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Messages - Dennis Chekalov

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Writers' Cafe / Re: What cost should witches have for their magic?
« on: July 16, 2018, 09:05:31 AM »
I was taught that there always had to be a cost, to keep the magic interesting.

It's plain wrong.
You can add such a cost, if you want to.
But always? Has to be? No.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Developmental Editing & Beta Reading
« on: July 05, 2018, 02:53:19 AM »

A new testimonial from my Fiverr client:

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about legal thriller tropes
« on: June 30, 2018, 08:52:21 AM »
Not sure if you can find it, but if you can, watch japanese "Legal High."

Writers' Cafe / Re: name for country
« on: June 24, 2018, 02:48:47 PM »
Sorry, I hope I didn't offend you.

Oh no, of course, not :)

By the way, there are several words in Russian that mean "homeland."
"Rodina" literally means "a place where we were born".
"Otechestvo" and "Otchisna" literally mean "Fatherland" (not "Motherland").
These two words are solemn and poetic, they aren't used in everyday speech.
You can say "otchiy krai" -- "the land of our fathers" (once again, not "mothers").

Writers' Cafe / Re: name for country
« on: June 24, 2018, 09:31:06 AM »
They call it The Motherland. Or Mother Russia.

I'd like to add a bit.

(1) "Mother Russia" sounds too archaic. This name is a part of our history.
Now, today, we don't call our country "Mother Russia."
This name could be used in a historical novel, but not in a book about contemporary Russia.

The "Mother Russia" song:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

(2) About the word "Motherland". Actually we don't use it.

Yes, in Wiki you'll find the article about it:
and many others, but... This translation is misleading.

The Collins Dictionary says:

The motherland is the country in which you or your ancestors were born and to which you still feel emotionally linked, even if you live somewhere else.

So, the motherland is the country. We don't use the word in this meaning.

We say "Rodina Mat" which means "Homeland the Mother."
We don't mean "our country" or "the country of our mothers."
We mean "our Mother."

Homeland the Mother isn't a country, she's a person like Lady Liberty.

This name, however, is too sacred and emotional.
It's not used in everyday speech.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is this true?
« on: June 17, 2018, 03:03:53 AM »
The government will find the way to rip off your money; don't worry about it.

Why not combine the magic with steam?

The best advice possible.

You may find this useful:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

None of them.
You need something like this.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking for a Developmental/Content Editor
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:17:50 AM »
My advice is to research each editor by reading testimonials, finding one who even writes/edits your specific genre, get a sample edit, and check out the details on their website. What services do they provide? Prices? Turnaround time? Experience?

It might take some time, but find someone you're comfortable with and who you feel can best help you enhance your storyline.

This ^^
To save your time, you can contact multiple candidates at once and ask for a free sample, sending them the same text.
So you can compare their services, turnaround, style, etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Which name shall I release it under?
« on: May 08, 2018, 02:53:15 AM »
My instinct is to keep it all under the YA umbrella

This ^^
However, you probably can promote your new series to both groups.
Good luck with your new series!

It's in Eastern Europe, and I wanted a Russian ethnic majority living there,

You can create a fictional country, an ex-USSR republic.
Call it Swetlorus, for example. So you can avoid political issues.

Classic for inspiration:

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Writers' Cafe / Re: Developmental Editing & Beta Reading
« on: April 30, 2018, 04:53:28 AM »

I feel I need to do more research since my story takes place in Ancient Greece. I have a fear of getting something wrong. I've read reviews of other author books where the reader pointed out historical inaccuracy

Feel free to PM me if you have questions about Ancient Greece :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb help-please?
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:39:41 PM »
When a client asks Private Detective Tony Crow

The opening is OK, however, I'd like to know a bit more about Tony Crow before we start.
How old is he? Not-so-young like Scott Shelby from Heavy Rain?

Middle-aged like many Humphrey Bogart's characters? Relatively young like Archie Goodwin?
If you say "an ex-marine," we'll expect action. If you say "a crime analytic", we'll expect less action.
Just a few worlds, and you'll tell us a lot about your book.

to investigate her husband's mysterious death, which the coroner has ruled a suicide

So why is it mysterious?
Suspicious, maybe, but not mysterious so far.

Tony doesn't expect he'll have much luck.

You could make this shorter.

His new client might just be a grieving widow who's trying to justify a feeling of responsibility by not seeing her husband's signs of despair and attempting to stop it. After all, the police did an investigation, and the coroner's findings are clear.

Too long. We got it already. Make this shorter.
Or you could just remove it.

But the deeper Tony digs, uncovering an investment-loan scam,

Tell us a bit more.

interviewing smarmy business associates of the deceased, and dodging shady characters who seem intent on following Tony's every move -- the more he thinks his client's suspicions might be grounded in facts.

A bit too long, a bit vague.
We need more details.

He discovers a connection between several murders and his client's business partner

A bit vague - 2.

which leads him to believe he's about to solve this complicated case,

Probably we don't need it in the blurb.

but things are never exactly what they seem, and he must use every weapon in his arsenal to bring

A bit too generic. Maybe you could rephrase it.

an insane serial killer to justice.

The serial killer appears way too late.
Probably it's the most interesting part of your story.
Tell us about him as soon as possible.

Just my two cents.
Good luck!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Oxford comma
« on: April 12, 2018, 03:11:13 AM »
We don't use the Oxford comma in Russian.

Using the rhino example:

We invited the rhinoceri, Washington and Lincoln.
In Russian, this would mean that we invited four or more guests (several rhinoceri and two dead presidents).

We invited the rhinoceri Washington and Lincoln.
This would mean that we invited two guests.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newby Needs Help
« on: April 10, 2018, 01:19:23 PM »
Is there a particular plotting method you ascribe to?

I believe that a good story is a good story;
any plotting method is good if it works for you.

What would you charge? MS is approx 88k.

You can see my rates and testimonials here:,191207.0.html

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newby Needs Help
« on: April 10, 2018, 12:41:49 PM »
Dennis, based on the sample work I've had done,  it has been impossible to judge plot or structure assessment based on 1000, 3000, or 5000 words.

Well, a free sample isn't about plot evaluation.
A free sample helps you to decide whether the editor is right for you.

Do you do manuscript assessments?

Yes, I do. What do you need exactly?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newby Needs Help
« on: April 10, 2018, 12:08:25 PM »
It's difficult (both for the editor and me) to evaluate with such a small sampling.

Why? Usually one chapter (~1000 words) is more than enough.
You can ask for a a plot/synopsis critique as well.
Or you can use a milestone payment.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newby Needs Help
« on: April 10, 2018, 11:38:08 AM »
Most editors and paid beta readers offer a free sample edit.
You can send the first 1000 words of your manuscript to several editors
and/or paid beta readers, so you could compare prices and services.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Oxford comma
« on: April 07, 2018, 04:40:28 AM »
Why do some people who like [something] get so crazy about it?

It's because they are people.
The subject itself doesn't matter.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Questions about creating a fake Russian name
« on: April 05, 2018, 12:58:12 AM »
Here's a list of the real Soviet militaries who were killed in the WWII:
(It's the web-site of Vladimir City, all militaries listed were from this town).

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