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 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.

How to Get a Publisher

FeaturedHow to Get a Publisher

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 How to Get a Publisher.

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

Principle

How does one seek a publisher? First, you must decide what kind of publisher you need. See the chapters on Self-Publisher, Traditional Publishing, and You, the Publisher.

This is actually a critical decision. Unfortunately there is a lot of mudslinging going on. Not to mention confusion. In my chapters on the different types of publishing I strive to clear it up a little.

But before you make that decision you will want to search the internet and discover who and what these publishers are. Even more important, is to decide the overall direction you want to go.

In future chapters I examine each type of publisher closer, but here it is important that you know what you need.

Here are just a few things to examine:

  • How long are you willing to wait for your book to be published?
  • Can you afford $400 or more upfront?
  • Are you a new author?

There are other considerations as well. But these three will give you immediate indications as to what you need. For example, traditional publishers often have time lines that result in books being printed as much as two years down the road after signing the contract. On the other hand, self-publishers want you to pay for the privilege which often involves $400 or more.

And if you are a new author there are some publishers who will not consider you simply because you’re new. These are generally found in your larger traditional printing houses.

Then there are the publishers who are like self-publishers but have a minimum order requirement. For instance, I knew of one author who had to buy $5000 worth of copies at a time, which required that he maintain a storage area. Here you have the cost of the books plus storage costs. In his case he stored them at work, but not everyone has that opportunity.

Tip #1: Examine what your needs, perceived and known, are before searching for a publisher.

Example

When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t know about costs, time, or submission requirements. So I began looking for a publisher while in the dark.

Fortunately, I had access to the internet and began learning fast. It didn’t take me long to figure out that traditional publishing was not for me. While they are free and pay royalties, they were too restrictive.

For example, the traditional publishers often required an agent (I didn’t have one) plus prospects for publishing soon were unreasonable (up to two years after signing).

I eventually signed with a self-publishing firm. It cost me about $400 upfront plus the cost of marketing tools which they sold.

Application

It is your responsibility to find the right publisher for you. Everybody has an opinion, but you are the one who has to live with your decision.

Read my chapters on the different types. Weigh the facts and decide which one best works for you.

HANDLING REJECTION

Principle

This is primarily addressed to those who plan to use a traditional publisher. Self-publishing companies rarely reject a manuscript.

As a disclaimer I have never received a rejection slip because I have never used traditional publishers.

That said, I can say this with authority: Never let rejection slips stop you!

Use them as you would any tool. Learn from them. Why was the manuscript rejected? Did it come with any suggestions as to how you can improve? If so, you should consider them (but don’t violate your own standards).

Another thing to remember is that editors have their own ideas as to what makes successful writing. They are not THE authority.

Tip#2: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer. Don’t take it personally.

Example

Since I have never had a book rejected I have no practical example to share with you. But the more meaningful example is one’s reaction to any roadblock, which is all that a rejection slip amounts to in one’s career.

That said check out your response to other roadblocks. If your response works in those cases, maybe it will with rejection.

But better is this: As I said in the Tips: Use rejection slips as learning tools to help you become a better writer and don’t take it personally.

Application

My suggestion is to stay away from the Traditional Publishers and the preceding is only one reason. But if you must use Traditional Publishers, then please pay close attention when listening to them. They each have their own preferences and not following them will bring on a rejection quickly.

You have a responsibility to yourself. That is why I emphasize treating rejection as a tool. Instead of being discouraged, see it as something that will only make you a better writer!

To learn more about getting a publisher and/or agent 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) 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.

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.

Art of Writing Viewpoints

FeaturedArt of Writing 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 Viewpoints.

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

Principle

Viewpoint or Point of View is extremely critical to your story. The Point of View allows the reader to experience someone else’s view of the world. The POV often determines whether a story is successful or not.

Before looking at the viewpoints let me give you another related principle: Make sure your reader knows when the character is thinking and when he is speaking. And try to avoid ‘he thought’ or ‘she thought’. While occasionally using such phrases is fine, too much of it can create a stilting effect. At the same time you want to keep the identity of the speaker before the reader. This can be done by occasionally having one speaker identify the other, such as ‘James, that’s wrong’. The reader knows it is not James talking.

We are going to take a look at two POV (Point of View). These are 1st Person and 3rd Person.

First Person

This is essentially the personal pronouns “I”, “Me”, “Mine”. The POV is from the speaker. He/she tells the story from his/her perspective. Personally, I don’t like this POV but I have read some excellent books using that technique.

There are a few advantages to this viewpoint, such as:

  1. Instant involvement: Because the reader is inside the character’s head all thoughts and actions are immediately known. There is no delay.
  2. Language: Because the reader is inside the head and knows the thoughts of the character the reader is able to instantly know the education, and class of the character.
  3. Range: How the character thinks. The reader learns a great deal about the character because every facet of his/her thinking is open to the reader.

