My Personal Top Ten Blogs For Non-Fiction


 

Lately, I had not much to do and was thinking about the blogs I follow. From A through Z there are blogs of fiction authors (yes, the one or other has written a book, based on a true story, of course!), but I don’t deny I prefer reading fiction.

There are several reasons for that. For once: there’s plenty of horrors, cruelness, blood, killing, and death around. I prefer reading about all this where I can be sure it never had happened.

And second: I’m an empath, reading true, sad and horrible stories make me cry like a puppy and getting nightmares occasionally.

Occasionally I like reading history and biographies. (Provided they’re not biographies of bloodsoaked dictators who should have died in jail in Den Haag… but that’s a story for another time.

While I’ve been thinking about non-fiction books I had to admit non-fiction writers don’t get plenty of attention from me – and definitely not enough recognition!

I spent days to research blogs that are written by non-fiction writers or dedicated to non-fiction books.

To me, the following are the best of the ones I found:

https://brevity.wordpress.com/

https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/category/blog/

https://www.biographyonline.net/blog.html/

https://www.sarahsbookshelves.com/announcing-nonfiction-november-2018/

https://www.writermag.com/blog/interesting-nonfiction-books-fall-2018/

http://asuen.com/nonfictionmonday/

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/g19404777/best-nonfiction-books-2018/

https://www.bustle.com/p/10-nonfiction-books-about-other-books-because-the-history-of-literature-is-fascinating-10239943

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/non-fiction/

http://bookbloggerlist.com/category/non-fiction/non-fiction-biographies-memoirs/

 

I have to say I need to give non-fiction authors more credit than I did until now. Their work is as hard as ours and I wouldn’t want to go through all the research, the fact-checking and everything they have to come up with to make their book a success.

Let’s say they’re experts on something, or someone and write a book about it, one tiny mistake can ruin them forever. My respect, therefore, is extremely high!

Are you a non-fiction writer? Do you know a non-fiction writer? Let us hear about your/their writing process and how it is to work with facts more than relying on fantasy. Let us know. We’re curious.

Flawed Characters vs. “Too Dumb to Live”: What’s the Difference? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb published a phenomenal blog post about flawed characters and the difference to “Too Dumb To Live”. Thanks for another educational as well as entertaining post and your wonderful humor, Kristen!


 

Which is more important? Plot or character? Anyone currently doing NaNoWriMo is all, “WORDS! ONLY WORDS MATTER NOW! Get off my case, Blogger Chick. I’ll figure out plot and character later.”

*awkward silence*

To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY.”

If we goof up plot? Readers/Audiences get confused or call FOUL. Watch the movie Ouija for what I am talking about *shakes head*.

Goof up characters? No one cares about the plot.

New writers are particularly vulnerable to messing up characters. We drift too far to one end of the spectrum or the other—Super-Duper-Perfect versus Too Dumb to Live—and this can make a story fizzle because there is no way to create true dramatic tension.

To continue reading the entire blog post go to:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/11/flawed-characters-dumb-characters/

15 Thoughts Every Writer Has When They Aren’t Writing

On DSM Publishing I found a link to this blog post, written by Michael Cristiano on ‘A Writer’s Path’. Thanks Michael. I’m convinced many of us have exactly the same thoughts. (or at least most of the ones on your list.)

A Writer's Path

by Michael Cristiano

Not being able to write is a sad fact of life for a writer. There’s laundry to do, there’s food to cook, there’s sleep to be had. Worse, I have this pesky illness that eats up a lot of my time. I toil day in and day out to keep it at bay and under control. Sometimes, it creeps into my evenings, just when I think I’ve escaped. Worse, the horror of it all often keeps me awake at night and the dread fills my dreams with terror and sadness.

Oh, I’m not sick… I have a 9-to-5 job.

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When to Show and When to Tell

Ryan Lanz of ‘A Writer’s Path’ tells us when to show and when to tell. Thank you for a great post Ryan.

A Writer's Path

by Kyle Massa

Show, don’t tell.

If you’ve ever taken a writing course of any kind, you’ve probably heard that phrase.

If you haven’t, the meaning is pretty simple: don’t come out and tell your readers everything they need to know. Instead, show them examples and specific situations that support what you’re trying to say. Doing so often solidifies your points a little better than straight telling.

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Book Sale for Closer

This is phenomenal!! F. E. Feeley jr.’s new book “CLOSER” is available. I read his other books – and I’m soooo going to get this one!! He’s a great author.

F.E.Feeley Jr

 
Available in Ebook and Paperback. Audio coming soon!
 
