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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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Ron’s Tip of the Day Surviving COVID-19

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. This is an experiment in microblogging. Let me know how I’m doing. Today I am looking at Surviving COVID-19.

Don’t get caught up in the hype!

Unfortunately the ‘fake news’ or media can’t just report the news, they must also bend it toward their own bias. How often have we heard that Trump said this or Trump said that and ‘offered no proof’? This is a classic attempt to erode support and/or undermine the President.

The truth is that we should pay more attention to what the Federal government says and what your state government says than the television, radio, and printed press say. You will stay saner longer if you do.

An example of this hype is the constant drivel about the ‘cases’. Yes, this is an extremely contagious disease and you should follow commonsense practices as shown at both the national level (.gov) and at your state level. But you need to also remember that the death rate is an extremely low 3.6% of the cases. Compare this to other diseases. Be concerned, but don’t panic.

But what else should we do to survive?

For writers I suggest:

  • Start a new book
  • Focus on research for current/future books
  • Plan ahead
  • Give yourself a treat
  • Relax
  • Get COVID-19 information from the Coronavirus Task Force and your State government.

The virus’ impact changes daily. So trust the government’s wisdom and advice. And pray that it will all end soon.

Tip of the Day : Use this time as an opportunity, be informed, and don’t panic. Most important: pray.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Writing a Series Pt 2

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. This is an experiment in microblogging. Let me know how I’m doing. Today I am looking at Writing a Series Pt 2.

This is the second part of a two-part series. In Part 1 we looked at the advantages of writing a series. Today we look at the How.

Tips

Here is a breakdown of the 5 advantages turned into tips.

  • I, the writer, can connect my thoughts from one book to another
    • Plant the seeds for the next book in the current book
    • Successfully close current story or plot
  • There is continuity for the reader
    • Leave threads unresolved at end of current book
    • In next book have thoughts, events, etc. ‘look back’ to previous book
  • Research is still there, but not nearly as much
    • Research is always an option
    • Research enables you, the writer, to explore and expand story and series
    • Use Internet, books, movies/videos, and more to develop ideas
  • Author has already laid out the location, time period, and customs
    • When writing new book use previous book as a resource
    • Add new vital information that can be used and expanded in later books
  • It makes writing easier
    • It helps you stay focused on characters and storyline
    • It can speed up your writing
    • It gives you a consistent platform

Generally speaking that is all you need to know. Begin here and allow yourself to grow.

Tip of the Day: Seriously consider turning your book into a series.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Tip of the Day Writing a Series Pt 1

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. This is an experiment in microblogging. Let me know how I’m doing. Today I am looking at Writing a Series Pt 1.

Should I Write a Series?

New writers are often advised to write a series. The argument is you have a better marketing opportunity. If a reader likes one, he/she will  likely buy the others. Is it true?

Yes. But there are other issues to be dealt with. Does the writer’s book have series potential? I know of people who want to write a story about theirs or someone else’s life and that’s all. A good writer could turn that book into a series, but first does that person really want to put out the effort. Only the writer can answer that.

Aside from marketing what advantages are there?

To answer that let me point to my books. Of all my books I’ve written, only one has not been turned into a series and that was Dead Eye Will. Why didn’t I make it into a series? Primarily I wasn’t interested. But I have considered rewriting the story and then turning it into a series, but at the moment I have other stories demanding attention.

But a series has advantages, such as:

  • I, the writer, can connect my thoughts from one book to another
  • There is continuity for the reader
  • Research is still there, but not nearly as much
  • Author has already laid out the location, time period, and customs
  • It makes writing easier

In Part 2 we will explore this further.

For information on TR Writing Services (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. Our Free booklet tells you about our services. And we are upfront on our prices (all are low).

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

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews for R. Frederick Riddle and Tess Riddle books. I value your reviews.

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Researching the Net

Welcome to Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip. Every Tuesday I will share a tip with you. This week is about:Researching the Net.

What is Researching the Net?

That’s a term referring to the idea of searching for information on the internet. Almost everyone does it, but are they doing it right.

Let’s look at the pitfalls first.

