The Writing Game

FeaturedThe Writing Game

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at The Writing Game.

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

When considering what to write about I came up with the title before I actually knew about the content. That’s completely different from my usual practice, but it is what it is.

So What Is the Writing Game?

Well for starters it is everything you find in the Guide to Writing. So I can’t give you an excerpt because that would entail 101 pages if you include the book cover, front pages, and back pages. So this blog is going to look at the subject a little differently than you may expect.

To me the Writing Game begins early in life. Reflect back on your childhood memories. For starters did you like to read? Did you like to write?

Those are fairly common questions, but I want you to look deeper. Are there stories buried in your past, in your childhood (or adulthood for that matter) that are bursting to be told? As I sit here typing I’m also reflecting on my childhood. Now in my case I had epilepsy and was on heavy medication until after my first stint in the ninth grade (I flunked it and then was taken off medications and I did much better afterward).

So much of my childhood is a mystery to me. But the later years (teens and twenties) are much more open to me. So I have memories. There are some good and some bad memories. Are they bursting to be told? Bursting, no. But I am intrigued by the possibilities and may someday write novels based on individual events.

Actually, when I am writing a novel, whether it’s Bible based or Speculative Fiction, I draw from life experiences throughout my life. Perhaps I draw from my feelings, my experiences, my hopes, or my fears. This is my opening point: Your life experiences are a natural resource.

It is this opening point that is the basis for the idea that everyone has a story in them. Everyone therefore has the potential to become a writer.

But what about skills?

As a Christian I believe there are basically two times that we are equipped to become what God wants us to become. The first time is at birth. Everyone is born with certain qualities and innate tendencies. For example, someone who becomes an artist may have been born with an innate skill or interest in drawing. It may also show up in childhood.

In my case, because I was on heavy medication I didn’t play much in sports. I did play in Little League Baseball, but I had no real talent and I wasn’t pushed because I might have blacked out or something. But I did have a lively imagination!

Imagination is not really considered a skill, but it is a necessary ingredient for anyone desiring to be a writer. I spent much of my childhood living in imaginary worlds. Now you might say that is normal for children, and it is. However, in my case it was probably more pronounced than in other children.

Many of my childhood dreams centered on Flash Gordon, Roy Rogers, and other TV heroes. There was also a Navy Officer that entered my daydreams. I not only enjoyed their adventures on television but I made up stories where I was the hero acting out stories that involved villains and others from their shows. But while the characters were well known the story lines became my own. By the time I was in my mid-teens I was desiring to be a writer.

I didn’t start acquiring actual writing skills until I was in my twenties. I subscribed for a while to a writing course and began learning the fundamentals of writing. This lasted until I was unable to afford the service anymore. But I continued to attempt to write. Although all ended in failure I learned how to better write.

Failures are good?

 Yes. In the game of writing failure is a key ingredient. Failure, when combined with a strong desire to succeed, teaches you first of all not to quit. I don’t know how many stories I attempted and failed at, but I never gave up on the goal to be a writer. Instead I doubled down and learned from my mistakes, which were many.

It is this stage of life that led my wife and I to start TR Writing Service. Through this service I can use my failures and successes to help both new and struggling writers with their careers.

The Second Birth changed my life.

In 1973 I asked Jesus into my heart and He gloriously saved me. Now I had eternal life. But there was something else impacted. With the Holy Spirit indwelling me and the Holy Bible available to me I began wanting to glorify God in my writing. And it immediately showed!

I continued to fail, learn, and retry until in the year 2000 God opened my eyes to an opportunity for writing. I was reading the Book of Genesis about Noah and the Flood. I realized that here was a story to be told. Thus I began writing the ‘story behind the story‘ that was eventually published as Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles. That story would later feed into my novel Perished: The World That Was, which in turn launched the series The World That Was and my writing career.

In short, God re-equipped me!