But there are also disadvantages; such as:

  1. It requires the presence of the character in all scenes. This can cause difficulty in overall structure and the story itself. But it can be done as witnessed by successful writers.
  2. The character can’t keep secrets from the reader. If the character knows something, we do also, which leaves off any mystery you may want.
  3. You cannot include any information that the character doesn’t know. In other words, you know only what the character knows. No more and no less.
  4. The “I” becomes both you and the character. This can be troubling.
  5. Limited view. Since you only know what the character knows there is a whole world of unknowns.

First Person, in my opinion, is harder to write and to pull off. Some authors do and succeed quite well. But it can be unwieldy. Therefore, unless you have a great deal of experience in writing, I would recommend you stay away from it.

Third Person

Third Person, in my opinion, is the preferred method to use. It is the personal pronoun “he”, “she” or “it” viewpoint.

The advantages of this POV are:

  1. An outside view of the person
  2. You, the narrator, can talk about other facts, events and people.
  3. You can have additional characters in third person
  4. You can have other POV characters.
  5. Unlimited worldview: In the first person you were restricted by the author’s or character’s thoughts and opinions.
  6. But in third person the narrator and reader have access to other information – thus expanding the scene.
  7. Greater objectivity – in first person you only have the character’s opinion of self, but in third Person you see much more and can make better judgments.
  8. Hidden information – In the third person the author can keep some of the facts about the character secret until later in the story. Then as the story unfolds the author can divulge pertinent and new information about the character.

But there are disadvantages. These include:

  1. separated involvement.
  2. With first person you had instant involvement, but here there exists separation or distance between the character and the reader.
  3. language.
  4. It is more difficult to identify the class and education of the character.
  5. range.
  6. Awkward. The thinking, etc, is not as visible as it is with first person.

Tip#1: Choose your POV carefully. 1st person identifies with character; 3rd person identifies with multiple characters.

Tip#2: When conveying a character’s thoughts put it in italics. Not a hard rule but I recommend it.

Example

  1. First Person: I thought to myself, What a wonderful day!
  2. Third Person: He looked about, smiling. What a wonderful day!

Application

Be careful with your POV. It is very easy to forget which POV you are using. The result can be disastrous.

I do not recommend First Person, although many authors have done so successfully. It takes a lot of hard work and skill. And in my opinion it is too limiting. But if you choose this POV then pay close attention, follow the rules carefully, and stick with it. You just might be one of those successful writers!

Be aware that there are many variations of first and third person viewpoints. I recommend you buy a good reference book on the subject. There are many resources, including Writers Digest.

To learn more about writing viewpoints or POVs 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 discounted plans 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.

Writing Good Grammar

FeaturedWriting Good Grammar

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 Good Grammar.

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

Principle

Your grammar must be perfect!

Right?

Actually that depends on who you talk to and the specifics involved. Here is my take:

Generally speaking you want your grammar usage as correct as possible, but there are exceptions. For example, let’s say one of your characters only has a ninth grade education.

You would not want that character talking like a professor. For that matter, you really don’t want any of your characters to talk that way unless they actually are professors.

Now I don’t recommend that you try to imitate slang and accents, but just be cautious. Maybe allow a character to have a favorite saying. In Perished: The World That Was I had Methuselah with a favorite saying, “So God has said, so shall it be.”

Which brings up a related principle: Be consistent. If I later had someone else using that same phrase it could have been a jolt. Be consistent.

So here’s the principle: When you are dealing with conversation (or even thoughts) you can and should be less than perfect but consistent. Everything else should be perfect.

Aside from speaking, there is the matter of punctuation and spelling. With the tools available this should never be a problem, but it does occur. It is therefore necessary to check your spelling and punctuation as often as possible.

Tip: Be consistent. If Bob is talking like a country boy on page 2 and a professor on page 132, you better have shown a transformation. Your reader will spot inconsistencies!

Example

The boys is clothed alike. [This is poor grammar.]

The boys are clothed alike. [Much better.]

“You guys look the same.” [OK.]

“The boys is clothed alike,” Martha said. [Ok, if this is consistent with Martha’s education and you’re emphasizing it.]

Tip #1: A rule of thumb is that grammar rules don’t have to be followed rigidly when verbal conversation is taking place or when someone is thinking.

While there are some purists who’d disagree with that tip it is true. Don’t believe me. Listen to people as they talk to one another. They simply don’t talk like some cutaway from your most recent English language book. Nor do they think that way. In fact their speech often denotes who they are.

Some authors go all out and embed a character’s speech with all sorts of idioms. That is fine but to carry it throughout the book might prove to be a heavy task. I suggest a more practical way.

