Ron’s Tuesday’s Tip: Why I Write

FeaturedRon’s Tuesday’s Tip: Why I Write

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, why do I write?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Your #1 Writing Problem!

As you may know my blog So You Want To Write? deals with the how of writing. Today I am giving you the opportunity to voice your opinion about YOUR problems when writing. What are they? How do you handle them? What is your greatest need? What topics would you like covered in the future?

When responding please include your name and email address.

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So You Want To Write? is a blog written by R. Frederick Riddle – author, editor, instructor. He is co-founder of T&R Independent Books, instructor at Authors Academy and the author of several books.

For more information you can contact him at information@rfrederickriddle.com. Please indicate question in subject line.

The World That Was: Enoch

We have been looking at how I wrote The World That Was series. Today I will take a look at character developmenPerished - the hardcovert as it relates to Enoch.

Let’s begin by taking a look at Scripture:

“And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.

And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”

Aside from this passage in Genesis 5:18-24 you also have a passage in Jude:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Basically that is all you have in the Bible about this great man of God. I recently came across a site that contends that Enoch was a black man and that is the reason the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible. Pure garbage.

But was he black? We really don’t know. However, recent scientific discoveries and theories demonstrate that Adam and Eve probably had all the genes necessary for their descendants to have different coloring. In fact, Ham was probably black or near black and not because of any curse. He was born that way.

I won’t spend a lot of time on this subject but the idea of races and racism itself did not come along until the rise of evolution. The Bible speaks of one race, of one blood. Racism is not found in the Bible and has no place in Christendom. You do find national envy and hatred in the Bible, but not racism.

But who was Enoch?

According to the Scriptures he was a faithful man of God. According to Jude he was a preacher, perhaps a prophet. He was also a father and grandfather, so he had a family.

When writing about him in Perished: The World That Was I zeroed in on his faith. I could easily picture him traveling about and preaching to people. Although the Bible doesn’t say, I imagined him training others to also worship and serve God.

Here is a case of taking a little information and expanding upon it. I built an entire character on only a little bit of fact. But I did so without violating the Scriptures themselves. Sometimes a character like Enoch proves easy to develop partly from lack of information.

What principle can you take from this?

First, don’t let the absence of facts stop you. Secondly, take the few facts you have and place the character in situations where those facts might trigger your imagination.

Remember that I said in my article on Adam that I believe your imagination is the most valuable tool a writer possesses. If you can put yourself within your character and express the result to your readers, you have the beginning of a successful story.

Imagination is something we emphasize in Authors Academy. While having an imagination is something you have or don’t (and if you don’t you are in the wrong business), but we can give you principles for employing it.

Your comments are welcome. Just go to my Facebook page and leave a comment about this article.

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R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

GRAMMAR

Your grammar must be perfect!

Right?

Depends on who you talk to and the specifics involved. Here is my take:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tips

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

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 Example

The boys is clothed alike. This is poor grammar.

The boys are clothed alike. Much better.

“You guys look the same.” OK.

“The boys is clothed alike,” Martha said. OK, if this is consistent with Martha’s education.

Application

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

Other resources are grammar books (especially older versions that really emphasized good grammar), and the internet.

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

Your comments are welcome. Just go to my Facebook page and leave a comment about this article.

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 R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

What’s the Big Deal With Genre?

What’s the Big Deal With Genre?

In Author’s Academy we teach more in-depth on genre, covering genre in general and the different types of genres. The following is taken from but does not include all of the material on genre in general.

 First, we need to explain Genre. It is defined in Wikipedia as: A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even (as in the case of fiction) length. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined, often with subgroups.

 In the Academy we cover the three main Genre (Children, Young Adult, and Adult) along with their subgroups.

 Principle

 Discovering your genre will be a valuable aid not only in marketing, but in the writing and publishing of your book.

 Don’t brush this aside. When I first began writing I didn’t even know what genre was, let alone which one I was under. At best I knew that I was writing fiction.

 As time went on I began understanding the meaning and importance of genre. The more I learned, the better my writing and my marketing.

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 Tip #1 – Take a close look at your writing. It is probably more than a single genre. And that is good!

 Tip #2 – Identify all the genres your book would fit within.

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 Example

In my case I write both fiction and non-fiction. In the fiction arena my genres have been American History, and ancient history. But my writing genres are also: Adventure, Romance, and even some Mystery.

My non-fiction works have been on American History, Bible History, Politics, and How To.

 Application

Identifying your genres will be crucial when you get around to marketing your books. It will also help you in determining such things as your audience.

 For example, when launching an ad (say Adwords or Facebook) you’ll want to define your potential audience based on the genre. That is only one factor, but it is an important factor. You don’t want to market your book to people who aren’t likely to read it.

 As stated in the Principle it also affects your writing and publishing. In writing, knowing your genre keeps you on mark. Meanwhile in publishing, it helps you in selecting your publisher, unless you are self-publishing.

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R. Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

What is TR Authors Academy?

What is TR Authors Academy?

