Friday News : Use Your Life Experiences

FeaturedFriday News : Use Your Life Experiences

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

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

Let’s Take It Another Step

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

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

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

Because I’m writing about human beings.

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

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

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

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

That sounds hard.

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

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

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

Here’s an experiment.

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Consistent Characters

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday Tip: Consistent Characters

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

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

Why? Because it was negative?

No, because of the following.

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

What caused the negative report?

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

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

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

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

So, what’s the point?

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

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

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

How do I avoid clashes?

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

But Characters are not the only places for consistency.

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

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

How bad can inconsistencies be?

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

In conclusion.

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday Tip: Do I Need An Agent?

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday Tip: Do I Need An Agent?

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about: Do I Need An Agent?

The following is based on So You Want To Write?

When I first began writing the need of having an agent quickly became a question that needed an answer. My first response was ‘Of course’. But, as you will see, my answer changed.

Since my answer was ‘Of course’, I proceeded to look for an agent. At first I didn’t know what I was looking for in an agent or why I needed one. Thus, began my education.

But there was one thing I knew. I had the internet available and could research the subject. I began digging.

One of the first things I needed to know was what genre I was writing. It turned out to be historical fiction. From that little bit of knowledge I now knew that if I was to get an agent her or she must work in the historical fiction arena.

The next step was to learn what do agents do on behalf of the writer?

Searching through the internet I learned there are three things they do.

  1. Find and submit to them the author’s manuscript.
  2. Negotiate contracts.
  3. Distribute money (royalties, etc.)

Sounds relatively easy doesn’t it? But I soon discovered some interesting facts:

  1. Finding an agent in my genre is time consuming
  2. It requires knowing what you need
  3. Not every agent is accepting new clients
  4. My book needed to pass their approval
  5. Seeking a publisher in more productive
  6. Being a publisher is better yet!

In addition, I discovered that a growing number of publishers ‘require’ you to have an agent! They won’t look at your manuscript unless there is an agent!

It was shortly after I discovered this that I decided to go self-publishing. It was a major move; virtually a first step toward independence. Later I would take another step away from Self-Publishing and toward Indie Publishing that would change my life!

My going with a Self-Publisher quickly dispelled some of the misinformation I had acquired. For example, having an agent wasn’t required. You could have one, but you didn’t need to have one.

In my case I thought it wise to continue looking for an agent. But this proved hard and boring. I eventually found an agent I like and I submitted my book to her only to get a rejection letter stating that she didn’t work in my particular genre. Bummer!

The truths I learned here were:

  1. It can take months to find the right agent
  2. That agent may not want you
  3. .Agents are not required for self-publishing

So I went with a self-publisher and learned that although there is more freedom than in traditional publisher, the self-publisher still had control of all the tools and most of the profits. Plus, you had to pay them upfront!

One advantage of the self-publisher is that they will help you market your book. They may provide you marketing tools for a small fee. But another truth is that no matter what publisher you have you will do most of the marketing.

This all leads to a question: Can you benefit from an agent?

The answer is yes. They have the expertise and the experience to get things done. So, there is value in getting an agent.

However, I opted out. Instantly I became Author, Publisher, and Marketer! Which means that I had the added responsibility that agents normally handle, which is quite a chore.

What Should I Look For In An Agent?

Ultimately you make that call. Discover your genre or genres, learn their characteristics, and search for agents in that genre. No matter what, I think you should consider it. But you should explore the world of agents. You might find one you like.

And remember that going alone, especially Independent, requires you to do the work of an agent!

That said, I believe that going Indie is the best way to go. Yes, you work hard but the rewards are greater also! As an Indie you have a lot of responsibilities, but you also have greater possibilities. As an Indie you can hire companies to help you with certain aspects of your business, such as TR Writing Services (see below). So you are not alone!

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

The Impact of Research

FeaturedThe Impact of Research

Welcome to Friday. Every Friday I share information with you. Usually it is about writing, publishing, or marketing. Occasionally it is on other matters. This week it is about:The Impact of Research.

When writing it is always good to do research.

In today’s blog I want to show the importance of doing your diligence in researching background material. I am currently writing a new novel, World of Jacob, and another one, World of Joseph, is close behind. I will use these two novels to demonstrate why I am so adamant about doing research.

I have been writing since 2003, so I’ve gained some experience. I have found that the more research I do the better my writing becomes. In the case of these two novels I came across relatively new research that I believe finally settles the debate between differing views on the dates of the Jewish people being in Egypt. There are two schools of thought on the subject. Some people favor the ‘Early’ date and others the ‘Late’ date. Almost all of this is related to Jacob/Joseph’s entry into Egypt and the Exodus.

