Dialogue and You

Many writers don’t understand how dialogue works in screenplays, novels or TV

 

How many of you are blogging to just pontificate?

Tonight I want to talk to the writers out there who are struggling with dialogue.

If you have not been introduced to the concept of the SFD allow me to ‘splain’ it to you.

The first thing you write is the ‘Shitty First Draft.’  Own it!

I wrote Under Roswell four years ago and just recently re-wrote it.  Writing over 30 novels since that one, I have learned a thing or two.  There is no reason in the world that book should now not be a real contender in the science fiction genre.  Before the re-write oh hell yes.

When you write something and cannot find fault with it, you are blissfully ignorant and that might be ok.

Firstly, when you write you need to create a character or characters that your readers will either hate of love.  They must relate to them or your story will go nowhere.  We do this through dialogue and by that I mean dialogue that ‘shows’ the story.

Dialogue is really about action, not backstory or characterization.

“Lucy you soppy bitch! You have been doing this same stupid drunk bullshit for years now.  Your life is spiraling down the tube and when you hit bottom, you will have pissed off all of your friends including me. When the hell will you learn to take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming everyone else?”

That dialogue tells you plenty, very cleverly I might add.  You the reader will read on because I have not said this:

“You know Paul, your friend has this drinking problem which has been going on forever.  Her car ends up with new dents every day, and she blames people hitting it in the parking lots.  She is constantly out of money calling on all of her friends for handouts.”

“Dave your right, do you realize that she has pissed off most of her friends that she had years ago?  Now when they see her number pop up they just ignore it.  You can’t blame them, really.”

“No of course you can’t blame them for Christ’ sake, nobody wants to listen to some drunk drone on about how she is a victim and have you got a few extra dollars they can borrow just to see them through to they find another job?”


Shit, those three bits of dialogue brought me down and I am creating it. How many books have you set down because of crap like that?

We feel sorry for Lucy but we can identify with her and can relate to the person who is frustrated with her trying to give her a jolt or perhaps is going to haul her sorry ass into some recovery program.  In the last exchange between Dave and Paul we get bored rather quickly and depressed as these two guys are just jacking their jaws about their drunk friend.

Dialogue should be dynamic, moving fluid and action filled.

When Dave confronted Lucy after tossing the bottle of scotch out the window, Lucy cried when she heard the glass bottle shattering on the street below.  She had sold blood to buy it, and he foolishly tossed it away!

Dave cares for her, and is trying to make an impact.  We see her desperation when we learn she sold blood to buy scotch.

This subject may hit too close to home for some and for that reason such a story might be of interest to those who are dealing with addicted loved ones.

That brings up the next point…Emotions.

I don’t give a flip how intellectual you are or what your IQ might be.  Your characters have to resonate with your readers and using large words that only a few might know is not the way to get there.  I am guilty of this to some extent, as I write science fiction.  In my latest novel which I am working on, I reference a Pulsar.  My audience will know what that is but, some of you reading this blog might not.

As a writer you must connect with your audience and that means know who that audience is.  My science fiction audience I can use larger words with because they will most probably have that latitude in their vocabulary, and will not be slowed down by larger words.

If I am writing for YA, I would probably guard against overly large words.  Writing for a 7th grade education is probably one of the toughest thing I do as a writer.

One professor teaches that your readers are smarter than you are. “Cough … Bullshit!”

Some of my audience is smarter than I am, but…

A smart writer knows who their audience is and writes for them.  Romance writers for example do what?  They put lots of emotion in to their ‘dialogue.’

Yes dammit, we want to make you cry, or laugh.

So how does dialogue work with many characters?

Each character must have its own voice.  What do I mean when I say that?

Lucy is a person who took to drinking for whatever reason and now is near the bottom of the barrel. What happened to her that she did that?  Perhaps she lost someone important to her.

If we make the reader care about Lucy, then we have the emotional investment.  We also have to realize who the audience is, and tailor the story for them.

For argument’s sake, if she were street person who managed to be at the right place at the right time and found Mr. Right.  Yes the pretty woman saga.  They are living high having a great old time until an old boyfriend finds her.  “Does he realize where you come from?  You better play this right you still owe me money.”

“I am not asking him for money Joey.  Look, what we had didn’t work out, I fucked so many people for you… now just let me be.  I have a shot at a life!”

“Bitch, you might clean up pretty, but you’re still trash from the south side.  You will always be trash, but you are my trash, and don’t ever forget it!”

Now we suddenly care about her.  We see that she is trying to pull herself out of the hole she has been in.  We want her and the rich guy to hit it off, and we love happy endings.

How will Joey play into this?

Each character has their own voice and they also have their own vocabulary.  I was at a seminar where we were told to actually do a Myers Briggs profile on each character and keep it handy so your Joey’s and Lucy’s and whoever are consistent not only with their vocabulary, but their personality traits.

We can have Dave and Paul take Joey out and skin him alive but, since this is a blog about ‘dialogue’ I will leave you the reader come up with an ending.
“let me know how it turns out..” 🙂

Depending on what you are writing, whether it is for film or novels will depend not only on the amount of dialogue you write but, the kind as well.

I like internal conflict, science fiction type stories and I like naughty stories.  I write for the intellectual and I write for those readers who would like to bring some fantasy to life through my words.

If I were writing a screenplay, my dialogue would be different from that of a novel.  My story would be more action for the eyes and fewer words for the ears.

Instead of, “You know you want me.  You know you want to feel my flesh under your hands.  I don’t know why you enjoy treating me like that but, when you do it just makes me so …fucking horny I can’t stand it.”

