WRITING A NOVEL? PART 5

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 5

BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, SWEAT . . . EDITING Editing, blech! You’ve finished your novel? If so, you know only too well the blood, toil, and tears needed to reach the finish line. That’s the time to put our feet up, pour a glass, sit back, and smile. That’s when the plot bunny on the shoulder whispers the dreaded word . . . “edit.” Editing . . . Blech! Editing is the sweaty part of fictioneering, be it short story or novel. I’m the first to admit to the perils of rushing to print, relying on MS word to correct my…

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WRITING A NOVEL? PART 4

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 4

Ready, Fire, Aim: Getting it wrong When I asked someone in a writing group what her story was about, she said she didn’t know. Said, “I simply start writing. Eventually, I find out the direction the story is taking.” Huh? I think that’s wrong. What about you? Do you know what your story’s about? Have you ever started a road trip, route planned, map ready, car fueled, only to find a detour along the way? What if we never make it to the destination? I’ve had some happy memories visiting unplanned places. But to the best of my knowledge, I’ve…

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WRITING A NOVEL? Part 3

WRITING A NOVEL? Part 3

If you read part one, aren’t intimidated by the sheer volume of competition, and still writing, congratulations. Telling stories is what writers do. Set aside dreams of fame and fortune. Those are byproducts for the lucky few. They’re lucky because they kept writing, improving, writing, improving, writing . . . Well, you get my drift. Part two was the starting point. “I never metaphor I didn’t like,” said Mardy Grothe. I agree. So, here’s mine for today. Writing is like swimming naked in a crowded pool. It takes madness or courage to strip naked like that. Yet, writers do that…

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WRITING A NOVEL? PART 2

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 2

Part Two in the series. In part one, I wrote about the million books that will be published in 2018, seven-hundred and fifty thousand of them self-published. The bad news? Competition, going up against the sheer volume of new novels. The good news? We can get a slim toe-hold in the marketplace. There are three things we can do: have a good story, have a worthy cover, and make sure the interior supports your work. This part of the series is about step one in getting the story right. We’re told to follow the rules. After all, writers spend years…

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WRITING A NOVEL? DO THE MATH

WRITING A NOVEL? DO THE MATH

Part one in a series One million books will be published next year in the U.S. Seven hundred and fifty thousand will be self-published. The average length of a novel is estimated to be 60,000 and 70,000. I decided to thread the needle and use 65K, coming up with 48,750,000,000 words self-published each year. That’s 48 in billions. My 89,342 words face a daunting challenge. Who wants to be a writer? Justine Goldberg, writing in Publishing Perspectives, claims 200 million Americans say they want to publish a book. Wow. Talk about competition. I sometimes feel like Forrest Gump when he…

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Ready, Fire and then Aim? Huh?

Is it even possible to break through the algorithm barrier and make your book discoverable? I’m still on a learning curve, but I wanted to share something you don’t want to do, fire without aiming. Ready? Writer’s write, it’s what we love doing. Editing is sweaty, the part most writers would like to skip. Fire? That’s rushing a book into print without a marketing plan. Aim? What happens if we are ready and fire before we aim? What’s wrong with that order? Book marketing strategy begins by asking your inner writer a simple question.  Why do you write?  What feeds…

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EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342

EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 By Chuck Waldron   FAKE? IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE, RIGHT?       Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see all those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “At the fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ   Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming, woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate, keeping the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning,…

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TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN WORD

With military-straight backs, guardians of words march back and forth at the tomb of the unknown word. You may have seen it, the tomb that is, not the unknown word. It may be hard to locate . In an area rarely visited, the tomb stands at the gate of a graveyard where words go to die. Words are like people. Words are born, live productive middle years (if they survive adolescence), and fade away in the last chapter of their life. On life support, words are sometimes rescued by crossword puzzles and other word games. In their dotage, however, they…

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A GOOD WRITING/WINE PAIRING

Wine Paring for writers?Countless times, Authors are asked what wine makes an excellent pairing with writing. After all, a master of the craft, Ernest Hemingway, said to write drunk and edit sober. Okay, writing and wine is a pairing rarely explored. So, let’s start. Some robust reds pair well while writing action. I suggest one of Italian Big B wines, Barolo, Brunello & Barbaresco. The flavors of the juicy ripe black and red fruit blended with savory herbs are complex, just what we want in an action scene. A problem for many struggling writers is cost. The Big B wines…

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TERROR, TREPIDATION, TURMOIL, TURBULENCE, TORONTO

Shameless alliteration, I know. Those aren’t words often associated with the setting for The CleanSweep Conspiracy I could never wish harm to the city, but my devious side led me to write a story where Toronto felt terror, trepidation, turmoil, and turbulence. Bombs explode. Rioting becomes commonplace, and something like martial law is implemented. It gets worse when a ruthless billionaire intends to shape a city to his viewpoint.   In my story, ordinary people try to make things right again. Matt Tremain is a blogger wondering if anyone even notices. Carling is a career cop who avoids headlines. A…

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