Feedback.  How should you use it?

This is a cover I created for Diamond Joe.  The island  I took while on holiday, the ladies I drew as well as parts of the horses.   Diamond Joe should be a movie.  Too bad Hallmark does not do same-sex movies.

AHHHH!  I don’t want to market my books, I just want to write the damned things!

Sound familiar?

I am a natural-born storyteller.

As a kid, I was the one with the flashlight making up stories about the zombie bunny that would be all cuddly and cute when you were hugging it.  As soon as your eyes closed, the fangs came out!  The claws turned in to razor-sharp daggers that it would use to rip your throat out!

Can you imagine how many kids tossed their velveteen rabbit books in the trash after that little story?

Whoever heard of evil bunny rabbits? Gives all new meaning to biting the ears off that chocolate Easter bunny now, doesn’t it?  Die you SOB…you’re not ripping my throat out!

I always wondered why nobody wanted to sleepover at my house… Was it my breath?  Is it possible that my invitations to parties were not lost in the mail?  BOOO!

Stories are part of who we are.  If it were not for them, we would have no bible, no Jesus, no Zeus or Pele’.  We would have no folklore at all.  The magical kingdoms of the Scots, we would never know about.

While history is written by the victors, the stories that entertain, are written by writers.  That is right, baby, who is your mama!

Before the written word, they would lie around at night and look up at the skies and wonder what all those dots of light were.  From constellations resembling things they might recognize, much like clouds today, they made up stories.  Those passed down through the ages have most certainly changed much like the ‘telephone game, ‘but never the less, we have them.

This week I got one of my novels back from a beta reader who had some interesting comments.

Tonight I want to talk about feedback and how to use it.

Let’s deal with rejection first.

It is going to happen.  Those excellent agents must have material that they don’t have to sell.  It has to be so good that it pops off the page without even reading it.  There must be linguistic magic that enchants the person who even thinks about opening the e-mail.

“This is not the kind of thing we handle, or your book is not right for us.”

“Son of a bitch!  Let me take the old Underwood out and shoot the damned thing, and go back to waiting tables!  At least there I get a pinched ass for a few dollars, and hey…I get some attention.”

Ok, that might be a little on the extreme side.  I haven’t waited tables, while since I was a kid. I do have an old Underwood that actually works, but of course, I don’t use it either.

Rejections are a starting point. Here is how to handle them if traditional publishing is your path.

Send out your baby, gird your loins, and while you are waiting for the offer letters to come in like the proverbial tsunami, start another book.

Absolutely, positively, do not rest on your laurels!  Are you listening? Tell me, you heard that!

You spend your time writing your book, and you send it out after you have languished over every god damned word in the thing. Send it out and move on!  Do you realize that the average book is over 70k words and writers suffer over every one of them?  Is this the right word?  We agonize, trust me on this one grasshopper!

When you get the boilerplate letter weeks to months later, file it away, and send it out again.  Someone out there is looking for what you wrote and just possibly with weed so much more prevalent, you might catch them in a stoned moment, and they might laugh at your hook or characters and in a weak moment, they send you an e-mail with all kinds of miss spelled words telling you that you rock and please submit the entire manuscript!  Hey, it could happen!

On the flip side, you find the agent who is genuinely seeking what you wrote and is ready to do what it takes to sign you.

Happy days!  It could happen.

Tonight I just uploaded a new version of Diamond Joe.  After applying many things that I have learned over the years, I have made this lesbian love affair, an affair to remember.

That sounds tawdry, and it is not.

The beta reader told me that she loved the story and was amazed that my characters each had their own voice.  ‘Hello, they should have their own voices.”

This is a romance with romantic subplots, family issues, and oh yes, a racehorse!

What is not to love about a rags to riches story, where a young lady discovers who she is and better yet, captures the heart of a young rich widow, who has no idea that she would love another woman?

I walk you through the entire thought process, and I take you down the dark road of, ‘what if she is after my money?”

Oh yes, there are gold diggers out there, gay or straight or is it gay and straight?

This is a heart wrenching, feel-good story that they should make a movie out of but, Hallmark has yet to make a movie with same-sex couples.  Why is that?  This book would be such a killer hot movie.  Maybe Netflix should pick it up.

