempted in my writing, but when I run across it in other books, I get the warm fuzzies, and just a tough of envy. A book I’m currently reading, THE KIND WORTH KILLING, has some great lines. I’ve shared a few below.  

  • It had been raining in Boston, but in Maine, the rain had become biblical, my wipers on full speed barely able to clear the windshield. 
  • I had watched Lily, in the course of her short speech, become briefly passionate, her face pushing toward me like a sun worshiper tilting toward the sun to get most of its rays. 
  • Deep shadows accentuated her curves, and her face, cast in the TV’s light, seemed a black-and-white version of herself.
  • I’d been waiting for two things since killing him. Waiting to get caught and waiting to feel bad. Neither had happened yet, and I knew that neither would. 
  • The following morning the rain was done, the clouds all swept out to sea, and it was one of those October days that sell calendars.

A few of these are more vivid description rather than great lines, but they still evoke an image of the setting, the character, etc. But, I still thought they were memorable, melodious. Although I know part of this is ‘voice,’ and comes naturally, I also know that, if we work at it, we can come up with cleverly turned phrases of our own. Or, at least, I’m going to try. 

What are some lines you’ve read in contemporary fiction that stick with you? Or, perhaps some lines you’ve actually written? Please feel free to share in the comments. 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

11 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Loving What You Write

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Writing what you love and loving what you 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.

This is more a reminder than a tip. It’s important to love what you’re writing, for a few reasons. One, if you love your WIP, you’ll look forward to writing and, therefore, accomplish more. Also, if you love it, your joy will show through and readers will be more likely to love it as well. I know that’s not always easy to do, and sometimes writing can be a grind and sometimes a story frustrates and confounds us, but overall, we need to love our work. We don’t always have to love our characters, as a matter of fact, creating characters that are not all that lovable can make a story more interesting. All you have to do is know your characters, although, hopefully, your protagonist is lovable, or at least sympathetic.

Ask yourself these questions about your current WIP:

  1. Is this a story I’d want to read? Why? (if you can’t give a good, solid answer to this one, you might need to rethink at least certain elements of your story)
  2. Do I look forward to picking up where I left off? (If not, readers might not look forward to picking your book back up to read it. Try this trick, at the end of a writing session, jot down a few sentences of something HUGE and shocking that could happen. Even if it’s something that you have no intention of leaving in the book. It can help to invigorate you and make you anxious to get back to your manuscript. And, your mind might, even subconsciously, work on the outrageous idea and turn it into something that actually DOES fit your story but makes it more exciting)
  3. What do I love about this story? Take it a step further and ask yourself what you love about each scene. If you can find something in each one, your readers most likely will too.

That’s it. Just a few things to make you think about your story and whether it’s something that is bringing you entertainment and pleasure, and therefore, can bring the same to readers.

In the comments, tell me one thing you love about a story you are currently writing. For me, it is my Martinic Club 4 1940’s story, and I love that it intertwines with the other three MC4 stories written by my friends, Krysta Scott, Kathy L Wheeler, and Amanda McCabe. Of course, I need to find more than that. And, I will, promise!

 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

3 Comments

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

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Making the Most of Twitter

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A list of handy Twitter tips

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.

 

Tips to get noticed, get retweets, gain followers, or to simply make your Twitter life easier:

  • Although Twitter allows 140 characters, it’s best to not use them all. Shorter tweets are more effective.
  • As everyone knows by now, tweets with images get more notice
  • Ask people to retweet you. The most effective way is to simply add: Please Retweet
  • Use no more than TWO hashtags. More looks spammy
  • Size matters… Images that are smaller than 440 x 222 will not show up in your timeline, only a link to the image does. The max image size is 3MB
  • If you do not want people to tag you without your permission, you can go to your Twitter Privacy settings and specify the tagging you wish to allow. You can remove tags by going to the … ‘more’ beneath a tweet and select ‘remove tag from photo’
  • Use #tweetchat to set up chats by using an exclusive hashtag. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to. Worth a shot, right? http://tweetchat.com/
  • This is more than just a Twitter tip. I’m not sure I understand exactly, but from what I’ve read, it’s worth checking into. It is a service that you can use to trigger actions throughout various web/social media services. It’s more than just linking Facebook and Twitter. There seems to be a number of amazing things you can do with it. IFTTT http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424077,00.asp
  • Did you know Twitter backs up everything you tweet? In settings there is a “Request your archive” option. You will receive an email containing a link to download a ZIP file of your tweets.
  • Track the clicks you get on links you share. Many sites provide this service, for example, Clicktotweet provides full analytics on clicks from your followers. You can also click the Gear icon on Twitter.com and select “Twitter Ads” for a quick look at how many people clicked the links in your recent tweets.
  • To share an image of a tweet on other social media outlets, or blogs, etc, use the ‘embed’ feature. Click on … more and choose ‘embed’ to get the code.   
  • Direct link to FB post or Tweet –  Click the ‘more’ and an option to ‘copy link to tweet’ will come up.
  • Retweet for others frequently. The more you do, the more others are likely to RT you.
  • If you wish to add an image to a composed tweet so that, when others share the tweet (copy and paste the content, not share a link), an image will appear, you’ll want to use Hoosuite. (A tip…I always try to keep all my links somewhere to refer to. Once you have an image link, you can use it over and over again.) Send out a tweet containing the image. Go to Hootsuite and find the tweet in your feed. Below the tweet, find the ‘retweet’ option and click on the drop down arrow. An option will come up to ‘edit.’ Choose that option and your tweet will appear in a box at the top of the page. The very last link in that box should be your image link. Copy that and insert it into a tweet and the image should show up.
  • Find and gain more followers by using http://twiends.com/home
  • Tweet the same content multiple times. The lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes. To increase the likelihood of a tweet being seen, tweet out the same tweet multiple times in one day. I wouldn’t do this to several tweets, but if there is something in particular you want to be seen, focus on tweeting it several times. This is when Buffer and Hootsuite will come in handy. You’ll need to make some minor tweaks so you won’t get a message that you’ve already sent that tweet. 
  • Add questions in your retweets and/or tweets to increase engagement and visibility. You can also create polls for more interaction. 
  • I’ll end with a list of the most retweetable words:

You

Twitter

Please

ReTweet

Post

Blog

Social

Free

Media

Help

Please retweet

Great

Social Media

10

Follow

How to

Top

Blog post

Check out

New blog post

(words to avoid, for some reason, ‘Game’, ‘going’, ‘haha’ and ‘lol’)

Until next time…Happy Tweeting!

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ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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

8 Comments

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

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 86 – The Guest House at Graceland

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

epatgracelad92-1D87B04100000578-98_634x684

Oh my gosh, have you SEEN this? On October 27, 2016, the brand new hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, will open. It looks magnificent!!! I must stay there before I die. The rooms are a little pricey, but totally worth it. Look at this gorgeous lobby:

guesthouselobby

The hotel has 450 guest rooms, some of them with really cool themes.

Such as…

The King’s Suites, one of which is inspired by Elvis’ bedroom at Graceland, the other by Las Vegas decor with both vintage and contemporary accouterments. 

king-suitehouse-at-graceland-sm-bay-final-4

Vernon & Gladys Suites – Decorate with mid-century flair and inspired by Elvis’ Palm Springs home.

gladys-graceland-sm-bay-final-2

There are also the TCB & Living Room Suites. Is anyone else surprised there is no Jungle Room suite? I would imagine that even the ‘regular’ rooms are fabulous. I would love to stay in a special-theme room, but I’d be content with the least expensive one.

I am utterly in awe and would LOVE to visit there some day. Not only is it spectacular, but just being at Graceland is a feeling that is indescribable. It’s somehow both thrilling and heart wrenching, and as I’ve mentioned before, there is an almost tangible presence there. As if Elvis’ essence was so strong, it remains. I can imagine how much more amazing the entire experience would be if I stayed at this new hotel. Surrounded by so many Elvis related items and people would be heavenly.

Here is a pic of me with my three kids and my niece when we visited Graceland a few years back. We stayed at The Heartbreak Hotel, and I’m so glad we did since it has now been torn down.

menkidsgraceland

Maybe I’ll make it to The Guest House at Graceland some day… When I DO go, believe me, I’ll be sharing all about my experience right here.🙂

You can find out more at the site: http://guesthousegraceland.com/

Have a wonderful weekend!

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan.🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

5 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – The Backstory Conundrum

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How and when to share backstory 

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.

The age old question…how much backstory is too much? The answer… in your opening pages, pretty much ANY backstory is too much. Readers want to be dropped into the middle of the action. They don’t want to know about what a rough week your protagonist has had (we’ll call him Jonathan). How when Jonathan was a child, he  dreamed of being a fireman or an astronaut. But boy did things take a wrong turn. Stuck in a crappy job as an insurance adjuster. He hadn’t wanted to take the position, but his father had recommended him and he had little choice. After all, his father had pretty much controlled him his entire life. A dead-end job and a crappy relationship. Although, he didn’t have to worry about that anymore. His girlfriend had dumped him. They’d been together since college, since the time they met at that party. It had been an immediate attraction. They’d begun dating and hadn’t been apart since. Until two days ago when she told him it was over. That she was seeing someone else. Oh well, they’d drifted apart. It was inevitable. Better that it happened now, instead of when they were married with kids. But, would he ever find the right person? Was there truly one soul mate out there for everyone? If so, he might never meet the person he was meant to be with. Heck, he might not survive the night. Jonathan took a deep, trembling breath and stared at the man aiming a gun at his chest.

