Progress

Received my upcoming book, The Smoke Eater, from a Beta Reader.

The Good News

Looks like I have a greenlight to proceed with additional edits. The comments weren’t as bad as I thought. Actually, I have a renewed sense of accomplishment with my project and I’m feeling confident that my readers are going to like ti.

Nearing the Finish Line

I hope to get my book to market sometime after Halloween. Stay tuned.

Remembering 9/11

9/11 has affected everyone in the world. The biggest impact it had on me was
insight into our world.

When I was working the UAE I showed up on site one day and was kindly welcomed
as a new employee. This was in 2005 and my first overseas job in Oil and Gas.
The HR lead, an older Arab gentlemen, (great guy too), profusely apologized to
me for five minutes on how horrible 9/11 was.

This made me really uncomfortable, but others over there shared the
sentiment. I went to the Middle East thinking that there might be a grudge between my race
and theirs. What I found was a sense that so many people who were foreign to me
wanted unity.

Check out this link here for an excellent post on the Killzone Blog today by
Steve Hooley.

https://killzoneblog.com

Imply or Infer?

While at work one day I overheard my boss on the phone asking “Is that what she’s inferring?” I knew she meant implying, but I didn’t want to embarrass her by correcting her.

So, in order to save you any potential embarrassment, here’s the difference:

To imply is to hint at something – “He implied that he had his doubts.” (Past tense: implied)

To infer is to make a conclusion – “From what was written, I was able to infer that it was more political than it seemed.” (Past tense: inferred)

An easy way to remember these is the speaker (or writer) implies; the listener (or reader) infers.

Try not to mix these up as that can really make the narrative stumble.

(Want more? Contact me as outlined below.)

ChristineGuest blogger

http://www.bespokewriterchristine.com

bespokewriterchristine@gmail.com

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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The English language is doomed! Doomed, I tell ya!

So this week I gathered some writing samples from the internet to showcase how far some writers (and speakers) have fallen. I know I shouldn’t read that stuff, but the collapse of the English language is fascinating; aggravating and infuriating, but fascinating.

Here we go:

1. “Manitoba’s Highway 75 is part of Canada’s National Highway System and a network of highways that connect cities in central areas of North America. A.k.a., it’s a major highway and a major nuisance when it closes on rare occasions.” (Randi Mann the weather network)

Problem: a.k.a. stands for ‘also known as’. In the previous statement, aka is meaningless.

I don’t know who wrote these next two gems, but they get included.

2. “… we laughed, we cried, we were kind of sometimes scared.”

Problem: What does that mean? “Kind of sometimes scared”? HUH?? There’s no need for these two modifiers; one or the other will do.

And, last but not least:

3. “… the perfect encapsulation of every politician’s wet dream.”

Problem: Unnecessarily crude. You can make your point without that.

Yes, I’m picky. Yes, this stuff annoys me. And yes, I will share it with you when warranted.

Then again, maybe it’s not doomed. Maybe I can fix it. Maybe this type of post will help. Maybe.

(Want more? Contact me as outlined below.)

ChristineGuest blogger

http://www.bespokewriterchristine.com

bespokewriterchristine@gmail.com

Pedant or smarty-pants?

When does a smarty-pants become a pedant?

I was in a washroom at a gas station today (I don’t recommend it) and saw a paper sign over the mirror that read:

“We’re on septic. Please take consideration into how much paper you flush.”

Well, I couldn’t stand it, so I got out my pen and corrected it. I circled the word “into” and drew an arrow from where it was to where it should have been, which is between “take” and “consideration”.

My honest motivation was to improve the sign.

So, what do you think? Am I too pedantic and should I bite my tongue (or in this case, my pen) and mind my own business?

If you saw that would you laugh, argue, not get it, or be annoyed? No, I really want to know your reaction.

One more question: would you have done something similar?

ChristineGuest blogger

http://www.bespokewriterchristine.com

bespokewriterchristine@gmail.com

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,

How to Properly Format Your Manuscript

Getting ready to send your book to the publisher? Great, but DO THIS FIRST!

Whether you start formatting from the first word or when you’re done writing, the rules are the same.

When you format is up to you; How you format matters much more.

These standard formatting practices and common submission guidelines apply to fiction and non-fiction so follow them closely.

1. Font: Your font should generally be Times New Roman 12 point; that is the industry standard. There are some agents and editors who prefer different serif or sans serif fonts like Arial or Courier New, but your safest bet is Times New Roman 12 point.

2. Margins: Your pages should have a one-inch margins on all sides (top, bottom, left, and right). These should be the default margins in MS Word and other word processors. If not, set them manually.

3. Indentations: The first line of a new paragraph, should be indented half an inch. For most word processors, you can do this by hitting the tab key once. Do not hit the space bar five times.

4. Line spacing: The entire manuscript should be double spaced. Set that early so you don’t forget. Double-spacing your lines makes the manuscript easier to read and mark up. Do not add an extra space between paragraphs.

5. Alignment: Use left align. Do not justify or y o u w i l l g e t t h i s, and that looks silly.

6. Page numbers: Page numbers are sequential and begin on the first new page after the title page. Pages in the front matter, such as the table of contents, copyright page, or ISBN info are numbered with Roman numerals.

7. Scene breaks: For scene breaks, add a blank line with a hash mark or three asterisks in the center to indicate a new scene.

8. Italics: In the past, writers used to underline words that they intended to italicize. Nowadays, writers simply use italics.

9. Sentence separation: Use one space between sentences after a period. Though many writers still hit the space bar twice to put two spaces between sentences, this is no longer accepted practice.

10. Ending: To indicate the end of your manuscript, write the word “END” and center it after the last line.

11. Page size: You should use the standard page size of 8.5 by 11 inches.

Whew! That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? However, it’s necessary and you’ll be so glad you did it!

I hope you enjoyed this post and tune in again soon for more great, useful stuff!

ChristineGuest blogger and editor

http://www.bespokewriterchristine.com

bespokewriterchristine@gmail.com