I am trying to figure out who would play whom…

Back to the feedback.  What you want from them is what they liked and what did not work for them.  That is all you want, as that is all you need.  If they start to tell you, it would have worked better if…Stop them!  You don’t want to know the ‘if’ part.  The reasons are simple.  If they render an opinion and you should be foolish enough to take it, guess what, it is now their story, not yours.

So ladies and gentlemen, if you read my novels and you should be so kind as to offer me feedback, just tell me what worked and did not work for you.  Allow me to figure out why.  I am the writer and in my little office, I am a god!

That sounds crazy but think about it.  I create worlds, people, places, and situations. I even create evil little rabbits.  That is what a writer does, and if you don’t respect any writer that you know, you might find yourself in one of their stories, tied to the bed, surrounded by hundreds of chocolate Easter rabbits, without their ears.  Since they cannot hear you, they will never know if you are loving, or hating your throat being eaten out.  It is just payback after all.

Write! Write! Write!

When I get a rejection letter, which I do on occasion, it just drives me to improve my craft.  Since they hardly ever tell you anything other than, ‘we don’t sell this shit’ (paraphrased,) you send it out again while learning your craft even better.  That is what drives me.  Yes, I would love to know what exactly they didn’t like about it but, it is probably their twelve-year-old child going through the slush pile while playing some game on their phone.

  • Put some magic in your hook!
  • Cast a spell on the reader.

Write something so overpowering that even the twelve-year-old will stop looking at the phone long enough to say ‘WOW!”

I have said it many times in different ways, you cannot be a one-trick pony.  Write your story, nobody is perfect and your story will not be perfect.  Send the thing out and start writing about evil little bunnies, or not.

If you are like me, you are on fire at the keyboard.  You can go hours without eating, or even thinking about food, as your characters are running through caves or jumping off cliffs, you cannot leave them!  Continue on, and don’t let the bastards or twelve-year-olds get you down.

Agents are always looking, even though they might profess to be too busy.  If they are good, they are looking.  You might try sending your queries to agents in states where pot is legal…I kid…nobody gives a damned if it is legal or not!

I am probably one of the few who has never tried it.  I don’t smoke, but I hear some gummies are to die for…Bwhaaa!  Are they rabbit gummies?

Much love peeps.  -TW

Know the Rules, and Break Them!

Make it your story.

As writers, we are ever cognizant of the rules.

From show don’t tell to use simple sentences, we have all heard them.  There are even books on the subject.  “Shocking!”

One of my readers contacted me to tell me that ‘big’ words threw him out of the story.  My first response was, ‘only in my head, of course, was’  “bless your heart.”

That begs the question, do we dumb our writing down to appeal to the masses?  Is the reading public getting dumber?

Personally, I would rather lift people up than encourage them to read at a fifth grade level as adults.  It used to be that we would write for a seventh-grade level which is still insane but, to lower our standards to a fifth-grade level, one has to wonder.  Why are companies hiring from other countries instead of America?  Could it be that we are saying it is ok to stagnate at a fifth grade level of reading?

Here is another rule. ‘Simple sentences work best.’ Pro Writing aid will tell you many things, including identifying such sentences.  To me, this rule also has to do with the pacing of your story.  We want people to turn the page, not struggle over complex sentences.  Does that hold true for words like perpetuity?

Should we not endeavor to leave people a little more educated than when they found us?  Kindle makes it so damned easy to look up a word.  Personally, I rejoice when I read a word that I have not heard.  Possibly that is a quirk but I will own it.

As a child, I kept a dictionary close and looked up every word that I did not know.  I used a word in my second-grade class that the teacher called me on.  I mentioned that my sibling was obstinate.  She peered down over her long nose through her poorly fitted readers and pointed her crooked finger straight at me. “Do you even know what that word means?” She crowed.

“Stubborn, pig-headed, inflexible.”

This person was not impressed.  This individual should have retired years ago but ‘loved’ kids. PFFT!

I was ‘that’ child in school.  The precocious child who used words better suited for late teens, possibly college kids.  When you read, you tend to have a respectable vocabulary.

