Do you fall in love with your characters?

Are you writing about you?

Greetings, my fellow writers, authors, and friends.

I find it exhilarating when a character becomes more than a Skelton.  We, you and I start with an idea, and before you know it, we have become Gods.  Yes, we have created the Sahara or perhaps a moon with an atmosphere the Earth’s size that happens to orbit a failed star.

The tension, of course, is, what is the stability of the failed star? How close must the orbit be to a gaseous giant that is only working at twenty percent?

Our Captain ‘Dirk’ is either a lovable single syllable kind of guy, or perhaps it is a fierce redhead who her subordinates refer to as sir.

Somewhere in the pages, our characters become real to us.  We see them.  We can hear their soft sexy voice or perhaps the shrillness of her commands as she orders the helmsman to face the enemy five times their might.

Having written over 34 novels and then some, I find that my characters come to life in other stories.  They call that crossover, but, to me, I think it might be a little deeper.

What if we are creating the perfect lover?  When we play god, what if our needs and desires leak out from our axiomatic ink wells and land on our proverbial parchment paper?

Guess what my lovelies, they do.  If you want to know someone in an even more intimate way than perhaps their spouse knows them, read what they write.

Even on these blogs, I read many blogs that you all write.  You see, pets, if you are following me, the odds of me ever getting a hug or even a handshake are distant.  There are a few of you who I wish I could hug; I feel your pain in your words.

I peruse your musings.  Some of you keep it very much business and use your blogs to eke out a living. 

The truth is I have a company, a job that occupies much of my time.  I should be writing murder mysteries inventing a new Sherlock Holmes.  We could use a Digital aware investigator, with the charm of an English gentleman, don’t you think?

I write because it removes me from this world.  My characters, for better or worse, are all parts of me. My god, I think I know where they came up with the story for Cybil.

Some poor bastard fell off his trolley, and they left him or her with a pen and paper.

I have read many of your posts. Some made me laugh, some cringe, and others cry.  The world we currently live in sucks in so many ways.  I would count those ways, but that is counterproductive to who I am as a person.  To me, the glass is half full.  It must be.

How do we not fall off our trolley?

If you are young and healthy, I think you go about your life.  I believe that living in fear will create toxicity within you, much like harboring hate will. Those of you who have written such blogs, you know I am speaking with you.  Notice I did not say at you.  From me to you, this is a gesture of friendship and love from a stranger. I share what I do, so you know that you are not alone.

Like so many others, these words are much more revealing than if I were walking down Main Street anywhere, naked.  Our Body is but a house for our soul.

My relatives come from the other side of the pond.  Winston Churchill is in my family tree. I’m not too fond of cigars, but brandy, now we both could agree on that. I can picture him and I sitting in a library sipping brandy while discussing what must happen to save the country.

My characters are all parts of my soul, from my cheeky redhead in Presidential Assassins to Don in The Saga of the Starduster.

My god; what fun that was to be abducted by aliens!  To trek across the voids of space to wake up in a space station in another Galaxy.  Don, part of me, was kidnapped by a ship full of nudists.  Can you imagine nude aliens?

Kelly, she is part of me too.  She is the part that takes no shit from anyone.  Trust me; I have that side.  Unlike many of my writer friends, I love to shoot guns.  From skeet to competitive target shooting, a bad guy does not stand a chance in hell should he or she trespass.  That is one reason I can never return to where my cousin did so much, for so many, to have it all taken away by so few.

To be stripped of my right to bear arms is unconscionable.

Presidential Assassins is a thriller and a half, with sex and action.  Much more action but damn, Kelly is …mmmm.  It is too bloody bad Kelly could not get turned loose today.

There are other novels, some very naughty and some nicer.  My point is, all of those characters are parts of my Cybil. 

When I am at conferences, I don’t wear a badge that says TWScott.  I rather like that incognito mode.  You see, some might only read the naughty novels and think I am less of a person than they are.

That is why we use pen names, so the judgmental assholes of the world don’t piss in our cheerios. Yes, we walk among you mere mortals, so beware.  The truth of it is we all have our bedroom face and thoughts.  Those who would look at you or I, and think less of us should look into the mirror.

