Where are you?

No, I don’t mean physically; I mean something else.  Where are you mentally, spiritually?

With the attack on the capital ten days ago, I was in a rather dark place.  Removing the news,  the TV, and all of my social media friends who were ready to lynch half the country, I needed to get away.

Where the hell can you go?

Besides teaching myself new skills and taking care of a lot of things that need taking care of, I am ready for a change.

Today, my background picture, is of a castle, most probably in Scotland.

By the fog behind it, I suppose it is by a lake or lock.

The rolling hills are covered in dew or possibly frost, but man, are they green.  There is an interesting dichotomy between the castle and some tiny frame house in the foreground.  I have no clue what the little round buildings are with pointy roofs; maybe one of you knows.

Anyway, my mind has been on that farm or those green hills a better part of the day.

I wrote one of my novels where the characters were in Scotland.  I loved the research, and I went so far as to find people to speak with.  Truth told, much of my lineage comes from there. 

I did the DNA thing with Ancestry.  Be careful what you sign up for.  You might not want to know.

It is all fodder for stories.  While we wait for the cure or whatever will come to be, the best we can do is keep a stiff upper lip and push on.

Where are you?

Are you ok?

Are you keeping your wits about you?

Are you exercising and eating, right?

There are stories out there.  There is fodder for your stories and your novels if you are writing one.

When my characters are busy, asleep, or hiding, I find other things to occupy my hands and my mind.

Carpe Diem.

-Best

TW

What an Honor!

Is it time to blog about my novels?

So, I just looked at my sales for the first of this year.  Last year was good; 2021 looks like it might even be better.

When you realize how many different authors are out there, I am humbled by the purchases.

Before I go much further, allow me to thank you!

Currently, I have no campaigns going.  The news has ‘befuddled’ the creative side of my brain.  I see the remarks on social media, and it hurts. So much of what we hear and read is for some political agenda.

In their angst, and the media’s craving for ratings, they have not only injured the creative side of many people’s brains, but they have hurt the people who they claim to serve.  To regain some sense of normalcy, I find that it helps if I leave my phone somewhere away from me.  The phone is constantly blaring news feeds from CNN or some other site, all with some tease. I don’t need or want the distractions.

The burdens of the pandemic, friends that have passed, and the unknown all play a part in how we deal as a nation and as a people.  The vitriol and animus from the media and the elite class is revolting.

How do we survive the virus and, oh yes, the pandemic?  The virus being politicians.

I escape through my novels and others that I read.  To be a good writer you must read a lot.  Even the books you think are terrible, read them. As you read them before you throw them at the wall, ask yourself why they are so terrible.

In that way, you can make your writing better.  I champion self-awareness, even in my slightly naughty novels.  It is imperative that you know why you like or hate something.

One thing you might try if you too are like I am, go back and read something you wrote when all was well.  I look at the titles that people are buying and remember the stories with fondness—some of those stories I might revisit at some future date.

I find that when I read them, invariably I think of new ways to make it better.  I also enjoy what I write, so it is a win win.

Writing is much like any other activity. Suppose you play a musical instrument or even video games that require some amount of talent.  It will come back to you. I don’t really want to call it muscle memory but, it kind of is.

As to the people buying my work. Thanks again.  If you like it, please leave a review for me.

Reviews are essential, and few leave them.

Here is the kicker, if there is something you didn’t like, contact me via my website at www.authortwscott.com. Go to the contact page and tell me where I missed something.  Many of you have taken advantage of that portal, and I appreciate it.

Feedback makes us all better writers.  Since I am now president of a writer’s group, I have many beta readers, which helps. I love giving back to the community and friends; that is what we are.

Whether I know you personally or though this site, we have that in common.

For now, I am off to another world where the news of the day will be a distant memory.

It is rather funny when you think about it, I dream about my characters.  In many of those dreams I am those characters.

Yes, I lived through the sixties.

Take advantage of every moment you are alive.  Make your mark in history, (in a good way).  I choose to do so through my art and my novels.

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 scent 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. Then they had to figure out 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.

Once you get the story on paper, stuff it into a drawer and start something else. Come back at it with fresh eyes months later and edit it. I always have what I call a manifest right after the title page. It includes all the pertinent information about the characters, places and so on.

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

Reviews, Feedback and yes, some Assholes

Have you had someone just trash your book and give it one star?

One of my favorite little bathroom books is a quick read called ‘Dear Asshole.’