I wrote in a previous blog about how you get a glimpse into the heads of the author by reading what they wrote.  This is especially true for children and ‘stories.’

An astute teacher can glean much from those short stories, including trouble at home.

I learned the rules.  I know them, so now I break them with impunity.

Thunder over the water sounded like two pirate ships in a heated battle; before one of them would meet Davy Jones.  The crusty old captain was not going down without a fight.  His younger rival had studied him, and knew what his moves might be.  This was the first time a woman would lead men into battle, and she was untested.

Her red hair blew about her, as the acrid odor of gun powder filled their noses. The splinter of wood sounded like the thunder itself, as the mainsail was the first casualty of the battle.

Susan saw the story in her head as she sat on the screened-in porch watching lighting dance in the clouds well in the distance.

Her mother was due home at any moment.  She could see down the mountain road and there were no lights from any cars.  In fact, there had been no traffic for what seemed hours.

A chill caught her attention as the winds from the impending storm blew through the screen, with a whistling sound that reminded her of the sounds coming through the open canopy of her father’s aircraft.

Never start a story with the weather… Hmmm, I think that start gets your attention.  This open or prologue took less than three minutes to concoct.

  • Who is Susan?
  • Where is her mother?
  • How old is she?
  • What about her father?
  • He is/was a pilot. Where does the story take place?

While allowing the reader to do some of the work, we the writer have this picture in our mind.  We know it is a cabin perhaps, in the woods may be up a mountain next to a lake left over from the glacial days.  We know that Susan has an imagination and pirates play into it.

I like strong women and red-haired women at that.  Wonder why?

Know the rules and then write the damned story.  Make it your story.

Comments?  I love to hear from you as always.

Much Love -TW

 

Mars..Are we from there?

It would be fun to write a blog on the men are from mars and women are from Venus book. Different topic…

It is no secret that I am a science fiction writer.  If you did not know that, you are not reading things too carefully.  I was looking at this old picture of mars.

Mars-NASA

Here you can see what they are calling the Grand Canyon on Mars.

I would think this is more like the Marianas Trench on mars.

maxresdefault (1)

It takes little imagination to see that there were once great oceans covering the red planet.

mars

  • What happened?
  • Was there life on Mars?
  • Did we come from Mars?

Whether we are descendants of the red planet or not I think it would behoove us to learn where the atmosphere on Mars went and where did the water go.

As I was researching this I found that scientists are finding plastic bags and other forms of trash in the Marianas Trench.  Just possible we should go look in the trench or grand canyon on Mars for trash or other signs of a past life…or the water…

Thoughts comments and conjecture on this subject are welcome here.

The revised version of Tipping Point now 92K words is on Amazon and it is a free read on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.  Jeff Bezos is getting a divorce and his ex-bride needs money…So read my books, and help her out… 🙂

If you like my novels please consider leaving feedback.  Once a book receives over 50 (feedbacks) Amazon actually starts to assist authors like myself at that point and suggest it to other purchasers.

-TW

Who are you?

Unless you know that person in the mirror the winds of life are carrying you.

I should be editing Tipping Point but, I am taking a break for a bit.  There are reasons, which I will share. As writers, we need to step away from it.  There are those who will toss a completed work into a drawer for a month or a year…. No, I am not one of those.

When I am not active on my blog, I am either working the day job, writing, editing or marketing.  I have told you repeatedly if you follow me here and you are a writer I will make it worth your time.

Here is the message for tonight that if you take to heart, you will be much better off not only in your writing or other creative endeavors but as a person.

“Wow TW, that seems kind of heavy.  Are you smoking something?  You in Colorado? Got extra?”

Tonight I want to talk about you.

Sitting through a critique session, I am so tickled with some folks who are giving a writer their best shot at an opinion.

“I did not like this.  That was cool. I like that.”

If you were a writer, and that is the feedback you received, would it be helpful?

No, not so much.  Why?

That is not a rhetorical question, it is a real question. Why?

As creatives, we are our own class of people in the first place.  I like creative people as most of them are intellectuals.  That means they think.  They have more going on under the hood. They are not usually the “Hold my beer and watch this.” Kind of person.

