Happy Labor Day

Story Empire

Hello, SEers! It’s Labor Day in the US. From all of us here at Story Empire, we’d like to wish all of our hard working friends a happy and restful day.

Happy Labor Day

And now, we leave you with a few inspirational quotes about work:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” —Confucius

“A man is not paid for having a head and hands,but for using them.” —Elbert Hubbard

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” —Aristotle

“Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.” —Maya Angelou

“Though you can love what you do not master, you cannot master what you do not love.” —Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“If you care about what you do and work hard at it, there isn’t anything…

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Traditional vs. Independent Publishing

I’m having second thoughts about publishing my book independently. Was thinking about trying to go traditional publishing.


What would you do? And why?

The book I have in mind is The Smoke Eater which is about 88,000 words – getting ready for the final polish.

Synopsis

Reid Harris is a firefighter who has seen better times. Still healing from his last act of heroism, the marks of third-degree burn have impacted his emotional and physical wellbeing. With a crippling injury on his right leg, and living with post-traumatic stress, Reid is still desperate to keep working in the only career he ever knew. To keep his life on track, Reid travels to Azurbar, in the Middle East, where he doesn’t have to pass any physical or mental tests.

But on the day Reid travel to the desert, all hell breaks loose. Reid witnesses a shocking event that provides a common taste of what life is going to be like. Threats of violence unleash in a ruthless tirade never seen before in this once peaceful country raising the tensions to their highest levels ever. The terrorists, from the Persian State, don’t see eye to eye with the royal family. Reid’s path will intersect that unknown adversary who is bent on disrupting the Azurbar way of life.

Even though Reid knew he would endure tough times, the mental trauma inside him spikes. He struggles with an Azurbaree national who threatens Reid’s safety, while his alcoholic mentor isn’t coping well with the steady rise terrorism. Reid is stationed in a facility that the terrorist continuously target—BuHasa—one of the biggest oil and gas facilities in the world.

The Smoke Eater is a thrilling novel about adventure, survival and redemption; while exploring foreign Oil and Gas industries that few people know.

Even got a cover

More Genre Clichés

This is suck a great post today on Story Empire.

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers! Last time, we talked about clichés in horror and how to fix them. This time, we’re going to look at stereotypes in two more genres and ways to turn them around.

Mystery

  • Title of the book is “the character in the place (often vantage point)” i.e. The Woman in the Window
    • Solution: Find something more appealing to name your book. Often a word or line in the text will pop.
  • Bad guy sees the voyeur investigating what they saw
    • Solution: This is overdone. If you want to have a voyeur, don’t let the villain see the voyeur. Let the voyeur approach the villain. Maybe the voyeur is worse than the villain and blackmails him or becomes inspired by him and becomes a supervillain.
  • Washed up grizzled alcoholic detective who lost someone and comes out of retirement to solve the crime even though competent cops can’t
    • Solution:…

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Building the Next Generation of Readers

There was a great blog post today (August 28, 2021) on Building the Next Generation of Readers | Killzoneblog.com

An excellent author, Steve Hooley, wrote about Building the Next Generation of Readers. Mr. Hooley suggests we need to build the next generation of readers out of today’s youth and offers some good points and tips.

Mr. Hooley has also asked his reader today three questions.

 1. What factors encouraged you or made you a reader?

2. What has worked with your children or relatives to create an interest in reading?

3. What suggestions do you have to build the next generation of readers?

I thought I would blog my answers here

1. What factors encouraged you or made you a reader?

There isn’t one factor that made me a reader. I would say that I became an avid a reader when I moved into a profession, and reading was a necessity. I liked books, but not as a favorite pastime in my youth. I have one of those day jobs where I’m stuck in a book, doing research or reading reports for at least six hours a day, minimum. That necessity combined with my creative side led me down to path to be a storyteller.

2. What has worked with your children or relatives to create an interest in reading?

I have three kids. One boy, age nine and twins, which are seven. They all read but not as independent as I would like. However, the most successful things have been talking with their teachers and tutors (we hired one of those to go over reading and writing skills with our kids every week). Those discussions have led me to buy books for the kids based on suggestions that educators know will work. “Dragon Masters” and “Ivy and Bean” are book series that I would have never found on my own. I also find that books written in the last ten years vs. books when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, seem to connect better with today’s youth.

3. What suggestions do you have to build the next generation of readers?

I suggest you don’t force kids to read. It’s all about balance. Think of work-life balance that in your job you should have balanced out your work with your downtime. It’s the same for kids and reading is a stressful thing for those who are beginner readers. It’s hard when a little brain is firing all its nerves to comprehend subject materials that they have yet to experience. Letting kids watch TV or play video games in my opinion is a short-term distraction that allows them the break so they will happily go back and read the books they love.

What do you think? I would love to see your answer. Feel free to comment here or head over to TKZ.