By that I mean I was originally equipped to write by being born with a desire to write and some raw writing skills. Now God equipped me with new skills that took 27 years to develop and another 3 years to bear fruit. Thus it took 30 years of Christian living to undo the first 30 years of Christ-less living!

From the first publication to now (2019) it’s been 16 years of learning, failing, and learning. I have published 11 novels (6 Bible based & 4 Speculative Fiction, and 1 American History) plus I am currently working on 3 new novels (1 Bible based and 2 Speculative Fiction). Actually 1 Speculative Fiction novel (Rise of I.C.E.S.) is being published now with availability within days.

So we now have Life Experiences and Talent, what else do we need?

In one word: Determination! There are thousands of men and women who want to write and actually attempt it yet quit! Why? They didn’t get the sales they wanted, someone gave them a negative review, a relative discouraged them, and so forth. What they need to do is get back up, learn from the bad things said and even the good things said. Determination is the fuel that will cause you to grow.

Finally, there is Opportunity.

Some of you are saying but I never get the opportunity. But I’m here to say that’s no excuse. Whether you use TR Writing Services or some other program you have the opportunity. In this day and age you can write, publish, and market your own book.

In the game of writing you control the game. You have little control over sales, but you have great control over the writing and publishing of your book. And there are ways and means of marketing your book available. If you have all the talent in the world and all the skills but never seize the opportunity you are guaranteeing failure. Permanent failure. On the other hand you have unlimited opportunity available to you every day!

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), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews. Please note that the Rise of I.C.E.S. is being published now and should be available in a few days.

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.

Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

FeaturedDo You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Do You Desire to be an Independent Author?

Independence.

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

This is one of the most common motivational factors in anyone’s arsenal.

We have an inner desire to be independent, to be free to do our own thing. Think of a baby or young child, they often have an “I’d rather do it myself” attitude that needs to be broken. Hopefully it will be tamed rather than merely broken.

This desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Tip: The desire to be independent can lead to bad decisions, but it can also lead to great decision making!

Example

Shortly after my first novel was published I began to see the advantages of self-publishing. Although the publisher did an excellent job on my book and even offered marketing tools for me to use at attractive prices, I was the one expected to do the work.

This is true of most writers unless they are famous in their own right or have an agent. But for those of us relatively unknown and not having an agent, it is a true experience.

I had the desire to do it myself, but lacked the knowhow. As time passed others (publishers) still published my books and collected money in the process.

But the day came when I decided to make the jump.

Application

My wife and I are a team. Up until recently I wrote the books and she critiqued them. But then her own desire to write began to surface. And it wasn’t to merely copy me but to establish her own writing career in her own genre.

In the summer of 2014 I took her out to eat at the Big M Supper Club (better known as McDonald’s). As you can see I didn’t spare any expense.

I had an idea I wanted to share with her. For eleven years I had an independent online bookstore. And it had enjoyed success up until we moved to Florida to take care of her mother. The care of her mother who had Alzheimer’s became a full time job thus requiring the closing of the store. The store was gone but the idea of having independence never died.

What was my new idea?

In short, I wanted share the new idea of the two of us forming a new business with her as the President (she has an MBA) and myself serving as the Vice President. I prayed to God before presenting this idea because I didn’t know how she’d react. She’d always been supportive of my writing career but would she support getting involved this way?

But Teresa jumped at it. She had long wanted her own business. Even within the bookstore she’d had a division devoted to creating and selling cards. The concept of having a business in partnership with me was the spark that was needed.

We decided upon T&R Independent Books because ‘T’ would stand for Teresa, while ‘R’ would stand for Ronald, Independent marked us as unique, and books obviously referred to our product. T&R Independent Books represented everything we wanted to be as writers!

I learned at this time that she also wanted to write novels. I was delighted. That meant our new company would have two authors providing the merchandise to be sold. So we formed the company. Then happy days, right? Not exactly. Like any new business we had growing pains, which in this case involved an unexpected heart attack.

