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Messages - R. H. Watson

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1
I think we need one of these things for re-writes, because after all this nano stuff, there's gonna be a boatload of prose desperately in need of cleaning up. Who's with me?  :-\
I realize this doesn't help you this year, but every March National Novel Editing Month (NaNoEdMo) follows up NaNoWriMo.

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: Microsoft Word or Open Office?
« on: July 09, 2011, 01:15:54 pm »
To complicate things a bit, many of the OpenOffice developers have jumped ship and started a fork called LibreOffice since Oracle bought Sun and took over managing the project. Here's an article on the differences between the two suites.
http://www.infoworld.com/d/applications/open-office-dilemma-openofficeorg-vs-libreoffice-716
The bottom line of the article is, if you're an enterprise needing support, stick with OpenOffice, otherwise "it seems likely that LibreOffice will improve more quickly".

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb advice please
« on: July 08, 2011, 03:47:55 pm »
Here's my stab in the dark: Dual's blurb focuses more on the setting than on the main character, when it should be the other way around. You might want to consider telling us how Betty will have to answer these questions. What is the specific dilemma that she faces, or the danger that she finds herself in?

I found reading this article helpful for writing blurbs (though I'm still learning): http://mcquestionablemusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-method-for-writing-book-description.html

Notice how, in the examples, the protagonist and his/her struggles are front and center.
Basically, that's what I was going to say: Maybe change your first sentence to, "[Betty lives] in a world torn by war and poverty." and take it from there.

4
As with most people I meet, I don't think it's necessarily to know the answer to 'why?' for each character, but it is necessary to be convinced that each has a unique answer.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Does anyone know what "ebds" means
« on: July 02, 2011, 12:30:53 pm »
I agree, it's probably a typo for 'ends.'
For fun though, here's the Wikipedia disambiguation page for 'ebd.'

EBD may refer to:
Evidence-based design
Electronic brakeforce distribution, automobile brake technology
Emotional and behavioral disorders, diagnostic term
Emergency Boot Disk, computer operating systems term
Extensor digitorum brevis, a muscle on the upper surface of the foot
Evidence-Based Dentistry, a medical journal published by the Nature Publishing Group

I don't think any of those fit your reader's use.  ;D

6
I like Todd's idea of curated collections. Perhaps you could solicit guest editors from independent reviewers such as Red Adept, Big Al's Books and Pals, Susan's Kindle Sample Reviews, etc.?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Why is my book not selling?
« on: July 01, 2011, 02:57:59 pm »
I sent my information. Thanks, Vicki.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Oxford Comma: Latest 'official' decision
« on: June 30, 2011, 03:16:32 pm »
Oxford and Harvard? I always do what Grammar Girl says.  :)

9
I've since then discovered ROW80, which is signing up folks for Round 3 now through July 4 (and beyond) and I've found that to be a much more helpful tool for me. Using ROW80, I got my first novel published and using it I'm closing in on finishing my next book already.
Craig, thanks for the reminder. I wasn't able to do ROW80, round 2, but I wanted to catch round 3. I just signed up.

10
Thanks Julie,

I had my best sales month so far including my first sales from Amazon UK.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: First person writing/point of view ?
« on: June 21, 2011, 08:25:55 pm »
One type of book that's very commonly in first person is the MG & YA market, likely because youth tend to be rather ego-centric. :)
I'm just finishing the Hunger Games trilogy. They're written in first person present. I thought it worked well for the first book, but by the third the change in the scope of the story is making that POV feel artificial.

12
The only way to ensure they'll end up on the same line is to keep them together, right?  In other words, dot/dot/dot, not dot/space/dot/space/dot.
You can use the non-breaking space character. On a Mac type, option+space.

13
Good question William.

I learned that, for me, dialogue is easy. In fact, whenever I was stuck, the solution was to put two characters together and have them talk their way out of my block. I found that the head critic has a counterpoint: the trickster. It's important to listen to the trickster and write everything it suggests, even if later, I cut or rewrite its most inappropriate ideas. I learned to concentrate on telling a compelling story about interesting people and to pass the production design off to the reader.