That is a good question and the short answer is that TR Authors Academy is many things to those seeking to learn to write. But the longer answer is explained below.

Perhaps the most important aspect of TR Authors Academy is that it has been my dream to write and later to teach writing for a good portion of my life and a calling ever since I got saved in 1973. It is my dream because as a young wannabe author I was limited in the availability of resources I could tap into for instruction on what makes good writing. There were resources available but they were not free or inexpensive. So I was forced to learn at the school of hard knocks!

In fact, it took me almost forty years after dropping the course to write my first book. I learned a great deal about writing during those years, but it was slow and frustrating. This school of hard knocks took me down some interesting roads, but none resulted in writing a novel. It wasn’t until I was sixty years old that my first book was published. What an exciting day that was!

Today the literary world is a different picture altogether, yet at the same time similar. There are certainly free mini-courses out there which are designed to give you just enough information to entice you to sign up for the more expensive courses. And if you are pleased with the mini-course on writing and can afford the more expensive course then I say go for it. These mini-courses usually amount to about three videos or lessons which give the participant an overview of certain aspects of writing. They are generally good (some by famous authors) and offer good points that you can use. But they are not the complete package. You don’t get the complete package until you have signed up for the higher priced course.

But my dream has been to offer a complete course of all three aspects of writing (writing, publishing and marketing) for a moderate sum that enables the would-be author to develop his or her talents to the fullest potential. It has also been the idea of a self-teaching course where the students have the lesson material at hand, but they control the learning pace. They also learn how to edit and critique their own work, a valuable tool in itself for the serious independent writer.

TR Authors Academy fulfills that dream. Moreover it offers self-teaching lessons on:

      • Finding and knowing your genre.
      • Plotting.
      • Writing scenes.
      • Developing characters.
      • Editing.
      • Proofreading.
      • And more

In addition to that there is training in publishing and marketing. Among other things you are taught about being an independent publisher (Indie Publisher) and independent marketer (Indie Marketer). The would-be author gets the option to write a novel from scratch and develop it through the course which results in ultimately publishing and marketing it. This involves editing and proofing their manuscripts, as well as performing the duties and opportunities of an publisher.

This course also goes into setting up your office space, establishing your business as a legal entity, organizing your time, and more. In effect, it teaches you to be an independent business person and gives you the basics you need to be successful.

At the beginning of this blog I stated that the Authors Academy was both a dream and a calling. What I mean by “calling” is that I was born into this world with the gift to write, but that is not what makes me a writer. It is God’s calling and gifting when I got saved that transformed me from struggling to write my first novel to now having written five novels and several non-fiction books.

God’s calling is not just for service in the church, but is always for the furtherance of His Gospel. Some people serve in the church (I do) and some serve in other ways. While I do volunteer work for the church, it has been my writing wherein God has guided, equipped, and provided me with the necessary tools and insight. He has a plan for me and I am just a part of that plan.

So writing can be a calling from God. If it is, you will never be asked by God to write anything that violates His Word but it can take many turns before you are certain of the direction. I started out writing and still am writing novels that are primarily based on Biblical events. But it didn’t stop there. Now I write fiction based on American history and non-fiction books that cover different subjects.

Over the years God has used me to teach Sunday School and Masters Club, thus learning how to pass knowledge along to others. And the Academy itself, I believe, was implanted in my mind by God in 2014. Not only my mind but my wife’s as well which led us to co-partner in establishing TR Independent Books, which is the parent of TR Authors Academy.

Please don’t misunderstand me. You don’t have to be a Christian to take this course. It is not a religious writing course but will have a Christian flavor since I am a Christian. Anyone can take the course no matter their religion. We don’t prejudge or insist on any credentials other than a willingness to learn.

This course draws from my own experience as an author plus the knowledge that I have learned through research and application. It is a course that could easily be marketed for hundreds of dollars, but that is not what I wanted to do.

So why do I Market it for less than $10 a month? I do so because I realize that there are talented people out there waiting for the opportunity to write but they simply cannot afford to go to college or to participate in an expensive course. By keeping the price low I am able to give them their best opportunity now!

The Authors Academy is now accepting students. To learn more and to have the opportunity to subscribe to this course simple go to http://www.rfriddle.com/TRAcademy/?page_id=894.

Authors Academy

Authors Academy

You may remember that in the past I have discussed the idea of opening an academy where both beginner and established writers can learn the craft of being an author. Well, that day has arrived.

Beginning Sunday morning the Authors Academy will be open for business. And would-be students don’t have to break the bank to take advantage of this offer. Designed with a self-teaching format the course doesn’t require the hiring of teachers or other professionals. Instead, I serve as the writer of the course to which students can contact if they run into problems.

It took a lot of time, research, and effort to build the site, but it was worth it. I only wish someone would have done this when I first started writing. Instead of trial and error, I would have learned the basics of writing, plus the basics of publishing and marketing.

When we first approached this idea I wanted the price to be kept low. Although we could charge $150 or more, we at first thought about offering it for a one-time fee of $49. But that could still be a little high for some people.

