Newsletter Importance #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell) (@myauthorbiz)

saturday

Good morning all. Kacey here with Satisfaction Saturday. Happy weekend!

I’ve received two very important pieces of advice from authors and publishers over the years. I think they are both the main ones that all authors should live by.

First, there’s no better promo than every new release, so keep those books coming!!

But it is the second one that I am mainly touching base on today — Newsletters. Authors should have a newsletter, as I’ve been told, and made sure I have. It is true that each new release bumps an author up in the ratings and their name appears on blogs, social media etc, but it’s those core subscribers/readers who sign up that obviously have an interest in your books. Buttons are already available within the media area for all bookstores, social media, and interchanging template graphics to my own is so easy.

I have seen my rankings on Amazon etc rise once I get my newsletter out. Once that new release, or if no new release, I’ll share a special WIP excerpt or will just do a giveaway for subscribers only, but I always see a rise thanks to those faithful subscribers.

I personally use — MyAuthorBiz.com — their templates are so remarkably easy to use! I’m not tech savvy and my newsletter is easy peasy. I’m grateful for that. And there are different templates to use — designs to choose from, special announcements, direct from Amazon templates, and more. Plus the advantage of My Author Biz, is that all my contacts are stored, I can keep track of contest winners, addresses, and more. They do a lot for a small fee. I haven’t taken advantage of all aspects at My Author Biz, but it costs me nothing right now to use their contact databases or newsletter templates.  Plus, they add new features every single day!

MyAuthorBiz_logo

Some authors also use MailChimp.com. I tried that one, found it a bit too much for me, and then found MyAuthorBiz. *g*  Some authors simply type up their newsletters in a word program, then make a PDF and send to their subscribers via email. That works too!

My advice obviously to any authors, ensure that you have a newsletter to reach all your readers, and use the right newsletter host that is right for you. It’s important to be in contact at least once a month with your subscribers — never bombard them more than two times a month — with information/events that pertain to your books. That’s what they signed up for!

Feel free to join mine… *g*

khnewsletter

 

Til next week.

Happy Reading

Kacey (2)

Characters in 3D: Freaky Fridays with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

Strict Black Leather Locking Hand Cuffs on white background

Welcome back, my lovelies! It’s Michelle and I’m back with another Freaky Friday! Without any further adieu, let me just leap right into today’s topic. Character development. Before I get to the heart of the matter, I’d like to preface by saying the following: By no means am I one of those folks that thinks MY way is the only way. You’ll find advice elsewhere that contradicts what I tell you, I’m sure. The real secret to being a writer is to realize that no one can tell you the best way for you to do something. Learning your craft is really about figuring out all of the components of a good book, and putting them together. How you do that is completely up to you. This is just an explanation of how I do what I do.

Hold on tight, kids.

I develop a VERY general outline of the type of person I want to write about. Then I craft the story I want to write around them. Based on some of the actions of the character, I dig deep and decide what type of person they would be. I do this for my hero, my heroine, and usually the antagonist, too.. or anyone I think might make an appearance later in a series. I’ll use Ronan from Trouble Walked In as my example.

Close up of sexy nude couple going to kiss.

Ronan Kelly was initially supposed to be an alpha wolf shifter. I was going to submit this story to the Bad Alpha Anthology. The story I wanted to write was one in which an alpha shifter gets his universe rocked by a sassy damsel in distress. …. but way too many words later, this became the first in a series.

He was going to be the strong, silent type. A man that, in spite of his alpha status, blazed his own path. A former military man who runs a bar. It’s an informal meeting place for shifters like himself, that prefer to walk alone.

When Moira, the damsel, stumbles into his bar… she knows what he is. There’s no way this headstrong woman is going to be cool with getting it on with a shifter if she finds out about it after the fact. She’d flip her shit.

