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Reviewing Books

The Riddle Report 06 14 2021

You are an author, and you want to get your book reviewed. Have you ever considered reviewing other authors’ works? If you have the skill to write a book it is possible you may have the skill to review a book. That said, there are a few sand traps to avoid.

I said that if have the skill to write you may have the skill to review. But that is not always the truth. In writing a book you make a commitment to yourself, but in reviewing a book you are making a commitment to someone else. And that entails a sense of truthfulness and transparency.

Let me tell you a story as an example. I’ve actually told this story before so excuse me if you’ve heard it before. Back when I wrote Perished The World That Was, I sought Christian Fiction reviewers. And that proved to be a good mood as I received four- and five-star reviews!

But one reviewer gave me two stars and it is his story I am relating. He was a young man who I later determined was a teenager at that time. He professed he was a Christian and loved the Bible. Because my novel was based on world history as found in Genesis, I accepted him and sent him a copy.

After a few weeks I received his review where he gave the book only two stars. Now normally I would not be bothered by this low score. Why? Because you can’t please everyone. However, in this case he was honest enough to relate why he gave only two stars.

And early on the review showed that he didn’t follow the unwritten rules. What are these? Here are what I believe they are:

  1. You are committed to reading the entire book.
  2. You are committed not to skip.
  3. You are committed to finishing the book reading.
  4. You are committed an honest review.
  5. You are committed to being as transparent as possible.

This young man objected to the scene where Eve was created although the wording of that scene used similar descriptions as found in Genesis and in the Song of Solomon. This may have triggered his following actions:

  1. He began skipping through the novel.
  2. He came across characters who had the same name (these were real people taken straight from the Bible).
  3. He assumed that these all represented the same person.
  4. He eventually quit reading the novel.

As a result, he was confused and decided that I was inconsistent with the characters. That would have been a serious error on my part if true, but the error was his. For example, in the Bible and in my novel, there were two Enoch’s. Because he thought both were the same man, he assumed I had been inconsistent in their character.

His skipping around also disrupted any continuity he would have gotten by reading the entire novel. When you make a commitment to review somebody’s book you follow through. You don’t let your feelings stop you!

Honesty demands that you take the time to read the book in its entirety. I am currently reviewing a book and sometimes I come across language I object to. Honesty says I continue on. I can later point out these problems, but I’ve made a commitment to review the book, so I continue in my review.

His reactions convinced me that he was not fluent in the Bible. Later in his life I think he was better, but I don’t believe I ever used him again. I simply didn’t know if I could trust him.

More about this issue on the other side of this break.

TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

 TR-WritingServices.com is a service dedicated to help authors reach their potential as independent writers. Knowing the world you live and work in is essential to being a good writer, thus the need for the free flow of information.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at markting@tr-indbkstore.com. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing plus a brochure detailing our plans. We won’t ask for your credit card or any money, but we will send you these items for free.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Should I Review Books?

The only person who can answer that is you. Ask yourself some questions, such as: Do I like to read? Am I willing to take the time to read the book? Can I give an honest review?

If you can respond “yes” to these questions, then try it out. In the end, you might throw up your hands in defeat or you may discover that you enjoy it. And if you do, you may gain a following.

As a reviewer you will want to use some of your editing skills. It is not your responsibility to do actually editing, but those skills will help you find areas where the author made mistakes and you can let him or her know of their errors in your review. It is important to remember that the author is relying on you to provide a review to help in marketing, but also help in writing.

As a reviewer you watch grammar, spelling, readability, consistency, and accuracy. For example, if you are reading historical fiction is the book historically accurate? Does the speech or manner of dress fit the period? Questions like these will help you in evaluating the story.

Finally, remember that in effect you are critiquing and promoting the book. Your words are directed at the author so he or she can improve, and, at the same time, your words are directed at potential readers, to encourage or discourage them about buying.

If you are new to reviewing, you might want to stick to the same genre you write in or genre you like to read. It could be just what you need.