“I would challenge you to take this a step further.  Take your wife or husband or BFF and go spend a day at the art museum.  Most of them have benches where you can sit and admire the artwork.  Many art students will go sit and sketch the artwork as an exercise.”

“I don’t want you to sketch it; I want you to analyze it.”

“You don’t have to be an art major to appreciate art.”

Walk the floor and find something that speaks to you negatively or positively. When you see that something, stop, sit and study it.  “(SSS) stop, sit, and study.”

This is what you are looking for.  “Why!”

You are worthless to a writer if you cannot articulate your feelings to them.  If you are not in touch with you who are, then your opinion is meaningless to not only the writer or author, but it is not much value to you either.  “Joe six-pack, this applies to you too.  Why do I like this beer and not that one?”

I write about enlightenment, even in my naughty books, to set the stage for my readers to begin to know themselves. When you get into the habit of asking yourself, why you liked something or did not like it soon that will be a habit, which will serve you well.  That person who is looking at you from the mirror will be better able to deal with life if he or she knows themselves.

“I preached this to a young man over thirty years ago.  This person is now worth more than a million dollars and is happy.  He is happy because he knows who he is, and what he wants out of life and he knows why.”

“He was already wealthy blah blah…” No, he was in prison doing five to ten for armed robbery.

I worked in advertising for years.  When I first started, I was one that would FF through the commercials.  I soon found myself watching them with more fervor than the program.  Why did this one work, or that one didn’t?

There is this annoying commercial on currently that is for GMC trucks.  They have this tailgate, which unfolds and has a step for geriatric cowboys I guess.  The thing starts out with the truck on the hill and from miles around people are carrying tailgates from their competitors. That part of the commercial is forgettable.  The genius of the ad is the earworm.  “Na na na na.. hay hay goodbye..”

A commercial must be memorable.  Not only should you know the polar bears are drinking a soda, but you must remember that it is Coke.

When you can analyze a commercial and tell me why it works, you might have value as someone who can read a book, and offer constructive criticism worth listening to.

“I liked it, is worthless.”  Tell me why and be specific!

We know that adverbs are the path to hell.  I read them in books regularly.  Your average reader does not have any idea that eliminating them makes the text more readable.

When agents look at your books as you query them, they can tell if they can sell you to an editor.

Once you understand why you like or dislike something, you not only gain value as a writer but also as a person. You now have a little more depth than the veneer on your desk.  Blunt, you say?  Yes, it is.  Following me, you know that I am unfiltered and honest.

Tipping Point in its current iteration will not be up there much longer.  The novella will soon be replaced with an 86K word book that you will most certainly love.  It is free on Kindle Unlimited.  Read it before and then the after.  I think you will be shocked.

Much Love–TW

 

A couple of updates here.  The previous version of Tipping point is gone.  If you really want to see it let me know and I might find a way to get it to you.

The second update is about marketing.  I was watching a Trump rally the other night to see what the kerfluffle is about.  When a heckler did something to stop the president from speaking the crowd broke out in “na na na na na na hey hey goodbye.”

Think about that GM!  While you are laying off thousands of your employees your marketing firm is working for you.

-TW

How did I miss that?

Hello fellow bloggers, writers, and readers of blogs. Today I want to once again, address the art of analyzing someone’s work.

As an artist working with one of America’s most exceptional talents in the industry, I learned that my ego must not get into the way of my desire to learn the craft.  Transitioning from Bob Ross style paintings to portraits is a huge transition. This transition from painter to artist requires humbling, character evaluation, and yes, practice.

As artistic folks, we often skip over or try to jump over those first two.  In short, we let ourselves get in the way of our end goal.  You have no doubt heard the phrase “you are your own worst enemy.”

We walk before we run, and we crawl before we walk.  I write about enlightenment in many of my novels, even the somewhat naughty ones.  Why?  There is truth to it.

Too many times, I meet folks who are drawn to a group to be a writer, without a clue of how to string a noun and verb together in the same sentence. They read Harry Potter, and think they can do it too!

Maybe they can, and I would never tell them not to try.  I would suggest that they look at the trail blazed before them by some of the greats and, even the not so greats. How did they do it?

In our world of writing, we seldom have people who will objectively read our work and give it a fair hearing.  Objectivity with another writer is difficult for some reasons.