“You like it because you know you are going to get your reward.  You know I am going to fuck you so hard that you will scream for me to stop, and then you will beg for more!  What will you do for me? Will you submit to my ways?”

Instead of that, I would have this half naked guy standing in a dimly lit room, with his foot on a chair.  The smoke from his cigarette would curl up past his chiseled chin.  His shirt would be unbuttoned and we could detect a bulge in his pants.  He might be holding a small leather paddle or possibly one of those lovely floggers that they sell at Adam & Eve.

As she walks into the room, she pauses to see him standing there.  The camera pans up from her ruby red high heels, up past her long legs to her short skirt.

The dialogue would now be something like this. “So you heard that I have been naughty?”

The rest would be action.

Who is your audience?

What kind of writer are you?

Give you audience or readers the credit they deserve in figuring out where you are going with the story.  Many of you still have your mind stuck in that last scene.

Read Nudist of Shangri-La if you want naughty little romp with Judy dealing with her demons.

Screen writing is about 80% writing for the visual effects, and 20 for us to hear or the audience to hear.

I think it would be fun to write a screen play or even for film.  Which are you? Are you a novelist or are you a visual person? I like the idea of film as that tends to be more off the lot. I like the idea of filming on location and writing for that. Can you imagine the work that went into Lord of the Rings?

I have over 30 novels under my belt and have several projects in the works as I type this blog for you.  I think it important to give back to the writing community and that is why I do this blog.

Here I share my successes and failures. Here I also try to educate you by telling you what I did to fix the screw ups.

If you wish to contribute in any way, might I suggest that you share this blog with your readers, who you know might appreciate what I am writing.  That accomplishes three things.

You are paying it forward by assisting your followers or writers.

You are getting something out of it.

You are assisting me in getting some more followers so I have a valid reason to spend my time casting these pearls out upon the winds.

I have a day job and I write.  My goal is to have one of my novels, just one, go viral.

Many of you have already read my work and I do appreciate it.  Those checks that come in from Amazon around the world are the thing that keeps me pushing forward.  Running the analytics, I look at what is selling and what is not.  I then look at why?

Under Roswell had lackluster performance, and I did not understand why until I read it again.

I had made many of the mistakes that rookie writers make.  I rewrote it from the ground up.  The story and the plot was too predictable, so I added a computer that has a loose screw, and is not exactly of good character.  This Robot can and does get into the heads of those around it and has them do things that it can feel.  For instance, it had a couple make love where the computer could sense both of their orgasms at the same time!

Nothing like a little AI in the bedroom…LOL

As always I love feedback, comments and so on.

I truly am here to assist other writers so don’t be afraid to stop by and say hello.

 

Much love people.  It is late and I need to get up in the morning.  I have more to say on Dialogue at a future date.  If you find this interesting, please let me know.

 

Chow!

 

Smartphones are making people dumb.

 

This ‘invention,’ while useful as a pocket on a shirt, is detrimental to society as a whole.

One of the functions of my ‘day job’ is sales.  Sales typically mean that I meet with customers, and that means I go to them.

I drive very defensively, and I don’t take my eyes off the road.  My phone is set to do not disturb when it is in motion.  If I were a lawmaker, I would craft a bill that all smartphones had to be that way.

I cannot count on one hand, two hands or two hands and two feet how many times in just under a 1000 mile drive I saw distracted drivers all over the road.  This was young and old alike, which is scary.  Old white haired people on their smartphone.

“TW, what about the passengers, their phones would not work either?”

Here is a thought, why not engage the driver in thoughtful conversation, and if they are hauling your butt around how about showing them some appreciation?

You see it all too often at restaurants, to bars, to you name it, people are on their phones.  This thing must be addictive as crack for some, as they cannot put it down.  It used to be the young were the violators of social norms when it came to phones.

I was at a gathering for an older person’s birthday when I noticed the younger people were talking with one another, and the older folks were on their phones.  FFS people, lead by example!

The bottom line is this.  If you choose to be glued to some screen, vs. interacting in person with someone that is your business.

When you are behind the wheel, then it becomes my business.

This nonsense of distracted driving is going to have an effect on everyone.  Directly, or indirectly, we all will pay the price.  Either through higher insurance premiums, to make up for the losses, or heaven forbid we may be at the scene of the accident.

One would just about expect a young person to push the envelope.  They have, and many are dead because of it.  What surprised me the most is witnessing the drivers of big rigs while on their phone.  To me, that is shocking!

The folks cannot stop on a dime.  They need to be on their game.  When you see a large truck weaving from one lane to the next, you know that the person behind the wheel is not that bright.  When those same folks are hauling gasoline or other flammable product, and screwing with their phones you know that person is a flat out, idiot.

Driving through the piney woods of East Texas, I found a log hauler doing the dance. Just how bad would it be if Mr. or Mrs. log hauler hits a tree?  Would kinetic energy cause those logs to come forward?

What can we do?

You have power over who?  Yourself.  Put that little do not disturb when driving thing on.  If the majority of people would do this, then a law would not be necessary.  Making all phones so they are basically paperweights when in motion, would not become necessary.  The passengers could still text and chasing Pokémon’s.

People won’t do it.  They will force the lawmakers, to ‘fix’ them so when they are in motion, they just receive inbound calls and only then through the blue tooth interface.

While I would love to tell you, this is about you and your safety I must be honest.  I care about myself and my family’s safety.  Those that drive buzzed, or drunk, or jacking with these phones, are a menace.

If you would care to share your thoughts on this, you may just keep it civil.

Much Love…TW

They Don’t Care!

Identity politics are tearing the country apart and they don’t care!