The authors are Jillian Madison and Michelle Madison. 

Before I became an author, I was known well for my ‘Dear Shithead’ letters.  When someone gave me this book for my birthday, they knew I would appreciate it.

Dear Shithead, letters never made it to their intended audience as written.  Instead of sitting around fuming over the world’s injustices and stupidity, I would take to the keyboard and write.  They were probably rants in truth, but they never saw the light of day.

Many, too many of them were directed at my boss, who only had the position as he was a good liar. I think he had pictures of his boss with someone’s wife, but that is another story.

If you need to vent, writing such a letter is an excellent way to do it; just don’t hit send.

Now, on to the reason for this post.

I research a lot of stuff for my writing.  Part of that research is to look at what other books are available in that genre.  Lastly, I look at the reviews.

Here is some ‘shithead’ advice from someone.

“Just because you can write, does not mean you should.”

I love how people who write shit like this always post under a pseudonym.   Firstly, Asshole or Shithead, pick your adjective; you suck. 

No, this was not written to me or one of my novels.  One day, as there are shitty people who build themselves up by criticizing others, such a comment might be directed at me. 

Have you published a book?  

It takes guts to write a book, believe in that book, and then put it out there for assholes to write negative shit about.  I am perfectly ok with constructive criticism.  I welcome it.  Any writer should; that is how we improve our craft.

It can cost an easy $1000.00 for an editor to read your book and fix things.  Most self-published authors might make $10 the first year.  Now, the cover art is another bugaboo in that you can spend $500 on.

One of my author friends spent over $5000 to get her book on the market, and it is just sitting there.   In truth, unless you can score an agent or are very rich, it is a tough market.  If you can afford to navigate the shark-infested waters of predators, your novel is not going to be up to the quality of one published by Simon and Shuster.

This particular author has it for free on Kindle Unlimited, which is the kind of abuse he is getting.

If you cannot say anything nice, or at least constructive for your free read, keep your mouth shut!  That is why people write books like Dear Asshole.  You should get that book and read it in front of a mirror.  I would wager more than one of those pages will apply to you.  Just try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you write bullshit poison pen nonsense.

This world needs much more love and a lot fewer assholes!

Ever notice how you might be in line at the store, and everyone is polite.  You get in your car, and those same people will run you over while flipping you off.  That is the world we live in, and we need to change it.

Whew!  For you authors, if you would like constructive criticism as time permits, let me know.  With NaNoWriMo in a day or so, my time is limited but, I believe that a rising tide lifts all ships.

I donate a lot of time to local writers groups.  That is what I think we all should do.  Lift each other up instead of using them as a stepping stone to lift yourself while on their backs.

I know people who will Beta Read for a whopping $20… Can you imagine someone who will do that?

Yes, I have used them.

For you authors, realize that objectivity is not going to be your strength.  Also, understand that other authors will give your novel a one-star review because they have written something that competes with yours.  Yeah, some people suck!

I ignore one-star reviews, especially if they are under a pseudonym. Let’s face the facts; we give a percentage of the book away for free.  If they look inside the cover and buy it for a whopping two dollars after reading some of it, and then give it one star…sorry, that is unbelievable.  

I hope you find this post informational and inspirational. 

Much Love -TW

Hello!

Should we just take a cruise and live on the edge?

This is a short blog just to let you know I am thinking about you.

Not edited or pretty, just a nice thought. Today I woke up to the nauseating sound of the alarm clock. There is no real reason to have it on but since COVID and business dwindling my give a damn seems sluggish.

Earlier I wrote about each day of lockdown until we got over a month. People, it October 15th and now we are hearing about re-infections.

Here is what I know about vaccines. The idea of a vaccine is to turn your body into an antibody factory. That is correct. The dead virus is introduced into your body causing the factory to turn on and create antibodies that will attack the virus with that strain of RNA. Hmmm. If there are re-infections that would lead us to think one of two things.

A: There is something special about this virus that is more powerful than antibodies.

B: The virus has mutated just enough that your antibodies don’t match that strain of RNA so, your body once again has to come up with new Antibodies.

Did I say two, how about a third idea?

If you are wearing a mask and, you become infected, just maybe by breathing your own air, you are saturating your body with the virus. As it multiplies, you keep sucking it back in to your body and your system is overwhelmed.

Finally after the better part of a year they tell us it is airborne. The mask you wear looks like a screen door to the raw virus as it is .004 nm . Once married to your breath, moisture the mask will blunt it on exhale but it will not stop it completely.