  • Did we like the Genre?
  • Do we like their style?
  • Are we a writer, and do we compare them to us?
  • What is our level of education?
  • What is theirs?
  • Do we like the person?

There are many factors that we could weave into this, but the truth of it is, that writing is subjective.  Your family might tell you “it was nice dear.”  They might say to you, straight up that it sucked, because they are jealous. Maybe it does suck.

Always ask why.

Here we run into the first problem. Ok, someone read it, and they offered you feedback. Was what they said motivated by any of the bullet points above?  Who knows?

I was reading a how-to book by a famous author and found a typo.  The voice inside my head said, “Ahaaa, I got you now Black Bart, you are flawed!”  * Immediately I scolded myself as that is the part of me that I try so hard to kill.  Why would I find gratification in an error made by “this person of notoriety?” This book went through countless edits and publishers how could they make this mistake.

Nobody is perfect. 

My short novel Tipping Point came back to me with red ink and grammar errors and stuff.

Some of these errors were because I wrote it and I knew the story so I assume like many of us do that so will the reader.  “That is what we are looking for in critique groups.”

You wrote it, so you are too close to it to judge it on its own merits.  Your fellow writers or critique partners, while they might be biased by some of the bullet points above, they might also have some valid concerns.  This is where you as the writer must; I repeat must put that ego in the barn.

Allow them to feel good about finding the dangling participle.  Who cares?  You submitted it for critique because you are humbling yourself to your peers.  That takes guts!  It takes courage!  It is a step to growth, not only as a writer but a human.  Allowing others to assist you also is a step for them.

You who follow me here can play along if you like.

I gave the group Tipping Point a work I did two years ago which started as a ten thousand word short story.  My goal was to write stories that people could read at lunch.  It has since morphed into 14K words, and from tonight’s session, I am told it should be a novel.

Currently, Tipping Point is on Kindle Unlimited so you prime folks can read it free.  In your Kindle app, you can make notes and so on.

If you are a writer, there will be value to you, as I will share all of the critiques on the blog once the project is finished.

Of course, in the comments, you can read what people say too. If you are inclined to learn along with me, please feel free to do so.

In the comments section, you can offer your feedback on the project as it goes.  With each iteration, I will upload it to Kindle Unlimited, and you can follow up there.

When you as a reader offer a critique of something, I am not interested in grammar, punctuation or dangling participles. (At this time.)

  • Did the story flow well for you?
  • Could you identify with the characters?
  • What did you like about the story and why?
  • What did you not like about the story and why?
  • Were the transitions easy to follow, and if not why not?
  • If you were the writer, what would you change to make it better?

After the story is put together, we can worry about the rest of the details like punctuation.

One of the people who read it said it pissed her off!  This truly made me happy.

Can you think of why having one of my characters piss someone off would make me happy?

Yes, one of our goals as writers is to pull emotions out of you as the reader.  I want you to laugh, cry, get angry and get happy throughout my stories. As a writer, I intend to grow learning from what works and what does not.

We are the sum total of our successes and failures.  If you sit there and never try, it is a life wasted.

I have over 30 novels selling well around the world.  Some of them I know sell for their subject matter alone.  Some of them sell because of my style.  Few leave feedback.

With this group and others like it, I intend to not only elevate my potential as a writer but as many of you that care to share the journey with me, through this blog and of course my website and novels.

As time permits, I will read your works and offer feedback, so there is that back scratching thing we can do.

Follow me on Twitter @authortwscott.com

www.authortwscott.com

Of course, follow me on this blog…

The more the merrier, tell a friend!

Much Love -TW

Drone on about Drones

“Is privacy an inalienable right?”

With recent incursions at the Gatwick airport, you would think someone would have come up with a way to stop this from happening.

Years ago when drones were a roll-your-own project, I became very interested not in building one, although I could see that as a fun afternoon in the park.  I also see them for practical uses, much as the government might use them now to inspect something from a low altitude, like, the border.

While I have written about this in previous blogs, on this site, I think the time for action is now.  Truth told it is long past time.

I have invented the technology to stop these Drones dead in their tracks.  This technology could and should be deployed around all government buildings, and airports.  It should indeed be implemented at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Why am I not up there with Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk, basking in the glow of success from a gated community, watching the little people from the top of my ivory tower, you might ask.

