Dialogue and You

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

How many of you are blogging to just pontificate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dialogue is really about action, not backstory or characterization.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Dialogue should be dynamic, moving fluid and action-filled.

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

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

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

That brings up the next point…Emotions.

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

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

If I am writing for YA, I would probably guard against overly large words.  Writing for a 7th-grade education is probably one of the toughest things I do as a writer.  I am updating this blog, weeks after I wrote it, as I learned something else about this topic.

Some write for a third-grade education.  Huh?  Is that smart?  Do we want to make it too easy for our readers?  Personally, I think it is a sad statement that in order to sell our works we must keep it to a third-grade reading level.

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

Some of my audience is smarter than I am, but…  I know, not humble…sorry I am not humble.

A smart writer knows who their audience is and writes for them.  Romance writers, for example, do what?  They put lots of emotion into their ‘dialogue.’  Why?  A large percentage of romance readers are who? Not men.  Erotica is probably men, a pure knight on the white horse coming to scale the castle walls and take on the kings men…that is going to be ladies.  Just the facts ma’am.

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

So how does dialogue work with many characters?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How will Joey play into this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The rest would be action.

Who is your audience?

What kind of writer are you?

Give your audience or readers the credit they deserve in figuring out where you are going with the story.  Many of you still have your mind stuck in that last scene, don’t you?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • You are paying it forward by assisting your followers or writers.
  • You are getting something out of it.
  • You are assisting me in getting some more followers so I have a valid reason to spend my time casting these pearls out upon the winds.

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

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

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

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

‘It is an alien computer so our understanding of how computers work is not what the aliens created.’

Nothing like a little AI in the bedroom…LOL

As always I love feedback, comments and so on.

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

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

Chow!

They Don’t Care!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You threaten them!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uncle Joe is not the answer BTW.

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

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

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

Disagree?

Tell me why, and keep it civil.

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

-Best

TW

Interview with AuthorTWScott

Are we on the same page?

Hello… I hope you are doing well.

One of my followers wrote and asked me some questions.

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

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

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

Put another way, I had to be less sucky.  It didn’t hurt for them to win, but I needed to at least be a contender.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lesson One…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*How many books have you written?

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

*Do you have a literary agent? 

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

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

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

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

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

Why do we call them predators?

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

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

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

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

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

(Yes, the wind is a product of weather and from the sun, mostly, the jetstream is not, science geek people.)

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

Critique partners must be synergistic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Do you do your own marketing? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Who does your editing?

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

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

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

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

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

*Are any of your books on audio?

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

*Did you get your ISBN numbers on your own? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These same authors might also sit in slush piles waiting for an agents twelve-year-old to put down the smartphone long enough to read the query letter.

While some agents troll Amazon, and other e-sites looking for the next new voice, their inboxes are engulfed with query letters, and pitches from teenagers, to senior citizens who now have the time to write. It is neither a good nor a bad thing; it is a fact. You must stand out from the rest.  ‘How,’ is the question…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-TW

The Joy of Writing

Major revision of Tipping Point coming soon.

Hello and welcome to the lair of TW.  Yes, it is a lair…Why do you ask?

From this point on the planet, I can love whom I love.  I don’t hate but I kill with exemption from the laws of the land.  From my little den, I can blow up worlds, or create them.  Reprimanding bad boys or girls is a pastime with which I take great delight in doing.

The target of chastisement is as naughty or as nice as I choose to be at that moment.

Writers live in our own little world and that is a good thing.  When you walk into my dungeon, you can see the clean shiny plasticized beds with chains and cuffs ready to restrain you.  When you see the whips crops and other things on the walls your bottom has a tinge of pain that travels through your body to that sexual organ that sits atop your shoulders.  The brain is the most powerful sexual organ of them all, and most are clueless.  They must be taught.