“Gripping, creepy, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.”
 
“An incredibly well-devised page turner. “
 
“If you like your love stories with a supernatural element, you should like this one.”
 
My new novel, Closer, is on sale for 3.00 at Smashwords. Follow this link and the code is RAE50 before you check out.
 

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ALERT: Copyright Infringement by “Internet Archive.”

A very important blog post about copyright infringement by Internet Archive. It should be read by all authors. Thank you, Virginia.

Just Can't Help Writing

Do you have hard-copy books out, in or out of print? See this notice from Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has issued an alert on copyright infringement by the Internet Archive. Other professional writers’ groups taking notice include the UK’s Society of Authors, which has posted an alert on its website, and the USA’s Authors Guild and National Writers Union, which have alerted their members.

Strauss posts the full notice from SFWA. What’s more, SFWA will generate a “takedown notice” for you that you can immediately email if your book is included on the offending site.

You can search the site easily to see if any of your titles are involved. I found that searching for a character’s name within the book text generated the best response.

Illegal copy of King of the Roses on Internet Archive

Possibly you may not be concerned at having a pirated version of your book…

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The 10 Emotional Stages of Editing

On Ryan Lanz’ ‘A Writer’s Path’ Samantha Fenton wrote about the 10 emotional stages of editing which some of us might know very well. Thank you for a great blog post, Samantha.

A Writer's Path

by Samantha Fenton

A long time ago, I started revising and editing my manuscript. And today… I am still revising and editing my manuscript. Rest assured, there have been many emotions involved. Here are some of them.

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Author Spotlight – Carole McEntee-Taylor

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I wrote a couple of spiritual books with my husband in 2005 and 2006, The Re-Enlightenment and The Holiday from Hell but I did not start writing seriously until 2008.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

The inspiration behind my writing was my father in law, Ted Taylor.
Ted was conscripted into the Rifle Brigade in September 1939 at the beginning of WW2 and fought in the Defence of Calais in May 1940 after which he spent five years as a POW in Poland. Although he’d never spoken about it we finally managed to persuade him to talk on tape and received a very sanitised version of the fighting and his subsequent years in a POW camp. In 2008 Ted suffered a crippling stroke and ended up in a nursing home. To cheer him up I suggested writing up his war experiences as a book.
This was quite daunting as although I was fascinated by WW2 I had no background in military history. So I began the long process of reading everything I could about the Defence of Calais, which wasn’t much. The battle was totally eclipsed by the evacuation from Dunkirk and was rarely mentioned, even on the most recent documentaries. I knew even less about the treatment of the ordinary POW at the hands of their captors or their lives, having grown up on a diet of sanitised POW camp films, none of which bore any reality to the truth. Ted had been made to work in the salt mines and had even spent time in Majdanek concentration camp. Like most authors I struggled to find a publisher but eventually, Ted’s story, Surviving the Nazi Onslaught, was published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd.

 

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

After writing Ted’s story I was hooked on writing military history and have written several other books, but I also wanted to write fiction because I love reading and was struggling to find books I wanted to read.
I grew up surrounded by books. My parents both loved reading, my father was into murder, detective, adventure and espionage stories while my mother read historical fiction and romance so I grew up with a passion for reading most genres and this is reflected in my novels which, although set in the first half of the 20th Century, are a mixture of all these. I have always been a voracious reader. I’d spend hours in the library as a child and spent all my pocket money on books, progressing quickly from Enid Blyton to Agatha Christie amongst others. I’d rush home with my latest books, disappear up into my bedroom and not come down again until they were finished. My Dad always used to say they were a waste of money because I could get through two or three books in a weekend, but they weren’t. They were my escape from reality and the more I read the more it fuelled my imagination. As I grew older I read anything I could get my hands on, crime, thrillers, historical fiction, occasionally romance and science fiction and of course chic lit! The library was my second home and I would always come out with the maximum number of books I could borrow and they were always returned well before the due date.
I liked big books I could lose myself in, probably to escape my disastrous relationships. Prams, pushchairs and my arms groaned under the weight, but it was worth it to stay sane.
Having finally extradited myself from the last bad relationship I spent two years on my own finding myself again and then I met David, my husband. I no longer needed to escape my reality so I stopped reading. I found books by authors I’d always loved no longer held my attention so I decided to write something I wanted to read and I had the perfect idea.
Whist writing Ted’s story I learnt that Brenda, my mother in law, had been a nurse throughout the London Blitz, and she and Ted were engaged when he went to war. Five long years later he came home and they were married. Their story fascinated me. They did not have the benefit of hindsight. Brenda waited even though she had no idea how long it would be or even if Ted would ever come home. Ted had somehow held onto the belief that he would come home even though he had no idea how long that might be. I decided to write up Ted and Brenda’s story including an element of fiction to cover something Ted did in France.
I soon realised it was impossible to fictionalise my in-laws because they were real people. I couldn’t have them doing things that weren’t in character, nor did I want to alienate the family and have my husband not talking to me because I had made his mum do something she wouldn’t have! So I changed their names and although Lives Apart: A WW2 Chronicle is inspired by them and based on something that really did happen, all the characters are now 100% fiction.