I hope this epistle brings you some comfort, some joy, and some laughs.  I meant what I said about not being alone.  There is much more that ties us together than tears us apart.  Those who preach hate on the cable channels are the assholes you should gird your loins to avoid. Someone is paying them to spread lies, misinformation, and well, propaganda.

Much love -TW

The Business of Writing

Why cant I just write?

Oh Crap, tell me this isn’t a blog about business…please??

It’s true; we are writers, we want to write.  It is tough enough to conjugate words and have them make sense.  Writing is equivalent to weaving a ten thousand piece puzzle together when half of the pieces are blank.   The dog might have eaten some of the pieces, but yet we press on.

Do you want to make money with what you write?

If the answer is yes, then you must accept that writing is a business.  If it is, you need a business plan.

It is not enough to have ideas for stories.

From marketing to paying for your parts of the process you are not strong in, you must be willing to make sacrifices.

I am asked how much time should I spend marketing, and when should I start?

Do you know the answers?

In this very blog, I started a story about the Three Hundred.  Few of you took the time to read it, so guess what, it is a failure.  If I cannot entice someone to read a story for free, what hope do I have of getting someone to pay for it?

That is the first lesson; failure is part of the business plan.  Failure is a good thing as it gives us feedback.

I would tell you to keep tossing shit at the wall and see what sticks but, shit is probably not the best adjective I could find.

Cast your pearls out into the winds and see what seeds land on fertile ground and take root.

Either way, the lesson is, don’t stop.

If you have a passion for writing, write.  As for advice from me to you, write what you love or are passionate about.  If the Three Hundred stirs your juices (speaking to myself), write the damned story.

If this were to be a novel, when do you suppose I should begin to market it?

“The Three Hundred, a story of the last few humans to survive before mankind destroys the planet.”

Ok, I need to get this on social media and wet appetites.  Yes, when the title and the concept are in your mind, blog about it, tweet about it, and invite your readers to peek behind the scenes as the story develops.

With this action, you build a base of followers, who when the story hits the book stores will be the first to buy it.  They might also be the first to leave you reviews.  Reviews are a good thing.

Keep all your receipts because this is a business.  Trust me on this; when you make over $600 from Amazon, the government will be looking for their share.  They will know about it as you will be issued  a 1099.  Just claim it and move on. The federal prison on tax evasion is no place to write your next novel.

When the story takes form in the way of the first few pages, begin exciting your followers on Social media.

Dedicate time each day to marketing.

From Social media to web site design and content, it is all necessary.

One problem with social media is your eggs are in a basket that you don’t control.  The @twscott823 twitter account was suspended for no apparent reason.  I went to tweet about something, and it did not work.  I have many followers who were not easy to come by, and Twitter just suspended it because God only knows why.

Yes, I have appealed to the robot in charge.

Knowing that social media can be fickle and unpredictable, what can you do?

First, you must put your eggs into a basket that you control.  Web sites are a good one.

I am looking at paying for advertising on Amazon, which kills me.  I pay them to market my books that they keep a good chunk of—cost per click.  You could spend upwards of a $1 a click for a three dollar book that there is no guarantee that the “clicker” will purchase.

In business, we call this a loss.

I am currently exploring all the angles. What is the least expensive way to get my novels in the hands of those who would read them?  As I learn more, I will share it with you here.

#amwriting is not just a hashtag; it is who I am.

Much Love -TW

Where are they are Mars?

Are you all reading the first two acts of The Three Hundred ?

With story structure, we have many different things to consider.  In a short story, you have limited words to work with, which translates to limited plot devices, characters as well as the structure itself.  If we write a novel of 60 to 100 thousand words, then what?

More characters, more twists, and turns, and the structure changes.

The Three Hundred currently is 10K words and, there are more in the pipeline.    Sitting on Mars, we have a small crew investigating the infamous face on Mars.

What is it?

Back in the dark ages…1976, Viking 1 snapped a picture of a fantastic sight.  There on the surface in an area of Mars known as Cydonia was proof positive that there was life on Mars! 

Maybe not.