It has been a while since I have blogged.  Sorry about that.  I recently re-wrote Under Roswell.  Complete with graphics at the beginning of each chapter.  That took some time to get it published both in e-book and paperback.

Some of my followers have asked me for my opinion on what is going on in DC.  Truly I tell you that I have to limit my exposure to it, as I get damned mad which is counterproductive for a creative.

If you flip through the cable news channels many of the networks are now moving off the Russia fiasco as there was no collusion, to find another crime.  This is mob mentality.  It is why we left England years ago as we objected to the way the KING did things.  Serving a general warrant against his foes, the mob destroyed them while digging into their lives and all who he or she knew, until they could concoct a reason to publicly castrate them.

The mob mentality is the same mentality that was used during the witch trials, and if they haven’t burned all the history books yet, you can find it all the way back to the early church.   Americans and I suspect those in the UK where there is still a quasi-free press, are inundated with lies.  Our press, most of it is in the pocket of someone.  ‘Who’ is the real story?

Facebook and Twitter are acting as publishers, while only allowing the news that promotes the leftist agenda to proliferate among the citizens. The press was created to be that check and balance to our elected officials.  Currently, they lead the mob and are heating the tar and getting the feathers ready for conservatives.

“You cannot rely on the media for the truth.  You need to pay attention to what is actually happening.”

Anytime you want to know what is truly going on in the world of politics, follow the money.

The major flaw in our system is politicians are always working on getting re-elected. ALLWAYS!

The one exception to that, of course, is if they are retiring.

To run for office, you need money, lots of it.  How do you get big corporations and the ‘fat cat bankers’ to give you money?

“You threaten them!”

In 2008 and 2012 President Obama went after the ‘fat cat bankers.’  He threatened to disrupt their predatory loan practices.  “wink wink”

This threat did two things, first, it created the optics or illusion that he cares about you.  More importantly, it sent a message to the fat cat bankers to talk to the folks on Ave K and make sure they donated generously to his re-election campaign.

How did his threats work BTW?  Payday loans went from 471% APR to 900%.  The class of people hurt the worst by his deception, were those in the lower middle class and the people living in poverty.  And yet people still love him… Why?  They don’t care to follow up to see what the man actually did.. He screwed you!  I sure hope he kissed you afterward.

AOC and Bernie are now using that page from his playbook before other candidates seize upon it.  Now Bernie looks like he cares, and AOC steps into the limelight as something other than ‘totally nuts.’

Tucker Carlson even commented on it.  Tucker, surely you can see that this is a ruse.

The Dems don’t hate the NRA, they want money from them as well. Obama was the best thing in the world for gun manufacturers and the NRA.  I would love to follow that money trail.  One would probably have to start in the Caymans.

Gun sales were through the roof when he threatened to ‘get the guns.’

Politicians are loyal to themselves first, and themselves second, and themselves third.  When someone spends 19 million dollars of their own money to possibly get elected to a job that pays $174K a year, even the most doltish among you should see through the smoke screen of the green curtain.  They are mostly all frauds, and you buy their garbage. Yes, the wizard is all powerful and will promise you anything!

Trump won because 63 million of you don’t buy their garbage.  He won because he named the enemy.  While he is not the smartest man in DC, he surrounds himself with smart people. Any good tank commander finds the best people he can to cover his ass.  Trump knows this.

It boggles my mind why he is doing this.  Why is he not taking a paycheck?  Why is he allowing this constant trashing of his character and reputation?  “Is there money involved?”

On its face, he appears very altruistic, is he? If he is truly doing this for the reasons he puts forth, we should put him up for sainthood.  My skepticism runs deep, however.

Politicians, (most politicians) don’t care about you.  I don’t care what they say, they don’t give a shit about you.  All they want is your vote and will say anything they have to, to get it. Politicians use identity politics and any other emotional issue they can come up with, to secure your vote.  If they stir up some crazies who take their gun and shoot up some people, to quote Nancy Pelosi, it is (collateral damage.)  They don’t care!

Politicians live in gated communities, security guards with guns,  have nice houses and are leeches.  Most of them.

Term limits… Why?  At least in their second term, they would be more concerned about what they ran on, versus getting elected. Make it a law that they cannot be lobbyist after their term.

The absolute farce taking place in DC today is a political distraction to damage Trump.  Everything about this investigation flies in the face of the constitution.  The FBI has been severely tarnished by this travesty, and one has to wonder what the difference is between China and the US, truly…

We need a disruptor in DC.  We need someone to change the way things are done.  AOC is not the answer.  She is a lightning rod for the Dems, saving Maxine Waters, Feinstein and the rest from their own crap.

What they did to Kavanagh was disgusting beyond the pale.  Are they sorry?  The only thing they are sorry for is that it did not work.

I challenged some voters on social media as to why they were voting liberal.  “We need checks and balance in DC.”

FFS!  Trump had the house, and Senate, and could not get it done with his own party.  Why???  They only care about themselves, which is it.  As long as there are politicians in DC, and the counties around DC are the wealthiest in the country, you can be sure that the American people come dead last, where their lawmaking is concerned.  (Mostly)

Uncle Joe is not the answer BTW.

I personally like the man.  He has however been infected by the crap that goes on, and would certainly elevate those other countries while destroying this country in the process.  People in DC are out of touch and Bernie and AOC are prime examples of the fruitcakes that make the laws you and I have to abide by, while they and their ilk do not.

Presidents come and go, they have term limits.  Both parties know this, and the lawmakers most probably all drink beer together in a smoke-filled room while trying to outmaneuver Trump.