As writers, we can take you there.  On your kindle or nook, you escape the doldrums of your nine-to-five world.  You and others, join me.  The journeys are as real as you want them to be. While it is just you and me lying in your bed, you search the crevasses of my mind looking for some love that you are missing.  Maybe it is an adventure you seek.  There on those pages, we take flight to lands unknown to humanity.

Have you been naughty?  We can take care of that too.  Through Tiffany in that reform school, we can modify your behavior, in the safety of your own world. Password protecting your E-reader is a great idea if you don’t want intruders in our world.

Maybe, just maybe you are tired of the politics of this realm and are ready to leave it. Don leaves this world while on the ISS orbiting it.  Can you imagine what he must have been thinking as the Starduster sucked the ISS into one of its smaller cargo bays?

If that were you would anal probing cross your mind?  Would you be like “oh hell no, where is the gun?”

Maybe you would be, I can handle this…

Don learns much about himself and humanity in Saga of the Starduster, which is still my best seller.

I have over 32 novels selling around the globe.  Some more than others.  If you are following me on this blog, you know Tipping Point is going through a re-write.

Here is the skinny on that novel.

One Friday afternoon I am flying back from the west coast.  The sun is at our tail, and there on the ground are many wind turbines churning away.

The idea of “free” energy hit me. That evening with a glass of merlot, Tipping Point was born and published complete with cover art.

I gave it away on Kindle Unlimited to entertain you who follow me.

Joining yet another writers group, they bludgeoned me over those ten thousand words.  One even chastised me telling me “publish nothing without having it…” you get the picture.

With my novels selling around the globe I took what she said about half seriously.  This work was never meant to be literary genius.  I wrote it in three hours for Pete Sakes.  I wanted to start the conversation about climate change, and what man is doing to the earth with these changes.  That is why I gave it away.

One thing that sprang forth that got my attention is that many fell in love with Sam.

“I love Sam too.”

Sam deserves better than ten thousand words.

“I took that to heart.”

On my computer is a novel sitting at 86K words that is the new version of Tipping Point.

Instead of three hours of Merlot writing, I have about three hundred hours in it to date.  The good news is that if you already bought or read for free the 10 K word version, this will be free to you.  I will leave it on Kindle unlimited too.  This is a boon for Jeff Bezos and not me but here is the deal I did not realize until speaking with an agent.

If you publish on Amazon, you keep the rights to your work.  Agents are trolling Amazon looking for new authors.

The plan is to give this away for next to nothing, allowing Jeff to come up with more money for his divorce.

You the readers can either purchase it for $3 or read for free on Kindle Unlimited.  If an agent finds this, it won’t last long.  My beta readers love it…

Now you can climb aboard Air Force One, with Sam and the President.   Take a world tour on the taxpayer’s dime while keeping up with their awkward love story. You too can meet the Queen and experience pomp and circumstance.  As you also fall in love with the characters, see if you can follow with her scientific logic on her diagnosis.

Since this is a “give away price,” I would love feedback.

Here is the deal… What is published is before I went cray-cray on it.  It is a fast read with errors and fun things that are no longer in this version.  The new version has a dusting of fifty shades in it.

Wait, how can I worry about the world slowing down, and now I am spanking someone???

Yes my pets, yes indeed, my trusty hand is once again looking for a bottom to warm up, through the literary process.  Will it be yours?  Have you been naughty?

Follow along so you will know when your carriage to my lair is here.

Much Love -TW

Open letter to Amazon

Who is your target audience?

 

Hello Amazon,

If you indeed have found this, thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog.

Yes, this is feedback.

As a writer the more information you can provide us, the better we are equipped to target our audience. I love the new reporting tool.

It would be interesting if not paramount to me to know which countries are purchasing which books.

I see that many novels sold are in the UK, but I have no idea, which titles.

As a novelist of many different genres, I need to know who my audience is, so I know whom to target with what ads.

For the rest of you writers out there, marketing is the largest part of the battle of making money from your books.  I know you thought it was just telling a good story with as few grammatical errors as possible, but that is not the case.