Currently, the laws protect the owners of the drones.

If your daughter or wife is sunbathing in your private backyard, and some neighbor takes it upon his or herself to spy on them with their drone, you cannot legally take action.  Even with the water hose, it is you, which will go to court with them being the litigant.

You can call the police, but they will just laugh at you.”

At the very least, you will be on the hook for a new drone for the perpetrator, and you could be in trouble with the FAA.

Could taking down some kids drone over your backyard get you on a no-fly list?

While I have invented the technology to shut them down, I have not created it for this purpose.  Using off the shelf components, these devices could be ready for deployment in no time.

Fighting the government is probably a multimillion-dollar task, as the law changes would have to go through layers of Congress before anything might even be looked at; much less acted upon.  These drones would need to be used in much more nefarious activities before Congress would take it up on their agenda for 2025, as they are too busy investigating Russia, Trump, Collusion, and Russia again, and of course not keeping our country safe from terrorists, as they do not want borders.

Now, here is an option I had not thought of until now.  What would the process look like for the UK or other US allies that are not so stuffy? Would they like this technology?  It is a defensive technology not offensive.

The idea being, put it into service somewhere, harden it or “acid test” it and then all of the sudden our congress who is so far behind the eight ball might say, why don’t we have that? They still have to argue about keeping the country safe.  Common sense solutions are all about, how much money is in this for me!  Once in Congress “my opinion here” they only care about their bank accounts.

What about you Australia, do you have Drone issues down under?

BB, can you use this technology in Israel?

If you are not investigating Trump, and Russia, and take your government seriously, can you get something like this through your “process?”

Can we afford a lawyer to make sure my invention does not get me locked into a small cell, with a man identifying as a woman, named Bubba?

Can an individual provide technology to our allies?  Another government question that some old act like the Logan Act, might be called on, to stop someone like myself from helping the people.

Who could cut through the red tape the fastest, and would appreciate a solution to the problem?

A quick Google search on this topic is “Oh Hell Yes, you need a lawyer as our congress is involved in that aspect too.”  Yes feckless is the word of the day!  The rub is “technology that could be used as a weapon.”  Ummm, a fingernail file can be weaponized.”

Trust me; it is only a matter of time before a drone is used for more than smuggling contraband across the border, or into Jails.

If you need a solution and can cut through the government BS, here I am.  Contact me, and I will happily work with you to build these devices and put them up for sale, not only to the government, or private businesses such as Apple, Google, GE, HP and others who don’t want prying eyes looking down on them but citizens.  Those with children, and backyard sanctuaries, for their use, who want some privacy should be able to defend their property.

Yes, this is an excellent opportunity for the Shark Tank folks.  Mark Cuban, are you still involved in this.  I have no idea, I do not watch TV. Any venture capitalists out there with pull-on Ave K?

That is the quickest solution.  Do not bother Congress. Crawl in bed with Apple, or GE. And it will be done tomorrow!

Why those two, I know they have folks on Ave K.  Even old Bill Gates does, or how about Raytheon.  This might be right up their alley. What lawmaker can be bought?  Wait, all of them.

My other option is to put the plans here on my blog, and just let people build their own, and run them without government approval.  When the pimple-faced brat comes to get his or her drone, you hand him one that the Dog found and used as a chew toy. Of course, you lie to the kid, and tell him you have no idea why it fell into your pool, and oh by the way, why was it over my backyard Dennis the Menace?

I would, of course, use the common disclaimer that this kit is for educational purposes only and any infraction of the laws is on you.

I am not advocating for civil disobedience. Oh, wait, maybe I am. When the laws work against the innocent, it is time to dawn a yellow vest, or god forbid a pink pussy hat! Why let the paid activist have all the fun?

The problem is not the technology, which is easy.  The problem is the government!

It is sad when the laws work against the victim, but currently, they do.  The victim is you, the one spied on by the snot nosed kid down the street.

While you liberal types are droning on about gun control, you should seriously be taking up this topic.  Why?  Your jobs are to defend the American People against all threats, domestic and foreign.  You currently are doing a terrible job, in case nobody has informed you.  Go ahead; take a poll. I will wait.

