Ron’s Lit Tip Slow Down the Writing

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09 24 2020

Welcome to Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you.

Have you rushed your story?

Perhaps you had a story bursting to be told. You sat down and started writing. You wrote and wrote. It seemed to flow from your brain to your fingers. Your imagination was on fire! And you continued to write.

Finally, it was done, and you felt ready to be published. Perhaps you asked a friend to proofread it, not for mistakes but accolades. Or perhaps you decided to read it through anticipating another surge of pleasure. Alas, that’s not how it went.

Instead your friend tried to be gentle, but she had to point out the errors, lots of errors. Over a hundred errors! Or your own reading revealed the multitude of errors. In either case you are flabbergasted, shocked beyond belief!

On top of all that your masterpiece looked disorganized, and just plain crummy.

Devastated you pick up the typed manuscript and rip it to shreds before dumping the remains into your wastebasket.

What went wrong?

You’ve made 3 Key Mistakes

1 – You rushed it! There is nothing wrong with working hard on your story, but the truth is there is preparation before you start writing. If you start writing first, just remember that chances are you will have extra work later on.

The better approach is to start asking questions about the story you want to write. Basically, they are the Who, What, When, and Where questions with a How included. Some writers do that first, some while they write, but in either case it needs to be done. Some experts suggest breaking the process into time schedules. Whatever works for you. I don’t have a time schedule like that. Years of writing have developed habits that involve both the writing and the necessary research and editing.

2- First Draft. This is where the 2nd mistake takes place. You’ve finished the book or thought you had done so, and you seek to get it published. But the truth is this is your first draft and first drafts are rarely ready to be published. You need to review, edit, and repeat. Some writers hold off until the end before reviewing and editing. I often do it more frequently, perhaps every chapter and with a final review and edit at the conclusion.

This seems time-consuming, but for me it breaks the process up and sometimes leads to a reevaluation of the entire story. Whether fiction or non-fiction you will need to have some kind of review and edit.

3 – You Quit. This is the third and worst mistake. It stems from the first two mistakes where you rushed it and got discouraged by the results. Instead of quitting you want to respond with more energy and determination to finish the story. Take a look at the first draft and identify the good parts, the fixable parts, and the wastebasket parts. Wastebasket parts are those parts that don’t have a place in your book.

When I wrote the nonfiction book Trump an Outsider’s View, I realized from the start I had to go slow. I was going to be covering a lot of material and needed to get it right the first time. So, I was forced from the beginning to do diligent research. As mentioned above, I performed the review and edit tasks as I was writing the story. So, the completed draft was not just my first draft, but my second and third drafts. But I still needed to review it.

It was hard work, under time pressure because it needed to be published before the election, and frustrating. But I believed in the project and pressed on so that by October 1st the book was already out and being marketed.

Tip: Slow down, edit, and never quit.

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For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. #Writingservices

Friday News & Comments 08 28 20

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Today’s Issue: Coverage of RNC

Welcome to Friday News & Comments.

Well, the Republican Convention is over, and the President has been re-nominated. I have no problem with the convention itself. But the coverage was poor. Now understand we watched the convention on broadcast television. We chose not to have cable TV so we pay the price.

We don’t get a good signal from PBS which carried more of the convention than other stations, so we watched it on CBS and NBC. At least CBS had Reince Priebus on its panel. As far as I could tell he was the only one with a conservative agenda, everyone else was liberal. NBC’s Chuck Todd was terrible as he, in my opinion, always reached for words or phrases that were negative or dismissive.

But, as expected, the network panelists on both stations were too busy telling us what they thought the issues are and how we should understand them. Reminds me of another TV reporter who not too long ago said it was their job to tell us what to think. No, It Is Not!

There job is to report the facts minus any personal bias. I know bias will always be there, but they should at least try.

Another situation that bugged me was that they talked too much. Instead of letting us hear what the Republicans were saying, they either never let us hear them (except for main speakers) or they interrupted the feed and began their interpretation. First ran into this on CBS. We turned to NBC and found them to be as bad or worse.

I didn’t watch the Democratic Convention, but I imagine it was the same although probably friendlier to the Democrats.

As for the conventions themselves I saw enough of both to color the DNC as dark and the RNC as light, or put another way, the DNC was pessimistic and the RNC was optimistic. Optimism is always better than pessimism, especially if the optimism is founded on facts which was true in this case. Covid-19 cases since May 31 grew by 352,587 (June), 1,926,860 (July), and 105,237 as of August 28, 2020. That indicates that August cases may have turned south. And we already know that the death rate (also known as case fatality rate and found by dividing deaths by cases) has plunged from 5.8% on May 31st to 3.09% on August 28th. Those are facts and they are positive!

While the death rate is not perfect it does give us a clearer picture, especially when over a long period of time. The above timeline covers June, July, and almost all of August for almost 13 weeks! That at least answers the problem of the delay of deaths. Instead of going higher they have continued downward.

With the trend southward of the cases I imagine we will see a bottoming out of the death rate and maybe a slight increase as the two totals draw closer. That is really positive news!

