Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Researching the Net

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday’s Tip: Researching the Net

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:Researching the Net.

What is Researching the Net?

That’s a term referring to the idea of searching for information on the internet. Almost everyone does it, but are they doing it right.

Let’s look at the pitfalls first.

Unfortunately, there are a great many pitfalls on the net that you need to be aware of. One of the biggest is ‘fake news’.

There is fake news on both sides of the political landscape. However most of it is on the left side. Still, you need to be aware that there is fake news no matter your political persuasion. It used to be that you could you one of the many ‘fact checkers’ to verify facts. I’ve done that in the past.

But these days you have to be careful even of fact checkers. Why? Because so many of them try to hide their true bias behind words like non-partisan or neutral or something like that. The truth is that everyone has a bias. Knowing the bias of the person who is rendering an opinion on something is helpful to you. It enables you to evaluate their opinion.

Follow the old adage that says, ‘follow the money’. Another tool is to examine their record, which way do they usually lean?

Does that mean not to use fact checkers? No. It means know and understand where they are coming from, then consider their opinions.

What about Scams?

Another pitfall is the abundance of scam artists. They create URLs that look real but may just be a scam. Or worse, they could be Trojan horses. So be careful.

Your best bet is to use websites that you know are reliable. If you must use a website that you don’t really know, compare the information with other reliable resources.

How do you find Reliable Resources?

Chances are you already know a few resources that you believe are reliable. That’s a good place to begin.

But assuming you have none to begin with you will need to grow a library of reliable resources. When I first started writing I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t trust on the internet. But I did have reference books that I trusted. Since my books related to the Bible, I also had trustworthy Bible Commentaries. That is where I started. I compared the trusted material that I had with the material I found through Google Search. Over time I built a record of trusted sites.

So, what is Researching the Net?

Basically, it is using Google or some other search engine to search for information. Novels are fiction, but you want them to be based on as much fact as possible. This is true in writing novels based on history (Biblical or secular) and Speculative (or Science Fiction). That’s right, speculative fiction deals with the future, yet to be believable they need facts (like the latest in scientific discoveries). When writing about current events you also need facts.

In other words, research is virtually always needed.

Additional Advice.

What I have found to be helpful is that when I find an article or webpage that is loaded with information it is best to use the Select All command and copy everything to a Word page. Later I can highlight the relevant material and maybe discover more than I was searching for in the first place. That way I always have information available on my computer that I can look up whenever needed.

Searching the internet is one of the easier things you can do. Just be careful.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Friday News : Use Your Life Experiences

FeaturedFriday News : Use Your Life Experiences

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:Use Your Life Experiences.

Have you ever heard the statement, Everyone has a book within them? Generally speaking that statement refers to the fact that we all have experiences of one sort or another. We are the expert on those experiences and thereby can write about them with authority!

Let’s Take It Another Step

Why stop at writing a single book. I don’t know you but I will say this with some confidence: You have a plethora of experiences! (How’d you like that big word plethora. It simply means ‘a lot’.)

When writing a book of any type (fiction or nonfiction) you often bring your own experiences to bear, sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously. What I am talking about today is to intentionally and consciously use your experiences.

I write speculative fiction which involves space travel, planets, and plenty of scientific marvels. Yet I’ve never been on a spaceship, nor been to another planet, nor have a science degree. So how can that be using my experiences?

Because I’m writing about human beings.

One thing about humans is that our experiences can take place within a great number of circumstances. Our experience may be in dealing with a difficult problem, with difficult people, or dealing with success.

When I write I try to become the character I am writing about. But I still retain my own identity and experiences. And I sometimes add those experiences to the character’s experience. Having done that, I now have a shared experience although in different situations. This enables me to not only connect with the character but to influence the character’s reaction to the experience.

I also write Bible based novels, historical novels. Again, my experiences are not exactly like the historical figure’s experience, but I can add my experience or at least dive into that character’s experience. Again, this enables me to bring out the character’s response in a more meaningful way.

It gives me a chance to explore the character deeper, developing his or her attitudes, personalities, and much more. And it gives the reader a chance to relate more to the character.

