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What Are Six Steps to Writing?

The Riddle Report 04 20 2021

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

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

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

#1 – The Concept

The Basics of the Story

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

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

#2 – The Research

Beginning Research

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

Some of the research you will do is as follows:

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

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

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

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

#3 – First Draft

Your initial Work

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

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

#4 – Review and Edit

Edit or not?

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

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

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

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

#5 – Get Help

Professional Help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now back to the article.

#6 – Getting Published

Kindle Direct Publishing

At TR Writing Services we use KDP because they:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What About Gov. DeSantis vs. the Big Lie?

The Riddle Report 04 16 2021

There is a narrative out there which I call the Big Lie. The narrative is that Covid-19 can best be controlled by ‘locking down’ the country. It requires businesses to shut down and people to stay in their homes. It further causes Americans to live in fear.

But facts keep popping up and exposing the Big Lie for what it is.

#1 – The Beginning

Back in early 2020 about this time the Big Lie was already getting pushed hard. Dr. Fauci and the CDC pushed it as the right way to fight the virus. President Trump trusted him, as did a host of governors and legislators around the country. But it soon became apparent to the President and to Governor DeSantis that shutting down was not working.

#2 – The Shutdown

President Trump took a cautious approach and encouraged governors to shutdown their states. Governor DeSantis did with an initial 15-day shutdown which was followed by a 30-day shutdown.

Now, looking back, he admits it was a “huge mistake.” In a recent interview with Epoch Times, he talked at length about that and his actions since then.

#3 – Phased Reopening

Both President Trump and Governor DeSantis of Florida began pushing for the reopening of our states. Governor DeSantis was widely criticized by the media, the medical establishment, and by fellow Floridians.

Perhaps you remember, I know I do, the numerous Letters to the Editor that lambasted the Governor. It was vicious and coming from the Left.

But the Governor stood his ground, and we can be thankful that he did. While the liberals preached doom and gloom, the gradual reopening of our state not only brought business back, but the doom and gloom never appeared except in the southeast part of Florida where lockdowns remained.

The phased reopening of Florida and 5 other states, along with 8 other states that never shutdown, has proven the wisdom of reopening. Moreover, we have seen over time that the lockdown didn’t and doesn’t work. Blue state after blue state has stuck to the lockdown and their citizens have paid dearly. The State of New York, the poster state of Covid-19, was placed in lockdown by their governor the poster boy of Covid-19 with disastrous results. We all saw the body bags on national television. (A side note is that President Trump sent at least one hospital ship to New York only to see it barely used.)

New York remains the #1 in worst handling, although the media lionized the New York governor.

#4 – Doom and Gloom

Remember I said people were predicting doom and gloom. Governor DeSantis was getting blasted for his decisions. Well, those decisions led to a booming economy here in Florida. Children are back in school and the media still gets excited if one child gets Covid, but that has never become the problem that the teachers union and others said it would become.

You want doom and gloom you will have to visit some of the northern states, such as New York, Michigan, and others.

#5 – DeSantis’ Closing Remarks

If you listen to the media, the pandemic is still raging. Now they are talking about variants. But the truth is that the pandemic is winding down where the lockdowns have been lifted. That is not what the media wants to hear; nor is it what the liberal politicians want to hear.

The CDC appears to be backing away from some of its harshest advice, but it is going about it very slowly. Why? Listen to the Governor.

“But I don’t know that they’re willing to accept that reality. I think they’re going to try to have no cases at all, which would basically mean there would never be a full end to these policies, which is scary.”

And why is that probably true? Because these same people (governors, legislators, media, and some in the medical field, are heavily invested in the narrative they are pushing. Retreating in the face of mounting evidence doesn’t fit their agenda.

Not long ago a supporter of lockdowns cried out, “It’s science, stupid!” But they were wrong. It was and is bad science!

More about this issue on the other side of this break. TR Bookstore, located at TR-WritingServices.com, brings you this podcast to help you get the truth and to understand the issues we face. Visit our store where we sell books, we’ve written that entertain. If you like adventure, mystery, history, and a touch of romance, check us out.

Now back to the podcast.

#6 – President Biden

There have been disturbing signs that the President’s mental capacity isn’t that great. There have been signs before, during, and after the election. That is scary.

But of even greater concern is that this once sharp politician doesn’t have the mental acumen nor the moral backbone to stand for what he once supported. Now he is pushing an agenda more closely aligned with his Vice President than his own past. Now he is pushing the vaccines.

#7 – Vaccines

President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed brought us the vaccines in record time. And that is fantastic. Not wanting to be outdone and laughed at for taking credit for the vaccines, President Biden is now pushing hard for everyone getting vaccinated. Despite rising occurrences of side effects, some fatal.