For some time, research has pointed to 1446 BC for the Exodus. There’s just too much evidence to seriously consider another date. The controversy has centered on when the Jews entered Egypt.

As I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, I reject the ‘Late’ date scenario as it puts events contrary to a literal understanding of the Bible. But being a careful student, I examined the claims made anyhow.

So why is this important?

To answer that we need to understand the problem. Egyptian chronology can, at best, be described as a mess. Without bogging you down with a detailed history of Egypt, I’ll cover just a few important facts.

The previously accepted chronology was based upon a priest by the name of Manetho, who developed a history of the pharaohs. Traditional Egyptian Chronology is based on this history and has been considered indisputable until recently. As a result it has been used to attack and dismiss Bible Chronology.

Over time it has been seen that pharaohs did not rule chronologically. There is an Upper Egypt (south) and a Lower Egypt (north). These two regions or nations were ruled by their own pharaohs; a fact that complicates history. Why? Because they ruled at the same time and overlapped time frames. Manetho never expected his history to be considered chronological. He simply identified the pharaoh and their rule.

Since the beginning of the 21st Century evidence has grown that the Traditional Chronology was and is wrong and therefore unreliable. This demonstrates why, from a secular point of view, history needs to be looked at from the Bible view. Of course, that is anathema to many scholars.

But when experts take this view (using the Bible as the reliable source) the result has been enlightening. Answers in Genesis (AIG) has articles on this subject that are worth pursuing just for the scientific truths revealed. This study settles many of the ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ issues.

The answer to the question above is that Egypt’s history impacted the Jewish people and a correct view of Egypt and the Jewish history in the land is very revealing. As an author of novels based on history, it has been very important for me to get the correct background just so I can have names, dates, and events accurately depicted. Confusion over dates made that very difficult in my earliest books. In fact, I’m thinking of updating previous books to reflect the now more reliable information.

As for my two novels the debates that muddied the waters were centered on who the pharaoh was during Jacob’s time and who did the Egyptian history point to as Joseph. Based on my research I have identified the pharaoh as Sosestris I and that Joseph was the Vizier known as Mentuhotep. When you read the history you easily see why it is believed that Joseph and Mentuhotep are the same person.

The result for me as a writer is to make my stories more believable and understandable. Further, I believe a well-researched book is more enjoyable to read.

Is this the typical result of research?

For me it has been. My book Perished: The World That Was benefitted from research and the book World of Noah and the Ark benefitted particularly well. In that second book I was able to discover modern research into the ark’s possible construction and design! So, yes, it is very helpful as long as you are careful about the resources you use.

For anything dealing with the Bible you can’t go wrong with AIG. And there are other resources equally reliable.

Research even helps with Speculative Fiction.

Last year I started writing Speculative Fiction (my definition is it is Science Fiction minus the Little Green Men). In this case, I needed to research current and future scientific tools, weapons, spaceships, etc. It didn’t hurt that I am aware of Star Trek and Star Wars. You can get ideas from there as well.

But again, you need a foundation built with research. Some of that research will be based on current and future facts.

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: The Importance of the Review Copy

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday’s Tip: The Importance of the Review Copy

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:The importance of the Review Copy.

Let’s use your imagination for a moment. You’ve written your book whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. You’ve taken advantage of built-in spelling and grammar checkers; you’ve spent hours check your book and now have an error free book. You submit your book to KDP and it passes all their tests and is published.

You get your copy of the published work and decide to read it. As you read your book errors start popping up.

“Oh no!” you cry.

Your published work has errors!

The good news is that on KDP you can edit the content and republish. But it may cost you hours or days and meantime you have an imperfect book on sale.

I’ve been there. I have learned the hard way that errors can slip by you. This is one of the main arguments for hiring a proofreader. But if you can’t afford a proofreader what can you do to protect yourself?

Order a Review Copy of your book before it is ever published. I used to favor simply reviewing the book online. But now I believe that such an action is flawed. There is something unique about holding a copy of your book in your hand. For one thing it relaxes you. Instead of being a writer checking your work, you become a reader.

Now that you are relaxed, you read your book the same way you’d be ready anyone else’s book. And your mind is not pressured. As you read minor errors that you might not have detected online popup. So you take a pen or pencil, mark the error and the page prior to moving on.

Later you go back, find the errors and edit them. The result will be more errors removed. If you have the time you might want to start at the beginning and reread the book, this time using a different mark to indicate errors. You might read the book three times!

