Is it the Light at the End of the Tunnell, or an Oncoming Train? a post by R. Clint Peters

I have previously reported that I had completed the final edit of The Dakota Connection, a Ryce Dalton novel, and has started on Prerogatives, a Pendergast Brothers novel.  I am thrilled to report I am on page 125 of 230 pages and things are moving smoothly.

What am I looking for this time through?  First, contractions in dialogue.  No, I’m not trying to contract the dialogue.  I’m trying to find the ‘I am’, ‘she did not’, or ‘he would’, which should be ‘I’m’, ‘she didn’t”, or ‘he’d’.

Why?  Because one of my suggested books said most people talk in contractions.  I’ve been careful to listen, and the book is correct.  ‘I am going to the movies’ is always ‘I’m going to the movies’.

Second, I’m looking for clarity.  This is actually the third rewrite of Prerogatives, and I’ve made numerous corrections, but there’re still a few spots the reader might not understand.

Third, I’d attempting to make the characters more easily loved, or more easily hated.  Characters need character.  Characters must not look like a cardboard cutout at the local old west town, where only the head changes.  If a character has no character, there’s no reason to like them….or hate them.  Or even want to know them.

My goal is twenty-five pages a day, which will allow me to complete this edit in just over four days.   I haven’t decided where to go next.  Perhaps I will take an hour off and just nap.

If you’d like to review Prerogative, a Pendergast Brothers novel, please send me an email  (rclintpeters@gmail.com)

 

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Is The Book Reviewers and Authors Club Working, a Post from R. Clint Peters

I recently added a new page on The Book Reviewers & Authors Club website (http://thebookreviewersandauthorsclub.weebly.com) called Review Connections.  The page is a list of all club members who have submitted a review for a book written by a club author.  So far, there are nine listed authors, but I have more to add.

Why is this important?  Because it confirms the goal of the club — authors helping other authors by reviewing club members books.

Do you have a book you’d like to be reviewed?  Follow the instructions I posted earlier.  The Book Reviewers & Authors Club has no bottomless pockets to publish on the Internet.  It is all done by the club membership.  How can you help increase your exposure?

1)  Submit your book reviews (either ones you have done for other authors or ones done for your own books) to Nothing But Book Reviews (http://bookreviewsonly.wordpress.com).  Every book review is tweeted on Twitter to over 3000 followers.  Many of those followers re-tweet.

2)  Submit an authors interview questionnaire to Nothing But Authors Interviews (http://nothingbutinterviews.wordpress.com)  The questions are available on the blog site and also the website.

3)  Insure your profile on the club website (http://thebookreviewersansauthorsclub.weebly.com) is complete.  If you have only a name but little else, your potential readers won’t search for you.  Marketing 101 says the more your potential reader knows about you, the more likely that reader will choose you (if all other aspects are equal).

4)  Follow the club on Twitter (http://twitter.com/review_club) and re-tweet the club tweets.  Remember, someone may come looking for another author, but might stay to look at you.

5)  Like The Book Reviewers & Authors Club on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/ckjlhos)

As an Independent Author without a gigantic publishing house behind us, we need to use the resources we have available.  You can spend twenty minutes a day spread over ten hours, that’s two minutes each hour, and quadruple your exposure on Twitter.  Or, use those twenty minutes to write a blog about your writing experiences, your publishing experiences, your hopes and dreams.  Post the blog on The Book Reviewers & Authors Club.

In the Shawshank Redemption,  the hero, Tim Robbins, taps on a wall for ten years before he escapes.  Each tap was barely enough to create a little dust on the floor.  Just a bunch of small taps for a long time.

The life of an Indie author is also one small step followed by one more small step.  If you were guaranteed you would be a top ten author if you did x,y,z, would you do x.y.z?  Start with x — get more exposure.  I listed five small steps that will provide that exposure.  It’s time to lace up those running shoes and start the journey to being a top ten author.

 

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How to Get YOUR Book Reviewed by The Book Reviewers & Authors Club, posted by R. Clint Peters

Do you have a book that needs a review?  Have you had trouble finding someone to review your book?  You are not alone.