She’s terrified of him and faking bravery at first. She’s more terrified of what her father is demanding that she do, though. (Marry a man she doesn’t know). In the course of their confrontation, sexy sparks would obviously need to fly. They need to fall in love. Something earth shattering needs to happen. Then they need a happily ever after.

So.. now that I have a very very loose outline of my plot, what kind of man does he need to be?

  1. Wounded in some way. He’d have to have some sort of emotional scars that made him deny his nature and go it alone. Wolves are pack animals, after all.
  2. He owns a bar, so he’d need to be at least moderately smart, right? Can’t run a business otherwise.
  3. He helps a stranger in a way that doesn’t make him look like a total sleaze bag, so he’d need to be honorable, too. Even grudgingly so.

With those three key descriptors, it’s easy to start fleshing out his life. Most, if not all of what he becomes in the book, is entirely based on those factors. The actions he takes are based on the contents of his life before the book. The character’s image, the dialog, the actions… they have to reflect who he is.

From there, the story tends to start developing. Situations will form in my mind and I think… hmm. Yes. Ronan would totally do this. My antagonist would be really pissed about this development and retaliate. The characters have no issue developing themselves further.

As you continue to write, you’ll find that it becomes tougher to keep track of your names, etc. I’ve included a blank copy of my Character Database. My rule of thumb is that if you’ll ever have to revisit a character name, put it in the database. This has general character traits, lists any special attributes I’m going to give them, their occupations.. where I plan to take them in terms of spouse and number of kids if any. Physical characteristics like tattoos, scars, etc. Feel free to liberate, modify, use the doc however you wish. 🙂

Hope my mindless rambles have helped you in some fashion. I’ll catch you crazy kids next week! ❤

Raven’s Ramblings and Thursday thoughts…This is me, get over it…

Hi All Raven here again,with my Thursday thoughts…

This is a difficult post to share, because it is very dear to me.

You can’t make people like what you write

handwriting-notes-1024x576

By people read friends and family. Specifically, close friends and family.

Now as most of you know, I honestly do not think I write that hot a tale. A bit risqué, a bit kinky maybe, but hopefully humorous, honest, warm and loving.

But I do use ‘words’. Words I do not speak and would not be best pleased to hear my children using in front of me. I do delve into my characters psyche and try to discover why they tick. Words like ‘c**t’ and ‘f**k’ for instance. (I’ve not even written them out in full so as not to offend anyone.)

And heaven help us, I use things I’ve done as well as things I’ve imagined or asked people who do whatever it is. I want to make my stories as realistic as possible. Well okay a shape-shifting leopard might be a bit far fetched to some of you but… how do you know it cant happen?

So this is where things can get sticky. As I’ve said before I lost a very close friend because of what I write She asked me to write other stuff instead and when I said ‘sorry, this is my voice,’ that was it. Bye-bye almost twenty years of friendship, gone just like that.

inspiration-sign

It hurt, boy did it hurt. But I pulled up my big girl panties and got over it. I had two choices. This is my life, my voice, my vocation if you want to go that far. I can’t change… I do not WANT to change me. And really, no one says anybody has to read it…

And we now get to the hardest part. Family. My hubby is supportive but everything ends in ‘but…’ I think it’s him in overprotective mode, Sir is looking after his sub sort of thing, but sometimes…

Yeah you get the drift.

My children don’t say much. Romance reading is not their thing. That’s fine. I don’t like deep dark horror stories or sci-fi. Each to their own.

We can’t make everyone like what we do. But as hubby said to me one day. ‘You (ie me) enjoy it, get it as correct as you can, are good at what you do (thank you, love, where’s the ‘but’) and people buy it and enjoy it. That is what matters.’ As he also said to me one day, he likes liver, I hate it, I love pears, he doesn’t. But we love each other and accept we can agree to differ.

That’s what matters.

And if someone can’t do that, then it’s up to us to build a bridge and get over it.

create worlds

So for any of you who do like my books, A Domme called Pet was released yesterday by Evernight Publishing.