But we persevered and worked our way through the whole experience. At first our efforts were directed in getting the company organized and ready to do business. By the summer of 2016 we had published two books (nonfiction and a novel). And since then we have continued to work to publish new books and Teresa (aka Tess) began seriously working on her debut novel.

Whatever success God sends our way the formation of T&R Independent Books marked us as entrepreneurs.

And now we’ve added TR Writing Services. This endeavor is for the purpose of helping writers like you. At one time we thought of starting an academy but this book pretty well covers that need. But how about a low cost service that enables the beginning or struggling author to get their book crafted with good grammar, spelling, book cover, and published. These kinds of services are usually expensive but we decided to offer a service that most people could afford. So on February 11, 2019 TR Writing Services was launched.

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), or Black Death (Book Four), 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.

Everyone Has A Story

Everyone Has A Story

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 Everyone Has A Story.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Everyone has a story” sometime in your lifetime. I believe this is true. Most people don’t realize it, aren’t interested in writing, or don’t know how. But all of us have life experiences that can be instructive or entertaining to the rest of us.
I write stories. I write Bible based stories and I write speculative fiction; I also write historical novels. In fact, you could say I write Biblical historical novels, American historical novels, and Futuristic historical novels. In the last cast it would be a history that hasn’t occurred yet.
What Kind of Stories Are You Talking About?
All kinds. You could write about your trip out west. It could be instructive, entertaining, or just a plain telling of the trip. Your story can go in a lot of different directions. How you write the story is up to you.
The same could be said for a purely fictional account loosely base on an historical event. This would require some research, but the labor would be worth it. Research usually enriches the story being told, so I encourage you to do research.
What Kind of Research?
Depends on your story. The more complicated or extensive it is the more research you need. Good research tends to enrich the story.
But I’ve Never Written A Book Before!
There’s always a first time. And while I don’t necessarily recommend it there are ghostwriters who’ll write your book for a fee. But before that try writing a rough draft by yourself. The draft won’t be perfect but it will be a start. You can also purchase books or borrow books from the library to help you write.
Writing can be fun.
But What About Finding an Agent or Publisher?
I’m neither for or against agents, but I don’t usually write about them. The reason is I favor Indie Publishing where you are the publisher. My Friday blogs deal with publishing. I favor KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) because it is easy and generally free. And the quality is good.
Most of your Traditional Publishers require you having an agent. The process of finding an agent who is willing to represent you can take months, perhaps half a year or longer. Then the agent may take months to find a publisher and the publisher may take up to two years to publish your book. In my view that is way too long!
What About Genre?
Genre is basically a category of artistic expression. It is not just writing books, but that is all I will cover here. It is one of the first things you should check out. Different writers may have different ways of discovering their genre. The best way that I know of is to find other books that are similar to what you want to write. Then find out what categories those books are under.
When I wrote my first novel about space I thought the genre was science fiction. But a reader of this blog told me that Christian Science Fiction is known as Christian Speculative Fiction. So friends, family, and others can help you find out what your genre is. Once you discover that then learn the principles regarding it.
Can I Make Money Writing?
The short answer is yes. There are multiple ways of making money. Whether you can or not is something you must decide. However, if you enjoy writing than I believe that should be your first consideration.
Hone your craft, stick with it, and publish it. All of this can be done for free. And you can get your book out there. Then there’s the matter of advertising and other marketing ideas. In the end a love for writing or a real commitment to writing can sustain you for a long time.
If you have a story to tell why not tell it?
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.

Beta Readers

Beta Readers

Today I am writing about Beta Readers.
You’ve put forth your best efforts. You’ve completed your book. Now you’re ready to publish!
Not so fast.
Have you gone over your book looking for the smallest of errors? Have you followed up by editing the book? If yes, then good, but you’re still not ready.
Let me pause here for a word of transparency. While I have used readers to check my work they don’t necessarily fit within the “Beta Reader” definition. Also, I am not necessarily recommending that you use Beta Readers. It’s a choice. Whether you use Beta Readers or not, it is your choice.
With that out of the way let’s review the following which is based on an article written by editors.
What is a Beta Reader?
A Beta Reader is essentially a person who provides feedback that potentially helps your book to be better than it was. Not everyone can provide that service. A Beta Reader should be:

  • the kind of person likely to buy your book
  • be more knowledgeable than you are on the craft of writing
  • be a reader of books in your genre

It is unlikely that you will find such people in your circle of friends.
Where do you find Beta Readers?
Listed below are some ideas. You are free to add additional ones.

  • Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) by asking for help
  • Scribofile where you offer feedback on other works and receive reviews of yours
  • Join Wattpad where you upload your book with a compelling blurb enticing people
  • Visit local writing or critique groups for face-to-face feedback

Working with Beta Readers
Just locating Beta Readers is not enough. You must have rules. The editors of the article point out authors don’t usually pay Beta Readers, so your interaction with them needs to be positive and affirming.
Don’t forget this little rule: How you treat your Beta Readers will determine whether they ever help you again. So it is to your advantage to treat them well. Use the Golden Rule: treat Beta Readers as you would want to be treated.
Having established that all important rule, let’s look at some others:

  • Give them your completed manuscript, not a draft
  • Send the manuscript in their desired format and method
  • Keep them informed on what kind of information you’re looking for
  • Provide a list they can follow
  • Never display disappointment or offense at negative feedback
  • Reward them by mentioning them in your acknowledgement page (people like compliments)

What’s the alternative to Beta Readers?
Your circle of friends can provide the alternative. Not all friends will be willing to help, but some may be willing. The thing to remember is to provide the same rules as for Beta Readers. And remember that these people are not necessarily trained to do such work.
But I have found that a friend who is willing to read my book and critique it can be very helpful. As I write this I have in mind a woman who took the time to read one of my manuscripts and critiqued it. Her comments and suggestions played an important role in the writing. Unfortunately she’s not really available anymore because of time constraints but readers like that are like platinum!
What should I do?
My suggestion would be to first look among your circle of friends for one or more people who’d be willing to critique your work. Note: the fact that a person may be an educator doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she should be used. Writing is fluid and sometimes crosses the border of so-called rules of writing as taught in the schools. That doesn’t rule them out, but just be careful.
Once you’ve done that you can try the Beta Reader routine.
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 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.

The Joy of Writing

The Joy of Writing

Today I am writing about the Joy of Writing. If you’ve followed me for awhile you have probably read where I said something like, I love writing. I love writing, Period!

Do I want to sell books? Of course. Do I want my books to be best sellers? Who wouldn’t? Do I want to influence others? You bet.

But when the day is done I love writing!

That is why I am currently working on two novels. One is another World of books while the other is a Christland book. Worlds far apart. But I love both.

I love the creation of scenes, the necessary research to bring characters alive, and bringing it all together into a complete novel. I’m not so thrilled with the editing, polishing, and changing of the story, but they are necessary so I endure.

Writing brings me a feeling of accomplishment. Seeing my words in print, whether on my computer or the Internet, feeds my ego. When I finish a novel I probably sit a little straighter and smile more.

On the other hand, I don’t like negative reviews. Reviews are a necessary part of successful writing, which is why I constantly ask for reviewers. I will never have enough reviews!

But won’t some be negative?”

That’s a good possibility. But both are needed. Good reviews tell the reader that it’s a good book; bad reviews help the writer improve. In fact, bad reviews, even if wrong or uninformed, enable a writer to improve.

I primarily write novels. But novels influence people sometimes far beyond the author’s original intentions. There have been times when a reader told me that he or she had to look something up in the Bible to find out whether the scene just read was my imagination or the Bible or both. That’s a compliment!

So what am I saying? Simply this. If you write for the joy of writing, don’t let the details get you down. Maybe your book isn’t selling like you’d like; don’t let it get you down. Be alert to helpful advice or criticism, but continue writing. Each book, each scene, each criticism makes you a better writer.

Write!

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 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.