Diamond Joe

Just when you think you found the exit, someone moves the door.

Who is Diamond Joe?

Diamond Joe

Buried in her work as a professor, Donna creates a ‘new normal’ after her husband dies unexpectedly. Hiring a horse trainer, Donna’s world turns upside down when Samantha plays to one of her wildest fantasies. Forbidden love captivates both of them. Accepting Sam’s love was only the beginning of the social disaster confronting them.

Here we have the classic story of Cinderella, well, no, we don’t.  This book is nothing like that fairy tale.

You know, speaking one on one, I must tell you, I was thrilled when Hallmark mentioned they would start making movies including a more diverse culture.

When you read this novel, you will get why that is important.  I know there are so many who only judge a lifestyle by some outrageous performance in the street.  Some judge a race solely by the actions they see on the late news.

Not all black people loot, kick white people when they are down, or push white folks in front of an oncoming subway train.

This, these actions are what many see in their living room.

They hear about the shootings in Chicago every weekend, and it is black on black. They don’t see the good that they do, and that is a problem we need to fix.

Conversely, not all white folks think black folks are ignorant.

This novel is not so much about race as it is forbidden, love.

Not all that long ago, interracial romances were not something tolerated by society.  When Sidney Portier played in John Prentice, a black doctor came to dinner; the movie was groundbreaking.  This was 1967. 

I was a child of the sixties, and I never had an issue with race anything, and I was raised in the south.

Gay, that was a tough one because of my exposure to Levitical teaching.

It wasn’t until I had a deep dive into biology and science that I understood where man screwed things up.

While I never had an issue with the person, it took this ‘enlightenment’ to be ok with their actions.

I won’t belabor the points here because I go into detail in the novel. 

It took me writing about it, developing the characters, and having them interact did I become ok with who they are.

Who is Diamond Joe?

In short, for our story, he is a horse.  Not just any horse.  The story takes on a wild journey through the trials and tribulations of training a racehorse.

I think Diamond Joe is probably one of my favorite books that I have written.  I haven’t read it in a while I might have to reread it.

If Hallmark wanted to make a movie with female lovers, this would be one to consider.  My writing style was more dialogue so, it would be easy to make into a film.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Diamond Joe.  If you like it consider leaving me a review. 

I would love to hear what you thought of it either way.  Use the web portal on the contact page to contact me directly.  www.authortwscott.com

I respond to emails that are not about getting more traffic or auto insurance.

Much Love -TW

The Write Stuff

What would it be like to find an alien world that drives your sex hormones crazy when the third moon rises?

Yes, I know, I love clever.

Nano went off well for me. How about you?  Did you partake in NANO this year?

People ask me how I have managed to crank out so many novels. I don’t watch TV, and I don’t play video games.

Years ago, I complained I didn’t have time enough in the day to do those things that made me happy.  From the time we get up in the morning, we rush here and there to get ready for work. It doesn’t start at daybreak and end with the proverbial Fred Flintstone whistle in my work. Time clock jobs are meant for entry-level employment or factory work of some kind. Personally ‘in my opinion’ those folks will live longer.

My job doesn’t end at five or six or sometimes much later. Since I left the corporate world, where I put in an average of 70 hours a week on salary, now it is for me.  I am a bitch to work for…J

Nobody drives me harder than I do.  I thrive on it. On the rare occasion that the TV is on and I manage to see it, my attention span is there for just a few seconds when I know why I gave it up.

We write because we lack something. I don’t write to sell books, I wish they would sell more than what they do, but that is not why I write. I write because I escape that world or this realm and sneak into mine.

In my world, I can be a button-down person, or I can be a whore.  Think about it. In your novel or your short story, you can be something you are not. What is it like to be a serial killer?  What about a madam?

Picture yourself in the role of a madam. You are holding a crop, and your boss is now your bitch. The fool wanted to be punished for his abuse of women, and he found you.  What would his or her ass look like when you finish?

Maybe you are the naughty boss and require a little over the lap action to set you straight. It is your world; you can be what you want.

In one of my novels, I took a childhood fantasy and wrote it as part of the plot.  I have always wanted to go back in time and have a do-over. While I doubt I will use the phrase hindsight is 2020 much longer, I would do many things differently.

For one, I would value time much more highly than I did.

In my novel Saga of the Starduster, I find myself in the body of a fifty-year-old man.  An astronaut on the ISS.  Out of the blue (or black), a mammoth-sized space ship hovers over them. Sucking the whole thing up into a cargo bay.

Don, my main character, gets probed so to speak but more importantly, through a series of events, he gets to go back to his third-grade class and have a do-over.  Don, unlike what would probably occur, has all of his memories and his education.  He gets to see his mother again after she had passed from cancer. Does he change history?  Does the timeline change?

The novel is a roller coaster of emotions and time travel and aliens, yes, aliens.  

The Saga of the Starduster has the Right Stuff.  It is my best seller.

Nano has seen the birth of another TWScott original.  This novel is 108K words, and unlike anything, I have written to date.  Magic and Mayhem is a young adult coming of age story. Of course, it involves magic and witches and goddesses, and even Fae.

I have parts of it with Beta Readers, and I will be sending it off to the editor soon enough.

Covid Update.

I am still pretending it is Groundhog Day.  My nights and days are screwed up. I am on a first-name basis with UPS, FedX, the Mail delivery person, and even the Amazon guy.  A salesperson happened by the other day, and instead of pretending I was not home, I stepped out and chatted with them for over an hour. Hey, door to door salespeople’s lives matter… I think I did brighten their day. We are friends on social media now.  How strange is that?

The recycle is full of little boxes with smiles on them, as I am making Jeff Bezos even more money than he currently has.

