Vacation Recovery Begins Now.

This past weekend and early part of the week was an impromptu vacation for me. It was the first time in 8 years I had been more than an hour and a half from my home.

I intentionally left my laptop and tablet behind. In their place I had a pad of paper and a pen. My phone was the only electronics I had on me and it was used to take some photos…

Beach Aquarium…and phone my parents upon arrival at the hotel. The hotel was great. I think it could’ve slept 10 adults or 5 of me. A Jacuzzi everywhere you looked on the ground floor around the pools. 6 pools, most of those were heated. Full kitchen. The last hotel at the end of the beach before residential areas, across from a golf course, and a yacht club, made for a very nice, quiet time. All at a very great price.

ResortWith that knowledge now in your hands, you may understand that I am a bit behind on some commitments. Maybe not behind according to agreements, but according to my own personal preference. Blogging will be sparse the coming week until I…

  • Read at least one book for Review. (I have several)
  • Proofread and edit a book for a friend of a friend.
  • Proofread and edit at least three articles for a friends business site.
  • Write a short story for a contest. (I’ve only entered one short story contest before and won it, by luck. Maybe this will happen again.)
  • And there is something else that I am forgetting but that nagging feeling at the back of my skull tells me it’s out there waiting to make its presence known.

I’ll be back in the saddle fully soon. Enjoy the challenges and the entries in the comments of each one. If you haven’t been visiting the short stories for the Friday Fiction challenges you are missing out.

Much Respect,

Ronovan

PS-You know I have a book. You know you can click the image in the side bar to go get it. The reviews have been great. 9 five stars and 2 four stars so far. I’ll take that for any book I write ever.

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Stripping for Fiction.

If you’ve never written Flash Fiction you’re missing out on one of the best tools to achieve what Literary Agents, Editors, and Publishers are looking for, the art of Show Don’t Tell.

How to Write Flash Fiction

A major mistake when writing is to look at word count. We want to write a novel, or at least a novella, but that is where we fall prey to bad writing. I advise you to either turn off the word count on your writing program, or put something over it so you can’t see it. I have mine turned off.

Let the story tell the story until it’s finished. That’s your first draft.

After the first draft is when you begin to cut the fat out and get to the healthy parts of your story. For Flash Fiction, this means your story becomes shorter, tighter. That could mean the same thing for novel length writing as well. There is nothing wrong with writing every single thought you have, every scene you have in your mind during your first draft. You don’t know what might be the best for your final draft.

To write Flash Fiction:

  • Write a scene as you normally would
  • Then strip it down to under 600 words or 300 words, whatever the prompt or your goal is.
  • If you can do this and still convey everything the reader needs to know and feel you have accomplished your mission and saved your Agent/Editor and yourself a lot of work later on.

How do you strip a scene down?

  • Get rid of unneeded adverbs.
    • Adverbs are okay sometimes. However, most of the time they can be done away with.  “The boy casually strolled along the path.” Casually could be okay to use, or you might look at the word strolled and realize it implies a slow pace, a casual pace of walking. Another example might be “The girl abruptly stopped in the street.” The idea is the girl stopped in the street.
    • Very and really are two overused adverbs.
  • Write in an active voice, not passive.
    • An example of an active sentence-The boy shot the ball.
    • The same sentence in passive is-The ball was shot by the boy.
    • Notice you have the noun directing the action instead of the result directing. With the active voice, there are two less words than the passive voice.
    • You can set up your Word program in Microsoft to check for passive voice. To see how, click HERE for
  • Remove unnecessary dialogue tags.
    • If you have a conversation between two people and you have established early on who the people are, you don’t need he said or she said constantly. Keep in mind not to insert the name of the people in conversation early on to establish genders and the like. If you have a long dialogue exchange, I would insert a name in the dialogue or an action including the person’s name to reinforce the order of speakers.
  • Write language not English.
    • When you write conversations, write how people talk. You don’t need to have every person speak properly and according to your spellcheck and grammar check. We don’t all speak that way every moment of our lives, especially with friends.

We think more is better but in reality, it’s what you say and how you say it rather than how much you say that matters. Choose your words wisely. Close your eyes and just begin to type what you see of the scene and then come back and work it.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by Ronovan Hester 2015

Using Proofing To Help Your Fiction Diction & More!

