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In the Works

Things have been very busy for me through January. While I haven’t been blogging much, I have been working on book three of Darkness Falling. It’s coming along at a slow but steady pace, which is a nice change from my year of writing struggles.

I also have plans for new book covers for the trilogy once I’ve finished book three. I’m still figuring out how to achieve my vision, but I don’t think it will be as hard as it seems right now.

Some of my other projects are also coming along. I have several other books I’m working on in early stages. My goal is to finish book three and then have a couple of other projects far enough along to lessen the time gap between publishing. I also have an idea for an anthology series that will span the history of a fictional world from creation to futuristic times.

I’m still working on updating the blog. I’ve added a new set of pages to showcase other indie and small press authors. These books are all books that I’ve read and have given five stars. Being an indie author is a lot of work and marketing is difficult. I hope this will give other authors a bit of a boost, even though my own platform is still very small. I will be adding to these pages over time.

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Work in Progress

It’s 2018!

That means, it’s time to spruce up the old blog. I know it looks terrible right now, but I’m going to working on it for the next couple of weeks. Please standby!

Also for 2018 I’m really pushing myself to get Book 3 finished. It currently is sitting at just over 18,000 words.

That’s my only update for the moment.

Health and Wellness, Writing News

Long Hiatus – What Now?

Hello everyone,

I’ve been on a long hiatus from this blog. I was getting overwhelmed with everything and needed to cut back. I’ve been thinking of coming back to the blog but not sure what I’m going to be doing with it yet.

Some ideas I’m having are to continue with indie author book reviews but I’m not sure if I want to continue with writing tips. I feel a lot of people give writing tips and it’s all just noise.

Also, keeping a weekly blog is just too much for me right now. I’m not sure what my new schedule will be at this point.

Writing News

I’ve been struggling with writers block ever since the launch of book 2 of Darkness Falling in June of 2016. Despite the fact that I had groundwork for the entire series when I started, a lot of the existing content was scrapped in book 2 and book 3 is mostly from scratch at this point. I know what I want to say and where the story is going. I even have it outlined, (shocking!) but the words aren’t coming.

I haven’t given up on the book 3 but it is slow going.

I have a few other bits and pieces of other projects I work on from time to time, but so far very little progress on anything.

Anyway, thanks to everyone that has been reading and following my blog! If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to see here, please let me know in the comments.

Meet the Cast, Writing News

Meet the Cast: Animal Sidekicks

I’m going to do a feature where I introduce my upcoming characters. I just decided this and it starts today. Instead of starting with main characters, I’m going to go with some side characters just for fun.

Up to this point, I’ve only written humans (or human-like people.) In my fantasy comedy, Legends of Auhlg, that’s changing. I have two animal characters.

First is Blaze, a cerulean hellhound. What’s that? Well, imagine a dog that can breathe fire and then imagine that dog is blue and breathes blue fire. Blaze is the animal companion to one of the main characters, Melysoni the sylph.

He doesn’t speak and is protective and loyal to his mistress. Despite being terrifying to look at, he’s a good boy.

Blaze is a lot of fun to write. As a non-verbal character, he communicates through body language and the sounds of a regular dog. By mixing his expected behaviors with his magical abilities, it creates a realistic dog character with bonus features.

The second animal sidekick is Gary the Arrogant Unicorn. I posted an excerpt of him here on my blog when I first came up with the idea. Gary is a verbal character and he also lends to the comic relief.

Gary, however; is not a human and is of the equine family. He doesn’t have the same physical cues to his dialogue. Unicorns don’t sigh, for example. This helps to change things up a bit when writing dialogue tags. Again, giving him a mix of realistic horse traits mixed with human language and dialogue presents a new challenge to writing.

That’s all for today. Have a great week!

 

Writing News

Where’s RR?

Hi Everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. I decided to post about my current plans and writing.

Right now, I’m working on two projects. The first is Book Three of my Darkness Falling Trilogy. I’ve been having some trouble with it and it’s slow going. But it is going.  Hopefully, I’ll be close to completing it in the falls. My plan is to have it out before the end of 2017, the 20 year anniversary of when I first started writing.

Secondly, I’m working on my fantasy comedy: Legends of Auhlg. I’d also like to get this story out this year or early next year.

How do I work on two things at once? Well, I’m writing on whichever I feel more inclined to write on every day.

I’m also still working on The Hunted, but it’s more of a back seat right now.

Anyway, that’s my update. I’ll be posting on the blog again but not sure if I’ll post every week like before.

Writing Tips

Editing Tip: Using Windows Narrator to Help Proofread

Everyone knows there is no replacement for a good human proofreader or an army of them. The human brain plays tricks on the eyes, translating typos into real words or skimming over errors to fit the context. A single set of eyes on a project means errors will be missed.

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You can’t rely on technology fully, either. While Word, Grammarly, and other products are becoming more proficient at finding errors and typos, they still might miss properly spelled words used incorrectly. It’s true that these programs are beginning to notice if you’ve used there instead of their, but they might not notice if you’ve used Brain instead of Brian.

The reality is, nothing beats hiring a living proofreader. That isn’t always possible for everyone, though. Because I know firsthand that reality, I also know that relying on friends and family may not be an option, either. I did have Book One proofread by a friend who missed many, many errors. I missed many as well.

What else can you do?

A few months back, it was mentioned to me that hearing your book read to you is very helpful in finding errors. It was suggested that if I couldn’t afford to have someone read, Windows Narrator worked pretty well. I thought it was a good idea but didn’t use the advice at the time.

Recently, one of my co-workers accidently turned Narrator on my work computer. Maybe it was a kick in the pants from the Muses because I suddenly realized I should try using Narrator to help edit.

I recently used it on a small project, and it really does make a difference. The current version of Windows 10 is a male voice. It reminds me of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not only does Narrator read your work back, but it reads one line at a time. This not only lets you hear what’s being read but also to follow along. It gives you the opportunity to move slowly and watch for words like there and their, which still sound the same.

Is it the same as hiring a proofreader? No. Does it help those without a budget? Yes. I tested it on book one and it can read some of the made-up names (some of them it pronounces incorrectly, but that’s okay.) If it can’t read a word, it spells it out. Anything that helps is worth using, and I hope this tip helps others.

Thank you for reading! If you have anything to add, please leave a comment.

Promotions and Events

TNT Horror Contest Entry

In June, I decided to start posting some of my work on Wattpad. If you’ve never hard of it, it’s a place where indie authors and young writers can share their work and receive some form of feedback, such a up-votes, being added to reading lists, and comments.If you don’t have an account with them, I recommend one, either for sharing your own work or for reading.

A few weeks ago I received an announcement via mass email that Wattpad had joined forces with TNT and was having a horror writing contest. The grand prize is $20,000 and the story being purchased by the TNT network. This would be an exciting prize, but contests are just like anything in writing; a lottery. However; this one was free to enter and I qualified, so why not give it a chance? If nothing else, it could give my writing some visibility.

I’ve submitted a short story, and now begins the waiting.

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The winner will not be announced until January 17, but until then stories will go through stages depending on how many votes they receive. This is where I’m going to shamelessly plug that if you read my story and like it, please share it with others. If you share it on social media, please use the tag #TNTHorrorContest.

Okay, shameless plugging over.I’m working on the next installment of The Hunted. I’m also going to be diving into Book Three. Thank you for reading!

In other news, I’m working on the next installment of The Hunted, which is going to add a new dimension to the storytelling. I’m also going to be diving into Book Three. Thank you for reading!