From the cover art to the marketing, it is all-important.  There are many steps or hoops as I call them, which you must hop through if you intend to be a novelist that only writes and does not have to work a day job.

In future blogs, I intend to assist other writers in this area as we are all in the same boat.  While a few authors think that this is some sort of grand competition, I assure you it is not.  I spend much of my time assisting other authors and do my very best to get them published if that is their goal.

Hints tips and kinks would be most helpful and I will publish them here if you care to share.

Amazon, thanks for the new reporting feature.

-Best TW

 

 

Writers, feedback, and what you should do with it.

“You don’t want them to edit your grammar; you want their first impression!”

Hello fellow bloggers, I have been busy and remiss from my blogging activities through NaNoWriMo.

I was successful with my endeavors for those of you who follow me on Twitter, or who have e-mailed me regarding my project.

I finished my 32cnd complete novel, all during November. That includes editing, creating the cover art all while learning a new OS (MAC) and a new software (Vellum). I still take the time to market my novels.

Over the years I have not put much effort into obtaining an agent as the time to do it is too costly.  Four hours for each query letter is a huge commitment for the ROI.

As a writer, I started throwing things at the wall to see what stuck.  Yes, that is a metaphor for testing the waters, while learning my craft.

Critique groups are helpful if you can find them.  Failing that, feedback from your readers will have to do.

E-mails to my website, are invaluable as most will not take the time.

Giving stories away on Kindle Unlimited, or BookBub, is a gamble; and here is why.

If you value your work so little as to give it away, why should I take the time to read it?  Further, if you give it away, and I read it, why should I spend my time to tell you why I liked or did not like it?

I market to other authors and writers like many of you, who are reading this right now.  You understand how valuable feedback is, and maybe you will take the time to offer comment, at the very least on this blog posting.

Failing that, we write a “spiffy” novel, we design the cover art, and we do all of the things one must do to sell a book.  We are learning our craft.

Finding someone to read your novel, and offer sincere feedback is imperative to shortcut the path that I have chosen.

My path has been this:

  • Discover what is selling.
  • Who is the author?
  • What is the genre?
  • Are they known or indie?
  • Buy their book and read it carefully.
  • Disassemble their work as if it were a clock, which you have to put back together. (cannot lose the pieces.)
  • Apply your style, and construct a novel that is in the genre that is selling most.
  • Market your novel through social media, word of mouth and so forth.
  • Ask for feedback and hope that you get some.

The saga of the Starduster has been my best seller to date.

“Why?”

With 32 novels out there, spanning the spectrum of naughty to nice, what is it about that book which garners the most sales.

My first feedback on that novel “on Amazon” was one star, with a horrible poison pen review.

Having written the novel and reading the review, it was apparent that the person never read it.  Someone who is most certainly an author in this genre took it upon himself or herself to flame the novel as a way to knock it out of the running.

If you read the novel, and then his or her review, anyone with any sense can see this is a crap review.

Investigating the pseudonym person who did this, looking at the other critiques, it is obvious they were on a mission to destroy the competition.  That is sad and unnecessary.

Authors, we are not competing with one another.  Your voice is different from mine.  The stories have all been told before; your unique voice is the difference between what you write and what I write.

Resisting the urge to confront said anonymous flamethrower, I pressed on, figuring even a bad review is better than no reviews.

The next person who reviewed it gave it five stars. They gave an abbreviated synopsis of what they liked about the story.  It was easy to see that this person read it.

It might appear that I had someone do that last review.  I promise you I did not.  I do not know either of those people.  My moral compass is such that I would never cheat, period, end of story.  I would also never post a poison pen review like the one this person did.

Bribing friends to read your work, always works, however, friends and family may not be objective as they like you, and do not want to hurt your feelings.

Recently I was assisting a fellow writer in this capacity and OMG!  I had nightmares about telling her how badly she needed to re-think the concept of what she was writing.

“I get it.”

Our novels are our babies.

I have three, which are my babies, which I am going to have to kill.