The Book Reviewers & Authors Club was initially formed as The Book Reviewers Club because I needed a review of one of my novels.  Eventually, I discovered there were ten million books to be reviewed but only one reviewer……. and he wanted to charge for his reviews.

The idea behind The Book Reviewers & Authors Club is simple:

Authors need their books reviewed.

Who better to review a book than another author who also needs his or her book reviewed?  

Authors can help other authors by reviewing their books and getting a review in return.

The concept is simple.  The implementation is a little more complicated.

First, Join The Book Reviewers & Authors Club.  (http://thebookreviewersclub.weebly.com)

Second, Submit an author biography, authors contact information, and information about what you have written.  (If you send an e-mail to reviewersandauthorsclub@gmail.com requesting membership application files, you will be sent .doc files with suggestions on what to include in your biography.  Remember, we are trying to sell ourselves and our product to a potential reader — the more information we provide to that reader, the better he or she will be able to make a selection of what to read.)

Third, Browse through the membership pages of the club website at http://thebookreviewersclub.weebly.com, and find an author who is writing books similar to yours (or someone you’d like to read).  They will be the most likely to be interested in reviewing your book.  Note, there are many authors who don’t have much information listed on their club profile.  If you see someone who looks interesting, ask for more information.  Also, be sure to report back to the club when you have made a reviewers connection.

Fourth, When you have decided which author you’d like to review, send them an e-mail telling them that you would like to review their novel in exchange for them reviewing yours.   If you have a PDF file available, tell them you will send the file to them.  If you have an account where you can provide a code for a free download, suggest that alternative.  I have spoken with several club members who have told me they will not review a book unless they have gotten a free copy.  They are providing a service they are not wiling to pay to provide.

When you get the book, please be willing to provide your review in a timely manner.  If you are unsure about doing a review, instructions have been provided on both the blog and the website, or you can send an e-mail to reviewersandauthorsclub@gmail.com for a .doc file of how to do a book review.

The Book Reviewers & Authors Club does not assign books to club members to review. We can’t assist you if you have problem getting someone to review your book.   The only suggestion is to keep trying.  There are presently more than one hundred authors who are members of the club.

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Has Social Media, Television, and Movies Changed the Way Novels are Written? a Post by R. Clint Peters

In my endeavors to be a better writer, I have primarily focused on understanding the three writing books suggested by my friend.  Additionally, I have been reading other authors in my genre.

As I reported in a previous post, there is a significant division in the quality of the books I have been reading.

The authors I have been reading are in the action-adventure genre, and they have been FREE.  Without going into the ratings I gave the books, from 1 to 5 stars, and the reasons I gave those ratings, I’d like to address another issue I have noticed:  the need for an author to turn his or her novel into a screenplay.

The first author I relentlessly consumed in high school was Isaac Asimov.  The second author was John D. MacDonald.  I am confident I have read everything those two put on paper.

But those books were different than the ones I am reading today.  In one of my recent reads, there was a crisis on every page, action on every two pages, and more blood, guts, gore, and dead bodies than the local cemetery could handle.

In the Travis McGee series by MacDonald, the hero was in a fight every fifty pages and there was perhaps only one dead body in the whole book.

I think the problem is social media and television.  A hit TV show must get as much action packed into 44 minutes as possible.  That concept has transferred to wiring books.  The author must pack enough action, suspense, and dead bodies in 200 pages to draw the reader in for the sequel, which is also 200 pages of action, suspense and dead bodies.

I saw a recent comment by an author who was lamenting the length of his novel.  He’d stopped at 194 pages, but thought he could have gone to 300 or more.

I read somewhere that the “perfect ” novel was between 75,000 and 100,000 words.  At the moment, Prerogatives (my almost ready to declare finished book), is at 99,446 words.  I am confident the book will increase in word count.  I am at page 37 of 230 pages in my editing and I tend to add a couple paragraphs every page.

However, I didn’t write this novel to be used as a segment on NCIS (although Mark Harmon would do well as one of my heroes.)  Prerogatives won’t make a good NCIS or Blue Bloods.  There are crises in the book, and a little blood and gore, but not on every page.  Not even on every other page.  There is intrigue, action, adventure, and a dead body, but CSI is not looking for me.