If you are reading this blog or listening to this podcast, it is being brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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What Are Six Steps to Writing?

The Riddle Report 04 20 2021

This blog is written to help new authors or those contemplating the idea of writing a book.

If you are thinking about whether to write a book or not, don’t be afraid to step out. While there are thousands of writers out there, there is no one quite like you. And we need to see your work.

What follows are six steps to help you get started. These are not in-depth, and they are not all that difficult. But I believe that you should take them to heart.

#1 – The Concept

The Basics of the Story

A story has to start somewhere and that is usually in the mind of the author. Perhaps it is a childhood memory, college years, military service, or simply a job. All of these are potential sources of plots.

You may only know a ‘what if?’ concept or perhaps a specific event in your own life that has triggered an idea for a story. While I am primarily talking about a fictional story, you could also want to write a nonfiction account of your experience.

#2 – The Research

Beginning Research

I call it Beginning Research because research is something you will need to do a lot of throughout your writing. But here you are performing some basic research to get you off on the right foot.

Some of the research you will do is as follows:

  • What is the uniqueness of the subject?
  • Has someone else already written on the subject?
  • What genres will it be in?
  • Is it fictional or nonfiction?

You get the idea. These are areas that you should consider, and you will probably come up with other areas. And none of the above will probably ever get in your book. But they will help you formulate your ideas.

Other areas of research may cover location of the story (i.e., Florida, Maine, etc.), type of industry in area, manner of speech and dress in the area, and so forth. The answers to these questions will have a direct impact upon your story.

In short, research is a valuable tool that you can use to help you throughout writing your book and, indeed, throughout your writing career.

#3 – First Draft

Your initial Work

New authors often fall in love with their first drafts because they poured their hearts into it. But you should always consider the first draft as a rough draft not meant for publication. No matter how much effort you put in this first draft it is going to require work.

I have never met an author who wrote a first draft and successfully published it. Someone out there may claim they have done so, but I can almost guarantee you that the draft is full of errors.

#4 – Review and Edit

Edit or not?

Some writers don’t edit until they have finished the first draft, others like to edit every page. Neither approach is wrong. But I would suggest that making use of your built-in grammar checker can be a help. But it is critical to remember that the grammar checker does not know whether you are writing an academic paper, which requires very stringent grammar, or a novel, which is not that stringent.

The other thing to remember about grammar programs is that they know the rules, but those rules are aimed at the academic level. Plus, the program does not know you are writing a novel, does not know your plot, does not know the education level of your characters, and so forth. So, use the grammar checker as a tool and interpret its concerns accordingly.

That said, I recommend that you strike a balance between constant editing and waiting until the end. Edit is necessary, but too much of a good thing can disrupt your flow of thoughts. In this first draft your story’s development is the most important thing going on. And when you finish your first draft you will find it necessary to go back over the entire book and check out your spelling, grammar, and other issues that may pop up. You find these issues by reading your draft. It is called reviewing.

What you are doing for each draft is reviewing and editing. And it may take several drafts before your book is ready to be published.

#5 – Get Help

Professional Help

After you have finished the first draft and done your review & edit, you can then write your next draft. But after you third or fourth or fifth draft you may realize that you need help.

The temptation is too do it all by yourself. And the hard truth is that even your very best authors don’t publish error free books. I know, I’ve read some of the best and still found errors. Sometimes minor and sometimes major. When you are talking about thousands of words, the likelihood of errors increases even when you use professional help.

But you don’t necessarily need professional help. Consider relatives or friends. But make sure they understand that you need honest reviews. It is not helpful if they tell you what they think you want to hear. What you need are another pair of eyes.

Even so, if you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to do that because if someone helps you out like that you should do something for them. If you are on a tight budget you may have to do it yourself, in which case, I would suggest that you take a breather after finishing a draft and do something else. Then go back and reread your story. You might consider reading with a view for spelling errors, such as ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. Then, reread the story and look at the grammar.