I do have a mystery for you to puzzle.  If I stick a box on the floor, at least one cat will jump into it.  What is the deal with cats and boxes? Even if the package is too small, they will attempt it.

I love to hear your thoughts, what you are working on, and how you are coping.  I am sick of zoom or the virtual world, but I guess it will have to do in lew of hugs and kisses.

Much Love -TW  

Why do customers put your book down?

How is your hook?

Hello fellow readers, writers, and humans…  If you are none of the above and reading this, um, is your planet more evolved than this one? 

I will assume that only humans are reading this, so on with the reason for the blog.

Firstly let me tell you folks in the states, Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that you had an excellent quiet time with your bird of choice.  Yeah, it was different this year.  Crazy uncle, whoever was not at the table poking his fingers in the air telling us how stupid we were for voting a certain way.  That might be a COVID blessing.

I read a lot.  I write a lot.  I spend more time in front of the keyboard than I care to admit.  One question that comes up often regards marketing their book.  They have the best novel ever written.  After years of trying to get an agent, they stopped wasting time on query letters and just published on Amazon, where Jeff and company make more money than the author if it sells.

The problems are many.

Firstly because of programs like KDP, people don’t value books like we used to.  I could have lived in a bookstore.  When half-price books came into vogue, I came close to living there.  Spending $20 on a book was nothing, especially when you are used to spending a lot more on college textbooks that were hardly ever used.

Along came Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.  Before we knew it, people who still read would not dream of spending $20 on a book when they can find something for free that is close.

KDP and others have programmed the reading community to value the written word as nothing.

Do you remember when Napster and similar music streaming services were online?  Musicians much like authors, should be paid for what you enjoy or consume. I won’t confuse you with too much more of the music industry. I will say that price is one reason your novels do not sell.

Statistically speaking, a new independent author earns $10 the first year. If you knew that going into a book project, would you still do it?

The numbers are sobering, but they put things into perspective.  Writing is hard.  Anyone can tell a story, but can you write the story as a real novel? 

Confusion on the reader’s part is one reason many books get placed back on the shelf. They are standing at the bookshelf in a major book store, and they see the spine of your book.  What is on the spine?

Your pen name, and the Title.  There might also be some color in the artwork.

Let’s assume that by magic, you picked the right fonts, colors, and Title intrigued them.  I am not going to lie and tell you the size and feel of the book doesn’t matter; it does.  Not very much but in the physical bookstore, everything matters. Suppose you could incorporate a certain sent in the pages that would be cool.

When the cover is opened, what do they see?

Her breath was haggard from the nightmare.  The tangled sheets must have been why she felt as if the trees in the forest had captured her—falling to the floor, pulling herself from the fabric Priscilla headed to the bathroom.  Had she looked behind her, she would have seen the muddy footprints on the carpet from the forest floor in her dream.

Meh, never start a story with a dream scene but, I kind of like it.  Would that cause you to read further?

How about this one:

Silence filled the cabin of the craft as the engines ceased to function.  The gauges warning low fuel were still flashing an amber warning.  Steve knew they would be cutting it close, but, he never dreamed he would be tens of thousands of miles from his rendezvous with the space station and no fuel. 

The asteroid that pulled them off course was not detected by the agency. Laden with supplies for the station, the one thing they did not have was fuel.  They had a week to figure out if they were still on course and then how the space station stops them from heading out into the void between galaxies.

Hmm, I like that hook too.

Yes, the hook, as in fishing, is essential.  The hook is your bait.  Once you know who your audience is, you write for them. 

In our critique group, we have several different authors who write in other genres.  The second hook would not be well received by many of them as science fiction is not their thing.  In the first hook, we can guess that magic of some kind is involved.

A strong hook and a non-confusing story is only a small part of the process.

From POV to story structure, we are only scratching the surface of writing a novel that will sell.  My advice to writers is this.

Sit and write your story. Don’t worry about any of the ‘stuff’ that must be part of your novel to be any good.  Just tell the damned story.  Too many overthink it and never get the first story published.

I am close to 40 novels published, and I keep going.  Why?  Practice.  The story is the easy part.  Think of something that excites you, put yourself as the MC, and write the blooming story. Vomit it out until you wretch, and nothing more comes out.  Store that manuscript in a safe place and then write another. Don’t think about publishing an unvarnished attempt at a story.  Let it age.

When the next novel is finished, put it in that drawer and then read it as if you are seeing it for the first time with a fresh look at it.  Yes, have your red pen handy and make notes, lots of notes.

Wait, her eyes are green in this scene and blue in this one…  The list of issues will be mind-boggling.

Tackle them one at a time.  You will learn that you have to flesh out other characters and scenes that were very clear in your head.  Now a few months later, you have no idea what you wrote.  That is a good thing.

I had no one to assist me when I started this journey.  I made all the mistakes, and yet I am still here, still writing.  I am attempting to lift others on the same road as I travel. Why?

Why not?  I know many who are so competitive that they would not lift a finger to assist another writer.  That is sad. When you draw that last breath, what will others say about you? 

Some will say…’ it matters not.’

With as many novels and works of art that I have out there, I hope to be more than a footnote in history. Would I change anything that I am doing now if I knew nobody would care?  No, I care.

When I write you my lovelies, and I am not just spitting niceties into the wind. If I can lift you up in some small way either by my words, works, or actions, then that is a life well-lived.

One of my characters in one of my novels said. “When I slide into the grave, I want to have left it all out there on the field of life.” 

That was one of my early novels I need to go back and re-write.  I loved it, but I know I can do better.

I hope you got something out of this blog.  Take care, and have a great weekend.

Much love -TW

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