The idea is to remove as many errors as is possible. Hopefully by the third time you’ll find very few errors or none at all. It might not be as good as a professional, but it will produce a book with less errors and have a more professional look and feel.

Why must I go through all that trouble?

It’s really quite simple. You are the writer and your mind knows what you meant. So every time you read your story your mind is involved. It is comparing what you actually wrote and what it knows you meant. And, unfortunately, it often superimposes what you meant to say over what you just read. That results in you missing the error.

To fight this tendency, you have to be very careful. A professional proofreader hasn’t read your book before and has no previous idea of what you meant. So, it is easier for them to pick up on the errors.

Because of that, you need to be proactive and devise ways that fight this tendency and enable you to read, proof, and edit without that subconscious battle. As an editor with TR Writing Service I use the proof copy. I don’t have the subconscious battle going on because I didn’t write the story. However, I may have assisted in the writing, in which case the problem could reassert itself.

But whether I’ve written it or not I learned the hard way that the printed copy is far more effective than the online preview. The reason is obvious to me. When reviewing the copy online I am tempted to skim over portions. I am ready to publish, and I get impatient. But if I use a printed copy, I must be patent for it to arrive and then to sit down and read it.

In addition, it gives me a better look and feel of the whole book. I can see the cover and how it looks plus I can view all the content! In that way, I get to see an overall view of the book and spot things I wouldn’t have spotted online. It makes a big difference.

Remember, when doing anything by yourself you MUST do more!

It is the cost of being independent and on a budget.

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Why I Write

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday’s Tip: Why I Write

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share tip with you. This week I is about Why I Write.

You might think I write Christian fiction books because I was called of God to do so. And you’d be partially correct. But it is more than that. The call came many years after I first felt the urge to put words on paper.

The truth is that I had the urge to write as an teenager who knew nothing about God. I like to write and to read. It is fair to say that reading books led me to the desire to write my own books. But it goes back further than that.

It was as a little boy that the urge to write had its beginnings. I was a child with a good imagination. Because I was under heavy medication at the time, there were restrictions on physical activities. I was able to play Little League Baseball (not very good), to play in the sand near my house (I was probably very good at that), but not much else.

So, I turned to my imagination for entertainment. I got most of my ideas from TV. I just changed the heroes from their TV monikers to me. Now that’s not a very unusual beginning. A lot of children have active imaginations. But mine grew with me, so that when I entered my teen years (still with physical restrictions) my imagination and the English language (my favorite subject) met one another. It was almost love at first sight!

The problem was that when I tried putting my imagination on paper it lost some of the glory that existed in my mind. It just wasn’t the same. But, instead of quitting, I persisted.

It wasn’t until after my service in the United States Navy (1964-1968) that I discovered the help I needed. The problem was while it was affordable, it was also expensive for someone just starting out as a working adult. I signed up and began learning. The program was offered by a group of authors who would evaluate each lesson.

I was doing well until I got laid off in 1974. But I had also undergone a major change in my life as I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I recognized I was a sinner, needed a Savior, and that Savior was Jesus. Even so, I didn’t receive the call to write yet.

I like to say that it took God 30 years to undo the 30 years of the world’s influence on my life. True or not it wasn’t until I was 60 years old that my first novel was published. It was actually three years earlier that the call to write came.

I’d just run into another roadblock in writing a story. I’d written a few chapters and as usual hit the wall and couldn’t go any further. It was at this time that I had recently started reading the Bible from the beginning again and was in Genesis (I usually read the Bible through every 2 or 21/2 years). I was reading about Noah and the Ark and I suddenly realized that here was an historical event that contained the facts but left a lot of room for my imagination.

Looking back, I think of that as the call to write!

My first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles (no longer in print), won the praise of a President of a Christian College plus an honorable mention by a contest I entered. You wouldn’t be wrong to say that this was a second call or perhaps an affirmation of the call. In either case I began writing on a regular basis.

Since that first book, I have now written eight novels and 2 nonfiction books. I am also working on four new novels. I have also expanded my writing from Historical fiction to include Speculative fiction (future events).

So, why do I write?

Most importantly, I write to present a Christian view of life that will bring the Bible alive and point people to God. Secondly, I write because I love writing. Give me a napkin or 3×5 index card and I’ll start writing.

And now I’ve reached that point in life where I want to help others get start. It took me 60 years before I was able to publish my first book. I’ll admit the most detrimental obstacle was not knowing Christ. But even after getting saved, it still took me another 30 years to become a published author!