 

Happy reading,

Love R x

 

 

 

How to write BDSM #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@MamaD8)

Happy Tuesday, peeps. Are you ready for some serious Tuesday Thoughts? Yep, cause this is a serious subject and as a collared submissive myself, a subject very dear to my heart.

 

Couple domination and sex games

Mainly the amount of so called BDSM books out there, which are anything but.

At best they are so farfetched, that you just have to laugh at them. At their worst, they seem to tick all the boxes and then end up doing something far from safe sane and consensual as you can get.

My editor at Evernight always comments on my BDSM stories along the lines of, “At last… I never read anyone making that distinction…”

While those comments make me grin, they also make me sad.

It is not that hard to get it right, it really isn’t. You don’t have to be in the lifestyle to write it, but you DO need to do your research. And do the correct kind of research. Ask someone who is actually in the lifestyle to beta read your work.

Leave your ego at the door, and take their advice, and for goodness sakes, if you’re going to write BDSM, then do it, because you’re at least curious about it. Not, because you’ve heard it sells, and you want to jump on that particular band wagon.

Yes, believe me, there are authors out there, who have done just that.

*shakes head*

Having got that little rant of my chest, lol, let’s get to the nitty gritty of it. I’m going to start with the basics, and I’m shamelessly nicking this off Tymber Dalton, as it sums it up beautifully.

Ready?

Okay, because there is a LOT of bad advice out there, I’m giving you the “TRUE” rules for BDSM… ready?

 

Safety Note: By “rules” I’m not talking safety issues (bio-hazard precautions for needle play, safety issues for fire/wax play, strangulation/drop hazards for suspension play, no handcuffs for suspension, where/how to use implements as not to cause serious injury, etc.).

 

Rule One: Everyone involved in the play MUST be a CONSENTING adult. If their consent withdraws during play, play STOPS.

 

Rule Two: No one must be HARMED (physically, emotionally, sexually, mentally) by the play. (Hurt and harmed are two different things. They might WANT to be hurt. Harmed is lasting damage beyond the play.)

 

Rule Three: Everyone must either be having fun and/or getting what they need from the play.

 

 

That’s IT. That’s ALL there is to it. Seriously.

 

If anyone tells you you’re doing something “wrong” and it’s not a safety issue, tell them to go fuck themselves. You’re not an unsuccessful submissive if you don’t hit subspace. You’re not a failure as a Top if you consider your bottom’s feelings and needs during play. A lot of Doms are not harsh, heartless, cruel, mommy-issue-ridden abusive, narcissistic fucks. Some of them are Daddy Doms who enjoy caring for their submissive. Some are sadistic, evil fucks who might gleefully put a submissive into tears of pain, but who would never dream of violating a hard limit and would feel horrible if something “bad” happened to the submissive under their care.

 

REAL Dominants thrive on learning, have open minds, and are never afraid to admit they’ve screwed up or don’t know how to do something.

 

REAL Dominants never forget that the people in their care, who are trusting them, are also people, too.

 

REAL Dominants never put principles over people in their care.

 

You can be whatever you want to be in the lifestyle. You can define your play however you want it to happen. There is no right or wrong as long as you don’t screw up any of the three “rules.”

 

Don’t sweat it, in other words.

 

So go forth and play in joy and fun. And forget the “won twue way” fucks who tell you you’re doing it wrong.

 

–Tymber Dalton. (writer, BDSM switch, collared slave)

 

While I’m bigging up Tymber, she has an excellent resource book for writers.

tymber's book

Click on the cover to find out more

Another resource book that both Hubby/Sir and I found very helpful when we first embarked on our own kinky journey is this one.

 

screw the roses

Click on the cover to find out more

There is also a wealth of information to be found online.