That sounds hard.

At first it is hard. But it is as they say, practice makes perfect. The more you involve yourself into your story the more natural it will be. The key is that when writing, especially writing fiction, don’t be afraid of involving yourself.

Another way of understanding this is to ‘become the character’. Immerse yourself into him or her. And it doesn’t have to be one character. In the beginning, you will probably focus only on the primary character. But as your confidence grows you might consider expanding to other supporting characters.

Just remember that the primary character should be the one that you develop to the highest degree. That’s the one who should dominate and, therefore, the one you identify with the most.

Here’s an experiment.

Take one of your favorite books and read it again. Then take your favorite character in the book and write down the things you know about him or her. Chances are you will see a lot of things about that character or the experiences that character lives through that you identify with. That is not an accident. I believe the author either intentionally or unintentionally lent his or her own experiences to the character thereby creating a character you could relate too.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Friday News : A New Business Website

FeaturedFriday News : A New Business Website

Welcome to Friday News. Every Friday I share news with you; primarily about writing and sometimes about life in general. This week it is about:A New Business Website.

Today is a big day for T & R Independent Books. For years (since 2014) our website has been attached to Godaddy hosting. It has been a good relationship, but the time for change has come.

Why the Change?

Good question, considering my statement above. There are several reasons why I made the change, but first let me tell you what didn’t occur.

It Wasn’t Godaddy’s fault!

Like I said it has been a good relationship. However, they recently made a change in their hosting software. Previously they’d made a change and I’ve been learning to make maximum use of the new formats.

It is obviously powerful, but it is requiring more learning time than I currently have available due to family health issues and more. Now they’ve made another change which may or may not involve additional learning. And they did increase the cost slightly.

I Want a Tighter Fit.

Currently I am active on the website, with my blog (R Frederick Riddle Blog), Facebook, and other social media. While Godaddy’s websites do allow for a blog, my blog is already on WordPress. And it is doing fine.

Instead of having a potential viewer who first lands on the website have to go to my blog tab, click on that and be linked to my blog, the blog will now be a click away from the website. That’s a plus for my readers. In other words, it is a tighter fit!

A Slight Discomfort.

While I’m high on Godaddy and recommend it to everyone, I did have some discomfort with the appearance of my website. As I was still in the learning stage of their system, I may not have used all the tools available properly. In any case, I just wasn’t comfortable with the look and feel of the site.

The Timing Was Right.

As the person responsible for the IT Management and the Company Finances I always look for ways of cutting costs. By making the switch from Godaddy hosting to WordPress hosting I saved money. That is always a big plus!

But the timing was also right because of our recent addition of TR Writing Services. With the switch I have been able to create a more in-depth view of this business enabling viewers to get a better view of it. Since we are upfront in our literature about pricing I wanted potential customers to see what we do and the cost of what we offer!

I don’t know about you, but I hate to visit a website or landing page and have to scroll to the last page to find out the cost. My time is too valuable to read the entire pitch only to discover I don’t like the price. We are upfront.

I’ve also been to websites that tell you a great deal about their products and services but require you to contact them to discover the price. I’m sure they believe that every customer is unique, but there are better ways to present your work than requiring you to contact them. Our Writing Service presents a Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plan. And I believe our costs are lower than the norm. We are proud of that and want you to know.

It is possible I could have accomplished that using Godaddy, but I accomplished that goal within a single day using the WordPress site.

How Do We Access It?

If you are currently on the blog (since you’re reading this that is probably correct), then you’ll notice a “MENU” on the upper right corner of the header. Click on there and the menu will open revealing the TR Independent Books menu. Click on whatever menu item you want.

That’s it! Simple, right?

If you are elsewhere and want to go directly to TR Independent Books, there are two ways you can go. The first is to go to the old site (tr-indbkstore.com) and be redirected to the new site. The second is simply go to https://rfrederickriddleblog.com/tr-independent-books/.

Will this change affect the costs of your service?

No. Your costs remain the same. As noted above we keep our pricing low. Our most expensive service costs less than $900 (see TR Writing Service for You). That is the Platinum which includes the e-book service.