There is a time to rush and a time to evaluate. These vaccines need to be tested, analyzed, and tweaked so that these side effects are minimized.

One vaccine is now being “paused” and evaluated around the world. Two others should be watched carefully as well. Personally, I think they will resolve these issues if given time. But I don’t want to get vaccinated by an unproven model.

#8 – My Dad’s Advice

When I was a teenager, my dad gave me advice about buying a car. It went something like this, “Never buy a new model. Wait a couple of years for them to get the problems fixed.” That’s good advice for cars and it is good advice for vaccines. I am not saying wait 2 years, but I am saying let’s slow down and make sure these vaccines not only work but are safe!

#9 – Family Doctors

The medical community is no longer united on this issue. Some are pushing the idea of getting vaccinated, but some are more concerned about their patients than they are any benefits they might receive. Our doctors know our health and are taking a wait and see attitude about the vaccinations. And I am thankful for that. My wife is recovering from Cancer and I am a recovering heart attack patient (2014). Combined with the fact that we are both Type “O”, believed to be naturally resistant to the virus, we are advised not to get vaccinated. But we do practice social distancing and wearing the mask where required.

#10 – Conclusion

History has proven that “lockdowns” don’t work. Instead, they tend to excoriate the problem. Sometimes, plain old common sense is better than the most scientific responses. Science is often wrong; history is replete with erroneous scientific beliefs. And when everyone seems to be on the bandwagon for a supposed cure and won’t allow public dissent, it is a time to back away. My wife and I will be watching and may never get vaccinated. But one thing is for sure, as long as our doctors don’t push it on us, we aren’t volunteering.

I am glad that Florida has a Governor who has backbone. He saw the data and knew what the right thing was to do. And he did it! That same data was available to others and they ignored it or explained it away. And their people suffered for it.

This podcast has been brought to you by TR Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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5 Proactive Actions for Authors in 2021

The Riddle Report 01 06 2021

Today I am writing about the pursuit of your writing career. The title is Be Proactive.

What do you mean?

One definition of proactive is: Acting in advance to deal with an expected change or difficulty. 2021 lies ahead of you. There are a lot of unknowns right now.

Take the election of the President. No matter the outcome of today’s voting, it is unlikely we will know who the next President is until the Supreme Court gets involved. There is a lot of evidence of voter fraud, certainly a great deal of mistrust of election results, and the abuse of power by state governors and their administrations.

That’s just one area of uncertainty. Connected to those issues you also have the economy, international relations, Covid-19, and so on. In other words, you, and all the rest of us, don’t know what 2021 will be like.

That being the case, I think we authors need to be proactively engaged. This blog contains 5 Proactive Actions for Authors in 2021.

  1. Budgeting

This involves looking back and forward. How did your writing budget work out last year. This would be a great time to analyze your success. While I am speaking of money, success has many faces.

You may not have made much money, but did you position yourself for success. In a moment we will talk about goals but positioning yourself involves financial investment for sure yet there is much more involved.

For instance, are you ready to write a new novel? I published some novels last year, but I have also laid the groundwork or have already started writing other novels. What about you.

If you been writing for any length of time you may have gotten to that stage where you can work on more than one novel at a time. If that is the case, it is a good thing. If you haven’t started working on the next novel, this would be a good time to start.

How about publishing and marketing? Now’s the time to start on them.

  • Goals

We hear about setting goals all the time and the reason is that goal setting can be very effective. Set short-term, intermediate term, and long-term goals.

For example, in locally marketing our TR Writing Services I began last year putting shoe leather to my marketing efforts. I began visiting local strip malls and getting out business cards and flyers to let people know about our products. I plan on continuing and expanding these efforts in 2021.

As for novels, I have three novels I am working on right now. All three were begun in 2020 and now being enhanced. In some cases, the novels may have major rewriting involved. Don’t know yet, but it is a possibility.

  • Writing

I just mentioned my plans for writing in the Goals segment. But being proactive requires more than just establishing goals. It involves actually doing some writing. Keep writing!

If you don’t have a plan for writing your books, develop one. It doesn’t have to be hard and fast, set in stone. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend that.

A better idea, specially if you are writing multiple books, is to work on one project and then switch to another. This will help keep your mind alert.

Plan ahead, maybe even schedule your books, but nothing set in stone.

  • Publishing

Publishing is a very important area. Have you decided to become an Indie Publisher? Whether you are traditional, self-publishing, or indie publishing, you need to start working on that now.

If traditional you need to have an agent who can find the right publisher for you. If you are going Self-Publishing you need the money so you can pay upfront (remember, it could be $800 or more). If Indie, it may not be money, but it could be getting all your pawns in order.

Whatever you plan on doing in 2021, now is the time to think about it and put your plans in action.