When I took a good look at the books I read that were all action, I discovered I had no affiliation with the characters.  They were just flat cardboard cutouts.  The action was what drove the book.  And it didn’t drive it very far.

I think that social media (the requirement to provide a thought in 140 characters), television (cram enough action into 44 minutes to keep the sponsors paying for the show), and movies (again, cram the action into the movie to keep the audience coming back for more blood and guts) has removed the thoughtful author from the word processor, and has replaced him or her with an ad manager with a list of the thirty items which must be packed into the 44 minutes of fame the author is looking for.

I have read perhaps twenty five books in the last three months.  No one was approaching the qualities of an Isaac Asimov or a John D. MacDonald.  Based on my friends evaluation, I might not yet know how to be a good author, but I know what I like to read.  And some of what I have been reading might only be good for lighting a campfire.

 

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A Grateful Thanks to My Reviewers, a Post by R. Clint Peters

I recently posted on this blog that my publisher had sent me an email, telling me The Alberta Connection, a Ryce Dalton novel, had received 82 reviews.  Since I received the email, the number has risen to 87.

Unlike many review sites, my reviews were not limited to only4 stars or above.  I had a bunch of lesser star reviews.  I’d like to extend a grateful thanks to all those who gave me those reviews.

The Alberta Connection was started in 2011.  The final revision is listed as 1-6-2013.  That’s almost a complete lifetime ago.  In book years, it might be five or six lifetimes ago.

As I perused some of the 1 and 2 star reviews, I found myself agreeing with the reviewer.  Yes, you can only say “she said” a few times before we just don’t want to know what “she said”.  And, my happy heroes chuckled a little too much for several of my reviewers.   I even discovered a reviewer who didn’t like detail.

And I agree completely.  The low reviews are the result of bad writing, or maybe just not so good writing.

I’d like to thank those reviewers once more for giving me low reviews.  And, I’d like to thank my friend who told me I just didn’t know how to write.  She was the one who suggested I learn to be an author.  Three of the books I have used include:

Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Jesep Novakovich;  Characters, Viewpoint, and Emotion by Nancy Kress; and The Technique of Fiction Writing by Robert Saunders Dowst.  I am sure there are more, but those are the ones on my Kindle reader.

A day or so ago, I received an email telling me a book with 250 5-star reviews was available on Amazon.  I’m really sorry I trashed that email.  I’m tempted to check out the book and see how many not 5-star reviews it got.  If you’re curious, The Alberta Connection got 26 5-star reviews and 18 4-star reviews.

I could be depressed that only half of the total number of reviews were 4-stars or better.  But, The Alberta Connection was written a year ago, before my friend suggested I learn to write.  My publisher has Pegasus Rising, a Nixon French novel, listed on Amazon, and I have submitted two other books, Operation Second Cousins and The Dakota Connection, for publication.  Hopefully, reviews of these new books will result in fewer problems with “she said” and details.

Again, thanks to all reviewers, mine or anyone elses.  You are the reason most writers take the time to learn the trade, learn how to be an author.  You are helping me become better.  Thanks.

 

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L.M. Cornelison, Author of “Through the Cotton Blooms”, has Joined The Book Reviewers & Authors Club

L.M. Cornelison, Author of “Through the Cotton Blooms”, has joined The Book Reviewers & Authors Club.  Check out her bio at http://thebookreviewersclub.weebly.com.  A short synopsis of Through the Cotton Blooms is available to read.

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A News Flash from Nina Norstrom

News Flash
Well, I’ve discovered the baby (my book) delivery date has been pushed out. And that’s a good thing. I still have quite a bit of work to do with editing, proofreading, copy editing and translating. Expectancy year will be in 2015 versus 2014.

Noticias Flash
Bueno, he descubierto que la fecha de entrega del bebé (mi libro) ha sido empujada hacia fuera. Y eso es algo bueno. Todavía tengo mucho trabajo que hacer con la edición, revisión, corrección y traducción. Esperanza año será en el 2015 frente a 2014.

Email: ninorstrom55@hotmail.com
Website: http://ninorstrom55.wordpress.com

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