In my novel Perished: The World That Was I peppered Methuselah’s conversations with ‘So God has said, so shall it be’. That was a major departure from anyone else. For the most part his speech was pretty common, easily understood. But phrases like that and the manner in which he talked spoke of his wealth and authority. In other words I let the character’s personality dominate and come through his speech.

As for thinking, I suggest that you italicize the words. This immediately tells the reader that this is different than verbalizing. It should also reduce the need to add ‘she thought’ or ‘he thought’.

Tip#2: Don’t use slang or social media in your language. Slang is both geographical and time restricted. You use a slang word in New York and it may mean something altogether different in Michigan or Florida. Of course, if your character is a New Yorker you might be able to get away with it. But then you have another problem. Slang is not constant. So what you knew as slang ten, twenty years ago may no longer be in use. Your use, therefore, of old slang in a modern setting can confuse your reader.

Best to stay away from slang altogether.

Application

Both my wife and I try to watch our grammar usage. One of the tools we use is Microsoft Word’s grammar checker. It’s not perfect, but it helps. Also, we use the spell check, but it is not always up-to-date. So we make use of the ‘Add to Dictionary’ tool.

Other resources are grammar books (especially older versions that really emphasized good grammar), and the internet (not the way people talk on the internet like FaceBook, but information about grammar).

Make use of as many resources as needed. And pay attention to grammar and punctuation when editing.

To learn more about grammar and other aspects of writing 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) 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.

How to Start Writing Career

FeaturedHow to Start Writing Career

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 How to start writing career.

To learn more about writing contact TR Writing Services at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

You’ve got an idea for a book, be it non-fiction or fiction. All you need to do is sit down write the book and you’re done. Right? Wrong.

What Should I do to start a career as a writer?

Well, you could try just writing your book starting right now. But while it seems easy, that method would probably prove very exhaustive and tiring. Here are some tips.

First, ask yourself why you want to write. Is it because there’s money to be made? Well, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money. Is it because your idea is the best idea ever? Well, that’s dubious. Is it because you have a real desire to write? Now you’re talking, but that raises other questions.

Assuming you have a desire to write, what experience or skill do you have?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to start out with experience or skill, but it certainly helps. Can you handle basic grammar and spelling needs? There are books on grammar and dictionaries for spelling that should help you with that.

In fact, I would suggest you invest in a simple dictionary at first and later get a combination dictionary/thesaurus. Both of those should be considered essential tools. Books on grammar, spelling, and even on novel writing are excellent helps.

What I’m saying is that you need to have writing aids available to you. You might think you don’t need them, but you do no matter your education or experience.

Then I can start writing?

Sure you can, but you might want to set up a space in your house, apartment, or condo that is meant for you to write. You should consider a desk, writing table, or even a lap table. Having your own private space is conducive to good writing. Also having your files, resource books, etc. nearby can be a good help.

Now I can write?

There’s nothing stopping you, but there are other things you should consider before you begin. One thing that many writers suggest is that you check out on the internet and see if the book you plan on writing has already been written and check out what genre you are in. There’s truth in that. For example, the title itself may already have been used. You might want to have a new or fresh title.

It’s possible someone else has already written a book with the plot you’re thinking of. That doesn’t mean you can’t write the story you have in mind, but it might mean that you need a fresh twist on the plot so that it is different.

Surely now I can write?

Like I said, there’s nothing stopping you. However, you might want to set yourself up as a businessperson. The moment you commit yourself to writing a book you are a businessman or businesswoman. You need to set yourself up so that you not only have a concept of making money, but have a plan for receiving it, tracking it, and making use of it. And don’t forget that eventually you’ll need to market your book

Wow! I don’t have a clue how to start!

That’s fine. There are a lot of businesses out there willing to help you. Unfortunately most are not cheap. Some are expensive and misleading. They promise you a best seller within weeks! It sounds great, but in this day and age unlikely.

My wife and I recently started a new service that is offered by our business T&R Independent Books. It is called TR Writing Services. And it is designed to help the beginning or even the established writer get their book written and published. This service is available at very reasonable prices. Want more information, contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and we’ll send a free booklet on our different plans and a free copy of our TR Writing Guide.

You’ll guide me?

Yes, to an extent. I will be honest with you and do my best to steer you in the right direction. But we don’t believe that you have to do things our way. In the end you are the boss. But we will certainly keep you informed about what we know or think is right. We’ll also help you set up a KDP account if you don’t have one. If you’re going with KDP then we’ll be right with you through the publication process. We are unable to offer that concerning other publishing platforms, but we are experienced with KDP.

I am currently developing a FREE Writing Course that will cover the business of writing, writing itself, websites, and publishing. Hope to have it available in near future. If you’re interested in the course just write me at my email address (below) and I’ll send a link once the course is ready.

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 we’ll send you a PDF of the book.

 – – – – – – –

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.