These websites are all helpful:

General BDSM Websites:

FetLife.com: http://fetlife.com

Leather and Roses: http://www.leathernroses.com/

BDSM Unveiled:

http://bdsmunveiled.blogspot.com/?zx=f238ea15179ed2d4#axzz2KGMQaPDL

BDSM Glossaries:  http://www.submissiveguide.com/topics/playtime/bdsm-basics/bdsm-glossary/

http://www.xeromag.com/fvbdglossary.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_BDSM

http://www.differentequals.com/glossary.html

 

Now that I’ve blown your mind with that entire information overload, lol, I shall leave you to digest that for a bit.

This is the first in a series of posts by yours truly on BDSM, so I hope you’ll check in again next week.

Before I slink off, let me state here that I’m by no means an expert, and I would never claim to be. There are so many facets to this lifestyle, no one can possibly call themselves an expert on the entire lifestyle, and if they do…. RUN, run fast and don’t look back.

No, seriously, do. There are those who will claim there is only one true way to live the lifestyle. Yeah, whateva…

I refer you to exhibit A ^^^ the True rules of BDSM.

Nuff said.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

Getting Out from Behind the Computer Screen #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell)

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Life as a writer can be a very solitary business. Have you ever had anyone ask “What do you write?”, then you tell them and they sneer down their nose at you when you tell them you write Romance?  I’ve had that happen and it frustrates me to no end, and reminds me how lonely this business can be.  It’s also because no one else can write the stories for you. Once in that head space where nothing else registers, you’re writing that new story and are oblivious to everything, it’s all you. There have been times when on of my children have been standing in the doorway calling my name and I haven’t been ignoring them on purpose, I’ve just been focused on the world in my head and the story I’m writing. And while writers’ do have communication and chats with their critique partners, editors, and other authors, 75% of the time it can be very lonely. Very little else exists when you’re writing.

However, there’s a lot of fun in the writing world as well. There are many online author and reader groups to join, Facebook pages produce a lot of interaction with other authors and readers, and online chats in specific forums are all quite enjoyable. Over the years I’ve met some amazing friends, many relationships that have last more than a decade! I started in this business as a reviewer when my youngest son was in his first year — he is now 14 — and have met so many wonderful people and the friendships I’ve made are some of the dearest to me. And even the most recent friendships, there are a few authors that I can barely get through 2-3 days without texting. I’m usually the “mother hen” of most groups, so I’m told, as I like to check in on everyone to see how they’re doing. LOL

Having your own street team and / or reader group where you can interact with those readers and bloggers who love your work are great. That shared interest will give you a lot to talk about. And meeting those people in person when you have the chance is more meaningful than anything else.

Getting out from behind the computer is always a huge fear of mine — no matter how many conferences I’ve attended. Hell, many writers will tell you that attending conferences, book signings and meeting other authors for the first time can be scary as hell. There’s always the screen that we’ve talked to more-or-less, and while writer’s can build everlasting relationships, getting away from the desk can be daunting. Writing presents a lot of opportunity. Traveling to a conference for one thing — The Romantic Times Convention has been the precedent for a lot of other conferences and I’ve been blessed to attend 4. There’s nothing like meeting those people in person that you’ve only talked with online. It’s like you’ve known one another forever and once you meet, it’s easy and so much fun. And well, well worth the fear you had at the thought of leaving the house!  But it’s a huge part of this business now. The mingling, the meeting the readers who have emailed you or FB messaged you to say “I love your book”. When a reader says that to you in person, or gives you such a huge hug for writing that one book that made me cry, you’re surprised beyond belief. I’ve been blessed with this experience and nothing — NOTHING — compares to it. I advise any writer to take that leap and attend conferences or book signings, have a dinner with a fellow author or a reader (you’re comfortable with) and your life will be changed forever. I have 2 conferences / book signings this year, plus a writer’s retreat, so it’s going to be one hell of a year for me. I’m looking forward to a lot of fun! *g*

Writing is a solitary career, those lonely days can be hard to get through but there’s so much fun in this career as well. Of course you don’t always need to travel to another country for a conference or hours away to meet a fellow author or a reader. I’m blessed to have met an author last year who I learned lived 20 minutes from me. 20 frickin’ minutes!!! I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never had anyone as close to me that I can sit and spend the day with, gab about books (which on one around me reads romance books), or just visit and share some troubles with. I’ve grown to adore this author’s children and we can talk about anything and everything.