I would not trust any of them.  Truth told we are in a very dangerous time right now as there are unstable governments who actually think that nukes are the answer.  Trump has his hands full and what are the Dems and to some extent the republicans doing?  Distracting him with absolute shit!  They not only hate this man but, they hate you as well.  Not only do they not care about you but, they loathe you.  They will kiss your baby, and probably your ass at election time but, then it is onto who will give me what to pass this legislation or award this military spending contract?

Disagree?

Tell me why, and keep it civil.

Now that this is off my chest, possibly I can get into a better place and write fiction again.  BTW, thanks to those of you who have purchased so many of my novels.  Yes, I still have a day job but, one day it is my fervent hope that I can just write fiction.

-Best

TW

Russians, Democrats, and Fools or the Fooled

Fox or Sheep?
Hunter or hunted?
My thoughts are here.

 

The elite class must have a divided country to control the masses.  Even in the animal kingdom predators break the herd apart, separating the more vulnerable to face the razor-sharp teeth of their oppressors.

We the herd, are often fooled by the fox, as it sometimes wears the cloak of the sheep. Infiltrating the herd looking for the easy targets, the fox will mark them for the pack.

Who might be the easy targets used to divide us as a country?

How about 300-year-old practices by people who have been dead for centuries?

Who else?

Yes, women.  Easy targets as the elite will use or invent any emotional issue and make it salient to their cause.

Who else, or what else?

Yes, ‘immigration’ as we are now told that people from third world countries who openly violate our laws are better than US citizens.  Somehow we aggrieved them, and now we must pay up… PFFFT!

What else?

Ah yes the polar bears who are actually thriving and doing very well, but according to faux reports are all but extinct.  The poor coke drinking white fuzzy bears are all dying off.  Maybe we should name them all Toto, so when the wicked witch of climate change comes for them, we will all act emotionally.

And you thought that commercial was just about Coke I bet.  No, we must make an emotional connection and then we do something like anthropomorphizing those cute little Coca-Cola drinking creatures so you will care for them.

Are there any thinking voters left out there?

For years I have wondered and openly asked, why someone would spend 16 million dollars of their own money for a job that pays $174K a year.

Have you ever asked yourself that?

I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, there are many reasons.  Few pay attention to the elite class, as they are too wrapped up raising their family, working and let’s face it, “living.”

The elite class is much like the wizard. They do their dirty work under the cloak of darkness, and behind curtains riddled with other predators seeking the best way to control the masses while acquiring power and wealth.

I have no doubt that our president had such affiliations, and now many of them are behind bars in an attempt to ‘save the country.’

The problems are that they are not trying to save the country.  They ‘the swamp creatures’ are protecting their system of corruption and greed at our expense.

Those associates of Trump are but pawns in the grand scheme of things, and Mueller knows it.

Once elected to some position of power, either locally at the state level, or certainly on the national level they are a ‘commodity’ for big business.

The elite class are not the politicians but the corporate powers that control the pawns who do their bidding.  We the citizens are not the pawns, we are the slaves.

Our way of life is ruled by the giant corporations through the politicians and lastly through the IRS.

There is no upper, middle, or lower class; there are just slaves.  Now your job as a slave might be more or less desirable than others, but make no mistake, the tax code was written to keep the population as indentured servants, of the ‘elite.’

Donald Trump is more or less a slave to the “Elite.”

Who are they?  Who are the real elites?

Who spends millions of dollars to change the fabric of the world, for their own personal aggrandizement?

I could write an entire book, maybe two books on this subject, but I like fiction, not harsh reality.  How do we fix this?  How do we keep from becoming Venezuela or some other third world country?

 

For years I thought term limits was the answer, but I was wrong. The answer is to enact laws which would prevent politicians from serving on boards of companies or working as a lobbyist when they leave office.

Our political class the “Fox” go out of their way to keep us divided and focused on issues which are not issues.  Any sane person would see them as the ‘shiny’ object in some magician’s act, but few of us are watching them, knowing them as the creepy people that they are.

The destroy Trump class are there because Trump is not playing the role of Fox or Lion or what have you.   I get that he is polarizing and I get that he is caustic to some people.  He is also very dangerous to the ‘elite’ who also control the media.

  • Change the laws on how politicians can make money after they retire.
  • Change the laws on lobbyists.
  • Invoke term limits for all politicians.
  • Pay them well enough so when they leave office, they can retire…

When becoming a politician or pawn for the ‘uber elite’ is no longer a pathway or a stepping stone to the ‘elite class,’ you will find that politicians will be more genuine, and less divisive where the American people are concerned.

We must take back our country from the elite. We must stand up for ourselves, or we will follow in the footsteps of Venezuela with our own sons and daughter via the military controlling us through force.

Sitting back and believing the lies perpetuated by the media is no longer an option.

I for one am totally disgusted with the media and the Democrats and yes some Republicans.  It is clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Mika’s of the world accept as ‘fact,’ that they tell us, the slaves what to believe.  That is a sad commentary on journalism today.

Stand up now, or be prepared to ‘caravan’ and illegally invade some other country… but who?

-Best  TW

Interview with AuthorTWScott

Are we on the same page?

Hello… I hope you are doing well.

One of my followers wrote and asked me some questions.

How do you take an idea, to a published novel, that people will wait in line to buy?” 

I tell people all the time to write for the passion of writing, not for fame and fortune, as the latter is a road fraught with frustration and disappointment.  Since I started this journey, I have taken learning this craft to heart.

Years ago I used to play golf.  I sucked at it. However; they finalize many business deals on those green stretches of land.  Needing to be ‘acceptable,’ I had to get my average score, 100 or lower.