So instead of a one-time fee we moved to a subscription fee. This allows the students to try out the course and stay as long or as short as they desire. And instead of $49, we opted for $7 per month.

The beauty of this is not only is it inexpensive but a writer can keep the subscription going for as long as they want – even after completion of the course. And there will be reasons for staying. For example, as time goes forward we will undoubtedly update and expand the material, including adding new material. Furthermore, the student will have access to any new tools that are provided free of charge.

If that is not enough, we also provide a free subscription to Writers World newsletter, which at the moment is free to anyone. But even if the newsletter someday has a price associated with it, it will always be free to active subscribers.

We have not started the actual advertising campaign yet, but anyone reading this blog, our website, Facebook page, or newsletter can subscribe now by going to the following to this site: Why Authors Academy? Once there you will learn more about the academy and how to sign up.
What do you think?

Writing Tip: Your Work Place

Writing Tip: Your Work Place

Today’s blog sounds a little boring, but it is important: Your Workplace.

What follows is based on an upcoming newsletter (Writers World) article. Where your workplace is and how you have it set up are very important to you as a writer. That may sound overblown to you, but the truth is that our work place and work habits affect us in multiple ways.

If you have already been writing for awhile you know how important your work place needs to be for optimal results. You know that your work environment impacts your posture, your well being, and your productivity. Since I favor individuality the advice I give leaves you with the ability to conform everything to your wants and needs. This includes the table/desk, the chair, location of resources, and more. So let’s take a look.

The Room
The location and size of the room will vary from author to author. My wife prefers an open room, while I have a small, well-defined room. Both of us have our desks in front of a window. Teresa’s files are in different cabinets not necessarily adjoining each other, while I used a combination of cabinets and bookshelves to create the “walls” of my room.

Both of us like our setups and are able to function well. This is important. Whatever setup you choose, it needs to be conducive to your being able to think, research, and write. My suggestion is for you to design it your way even if others may criticize. You are the one who will be spending a lot of time there!

One other note, sometimes Teresa likes to move into the living room and sit at the table. This gives her a break from the norm while still enabling her to perform her tasks.

The Table/Desk
Once again personal preferences are dominate. Teresa uses a computer desk while I use a computer table. She tends to spread paperwork out, I like things a little tighter.

But once again our own wants and needs strongly influence how it is done. As for how the table/desk is set up, both of us use laptops on the surface. I have a phone beside me, she doesn’t (except when in the living room).

Never place your laptop on your lap. This is because you may be blocking air vents. Buy yourself a lap desk (there are several).

The Chair
Both of us prefer task chairs, but I have seen others who use Executive Chairs. The key here is that you want a chair that is comfortable, but also helps you maintain good posture. This last is important because slouching in your chair cuts off oxygen and causes you to get sleepy. It is very hard to write with your eyes closed!

Another note regarding sitting with a laptop on your lap even with a lap desk. There are issues with back strain, eye strain, etc. that are affected by sitting with a laptop.

The above is an excerpt from an upcoming newsletter article. To get even more insights you can subscribe to the newsletter. This is a great time to do so because we currently are offering a free book (So You Want to Write?), free guides and free newsletter subscription. To sign up just click on Download Now in the video below.

Do You Want to Write?

Do You Want to Write?

There is an old saying, Everyone has a story in them. I don’t know what facts that is based on, but I agree with it. Each of us has unique experiences and beliefs providing enough material for a book.

But not everyone can write. Even those who can write need to be taught. Growing up, English was one of my favorite subjects, but I still knew virtually nothing about authoring. I had to learn the hard way.

You might ask why I didn’t take a course on writing? I did. But when the money ran out the course ended. So I enrolled in the school of hard knocks. That is a hard way to learn the basics of writing. I didn’t even know why I wanted to write!

There are courses out there, probably good courses, but they cost money. But what if the average person couldn’t afford the course? They get left out in the dark.

That is why T&R Independent Books undertook the putting together of a book that would provide basic knowledge for those wanting to write. And since the modern author must also have knowledge of publishing and marketing, the book covers those topics as well. We produced for you this self-teaching book called, So You Want to Write?

But we decided that as good as the book is, we needed to provide more. So we have created three guides (Authors Writing Guide, Authors Publishing Guide, and Authors Marketing Guide). Each guide is about two or three pages long and serves as an instant reference for the writer.

In addition to all that, we have started a newsletter appropriately called Writers World. This newsletter is published bi-weekly and deals exclusively with writing, publishing, and marketing. We provide articles with tips and how-tos plus book excerpts to demonstrate.

All this is provided free of charge. And it is available now. See our video for more information.

If you want to write take advantage of this Free offer: One book on the basics, three guides, and a subscription to Writers World newsletter. You can’t miss.

The book comes only as an Ebook and is easily downloaded to your computer. But don’t look at bookstores for it. It is only available from T&R Independent Bookstore. It is our gift to you.

All you need to do is give us your name and email address and we rush it to you.

Thousands of books are published every month. This will give you a fighting chance! Download it now!