Archives for Audience Awareness

Audience Participation

     These days, a writer who allows it will get plenty of feedback from his readers. I encourage it; it helps me to know what I’m doing badly, what I’m doing well, and what I could try that I haven’t yet thought to do. But there are pitfalls to the practice, some of which are less than obvious.      For one thing, people who merely want to piss you off have as much access to you as those interested in an honest exchange. I’ve received a fair amount of such “input.” I hardly need to tell you that I don’t
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Prosodies, Threnodies, And Maladies

The indie-writers movement is a thing of great internal variety. Indeed, the one thing we have in common is that we publish our own crap. However, our offerings do display some differences, statistically at least, from the drivel that Pub World puts out. In particular, Pub World fiction puts more emphasis on style than does indie fiction. Indies tend to emphasize plot and excitement. That cleavage probably derives, at least in part, from the reason we write: the kinds of stories that thrilled us as readers have become rare among Pub World offerings. That’s certainly part of my motive power:
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Are Genre categories stifling your sales?

  WARNING: Do not read unless you have already eaten!   Forget what you ever thought you knew about books. Why? Because YOU don’t decide what you read… Empirical Science does! A sweeping statement, perhaps… or is it? Let’s examine one of the most frustrating problems an author can face in today’s writing paradigm. And before I continue, I should make clear I’m not talking just about Traditional Publishing. Now IMAGINE for a moment you find yourself in a supermarket; we’ve all been there, right. You entered without any clear idea of what you were going to buy; no shopping
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“Indoor” Fiction

Much of what passes among and between human beings happens — drum roll, please — indoors, within a home, an office building, or some other place people have put to a particular use. This is a factor of great significance in a writer’s attempts to imbue his fiction with the virtue called realism. Did that stir up the mud at the bottom of your psychic reservoir, Gentle Reader? Or did it cause a sudden wave of precipitation, such that much that was once cloudy has now become clear? Either way, it’s part of the challenge I face in nearly every
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I think I should warn you about something…

In my last article about Show and Tell (here), I briefly mentioned Foreshadowing. I have been inundated by five emails demanding I explain a little more about this useful writing tool. So here goes… Many eons ago, shortly after the dinosaurs died out, I decided to become a writer. Little did I know what the future held in store for me… That’s foreshadowing for you. What have I just done? I have created tension, expectancy in my readers – yes, I’ve manipulated their emotional response again and pressed the ‘Reader Engagement’ button. Now that’s just one way you can use
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Let’s go to the Movies!

If you are new to this fiction writing business, chances are you will have heard a short phrase repeated frequently and cited as part of the MUST DO rules for authors. Yes, I’m talking about SHOW, DON’T TELL! If you are lucky, you have come across this gem of advice on a writer’s blog where they will have provided a few examples. Sometimes these examples are useful insights into how to put this into practice. On other occasions, however, the extracts only serve to confuse the matter even further because they are usually presented without any detailed explanation.   If
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Going Mainstream

CAUTION: FRUSTRATED RANT HOVERING NEARBY. When you find yourself, as a writer, lamenting about why you’re even writing at all, and entertaining the idea of not writing any more, something has to change.   I’m growing more and more frustrated with, and weary of, the lack of support from Lesbian Readers for what I want to offer them. I am sick to death of their constant praise of bad writing in the LesFic market, and their unwillingness to demand better, and try anything out of their narrow reading interests. It’s painfully clear that most LesFic Readers have literary blinders, and
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Character Building

Novels are often described as being either plot-driven or character-driven. This is something that may confuse the aspiring or new writer. Surely all plot-driven novels have characters, and character-driven novels have plots. Often I feel that this description is applied when the reviewer comes across a character that stands out (so the work is character-driven) or not (plot-driven). I think this is a somewhat short-sighted approach – I’ve yet to meet an author who doesn’t try to make their characters believable. So let’s take a look at why some succeed and others don’t. First off, despite all the effort that
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My 9 Worst Writing Habits

We all have bad habits, yet you can only really change them if you admit to them.  As the author of 1.12 million words in the To Be Sinclair series, with seven books up on Amazon and Smashwords, one coming out June 30th, and 2/3 done with the finale to the series, I’d like to think I’ve isolated my bad habits and am changing them as best I can.  It’s not always easy to do, and sometimes not necessary, but my purpose is to whittle them down so they do not plague me and I can get more writing done.  Some of them may seem
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