Finding a pro, I spent hours learning the game, body mechanics and so forth, until I identified my weak points, and I had a target.  Once I had an objective to shoot for (in this case my five iron), I went to a ‘par-three’ course and only used the five iron.  I drove, pitched and putted with that five iron until it went from my worst club, to one I was not afraid of using.

I take the craft of writing, painting, playing the guitar, and what have you, with that same raw determination.

I feel like a broken record when I say the following.  The novels I have written were fishing expeditions to see who bought what.

I enjoy writing, but after reading what I have over the years; I thought to make money with this talent was not a bad idea.  How?  How do you turn a passion into dollars?  I would argue that you follow the path I have been on.  Supply to the customer what they want.

ELJames, author of 50 shades is worth 80 million. In this modern day, what author does that and how?

I read her books as if taking apart a watch, which I must put back together.  What could I learn from her books?  Why are people buying them?

One of my twitter followers described herself in her bio as a “cyber slut.”

“What the hell, why does she do that?” I researched her, to find she models on a webcam for men (or women) who will pay to watch her.

There is a somewhat darker side to this which I hesitate to mention.  Some people will pay per minute, to have the model watch them…perform…  I find this disturbing on the #metoo level of disturbing but…I am not judging them. I don’t understand that behavior but again…deny who you are, and your behavior can skew from your programming.

“Did I say programming…?  Another blog for another day but, yes I did…”

That is an underbelly of the internet I was unaware of but, it was also a story.  A story I wrote called Cyber Subs.  Cyber from the world of the internet, and Subs from the world of BDSM. (50 shades stuff)

Yes, that novel sells well, and it sells in the UK more than any other place.  “Why?”  If you folks know, give me a hint.  I suspect that it has something to do with our Puritan heritage, but I might be all wet.

The material sells it but, why the UK more than the US?  That is still a mystery.  That novel has been pirated, and you can find it on web sites in countries, which I cannot make heads or tails of the language.

Lesson One…

Always write under a pen name as your neighbors and friends might take objection with what you write.  You need to keep your private life, separate from your writing life until you are E.L.JAMES rich, then you hire security guards.  With that kind of money, your family will be in your back pocket…LOL, Those that still judge you, or who are jealous of you and speak poorly of you, are toxic, and you don’t need them in your life. I find that true with me, your mileage might vary.

My passion is Science fiction.  Knowing physics and science, I can write a story that people will want to read.  My best selling novel is The Saga of the Starduster.  That novel sells well around the world.  I incorporate modern day issues, as our characters cannot have it too easy, or everything is lovely.  That is boring.  They must have challenges to overcome, and they must have flaws. It is also a wonderful way to “arc” your characters and your story.

*Of all the books you have written which one do you like the most within each style? 

Knowing I do not stay away from controversial subjects, in fact, I gravitate toward them in my writing, my favorite novel is a book about falling in love with another woman.

Donna lost her husband at a young age and withdraws from life and hides her emotions.  She conceals them behind her work as a tough bitch English professor, until fate plays a role.  Diamond Joe is by far my favorite novel, of the over thirty on the market today. If you can handle two women loving each other, I recommend reading that one.  I am working on the cover art, so I will also offer it in paperback shortly.

Saga of the Starduster is wonderful in the science fiction genre, and I love Kelly McGuire in my action genre as Presidential Assassins.  While Diamond Joe is YA, the rest are Adult reads.

Many of you have discovered others that I thought were wonderful including The Girl Nextdoor. With well over 30 novels and that number grows quarterly you have plenty of choices to choose from.

*How many books have you written?

Well over 30, I am not even sure at this point.  When assessing who you are, “enlightenment” figuring out your gifts, and your shortcomings are paramount to growing as a human.  One of my gifts is, I write fast.  In the literary world, I am known as a pantster. Literally, it means I write by the seat of my pants.  I can do this as I write fast.  Those that are much more pragmatic, or dogmatic in their writing might be known as plotters, which means, they might want to use a program like Scrivener to keep their thoughts together as they write.

*Do you have a literary agent? 

No, I have spoken with several, and I have friends that are agents.  From the query letter process to a contract is a long road, again fraught with peril.

There are people in this trade who we call predators.  These people cannot make it as writers, so they use their craft to “assist others” for pay.  ‘Those who can do, those who can’t teach.’  I would remember that adage as I sought to purchase assistance. If they are worth their salt, why are they trying to earn money from you?

While I paint this picture with a broad brush, even the most skeptical among you know that there is more truth to that statement than fiction.

  • With an agent, it is all about “who they know.”
  • Do they know an editor that will take a chance on your work?
  • Does this editor know a publisher that when refined, will buy your manuscript?
  • Who have they published before?
  • An author should never have to pay anyone to get their work published. That rule is one worth remembering.

Not all that offer to assist you for money are predators but, buyer beware. The horror stories I have heard could fill a large book about what not to do.

Why do we call them predators?

They have us at a disadvantage.  Sitting through my first critique session I was somewhat coy knowing what to expect.  Other writers want to prove their prowess by ripping your shit apart. Not all, but many.  Especially if you are successful, they want to prove to themselves that they are better than you are.

(Think I am wrong?  I found a typo in Robert Mckee’s book Story. For a few seconds, it thrilled me, and then I was ashamed of myself for feeling that way.  We all do it.)

I know this about human nature.  On a return flight from California, I saw under me hundreds of wind turbines.  Creating a short story in my head called Tipping Point, that evening I wrote a ten thousand word short story in about three hours, created the cover art in another hour and published it that night before I went to bed.

