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

World Building 101

Using more than vision is a must!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

“If you’re going to get stuffed, get stuffed by your friends.”

How about we don’t stuff anyone?

 

Years ago, too many to mention, I had a ‘friend’ tell me that once.  In my current work in progress, one of my characters is supposed to play the part of a used car salesman.  He denotes his distaste for them as they are all mostly dishonest.

Why am I writing to you about this rather than working on my novel?

This novel is about a young lady who discovers that she is a witch.  While learning her ways in the world of magic, all hell breaks loose.  There is a dark force attempting to convince all witches to be in their coven.  An undercurrent of government conspiracy is in the heart of the novel.  The conspiracy is yet to find its way to the screen.

As I was writing about a car salesman, I thought back on the day when a friend of mine was a used car salesperson.  If you saw Matilda with Danny DeVito as the unscrupulous dealer, that is what my friend was.  We soon parted ways as I don’t associate with dishonest people.

I was in the market for a car.  Instead of being honest with me as a friend, he tried to sell me an old Chevrolet that they had rolled the mileage back on.  When they invented reverse drills, it was an easy way to change the odometer.

From sawdust in the gearbox to super thick oil to keep it from smoking, they did it.

Taking my chances with a car from the paper; my friend was incensed with me for purchasing a car. In retrospect, the person that sold it to me had put super thin oil in the crankcase as the oil pump was going out.

He told me, and I quote, If you are going to get EFFED, you might as well get EFFED by a friend.

Is there truth in that?  What do you think?

I needed a roof after a terrible storm and elected to allow a person at my church to have their company put a roof on for me.  It cost more than those of the people around me, took over a year to get it right, and they put on cheap shingle instead of what I originally had. What’s worse is there were no drinks and no kiss afterward.  Not that I would want one, just saying, some pillow talk would have been sweet.

Speaking of shady, the same people that worked for the other fly by night companies are the ones that put my roof on too.  I got nothing for the extra thousands of dollars.

I used to travel a lot.  There is one state out of fifty that I have not been too, and that is Main.  In one state, I was talking with a person who was justifying effing his neighbor. He told me, and I quote, “I need to put cheerios on my table too.”

I shook my head and walked away from the deal.  If you cannot do business and treat your fellow person correctly, you should do something else.  There is no justification for effing your neighbor, and you certainly never do it with friends or family.

Arkansas, I swear you folks take the cake at times.  This one-man was talking to his friends at a local diner.  I listen to people as I get ideas for stories or characters.  This guy was bragging to his friends that his wife’s mother’s tractor needed a simple fix but, he convinced her it was not worth it to get a new one.  When pressed, he told them, she gave me the broken one, and when she dies, I will get the new one too and the land that goes with it.

Whenever I need an asshole in one of my novels, that guys face comes to mind.  I almost choked on my coffee when I heard that.

Life goes on.  How are you all doing?

Look for updates on my newest novel; I am going to try and find an agent with this one.  I have over 32 books out there published, so why not see if I can lure an agent into my lair.

This is a young adult, coming of age story of a witch.  What is cool about this story is I make a compelling case that anyone could do it.  We live in an escapist society, and with the current events, you can see why.  We escape through the TV, video games, and yes novels.

Why not write a fun novel that will engage the reader?  After taking hundreds of hours of writing courses instead of watching TV, I have pages of notes.  From Dan Brown to Judy Bloom…Wow, everyone had an opinion.

After I get this one polished and marketed, I will be going back to my published novels and making changes to the ones that are underperforming.  I love it when I get to a point, and you get that ‘ahaa’ moment.  You know the one where you say ‘shit, is that why?’

The original Ailani series I might go back and rewrite the whole trilogy and condense it into one novel.  It is a great story, but I think 350k words might be too much.

While I write and visit the cutting room floor, you all don’t forget to follow me here and, of course, on Twitter.

Much Love and Stay Safe -TW

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Much Love -TW