Amazon Kindle, Character building, Encouragement, show don't tell, Writing, writing tips

Three Ways To Skyrocket Blah #Writing To Amazing

"Life in the Wall" project, by M. Ali, photo by Tim Green, flickr.com
“Life in the Wall” project, by M. Ali, photo by Tim Green, flickr.com

 

Last night I read my short story to an audience of 80+. My son, brother, and some friends came out to hear me read and accept my award, which made me a little nervous but their presence meant a lot to me. The positive comments afterward helped lift me up from the weariness I and other writers often experience since we usually work in isolation.

Most writers want to write AMAZING prose. Words so delicious that readers can’t wait to scoop up every tasty morsel and flip the page for more.

We want readers to feel emotion when we compose our sentences, to get goosebumps and shivers of excitement. We want readers to be inside the story. We want them to see what we see, hear what we hear, and be right where we are in our head.

Writers want to take the reader into the ghostly forest, a medieval castle, far-flung flung planet, or inside a prison.

So how do you amp up your writing?

  1. Describe what the characters experience without telling them the emotion, i.e. fright, sadness. Describe the sensory details. Use the five senses: Sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. There are really six, but more about that one later.

    Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

 

This is my stack of books on writing. The ones by Stephen King, Ann Lamott, and Natalie Goldberg are hiding somewhere:

books on writing, books on revision
My Books on the Craft of Writing-www.alvaradofrazier.com

 

All of these are great books for the mechanics of writing but my go to book isn’t in that stack. It’s on my Kindle.

book on writing craft, emotions thesaurus, writers companion on character expression
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

This book describes the sixth sense: Emotions. There are 75 emotions described by the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. I also have the companion e-book called Emotional Amplifiers. (The latter book is free). 

2. Create compelling characters who have strengths and weaknesses, who are unique in their own way, and who have qualities worth rooting for or caring about. Show some physical characteristics, some language quirk and some personality. Give the reader a character worth remembering.

3. Create the mood by describing the setting. Again, the reader needs to be immersed in the story by visualizing the scene.

Here are some helpful tips on how to incorporate sensory details in your writing:

Creating sensory details in fiction
Tips for Creating Sensory Details

 

And here’s some handy tips for creating the mood of your scenes.

Tips on creating mood in stories
Tips on How to Describe and Create a Mood in Fiction Writing

 

These books, The Setting Thesaurus, aren’t out yet, but I’m watching Writers Helping Writers website for the launch date, which right now is June 13, 2016. I’m excited and marked my calendar for their arrival.

I’ve pinned these charts to my “Writing Tips-Fiction” on my Pinterest boards for future reference. You might want to do the same.

 

 

Amazon Kindle, Books, Family, Inspiration, life lessons, Strong Women, Writing

Strong Women Grow Here-Free Excerpt

 

Strong Women Grow Here-Free excerpt on amazon.com-alvaradofrazier.com
Strong Women Grow Here-Free excerpt on amazon.com-alvaradofrazier.com*

Have you ever felt like you’ve been down for so long it’s hard to take that next step.

I know most of us have had those times. So it’s the little things that keep a smile on the face, and the eyes looking forward.

And sometimes, just sometimes, something comes along that puts the pep back in that step. Something BIG.  I’ve been doubly blessed, I have two BIG things:

My brother is now recuperating fairly well after a tortuously long operation and three week hospital stay. Care taking has been a little difficult for the past month, but it’s worth seeing the tiny progress each day.  I can’t go into detail, he’d been very cross with me, even though he doesn’t read blogs.

The other bright news is that Amazon announced their Quarterfinalists in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) 2014. 

Amazon capped the entries at 10,000 for five genres. In March , they whittled the entries down to 2,000. On April 14 they pared the submissions to 500 novels.

My heart thumped like a snare drum gearing up for the big game when I found out I made it to this round.  

From now until May 23, 2014, Publishers Weekly reviews each Quarter-Finalists’ full manuscript and scores it on prose, plot, hook, etc.

Amazon customers can download the 17 page excerpt to their Kindle, or  download a free Kindle reading app for IPhone, IPad, Mac, or Android.