I gave it away on Kindle unlimited for the value of the story, not the literary genius.  Yes, I did the basic edits but, not the fine detail one might do before submitting to an agent or publisher.

Many of you read it, and nobody said too much one way or another.  It was a lunchtime read.  I did get some science geeks that read it, picking my story apart on the scientific claims, but nobody said anything about the literary constructs.

(Yes, the wind is caused by the sun, for the most part, the jetstream is not, science geek people.)

I handed it to my cohorts in that format, not touching it.  Days later, they all looked like the cat that ate the canary as they approached the table waiting to pounce.  I knew what was coming but, this was a learning process, not so much for me, but for them.

Critique partners must be synergistic!

Creating a group of people who you can trust and work with takes time to build those relations.

One of them scolded me for publishing something so crude.  Another did not like so much of it, the paper was red.  FFS!… I chuckled to myself as this was not unexpected.  Drawing the ire of one, actually pleased me as the writing evoked emotions which all of your writing should, unless you are not writing fiction.

One of the others upon leaving the table said and I quote…”I thought they were far too nice!”

This was what I hoped for.  This person allowed their feelings  to be exposed, and this is what needed adressing.

During this process, you do not want to tear down your fellow writers, but build them up. I always look for what they did correctly before I even think about making suggestions which I think would be helpful.  This is what any of your fellow readers, critiquers etc. should be doing.  Moreover, this is what you should be doing when you assist a fellow writer.

Surprisingly, a few of them were not in the “how shitty is this?” camp, and offered some salient advice.  These people earned my respect that day.  Since then, the rest have but, it has been a procedure.  One advised me that the story disserved to be more than a short story.  Now you can read Tipping Point on Kindle Unlimited for Free and it is almost 100,000 words if memory serves. Enjoy it!

Now, back to the main question of predators, we as the creators of our story don’t have the objectivity we need to discern our trash from our treasure. If we wrote it, then it is gold.  We know with the assistance of this person, we will be on the NYT bestseller list.  PFFFT!   Don’t fall for it.

Folks, I did not need the humbling by my friends at that table, what I needed was honesty.  I know that my work could use a fresh perspective, and that is why I offer you the reader the ability to communicate with me through the website, or this blog.

*Do you do your own marketing? 

Yes, I had to teach myself everything about it which, again if you read the first part of this response you know that it was from trial and error.  Social media is a critical part, and that is something you should be all over when you first think you want to write.

Marketing involves much more than social media.  They did not ask about cover art, and that is a subject tied to marketing and needs to be addressed, as it is paramount, your cover is of a quality that will sell your work.

*Are you self-publishing through Amazon or anyone else?

Yes, Amazon gets the bulk of my business, but I also do business with Smashwords.  Smashwords will upload your work to multiple different vendors including Apple, Barns & Nobles and the list goes on.  Smashwords is a booger bear to work with. Their interface (meaning your book formatting) must be perfect, and that can be tough.

The process is arduous, and their method of allowing your work into their “premium catalog” adds to the difficulty.  If I were them I would spend the money and time to fix their “meat grinder” as Draft to Digital has.  If you want to capture the market share, your interface must be easy to use, while friendly to the non-programmer. Amazon and Draft to Digital understand this.

We are writers, not programmers.  This again sets us up as targets for the predators out there who know how to format your novel to pass by the meatgrinder. I am a capitalist, but I don’t want to pay for services that I myself can do with a little time and patience.

I now use a program called Vellum, which by far is the best way to create and format your manuscript. Vellum only works on MAC which makes it an expensive proposition if you are a PC person like me.  I now own two Macs and several PC’s.

*Who does your editing?

Editors charge around $30 an hour, and there are several different kinds of editors from line editing to compositional editing.  You could drop over $1000 to get a professional editor.  I would ask for references before I plunked down that kind of money.

There are multiple respectable tools on the market, starting with the grammar checker built into word.  From there, I like Grammarly, and there is also a tool called ProWritingAid.

Nothing makes up for talent, and that you must acquire from doing, and learning.  If your passion is writing, then prepare to be humbled as you forge your way through the valleys of despair and rejection, while looking for that one good phrase to encourage you to push forth.

Yes, that is a golf analogy…One good shot keeps you returning for more humbling, again and again. 

I try to get friends and family to read my work and comment.  Realizing they are not editors and might fancy themselves as grammar Nazis, there is a fine line between proper punctuation and your voice.  I would rather hang a participle than lose my voice.

*Are any of your books on audio?

Not yet.  If I find someone who can read well, with plenty of inflection, I might try to work a deal with them.  I know a lady who does voice work, and she and I are friends.  “It is not what you know but who.  Connections in this industry are vital.”

*Did you obtain your ISBN numbers on your own? 

No, they are expensive through Bowker.  Amazon and Smashwords will provide them, but there is a hitch.  Well, there are multiple hitches.  Smashwords will give you an ISBN that is only good on the Smashwords distribution channels.  Amazon will just provide you with one when you offer a paperback.  Again that ISBN number is only viable through Amazon sales.

*If I remember you have three types of books – what are they and which do you like the best?

  • Science fiction
  • Action Romance
  • Adult, or what I affectionately call, Naughty Nighties

https://www.AuthorTWScott.com will take you to what they are, and where to find them.

I love them all but, the naughty novels are the most fun to create.  Science fiction is the most difficult to write but, the most satisfying, as I love to use my physics and scientific prowess to make sure that what I am putting forth, is not the “flux capacitor,” but actual science that might work.  As you know, some Science facts of today, started out in the minds of science fiction writers like myself.  The Geosynchronous Satellite is one.

*When you refer to the masses – who are they? Whose lives do you desire to touch?  