What do I do if interested in your service?

You follow directions below:

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

I Need Your Help!

I Need Your Help!

For a variety of reasons I have begun working on a new website for our T & R Independent Books. The current website is located at tr-indbkstore.com. It has served us for awhile now.

The new site is right here at rfrederickriddleblog.com. I have been working on it and would like to know your opinion.

The purpose of this effort is a general feeling of discomfort with the current site, plus a desire to cut costs. Using WordPress as the home for my blog and my website brings everything under one roof.

Please give me your comments.

Thanks for your help. I am going to go with WordPress.

Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Consistent Characters

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday Tip: Consistent Characters

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday Tips. Every Tuesday I share writing tips with you. Usually it is about writing, publishing, or marketing. Occasionally it is on other matters. This week it is about:Consistent Characters.

Years ago, when I was getting reviews for a novel I’d written one young man decided he wanted to review it. He indicated he was a Christian and interested in Christian fiction. I sent him a copy of the book and he later wrote a negative review. As a general rule, a writer should never challenge a reviewer. And I didn’t, but I sure wanted to do so!

Why? Because it was negative?

No, because of the following.

This young man didn’t really read the book. Instead he skipped his way partway through it and then never finished the book. Yet, he took it upon himself to write a negative review after first admitting he never read it through.

What caused the negative report?

Before answering that let me tell you about the book. It was a novel based on Biblical events in the Book of Genesis. Many of the characters had the same name. For example, there was Enoch and Enoch. The first Enoch was a son of Cain; the second Enoch was a prophet who walked with God and was translated. There were other same-named people.

Because the reviewer skipped through the story he arrived at sections where for example it talked of Enoch walking with God while earlier had shown Cain’s son Enoch badly. He assumed it was the same person when in fact they were two different persons.

As a commonsense rule it is good to avoid characters having the same name, but when dealing with historical figures that is not always possible. I did my best to clarify who was who but I never imagined a reviewer, let alone a reader, skipping through the book.

Sometime later this person wanted to review another of my books. I had to reject him and I told him why. He apologized, but I didn’t trust him to do an honest review.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that this reviewer perceived inconsistencies in the characters of my story. And his complaint would have been correct if it was one character and not two characters. The personalities of the two Enoch’s were completely different!

A greater point is that if you are writing a novel, always try to keep your characters separate and unique. They are allowed to change, but the reader needs to observe the change, especially if the character’s nature changes from bad to good, or good to bad!

Sudden changes are like thunderbolts. They jar the reader. Now if that’s your intent they go with it. Most likely it wasn’t your intent.

How do I avoid clashes?

It’s not that hard. If you have two or more characters with the same name you can always change the name of one or the other. If they are historical, then you need to provide some kind of characteristic that identifies one of them. For example, one could stutter. When dealing with historical figures your liberty isn’t as strong as with fictional. But you can still differentiate using clothing, speech, habits, or some other unique characteristic to separate one character from the other. The differences can be multiple or just one.

But Characters are not the only places for consistency.

For instance, let’s say that your story surrounds a person who lives in a tent. It suddenly changes to a home and later on in the story changes back to a tent. All without explanation. This is another jolt to your reader’s experience.

How about conversation? If you are not careful it is possible to have the wrong person saying the wrong things. This, by the way, is a strong argument for edits by you or someone else. Conversational inconsistencies are also harder to pick up. I doubt that any software can pick up verbal inconsistencies. This requires actual reading of the text.

How bad can inconsistencies be?

I related above about a negative review simply because a careless reviewer thought there were inconsistencies. That negative review didn’t really hurt me, but it could have. If the inconsistencies were real just think of the impact that man’s review would have had. And it is possible that those people who followed him may have reacted by not buying my book.

In conclusion.

Do your edits! Whether you personally edit or hire a professional editor, editing must be done! That’s the only way you can illuminate potential problems that can turn readers away.

For information on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We have a Free booklet telling you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), Black Death (Book Four), or Rise of I.C.E.S. (Book Five), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or Epub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition, he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.