You READ – but do you leave REVIEWS?

I do read – a lot, and I’m guilty of not posting as many reviews as I should. It’s actually on the top of my to-do list for this blog.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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If not, why not?

I don’t have time

The author probably spent a heck of a lot more time writing the story than you took to read it, no matter how slow you think you are, so why not take a few minutes to record your feelings about it.

I can’t write long fancy reviews like those I see on book review blogs

You don’t have to, Amazon, for example, only ask you to use a minimum of 25 non repeating words.

I can’t express myself very well

No-one is asking you to produce a literary masterpiece, start off with things you liked, didn’t like or a mix of both about the book, e.g.,

I liked this book because –

it reminded me of –

it made me think about –

it made me so scared I couldn’t sleep for –

it made me feel homesick for –

it made…

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Goodreads Giveaway of Colby the Courageous Cat!

No doubt it’s an awesome book. Congrats! Spreading the word!

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I am happy to announce I have a new Goodreads Giveaway beginning on May 31 through June 30, 2017 of my children’s book, Colby the Courageous Cat! It will be available to USA residents only. I will be offering three autographed books in this giveaway. 

This book was dedicated to the memory of my daughter’s cat, Colby, that she had for nine years. Colby really was adventurous. He would stay out all night and only stop in for a quick meal and a head rub and then off he would go again in search of little critters to chase. One day he chased a chipmunk up our chimney on the outside of the house. I was weeding in the front and along raced a chipmunk that tried to run up my leg to hide with Colby close behind. I screamed and the chipmunk ran up the chimney with Colby…

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4 Creativity Lessons We Can Learn from David Bowie’s Rich Artistic Career

Wonderful ideas!

A Writer's Path

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by Maja S. Todorovi

In January 8, 2017, we celebrated David Bowie’s 70th birthday and marked a year of his passing. Let us remember how great artist he was:

Ever since I was a little kid, as a great fan of gothic and mythological stories, my first recollection of David Bowie has to do with his role in the movie Hunger. Along with that came an interest in his music and artistic work, which later translated in true admiration.

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One Tweet a Day: Good, Bad, or Meh?

Legends of Windemere

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A while back, I stopped doing a promo tweet every 3 hours to having one go live at 12 AM and pinning it once I woke up.  This gave me one tweet a day and the new one was always at the top of the feed.  I haven’t really reported on this since I can never tell if it helps with sales or not.  Yeah, I’m terrible when it comes to this since I focus more on the writing side of things these days.  So, I’m going to do a quick Pro/Con thing here.

Con

  1. Your promo will come and go in other people’s feeds rather quickly.  Unlike the people who tweet multiple times throughout the day (I’ve seen 3, 6, and even 1 hour intervals), you don’t have the flood effect.  So you can’t depend on people stumbling onto it after maybe an hour at most.

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TIMELESS BLOG TOUR AND EDITING TIPS FROM CRYSTAL COLLIER

Hey, everyone! I’m excited today to be participating in the Blog Tour for Crystal Collier’s new book, Timeless. Thank you, Crystal, for sharing your new book and offering up some editing tips.

At the end of the post, you’ll find the link to Crystal’s Rafflecopter Giveaway. Don’t forget to enter!

 

 

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?
 

BUY: Amazon | B&N

How to Fix Your Sagging Middle

Thank you for having me here today!

So you’ve written this story with an epic beginning, a killer end, but the middle–ugh! No matter what you do, you can’t seem to fix the saggy, boring, drawn-out middle.

Here are a few quick tips to whip that middle into a gem.

First, we have to diagnose the issue. Often middles suffer from one of these:

1. Passive character action
2. Lack of focus on plot
3. Where did the tension go?

Correcting character passivity: 

Characters need to change and grow in a novel. It’s a known truth. Otherwise, we end up with “cardboard” characters, and who wants to hang out with them? I mean, they can’t even talk back to you!

The protagonist needs to be changing and challenged by everything that comes their way. No one wants to read about someone smoothly sailing over their challenges.

A big issue I run across is a character who is merely reacting to everything that’s happening rather than actively seeking after their goals. It’s fine for a character to react to their world, but when you hit the 50% point of a book, that HAS to change. This is the point at which the character has been pushed and shoved and won’t take it no more! From this moment on they must actively go after what they need–whether that be a relationship, independence, power, wealth, revenge, justice, or peace. (And if your character doesn’t BREAK, maybe that’s the issue?)


Focusing the Plot:

But your character does change and grow and pursues their goals. What is wrong?

Have you looked at the plot? A dynamic plot has a strong beginning, a dramatic turn around at the middle, and a powerful end, but that’s not all. The middle of that plot should contain no less than 3 (and preferably more like 6) plot points that DRIVE us toward a need for resolution. Try creating a plot chart where you actually measure where your action falls. I’m serious here–an actual graph. Estimate the tension for each plot point along the way on a scale from one to ten. (This means you have to clearly identify the turning points in the manuscript–any time something happens that motivates major change.)

Every time you hit a plot point, you’re going to go from a negative to a positive motivation, or the reverse. Technically, every chapter should be balanced by a negative to positive (or the reverse). This is one way to get to the next issue…


Where did the tension go? 

Image from Getty Images

There was a point at which I started chanting “tension all the time” while writing. There must be a juicy carrot–a mystery or desire hanging in front of the readers face to keep them moving forward. What question do you want readers asking in each chapter? What feeling do you want them to experience at the end of each chapter? Don’t leave it to chance. Actually, ask yourself these question and answer them–then implement the answer if it doesn’t already exist. Keep a mystery/need in front of the characters, and only let your readers relax about once every 60 pages. Keep them worried. Keep them hopeful. Keep them wondering.

In the end, middles only sag if we don’t build the proper structure beneath them. Go forth and support! You’ve got this.

What advice do you give for sagging middles? Have you been able to fix a book from the middle?

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

 

Thank you, Crystal!! Now don’t forget to click on the link below to enter Crystal’s Rafflecopter Giveaway!

(An email address is required for awarding prizes.)

 

https://www.crystal-collier.com/spinner/