The masses are those of us who still read, vs. sitting in the front of screens while having their minds ripped from them through the dissemination of garbage, which impedes the thinking centers of the brain.  Even in my naughtiest of novels, I speak of enlightenment.  Who is that person looking back at you from that mirror?  Do you know him or her? Together, we explore that in story format.

I can write adult novels because we are all sexual beings, and we all have those desires that need to be sated.  Those that deny them are the people who are in danger of doing something terrible such as pedophilia or accosting Page Boys. Vows of celibacy, in my humble opinion, are setting them up for deviant behavior.  Some cultures deny human sexuality to the point that bestiality is ok, but acknowledging who and what you are is not. We were created to procreate, period. Our brains are wired for it, and to deny it is foolish.

One young lady was telling me she only dated Christian men…  “Why?”  Because they don’t think that way…!  “Where do you think little Christians come from?”  

Hormones and other chemicals like endorphins drive us. Those that read my novels learn many things about themselves while enjoying a story that takes them to another galaxy, or perhaps a stranger’s bedroom, or possibly over their lover’s lap. With a fair warning and a free percentage of the novel for their perusal, I offer no apologies.

The masses are your audience which each writer must identify.  Who are you writing for?  We have an idea who E.L.James is writing for but, how about Clive Cussler?  What about Agatha Christie or even Hemmingway?

If Hemmingway or even Shakespeare were to start out today, in this world of competition you and I have, would we ever learn of them? I would offer to you that there are many great writers out there, languishing in the millions of novels on Amazon that will never be discovered because they don’t understand marketing.

While agents troll Amazon, and other e-sites looking for the next new voice, their inboxes are engulfed with query letters, and pitches from teenagers, to senior citizens who now have the time to write. It is neither a good or bad thing, it is a fact. You must stand out from the rest.  ‘How,’ is the question…

*What type of feedback do you desire from your readers? 

Honesty… If there are clear flaws, I would love them to contact me via the contact page on the website, which many do, and visit with me.  In Diamond Joe, for instance, I had some severe age discrepancies I had to deal with.  Feedback is paramount to making any writer a better one.

I know an author who would not alter their work as they loved it.  The agent simply said, “next.”

The Saga of the Starduster had its first review which was one star.  Reading what the person wrote, it became evident he or she never read it.  They were, in fact, flaming it, as it offered too much competition for something they were writing.  Very sad!  The next review was five stars, and it looked like something I might have instigated, but I did not. I have far too much integrity for that.  Since it is still my number one seller years later, speaks to its validity as a contender in the field of science fiction, I think we can assume what I have stated is correct.

I would never pay attention to anyone who posted a review under a pseudonym. I would also never flame another writer’s work, no matter how bad it is.  I offer the reader a large part of the novel to read for free before they buy it.  If it were as bad as he or she alluded to, why would they buy it after reading 20% for free?

In the About the Author which is after the Epilogue, I ask people to consider leaving a review if they liked it.  Contact me via the website if you hated it, and tell me why.  While we never stop learning, we must strive to improve what we do.

*Do you have a group of people that support you in your writing – to read your drafts, to make suggestions, to encourage you when in doubt or feeling good at what you have written?

Yes, there is a group, but I did not always have that.  The feedback from readers was all I had to nudge me in the right direction.  Forging alliances with fellow writers has been the single most important step I have made regarding the craft of writing.

This is a two-way street.  Many forget about this, which is the downfall of so many groups.  We think about our needs first, and in such a group it is the needs of the many. When I assist other writers with their projects, it is not only gratifying on a personal level but strangely enough, I see things they are doing I also do but don’t see it in my work.

While this is a two-way street, I love the group, the writers and I enjoy our time together.  I also blog about things like this to reach the writing community around the globe.  A rising tide lifts all boats or ships, and that is something I find worthy of my time, talents and energies.

If there is enough interests, I will be writing about character arcs in a future blog.  You need to let me know if that is something that interests you, as these blogs take hours to produce.

My novels are inexpensive right now, if you are of the mind to, read them.  Feedback, as I talk about below, is critical to the process.  I have a day job, not rich from sales but I am humbled that many of you purchase my novels and read them.

-TW

Enough is Enough!

 

If you have paid any attention to the news in the last two years, you undoubtedly have picked one side or the other.

Trump is a natural person to dislike, and the reasons are apparent.  Few, if any of us like bullies.  Trump most probably was, and might still be a bully, as is, and was Biden.

While Biden invited Trump to the back of the school Gym, I feel that Trump would have, and could have done the same.  Biden is most probably lucky that Trump did not take him up on his sophomoric stunt for the media.

Here is the catch; Trump is our bully fighting for the American People. His arrogance, hubris, and sometimes caustic attitude are actually tools he uses to put America First.

Still, many just see those attributes as negatives.  No matter what he does for this country, the left focuses on Trump being the new bully on the beach.  The left were the bullies, and they piss on everything, taking ownership of it. Now Trump is pissing in their pond, and they don’t like it.

Two years and 25 million dollars later, their insurance plan has failed.  Mueller protected his own reputation after becoming rich on American Tax dollars by speaking the truth of it.  While not entirely exonerating the president as his last act of defiance, he found no legal wrongdoing.

This man and his minions hate the president and are the uber-powerful left.  Unlike the false evidence created by those in the justice department, and the other pond scum, he was not willing to fabricate things to further destroy this country.

The media has successfully done their bit to degrade the fabric of this country making us vulnerable in so many ways, including spreading dangerous lies as facts. Some people are so blinded by hate they want to believe the propaganda spewed by America’s enemies, (the media in bed with big business) and will never accept the truth.