When you click on the banner above, it will take you to my novel page, (that’s so exciting to say!)  and you will see an image on the right hand side that looks like this:

Look for this image to download a free Kindle reading application
Look for this image to download  app

Any customer (sign up is free) can download, rate, and review excerpts and/or provide feedback to Amazon Publishing Editors about submission.

You can read the reviews for Strong Women Grow Here and a two page excerpt here.

Customer reviews are important to me and I’d love to read any constructive feedback you have on the excerpt.

Semi-Finalists are announced on or about May 23, 2014.

Those lucky enough to be a finalist receive a publishing contract and a cash advance.

Amazon then creates a poll asking customers to vote for their favorite of the finalist’s excerpt. The one with the most votes wins a larger advance and Grand Prize.

What an adventure! Thanks for reading and I do hope you will take a few seconds to read the excerpt on my YA novel, Strong Women Grow Here.

 

*The image of the woman’s hands in chains comes from an art exhibit and was untitled. The artist name is Kelley Connelly.

 


Amazon best sellers, Amazon Kindle, Books, E-books, fiction, GoodReads., Indie bookstores, Non-fiction, Summer reads for adults, Summer reads for children

Seven Ways to Build an Inexpensive Summer Reads list


                                                                   “Summertime and the living is easy…” 

Remember that 1935 Gershwin song from Porgy and Bess. Well the living may be easy but if you are a book lover summertime may be expensive. The prices for most traditionally published print books have climbed. E-books and the costs for download compared to print version is almost the same.

Amazon announced its ten best books of 2012 (as far as chosen by its book editors) and all ten on the list were from big-six publishers who set their own prices for the e-books. None was self-published.

Random House published most of the books and all are priced at $10.99 or above for the Kindle edition, a price underscored on the Amazon sell page that was “set by the publisher.” The prices range from $10.99 to $19.99. The average price on the list is $13.79. For many of the books on the list, the Kindle price is ranges from .99¢ to $6 cheaper than the print price.

If you’re like most booklovers, you will read 24+ books a year. More than that if you are an E-Book reader.

The average American reader comes in at 3-5 books annually. Pew Research found that the majority of print readers (54%) and readers of e-books (61%) prefer to purchase their own copies of these books. Bottom line:

                            Ave. price of book (13.79) x 24 books = $330.96 per year

                   Let’s break it down per quarter. Six books purchased for summer reads: 13.79 x 6= $82.74


I’m pinching pennies for a while (I have a huge trip of a lifetime coming up soon) so reading has to come cheaper for the next year.

Here are 7 ways to get some good inexpensive reads this summer:
  •  Only Indie every new book starts at $0. The first 15 downloads are free and every download after that is a penny more, up to a maximum of $7.98, a number chosen by the site’s founders in response to what they see as too-high e-book prices at other retailers. If a book isn’t downloaded for 24 hours, its price begins to slowly drop per an algorithm designed to take 100 days to bring the price back to $0.
  • Shakespeare series for students and general readers alike. 
  • e-Libro announced more than 48,000 Spanish-language e-books are available on millions of smart phones, tablets, and other devices using ebrary’s dedicated iOS and Android™ apps with Spanish language interfaces. They digitize more than 800 titles every month. 
  • Amazon’s Kindle Top 100-Best Sellers. There are loads of e-books under $9. If you haven’t gotten around to reading Hunger Games and trilogy they’re $5. Many more well reviewed (4 star+ with 50+ reviews) e-books at $2.99. OrAmazon’s Top 100 Free e-books.  I found 3 pretty interesting books on the list.
  • Good Reads has a recommendations site that has some great looking books.
  • Free sites  such as E-Book.net. 
  • Used books: Almost every independently owned bookstore has a shelf or more of gently read used books. For not so gently read try the thrift stores.
 I know I did not list going to the library or swapping books with friends (both good choices, but each have their downsides) as these are given ways to reduce costs. 

There may be more sites out there to get quality reads, so if you know any, please contribute your finds to the list. Maybe we can get to “10 Ways…”

Oh wait,  I didn’t list my favorite way to find good inexpensive reads:

Clean out the bookself and re-read a favorite or find the one you missed. 

Happy reading!