But if you go the do-it-yourself-approach, remember that you are the author and know what you think you wrote. Your mind might trick your eyes into seeing the words that you thought you wrote instead of the words you really wrote.

More about this issue on the other side of this break. TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to help you be your absolute best as a writer.

The problems associated with self-editing are why there are professional editors out there. We exist to help you prepare your book for publishing. We read your book thoroughly looking for errors in grammar, spelling, etc. Then we work with you to improve the story.

In fact, if we are doing the editing, we do so with your story in mind. And not only your story, but your writing style. It is unique to you and we believe it should be preserved. So, we edit and proof the book, then we make sure you are happy with the results. Only when you are happy, and it meets the requirements of KDP is the book published.

And you haven’t spent a fortune to have it done.

Now back to the article.

#6 – Getting Published

Kindle Direct Publishing

At TR Writing Services we use KDP because they:

  • Allow the author to have total control except for a few technical issues
  • Allow you to determine your royalties, which range from 35% to 70%
  • Pay directly to an account you indicate
  • Provide you a large potential readership
  • and much more.

There are self-publishing companies out there that you should learn about. Don’t be confused by the term self-publishing. It does not mean that you have control over the publishing process. They do. And if you want them to edit your book, you may be giving up any control you have there as well.

But there are publishing criteria that you need to check out. One is the book cover.

It is important that after all the work you have put in to the book that your cover be good. And you have some options.

  • KDP gallery, which provides templates and pictures
  • Professional designers who will design a book cover for you

The KDP gallery should not be ignored. They have a small amount of pictures that may fit your need. I wish they would expand that gallery. However, they also have preset templates for book covers which allows you to upload your own pictures, such as designed for you or you purchased off the internet. Some designers will design the back cover for you but unless these people are KDP certified it could prove difficult. So, take the time and find out if they have worked with KDP, because KDP has criteria that must be met.

Professional designers offer their services at varying prices. Just because someone offers their services at a high cost does not mean that their services are better than anyone else’s. Check out their work.

Here’s thought. Why not make use of istock, pexels, pixabay, or others. Then upload to KDP the picture you bought or downloaded. Then let KDP do the rest.

I’ve done it. They also let you upload of bio picture of yourself along with a short biography and a description of the book. Then they let you know if you need to do more work on any of those items. When done, you have a quality book cover.

There you have it. Six basic steps to help you get started. There are several more items we didn’t discuss, such as ISBN, color vs. B&W, and more. But KDP will work with you on that as will just about any publisher that exists.

Find out the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Indie Publishing. I’ve written about this subject in the past. And remember this, Indie Publishing means you have more responsibility, better royalties, and, of course, more work to do. Why not be an Indie?

If you are listening to this podcast, it has been brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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TR Writing Service 2021

The Riddle Report 12 29 2020

Today we are looking at TR Writing Services in 2021

TR Writing Services was founded in 2019 as a service of T&R Independent Books. Since that founding, we have been slowly building it up. In 2020 we have already helped clients and expanded our services. Now, we are looking forward to 2021.

What follows is an overview of the business and a look into the future.

TR Writing Services is for the Little Guy

Back when I was in my twenties, I had a desire to write books. I found and signed up for a writing course. Although the course was not considered expensive by the experts I ended dropping out because of lack of money. This was at a time when I was laid off which wiped out my savings and delayed my writing career by decades. I never forgot!

Over the years I have discovered that just about any kind of writers’ aid that is out there is beyond the budget of most people. This includes the art of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. The “little guy or gal” doesn’t have much of a chance. Having experience this problem myself I increasingly felt a desire to help others get published.

Why We Founded TR Writing Services

Our first love as far as writing is concerned is writing our own books. I’ve experienced the highs and lows of writing, whereas my wife, who published her first book in 2020, is currently experiencing the same. All writers must face obstacles, overcome them or change directions. But getting the help they need at the time they need it is a great need that is often priced out of their reach.

