Ron’s Lit Tip 09 03 20

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Today’s Issue: Inner Thoughts

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

I often advise writers to use italics when allowing readers to ‘hear’ a character’s Inner Thoughts. And I do so again.

But what is so important about Inner Thoughts?

Glad you asked.

Inner Thoughts are the same as thinking. We humans are always thinking and whether or not your characters thinking shows up in a book their actions are the result of and reveal to some extent their thoughts. Sometimes letting the actions depict a character’s thoughts is the best route, but there are times when the reader needs to ‘hear’ those thoughts.

All the Characters?

No. Not even most of the characters. At the very least the reader needs to be able to understand and identify with the primary character. You want the hero or heroine to be as real as possible. This helps the reader identify with the character, maybe sympathize, or even approve of both the thinking and the resulting action.

I’m Still Confused.

You want the primary and maybe a few other leading characters to be real, not two dimensional. Broadcasting the character’s thoughts brings another dimension and can play a pivotal role in the overall story.

Sometimes when a character is facing a problem it can be worked out in thoughts. Instead of you the narrator telling the reader what he or she thought, you allow the character’s thoughts to be heard. The reader gets additional facts right from the character rather than the author.

That can be powerful!

So, why don’t all authors do that?

This may be hard to believe, but it’s possible they disagree with me. It is also possible that they simply never thought of it as being important. Usually such authors endeavor to inform the reader of the thoughts and think that is enough. But consider the following:

Jim’s story wasn’t believed by Detective Adams.

Or

As Jim related his story, Detective Adams thought, There’s something wrong here. This just doesn’t make sense.

You decide which is more powerful.

I see your point, but why the italics?

Technically, there is no law that says you must use italics to indicate thinking. But I contend that if you use quotes (“”) a reader might think the character is talking out loud or if you use an underline (__) a reader my just think it is being emphasized but not really thinking. In both cases the reader may miss the idea of thinking.

Another thing to consider is that in the above example where the detective’s thoughts were shown it got more of the story such as time (as Jim related) and why the detective didn’t believe it (something wrong, and doesn’t make sense). If you were also hearing Jim’s story for the first time, the detective’s thoughts alert you, the reader, to a multitude of possibilities and might cause you to reread Jim’s story.

Oh, in other words, the reader will also wonder.

Yes. And look for clues to solve the mystery. That is just one example of how I believe a character’s thoughts can influence the surrounding scene and, possibly, the entire story.

Tip: Use a primary character’s thoughts to help tell the story.

Tip: Consider using italics to indicate thoughts.

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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

Ron’s Tip of the Day The Right Mixture #5

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 #5.

In my last 4 blogs I talked about readers’ imagination, including Immerse Yourself in the character, Backstory, Making it Real, and Research. Today we move to Thinking.

Thinking?

Yes. To be more precise, I am talking about your primary character(s) thinking. I love prose and try to use it. But the fact is that seeing the world through the eyes of a character is a very powerful tool.

Allowing the reader inside the character’s head gives the reader a view of the world that the reader may not have seen otherwise. In simple prose, the reader sees the world as perceived by the author. But the thoughts of a character can convey the same information better than prose.

Use Balance.

That said, there is a time for prose and a time for thinking. I use both. Balance is necessary because it adds substance and color to the scene. Both are useful tools.

How do you show people thinking?

Example: Janet thought, This painting sure looks like the real thing.

There is no law about this, but I support the concept of using italics to show thinking. Whatever you use must be consistent. I use italics and I tend to think it is the preferred method as it looks good and more and more authors are using that method.  

Tip of the Day: Show thinking; and try using italics to do so.

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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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day The Right Mixture #4

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 #4.

In my last 3 blogs I talked about readers’ imagination, including Immerse Yourself in the character, Backstory, and Making it Real. Today we move to Research.

Research? Again?

I probably talk about research more than any other topic related to writing. And here is another as it relates to my last blog of Making it Real.

How does Research Make it Real?

Part of making your story realistic is to have the right information about a place or event. I am currently writing a story which partially takes place in a major American city. And I am doing the necessary research. If I haven’t been there it means digging deep so that people who have been there will recognize it. They’ll be able to picture the scene.

Why is that Necessary?