I love writing about WW2 and so this 5 book series was followed by Betrayed, a stand-alone novel about a serial killer in Berlin in the 1930s and 40s. My most recent 5 book series is Obsession which was inspired by the rumoured fate of tens of thousands of missing Allied POWs from Eastern Europe at the end of WW2. All the novels are published by GWL Publishing.

 

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Like most authors I would like to earn a living from writing, but I do have a secret dream of seeing my books made into films or TV series…….or perhaps not so secret now😊

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes and no. If I can’t think of anything to write I read over what I’ve written and edit it and then I usually find it begins to flow again. Because I am writing several stories at the same time I can normally find something to write. The secret is not to stress over it. Some days I only write 1500 words, others I will write more than 5,000.

 

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Persevere. Write something every day, even if its only a few lines and doesn’t make much sense. Just write what’s in your head and edit it afterwards.

I started off by self-publishing Ted’s story and the original version of Lives Apart because I couldn’t get a publisher. When I started writing Herbert Columbine VC I saw a tweet from Pen & Sword asking for manuscripts. I tweeted them back and they were interested. Once they’d published that I gave them another biography I’d written, A Battle Too Far, which they also published. I then rewrote Ted’s story (The Weekend Trippers) under the title Surviving the Nazi Onslaught, which they also took. Publishers are looking at the bottom line. They want to make money so you have to show them how your book will do that.

Having self-published the original version of Lives Apart I decided to start looking for a fiction publisher again. My writing style had changed considerably by them so I wanted to the chance to rewrite it and by then I could show that I had sold several hundred copies and had good reviews. If you believe in the story keep going and don’t take no for an answer.

 

7. Please, tell us about your work.

I think I’ve managed to plug most of my published books in the other questions lol😊 but I’m currently working on a new fiction series called Secret Lives which should be out next year. I also have a new military history book coming out in May 2018 called The History of Coalhouse Fort. Apart from its military history the fort has been used in a couple of Batman films!

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


 

Connect with Carole:

Website: http://www.carolemctbooks.info/ 
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/carolemctbooks.info/
Twitter https://twitter.com/CaroleMcT

 


Carole’s Books:

U.K: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=carole+mcentee-taylor+books&sprefix=carole+mce%2Caps%2C182&crid=30F9Q7O4JEZ00

U.S.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=carole+mcentee-taylor+books&sprefix=carole+mce%2Caps%2C182&crid=30F9Q7O4JEZ00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Language Generator for Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Kristen Twardowski informs us with an exciting blog post about “Vulgar”, a language generator for Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers. Thanks so much Kristen.

Kristen Twardowski

I’ve talked about my fascination with language before, but sometimes writers need a little help creating words that make sense in their nascent worlds. I recently found something that streamlines that process.

Vulgar (pardon the terrible name) is a constructed language generator. The generator creates fully realized languages; if you were truly ambitious you could learn some of them. The program attempts to mimic real languages, so there are patterns to the words that develop. For instance, in 50% of generated languages, the word for “tongue” is the same as the word for “language”, and words often share roots as is the case for:

pson /pʂon/ n. paint; v. paint
psopru /ˈpʂopru/ n. painter

I’ve played around with the generator quite a bit and am highlighting a few sample languages below.

Vulgar Zulia.JPG via Vulgar

Vulgar Nahis.JPG via Vulgar

The above screenshots simply capture the summaries for the languages. The full pages, however…

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A Simple Guide to Book Advances and Royalties

A Writer’s Path’ Ryan Lance has written a very informative and simple guide to book advances and royalties. Thank you very much!

A Writer's Path

by Gary Smailes

When a book publisher offers a book deal to a new author, the contract will talk about ‘advances’ and ‘royalties’. These can be a little confusing to new authors, though a little bit of knowledge will go a long way to helping you fully understand what you are being offered.

In this article, you will learn about royalties and advances, you will discover what is usual for a book publisher to offer and you will find out how the publishing world is changing the way it provides advances and royalties.

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