If you can smell anything through your mask, it is ineffective at protecting you.

While I would love any honesty out any government, I feel there is much they are not telling us.

I spent years in the medical complexes working with doctors, scientist and so forth. I left that mess to work in forensic computing.

Now, I am writing to you and fellow writers, while opining on the state of affairs.

Much Love -TW

The Hook

Did you ever wonder why authors let you read the first few pages of their book?

Did you ever want to sit down on a rainy day with a cup of hot tea, maybe some lemon and honey, and write?

I used to make up stories to entertain my friends, then when babysitting, it was for someone’s kids, then my own.  Rabbits were a favorite.  Writing for children is pretty simple.  Hook their emotions and tell the story in fifteen minutes.  That’s it.  Sure, you can toss in some visuals to aid in the storytelling process, but there is damned little to it.

If I want to tell you a story and I want you to read past the first few lines, what must I do?

I need you to give a damn.  Not about me; you already care for me in some way as you are reading this.  Possibly you have followed me enough that you realize if I am writing it, you might learn something.

Your mom didn’t raise a fool, did she?

Yes, I am about to cast a few pearls into the winds of time.

In 2018 I wrote this entire series about a crew of space-faring people who become lost in time, not space.  Improving my writing craft, I read some of my older work and had to ask myself, why didn’t someone tell me this?

During the first few lines, I need you to meet the MC, and I need to get you to care about them.

In a previous blog, I spoke about a novel where the author hooked me quickly.  Check out the blog on Where the Forest meets the Stars.  Even the title is riveting.

How do you write a hook that would make me care about your main character?

The hook is about Internal Conflict.  What are they afraid of, and what do they desire?

Example

Sally went to the high school football games with her friends.  They were much more outgoing than she was.  Braces, pimples, and two visits from the boob fairy had her dressing in baggy clothing.  While her friends secretly admired her figure, they would never tell her the truth. They craved the attention of the boys and were in no mood to compete with her.  Sally wore no makeup and was an introvert. The drab baggy clothing assigned her a threat level of three out of ten.  None of the boys would look at her, well not for very long.   

Dragged to the game by her one friend who cared about her well-being, she tried to get Sally to speak with boys. Even at the local A&W, Sally lets the other girls do the talking.  She was much more comfortable in her room with her books.

She liked Johnny’s chiseled chin and the few hairs that sprouted here and there.  His blue eyes caught hers, but she didn’t speak.  The awkward silence mixed with the butterflies in her stomach as their eyes were doing the talking. It was not until his attention was diverted did her stomach simmer down again.

“Why didn’t you say something,” Jenny asked?

Most YA is written in the first person for that reason.

We know just enough about the characters to relate.  We all remember our first social interactions, and some of you might understand why Sally was reticent about wearing a sweater that would take their attention away from the acne and braces.  Yes, some of us want to be liked for our minds.

What is her internal conflict?

Why doesn’t she wear a sweater like her friends?

Why doesn’t she put on makeup, even if she had to put it on during the bus ride to school?

While you could build your hook around an external plot-driven event, I would choose character-driven, and there are reasons for it.

Your audience will play into this, but first-person vs. third-person gets your audience closer to your characters.

Again, an internal conflict vs. external allows the audience or reader to know your character much sooner.

As my craft changes and improves, I will be sharing those lessons on this blog.  If you have not hit follow yet, my goodness, why not? 

There are ten novellas of the Hole In Time series.  Question… I wrote these as lunchtime reads.  Ten to fourteen thousand words is easy for those of us to eat and read at lunch.  Should I leave them as updated Novellas, or should I concatenate them into one tomb and re-publish it as a rather large book?

I hope you all are staying safe and using your time wisely.  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

The Business of Writing

Is writing a story enough?

I spend more time on the mechanics of writing than I do the business.

“TW, I just want to write a book and let someone else do the business part, I am a ‘creative.'”

Can anyone of you tell me what is wrong with that statement?  I bet many of you can, especially if you have followed me for any length of time.

Children tell stories.  Have you ever listened to your kids having a sleepover under the guise of making toll house cookies? (Come on, we all want to know who are kids’ friends are.) I digress, storytelling is a small part of the equation.

Stories revolve around ideas.  We all have ideas; when we can put them on paper in a way where others want to read them is where the rubber meets the road.