Remember those people I mentioned above. If I mention something and don’t describe it right, they will notice it. And it might ruin their reading experience.

I’ve used this example before, but I once read a story based on Noah and the Ark. At that time, I was working on a novel of my own about the Ark. I read this man’s novel and enjoyed it to an extent. But because he described unlikely items, such as a drinking glass, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I found myself looking for other mistakes instead of simply enjoying the book. You don’t want that to happen with your books.

Research Adds to the Story.

Proper research and usage add to the story sometimes subtly and sometimes noticeably. It’s an excellent tool.

More on the Right Mixture next blog.

Tip of the Day: Use research 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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day The Right Mixture #2

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 #2.

In my last blog I talked about using your readers’ imagination and started out with the tip to Immerse Yourself in the character, particularly the primary. I also mentioned using Backstory.

What is Backstory?

It is a tool writers use to acquaint readers with a character, place, or event. Instead of recreating the entire situation or character’s history, you can tell or have your characters fill in the details. This can take place in a few paragraphs or scenes.

Here is a possible example.

Seeing Gene with a happy smile on his face made Emily feel good. When he had that car accident, I thought he was going to die. Now look at him!

Or how about the same thing from the author’s point of view.

Seeing Gene with a happy smile on his face reminded Emily how devastated she had been when he was involved in a car accident. She had expected him to die. But now seeing him she was overjoyed!

Either one works. It seems like such a minor thing, but that little intro could be the catalyst for future events, actions, or conversation.

That example was only a brief paragraph, but you could have expanded it to a longer, more developed scene spanning several paragraphs. I would caution you that if you do that then definitely play off it later.

Why?

If you spend a lot of time letting the reader experience something, there should be a reason or a payoff for the reader. The example I used above could lead to a mystery about the car accident, or perhaps to a closer relationship between Emily and Gene, or something else altogether.

More on the Right Mixture next blog.

Tip of the Day: Use Backstory to strengthen story

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day The Right Mixture #1

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 #1.

In past blogs I’ve talked about using your readers’ imagination. But that raises a question.

How Do I Use the Readers’ Imagination?

While it isn’t rocket science, it isn’t all that easy either. I wish I could tell you that there is one simple formula that fits all genres and all books. There are principles that fit, but applying them differs from book to book, genre to genre.

So, here are some ideas.

Immerse Yourself.

That means that as you create your primary character or protagonist, you dive deep. It may not be all at once but start with some basic facts such as the character’s personality. Get to know your character inside out.

Grow Your Character

As your story develops, he or she will be meeting different circumstances. The principle here is to let the character grow and respond to each circumstance. That response then becomes part of that character.

Each succeeding circumstance or challenge should build upon that response. For instance, the character may have been tempted to lie but chose not to because of childhood training or religious beliefs. As time goes on this training or belief may be further tested.

Pretest Your Character

I would recommend that when you first introduce the character you indicate a character flaw or strength. Perhaps through another character’s observation or memory. You can also use backstory to show the test or teaching that influenced the character.

Consider Some Development of Other Characters

Adding depth to your supporting group of characters would be helpful. It wouldn’t have to be as deep as the primary, but deep enough that the reader can identify with them.

Next blog: we continue this discussion.

Tip of the Day: Test and develop your Primary Character

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Want to Write Biblical Novels?

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 Biblical Novels?

Writing a Bible-based novel can be successful or risky. But if you use these simple guidelines you should be able to appeal to a large audience.

  • Always assume the Bible is correct

You get messed up if you accept the popular myth that modern science knows better. Science can shed light upon the Bible, but it can never contradict the Bible.

  • Do Your Diligent Research

Use the Bible as a filter, a spotlight or research. When you find a new ‘fact’ shine the spotlight upon it. In my novels I studied the clothing, foods, weapons,and more of that era.

  • Work the Biblical Text into the Story

Sometimes take a direct quote of one or more verses and make them part of the story. Mix the Bible and modern English together so the characters speak using both interchangeably.

  • Use Bible Characters

This is unavoidable but good. If your reader is familiar with the Bible, there will be a common connection between your novel and the Bible.

  • Try avoiding conflicting characters

But the Bible may have more than one character with the same name. This creates a difficulty especially for readers who skip (one reviewer skipped and claimed I was inconsistent with my characters).