Taking a picture of a rock formation that appeared to have two eyes, nose and mouth, NASA released the image to the public to drum up interests in NASA and Mars.  It worked.  It worked a little too well as the rags that live on the shelves by the checkouts in stores, showed the face and tantalizing teases.

Writers like yours truly, use it as fodder for stories, and why not?

If you were standing on mars close to the two-mile-long structure, dare I say it, you would not recognize it as anything other than rocks.

For the purpose of this story, there is a rectangular opening. What are the odds of a perfectly rectangular opening on and edifice that looks like a large human face?

If and when we ever do get to Mars, I am confident that someone will snap a picture of it from ground level. Until then we can enjoy The Three hundred and other sci-fi fantasies

One of the craziest scams I saw recently was someone selling an acre of Mars for $12.  Much like the star registry, someone came up with selling land on another planet.

Can you just imagine some rich Texas oil tycoon buys Mars in total, finds a way to go there to discover that life is on Mars, and they are all larger than life spiders?

I am giving away a much better product, a fantasy of Mars, and all you have to do is to hit that follow button and read on when the next act drops.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

As always, I welcome your feedback, comments, and a friendly Hello.  We are all in this COVID Pandemic together. Why not find something bad like this virus to bring us together as a people, instead of divide us like so many in the media want to do?

Much Love -TW

Happy ‘Hump Day’

What does Hump day say to you?

As a writer of naughtiness on occasion, I have mixed feelings about the words ‘hump day.’

In the spirit of total transparency, I have issues with the appropriation of many words and colloquiums. 

I rather like the term gay as happy.  Now, if you were to say ‘I feel so gay,’  people would look at you strangely and might say, good for you for coming out.  

Imagine you are at a social event, and you are feeling rather ‘gay.’  You see your man friend drinking a girly drink with that skewer of pineapple and maraschino cherry.  Not wanting your friends to think him effeminate, you go and steal it playfully.  You then look at him with a cat-like grin, tell him ‘ha, I got your cherry.’

How might that conversation go?

While hump day is the reaching of the precipice of the week, and then the egress down the other side, how many of us think something very different?  That is one reason I think Wednesday night church service is a bad idea.  At the end of hump day, I don’t want to be thinking about Jesus on the cross.

***

If you are a regular, you no doubt have read the second act of The Three Hundred.

I was reading it over last night and found more typos than I usually allow but, I left them for this reason.

When you write something, don’t be so hard on yourself.  My mistakes occur because I think much faster than I can get the ideas down on paper.  In one sentence, there is ‘door something and door’ again. One tip I usually use is to read it aloud.  Printing is also an excellent way to catch errors.

I will go back and correct it soon.

I started ACT III, and I hit a stumbling block.

Here is a question for you who follow me.  Should I have them find living Martians or …should I have them find evidence of Martians?

I told you when I started, I was offering you the chance to have input, there It is.

Say something in the comments below.

Until then, my lovelies, stay safe, sane, and remember it is Hump day.  Make sure your loved ones know you are thinking of them.

Much Love -TW

Greetings and Happy Monday

Writing is Cathartic, have you tried it?

I know many of you are like me.  The days are blending, and your routine is looking rather bleak. Following events from around the globe, you can see that we are not alone.

The aphorism ‘Keep calm and carry on’ is probably sage advice.  You and I have something in common that might keep our sanity intact longer than most.  We write.

Writing is cathartic.  When people grieve, they tend to hold it all in and go through all the stages of grief.

For those of you who have never heard of the stages of grief they are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

You might be telling yourself, nobody I know has died, TW what is this talk about grief and grieving?

The world as you and I knew it changed around March.  For many, it was before March.  Many of us saw our freedoms, livelihood and yes friends and family disappear.  I think part of the issues with the riots are; some people are in the ANGER stage.  The problem is, they are being lied to by the media. Misleading the public is what they do best.  Their motive is their bank account.  Leaving earth-shattering stories on the cutting room floor, to paint certain politicians as abhorrent is their daily tasks.

The past several months I have lost two close friends that I could not even attend their funerals. 

We have all lost our freedoms, and now we see what tyrannical governments look like.  Some of you, in other countries, already know this.    Of course, the media is blaming everything on the president as this is an election year. 