There is more reason to be optimistic than there is to be pessimistic.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle, Editor of TR Writing Services, provides help struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He also authors Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus he is co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Monday News & Comments 08 24 20

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Today’s Issue: Epicenter of Covid-19

Welcome to Monday News & Comments.

This morning I read an article that was critical of the way Florida has been handling Covid-19. To read that article you would think that Florida is the Epicenter of Covid-19 in the United States. That is not true!

What is true is that Florida cases peaked higher than New York, but the real story is in the deaths. In New York you saw body bags being stacked and stored, but in Florida there’s been nothing like that.

In SE Florida you have what we call the epicenter for Florida. It includes Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach. That area leads the nation in cases per capita. Another area is the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area. And as mentioned above Florida surpassed New York in cases per capita. This has caused experts to label Florida the new epicenter of Covid-19. But let’s take a deeper look.

Florida has had 600,571 cases and 10,462 deaths for a Death Rate of 1.74%.

New York has had 460,460 cases and 32,967 deaths for a Death Rate of 7.16%.

Again, experts keep warning us that the numbers of deaths lag the case rise. Let’s assume they are correct, after all they are the experts. But New York’s numbers of deaths to cases has been extremely high from the beginning! Remember the body bags? They were hit early and hard.

In Florida’s situation the case load has been high for awhile now. There is no doubt the case load is much higher than New York’s, but it has not been nearly as deadly. When you compare the two states by death count you discover that Florida is less than 1/3 New York’s death count (10,462 / 32,967 = 31.7%) yet Florida’s cases are much higher (600,571-460,460 = 140,111 or 30.4% higher).

I contend that while cases per capita may be helpful to the experts, it is misleading to us average folks. It creates panic. It should raise concern because even 1 death is tragic, but the truth is that Florida is considerably safer than New York. You might get sicker down here, but your chances of survival are higher.

This throwing numbers around belongs in the lab not the newspaper or local news. It creates unnecessary panic. Getting sick (and they say for young adults it’s equivalent to a bad case of flu) is not to be feared. No one wants to get sick which is a good argument for wearing masks and practicing social distancing. But the death rate is encouraging news, especially since the time span now covers almost eight months!

But broadcasting these numbers on national TV is almost criminal. It creates a problem that is bigger than the facts, creates panic, keeps businesses shut down, and makes it hard for people to return to a more normal life.

We need more responsible reporting and less finger pointing.  

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle, Editor of TR Writing Services, provides help struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He also authors Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus he is co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Want to Write?

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Want to Write?

I Can’t Write

Ever said that? If you did, you probably used one of the following excuses:

  • I don’t know how
  • I can’t afford to get help
  • I’m broke
  • I don’t have time

These are all common excuses. But let’s take a closer look.

I don’t know how

Neither did I when I first picked up a pen to write as a teenager. The simple solution is to learn to write. You can learn a lot about almost anything through books. And there are a lot of books out there that can help you. We at TR Writing Services have produced a Guide to Writing that is not available elsewhere. But you can get it free just by requesting a copy.

I Can’t afford to get help

There was a time when that was true. Back when I was a young man desiring to write, help was hard to come by. But it was available for a low monthly price. I subscribed to one until I couldn’t afford it anymore. And I did learn some basics.

But now there are people on the internet willing to help you. TR Writing Services is one such service. Our service helps people like you, even retirees.

I’m Broke

Can’t help you there if it is true. But if you tighten your budget and go without a pack of cigarettes for a while, or cut back on the drinks, or eat out less often, or a host of other actions you can afford it if you really want it.

I don’t have time

If you want to write you will make time. We humans sometimes just like to dream and don’t really intend to make an effort to achieve. Instead, make time to learn and do.

Tip of the Day: contact TR Writing Services at address below.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Don’t Quit

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Don’t Quit.

Don’t Quit!

On Friday I had 4 teeth extracted. They didn’t put me to sleep, because at my age and with my heart issues, they probably wouldn’t be able to bring me back. But the dentist did give me enough shots for my mouth that I was still feeling some numbness three days later (Sunday).

Several things happened since then. I was taking 3 Ibuprofen 3 times a day plus 1 Amoxicillin 3 times a time. On top of that and because of the medicine I slept a lot. Plus, my face looked like I got in a fight with my wife and lost. I hardly went out of the house and even had to stay home during church.

As for work, I hardly worked on my books at all and only worked on a few blogs (spread out over a few days) and put my vlog on YouTube.

But there was one thing I didn’t do; I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up on God. He’s the one Who made it possible for me to have the extractions and saw me through the ordeal.

Nor did I give up on my wife. She’s been there for me and made me proud when she went to church on her own instead of babying me. More important, I know she prays for me.

In addition, I didn’t give up on my writing career. Yes. Because my body was extremely tired, I wasn’t able to spend much time on my books. In fact, none over the weekend. But I didn’t quit.

Sometimes we just got to determine to press on. At first not as much as before but I kept on keeping on.

Tip of the Day: Don’t let health, sales, discouragement, or anything make you quit.

Get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. We will send you our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. 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.