If you like dark fantasy, then Shattered Kingdom by Angelina Steffort, and possibly the whole Shattered Kingdom Series is a good one for you. Watch the video below for my run down on what you'll find inside the novel. Authors may learn something from my examination of the plot devices Angelina Steffort has used by to create this engaging novel. https://youtu.be/O-1SlR448q8 Find out more & purchase the book here: https://geni.us/1AFpzBG Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay … [Read more...]
5 Mistakes in Writing Backstory or Delivering Information in Fiction
Information dump Writing backstory into a novel or delivering information in an effective way can be challenging. Backstory refers to events that happened in the past, and information is anything the reader needs to know in order to understand the story. If you don’t study how best to include information and backstories into your novel, you’re likely to fall into one of the following mistakes. 1. Too much information Generally, the reader needs less information than you think they do. So go through the information you have about characters, events and the world in which the events take place and cut out anything that doesn’t directly impact on the present story. You’d be surprised at how much information will come out simply as part of writing scenes. Writing backstory in may not be necessary at all. If no event is linked to a piece of information, then you don’t need to include that information. In terms of the story, it’s irrelevant. Character backstory The author … [Read more...]
Book Review: ‘These Tangled Vines’ by Julianne MacLean
Julianne Maclean is known as a romance writer, but this book could just as well be called literary fiction with a love story included or perhaps literary romance. Watch the video to get the full picture. And don't forget to like the video on YouTube - it helps get it seen. https://youtu.be/Eb1XJAWMUm0 Click for more info & purchase … [Read more...]
8 Steps to Answering the Question, Is My Book Any Good?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay After writing 10 books myself and helping countless authors to do the same, I realise that at some point all authors ask Is my book any good? That's the point at which most authors come to me for a manuscript appraisal, but there is another way you can get a good idea of whether your book is 'any good'. When we evaluate 'good' in this context, we usually think in terms of how our book matches up to similar books. We're wondering, Is our book as good as the others out there? Here's a way to find out in 8 steps. Step 1: Take a break and read Take a break from working on your novel of at least 3 weeks (the longer the better) and read at least 3 quality books from the same genre. Choose competition winners and best sellers, books with thousands of reviews and no more than 2% of them 1 star. You're going to examine these books so you can compare yours to them. It's important that you get a feel for the quality of the prose and tightness … [Read more...]
Science Fiction Book Review: The Enigma Cube by Douglas E. Richards
In this science fiction book review video, I talk about The Enigma Cube, the first book in Douglas E. Richards Alien Artifact Series. I also talk about the author's writing style in general - what he does well and what he could improve on. Have you read any of Douglas E. Richard's science fiction? His near-future science fiction books are best sellers, so a lot of people love them, and I tell you why, but they're not without flaws. Watch my book review of The Enigma Cube to find out what the debate is and consider whether, for you, the pros outweight the cons. I must admit that when reading for pleasure, for me a strong voice and a great story can make flaws forgivable. As an editor, though, I'd be guiding this author to fix these flaws, and the books would then be lifted into the realm of true genius. What do you think? Watch my science fiction book review and in the comments below tell me if the pros might outweigh the cons for you, https://youtu.be/kMBfg98Y1Sk Pick up … [Read more...]
Do We Put a Comma Before ‘Too’ or ‘Either’ at the End of a Sentence?
Do you put a comma before 'too' or 'either' at the end of a sentence? We used to, but language and how we use it changes over time, and the conventions we use to help us express meaning clearly eventually change in order to reflect this. Those of us involved in publishing need to update the way we do things when the style guides we follow change. Can't we make our own punctuation convention style? Can we make our own style for our book, and just punctuate and capitalise and use grammar in any way we feel works for us? No, we can't. Well, we can, but the book will be seen as poor quality, the author as an amateur hack, and no editor would put their name to such a book. The reason being that the conventions we follow are there to help readers understand what the author is saying. Make up your own conventions and - besides having your ignorance on display for the world - you run the risk of confusing readers. Good writing is writing that conveys the author's meaning clearly … [Read more...]
Kindle Unlimited Review: ‘The Secrets of Lost Stones’ by Melissa Payne
This Kindle Unlimited review is of 'The Secrets of Lost Stones' by Melissa Payne, a moving and engaging literary fiction book. It's described as 'A soul-stirring novel about the bonds between mother and child and the redemption that comes with facing the past and letting it go', and I agree that it's exactly that. It's just one of the great indie books that you can get on Kindle Unlimited. If you're a devourer of books like me, then KU is a good option. I find it hard to find Kindle Unlimited Reviews, however, which is why I'm reviewing books on Kindle Unlimited here. It's good to know that a book you're hearing about can be got as part of your subscription. Book description Thirty-two-year-old Jess Abbot has lost everything: her job, her apartment, and—most heart-wrenching—her eight-year-old son, Chance, to a tragic accident. Haunted by memories and grief, Jess packs what’s left and heads for the small mountain town of Pine Lake, where she takes a position as caregiver to an … [Read more...]
Am I the Best Editor for You?
I wrote a post about how to find the best editor for your book, and that still stands as a good guide, so I won't repeat it here. This post is just to show you the me I am now, because I look a bit different to when I last did a video introduction to myself and put it on the front page of this website. It's shorter than the old video, not even 2 minutes. What hasn't changed is my passion for my job. I love it, and you can be sure that if I agree to edit your book, I'll be passionate about making it the best it can be. Anyway, here's the little video. I did it so that potential clients could see and hear me - so they can see what a lovely person I am. (Smile!) https://youtu.be/-fsBOZqGItM What did you think of the video? Would you trust this person to edit your book? … [Read more...]
Literary Fiction Book Review: It All Comes Back to You’ by Beth Duke
Of this book Dan Brown said, "It All Comes Back to You is one of those stories you need to savor. You want to put the book down so as to have more to read tomorrow, but you can't. It becomes attached to you, a part of you."I agree with him. Alabama, 1947.War's over, cherry-print dresses, parking above the city lights, swing dancing.Beautiful, seventeen-year-old Violet lives in a perfect world.Everybody loves her.In 2012, she's still beautiful, charming, and surrounded by admirers. Listen to my video review, or read the subtitles. https://youtu.be/d4t1uoPCZ0c Buy Now Book Description Veronica "Ronni" Johnson, licensed practical nurse and aspiring writer, meets the captivating Violet in the assisted living facility where Violet requires no assistance, just lots of male attention. When she dies, she leaves Ronni a very generous bequest―only if Ronni completes a book about her life within one year. As she's drawn into the world of young Violet, Ronni is … [Read more...]
Writing Good Dialogue – Use Subtext
The most important thing for writing good dialogue is to make it sound natural, and reading it aloud is the way to find out if what you've written sounds natural or not. But really clever dialogue, dialogue that speaks far more than the words and that deepens the characters, uses subtext. This post follows on from 4 tips for writing dialogue. Subtext in dialogue People don’t actually say everything they think. In dialogue, less is often more, and is usually more realistic. If you want the reader to know what a character is feeling, you can write the character’s thoughts as thoughts, if you’re in their POV—they don’t have to express them to the other character. Of course, if you’re not in the POV of the character whose thoughts you want to communicate, then you don’t have the option of writing out their inner thoughts; but in either situation, you can use their expressions, actions and gestures to communicate how they ‘really’ feel about the conversation. I say ‘how … [Read more...]
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