I am working on the rest of the second act of The Three Hundred.

When not dealing with customers, I write.

I also have been reading some of your blogs.  These weeks shout out goes to https://dirtyscifibuddha.com/

Does the donate button work?

If you have not checked out that site, I will encourage you to follow the link.

Stay safe, stay sane, and if you want to know how to do the primal scream, well, I have no idea.  Someone posted a video of a woodchuck standing by the Grand Canyon screaming, but I am confident it was all photoshop and PC magic.

We will get through this and be stronger for it.  Be wary if the media start selling you a song and dance about migrating bats from China carrying COVID 19.  Some politicians will sell their souls for a Klondike Bar.

China knows they screwed up, and most probably will be making deals with heads of state to let this die on the vine. As long as their bank account reflects your pain and misery, ie Hunter Biden walking away with a Billion from China for access to the VP, no telling who is going to get rich for your suffering.

I have already seen stories about bats.  Just wait.  Propaganda from outfits like Yahoo, Time, and even Amazon’s Alexa flashing up little stories to breed an ounce of doubt.

All I am saying is don’t buy the bullshit. 

Much Love -TW

World Building 101

Using more than vision is a must!

I am taking a break from the world of the virus to talk about our world.  No, not the one with the virus, the one that we have in our minds.

I critique a fair amount of writing for peers, friends, and yes, even some family members.  A CP or critique partner is a two-way street and is invaluable to a writer.

One of the things I see most often is a flat world.  What do I mean by that?

I think examples go far beyond talking about them, much like showing instead of telling.  I am going to world build for you.  The first example is flat….

David followed the carnage throughout his realm. It was easy to tell where they had been by the sacked villages in their wake.  From the burned out buildings to toppled statues, whoever was doing this had complete disdain for the locals.

In this paragraph, we are introduced to David.  Who he is or his relevance to the story is anyone’s guess.  We can assume he is after the people doing this to the locals, but again we don’t know.  I do give you a clue to the hate by the toppled statues.  Burning their villages is one thing, but toppling statues shows us that there was more than purpose to the destruction.

Ok, let’s try again; this time, let’s show a little bit more.

Sir David left the castle in response to news from his realm.  Invaders had moved in from the West, showing total contempt for him, his kingdom, and his kind.

The scents of the pines were quickly replaced by the acrid stench of burnt wood, animals, and people alike.  The skies turned dark, the closer he came to the first village.  Once the pride of his kingdom, not one structure was left.  Even the sculpture, honoring his mother the Queen, lay in ruins with the head, smashed into a fine powder.  Charred remains of his people smoldered in piles of ashes of what used to be their homes.  Viewing the ruins through angry prisms of tears, he pressed on.

You will notice that both paragraphs relay the same information about the scene.  Except now in the second one, we learn who David is, who that statue was of, why it was so meaningful, and we learn more of the hate of David’s mother.  We still don’t know who the enemy is or why they hate his mother, but, we would turn the page to find out.

When world-building, you are a god.  This is your world.  You have the divine power to create as you see fit and destroy as you will.  If you want readers to be interested in your writings, remember to use as many of the senses as you can.

In painting, if you look carefully, you will see that white is not white.  If I am painting a lady in a white blouse or dress, you will find multiple colors in the fabric.  If it is a warm shadow, there will be warm colors, and conversely, a cold shadow will have more violets blues and so on.  Not only will there be many different colors but many different values.

When I write, I try to grab the reader by the …yes that.  I want to draw the reader in so they can smell the burnt flesh, or perhaps the aroma of the rose.

Much like the art, I paint my paintings and scenes with the same passion, and that means I use composition.  In a painting, I seek to draw the eye of the beholder in toward the center and have their eyes go more or less in circles as they see all that is.  How do we do that with our words?

We paint with our words.  All of the values and colors must be represented by our words.

Here is a trick that you might wish to use.  In your mind, when you are writing, you have an idea of what the scene looks like.  Many, even some of the great authors, do not do this justice.  Here is the trick.  By the way, if you want more of these hints, tips or tricks, hit that follow button.