  1. Writing the story
  2. Editing the story
  3. Creating the tagline and logline
  4. Selling the story

If those four parts are not daunting enough, there are dozens of other steps you must take.  The business of writing is not for the faint of heart.

The four generalized bullet points are the tip of the iceberg. Let’s say your strengths are story structure.  Maybe you and Robert McKee were roommates in college. One of the things I see writers do is offer up their unique talent as a service to other writers.

If they are Save the Cat, Blake Snyder Credible, that service will not be cheap.  If they are not, you might be wasting your money.  Be advised this ‘business’ is rife with predators.

One of the aphorisms I live by is, ‘don’t quit your day job.’

I own a company that has little to do with writing.  If it involved writing I would not have the passion for it that I do.  Writing would be a job and not a hobby.

The trick will be if I reach my destination, how will I keep the passion as it will turn into a job.

Where do you draw the line between the business of writing and keeping it as a hobby?

My background is probably not one that you would find familiar in a crowd of people.

Currently, I am a forensic data miner.  Those idiots that send out phishing scams and attempt to extort money from people, I go after them.  Since my own site has been attacked, I chuckle when they try it; and then I begin to do my thing.  Those people need to be held accountable.

So why write?

The business of writing is another puzzle.

What started as storytelling, was just the outside layer of the onion.

Like Metadata often leads me to my quarry, peeling the onion back, we find yet another layer.   Sometimes it is like those Babushka dolls, instead of representing fertility it is more like the next waypoint toward my goal or destination.

If you start out with a ‘story,’ and your end goal is re-occurring revenue from a best-seller, you had best have a damned good GPS.  The road is fraught with peril, thieves, misfortune and challenges.   I have taken it on as I take on everything in life, as a puzzle.

Many, including me, have tried to shortcut the path by doing that which has already been done.  When 50 shades hit the stores I ignored it.  Not my cup of tea.  I did the same with Vampire stories.  As ELJames and Stephenie Meyer were making the big bucks, I could no longer afford to ignore them.

Writing similar stories of the erotic variety, while fun to write, ‘tell a story,’ they were no longer unique.

So, here is the advice part of this blog post.

Write that which you are passionate about. Don’t try and write the next Harry Potter, it has been done to death.  Once you write your story, get into a writing group where they critique each other’s work.  Make the story the best it can be and then you self-publish it. 

Yes, save yourself the months of trying to capture an agent’s attention with your first story.  Self-publish it and learn the rest of the business.

Mark Corker of Smashwords tells new authors that most will make about $10 the first year.  Ouch!  There is a harsh reality.  I can craft a book a month; most people take years.  While my stories sell, they do not sell with the alacrity that I would like them to have.

Having written over 24 million words in different novels, I have learned a few things.

Your first novel will probably suck; just like a vampire, it will suck big time.  Let your sales be your guide.

Feedback from people who spent $3 on your book is invaluable if they are convincing and objective.

Once you face the harsh realities of this world, figure out where your strengths and weaknesses are.

My strengths are I have many ideas, and I write very fast.  I love to solve puzzles, and am self-disciplined when it comes to sitting at the keyboard.

The puzzle aspect of this ‘business’ is I don’t have thin skin, and if someone tells me that something sucks, I can take the criticism and consider where the sucky part came from and fix it.

Currently, I am giving away a novel five thousand words at a time.   If you follow me, you know it is science fiction.  Why?

FEEDBACK!

Once the novel is finished and I have received feedback, I will re-write it and self-publish on Smashwords and Amazon.  Now, many I know would not do that.  They think that one novel will be their life’s work.

Friends, you cannot be a one-trick pony in this business.  I can write five thousand words with a glass of Merlot.

Short stories are a different story structure but an excellent way to improve your writing skills.

Currently, I am re-writing one of my novels‘ Voices from the Past.’

Not only can the story use some help but, the cover, like most of my covers, need help.  There is a science to cover design I recently just learned.  I am an artist so I designed them artistically.  Lots of Expletives later I now have to go back and redo just about every stinking cover.

While my GPS missed a waypoint, I will continue, and I hope that you do as well.

Use this time of few distractions to work on that which you love.  Turn off the news, limit Netflix, and find time with you and your keyboard.

I spend very little time on social media as it is pissing my life down the toilette, just like the noise from the mainstream media trashing the president or his opponent.  Follow the facts, not the noise. Turn off the sound and don’t let 2020 be a wasted year.

If writing is a passion, then dammit do it!

Seize the day!

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