Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jefferson Smith: The 5 Most Common Writing Mistakes That Break Reader Immersion

Jefferson Smith has an article out about his study on Reader Immersion. He cites the 5 most common writing mistakes that cause readers to lose focus and stop reading. Actually, in the article, he cites many more reasons that he has found while reading an e-book a day for forty minutes. So far, he's read 50 books and will continue his study so he can make another such analysis after reading 100 books.

The first 5 most common errors are:
  1. Weak mechanics: Spelling, grammar, etc.
  2. Implausible character behaviors: When a character does something contrary to his/her established traits or in violation of basic human nature.
  3. Echoing: When words or sentence structure repeat frequently in a way that calls attention to the pattern.
  4. Illogical world features: Aspects of the world building that do not bear scrutiny.
  5. Conspicuous exposition: Presentation of backstory in inappropriate places, or in dense passages, or for insufficient story reasons.
I must include in this small commentary that Mr. Smith did his study while reading only fantasy and science fiction, which are his primary genres as an author. I found his article to be challenging and as a writer with a book recently finished, I will be examining the entire text for mistakes.

If you want to read Jefferson Smith's entire article, click HERE.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dragon's Fury is Finished!

I'm happy to announce that Dragon's Fury, Book 3, Dragon Stone Trilogy is finally completed and is being edited for the final time. I'm expecting this book to be out the first part of September on Smashwords and Amazon in ebook form.

This particular book was a challenge for me to finish and I had to revise the ending several times. Hopefully, the ending I created will be satisfying to all my readers.

Dragon’s Fury
Darius, the seventh son of the King’s new acolyte, is wanted by the King who has usurped the throne. Escaping arrest, he’s given a dragon stone and a dragon egg to guard. Taking the egg to the desert, where the Zandir place him under their protection, the dragon hatches and becomes a loyal friend and fierce protector. The Great One, Zandir’s voice of the gods, gives them a mission to save the kingdom of Mar and reveals the well-kept secret that there is one left alive of the true King’s line. The Queen of Mar has been in hiding with the Zandir. But the false King refuses to go quietly and is exposed as an evil sorcerer that has been traveling through the timelines, taking what he will. Who will win and who will escape from the growing forces of magic? A mighty battle ensues, with dragon fire breaking the chain of magic and attacking the evil King.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tamora Pierce

For those of you who are not familiar with Tamora Pierce I'd like to introduce you to a staple in young adult literature. Her writings are about the challenges of growing up in different worlds, but can pertain to any young person on the planet. Although I'm not a young person anymore, I've been enjoying her work and find her writing style to be straightforward, magical and heartwarming. She deals with all kinds of situations in her books and doesn't shy away from the difficult areas like death, loss and loneliness.

I've been devouring her books lately and keep finding more in her listing. I've just finished reading Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen, two books about a young lady who gets kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in a land ripe with civil unrest. The books share her growth as a person as she finds herself changing from a wayward girl with no goals into a strong young woman leading the civil rebellion. Woven into this is magic, war and a god who is a trickster. It is excellent reading for any age.

I'm currently reading The Circle of Magic, Tris's Book. This is the second in a set of four: Sandry's Book, Tris's Book, Daja's Book and Briar's Book. It is about four young people from different backgrounds who find themselves thrown together at Winding Circle Temple, only to discover the different magic hidden inside each one. Since I haven't finished the books I'm not sure of the ending yet. One thing I've discovered about Tamora Pierce's writing is that it isn't predictable. There's always a twist or turn to keep the reader surprised and guessing at what comes next. If you like Young Adult literature, I highly recommend Tamora Pierce to you.

Have you read any good books lately? Are there any you want to recommend?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In the Midst of Summer - IWSG

This is the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writers' Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit the website and other members click HERE.

I live in Southern Oregon, a place that usually has fair weather and except for a few days in the summer and winter, I enjoy reasonable weather. That's usually true except for the last few weeks. We've been experiencing a heat wave, with blasting hot heat in the triple digits. In fact, this July has gone on record as the hottest month in the history of Jackson County.

I added this blurb because while I've been sweating it out this summer with the heat, I've also been sweating it out with the last few pages of my novel Dragon's Fury. As the weather starts to cool, I am nearing the end of a story that has lasted through three books.

I want to apologize for not posting here on my blog these last two weeks. I found that as I struggled with my story, I couldn't even write on my blog without whining, so I decided to take a break from senseless writing until I had something to say. So now I'm nearing the end of my book and my thoughts are starting to stir again on something besides dragons and magicians. I have learned that when I tackle a project like a trilogy, the constancy throughout all three stories needs to remain intact. I strayed during my second book but was able to return to the basic story in the final book. This error is a hard lesson but has taught me to plan all three books out first.

I hope that all of you have a wonder August with good weather to add to your enjoyment. Remember, plan ahead. It'll save you a lot of headaches later. :-)