Monthly Archives: September 2015

The biggest mistake fiction writers can make

See if you can find the mistake in the following paragraph:

A tall man walked out of his hotel and into a bar across the street. He was stopping in Tulsa overnight to get some rest on his long journey to Alabama to see his dying sister. He sat at the bar’s counter and ordered a gin and tonic. The World Series between the Braves and the Yankees was playing on the radio. It was October of 1957 and once again the Yankees were playing for the title. The tall man hoped the Braves from Milwaukee, a blue collar middle American town, would thump those damn Yankees.

The mistake, assuming there is only one, is in the bar. The man could not have ordered a gin and tonic in Tulsa, or anywhere in Oklahoma, for they never ratified the 21st amendment to the Constitution ending prohibition in 1933. In fact, prohibition was in their state Constituent prior to the 18th amendment that banned alcohol sales and consumption (as the country winked). Oklahoma was a dry state until 1959. As the great humorist Will Rogers said, Oklahomans “would vote dry as long as they could stagger to the polls.”

This is important to fiction writers because you can never, ever, not once, assume. When you do research every tiny detail is huge. Readers in Oklahoma who know their history will call you out.

In my e-novel “Loonies in Hollywood” I have my two main characters in a car tailing another car that previously was tailing them. I did not look at just any map, I looked at a 1922 map of Los Angeles and Hollywood. I did not want to make the mistake of naming a street that in 1922 may have had another name in 2013. Street names get changed from time to time. Did I go overboard? Probably, but I want realism in place and setting. If the characters go into a restaurant or nightclub, I want to know who owned it, what went on there, who were the customers. It has to with the ambience of the scene. If you want the past to come alive, you must dig into the past and find out what is there and how to present it best for your story.

I read in another blog that a writer had made the mistake of saying a revolver had a safety, and the blogger said that revolvers don’t have safeties. Did I take her word for it? No, I try not to take everyone’s word for anything. I do my own research and a I found that it is rare, and if there is a safety on a revolver, it is a grip safety. Do I take his word for it? No I keep researching, getting as many views as possible. 

I have probably made some errors in my two, soon to be three, historic e-novels, but I did the best I could. And I love the research. It is amazing what nuggets you can find.

And if you think I made up the Oklahoma story about remaining dry until 1959. Here is a link. Always check what someone says. Did I mention that?

My Amazon page is here.

My website is here.

Nothing is here.

 

 

 

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Best blog ever! A must read! Not to be missed!

If the above words caught your attention and made you read this blog, then you understand the power of blurbs; those short ridiculous promotional quotes from critics, other authors, friends of the author, and those who may have actually read the book (yes there are those who blurb about a book, but never read it).

The same is true of movies, the blurbs coming in TV ads where you see-for less than a second- a big blocked word like OUTSTANDING, with smaller print below that from said critic. But it goes by so fast you never know who wrote the review, or whether he just said the word after leaving a private screening where the critic was given wine and cheese, along with a new Rolex.

Having written film reviews for ten years I always avoided phrases or words where I would be quoted; though, since I was writing for a small town newspaper, it was unlikely anything I wrote would be quoted anywhere. But I have long thought most of the blurbs, besides being taken out of context, were written by someone whose reviews were published in a free publication promoting grocery savings. Not mine, they were in an actual daily newspaper, and the review was not with the grocery ads.

I bring this up because of the following eye opening article, which is, to my thinking, a real must read. And it comes as no surprise to me. Will you be?

All about blurbs click here

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Writers words of wisdom-and not from me

It is good for writers to share experiences with each other. I have been doing that of late because I am a sharing person-as long as you don’t touch by tater chips-and I want to share blogs I have found, subscribe to, or anything that might be of use to writers and readers. Also I am busy getting one book ready to publish on Amazon next week, finishing another book before Halloween, and a third book to follow shortly thereafter, so I have little time to think up something of interest when my mind is elsewhere, far from the maddening crowd.

So when somebody has something to say that I think is of interest I want to share. Today A thoughtful, humorous, and intelligent blog to help writers view the reality of what is.  Here is Sarah.

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Alarming news-author income dropping

According to the Authors Guild, income for authors with traditional publishing houses  has dropped 30% since 2009. Among the many reasons is the e-book. Since most indie writers don’t make money it means we are all headed, with the exception of Stephen King, for the poor house. All writers need to begin clipping coupons.

What friends and relatives do not realize is that the majority of writers don’t have a stable income. Most actors income is below the poverty level. The public fails to realize that most writers and actors are not megastars. They only here about the Bradley Cooper’s, the Johnny Depp’s. Those extras in TV and movies don’t make big money, and indie writers don’t as well.

Here is a link to the NPA radio report of about 5 minutes, or you can read it as well.

The report

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Corpus linguistics, your writing and what it all means

Last week I linked you to JA Konrath’s blog, one that provides much information on e-book writing. Today a fascinating blog from Dr. John Yeoman of Writers Village. He is English so be kind to him. We did win the war you know. He is also a writer, having written some clever e-novel mysteries that take place in England of yore, and yore was centuries ago. Some of his novels are also annotated with footnotes explaining to readers and writers alike the intricacies of writing and why he did what he just did. Some writers tell you what to do, but Yeoman note only explains, but shows by example, and you get a good story in the process.

The link to his blog about corpus linguistics (fascinating), and how the writers brain works, and how you can use your brain is here. Apparently this link is not working so I will try with this link.

An Amazon link to John’s books are here

My amazon books are here

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Simple writing advice from author JA Konrath

JA Konrath was a midlist author who found huge success with e-books. He works hard at writing, it is a business to him, and having read a few of his hard copy books, I know he is a good story teller. He keeps you turning pages. If you do not subscribe to his blog you should.

He is a no nonsense kind of guy. Here is his recent blog  for all you writers.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-gentle-reminder.html

 

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The cover for my new e-mystery Silent Murder

 

 

coyotemoon_silentmurder

This is the cover for my new e-book to be published on Amazon Kindle before the end of the month. I love the cover because it takes place in the summer of 1927 before  “The Jazz Singer” opened up and changed movie history. The novel is about a serial killer murdering sound technicians at movie studios, trying to prevent sound movies. The murder weapon is always a knife, and the killer is always silent in his attacks. I love the way Silent is in white and Murder is in red. I find it eye catching. It might even be better than the story.

Total cost was $5.50. There is a website called Fiverr.com that do all sorts of things for $5.00. The person who did the above cover also did my first e-novel “Loonies in the Dugout” and she is doing my next two books that will be out Halloween week; one being “More Cemetery Tales and other Phantasms” a collection of short stories to startle you for Halloween. The first book of cemetery Tales is here and this cover was done by another person from the same website. The second book will be a collection of my blogs from the past two years, called “Terry’s Quill,” the logline-for now-is ‘Blogging through the loony adventures of an e-novelist in Cyber World.’

Covers are the key. They are the first impression; it brings the reader to click the buy button. I like the cover so much I think I will even buy the book.

My website

My Amazon page

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