The trick is to go out on Pixabay or just google a scene like you are trying to write and post it where you can see it.  Now, as you world build, paint that scene with words. Don’t forget the temperature, time of day, and for God’s sake, add smell or scent or odor in the painting.

One of the most powerful senses we have is the power of smell.  Unlike a painting, with my words, I can incorporate smell.  The sense of smell is one hell of a kick in the memory department.  If I mention the scent of toll house cookies in the oven, the odds are good you will dredge up some memory, hopefully, a happy one involving toll house cookies.  You might even remember eating the raw dough when your mother told you no.

If I mention biting into a lemon with the bittersweet taste, your saliva glands will more than likely respond, just by the mere mention of it.

When we write erotica or racy things, yes, in both men and women, things respond not only anatomically, but in your brain, chemicals are released.  That is what we are going for in our art, whether it be words or oils.

When you world-build or tell your stories, trigger those reactions that you want in your reader, so they become part of the story.  We wish to have them feel empathy toward your David.  Have them ride along with him experiencing all the disgust and scorn that he does.    Just maybe your David is riding on a dragon.  Maybe your David can shoot fire from his fingertips.  It is your world.  You are the God of your universe.

One last bit of advice I would leave you with during this blog entry is this.

Enjoy what you are doing.  Live in this world that you are creating.  Feel the cold air on your cheeks as you take flight on your magical beast.  See the forest below you, and notice the smoke in the distance.  Plan your strategy for taking on the vermin that dare to come into your realm.

Yes, I just made all this stuff up in about ten minutes or so.  I write about one novel every three months, give or take, and that includes holding down a full-time job.

Currently, I am 36K words into my newest novel, which is about a young lady who discovers through a vision that not only is she blessed with magical powers, but she is about to be forced into a confrontation with a government skunkworks program.  It would seem that the government is using genetically modified food to promote a unique genetic change in the minds of children to encourage telekinesis. They are unaware that what they are doing will turn an army of people lose on the world with powers the likes of which they have never imagined.  Bethany, my main character, is a witch that will soon be pressed in to service against a human-made evil.

The audience for this novel is the Harry Potter, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and the Spirited Away crowd, with a bit of Stranger Things added for spice.    I think the book will be about 80K words give or take, with options for more if the story takes off.

Follow me here for updates, as I work every day on this novel.  Unlike my other thirty-odd books on Amazon and Smashwords; I am going to attempt the Query process once again.  I will not make a job out of it, however.  Each letter takes no less than four hours, and that is at least a chapter in a new novel for me.  If, by chance, you are in this industry, and like the concept, save me the query process for a leg up on representing this novel.

Much love to you, my faithful followers.  BTW, I have taken the time to visit many of your blogs, I have commented on a few of them.  Hang in there world; things will get better.  –TW

 

 

 

 

Negative Character Arcs

Hello people, it is I, your humble author reaching out to you once again.  Many of you are writers or authors, and I want to pay it forward.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know this about me already.

Character arcs are a considerable part of character development, which causes your readers to empathize with them.  Much like the big-eyed boy with the black rim glasses living under a staircase, we all loved him.  Why?  The author did a great job of growing him as well as the other characters around him.

One way we do this is with character arcs.  So, Negative arcs???

I get this question posed to me often.

If you first understand what a character arc is, you know that it is basically the growth or change a character makes during the story.

Your protagonist will probably believe some lie that possibly they learned sometime in their youth.  They have lived a lie, and somewhere in your story, their ‘truth’ is challenged.

A common lie is, they are not worthy of love.  Many go through their whole life because of their upbringing, believing that.  A little secret here, I was one of them.  Shhh, that is our secret, and a lie that I had to overcome.   Those horribly abused children you read about…That was me, and I would have loved the staircase vs. what I went through.

Anyway…

During the plot, they go through twists and turns and discover that their ‘truth’ is indeed false.  This can create a crisis for them, which is fun to write.  This would probably happen during the climax where they ‘shift’ their thinking.  Letting go of the lie and accepting the truth as their new mantra.  Because the lie and reality are probably apparent to your reader, they can empathize with your character, which will engender support for your writing style.