  • Marketing

Marketing is the final step. It involves advertising, selling, and record keeping. You may be one of those persons who can just do it and don’t need a calendar or some other reminder. Me, I need reminding.

And we all need good record keeping. I am not going to go into any detail on that because we all have different needs and expectations. But now is the time to get started!

Here at TR Writing Services, we stand ready to help you. Our motto is “We edit, proof, and publish the book within you.”  As for marketing, we can advise you and provide certain tools, such as your own dedicated book page that you can use to begin marketing. This page is free and designed to help your prospective reader to find and buy your book.

For more information see below.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

==========

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip What to Write

10 06 2020

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

Finding subjects to write on can be difficult or easy depending on your approach. Experts advise that you find what is popular and write accordingly. I suppose that works if all you are interested in is sales. But if you want to write something good, write upon subjects you find interesting.

For example, I love history, so my favorite genre is Historical Fiction. In that genre I’ve written about Bible based history, which are historical events that are seen from a biblical view. When you use the book of Genesis you get history often written by eyewitnesses.  Out of this genre has come my The World That Was series.

Another genre I enjoy is Speculative Fiction. This and Science Fiction are like kissing cousins. Very much alike, but yet different. I usually explain this way, Speculative Fiction is Science Fiction without little green men. Often Speculative Fiction deals with future events, sometimes events recorded in the Book of Revelation. In one sense this is Historical Fiction in that it is history prewritten. The famous Left Behind series would fit in this genre.

My point is that I write what I enjoy.

Another genre I enjoy reading is Mystery. And that will soon produce Mystery novels. So, I have a question: Are you writing what you enjoy or just what someone else enjoys?

I may get negative feedback on this but writing only what others like may be financially profitable, but it is likely going to be less than your best work. Ideally, you want to write books that sell and that you like! This combination should bring out your best writing and sell.

I do not know of any guaranteed method that will meet that standard. As a general rule I would say first write down possible stories and then search the internet for the most popular genres out there. But just because no one else hasn’t written what you plan to write doesn’t mean your book shouldn’t be written.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to write in an unfamiliar genre. Study it, learn some basics, and give it a try. Who knows, you might just find something new that you like to write.

Tip: Don’t let $$$ determine what you write.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to write in a popular, yet unfamiliar genre.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip Writer’s Growth

10 01 2020

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

Are you a beginning writer?

Have you written your first book?

Have you written several books?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, then you have something in common with most writers: You need to grow, to improve.

What’s wrong with my writing?

I didn’t say anything was wrong. A better question would be: How do I grow as a writer?

OK, how do I grow?

Think about muscles. If you work out with weights and other exercise equipment there is a likelihood that you are going to get stronger. And if you don’t work out there is an equal chance you will get weaker. Muscles need exercise. Well, think of your writing. The skills you have developed are like muscles. Just like muscles need to be exercised, your writing muscles need to be used.

But Growth also needs Food.

Just as your body and your muscles need vitamins and other nutrients, you as an author also need something. That something can be many things, such as learning new skills, shedding mistakes that hold you back, maybe adding a genre to the one you already have, and many more.

Genre?

Yes. Each genre has its own unique characteristics. For example, my first genre was Historical Fiction. I wrote books that took place in history. My series The World That Was is based on history that took place in biblical times. But my novel Dead Eye Will took place in American History. These are sub-genres under Historical Fiction. So, even adding a sub-genre to your resume can add to your overall appeal and, more importantly, to your skill set.

But adding an altogether different genre will definitely sharpen your skills and add new ones. I told you above that I wrote, and still write, Historical Fiction. I love history and that was a natural for me. But I also enjoy science fiction, so I decided to try writing Science Fiction, although what I write is more appropriately called Speculative Fiction. (I explain the difference as Speculative Fiction being Science Fiction without little green men. It is futuristic, can take place in space, here on Earth, and never involve aliens.)

Two Different Genres Require Two Different Skill Sets.

Some skills transfer to any genre, but writing historical novels requires a knowledge of history and the placement of the novel within the selected historical times. On the other hand, speculative novels require a knowledge of science, whether space science or future science that may impact our daily lives. Since it is generally futuristic you are writing history in advance. This resulted in my Christland series.

If that wasn’t enough, I have become interested in Mystery, a totally different genre. I am currently working on a mystery that involves murder and science set in the future.

These three genres are different from one another and demand different skills from me. Some I know, others I am learning. And that is what I mean by growing. I am adding new skill sets to what I already had and using new tools to do it. These represent multiple genres.

Tip: To grow, add to yourself new skills, tools, and maybe genres.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip Immerse Yourself

09 29 2020

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

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

Like What?

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

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

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

How is that done?

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

Immersed?

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

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

So, how do I Immerse Myself in the Story?