Unfortunately, there are a great many pitfalls on the net that you need to be aware of. One of the biggest is ‘fake news’.

There is fake news on both sides of the political landscape. However most of it is on the left side. Still, you need to be aware that there is fake news no matter your political persuasion. It used to be that you could you one of the many ‘fact checkers’ to verify facts. I’ve done that in the past.

But these days you have to be careful even of fact checkers. Why? Because so many of them try to hide their true bias behind words like non-partisan or neutral or something like that. The truth is that everyone has a bias. Knowing the bias of the person who is rendering an opinion on something is helpful to you. It enables you to evaluate their opinion.

Follow the old adage that says, ‘follow the money’. Another tool is to examine their record, which way do they usually lean?

Does that mean not to use fact checkers? No. It means know and understand where they are coming from, then consider their opinions.

What about Scams?

Another pitfall is the abundance of scam artists. They create URLs that look real but may just be a scam. Or worse, they could be Trojan horses. So be careful.

Your best bet is to use websites that you know are reliable. If you must use a website that you don’t really know, compare the information with other reliable resources.

How do you find Reliable Resources?

Chances are you already know a few resources that you believe are reliable. That’s a good place to begin.

But assuming you have none to begin with you will need to grow a library of reliable resources. When I first started writing I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t trust on the internet. But I did have reference books that I trusted. Since my books related to the Bible, I also had trustworthy Bible Commentaries. That is where I started. I compared the trusted material that I had with the material I found through Google Search. Over time I built a record of trusted sites.

So, what is Researching the Net?

Basically, it is using Google or some other search engine to search for information. Novels are fiction, but you want them to be based on as much fact as possible. This is true in writing novels based on history (Biblical or secular) and Speculative (or Science Fiction). That’s right, speculative fiction deals with the future, yet to be believable they need facts (like the latest in scientific discoveries). When writing about current events you also need facts.

In other words, research is virtually always needed.

Additional Advice.

What I have found to be helpful is that when I find an article or webpage that is loaded with information it is best to use the Select All command and copy everything to a Word page. Later I can highlight the relevant material and maybe discover more than I was searching for in the first place. That way I always have information available on my computer that I can look up whenever needed.

Searching the internet is one of the easier things you can do. Just be careful.

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.

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The Impact of Research

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

When writing it is always good to do research.

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

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

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

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

So why is this important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is this the typical result of research?

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

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

Research even helps with Speculative Fiction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 – – – – – – –

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

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How to Manage Location of Resources

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 Manage Location of Resources.

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

LOCATION OF RESOURCES

As mentioned before, I like my cabinets and shelves to be close by the desk where I can easily reach them. Being basically lazy it works for me! This enables me to access the information with greater efficiency. Meanwhile Teresa has her resources spread out, but that seems to work for her.

The important thing is that it be helpful to your overall work.

Tip: Keep your resources where you can easily access them.

The RESOURCES

This covers:

  • books on writing
  • Bible commentaries
  • books on marketing
  • financial records
  • publishing information
  • Research material
  • and more

Your resources will differ from ours, (for example I need Bible commentaries) but you will have a need for good resources and you will need to keep them somewhere safe and easily accessible.

But that is not all. You need to also consider such factors as lighting, storage (paper, ink, incoming/outgoing, and more). In other words, you need resources that will reflect not only personal preferences but will aid you in writing the kind of books that you are committed to write.

Tip: Take time to make sure your workspace meets your needs.

Example

It’s not uncommon for me to need to do research for a book. By having resources close by I’m able to make use of several resources, including my library and my computer. Having a comfortable and efficient place to work has been a blessing throughout my career.

As mentioned before I use a task chair as it’s comfortable and work friendly. Artists, including musicians as well as writers, need to keep a proper posture. Not doing so can cause a painful back and other more serious ailments. And correct posture helps you keep focus!

As mentioned before bad posture can lead to sleepiness and an inefficient approach to your work. I learned this fact the hard way and still have to fight a tendency to slouch. But having a comfortable task chair has helped me immensely.