That is why today my wife and I have established TR Writing Services. It exists as a way of giving back to the world and helping new and struggling authors to write and get published in an affordable way. It’s an exciting new venture that keeps my mind active and focused on my own writing as well as someone else’s.

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

How to Schedule Your Time

FeaturedHow to Schedule Your Time

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Schedule Your Time.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Really! Everyone knows how to schedule don’t they?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Not because the people are stupid. They were probably never taught to schedule.

I learned the hard way of the necessity to schedule my time. As I entered the multifaceted world of writing, publishing, and marketing I found my time to be precious. Everything and everyone wanted it.

One of the best books on the subject I have ever read was Success God’s Way by Charles Stanley. He included a whole chapter devoted to the subject of time management. It is based on Ephesians 5:15-16: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

However, you do it, it is necessary that you schedule your personal and professional time.

But Scheduling is more than just the setting up a time for each task, it is making priorities. Every day I make a short priority list – by short I mean no more than three items. It may start out as more than three items, but it often is reduced to a more manageable three.

This is not your typical “to-do” list, but it is related. Think of it this way, make your “to-do” list and select the top two or three.

If you are like me, having a long list usually leaves items undone and I a little discouraged. But when I limit it to two or three there is a much better opportunity for me to accomplish all of them!

Scheduling also involves appointments. As an author you will need to keep track of when you are to meet with or contact agents or publishers or even reporters, when you are supposed to do a book signing, and many other events.

Tip #1: Redeem the time: make good use of your time. Schedule it!

Tip #2: Make your “to do” list and select the top two or three.

Tip #3: Do it!

Example

I actually schedule my time beginning with my morning devotions. I have what I call Focus. I usually focus on two, sometimes three items related to writing. I also write them down in my calendar.

However you do it, make it a habit. You will quickly discover just how valuable a habit it is!

Application

Scheduling is not really rocket science, but it does require thought. It rests firmly on your concept of what is truly important for your writing career. It is one of your most important priorities.

So if you have never put down a to-do list before do it now. It’s easy. Start by writing down, in no particular order, everything you think is important to be done.

Then narrow the list down to seven or ten items (still no order).

Now you have what I call a typical to-do list. Your next step is very difficult: arranging the items in order of importance. I suggest three categories: important, more important, and most important.

That will probably take some time, but your next step requires you to take the top three. By this time everything should be in order of priority. But it is possible that the top two or three items may be tied. If so, you need to narrow it down further.

To help you get to your final two or three items, ask yourself what needs to be done and what has to be done.

Now you have your list of two or three must do items. The final step is the most important: Do it!

The above excerpt is from TR Writing Services Guide to Writing.

Digging deeper, what is the danger of not scheduling? Here are some dangers right off the top of my head:

  • Not getting it done. If you don’t schedule your time there is the danger of forgetting to do a necessary task when you wanted it done.
  • Rushing the work. When we don’t schedule the work and then later realize it must be done now, we tend to rush. Thereby producing a document or book or whatever with errors and sloppy work.
  • Not enough time to edit. You’re under the clock and you’ve rushed the work, but still don’t have time to properly edit. This will result in you publishing a terrible book or being forced to cancel or delay the book project.

It is never too late to begin scheduling. My body is loaded with lazy bones which causes me to take shortcuts. One shortcut is to forget to schedule my work or to make a careless schedule. Either one or both can lead to waste of valuable time.

That said, I can restart, reboot, or whatever you want to call, but the main point is to get myself back in the habit of scheduling.  Which brings up my final tip:

Tip #4: Make scheduling a daily habit.

That is easier said than done. It requires work. Make it the last thing you do in your work day by scheduling the next day; or make it the first thing you do in your work day by scheduling that day’s work. Then work it!

And if you forget to do it, get back on board immediately. Sometimes I’ve neglected a schedule and then realized it after already starting my workday. In cases like that I stop what I’m doing and schedule the rest of the day. It’s not perfect and certainly not desirable, but it does work.

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

How To Setup Your Book’s Page

FeaturedHow To Setup Your Book’s Page

If you want our free Guide to Writing book just contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and ask for it. We’ll rush it to you.

As shown in the video setting up your margins is critical to your books. Moreover, you need to set up orientation, headers, footers, and more. Guide to Writing will show all this an more.

How To Setup Your Pages

FeaturedHow To Setup Your Pages

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Setup Your Pages.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Page setup is critical to your book. Different publishers have differing requirements, but I will show you two possible setups.