  • Is the concept off?
  • Is the writing terrible?
  • Have I not marketed them properly?
  • Why are they not selling?

Resist the urge to take on negative nellies.

When you are asking for critiques from people, make sure that they are the correct audience for your novel.

Do not ask a technical nerd to read your romance, and expect anything but “yuck!”

Do not ask a purveyor of Hallmark or Harlequin literature, to read your sci-fi and expect anything but a cure for insomnia for them.

When analyzing their “baby,” look for what they did well, before you pull out the red pen.  Human nature is to be brutal with another person’s writing, as we have this whole pride thing going on.

Objective critiquing skills are developed over time, and not just innate to anyone.  Those that read the most are probably best suited for giving you their gut first impression on your work.

“You don’t want them to edit your grammar; you want their first impression!”

I truly do look for ways to pay it forward when I am writing and working with other authors both locally and through social media, and email.

Time is valuable to me, writing this blog is one way that I am giving of myself to those of you who take the time to consider what I have to say on the matter.

When you are critiquing for someone, make notes as you go. When you are talking to them about it, start with a positive.

“What did you like first?”

If you start with a positive, they will be receptive to what you have to say to them.  Once you start with “Holy shit, what were you on when you wrote this!”  You have just wasted their time, as they stopped listening to you, and you squandered your time, and you might even damage a friendship in the process.

If they are doing so for you, and they start with WTF!  Take a deep breath, and practice being humble.

Humility is my personal foible. There are many reasons why, and I know this about me. When this occurs, I must swallow the negative, and try to take what they are saying with self-effacement. I can choose to ignore them, which is human nature, or I can use this as a growing experience for me as a person.

In my Nudists novels, I write about Enlightenment as a subplot.  Yes, they are tawdry novels but there is meat in them for those of you who like steamy stories, but also want to think and maybe improve yourself.

It is my genuine desire that you derive something of value from my tweets, and blog postings, as they do take time, and are not just tossed together for clicks.

The same is true of my novels.  Even the naughtiest story has a purpose.  My latest book “Tiffany Discovers Reform School” Conjures up all kinds of wicked thoughts about girls in reform school.  That is by design and is indeed a subplot in the book.

Those of you who read it will discover that the novel is much more than that.  This novel will be the beginning of the Tiffany series as I plan to create a female sleuth, who ends up working mysteries with the FBI.

Yes, there is steamy stuff in them as I am working to capture an audience that likes to think while they read.  Arcing the story and the characters while practicing my craft is what I enjoy doing.

If you have ever pondered the meaning of life and not the Monty Python version, you will undoubtedly glean something from this blog post.

It is my genuine belief that we are here for more than procreating and pooping. While that conversation is well out of the scope of this blog post, you can glean some of my philosophy from my “Hole in Time Series.” I will be taking them off the market shortly.  I want to concatenate them all into one novel after I polish them a little.

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Make smelling the roses one of your tasks.”

Much Love -TW

The Good, the Bad, and the Democrats

“All is fair in love and war and politics.”

I find it rather fascinating that our Democratic friends have mainly brought the American Government to a halt for 2 years, at a cost to the taxpayers of over $25 million and ignore the apparent collusion in front of their eyes.

Foreign nationals are and will influence the outcome of the election if we don’t have voter ID laws. There is not one argument that is valid to ignore this one simple truth. To argue against it is a blatant attempt to cheat.
If grandma does not have a picture id by now, she is probably too apathetic to vote anyway. It is, in fact, a stupid argument that only stupid people make.
The Democrats are throwing out red herrings of what they plan to run on.
Don’t be fooled.
They, in fact, are not going to run on their usual talking points as few are that naïve to believe them. Yes, there are some that will, but the bulk of thinking people know that the Democrats win by lying and cheating. They, in fact, use the courts instead of the political process to get their way.
“All is fair in love and war and politics.”

That is their motto, and I dare say that some on the Republican side of the aisle feel the exact same way. They are all cut from the same cloth, so it is not a stretch to believe that.