By using that chair plus a computer table I’m able to sit for long periods of time and accomplish whatever work needs done. There’s the added benefit of being easily moved to a different location if I desire.

When I first started out writing I had the blessing of a separate room to be used as my office, but when we moved down to Florida to take care of my mother-in-law my office was located in her lanai. After she went to glory we moved to a condo and I enclosed a portion of the living room into an office. Now in our present home I’ve staked out a place in one of our rooms for my office.

All of these worked for me because I used comfortable, practical furniture arranged in a fashion that was economical, comfortable, and efficient for me to use. Unless you have complete confidence in someone else’s abilities I would advise this be a DIY project. You know what is comfortable and works for you.

Application

When planning your workspace, you need to take the time to analyze what your needs are now and in the future. It may require the investment of money as well as time. Remember that you need to know what your needs are because an uncomfortable or inefficient work space will make it very difficult for you to be an effective writer. It may seem a small thing but it can be a big thing.

When Teresa and I moved to Clarkston, Michigan we took time to measure and plan the layout of every room before we moved in. We repeated this when we moved down here to her mom’s house. Although the lanai was good sized, we had to leave room for mom’s stuff as well. In fact, every time we have moved, we took the same approach which enabled us to move without being inconvenienced.

The above excerpt

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.

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How to Write the Perfect Novel Every Time

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Write the Perfect Novel Every Time.
I’ll admit right up front that there is no such thing as a perfect novel. There are millions of readers out there and every one of them have their own idea of what constitutes a good or great novel.
So, perfect novel? No! Good, yes.
So what constitutes a good novel?
The answer to that also varies, but since I’m the one authoring this blog, let me give my take on the issue.
A good novel is a story that draws the reader into it, whose character(s) are interesting, the plot is believable, and where the writing makes it hard to put the book down.
Obviously there are other important aspects to a good novel. But as a general statement I think that covers it.
What about Grammar?
Good grammar is always needed. Not just good grammar, but good spelling as well. Bad grammar and spelling can hurt an otherwise good story. Spelling mistakes can be deadly as can grammar mistakes. You need to constantly work on your grammar and spelling.
But I would contend that good grammar and good spelling are included in the statement, “the writing makes it hard to put the book down.”
What about Character Development?
You want your characters to stand out whether they are good people or bad people. To do this requires you have characters that are strong or weak, but are consistently so. I once had a man critique a book of mine in which he claimed the character wasn’t consistent. The problem was that I was writing about two different and real people found in the Bible. They had the same exact name and lived in the same time. If he’d read the book through (he didn’t) he would have seen that. But he skipped around and concluded they were the same characters.
Although he was wrong in his conclusions, that is a legitimate concern. If your character is evil at the beginning you need the character to continue being evil unless there is a reason that causes that character to change. And the reader must see that reason!
But I would contend that Character Development is included in “characters are interesting.”
OK, I get it. But what about the story’s background?
When writing a novel it is crucial to have a strong background. Sometimes that background is easily found in research; sometimes the background requires deeper research. Background includes many things such as the setting, the customs, and much more. If writing about history then it needs to be historically accurate. If writing about the future, then it needs to be believable. My general statement includes two items that cover all of this: “draws the reader into it” and “is believable.”
For example, a story that takes place in ancient history may be a great story but collapses because a character may speak using modern slang or a character drinks from a glass when glass hadn’t been invented yet. This is a mistake that is jarring to the reader and immediately detracts from the story. In all likelihood the reader will put the book down.
Background is important and is in my statement.
OK, What about Sales?
We all want our novels to sell. The more book sales the better for us and our bank accounts. But sales tells very little about the book. For instance, there are great books out there that haven’t really sold well. Why? Because good sales need a good book but it also needs a good marketer!
There are also books out there that are of poor quality. Yet they get great reviews and their sales are out of this world. How can that be?
No matter how bad a book is written there are people who will enjoy them. That might account for some of the sales. In addition some great marketing may have been involved that created a buzz about the book. The result? The book goes viral.
Sales simply don’t tell you about the quality of the book.
Does Following Your Blog Help My Writing?
I try to write about writing once a week (usually Thursday). Some aspect of writing is covered in these blogs. So, yes, if you are reading this blog on a weekly basis you should be learning something you can use. I also write about publishing and marketing once a week. That’s usually on Fridays.
But I would recommend that you make use of multiple sources on the subject of writing. The more sources you have the more likelihood you’ll learn something new that will benefit you. I subscribe to several newsletters, blogs, etc. with that in mind.
Another thing you can and should do is keep writing. You’ve written your first book; it’s been published and now you are getting sales. Don’t stop there!
Keep writing. Start one or two more books and work on them. I believe that no matter what your sales are your writing will improve through the act of writing. Each book you finish should be better than the one before. And as you learn from others you would be incorporating that knowledge into your latest book.
Conclusion
You may never write the perfect novel. But if you study the art of writing, practice writing and publishing new books you should see a consistent growth and improvement in your writing. And if you’re like me the simple joy of writing grows with each novel you write!