It is a very good idea to always be open to friendships beyond the computer. And to meet readers as well is unforgettable and allows them into your life as more than just “customers”.  Be sure to find the fun in this business because it’s very much worth it. It adds so much to a writer’s life that all of use should be open to.

Get out from behind the screen and and have some fun. The adventures you have make for some fantastic writing inspiration too!!!

The bonds of friendships made, many can last for years, and the shared passion is priceless.

Kacey (2)

Story Structure: Freaky Fridays with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

Strict Black Leather Locking Hand Cuffs on white background

WOOT!  You’re back! That’s just awesome. So, this week, rather than waxing poetic and getting all philosophical on you, I thought I’d talk a little bit about story structure. When we but wee lassies (or lads), I’m sure someone went over this. For those of you (like yours truly *WINKY FACE*) who haven’t been little in quite some time, here’s a quick refresher.

All stories must have:

A beginning – this is likely when your characters meet, the story opens, etc.

A middle –  this is when the characters start to see potential problems crop up

A climax – hehe, I said climax. This is where whatever problem you’ve invented comes to fruition

An end – this is when said problem is resolved, thereby giving us a HEA or a HFN

Protagonist(s) – the hero and/or heroine of the story

Antagonist(s) – the villain(s) of the piece

An internal conflict – something emotional that the hero/heroine(s) must overcome

An external conflict – something that the hero/heroine(s) must overcome outside of their own emotional baggage

I promise I’m not making this stuff up. It’s universally agreed upon by mostly anyone who writes. Swearsies 😉

Alrighty-Then

Now that we’ve got all these pieces, how the hell do we put that together into a working story? I’m so glad you asked!

According to a class I took recently with Candy Havens, here’s a damn good road map to work from!

  1. Slice of Life  – This is the moment in time when the characters don’t necessarily know each other yet. They’re functioning beings, completely independent of one another. This should be outside the scope of your romance.
  2. Meet Cute – The moment (and this should happen early on) when the characters meet or are reintroduced. They don’t need to LIKE each other, but the meeting must be memorable and draw the reader in. Embarrassment, annoyance, hot hot lust. It needs to elicit a definite response of some kind.
  3. Flaws Set – Foreshadowing the things that will drive the characters apart. He’s a commitment phobe because he’s been hurt by his ex. She’s dealing with issues from an abusive ex. Something emotional that the characters will have to overcome to find happiness. It’s a good time to foreshadow your external conflict, too.
  4. Fun and Games – They’re not thinking about the flaws, the reasons they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing at this point. This is about the time they should start *cues 70’s porno music*
  5. Midpoint – Think of this as the calm before the storm. Let the characters grow comfortable with one another. This is the time when they can enjoy the world you’ve created for them… because you’re about to tear that shit apart.
  6. Bad Guys Closing In – Remember those flaws? They’re rearing their ugly head at this point. He’s looking at her and seeing his future… and he’s ready to make a break for it. They’ve argued and his intensity reminds her of her ex.
  7. All is Lost – The internal and external conflicts have come to a head, here. Someone, or perhaps both of them, has really, really fucked something up.
  8. Dark Night of the Soul – The moment when the hero(ine) has realized just how epic their mistake was. The gravity of the situation is clear, and they feel as though there’s no possible way that they can recover.
  9. HEA/HFN – A grand gesture, resolution, or some other driving force that erases said dark night and provides a happily ever after.