The old axiom, if their mouth is moving they are lying, is truer today than ever before.

The skirmish between the left and right will not be fought on a level playing field. With the Left wing news organizations pumping out over 95% of negative spin on the president, their goal is to build up animus, (hate) toward Trump.
Those who vote in the mid-terms will not be voting for the Democrats because of what they say they are running on but, they will be voting against Trump.

No matter who the GOP person is, the Democrats strategy is already hard at work with propaganda on Social media. There are more Meme’s making the rounds on Twitter, Facebook and so forth linking Trump and the Deplorable’ s to Nazi’s and other white supremacy hardliners that quite frankly represent a tiny part of the human population on earth, much less in this country.
If you want to manipulate someone into action, you do so through emotions. Democrats cannot win in a logical, civil debate. They can only succeed if they sow the seeds of bigotry, hate, and malfeasance and place the blame on Trump and those that vote for him.
Sadly many Americans have already taken up the mantle of anger. They want to be mad. They are ready to carry the Nazi Tiki torches and march on anyone who professes to be a Trump supporter.
Racism is the last card. It is a cheap and dirty trick, but the politicians have no level of debasement that they will not stoop to.

If their treachery started world war three, they would crawl back into their holes until the smoke cleared. Only then would the cowards crawl back out to see if the shirts or skins won the war.
They call it Hyperbole thinking that all Americans know it is just a game. That too is a lie. Americans watch the “journalists” on TV and take them at their word. Just plain scary how people believe what they hear on TV, or read on the internet in a meme.

  • The Democrats will not run on taking your tax cuts back, although they will if they get in power.
  • The Democrats will not run on Impeaching Trump, although they will if they get in power.
  • The Democrats will not run on open borders, although they want to get rid of ICE. Ice is making it hard for Drugs to get in, as well as the new Democratic voting base..
  • Why do you suppose Jerry Brown wants California as a sanctuary state? He needs the votes.

They might run on immigration using the poor little children that their parents sent off with child sex traffickers to the states but, they dare not run on issues which the GOP can easily defend.
They cannot run on the economy unless of course, they could do something at the last minute do cause it to crash.
I would tell you not to be fooled by the meme’s on Social media but too often when you see some horrific scene you act before you Snopes.

The memes are propaganda made up by the Democrats, or even China or Russia.
It is conceivable that Mexico or even Canada could be creating them as Trump is tough on all of them. They all need some pacifist in the white house. They desire someone who will look out for them rather than the interests of the American people. They need someone who would be afraid to question the motives of Putin or any of the other world leaders. In short, they don’t need or want Trump, they need someone who they can buy, or who is spinless!

If it seems outrageous, it most probably is propaganda created by the enemies of the right and indeed the detractors of Trump.
No, the Democrats will run on all emotional issues, and tell you that Trump is the villain. If you watch any of CNN, MSNBS or ABC or NBC or CBS they are all in the tank for the Democrats.
“Why?”
“Follow the money!”

To the many of you who purchased Presidential Assassins, I have some excellent News!
Amazon put out a tool to assist authors such as myself. I have imported Presidential Assassins into this tool and am in the process of “polishing “ the book.
The tool and subsequent editing have not only enabled me to make the novel read and flow better but, I have found and corrected a few typos. Watch the link and or tweets, and I will tell you when it is available.

If this works as I suspect, I might have to go back and re-edit and polish all of my 31 novels.

Again, stay tuned to this blog, tweets and so forth as I will be updating you as I go along.
Try not to get sucked into the lies on social media. Your friends and family who are easily triggered will probably not want to hear that they are being lied to. They may, in fact, tell you to rave on cat shit, someone will cover you up.

The truth of the matter is, if they cannot deal with your argument logically, then they have already purchased the lie and will vote for communism as it is the right thing to do, they were told.

Please note that I am an independent. I vote character over anything else.

As Always…Much Love! -TW