Yeah You!

What about a negative character arc?

There is the same lie, but the truth remains elusive and, the character now embraces their lie even more and spirals downward into less than proper behavior.  Breaking Bad is a perfect example of a negative character arc.

Had I not learned the truth, I dare say that drugs and alcohol might have been my undoing.  That would have been a negative arc.  Death can be part of a character’s negative arc.

In my novel, Presidential Assassins, Kelly’s arc is compelling.  Before going into the military, her stepfather met an untimely demise, after attempting to rape her.  While it appeared as an accident, this action put her on the radar of a group that works outside or above the law.

After her mother re-married…Kelly became a military brat, enlisting as soon as she could to get away from her parents.

She was a pilot in the air force, shot down and tortured by the enemy.  Kelly, unknown to her captures, is a real badass.  She learned as a military brat, at an early age that she had to be tough. When she saved a school friend from being raped by a gang of older boys, she came close to killing them.  Her friend brought her father back to the scene in the nick of time.  He stopped her from breaking their necks.  She had them all down, and now she was going to end their reign of terror, one at a time.

Realizing that he now had a debt to repay, he hatches a plan.  Taking the gangly redhead under his wing, teaching her his ways would benefit her.  As a master of martial arts, he teaches her discipline, among other things.  While some of her talents come from her heritage as a red-headed green-eyed Irish woman, the lethal talents were taught to her by this man.  She became a master.

Fast forward past the war and her time in the exchange program on an aircraft carrier, she finds a job as a reporter.

After an explosion in California, Kelly is sent to research who was responsible.  During her flight, the plane she is on is hijacked.  Guess who kills the hijackers and flies a shot up 737 back into Scottsdale during a storm.

This novel is so full of action you will not be able to put it down.

Kelly has what we call a ‘flat character arc,’ or possibly a slightly positive arc as she does adapt and change to the situations.  I say that because, in reality, she arcs positive, negative, and then just kind of flat because she is who she is.  She is dynamite with a temper to match.

I don’t care what your gender happens to be; you will fall in love with her.

There is a secret organization that controls world leaders, and she is recruited….That is about as much as I can tell you without spoiling it.

A flat character arc is one where the character does not change who they are.  Some examples of that would be Indiana Jones or James Bond. To a large extent, it is Kelly McGuire.

I will put a link to the book here, Presidential Assassins.

If you honor me by reading it, please let me know what you think of it.  This is an adult read. There are sexual situations, some violence, and people Die!

My friends, I hope that you are all safe, and staying inside, away from those who this virus could be fatal.  With 7.4 Billion people affected, and the world’s economy headed for the toilette, we will be talking about this in the history books for some time.

Much Love…Stay Safe…-TW

Hello World, How are you?

Things to think about as we sit staring at the same four walls for weeks on end.

Yes, it is another day here in Texas. I am taking a break from my day job to tell you all hello.

The stories I hear are heartbreaking.  So many good people are succumbing to this plague that was unleashed upon humanity.

I am not going to preach about God or Christianity here.  I respect you all way too much to do that.  I will tell you that there is lots of useful information contained in the Bible.  A book that I find the most issues with is Leviticus.  Still not preaching, I was thinking about the advice of what not to eat.

Some of our friends around the globe eat things that ought not to be eaten.  I am speaking about the wet markets not only in China, but many countries have them.  Whether the market was an accelerant for the virus, created in some lab or it jumped from creature to human there, had they not had this living petri dish of dead and dying animals for sale, we would not be in this fix.

If you think Levitical law was God’s actual words, beautiful.  If you, like I, believe that man had a hand in writing this, fine.  Some of the things in there just make sense.  Take a look for yourself.

Many of you are probably way too young to know who Red Skelton was.  He was a comedian in a time that you could be funny without using four-letter words.  One of his signature lines was..(Pretending he was a child)  “If I do it, I get a whipping…..I do it.”

I am confident that in writing, it loses some of its zing but, he was brilliant, and…there is a lesson there.

Unlike many of my Christian friends, I also believe Darwin knew a thing or two.  If we did not have air travel, those that practice unsafe and unwise habits would just go away.  They die off, leaving the strongest, fittest, and yes, the smartest, left to live another day.