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), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), 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 author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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.

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Insights from the World That Was series

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Insights from the World That Was series.
A great deal of research goes into writing books. That goes without saying.
But what about books based on the Bible or, for that matter, on history?
The series The World That Was is a fictional story that is based on historical and Biblical facts. I didn’t one day just sit down and dash off a novel. It took tremendous research. This research involved any secular history that related to our beginnings and the Bible.
What does Secular History say?
At first glance secular history is a no-show. But part of the reason for that is that liberal educators have tampered with our history books. Not only with our nation’s history but with world history. So as an author I had to dig.
The history of the Jewish people can be found in the writings of Josephus. It is essentially a secular book thereby subject to error. Even so, it contains a lot of history. Why? Because the early history of our world surrounded a little piece of land we now call Israel. It is also known as Palestine, Canaan land, and other titles.
As you can see that invites you to do much research and you soon find there are conflicting histories. Part of this problem involves the history of Egypt. To be perfectly frank this is highly unreliable. At best you have to guess about the time frames of different rulers.
Egypt is the worst case, but to some degree the problem exists elsewhere. A partial solution comes from comparing known historical people who lived at the same time in different lands. That helps in nailing down the time table. But even that is subject to error. There is a more sure aide, but I’ll visit that later.
Of all the secular writings I have found Josephus a fairly reliable resource that sheds light on people, places, and events. This is very important from an author’s viewpoint.
Why is historical reliability important?
As an author I want readers to feel that the characters and their stories are real. To accomplish this I need them to have confidence in the “facts” of the story. In short, I strive to be accurate when describing the land so that someone who’s been there will readily accept that fact. Now there are exceptions. For example, a description of Mt. Ararat in Noah’s day will differ from a description of Mt. Ararat today. In Noah’s day snow hadn’t been seen before and therefore was a new thing to Noah and the family. Mt. Ararat would have been barren of snow when the Ark landed and for years afterward. But today it is covered in snow and ice. A lot has happened.
So it is important to know about changes in weather conditions?
To some degree, yes. Let me change that to a high degree. I had one man write me with criticisms of the land and of Mt. Ararat in my book. He’d been in the area and said it didn’t look like that at all. He’s probably correct as far as today is concerned, but my story took place over a 1000 years ago. There have been changes.
The Most Reliable Resource
Contrary to the modern liberal crowd, also known as evolutionists, the King James Bible is the most reliable book out there. While it is not a history book, it is totally accurate when it tells of historical peoples, lands, and events.
A classic example of this is found in the Bible’s numerous mentions of the Hittite people. A number of centuries ago cynics “proved” the Bible to be in error. These cynics were the most highly educated of their time. They were the experts you’d turn to regarding history, science, archeology, and more.
They successfully demonstrated that archeology had not turned up any evidence that these Hittites ever existed. This they said proved the Bible was in error in mentioning a people that had never existed and if existed were never a powerful nation.
But time went on and after centuries of denial evidence began surfacing in the early 19th century. The greatest minds of science and archeology were thus proved wrong although that is glossed over. It was of far greater importance to prove the Bible wrong. But the Bible had been right all the time!
We now know that the Bible is without doubt not only the most accurate but is completely accurate as it deals with history and science or any other subject. Man continues to deny it and offers up questions that range from the foolish to the outright manipulation of Scripture.
As an author I have not doubted the reliability of the Scriptures. As a result I discovered the solution to the problem of secular history. Test secular history against the Bible. If secular history is in complete disagreement with the Bible, then bring it into conformity to the Bible. This is particularly helpful when dealing with time frames. It brings unity to the jumbled mass of time frames and enables a writer to better understand what is going on, who is living, who is dominant, and where their chief character lives.
All to often people try to make the Bible conform to the secular. It won’t work. But when you pull secular history into conformity with the Bible it is like a puzzle of a 1000 pieces suddenly falling into their proper place!
What is my Insight?
That when writing a book that is based on history, science, or both you can rely on the Bible. Just remember that so-called “errors” are found in the reader’s mind not in the Bible. In matters of science who is talking. The Bible often relates what someone believes to be true, as with Jacob. It doesn’t comment on whether his “scientific” ideas are true or not, but simply relates the truth of what he believed or what he did.