Recently on LitWorldInterviews.Com, my book review, author interview, and writing/publishing advice site consisting of a dozen team members, all with experience and/or passion in the field of writing and publishing, author Jo Robinson, the Self-Publishing Guru of LWI, pointed out a tool so many of us miss out on because we don’t think about it. Moreover, most of us already have it FREE.

The article is titled Understand the Tools of your Trade. In the article, Jo discusses how to use Microsoft Word to check for typos and formatting issues. She also mentions Mac and Scrivener (I have Scrivener and used it for NaNoWriMo.) users need to be certain to look at their tools to ensure they are receiving all the benefits available. You should click the article link above and check it out for images of where to find the Proofing tools in Word as well as all of her tips regarding its use. She is the Self-Publishing Guru for a reason.

I do want to point out one issue with using Proofing tools.

  • You will have the tools say something is an error, but you will know it is NOT a TRUE error.

I know that sounds strange but what the tool does is one of three things:

  1. Use your existing sentence structure to determine certain rights and wrongs
  2. At other times you are writing in an accepted manner that is not accepted in something like a business letter. Writers often write the way people speak, as they should, but you do NOT want your Proofing tools to say that is okay because sometimes you do NOT mean to write that way.
  3. Proofing will use style to determine proper word usage. I may use don’t or it’s, but Word will not like either. I know they are both used properly. However, I do check the use of ‘it’s’ to make certain I am not misspelling the possessive form, which would be its.

In addition to what Jo offers in her article, I want to mention a few more settings I find useful. I have a bad habit. That habit, for now, is using passive sentences. I’m getting over it, but I’ve admitted my problem and sought help for it. Help I’ve had the whole time.

In Word’s Proofing options, a setting checks for Passive Sentences.

Go to:

File-Options-Proofing-Then, in the main body of the text box look for the area titled ‘Writing Style’-Click the drop down box and select ‘Grammar & Style’-Click Settings.

Grammar and Style for Word Image

A new box has now appeared. There are a great number of boxes to check if you wish. For authors, under the ‘Require’ section, the first one you come to, you need to make a decision about the first option, ‘Comma required before last list item’. Do you want the tool to say this is always to be the way, never to be the way, or don’t check for it at all?

For ‘Punctuation required with quotes’, I selected ‘inside’ because of dialogue. If for some reason, you have an exception, when the tool alerts you, then you may ignore it.

For ‘Spaces required between sentences’, I selected ‘1’. When I first started seriously writing on a computer, I typed the way I learned so many years ago, two spaces between sentences. The problem with that is, printing and computers consider fonts and do the proper spacing for you.

The next two sections are ‘Grammar’ and ‘Style’. You make your decisions here as you wish. However, under ‘Style’ you will find the ‘Passive sentences’ option. Agents and Publishers are not fans of passive writing. They want writing that drives the reader forward.

One great thing I like about this, above and beyond the grammar & style features is the Reading Grade Level of the writing option. You may be surprised to discover the most popular fiction out there, even the top authors, are written for grade levels way below one might expect. Read This Surprising Reading level Analysis Will Change the way You Write by Shane Snow ‘The Content Strategist‘. This article made me feel better about what I was accomplishing with my own writing.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015

 

 

Lit World Interview Week In Review Jan 26-30.

Here’s what happened over on Lit World Interviews. Pick an article and read.

Lit World Interviews

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Judas Apocalypse & Can’t Buy Me Love Q&A @DanMcNeil888

FEATURES

Text to Speech: Editing Through Listening PS Bartlett

Authenticity and Honesty as an Indie AuthorJo Robinson

Most Mortals Need a Proofreader by Guest Author Wendy Janes @wendyproof

BOOK REVIEWS

The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell Olga Núñez Miret

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

Patience and Integrity-The Secret to Success

LWI Who we are and what we do.

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

I have an Author Interview with well at least one interview this week one will be out on Monday. Olga has a Feature coming out on Monday, another Feature from Guest Author Wendy Janes coming up Wednesday, and you know we will have something great from Jo Robinson on Thursday. And we have…

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