Hope this helps you like it did me!  Next week I’ll be talking about character development and sharing the database I use to help me keep track of names, villains, jobs, etc. Hope to see you there. :*

 

 

Freebie Friends or is that Fiends?

Freebie friends…

Actually, maybe that should say… take a deep breath… people we barely know, who we once nodded to, when an acquaintance of theirs spoke to an acquaintance of ours and we happened to be there.

People you haven’t seen in years, aren’t even sure of their name… Thelma… Selma…Hellva… you know what I mean. The latter should have been their name. With cheek added on to it. Say it out loud. You’ll get the drift.

It was muttered by someone who actually didn’t want to waste their breath or their oh so valuable time on you, and you were amused at the time

Now it’s a different matter.

Take a deep breath, yours not theirs, and carry on being amused. This time at their bare-faced cheek.

They’re the people who rush up to you in queue in the post office or the bank. Invade your space and say ohhh X or Y says you’re an author and you’re published. Do you have any books to give away? You must have and I’d love one autographed for my bookshelf.

 

download

Hmm. If you say, oh I’ only write eBooks’ they may look disappointed, do the oh you’re not a real author thing then and then go, ‘oh well I’ll have one of those then’. Or they might go straight to ‘well can I have one please’.Or well you must have some cheap. They’re not pirates, not yet. And I’m not going to talk about those scavengers, Ravenna is on Monday, and you best make a note of that date in your diary. She’s talking…and I mean t a l k i n g.. about it.

I’m taking about the ohh a legal freebie lot.

No mention of how much, would you like a review or even add a thank you.

Now you need to say sorry nicely. Do not cuss and swear. You may, if you want, imagine them at the hands of a particularly sadistic Dom.

Smile. Apologise and say sorry, I only get X amount and they have to go to professional reviewers. Add if you’re feeling nice, check my publisher’s web site for sale days. If they have really pissed you off don’t bother. It’s unlikely they’re going to buy one anyway.

And walk away feeing amused.

This my friend means you are an author.

Happy writing and reading (legally)

love R x

Manners… #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps. You know my gran had a saying that I have taken to heart… well, she had several along the lines of….

 

-Manners, cost nothing, and get you a long way in life

-If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all

-Don’t be rude…

-Has your mother never told you…

Etiquette Word Cloud Concept

 

It’s not hard, really, is it?  Good manners make the world go round, and they make the internet a darn side nicer place. Or they would, if folks employed them. Sadly, the opposite seems to be true. Folks seem to lose any semblance of decent behaviour when they get behind a computer screen. And you, know, I hate to tell you, but the internet is not as anonymous as you might think it is.

Things tend to come and bite you on the behind and never is that truer than in the world of publishing. Readers talk, fellow authors talk, hey, publishers know each other and talk and you bet your bottom dollar they will google a new to them author.

So, really, it’s in your best interest to mind your manners.

Yet, so many people don’t. How many times do you read about yet another author melt down? While it makes for amusing reading from the sidelines it’s akin to professional suicide. Readers have looong memories.

What prompted this particular post you might ask. Well, I posted some promo on Sunday regarding one of my upcoming releases in a BDSM series. One that is really rather popular and has some loyal fans.

Someone, and no, I shall not name her, took it upon herself to swear under that post, and say something along the lines of not another book where women were bottoms, and eff fifty shades (I’m paraphrasing on purpose).

Now, the sheer vehemence behind that comment took me aback a bit. I politely replied along the lines of it was nothing like fifty and she didn’t have to read it.

I posted in my reader group to say I didn’t know whether to be amused or annoyed at that comment, still not referring to the post or the poster in detail, but those loyal readers found the post anyway, and said their piece, despite me saying it was best to leave it alone.

See, that’s the problem with saying something nasty. Folks tend to object. Not only did that comment make a mockery of any female submissive, it also mocked the readers who like to read about the lifestyle. It mocked the actual lifestyle, and the people living it, and all those who loved fifty.

Epic fail on the side of that original commenter.

