August 31st is the deadline for the Kindle Storyteller Award which Amazon celebrates the best self-published story in the UK with a £20,000 cash prize.
I know that is still a month away, but you have to do an awful lot of work to make sure your story qualifies and readers are a crucial part in helping to choose the shortlist. Customer feedback is based on such factors as quality of reviews, sales and pages read in Kindle Unlimited. I underlined the word quality because Amazon seem to be flagging up that 50 ‘It’s really great‘ reviews won’t cut it. What you really need is quality AND quantity.
To qualify you need to publish on KDP, Amazon’s publishing arm in both eBook and paperback versions. The paperback version of your book must be at least 24 pages long and the qualifying period for…
As I mentioned on my Saturday post, N.N. Light is hosting a Binge-Worthy Book Festival through the month of August. Every weekday will have a new set of authors. Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Herois on for today alongside others of various genres. It’s a great selection, so I recommend checking it every day. There are contests you can enter as well.
Some writers are plotters. Others are pantsers. There’s no right way to do it. There are pros and cons to plotting, and it’s up to you to decide what works best. Personally, I’m a plotter. Typically, my plotting consists of a basic outline and little else. It worked for two novels. But on my third, I was struggling. I spent ages trying to figure out why my story wouldn’t work before it hit me. I’d not sussed out the timeline, not properly. And once I had, it changed everything. As such, I’m sharing 5 ways that a timeline helps you write your novel.
Figuring out backstory
Not all backstory needs to be written. I would even go as far as to say most backstory doesn’t need to be written. But as a writer, it’s helpful to know where things started for your characters. It’s important to know what happened before the events of the first chapter. This way, you know what to include and what to omit. It also enables you to add depth to your characters, as undoubtedly their past has shaped them.
Avoiding plot holes
A number of things can cause plot holes, and time is definitely one of them. If your characters and their story are to be believable, then time must move in the way it should. Even if your fictional world has it’s own concept of time, you should adhere to the rules you set for it. Savvy readers are likely to pick up on things that don’t flow naturally.
It is my pleasure to feature a book from Canadian writer and blogger, Darlene.
This is the latest in her very popular ‘Amanda’ series. This time, our heroine is in Holland.
Here is Darlene’s bio.
Darlene Foster is a Canadian author who has written the popular Amanda Travels series, featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in various countries. Darlene has won prizes for her short stories and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.
Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held wonderful jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.
Her books include: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021.
For those of us who do have difficulties with the conversion of our stories into EPUB or MOBI files. Thank you very much for your informative post, Louise!
Here’s how to convert a Word document into EPUB or MOBI file format. This option certainly won’t be for everyone, but if it suits you, you can master it in seconds … and for free.
Many authors create their books directly in Microsoft Word because of its excellent suite of onboard styling tools and its compatibility with a range of plug-ins and add-ins (including macros). Pro editors love it for the same reasons.
Once the writing, drafting, editing, and final revisions are complete, it’s time to publish. Is a Word file good enough for epublication? How about a DIY conversion to EPUB or MOBI? It depends on several factors:
Ruth Harris published a guest post on Anne R. Allen’s blog about how writers stand between themselves and success. Thank you for your very educational blog post, Ruth.
on Anne R. Allen:
A term used in scoring tennis, “unforced errors” are not caused by the actions of the player’s opponent, but they’re the responsibility of the player him/herself. S/he is caught wrong-footed, out of balance, unable to return the serve, incapable of making the winning shot.
The concept of unforced errors can also be usefully applied to writers. Unforced errors are the self-inflicted harm we do to ourselves.
This week Nicholas Rossis was busy blogging… I couldn’t decide which tones to re-blog – and decided to just publish his entire collection. He has fascinating and informative posts and this way you can decide for yourself which ones are interesting to you. Thanks a lot, Nicholas!
As anyone who’s been following my blog for a while surely knows, I love puns and bad dad jokes (often the same thing). And I often use them in my work, especially in my children’s books. Which becomes rather problematic when translating them into Greek. How can someone translate puns decently?
Rick van Mechelen, aka “that translation student“, recently shared an interesting post on this very subject. He cites Dirk Delabastita 1996 work* to divide puns into four categories of ambiguity. These are homonymy, homophony, homography, and paronymy, each of which is better suited to different forms of communication:
A pun where a word with multiple meanings is used to give multiple meanings at once.
A hard-boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
A pun using two words that sound identical, but have different spellings.
First, a caveat: the Middle Ages lasted a thousand years in places as different as Iceland and the Holy Land. So, things differed from place to place and from time to time. After all, did your grandmother get married in a similar way to you?
No matter where and when, though, a general fact about marriage in the Middle Ages is that it was usually an economic affair.
This is not to say that the parties to a medieval marriage inherently lacked affection, passion, or sexual attraction. However, economic considerations played an important role in marriage negotiations and contracts…
This is a guest post by Daniela McVicker. Daniela is a contributor to Essayguard. She has a master’s degree in English Literature and is truly passionate about learning foreign languages and teaching. Daniela works with the students to help them reveal their writing talent and find their one true calling.
7 Tips to Write a Killer Book Presentation
Sometimes, a book you have written draws enough attention that you are asked to speak about it to an audience. You may be asked to present as a subject expert, talk about your material at a conference or convention, present at a book fair, or give a quick presentation as part of a book signing.
As they say, more people are afraid of public speaking than of death. Which means that most people would prefer being in a casket than giving the obituary.
My Ph.D. thesis, Design in the Digital Age: In Search of a Collaborative Paradigm, was all about finding novel ways to help designers interact with their clients. I had envisioned a tablet-based Virtual Reality environment with Augmented Reality elements for the client, thus allowing them to better understand what the architect or designer was trying to achieve. As for the architect or designer, Artificial-Intelligence software would significantly speed up the design process.
My thesis was published in 2000. Unfortunately, my vision has yet to be brought together by a software company, even though most of the elements I was describing are now widely available.
However, that doesn’t mean that technology hasn’t changed in other ways. As an article in IndiaCADworks explains, in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries, new technologies are advancing with each passing day that makes the process of construction smarter, more streamlined, and indeed futuristic.
Charles Yallowitz published two blog posts about the difficulties of physical descriptions on his ‘The Legends of Windemere’ blog. I decided both are worth sharing. And here they are. Thank you very much, Charles!
The Physical Description: A Necessary & Surprisingly Difficult Piece
I think we can take this for granted. Physical descriptions come off a little like a ‘duh’ concept. We need to know what our characters look like to some extent. Otherwise, every reader gets their own visual with no similarities. Not necessarily a bad thing until people begin fighting over it. You also lose a dimension if you avoid it entirely. Yes, we have a personality, actions, and words, but there can be a sense of lacking if we don’t have even a basic appearance. This goes for places too, but we’re going to focus on characters for this week. So, why is this?
Readers have these things called the five senses . . . Oh, that’s going too far back into the details. We all know this. We also know that an author should try very hard to hit as many of them as possible. This is much easier…
It’s been a week with a topic that was more difficult than I expected. You would think doing a physical description is basic and easy. It’s part of a foundation for a character and a story when your goal is to create an image in the reader’s head. Everyone has their own opinion and strategy. So, let’s not beat around the bush and end the week by opening the floor:
How important is physical description to you as an author?
What tip would you have for a new author struggling with this?
What is the funniest thing you’ve done with a physical description? (This can be accidental or on purpose. For me, it would be the switching eye color on Luke Callindor.)