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Messages - Darin_Calhoun

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Writers' Cafe / Re: OFFICIAL Thousand Words a Day Club
« on: October 29, 2012, 05:46:52 am »
Thanks Ajal and Cora I'm up at 5am hoping I can make a really big dent today. Time to put on the headphones and zone out. Happy writing everyone! :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Been a while since I've formatted
« on: October 27, 2012, 10:19:40 pm »
I do not look forward to when I have to format my book.  :-\

Writers' Cafe / Re: OFFICIAL Thousand Words a Day Club
« on: October 27, 2012, 10:16:45 pm »
Hello, I'm in the middle of a big push to finish my current WIP and I can use the encouragement. I did 1480 words today hopefully tomorrow is better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Weapons in Your Sci Fi Novel
« on: October 23, 2012, 02:07:51 pm »
I use both Kinetic and Energy weapons. With Kinetic weapons I would make them smarter allowing them to be guided via cybernetic or psychic link. Another option with Kinetic weapons is a biotech weapon that allows a weapon to grow/use specialized ammo from a organic ammo jell.

Energy weapons such as lasers can slice and dice from range but reflective and ceramic armor would negate it, however such armor would be vulnerable to clubs and puncturing weapons such as spears, arrows, and knives. So a high-tech army would be fine against another similarly high-tech army but a low-tech primate-strength natives would devastate them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I can haz romance writing advice?
« on: October 05, 2012, 07:50:27 am »
All the books that are mentioned are perfect, and I don't have anything to add to that list. As a male romance writer, I've had a steep learning curve. (Men tend to be emotionally handicapped.) My wife asked me to write Romance because it is her favorite genre and I gave it a go, and immediately failed. (There's nothing worse than the women in your writing group telling you, you're doing it wrong.) The reason is I was not well read in the genre, so I found some books that looked interesting and was pleasantly surprised and I've been a rabid fan ever since. The first thing you will find out is that there is no secret formula and if you create one, don't use it. Your writing needs to be organic and grow according to what the characters demand. If you write with a formula your story will be predictable, with flat characters, and a story lacking convincing emotions. This is key because you need a build up of convincing emotions and rising sensations to bring the reader fulfillment at the story's climax. Speaking of which, every romance novel doesn't have to have sex, it is about relationships, making emotional connections, and not the physical acts. Be true to the characters, if it is a sweet romance then a kiss is the high point of the story, if it is a blazing hot romance believe it or not the first kiss is still important, as is the foreplay (sensual and emotional escalation), more so that the 50 Shades of Grey activity your mind may come up with.

Here are a few guidelines that I use when writing:

    Rule 1- "There must be a happily ever after." -Romance Writers of America

    Rule 2- "Readers will care if there's a happy ending only if they like and respect the characters." -Margaret Brownley

    Rule 3- "Likeable characters are honorable characters; they may not always do what's right, but they try." -Margaret Brownley

    Rule 4- "The hero must not have feelings for any woman other than the heroine." -Lee Souleles

    Rule 5- "A hero must be heroic at all times. If a hero is with another woman, other than the heroine, it has to be for heroic reasons." -Margaret Brownley

    Rule 6- "The hero must not stalk, assault, or rape the heroine." -My Wife.

Again these are my guidelines, I'm sure others will have different opinions about them but they have helped me. After a year and a half I think I've finally have my first book down and I will start the editing. This is the most important part of the process. Hire a professional editor. As an independent author I feel I have more to prove to new readers than a traditionally published author would have. As a small business owner (that being an author is) you need to spend money to earn money. Invest in editing and a good cover and you will not regret it.

Well that's my two cents. Good luck and I look forward to joining you in the ranks of "new romance authors".

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kirkus Article on Mistakes Indies Make
« on: October 03, 2012, 08:52:26 am »
A good article, thanks for sharing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover critique
« on: September 26, 2012, 07:32:56 am »
Looks great, but I do agree with the tweak to the title.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover feedback requested *cover in progress*
« on: July 30, 2012, 02:15:34 pm »
Looks great! :)

Congratulations!  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: New zombie cover
« on: April 27, 2012, 05:57:33 am »
It looks good. However the title did catch me off guard. When I think Safari, I think of a jungle, but the cover its self does the job of conveying genre and story.

My characters always develop a life of their own. During the rough draft I let them do-what-they-do, but on the edits I whip them into line or erase them (killing my darlings.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Free is over -- but here's the Next Big Thing.
« on: April 27, 2012, 05:46:30 am »
Brilliant, I'm stealing this idea for my marketing campaign!

I'll check out everyone's wonderful suggestions. I'm planning to put the free preview on Amazon, so after getting some feedback. Hopefully you guys can check it out.

You are very brave. Just realize putting something on Amazon can be rather an intense experience, of both highs and lows. Good luck.

If you want free editing advice, a reading group, and friends and family who are collage professionals that are willing to be Beta readers are your best bet. I'm assuming that you are new to writing, if you're not then I apologize, but If are new, become familiar with The Elements of Style by Strunk and white, and The Chicago Manual of Style. I think you can find The Elements of Style free online, but The Chicago Manual of style is an invaluable investment.

Most, professional editors don't work for free. They may give you a sample of their service on your first few pages or chapter, but they have bills to pay and children to feed, and editing books is how they do it. I would suggest you save up some money and look for someone who you click with. After all, it is an investment in your success.

Nice, but I don't know what kind of book it's suppose to be.

A great post, thanks for sharing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author Marketing App
« on: April 23, 2012, 06:04:14 am »
A very nice app, thanks for sharing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Something fun and strange: How would you...
« on: April 23, 2012, 05:42:47 am »
The goat is drawn to a clumsy but beautiful girl that comes from Arizona. He is drawn to her scent and can't help himself. He risks exposing the truth about himself and his family secretly co-existing with humans. (Of course this plot line may have been done before. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Much Time Do You Put Into Research?
« on: April 21, 2012, 11:38:08 am »
I only do as much as is needed to tell a convincing story. Otherwise, I would spend all my time researching and none writing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Heck with it, here's our cover idea
« on: April 20, 2012, 07:27:10 am »
Great cover, but if I was browsing book covers I'd think graphic novel, instead of novel.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Widespread Is Your Self-Promotion
« on: April 19, 2012, 02:29:08 pm »
I don't self promote. I talk to my friends, that also love books, on social media.  ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Writers at war.
« on: April 19, 2012, 10:17:35 am »
Change is always volatile.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you systematically improve your craft?
« on: April 19, 2012, 10:14:47 am »
I found John Gardner's book, The Art of Fiction, very helpful for refining my craft.

LOL, brilliant! I'm sure he'll love it.

Using stock photos, I just assume that there will be others using the same picture, and hope I can put my own spin on it.

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