Now, don’t get me wrong. She is, of course entitled to her opinion. What she wasn’t entitled to was the way in which she expressed it. Someone else commented along the lines of that it was not something she wanted to read, and that is absolutely fine.

We all like different things. I know lots of people like to read about MC romances, for instances. I don’t. I tried and I just can’t wrap my head around them and some of my favourite authors write them.

Does that mean I can spout off about how rubbish they are? No, it doesn’t, because they are not. They are just not to my taste, so I scroll on by.

It’s simple manners, see. Cost nothing and get you far in life.

So, next time you feel inclined to voice your opinion, stop a minute and examine your motives. And perhaps temper those words somewhat, or don’t say them at all 🙂

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks,

D xxx

 

Write. Learn. Repeat. (@KaceyHammell) #SatisfactionSaturday

saturday

I had a friend recently ask me – “If you knew then what writing/marketing/being an author would be like years ago when you started would you still have become a writer?” I stared at her for quite a few moments and thought about the years that had flown by since that first story I wrote in 2004. Would I change things?

Absolutely not.

But boy have I learned a long the way!

I’ve always had a passion for reading. Whether it be articles in a newspaper, nine hundred page encyclopedias, romance fiction, biographies, “True Story” articles or Reader’s Digest, I needed to read everything I could get my hands on.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that once that first story was done, I wanted to write another and another, and more voices started nattering in my head – incessantly – but that’s a great things too! *g*

But over the years I’ve learned many things, and remembered a time or two that I can’t please everyone, and not everything I write will be everyone’s “cup of tea”. I’ve adapted as much as possible to the publishing industries changes, the over saturation of some genres and learning to navigate through it all while still being true to who I am.

Some sage advice – after my post last week about the benefits of team work, this goes deeper into advice that might help you as each bump in the road presents itself, I can offer to remember as doubts come and go, and people try to hold you back.

Whether you’re an aspiring author or a seasoned author, things that I’m glad I’ve learned over the years…

  1. Develop a very thick skin. This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice given to me, and it’s something that has become my mantra. Like I said above, not everything I write will be every reader’s favorite story, and reviews can cut like a knife. Just remember it’s subjective and though it’s not always easy to do, continue to believe in yourself and learn to take the good with the bad.
  2. Have these materials near you every time you write – dictionary, thesaurus, “The Elements of Style” especially. They will all become your best friends.
  3. Read, read, read!! Read as much of the genre that you’ve chosen to write in. If you don’t do this, you will not have the accurate knowledge/tools to succeed at this genre. And kick it up a notch by simply reading everything you can get your hands on.
  4. Take the advice of other authors (critique partners), and your editors. If they are offering you advice on how to enhance and how to push your boundaries … take their advice! Or at least think very long and hard about it (and take their advice!!) but also be true to the writer you are. Don’t immediately close the door on those individual’s advice. Wrap your head around it, turn it this way and that, then put your spin on things. Their advice is just that, but YOU have to be the one to fix it. Fix it in the ways that suit you.
  5. Get that first draft written before you edit anything. There’s nothing worse than not knowing how a story will evolve if you’re continually going back to the beginning over and over again. Save the editing until the draft is done.
  6. You won’t succeed if you do not try. Don’t let the word “can’t” be a part of your vocabulary. Ignore any voices that use that word.
  7. Do not, please DO NOT, step on anyone that has helped you along the way. When you start seeing big sales, have an agent, start seeing success and obtaining whatever success you feel is your highest, do not forget those that helped you arrive there. Don’t step on people while climbing that ladder. It’s a business but you don’t have to be an ass along the way.
  8. Dig as deep as you can. Even if it hurts you, dig so deep that you’re typing through your tears. Surprise yourself on just how awesome each story will be. Don’t hold back. Take the pleasure and the agony that comes with each story…it will make every story thereafter even more remarkable.
  9. To write well, you must practice. Consistency is key. Write whenever you can. Invest in many notebooks/pads of paper/pens. Take them everywhere with you. Never leave home without one.
  10. Take pride in who you are and your stories! They are your blood, sweat and tears. Your words are YOUR truth. Only YOU can write it.