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

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

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

Tip: Let the plot drive you.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip Slow Down the Writing

09 24 2020

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

Have you rushed your story?

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

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

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

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

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

What went wrong?

You’ve made 3 Key Mistakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip: Slow down, edit, and never quit.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip Building Characters

09 22 2020

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

When writing a story, when do I create characters?

Good question. The short answer is whenever you want. But let’s look at this in more depth.

Importance of Character

Some characters are more important than others. I would suggest you have at least a general idea of who and what the most important characters are before you start writing. The reason is that the primary character(s) will exert influence right from the beginning. Know how your character fits in with the story and having a concept of how things will end for the character will help you in developing your story.

First Occurrence of Primary Character

In most novels the primary character shows up in the first chapter and often on the first page. This is an excellent time to introduce your characters best (or worst) characteristics to the reader. It will shape their opinion of that character from that point onward.

I suggest height, build, hair style and color, skin color, or speech be revealed up front. Skin color tells the reader a great deal, so if you want a little mystery there you would wait to reveal that fact. It is really up to you and depends on how you want your character revealed.

I would suggest you emphasize the primary characteristic. Perhaps the character has a temper, show it. Or perhaps the character tends to listen in on conversations other people are having. Why not show it?

First Occurrence of Other Characters

You don’t need a full biological report here, but it would be helpful if some important characteristic is introduced immediately. It could be he or she had red hair. Or maybe a prominent nose. It could be anything, and it could prove important later on.

Do I need a Record of the Character’s characteristics?

Different authors do different things. Some create a separate document and list the characters by name and what characteristics they have. Some authors do this mentally. I’ve tried both and generally prefer a separate document. Depending on your memory can lead to mistakes, while depending on a document can lead to further developments and even growth of the character(s).

What about using lisps or accents?

If you use lisps, accents, or anything else that is noticeable, then you need to be consistent. In my novel Perished: The World That Was I had the Serpent talk with a lisp. It required consistency or the reader would have noticed it. In the story, Serpent was taken over by Lucifer and the lisp was gone. It helped dramatize the moment.

In another situation I had Methuselah use an identifying phrase. It was something he said that both drew attention to him and to whatever he was emphasizing. It required diligence on my part but it worked.

So, when do I create my characters?

I would suggest you develop your primary and some of your support characters before you start your story. That doesn’t mean include them all at once, but rather to have the capability to include them whenever desired. I also believe, although I don’t always do so, that it is best if you have them in a separate document which becomes a valuable resource.

Tip: Pay attention to your Characters, make a list of their characteristics, and develop them into useful contributors to your story. And prepare them as early as possible.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Lit Tip Blogging

09 16 2020

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

Have you considered Blogging?

Do I hear laughter? You shouldn’t laugh at the idea. Blogging is easy, it keeps your mind sharp, and depending on your perimeters it allows you to freely express your opinion on a lot of subjects.

Why do you blog?

I blog because I like helping other authors and I like commenting on the news, which means I have two different outreaches. I blog on the news on Fridays and Mondays, while I blog on writing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

What subjects do you blog about?

On Mondays and Fridays, I blog primarily on the news, although everything is on the table. But I report the news and comment on it. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, I blog on writing providing tips.

What is the advantage of blogging?

Blogging builds name recognition. In my case I have watched my followers list grow. Do any and will any buy my books. Possibly. That is certainly a hope.

Another advantage is it is a platform that enables me to reach out and tell people about my books I’ve written. Speaking of my books, I just published Trump an Outsider’s View and it is available on our site or you can go to Pre-Order.

What should I blog about?

That is something you need to evaluate. I recommend you discover your favorite subjects you like to talk about. It should be something that you already enjoy doing. But it can also be something new.

Some people blog about their work, while others blog about their hobbies, the world around them, and their other interests. It is your choice, but the more it reflects your tastes and inclinations the more it will attract others.

Are there any negatives about blogging?

Well, like anything that is worthwhile it takes time. And it will take time to build up a following, but I believe it is worth it.

But to be honest the work involved while time consuming it broadens your knowledge and understanding of the world around you. And, as in my case, it lends itself to learning more about your craft of writing.

An example of this is news. I write about current events and news is very current. Some of the news I learned led me in my researching for Trump an Outsider’s View. At the same time, research for the book also led to some of my blogging on news.

Is the book available in Print?

This is Tuesday September 15, 2020 (I’m writing this blog for Wednesday because I won’t be available) and at this moment the Print version is still being reviewed by KDP. I am expecting the book to be live at any moment. At the same time, however, a problem with the book cover or something else could occur requiring my attention. But the eBook is available for Pre-Order and will be released September 19, 2020.

Tip: Blogging can increase your name recognition.

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

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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