  • Use only one Bible version

You can use other versions to increase your own understanding, but only use one in the book. Otherwise you run the risk of confusing your reader. I use only KJV because I believe it is the only accurate version.

  • Don’t Be Preachy

That doesn’t mean no gospel nor no sermons or other Christian statements. It means not being overbearing. The gospel, sermons, etc., should all fit within your story seamlessly!

Tip of the Day: Use above guidelines.

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Picture in Words

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Picture in Words.

What is Picture in Words?

That is best described as the old but true phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. But that can be reversed to say, ‘a thousand words can paint a picture’.

Explain.

When you, the author, sit down and write a description of a scene you are in essence painting a picture for the reader. That reader then ‘sees’ whatever you are writing.

This is very important in writing and it is not a skill we get when born. Rather, it is a skill that we acquire over time. I spent 40 years of my life developing that skill. It didn’t just show up when I turned 60.

Does that mean I need to take a course on it?

No. I wasn’t aware I was developing that skill. But if you write often enough there are skills you will acquire through repetition and growth. Courses won’t hurt and may save time, but repetition is a great educator.

How can I further develop what skills I need?

We have a free Guide to Writing that gives you some basics on writing and on the business of writing. Get those and build on them.

Tip of the Day: Get our book on writing and build on your skills through application and repetition.

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Series or a Single Book

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Series or a Single Book.

Should I Write a Series or a Single Book?

I have written single books and I’ve written books within a series. The answer really depends on you. Some people only want to write one or two books at the most. And that is fine.

For such people I would encourage them to think about multiple books, series or not.

If I Write multiple books should they be in a Series?

Experts contend that a series of books is easier to market which is probably correct. If a reader enjoys one of the books, they are likely to want to read the other books of the series. But as stated above it is up to you.

You may have several books in mind and none of them relate to the others. I say go ahead and write them but remember that marketing will be more difficult.

I Favor a Series

Aside from the aforementioned marketing advantage, a series , in my opinion, lets your imagination explode! One story leads to another.

In my series Christland that is what happened to me. Sometimes I was already working on the next book while still working on the then current book. I’ve now written one complete series, am working on final book of The World That Was and have started working on a new series. I thrive on this!

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day The Trouble with Narration

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Today I am looking at The Trouble with Narration.

When I began writing I loved narrating a story. And if I’m allowed to say so I was pretty good at it. My prose could wax eloquent as I described trees, flowers, buildings, or even people.

But then I learned the trouble with narration. It could detract from a story. I learned to allow the story to be told by the character. When I did this my stories came alive!

But narration still has a place. For me I try to balance out who is telling the story. If there is a formula it would be I, the narrator, tell the surrounding story while the character(s) flesh out the real story.

For example:

A week later, Methuselah watched as a caravan came to a stop in front of his house. A mob of homosexuals following the caravan quickly dispersed when they saw him. Although 869 years old, he stood strong, muscular, and tall, thus creating an imposing picture.

He recognized his grandson Iram and Bocheru, but not the young lad with them.

“So, this must be young Jareb,” he boomed, as he wrapped his arms around the boy.

Methuselah stepped back and eyed Jareb. “Aptly named young Jareb. For thou shall indeed be a great avenger.”

I mixed narration with character speech and achieved a scene that brought the reader instant curiosity.

Tip of the Day : Mix narration and character speech to achieve the end result.

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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Story Telling

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. This is an experiment in micro-blogging. Let me know how I’m doing. Today I am looking at Story Telling.

What Do I Need to be an Author?

I believe the first thing you need other than the call of God (if you’re a Christian) is an imagination. Believe it or not I think that everyone has an imagination.

What is an Imagination?

Imagination is ‘the process of forming mental images’. For example you can imagine a story. Children do this all the time.

Is Imagination the same as Story Telling?

Technically they are different. But you need imagination to tell a story. And story telling is basically the ability or act of writing down or vocally relating your imagined or true story. Again, as children you probably did this with your friends. For example, girls do it with their doll houses and boys might do it with their toy trucks, etc.

As an author you tap into your imagination and then you ‘tell’ the story. All the other stuff like research, grammar, spelling, etc. comes after. If you don’t have imagination, you won’t have a very exciting book.

Tip of the Day : Tap into your imagination and ‘tell the story’

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.