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Messages - Evelyn Alexie

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Planning ahead
« on: December 01, 2017, 02:41:40 PM »
I set goals, but the deadlines aren't set in concrete. So l keep writing something, then I'm not so worried about which project gets done first.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Critique a western book description, please
« on: November 30, 2017, 05:10:59 PM »
Very nicely done!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Critique a western book description, please
« on: November 30, 2017, 09:25:27 AM »
I am sure you've got a good story here, but I found the description vague and rather confusing. I don't really have a feel for the characters or what's at stake for them.

This might be a bit wordy. I'd appreciate comments and suggestions.

==============
Chance Weston and John Hall arrive in a small town in the New Mexico Territory in the fall of 1876, looking for work. A gold rush has sent most of (t)he young men to the north, and a family of toughs and their hired guns have run off many more."Most" means the majority of the young men are gone. so it's confusing that "many more" have also been run off. How can you have more than a majority?

Except for a few stragglers, the elderly, coal miners, cowhands passing through, and the abandoned womenfolk, it would be a ghost town. This is a personal preference, but I have problem with the way this sentence is constructed. "Except for the fact that the sun is shining, it would be dark.." There are five different types of people in town, so it's hard to picture it as deserted. As it is, only the saloons and bordello flourish. Are the elderly and the coal miners drinking with the cowhands? If not, why are these places flourishing if most and many of the men have been run off?

Quiet and resolved do you mean reserved? April, the choir director, and flamboyant and promiscuous May, the blackjack dealer, are as different inside as they are alike in appearance. Chance and John compete over who ought to win the affections of which lovely sister. There are two men and two women and it sounds like the men just want to win one or the other. Why is this a competition? One manís strict adherence to the law and the otherís disregard for his vows have put the two men at odds. This is too vague. I don't know which one is adhering to the law and which one is breaking his vows, I don't know what the vows are, and I don't know why the two are in opposition. It's hard to get involved in the characters when I know so little about them.

In the meantime, What mean time? Are they waiting for the women to make up their minds or are they trying to resolve their unspecified disagreement? they I am assuming this refers to Chance and John not April and May must deal with town bullies, gunslingers, an adulteress Sunday School teacher, lynch mobs, a riderless horse???, and an understaffed and inept town council that bends the law to its own purposed purpose.

If they fail to put aside their differenceswhich are? and perform their dutieswhich are?, good people could be tarred and feathered at best (or) lynched at worst, and the town could be burned to the ground.

4
At the RWA convention last year, there was a kerfuffle re the Goodreads panel. Their whole talk was geared toward traditional publishers, to the point where they hadn't even considered working with indies. They don't care.
I agree, they'd probably have done better to get a lot of authors/publishers paying a little rather than trying to get the big 5 to pay a lot for their best-selling authors.

5
Thank you all -- this was very helpful.

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Writers' Cafe / Don't respond to reviews, got it. But what about emails?
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:45:16 AM »
I got a fan letter! Someone reached out through the Contact page on my website to tell me how much they liked my novel. :o
And I don't know them!  :o :o
And my mother doesn't know them, so she couldn't have guilted them into writing nice things about it!  :o :o :o

I know you're not supposed to respond to reviews, but what about emails?
Do you respond with:
a) Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!
b) Damn it, why didn't you say this on Goodreads so my book's rating will go up?*
c) Wow! Would you like to sign up for my mailing list?


*Okay, that was a joke. I wouldn't say that. Or at least, wouldn't phrase it like that.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: 3 Book Thriller Release Strategy
« on: November 22, 2017, 05:04:05 PM »
Many people don't like things left unresolved. Small plots, yes, but there needs to be some sort of satisfactory conclusion, generally speaking.

This.

I do not like stories that purport to be complete novels and then end on a cliffhanger. If they said "part 1 of the Zygomeister series" then I would be less irked, though also less likely to pick it up if the rest of the story wasn't available. When I read a book, I want it to be a complete story. Minor threads can be left until a follow up story, that's fine. There could be an overarching theme that needs to be resolved after several novels, fair enough. But a novel that lacked a beginning, middle, and end of its own, without having to read anything else, that would annoy me enough to avoid that author in the future.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Night of the Living Shirtless Men
« on: November 21, 2017, 08:28:51 AM »
Can't see how that would fail to be a best seller  ;D

I think I'll just put up a picture of my cat. Shirtless, of course.

9
Am I the only one finding a disconnect between these two responses to readers who were trying to find out how to access this company's promotions?  There are no readers visiting or anything reader related on booksbutterfly.com, but readers need to read everything on the author promotion site booksbutterfly.com to discover the various blogs, apps, etc. so we stop asking question here.  :-\

Be careful not to take any of it too "literally" or you'll be chided.  ;)

Seriously, I find this business model ... murky.

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: do your homework
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:11:32 AM »
If you start off with - you're a scam,
then we point you to terms of service and then terms of service have to be followed to a letter
***
You cannot write - my book missed that means you are a scam
And then expect us to be cordial to you

Actually, I can. And I do. If you're a professional, that is. Even if you're dealing with a client who's the most ill-tempered, unreasonable tantrum-throwing harridan on the planet, I would still expect a basic level of courtesy. Just don't work with them in the future.

I've never worked with you, I have no opinion of you good or ill except what I'm reading from your own comments. And based solely on your comments in this thread, I would not want to do business with you.


11
Writers' Cafe / Re: What to do?
« on: November 14, 2017, 07:44:03 AM »
I would let the story unfold the way it wants to go. Don't try to force it into a box that it doesn't fit. You thought you were writing a mystery but it sounds like your subconscious has other plans. Why not write it out and see if it's any good? You might find out it's better than what you started out to write.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: How do I get reviews?
« on: November 14, 2017, 07:24:31 AM »
I just got my first review!!!!  :o And it wasn't negative!!!!  :o :o :o And help!!!! I can't stop using exclamation points!!!!