What????? He has a gun aimed at his chest and we had to read all that prattle about his job and relationship and past? Nooo….let’s open with the guy holding the gun on him. If any of that other stuff is important, you can trickle it in later. When the situation calls for it.

Many authors, especially beginners, want readers to know everything about their characters up front. It’s not necessary. In fact, it’s boring. You want to engage readers in the here and now. If you want to briefly establish your character in their normal world before the inciting incident, that’s fine. But ‘briefly’ is the key word. And, establishing the character in their normal world is different than explaining about their childhood, letting us know how they met every character in the scene, how they got their job, how they ended up moving to their current location, what happened in the days preceding, etc.

A few examples of my openings (not that they are the BEST examples, but they are the only examples I can use without getting into trouble:)And, unfortunately, neither of them have riveting opening lines, but that’s something I can’t always pull off. Sigh…)

From Devil’s Promenade:

I peered through the snow-dusted windshield at the large house looming in the evening dusk, and an unwarranted shiver of foreboding washed over my flesh.

From behind the wheel, my driver, Rita, made a sound that was somewhere between a squeak of trepidation and a sigh of admiration. “It’s huge. And gorgeous, but kind of creepy, don’t you think?” Her eyes were big and round behind the lenses of her black cat-eye frames.

“It is indeed.” The sprawling structure was a combination of Southern plantation and Greek revival architecture; painted white and trimmed in a darker colored molding—perhaps forest green. The exact color was difficult to make out in the descending dusk. Narrow, darkened floor-to-ceiling windows peeked from between a portico of six Doric columns. Hanging by chains above the porch, a wooden board flapped in the icy wind. Spook Light Bed and Breakfast. The sign should have been welcoming, yet apprehension clawed at my heart.

Might as well get over that silliness. This would be my home for the next two weeks while I learned all I could about the Hornet Spook Light. The phenomenon, also known as the Tri-State Spook Light, Joplin Spook Light, Devil’s Jack-O-Lantern, and a few other nicknames, had supposedly been spotted multiple times over the last few centuries in this area, at the border of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas. I was here to do research for my book—The Myth of Otherworldly Occurrences. I chuckled and rolled my eyes. The only thing otherworldly about this place was its location thousands of miles from my warm, sunny home in Florida.

I gave a brief reason for her being there, but I didn’t say that her fiancé had jilted her for her sister, that she’s always wanted to be a writer, that she actually wanted to write novels, but had ended up writing non-fiction. That the flight to Oklahoma was smooth, except for the annoying man who sat next to her and talked loudly on his phone the entire time and smelled of garlic, that she didn’t have many friends, that she’d written several books already about various supposed supernatural phenomenons, that she was in the business of debunking them, what kind of childhood she had, etc, etc. Some, but not all, of those facts are sprinkled in later. Readers don’t want to know them just yet.

From Without Mercy:

China Beckett darted a glance across the bank lobby toward the front door. What were the odds she could escape undetected?

Not good, she decided. Even if she managed to slip out without being seen, her absence would be noticed. And Sophie would have an aneurysm.

Did she want to be a lousy employee or a lousy mother?

The choice was simple. She rose from her desk and headed past the teller line toward Sophie’s office.

“Everything okay?” China’s best friend, Vanessa Hanson, said from behind her desk.

This establishes China in her normal world, and in just a few pages, it explodes, almost literally. I didn’t go into detail about how she came to be a single mother, how she got the job at the bank, how long she’s been there, what she liked and didn’t like about it, how she’d met Vanessa, what had happened in the days leading up to now, etc. Again, I sprinkle that in as needed, much of it in dialogue. Which brings me to another point, you don’t have to provide details about characters’ history and/or traits in narrative. You can do that in dialogue, which readers often find more engaging. You don’t want to do it in an obvious way, unnatural way, such as, “China, you know your daughter Emma, whose father died while you were pregnant with her? Her asthma is really bad, isn’t it?”🙂  Reveal it in a more natural and logical way.

But, getting back to backstory. It’s difficult to strike the perfect balance, and I certainly don’t succeed all the time, or even most of the time. The trick is to be aware and try to only share the details that matter at that moment. Save the rest for later, if it’s needed at all.

Try this…go through your story and highlight any section that is not in real time. If your story is riddled with highlights, and if the highlights are in the early pages, you might want to trim and/or move those paragraphs around.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

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

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(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