Books for Kids

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A great tip

Check out this tip I found on Facebook from a fellow indie author: (thanks Rick)

'Hi peeps, I would like to mention that whenever you go to a page on Amazon to check out a mentioned book PLEASE remember to click the like button. This helps the author get recognition from Amazon and with 50 likes they will spotlight your book.'

So, even if you can't afford to buy the books right now; you can still hit the little like button and help an Indie friend. Get clicking folks we need all the help we can get. I'm off to let my finger do the walking on some great books.
Carol x

Monday, February 20, 2012

Perfect Prose

Have you ever noticed how some authors can leave you breathless with their elegant descriptive sentences? A good author will give us perfect ‘show not tell’ prose, leaving us in no doubt as to what they are trying to convey. So, I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you today.

From: By the Light Of The Moon by Dean Koontz
Rather than being combed by a single wind, the night was plaited with many breezes, each with an individual quality of whispery speech and a unique scent.

From: Fear Nothing also by Dean Koontz
The pine needles stitched and elaborate dark embroidery on a wondrous purple-blue, late-afternoon sky bright with mystery...

From: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I sat like a Turk; and, having drawn the red moreen curtain nearly closed, I was shrined in double retirement.

From: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peeping slyly down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall, became invisible, and struck the hour and quarters in the clouds, with tremulous vibrations afterwards; as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there.

Anyone else got favourites?
Carol x

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review of Windswept by Yezall Strongheart

Just read Windswept, a new book by Yezall Strongheart.

This is a wonderful fantasy story set in a far away world, if you think romantic Arabian Nights and a young girl coming of age then you'll get the picture. Throw in some magic and you have the essence of a rollicking good tale.

The main character Zylena has been told she has a gift, but she doesn't realise just how complicated this will make her life. Swept from all she knows and loves by fate; she is selected by Kaneck another with the same gift. Not sure what to expect, she is told she can go with him to his home in the city of Tivolty. 

 Zylena knows her father returned to that very same place and her mother, Theola, decided to stay behind in her village. Determined to find the father she has never known she agrees to go with Kaneck. Once in the big city, her life takes many twists and turns. Which kepted this reader's attention.

We don't get much  up front information on this world or it's inhabitants, which is fine by me.  I like the way Ms Strongheart weaves this into the story line as it progresses, I hate info dumps at the beginning of a book. The story line is well put together and characters are finely drawn.
All in all a good read with the added bonus of escape from reality. I highly recommend buying.  You can find the book here Windswept by Yezall Strongheart

Happy reading folks.

Carol x

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flash Fiction

Today I want to talk about Flash Fiction.

Why flash fiction? Well, take a look at all the writing sites and competitions on-line. The world is reading flash. In this busy life, many people only have time for short stuff and the traditional publisher has yet to catch on. We are told by publisher, no one buys flash fiction or short story collections, which I think is blatantly untrue. Just check out Amazon if you don’t believe me. They just can’t think outside the box.

Flash fiction has one main advantage over the long-established novel. It’s a fast read when time is at a premium and today’s readers understand the value of a satisfying read they don’t have to put down between never-ending tasks.

So, what constitutes a good flash story then? Like all stories flash has a beginning, middle and an end. Most flash stories are between 500 & 1000 words long, while that is not set in stone, for competition purposes; there is usually an upper word limit. I also think getting from the beginning to the end without giving the plot away until the last sentence is paramount in a good piece of flash.

The first lesson in writing good flash is to make sure you cut all unnecessary words from every sentence you write. If the sentence is still understandable you’ve probably done a good job. Next you need to read the story through and ask yourself does every sentence move the story forward; most writers already do this when editing a novel. However, it needs to be tougher with flash.

For instance if I write: The cat sat in the corner of the room on the mat. It’s an ok sentence, but for flash we need to think about word count; so I cut the extra words: The cat sat on the mat. Ok, I know it’s not a very good example but if your reader doesn’t need to know where the cat sat to move the story forward; why bother telling them, this is flash and you mustn’t ramble.

I read so many short stories where the writer pads the story with unnecessary words I sometimes give up reading the darn thing. Is it ok to pad out a novel, I don’t think so because I always skip over the long rambling bits to get to what’s going to happen next. A good novel should keep you reading not bore you with long unnecessary descriptions if it doesn’t move the story forward. Have you read ‘War & Peace’ lately?

Another habit some writers have is to tell us how the character is feeling then go on to reinforce it with showing us. Why tell us when they’re showing us, do they think we won’t get it unless they spell it out twice.

Take this sentence for example: Jane was so angry she slammed the door and kicked the cat. The writer doesn’t need to tell us Jane is angry they show us by her actions: Jane slammed the door and kicked the cat. Ok another lame example but I’m sure you guys get my meaning.

The next time you write a chapter of your blockbuster novel, remember, think flash it might help and it sure can’t hurt.

I’d love to hear what others think on this topic, feel free to shoot me down if you don’t agree.