Standard 11 x 8.5

Top: 1”; Bottom: 1”

Left: 1”; Right: 1”

Gutter: Usually the same as Left or inside

Although this is considered standard, the book is reduced by the publisher to a smaller size such as 9 x 6 which in reality is the new standard. I recommend that when setting up your books margins, you use the 9×6 setup. The follow is only a suggestion; experiment.

eBook 9 x 6

Top: .79”; Bottom: .79”

Left: .79”; Right: .79”

Gutter: none (same as left or inside)

TIP: The Gutter: is the same as left or inside margin

Some publishers require Headers/Footers, while others don’t want them. So you need to find out what your publisher wants, which means, that you may have to go back and copy the manuscript with a unique name and redo the margins, headers, etc., which is an argument for being your own publisher.

Tip: If possible, do your setup before you start writing

We use the 9 x 6 setup. But whatever you use, set it up first, you can always change it later.

Example

This book’s setup includes the 9 x 6 margins. Since it is both a print and an eBook and there are page numbers, headers, and footers in the print version. The eBook will not have them.

Application

We use the 9 x 6 setup because we are in charge of our own publishing. If we use an outside publisher and they have different standards we can make an additional copy just for them.

The above excerpt is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it provides a starting point for you. The margins given can be a good starting position, but chances are that you’ll need to adjust them according to your book size. For example, many of our books have been converted to the 9×6 size. Plus, the pages range from 250 – 400 in page length. That means that we use the following margins: Top is 0.76; Bottom is 0.76; Inside or Gutter is 0.63; and outside is 0.63.

No matter what your current settings are, you can change them later!

A good practice is to always preview your book before publishing. You don’t want the gutter too big that it becomes part of the front or back covers. Nor do you want it too small causing the front and back covers to overlap the gutter.

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

Art of Writing Multiple Viewpoints

FeaturedArt of Writing Multiple Viewpoints

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Writing Multiple Viewpoints also known as Multiple 3rd Person.

In this blog I will be exploring a difficult, yet in my opinion, profitable methodology. I previously wrote about 1st and 3rd Person viewpoints or POVs, but in the following I am writing about having multiple primary characters. Now, as a rule of thumb, you never want more than one primary character at the same time.

If you read any of my books I often have multiple POVs. You should also notice that I follow my own advice and clearly identify the person who’s POV I’m using.

One last thing before we dive into the subject, don’t let the subject intimidate you. You can master it if you focus on applying the principles of good writing.

Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:

Principle

Imagine yourself as a reader who gets to read the minds of the characters. Not necessarily all the time, but at critical times. It gives you, the reader, the power and knowledge to understand what is going on to a greater degree.

In Third Person Viewpoints you are reading or “listening” to the thoughts of the primary character. But in Multiple Third Person Viewpoints this is multiplied so that the reader has the opportunity to grasp more and understand more.

That being said, I would not suggest too many characters at one time. Generally I try a limit of to two or three characters. And only with the primary character do I have constant contact.

Tip#1: Generally speaking, multiple characters with observable viewpoints should be introduced early. An exception is when a book spans many years; you can space them out.

Tip#2: Unless you are truly great with prose keep your primary character as your primary POV. In books spanning many years make sure you have a smooth transition between the old POV and the new POV.

Example

In Perished: The World That Was you have a book covering 1656 years. It starts with Adam being the primary character but he eventually dies and another takes his place. This continues until Noah becomes the primary. One difficulty was that these characters sometimes lived at the same time, so I had to be careful about the transition. In most cases this happened at the death of one or in other cases it was in different scenes.

I do not recommend doing this in a story that is more compressed in time. Most likely your primary character will be constant throughout the book.

Another example from the same book is the inclusion of multiple primary characters. But it is rare for both to appear in the same scene at the same time. If such a situation presents itself, however, only one should be the primary at that time.

Application

Advantages of Multiple POV

  1. Greater flexibility within story
  2. Greater or wider view of story
  3. More information available to reader

Disadvantages of Multiple POV

  1. Requires a great deal more diligence
  2. Requires more work
  3. Can confuse reader if not done right

Multiple Person Viewpoint is in my opinion the most flexible (and hardest) viewpoint for the author to use. That flexibility is a valuable asset for the author. So don’t shy away from it.

Try it out. Buy books on viewpoint and learn what works for you.

To learn more about multiple Points of View and other writing needs TR Writing Services is currently giving away – that’s right, it’s FREE! – our TR Guide to Writing. Simply contact us and request a copy (PDF or docx) and we’ll send it to you. While at it, why not request the TR Writing Service booklet? This booklet will tell you about our different plans and prices. (The current plan discounts expire June 30th.)

For more on TR Writing Services contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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