Thank you,

MOTION DURING DIALOG

Great post. #readmore #writingcommunity #writing

Story Empire

Hi SEers! Denise here to discuss what happens when people talk to each other and how to apply that to writing.

Have you ever watched people talk? Do they sit and speak without moving or any expression? In my family, I’m surrounded by Italians. Hands are always flying around during conversations. I know who not to sit next to during a meal if knives are being used. It’s dangerous!

Besides hands, heads are moving, faces change expression, bodies are constantly in motion, and tone shifts can take the spoken level from high to low. The speaker’s mood comes out in not only their words but their body language.

Yet, when I first write a dialog for a story, I only put the conversation. I barely tag who’s talking. Later, when I’ve completed the story, I go back and add all the movement that accompanies the words.

Have you ever read…

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Assure, Ensure, and Insure

Some of you have no trouble with these, so you can skip this if you like.

For the rest, these are only confusing until you get the hang of them.

So here we go.

ASSURE means to tell someone that something will definitely happen or is definitely true.

Jane assured John that she loved him and would marry him soon.

Oxford English Dictionary definition:

1. Tell someone that something is definitely true.

2. Make something certain to happen.

ENSURE means to guarantee or make sure of something.

John took great pains to ensure that his writing contained no plagiarism.

Oxford English Dictionary definition:

1. Make certain that something will definitely be so.

2. (ensure against) make sure that a problem does not occur.

INSURE means to take out a policy against something.

Jane insured the rink against fire, flood, and vandalism. She wanted to ensure (see what I did there?) that they were covered for any untoward event.

Oxford English Dictionary definition:

1. Arrange compensation in the event of damage, loss, illness, or death, in exchange for regular payments to a company.

2. (insure someone against) protect someone against a possible event.

So did that help, or are these still clear as mud?

I have about a million of these, so stay tuned or contact me for editing wherein I will take away the headaches by doing it for you.  (I’ll also explain why.)

Christine – Guest blogger

http://www.bespokewriterchristine.com

bespokewriterchristine@gmail.com

Scammers, Cyberstalkers and Trolling Book Reviews

I saw this subject recently come up on Twitter this week that Internet Trolls are targeting authors. I thought at first, “interesting” but maybe it’s just something to Tweet about in the #writingcommunity for the sake of tweeting.

As the days went on, this story was getting traction. I also found an article that might back up these claims. Check out the story on Time.com

https://time.com/6078993/goodreads-review-bombing/

What would you do if you woke up and saw an email like this?

“EITHER YOU TAKE CARE OF OUR NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS WITH YOUR WALLET OR WE’LL RUIN YOUR AUTHOR CAREER.”

It would devastate me. However, (scammers, cyberstalkers and trolls) it’s not worth it to pay a ransom in my case. I’m really not sure something like this would end my writing career, but I’m not in it for the money.

This also got me thinking about the random emails I get and the links on Twitter—those that wish to guarantee me an excellent review. I guess these are potentially scams as well and could backfire on those who go that route as well. Some messages say that these services that could boost your book can also be the very trolls that are now ruining the lives of hardworking writers.

LESSON

We might have to change our purchasing practices and not rely on reviews. In my case, if a book intrigues me, I read the first page and then decide to try—then I’ll read the first 5 pages to decide to buy.

Happy reading and have a safe weekend.

Twitter: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

There’s a lot being said these days about the etiquette of social media. The ugly rules here are a basic list that should be observed as the golden rules for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.

Story Empire

Hello, SEers! It’s a Mae Day on Story Empire, and the topic is Twitter. We all have social media platforms we favor. For me (outside of blogging) it’s all about Tweeting. Strangely, when I first ventured into the realm of social media almost ten years ago, I was certain I would detest Twitter. Not so.

Which brings me to this quick overview of the good, the bad, and the ugly. See if you agree.

Two Head Of Lama, Closeup Portrait, White

THE GOOD

Twitter delivers news as it happens, enabling a user to follow a thread as it unfolds in real time. I like that. And not all news is bad news. There’s a lot of silliness out there, too. A few years ago, I remember watching two escaped llamas lead police officers on a merry chase through a downtown city. Tell me THAT wasn’t fun to watch in real time!

There are a lot of connections…

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Often Funny – Author Invented Rules for Writing

Great insight but funny take on what works for other authors.

Story Empire

Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

Hello SEers. John with you today.  I think we all could use a little fun today.

I was doing some research (ahem, make that surfing the net) when I came across an article from the Guardian UK describing several author-provided rules for writing.  I was taken with the list of Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Independence Day. Here is his list:

1 Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea.

2 Don’t have children.

3 Don’t read your reviews.

4 Don’t write reviews. (Your judgment’s always tainted.)

5 Don’t have arguments with your spouse in the morning or late at night.

6 Don’t drink and write at the same time.

7 Don’t write letters to the editor. (No one cares.)

8 Don’t wish ill on your colleagues.

9 Try to think of others’ good luck as encouragement…

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