TR Writing Services was established with the purpose of creating a low-cost service that addresses the editing and publishing aspects of being an author. When considering our services you will find that our service is considerably lower than our competitors.

What is TR Writing Services?

TR Writing Services is Entry Level Proofing and Editing for the author(s) who cannot afford the more expensive services you find online. If you are looking for a professional extensive treatment of your manuscript, then this is the wrong place. We at TR Writing Services are here to expedite your ability to publish your book at an affordable price yet with high quality. You will have a book that you can be proud of

This service will focus on such things as grammar, spelling, formatting, and other quality issues. This is not aimed at academic books but rather fiction, nonfiction, and how-to.

What Plans Do We Offer?

We have a variety of plans beginning with our Custom Plans (120 and 150 plans). These custom plans are designed for small books of 120 pages or less and 150 pages or less. Both of these custom plans will edit and prepare your books of less than 100 pages for publishing, but the actual publishing is left to you. In these cases, you would publish using local printers and we would work with you and your printer to get the book published.

Those are custom plans at minimal cost, but we also offer the following 4 plans:

Bronze Plan

This plan is for books up to 50,000 words and slightly higher. We edit, proof, and publish the book for you. The entire process involves us working with the author and the author is in charge. That means that we may advise you something is not recommended or not professional, but you may want to stick with what you have. We do everything we can to adhere to your preferences.

The cost may change in the future but as of 12/29/2020 it is $145 plus an additional $150 for eBook service. For both the Print and eBook formats you can provide your own book cover image which we upload and use with a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) template or your own book cover privately prepared (it must meet KDP guidelines).

You have the option of a free ISBN (recommended), free copyright, and free KDP account setup.

Total cost is $295 (Print and eBook) plus any other expenses you incur on your own.

Silver Plan

The Silver Plan includes all of the Bronze Plan but is for books up to and slightly more than 75,000 words.

The cost for this is currently $195 for Print only or $345 for the Print and eBook combination.

Gold Plan

The Gold Plan includes all of the Silver Plan but is for books of up to and slightly more than 90,000 words.

The cost for this is currently $295 for Print only or $445 for the Print and eBook combination.

Platinum Plan

The Platinum Plan is the best plan. It is for books up to and above 120 words. If the word count exceeds 120,000 the price will reflect the costs described below. This plan comes with the eBook, however if you do not want an eBook published, the cost would be $150 less.

The cost for this is currently $390.

If you have priced out our competitors you have already seen that our most expensive plan is approximately less than half their standard plan.

What Does It Cost?

Cost varies depending on page count and what you the author want.

As the years have passed, we’ve noticed that the high cost of help remains. Some services advertise a word-by-word cost. For example, they may charge $0.005 per word. That sounds great until you do the math. A book of 50,000 words would cost $250 just for the proofing! We at TR Writing Services charge only $0.002 per word meaning the same book would cost $100 for the proofing, a saving of $150.

A book of 100,000 words at $0.005 costs $500 while TR Writing Services would charge $200, a whopping savings of $300. In addition, TR Writing Services offers many FREE services, such as Setup of KDP Account if needed, Copyright page, ISBN (KDP free), Uploading your manuscript, Uploading Bio Picture for Back Matter, and more.

That is just the basic costs. But it gives you an idea. For greater detail simply contact us at marketing@tr-writingservices.com and we will email you a free copy of our brochure at no obligation on your part (we also will email you a copy of our book A Guide to Writing for free).

Can I Use TR Writing Services?

The short answer is yes. Basically, we accept anyone who submits a form (found in our free TR Writing Services brochure) plus the first three chapters of your book. We examine the form and the chapters to determine whether you fit the profile that we are looking for. If approved, we send to a letter of approval with a link to a page where you can purchase the service.

What Is Prohibited?

We are a Christian organization that applies Biblical standards.

We do not work with anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, excessive graphics, profanity, or any work that violates our Biblical stand.