Oh, and exposition is evil. ;D

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone purchase a new laptop or netbook recently?
« on: June 11, 2011, 11:33:27 am »
11 inch Macbook Air here.

15
Gladiator Girl received a rave review on Susan's Kindle Samples. She reviews the free samples, not the whole book.
Quote
This sample introduces a wow of a first novel.  The author has created a realistic world with fully fleshed customs, mores, and technology. The story grabs your attention and doesn’t let go.
Her final comment,
Quote
As soon as I finished my first read-through, I hopped back onto Amazon and bought the entire book.  And I will be looking for this author’s future books as well.
Not the first time I've heard that. Got to get cracking on the next book.

16
Gladiator Girl just received two good reviews (my first two reviews)

From BigAl's Books and Pals.
Quote
The world R.H. Watson set his story in is futuristic, with cars that drive on their own, person-to-person communication that put today’s cell phones to shame, and medical practices beyond anything imaginable in our current world. Yet, when reading Gladiator Girl, the foreignness of this world fell away as I focused on the characters, especially the protagonist Lucy.

Despite Lucy’s almost superhuman skills when playing her sport, it is her human frailties and the fight to overcome them that make her likeable. Lucy’s past makes her leery of meaningful relationships. Her temper often threatens to get the best of her. It is these very human struggles that make Lucy’s story so good, and Gladiator Girl a worthwhile read.

From Susan's Kindle Samples.
Quote
This sample introduces a wow of a first novel.  The author has created a realistic world with fully fleshed customs, mores, and technology. The story grabs your attention and doesn’t let go.

17
I just got a 4 star review on BigAl's Books and Pals.
http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2011/06/gladiator-girl-r-h-watson.html
"It is these very human struggles that make Lucy’s story so good, and Gladiator Girl a worthwhile read."

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Request for Comments - Cover
« on: June 01, 2011, 04:17:48 pm »
My vote would be for changing the font for your name and the tagline. Experiment a bit. Also, with the current font, I read "divine" in the tagline as "Vivian" first go-round. Maybe I need glasses. Actually, I think I do need glasses.
Making the "d" in "Divine" lowercase should fix this. Otherwise, I like the cover.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Writing on a train
« on: May 27, 2011, 10:58:29 am »
I've always gotten my best idea while riding on a train. I think it's a combination of the steady rhythms, and the view. Everything, cities, factories, homes are all oriented to present their best faces to the street. On a train, you see the backyards of the country and what's been hidden or thrown out back there.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Creepy but True
« on: May 26, 2011, 10:21:19 am »
This could be the first in a whole new sub-genre of flash fiction. 666 fiction.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Look Inside for Kindle - now with KDP Reply
« on: May 26, 2011, 06:59:46 am »
When this feature was activated on my books the other day, the formatting was all wonky. Nothing like it actually looks on the Kindle. Weird.

I was concerned about that, but it looks like all Kindle books get the same wonky formatting.

22
The Book Corner / Re: You call that an ending?
« on: May 26, 2011, 06:03:39 am »
It's not in print anymore, but the novelization of Logan's Run ended poorly.

No spoilers here... Just one of those rare occasions when the movie was much better than the book.

(Yes, it does happen)

Do you mean a novelization of the movie, or the novel the movie was based on? I never read it so I have no opinion; just not clear on which one you mean.

23
 Julie,

This is a great idea. I just dropped the price to 99 cents. I assume it will take a day or two for the price change to show up.

Gladiator Girl
ASIN: B004EEOM8E
science fiction

I'll promote your sale on my blog, twitter, and facebook.

Thanks.

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: Writing something based on a movie
« on: May 24, 2011, 09:23:55 pm »
I wrote a short blog on this topic. It's main purpose was to deliver this quote.

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”
–Jim Jarmusch

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Writers' Cafe / Re: What app do you use to write?
« on: May 22, 2011, 10:36:19 am »
I use Mac Scrivener, Dropbox, and a notebook (the paper and pen type) that I carry in my back pocket.

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