The virus would not have left Wuhan or the Chinese mainland for sure.

Since we have air travel, just possibly, this is an argument for a governing body that supersedes other governments, much like we have in the states.  The governor of the state is elected and can be overruled by the federal government if they act ‘stupidly.’  We have a few right now that need to be overridden and voted out when the next election rolls around.

The wet markets are a scourge and stupid.  Just possibly, we need some international norms to follow if you want to leave your country.

Harsh, I don’t think so.  When this plague is over, ask those who lost loved ones what they think.  Ask the millions of people who are staring at four walls how they feel.  Ask the milllions who are now out of work if they think that things need to change.  How about the small business or large business people who will never recover.  This virus has had an effect on 7.4 billion people!  Ask them how they feel about wet markets.

With international air travel happening all day and night, seven days a week, practices like wet markets and biological manipulations of viruses must be stopped.

You who live in those countries are not who I am addressing.  The leaders of all of the nations are who I am speaking to.

Plagues like this one were avoidable, and if some common sense laws were followed, we would not be where we are today.

Having said that, I am working on a new series of, how to self-publish, that I will be releasing in the weeks ahead.

Many of you would like to give it a whirl, and don’t know where to start.  I have run the gauntlet and have it mastered, kind of.

With over 32 novels in markets around the globe, I must be doing something right.

Hang in there, I am thinking about you and wish you health and happiness.

Much Love -TW

 

 

Taking a break from Hell on Earth, and talking about writing.

Let’s control what we can and let the world take care of itself.

Hello fellow earthlings,   I know life has just sucked the last few weeks, and I feel that it is going to suck more before it is over.

Let’s break away from the news of the day and talk about writing.  I feel many of you that follow me are writers, want to be writers, or are authors who want to see how others do what they do.

With over 32 novels selling around the world, I have learned a thing or two.

Let me start by talking about the reasons to write.  I am sure I have addressed these before in a previous blog, but let me do it again for those who are new to this site.

The only reason for you to write is that you love writing.  Unless you work for a paper or some other institution that has hired you to write manuals or something, we writers write because we love to write.

If you decide to write a book because you want to live in a gated community on the ocean in California, or Kiawah Island or, perhaps, Martha’s Vineyard, let me just wake you the hell up.  Your first novel will most likely be horrible.  Sorry for the truth of it, those are the facts.  You can work and research your heart out, but your first work will suck.  …probably…

When I wrote my first few novels, I appealed to an audience that was not looking for literary genius.  My craft was not developed enough to appeal to a high brow audience.  What I was looking for is writing something that people would buy for a couple of dollars, and hopefully give me some feedback.

You see, the truth of it is, Beta Readers that are not your family are hard to come by, and you might have to pay someone to read your crap, and give you honest feedback.  Too Harsh?

We need to be honest with each other, and we must learn to accept rejection.  Rejection, no matter how hurtful, should be taken as part of the learning process.  Feedback is terrific, even if it sucks.  Only when we can step away from the forest of our writing, can we see the mistakes and missteps we have made.  Only then can we see the weeds.

My advice to you is to write your first novel, polish it as best you can and then self-publish it, and then beg for feedback.  Make it easy for them to go to an e-mail address and tell you how badly it sucked, and they want their $1.99 back.  If they tell you why and what is wrong, I would send them the $2.

Writing books is a labor of love.  Writing is hard.  As a writer, you must form a habit of writing, even if it means you climb your butt out of bed an hour earlier.   It is a lonely profession.  I work till three or four in the morning many nights.  Oh, and I have a day job.  ‘I love to write.’

There are times I don’t like it too much, but I love to write.

Form your habit and stick to it.  Much like exercise or following a diet, it is all about practice.   There is an advantage to writing early in the morning.  Your brain produces certain types of waves, and one of them are theta waves.  When you get up in the morning, you have more theta waves going on than during the typical day.  Taking a shower, your brain produces theta waves.  Ever wake up with an epiphany or perhaps have one in the shower…?  That is why.