If during the course of the contract excessive graphics or any profanity is found the author shall be informed and corrections/deletions required. Failure on the author’s part to provide this update will constitute a violation of the contract and subject it to termination.

How Do I Sign Up?

It’s simple. Simply go to our Facebook page and click on the “Learn More” link. This will take you to our web page. You can also simply go here. In either case you arrive at the first step that explains what you need to do to get started.

Basically, you will email us and seek a free copy of our TR Writing Services booklet. This booklet describes our services in greater detail and provides a form to fill out. Once filled out you copy it and post in another email along with the first 3 chapters of your book. No fee at this time.

We will review and decide. If we decide to accept you, we will email you a link and password to get you into the secure payment page. You then select the plan you want and pay for it.

Simple as that!

Then What Happens?

We go to work!

We will examine the entire book. Since we use Kindle Direct Publishing for our books we will examine your book in the light of their criteria. We will diligently examine the grammar, spelling, and more depending on the plan.

2021 Outlook

We have all had a tough year (2020), but we are excited about the future. No matter the outcome of the Presidential election there will still be people writing books. And some of these people will need our help. We stand ready to assist them (and you) in producing a quality book at a budget friendly cost!

As authors, we will be publishing our own books and you can learn about them at our website (just go to tr-WritingServices.com and look at our catalog where you have links to Amazon.com).

In the meantime, we wish you a happy and productive New Year. May your writing career be all you want it to be.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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.

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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.

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Ron’s Lit Tip Immerse Yourself

09 29 2020

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

If you’ve been following me for very long you’ve read my advice to identify with your primary character and, to some extent, with all the characters. This is important and I don’t mind restating the idea. But there is more.

Like What?

Just as a painter doesn’t paint his primary characters in colorful clothes and place them in a drab setting, so the writer must also not forget the overall picture. Every part of a painting garners the painter’s attention. The same is true with the written word.

When I edit my books, I not only look for misspelled words and poor grammar, I look at the flow of the story. It is also called ‘pace’. Pace can be affected by the tense of the words, the length of sentences and paragraphs, and more.

But there is more than spelling, grammar, and pace. There is the ‘coming alive’ factor. I love it when a reader says I brought the story alive!

How is that done?

There are many technical tools available to achieve this, but I think one of the most useful tools is your involvement in the story. Or, to put it another way, are you immersed in the story?

Immersed?

Just as you got immersed in your character(s), you need to be immersed in your story or plot. The plot could be described as the most important part of a story. If you have a character that is great but the plot flops, you have a flop. However, you might be able to overcome bad characters with a good plot. It is difficult, but not impossible.

By immersed I am saying that you are into the plot. You can picture it unfolding even as you are writing it or later reading it. Anticipation develops and carries you forward. But a bad plot does not have that ability.

So, how do I Immerse Myself in the Story?

You let the story take control. Just as you become a character and let the character take on a life of its own, you do the same thing with the plot. You start out with a basic plot and let it build upon itself.

If you are reading your story and it suddenly develops bumps, you might need to stop and smooth it out. For example, you are reading along in the present tense and suddenly the book is in past tense. Easily done, easily fixed. Usually the culprit is one word and only requires changing the tense. Other times it could be a sentence, a paragraph, or the entire scene. Which means you go back and rewrite the offending portion.

Sometimes this requires more than the correct word but changing the wording, even the structure. There are times when you toss the offending scene and either replace it or leave it out.

Tip: Let the plot drive you.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip 09 10 20

Today’s Issue: Proofing

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

What is Proofing?

Google says, “a pre-publication version of your work. The purpose of a proof is so that you can check through everything before your work goes live.”

In other words, it is your last review and edit before publishing. This is a very critical step because some publishers will charge you if you want to make changes after publishing. If you use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) that is not a problem. More on that later.