 

See you next week! Happy Reading.

Kacey (2)

 


 

Demystifying Showing vs. Telling: Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth @mroth_author

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Welcome back to Freaky Friday’s with Michelle Roth. I’ll be your host. Michelle Roth. 😉   Today we’ll be talking about showing versus telling. This is one of the trickiest things to explain. Some blogs say to avoid adverbs. Some say that using more dialog helps. Some say that using stronger verbs helps. … so you get what I’m saying? Everyone has thoughts on how to avoid it, but really. What IS showing vs. telling.  The easiest way to explain is to give you some examples.

Example One:  Bob slowly walked down the lane to get the mail.

Example Two : Bob moved at a snail’s pace through the early morning fog, his feet shuffling against the concrete as he headed toward the mail box.

See what I did there? Bob is moving in both examples, but one of them was more interesting to read, right? In the second example, I don’t outright TELL you that Bob is walking slowly, but.. he’s moving through the early morning fog at a snail’s pace. His feet are shuffling against the pavement as he goes to fetch the mail.

Now you know that Bob’s going to get the mail, but .. maybe the second example makes you think of an older man in a maroon cardigan, beige checked pants and a cabbie hat that carries Werther’s Original in his pocket for his grandkids. Bob turns into a real person for a minute there when the reader begins to infer other things about him that you haven’t explained.

Example Three: Stella moaned with pleasure when Ian began to tease her nipples. She sighed his name.

Example Four: Her eyes fluttered closed as she lost herself in his words and the sensation of his work-roughened hands teasing her tender flesh. She let out a small whimper as he began to gently pinch and pull at the tight peaks. When she called his name, it came out as nothing more than a breathy sigh.

Example three gets the point across. Ian was playing with Stella’s boobies. She was enjoying that. Example FOUR, however, tells you more. Perhaps he was telling her something she needed to hear. Maybe she hadn’t been touched that way in a long time. Perhaps she was pleased because he knew exactly how to touch her even though this was their first encounter. Stella may not have been entirely expecting the contact at all, because she was somewhat incapable of speech. Maybe she was incapable of talking about it because it was so damn good.

Again, the reader gets to draw their own conclusions when you don’t dumb it down for them.

Example Five:  Rick talked dirty to Tessa.

Example Six: “Fuck, Tessa. That’s it,” he said when she rocked her hips more frantically against his hand. “You have no idea how much I want to taste you, how much I want to bend you over this railing and slide my cock into your tight little pussy. Audience be damned. Is that what you want, Tessa?”

Do I really need to explain this one? Tessa is a lucky girl. I’m just saying. 😉

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(BTW, examples four and six were from Men for Hire and Slow Burn if you wanted to go shopping)

To simplify why Showing VS. Telling is so very important, I’ll just say this. Readers want to get lost in a book for any number of reasons. By giving them glimpses into the character’s world instead of just telling them a series of thoughts and emotions they go through, it will not only make for a better book, but it will also make for a happier reader.

Okay, so now that you know what Showing VS. Telling IS.. how do you avoid it?

Don’t tell us what the character was doing.. Tell us what it looked like, or show them doing it. If all else fails, use dialog.

Don’t tell us how the character felt, describe their facial expressions, body language, etc.

Don’t tell us how the character did something (slowly, quickly), show us facial expressions, body language, and other indicators that make us realize they’re moving slowly, quickly, etc.

Be descriptive. Be specific. The more vivid you make it, the more likely the reader is to get emotionally involved in your story. The more entangled in your stories the readers are, the more likely they are to buy your books. You see where I’m headed with this, right?  😉

Til next week, my lovelies, I bid you adieu!

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