In fact, the hateful folks on daytime TV, as we speak are calling this verdict round one. They are pushing Democrats to further divide this country by encouraging them to bring in more voters who will vote democratic. The left cannot win a fair fight, so they don’t even try.

We are victims of the left, and their thirst for power, as they play their lies to those that will listen.  Anyone blinded by hate would rather hear lies than the truth.  This is how Satan works, and this is how the left is working.

I have rejected Hollywood by not watching them in the movies, TV or even listening to them on social media.  They are so hateful that what I see of them ruins any illusion they might try to create on the silver screen.  If and when I see them, who they really are is what I see!

Further, I have rejected the MSM as they too are hauling water for the powerful, who can be purchased by the lobbyist for special interest.  As we watch Venezuela deteriorate, caused by corruption at the top, we should be mindful that corruption by people like these in their country is what caused it.

Someone owes the taxpayers 25 million dollars, and someone owes the American people one hell of an apology.

Yes, Trump is a bully, but he is our bully.  Without the bias in the media, if you just look at the facts, you cannot help but see it.

If I were advising him, I would tell him to get a dog and be seen with it.  He needs to show the non-bully side of him to the public.   I would not mind seeing that dog curled up by the fireplace in the Oval.  Even Patton had a dog…

Our first lady is a class act, I would like for her to convince him to show more of what she loves about him, to the people.

This man needs a PR Firm and just possibly they should handle his twitter account.

It is past time for the country to be healed.  We need to reject the hatefulness of the left wing media and the Hollywood elite who must be controlled by the same special interests, which have corrupted the process of how we run this country.

Politicians will tell you they must have a divided country to win elections.  If everyone were for the same things, which most of us want, what details would we use to choose to make decisions?  The two party system is flawed, and by nature, it pits us against one another.  Much like the shirts and skins in high school sports, politicians make it life or death games.

The left has taken this to the extreme with corruption at the highest levels of our government, and we the people must take a stand.  Either go the way of Venezuela, rejecting what we know to be right, or put on your big boy or girl knickers and tell your representatives that enough is enough.

There must be an investigation of the wrongdoing by the left, and people need to pay for this.  Justice requires no modifier, and we the people deserve to see those that have perpetrated this fraud on our system of government, prosecuted, to the fullest extent of the law.

I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, Justice for all should be your standard.  If Trump were wrong and guilty, I would want him behind bars.  Now we know he is not.  Justice for the American people is necessary. Those who perpetrated this hoax must be held accountable!

 

Open letter to Katie Hopkins @KTHopkins

Do you want government employees teaching your children about sex and gender identity?

For those of you who are not aware, the British government is considering the transgender narrative, (her words) force-feeding it down the throats of 4 and 5-year-olds in the UK.

Below you will find my response to her.  If you read my blogs or novels this should not be surprising.

Dear Katie,

I could spend an entire blog gushing about how great you are.  Truly, darling, I do think you are magnificent, and I wish you every success in the world.

I wanted to address your stance on the government-teaching children about sexual things, in specific the LGBTQ way of life.

We have a conundrum in our world, and that conundrum is the elephant in the room.  We have the internet, which is unfettered in countries, which are post 17th century.

I was involved with technology before Bill Gates purchased DOS for $5K and then licensed it to IBM per copy.  I was also around when Steve Jobs was still a criminal, selling blue boxes from his garage.   My point to this is; back then, our lives were much simpler.  We only had Hollywood to worry about infecting the minds of our citizens.  Even journalists back in the day were still journalists.

You would never have known that Walter Cronkite was a liberal, as he just reported the facts.  What a novel concept.

Young people with smartphones have more than a window into propaganda. These devices are also a portal into the underbelly of the internet, where women who rail against objectification, pose nude on webcams for money.  I use the word pose loosely, as they are actually performing for their “tips.”

As soon as mommy or daddy give the child any sort of device connected to the internet, the infection begins. I could say indoctrination, but it is more like cancer than brainwashing.

While Stalin was correct when he said the most potent weapon in war is the written word, that lesson has been lost on society as a whole.  Tearing down statues is only one step away from book burning. History will be lost. History is now mailable, as it is now wiki something or other, and can change with a keystroke. If megalomaniacs like Stalin had the internet, what damage could they have done?

We are finding out as the social media giants are now the megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur. They know better than you or I what is relevant for the world to know and that is where the bulk of the news comes from.

Progressive networks parrot the same talking points, and the kids hear enough of it to nod, listen, and regurgitate the relative disease filled talking points as if they were indeed the gospel.  AOC is a perfect example of the brainwashed generation that will soon take the reins of society.

“God Help Us!”

If you have listened to her brainless rhetoric for more than five minutes, you realize what a sad state we are in.

Since the internet is rife with “adult” situations, what are we to do?  Children have no clue how to process this information, never mind the LGTBQ ideology.  How can they even grasp common decency with the warped world view being cast upon them?

While I agree with you that, the government is probably least qualified to address the issues of sex, one good thing is happening.  People are talking about it.

I noticed that the Church of England no longer requires Sunday service.  Is this too a sign of the times?

Is church the standard bearer for common decency or are they now irrelevant as they don’t embrace the progressive agenda being foist upon the world?

I am certain my cousin, Winston Churchill is spinning in his grave.  I too weep for the UK and worry for the US, as many feel like the UK is a model for what we should be doing.

When journalists are activist, and Actors are militant, we as a society, lose.

Keep ringing the bell my Darling.  I too feel like that lone voice in the night, but I hope the silent majority will soon be quiet no more.

Much Love -TW