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Showing posts from March, 2014

Alpha Readers

Hello Friends!  Today I'm discussing how I use alpha readers, assisted by The Amazing World of Gumball, because I love that show.

First, you should understand that there is no wrong way to use alpha readers.  You should use them in the way that will most benefit you.  Some people only want line-editing, some want plot feedback, some want character help.  It just depends on the writer.  Alpha readers for me are fellow writers and avid readers that have an eye for story structure and the way people act.  They may correct grammar or sentence structure but really what I am looking for is sanding of the bones, not paint and varnish just yet.  I use this list when an alpha reader is looking at my entire manuscript.  For an alpha that is only reading part of my manuscript, or maybe even just a chapter, I pick a few questions and modify this list.

Here is the list that I came up with.  This is one I generated incorporating the MICE quotient from Orson Scott Card with general questions I h…

A Minor Announcement

Ahhh, it is Friday, sorry I nearly forgot!After discussing it with my financial advisor (aka my husband) I have decided to upgrade to the full version of Scribophile. Currently,  I'm using the free version, which means that I can only post two chapters at a time.  This means that as my story progresses, anyone that wants to critique it that hasn't been following it since I posted the first chapter will be clueless as to the beginning.  Instead of getting good critiques,  I'm getting stuff like "I have no idea who these characters are," and "what's going on in this scene?"  So, for the sake of my story,  I'm springing for the full version.  Critiques that say essentially "I haven't read the beginning" aren't any help to me, and I'm sure the people trying to help me get frustrated when they can't. So, if you want to look me up on Scribophile,  you'll be able to read Om Nom Nombies as I post it, chapter by chapter, and…

Before We Begin

Hello friends!  This post is an argument for the prologue.  I've read comments on writing forums from fellow writers that say they hate prologues.Orson Scott Card says he never reads prologues.  If so many people take issue with prologues, why do they even exist?  What purpose do they serve?  Let's first look at why prologues are hated.

1) Prologues are info-dumps
    - Readers are picking up a book to read A STORY, not hear about all the worldbuilding the author has done.  Any worldbuilding or history that is important to the story can be interspersed within the story.
2) Prologues are flashbacks
   - Ditto the worldbuilding comment above.
3) Prologues should just be re-named Chapter 1
    - I can see this argument, but I think this should only be the case if main characters and storyline are introduced in the prologue.
4) Prologues are too long
    - Anything more than a couple pages feels like too much of an investment for the reader.

Why have a prologue?  What makes an &qu…

Open Mic

Boys and girls, there was no post last week because my best friend got married on Feb. 28th and I was her Matron of Honor.  She's more important than the blog.  I'm sure you understand.

One of the MOH's duties is to make a toast to the bride and groom.  I've heard beautiful toasts and off-the-cuff disasters at weddings, and I wanted mine to be good.  While inspiration will sometimes strike at the right moment, a well thought out speech will never go wrong.  Secretly, also, I wanted the bride to tear up just a teensy bit.  Happy tears! Before you tell me that this has nothing to do with authorship, I will tell you, authors are talking everywhere, whether on blogs, news programs, radio, YouTube, Cons, signings, or in classrooms.  And they all sound intelligent and well put-together.  Public speaking is part of being an author.  So, for a pre-fab speech, here's what I would consider:
Plan ahead
You won't always have this option, but if you do have twenty minutes to…