Type your response slowly so I can understand it….

Technology, as it evolves, needs to be monitored closely. Laws that protect the people need to be as dynamic as those technological changes.  We have seen the drone in just the last couple of years become much more pervasive and dangerous.

Our technology in our homes opens us up to cyber-attack.  Where is the consumer protection agency? 

Why do we learn about this stuff after bad things happen?  We need a department of technology, that works with the Consumer protection agency.  These folks need some metric to quantify that they are not just warming some chair for some six-figure salary.

While technology can be a good thing, it can also be a very bad thing in the wrong hands.  This is why we need to think seriously about weapons of mass destruction, in the hands of any dictator. We need to understand all that is about technology, which goes into our homes.  Internet-connected technology is a must, in this area.  The consumer protection agency like UL used to do, should be checking these devices before they are sold into the US.

See my story on Fairy lights.

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy and prosperous New Year.  We will know if you do, as we are watching and listening.  “Alexa, turn off the lights.”

Best

Scott

Critique-How, Why and are you Qualified?

Is your ego ready for this?

As a writer of over 32 novels and counting, I have not had the benefit of a critique partner, or group.

Grammarly and other artificial intelligence can only take you so far in the creative process.  Typos and other grammatical errors are inconsequential if your story sucks.

The problems are many, but mainly we writers are a solitary bunch.  Many days, if it were not for my business, I would speak with no one. My characters and stories become my life, as I am confident, do many of yours.  We sit here in solitary with the keyboard making its little clicking sounds as, “our music.”  That is ok to me, and probably many of you too.

“Is it really ok?”

First, we must recognize that we are social creatures and are meant to be that way to keep from being maladjusted in this world of other social beings.  Some of us live out in the country, and I envy you!

If you are reading this, you have the internet. With that tool, you no longer need to be an island all on your own.  We, you and I share a bond, the many do not share.  We share the passion for creating things with our minds.  We create realms, and people, and are very much like God him or herself. Yes, I did it; I assigned God a position in life by anthropomorphizing God as a being, like us.

With this internet and access to this blog and others like you, we, you and I can share stories or ideas.  You and I can, in fact, offer constructive criticism on your WIP.

When starting, your ego might be fragile, and it is ok to ask your partner to go a little easy.  I have stated in previous blogs, for the person offering the criticism to look for the good stuff and mention it, before you deliver the crushing reality of what they are doing wrong, “in your opinion.”

Allow me to emphasize that opinion part.

I sent a story out to my critique group which is comprised of all types of people.  The nerd among them who I respect, and care about, tore the story apart as the science in his “opinion” sucked.  The story was a romance based around weak science much like the flux capacitor. The science was, in fact, a focal point only to build the story.

In most romances, the characters are the focal point and the “event” is the supporting trope.

The others in the group loved the story.

As you think of your audience, you should also consider what they tell you from their viewpoint. As my mother used to say, “Consider the source.”

We will be talking much more about this in the future, as I very much like to pay it forward, to other writers out there.  “Yes, that means you!”

Along with this subject, I will be spending much more time writing about all aspects of writing.  Why?

As I learn, one of the best ways to cementing that knowledge is to “teach” it.  Why not teach you, my followers, if that sort of thing is of value to you.

As we move into the holiday season, many of you will have some time, and I pray that you use it to spend with family and friends.  We writers need to divest ourselves of the computer every now and then and live.  I know what I am asking because I would much rather spend time with my characters and you, then family.  Truthful I know, but it is what it is.

What can you do?

  • If you are not already a follower of me here, do that.
  • Offer some opinions on my writing here, if nothing else.
  • The novel I let the group read is Tipping Point, and it is free on Kindle Unlimited. Read it and give me some feedback before I re-write it.

Currently, I am teaching myself more about Dialogue, and I will be sharing what I learn with you here, as again, I am a firm believer in paying it forward.  Dialogue is the most essential part of your fiction, and if you blow it, you are wasting your time.

If you have a subject that interests you, let us know here in the comments.

Share this with your friends and followers as we strive to perfect our craft.

Much Love and Happy Holidays!  -TW