I think the hardest thing to swallow is this; nobody cares.  Your parents will lie to you and care because you wrote it, your spouse really doesn’t give a shit, and your friends will manage to distance themselves from you if you require them to love your book.  Nobody cares as you do.  It is your baby, and you are the one that needs to love it, nurture it, and then send it out into the world to see what happens.

I have said this before too.  You cannot be a one-trick pony.  I know writers who have been working on the same book for tens of years.  OMFG…self-publish it and get on with it.  Amazon will make a few dollars off you, the government in the place the person is in that buys it, will get some tax money from you, and if you are lucky, you might make a dollar for your labor of love.

Most new authors who self-publish make about $10 their first year.   Damn, I know that hurts if you have never heard that before, but I speak the truth.

I know too many authors who pour a fortune in their book, ‘that sucks’ to have it professionally edited, pay to have a cover designed, and then pay people to market it.  I have read their books, and they suck.

  • I make a point to purchase books from new authors, that manage to sit inside the local book store.  Why?
  • I want to be supportive of them.
  • I want to speak with them and learn from them.
  • I get their signature and put the book on the shelf after I read it.
  • I can tell you after the first few pages if the book will hit or not, never missed once yet.
  • I want to encourage these authors to keep writing.  Don’t stop.

Study the craft of writing, read books like you are disassembling a watch, that you must put back together.  Examine the structure, story, and character arcs and ask yourself if you had written it, how you would make it better.  Do that with terrible books as well.   Where did the author go wrong?

The craft of writing is not something you can just do.  Unless you are ‘somebody’ and can afford a ghostwriter to take your crap and make it better, you need to learn the entire craft yourself.

That is why I trumpet the idea of writing for the love of writing.

As an artist, I thought my first painting was pretty good.  Today when I see pictures of it, I wish I could find it, I would burn it.  The same is true for my writing.  I have been writing since I was a kid.  That was more than a few years ago.

The practice is crucial and doing it because you love it is the only reason to write.  Once you perfect it, publish it on Amazon, or Smashwords, and see what happens.

If you follow me here, and if you would like some feedback, I might consider giving it if you would be willing to reciprocate.

I pray that you are all staying safe and staying home during these times of uncertainty.  Live in your worlds that you create, or read some of my novels, and live in one of my worlds.

Much Love -TW

Diamond Joe a Synopsis

Need a feel good story, this is it!

 

The horses finished in an upset as the favorite lost to a relative newcomer.  Samantha Thomas grew up on the farm but wanted so much more than slopping pigs.

Her dream was realized when a visitor in town learned of her love of horses.  Hiring her to train his horse, she eventually rode it in local races.  Before long, she and Thundercloud were making their way into the hearts and minds of other enthusiasts.

Riding the horse to victory, the owner sold the horse to visiting Prince.  The new owner, much like many in the stands, had no clue that the real gem was Sam, not the horse.

Diamond Joe, the man, was in the stands with his new son in law when Thundercloud came in from behind, pulling off an upset that would be history for years to come.  His daughter was also in the crowd, but she was only there for her husband, Steve, and her father.

After the death of her father, and a year later her husband; Donna sold her home and went to be with her mother.  Vera, her mother, passed from the flu, leaving her alone on the plantation. Dealing with a new horse that Steve, her husband, had purchased left her little time to socialize, not that she wanted to.

Teaching Journalism at the local university, Donna buried herself in her work.  The plantation was a respite from the real world.  When one of her students, an up and coming quarterback, argued with her about her draconian ideas on journalism, she saw in him the same spark that she had seen in her husband.

Dane showed an interest in her, which aroused the woman inside her.  Learning of his desire to date her niece, she put that fantasy on hold.  Hiring him to do some handyman work, Dane learns of her real love, the horse ‘Diamond Joe’ named after her father.

Not telling Donna the entire story of Sam, he alludes to her that Sam could train her horse.  Inviting Samantha to her place, Donna soon learns that love comes in all sizes and shapes.

Was Samantha interested in her money, or something else?

Read the story, tell me what you think.  I love this novel as have many of my readers.  Check it out.

While we are all on ‘time out,’ why not read a love story with horses and racing as a subplot?

 

Much love -TW