I recommend the following steps for proofing:

  • Proof Copy
  • Cover to Cover
  • Chapter by Chapter
  • Upload
  • Publish
  • Get Published Book
  • Read

Proof Copy

With KDP you pay for the printing costs and shipping. That means it will probably cost lest than $10. The print copy is very important because it’ll look different than what’s on screen.

Cover to Cover

This is recommended so you read the book thoroughly. You will be checking the front cover, title page, copyright, dedication, Table of Contents, Body (actual story), About the Author, Other Books by Author, and back cover, plus other pages. Some experts suggest reading the book from the back to the front, so you don’t let the story distract you.

Upload

I make periodic uploads to KDP and preview on screen. That way I see the appearance of the book with all changes. May not be necessary, but it gives me a feel for how the corrections are going.

Publish

Once you’ve finished editing and if you don’t need to reedit or ask a third party to proof the book, then it is time to publish your work. If you have followed all these steps then your work should be ready for the world.

Get Published Book

Once you are published get at least one copy for yourself. If you are using KDP you can publish your work, discover a mistake then pause the book, edit, and republish. Or you can leave the book live, edit, and republish.

If it is a major rewrite, then you might want to indicate a  new version or re-title. Some publishers may not allow this without a fee.

Read

Sit down, relax, and read it as though it was someone else’s book. If you don’t find any errors, then put it on your bookshelf. If you’re like me, you’ll eventually pick it up and read again. And you might think of new or additional scenes to add. And you can, because you are not only the author, but the publisher as well.

Conclusion

Every writer has their own ideas, but the above should help you get a strong start on your writing career.

Tip: Take Time and Thoroughly Proof Your Book

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip Word Overuse

Ron’s Tip of the Day is now Ron’s Lit Tip. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Word Overuse.

Take a look at these words ‘then’, ‘beautiful’, ‘sunny’, ‘happy’, and any other word you can think of. They all have the potential to be overused.

What do you mean?

I am talking about repeatably using the same word over and over. When you find yourself doing that it might be a good idea to find a synonym. It means the same but is not the same word. Repetition is not always complimentary. Sometimes it becomes a drag on the story and may attract undo attention from the reader.

Using synonyms can also freshen your story and make everything more enjoyable to read. It good to look for other ways of describing the same action, reaction, or whatever else you are writing about.

This is also true of antonyms, which are words with opposite meanings. But it is synonyms you will use more often. They broaden your word usage and make your book that much more effective.

What’s the danger of overusing words?

I’ve already referred to it. It becomes a drag. It loses its freshness and makes the story stale and boring. So, it is a good thing to keep an eye out for repetition and changeup if possible. Perhaps get yourself a thesaurus for a resource.

But be careful. Some words might be synonyms but have slightly different applications. So, when replacing one word with another make sure to reword the sentence or paragraph. You don’t want to lose the meaning. You’ll also want to be aware of the tense. It could be finite, past, present, or future.

Lit Tip: Learn to use synonyms properly.

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.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day DIY Grammar

Today’s Issue: DIY Grammar

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at DIY Grammar.

Experts tell us that an author should never do their own editing; to leave it to the professionals. And they have a lot of good reasons for saying that, chief among them is this: you, the author, know what you meant when you wrote the book. Your mind expects to see the words and meaning that you meant to put down; the professional does not. The professional looks at your work with an independent eye and more easily spots poor grammar, etc.

But you and I know we will do our own editing!

 The reason is pocketbook easy to understand. Professionals cost money! So, unless we can afford it, we are going to Do It Yourself (DIY).

Being a DIY editor requires time, effort, and honesty. It is that last part that is hard. We get married to phrases, descriptions, etc. and don’t want to change. It is hard, but sometimes necessary to divorce from them.

Some Tips to Help You.

  • Use Word’s ABC Word checker which checks for spelling, grammar, and more.
  • Don’t rely totally on it though. Sometimes it will want to make corrections that are bizarre! For example, a character may be speaking or thinking in poor grammar. In a novel that is perfectly OK, if it is part of the character’s personality or education.
  • Review your book more than once. You could, for example, use one reading to check for general errors, another reading for proper wording, checking sentences, and more.
  • Consider having a relative or friend review your book for plot, character development, grammar, and more.
  • Before publishing get a printed copy (Proof) and review it again.