I've been targeting FB groups that are specifically created to review books in my genre. I also googled book review blogs. There are people who want to read in your subject.


13
Writers' Cafe / Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:57:43 PM »
I had about a 30% review rate from Goodreads giveaways, though I haven't done one in a few years. I assume from what I've read here and elsewhere that the ratio is worse now.

Hidden Gems ARC Service is good at generating honest reviews.

Thank you, Bill! I will prepare myself :)
I have looked at Hidden Gems. They look like a good service.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:54:21 PM »
You need to read GR guidelines for giveaways, it clearly states they are NOT a vehicle for reviews.

I have read the guidelines, thanks. I am not asking for reviews. I am hoping for them. Two different things, honest :) Some people who are given a book review it. I was wondering what an average would be. Zero is a depressing average, but at least I'm prepared now. Thanks.

In any case, I am hoping (that word again!) that giving away the book will get people to look twice at the blurb and decide they might want to buy it if they didn't win it. As a new author, anything gets people to notice my book is a good thing.

15
Writers' Cafe / Ratio of reviews to book giveaway?
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:19:40 PM »
I'm hosting a Goodreads giveaway in the hopes of gathering a few early reviews on my upcoming debut. Or to put it another way, I am hosting a giveaway and I'm hoping that a few early reviews will be a side effect of the giveaway. The giveaway will at least get a few eyes on the book. Any reviews would be a benefit.
Has anyone tried this? I've heard that the ratio of books given away to reviews actually generated is fairly low... but how low exactly? 1 review for every 5 books given away? 1 in 10? 1 in 100? :'(

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Second Chance Romance Blurb Critique
« on: November 11, 2017, 04:42:57 PM »
Oh my.
The way this version ends, the voice reaches out and grabs you by the throat. Very appropriate for an MMA fighter, I should think. Caveat: I know about as much about MMA as I do about nuclear fission, so I could be wrong. But it definitely gets my attention.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Say hello! I'm new :) Sweet romance author.
« on: November 09, 2017, 08:48:03 AM »
Welcome, Alyssa! Glad to have another sweet romance author here :)
Best of luck with the new release!

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: To pen name or not to pen name.
« on: November 09, 2017, 08:42:18 AM »
It really depends on the genre. If you're writing books for children and also writing Erotica, then you sure as little fishies better use a pen name. Likewise if you're writing Inspirational and write other books under the same name, the Inspirational readers will be disappointed in the "secular" books.
I think those are the two extremes, Inspirational and Erotica. Anything in between might be all right under the same name.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Dude I think made this cover work!
« on: November 08, 2017, 07:22:10 PM »
What's wrong with it? I didn't do anything to the right one...that's how it was in the original. I am sleep deprived so I can fix stuff later, but the actual layout is what I'm concerned with. I'm sure there are some things that need tweaked since I just threw it around to see what it looked like.

It doesn't look like it could possibly be attached to the woman's arm. It looks like it belongs to someone who's off to the right of the frame. If that's how it was in the original, maybe it was intended to actually be someone else's arm?
The rest looks much, much better. To me, both of her arms look odd, but still much better.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: What are things that annoy readers?
« on: November 06, 2017, 06:14:43 PM »
A text composed entirely of Wing Dings would do it for me.  :P

Whew! Then my magnum opus of iambic pentameter elegies written in Comic Sans is safe. I feel much better.  ;D

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: What are things that annoy readers?
« on: November 06, 2017, 12:27:00 PM »
I feel like characters played by Chuck Norris should get a pass on this one.

She has a point.
We don't want to make him angry. >:(

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Writers' Cafe / Re: What Makes a Villain Memorable?
« on: November 03, 2017, 02:35:19 PM »
Over time, his terrible circumstances turned him into the opposite of what he once was. I like his character more than the protagonist.

That's the danger of a really interesting villain. He gets really close to the definition of an anti-hero, a flawed hero. Part of you ends up rooting for him to win, or to be redeemed, or something. It can detract from the emotional payoff when the hero wins the day.

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: Help with blurb - Romance Novel
« on: November 02, 2017, 05:56:31 PM »
Is this disturbed friend going to be a conflict? There needs to be some type of conflict on both sides. What's keeping her from the relationship? What's keeping him from it? Just the secrets? Are they really bad? Here's a weak attempt to spice things up:

All the men in Donna's life turn out to be nothing but bad news. Her relationships end in disaster and even her childhood friend turned into a creepy psychopath. The one thing in common--her. Deciding she's a bad luck charm for men, Donna gives them up once and for all. Except her resolve is sorely tested when she meets her new coworker, Dorian. Handsome and charming, he's got all the ladies swooning, and even has Donna's pulse racing whenever he passes by. But she's not ready to fall for his good looks and dimpled smile, she's been down that road before. Besides, there's something he's hiding. A secret he goes to great lengths to keep hidden. With trust issues on both sides, their potential sparks are more likely to end up in a five alarm fire of the worst kind. Yet Donna can't seem to help herself. Intrigued by the darkness and mystery, she digs deeper. Will she get burned or will Dorian finally reveal the dark secret that might doom them both?

Yes. This is better.

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: What Makes a Villain Memorable?
« on: November 01, 2017, 10:09:35 PM »
In terms of memorable villains, Alan Rickman's portrayal of the villain in Robin Hood comes to mind. He was so bad he was good. He was certainly more memorable than the "hero" i.e. Robin Hood. And not just because he had the more convincing accent.

25
Arrrrgh! La la la la, I see nothing, NOTHing! 8)

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