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), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), 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 author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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.

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Author’s Resources

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Today I am writing about the Author’s Resources.
This is going to be more than one blog. So next Thursday and possibly others will cover this topic in greater degree.
Why Use Resources?
There was a time when an author only had his own imagination, his experience, and, if so blessed, a dictionary as resources. But the world has changed since those olden days. Back then few resources were available, but today there is a whole world of information available at the touch of a key. A computer key, that is.
Generally speaking, there are writing resources, publishing resources, and marketing resources. We will take a look at each, thus requiring several days of study. So let’s get busy.
The Internet as a Resource
I start with this because it is huge. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know that I write books based on the Bible and other books based on Space. Both require a great deal of research. Thus, I use the Internet a lot!
Here is a brief list of what is available on the Internet:

  • books on writing
  • books on the Bible (necessary if writing Biblical books)
  • books on space, such as space travel, history of space exploration, and more
  • Biblical Research material
  • Space Research material
  • And research on any other topic I am interested in writing about

Tip #1 – There is no excuse for not having information that you need. We live in the age of the internet. You can search for just about anything on it. But be careful. The internet is rife with false and misleading information. While it can be a rich source of material, you have to be careful.
I have found it helpful to stick with proven sources. Sometimes I venture out to new sources but I also check their content against the proven sources and against my own knowledge.
Tip #2 – Bookmark your favorite resources. Chances are you will need them in the future. This is a small feature on the Internet, but bookmarks or favorites are extremely valuable for someone who does a lot of research, especially if on multiple subjects.
Example
For my Bible related stories I make use of books on the customs and manners of the people, historical references, and names of men and women in the Bible. In addition, I make use of commentaries of the related person or event, word studies, and more.
But I don’t restrict myself to books. We live in the age of the internet. So I make use of it, searching for all manner of information. This requires a discerning spirit as there is false as well as true information on the internet.
Another example is researching for my speculative series Christland. There is a plethora of information out there. Since I’m writing in an existing fiction field, I research such things as Star Trek to get ideas about what a ship looks like and more.
But I also used other resources. For example, I researched the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2. From there I got ideas about dining facilities, medical facilities, etc. on a ship. Why’d I use a sea going vessel? Because in many ways traveling space is akin to traveling the oceans. So I drew from naval research.
I used a wide ranging research because I wanted my stories to be state of the art science plus be solidly grounded upon either established fictional “facts” about space travel and established modern scientific facts about space travel.
Use of Internet Search
Warning, Warning! Use of Internet Search may become habit forming.
I am jesting, but the truth is that I spend a lot of time on the internet searching for information. Time flies by!
I will stop at different sites and evaluate their content. Sometimes I know enough about the subject to see how accurate the site is, but sometimes the information is entirely new. One trick I have developed is to copy and paste the material to a Word document. Or other times I simply bookmark the information in an appropriate folder. And sometimes I do both.
Build your library with books, ebooks, and well bookmarked resources.
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 to the Stars (Book One), and Pauline A New Home (Book Two), 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 author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical 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.