Final Tip

After you’re done there will probably still be errors. But that is true with professionals also, though they may deny it. Even Classics have errors.

Tip of the Day: DIY requires time, effort, and honesty. But it’s worth it!

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.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day The Right Mixture #3

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at The Right Mixture #3.

In my last 2 blogs I talked about reader’s imagination, including Immerse Yourself in the character, and Backstory. Today we move to Making it Real.

What is Making it Real?

To answer that we start with what it isn’t.

Some people think that Making it Real means lots of blood & guts, graphic sex, and filthy language. While elements of such things do exist in life, that is not Making it Real. Remember, we are talking about using the reader’s imagination.

Enabling the Imagination.

Making it Real means enabling your reader’s imagination. Granted there are lazy readers who simply want to be stimulated. Using their imagination is too much work for them.

But most readers want to take an imaginary journey. And their imagination is a necessary tool for them.

So, how do you enable that imagination? Basically, you tease it like you would tease hair. You stroke their imagination. But since you don’t know all your readers and their individual imaginations, you need to provide for their imagination to work.

Each writer needs to solve the equation of how much grit and how much imagination is needed. Some authors use a lot more grit because their readers are looking for it. But for the rest of us it is necessary to plant the seed, water it, and then let the reader imagine the rest. It is a fine line, but if done successfully it is stronger than the most explicit or descriptive words!

Readers bring more than their eyes to reading. They bring their experiences, hopes, dreams, and imagination with them. As an author you are touching all of these; use them.

More on the Right Mixture next blog.

Tip of the Day: Use the reader’s imagination as a writing tool.

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.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Using Graphic Language

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Using Graphic Language.

Some time ago I commented on not using graphic language and was accused of forcing my religion upon others. Not so, I believed this long before I became a Christian.

A Time for Swearing

The Bible talks about there being a time for this and a time for that. Is there a time for swearing? Don’t people swear?

Of course, they do! And some people, not all, swear profusely. But should a writer include swear words? I say no. You are offending a great many people. You are better off using symbols or simply saying, she swore. Let the reader fill in the swear words.

Some writers use the first two or three letters and let the reader complete the word. This is better than printing the whole word, but usually the beginning makes it obvious what word is being used. But it still has the ability to offend.

Yes, people swear; some swear a lot; and some swear in very ugly words. But not all do. Don’t you want this last group to read your book?  

Tip of the Day: Use the author’s imagination.

You can get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Plus 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. Our Free booklet tells 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 for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our 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 best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. 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.

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Using Graphic Text

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Using Graphic Text.

Some time ago I commented on not using graphic descriptions and was accused of forcing my religion upon others. Not so, I believed this long before I became a Christian.

Graphic Sex Sells

Of course, it sells. You can have a best seller with graphic sex, but that doesn’t make it a great book.

My books have sexual scenes in them, but they are not graphic. At the same time, the readers has the freedom to insert their sexual imagination into the story. Good writing allows the reader to use their imagination. Bad writing spells it all out and depends on the reader’s lust.

Anytime the reader uses his or her imagination it is a good thing.

Graphic Violence Sells

Of course, graphic violence sells. I’m not talking about what sells but about good writing.

My books include violence. In one book a man was beheaded. But I didn’t use a graphic description. But the readers can picture in their own minds the event.

Like I said, anytime the reader uses his or her imagination it is a good thing.

Let the Reader Imagine

I believe an author should appeal to the reader’s imagination. It is one of the writer’s tools. It requires skill and hard work. But the result is worth it!

Tip of the Day: Use the author’s imagination.

You can get our free Guide to Writing by contacting us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Plus 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. Our Free booklet tells 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 for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

If you would like to review our 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 best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. 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.