Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Does your hero have horse sense?

I'm getting ready for a trip, so I'll make this week's blog short.

Is your guy or hero sensitive to the finer points in life? Does he love dogs? Can he appreciate art or music? I Many know this; t's a fine counterpoint to show a softer side to an alpha hero. Give him more complexity.

I know, I never return to a video and I won't today. But last week's IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BASS drew a lot of attention. So today I'm featuring a horse in sync with the tune. What if you hero valiantly stated that horses or other animals appreciated music and he wanted to find some way of proving it. Until science catches up with this issue, you either believe that animals yearn for or cultivate a richer life or you don't. But what of your characters? Does your alpha hero have horse sense? I've got to run out now and hug a macadamia tree.

It's All About The Bass is rising fast on American Top 40 (presented by Ryan Seacrest on iHeartRadio). It's now #2. It was obvious to me, the first time I heard this song that it would be a hit. Make your story a hit, by getting that same feeling while writing it. And give it a chance by doing everything you can to showcase the beauty of your story.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Alpha heroes love their bodies (or nobody else will).

In order to maintain a body often associated with or seen on covers of alpha heroes, one must be dedicated to good health, healthy food and exercise. Toss in a little vanity and the awareness of sexual attraction and you may have a character you weren’t looking to write. Picture someone who weighs themselves every morning, goes to the gym (is regimented) and counterbalance that against the image of an action hero who is always on the ready. On the one hand, you may have someone who is focused on maintaining health and on the other hand someone who is ready to jump in front of a train to protect the heroine.

Herein lies an excellent opportunity to paint your hero as conflicted. Anything less might end up coming off comic book hero-esk. I'm not saying he has to interrupt saving the heroine to go to the gym, or am I? Do you think the subject of food might come up, if the guy has a six pack and it ain't in the refrigerator?

For today's video I picked a cute and for some infectious song that’s rising in the charts, which is a bit of a counterpoint to my argument, but maybe not. The song basically says, be comfortable with yourself. It pleads the case for a curvy woman. I personally prefer the stick figure girl derided in the song, but to each his own.

Body types. I’m a bit ectomorph with an athletic regiment past and present. I’m not saying necessarily that ectomorphs go for ectomorphs. My wife just discovered after all these years that I have “skinny” legs. She inspired me to compare and notice that her legs are that of a farm girt. Did we screw up? Well she hasn’t thrown me out, and neither will I give her the boot with my skinny legs.

ALL ABOUT THAT BASS by Meghan Trainer, 2014. (Notice the use of colors throughout this video.)

P.s. Cassi Carver was absolutely beautiful in her photo shoot Saturday. That girl needs no touching up, but it will be fun to see how the artist manipulates the shots.

Kudos to Tameri Etherton as well.

Also, I disagree with the song about touching up photos when it comes to professional book covers, because it’s not about the cover, it’s about making the cover a window to the book.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Working writers

I know I write about craft, but hang in there as I get something off my chest.

I've been corresponding with various authors about a new phenomena, 'the little sales boat.' We all think KDP Select or Amazon Prime is the culprit. Amazon, as I said before, won't pay us for anybody who reads 10% or less of your book when they borrow. They also announce a pool of money for each month that they'll give to the authors and what do you think the chances are that the pool of $ is less than the amount we would have made on sales? When someone buys our books, we never know whether they complete it or not and we don't offer them a free rebate, usually. Right?

I'm seriously considering not putting the next book out (Double Happiness should be out in the next month or sooner) into Prime or Select and then compare results with my A MORE PEREFECT UNION.

I need feedback from other authors on their recent experiences with Kindle, so please comment.

CRAFT: It's not the money, it's producing a work of art that one hopes someone will enjoy, hopefully many someones. Artists starve and I suppose if most of us didn't have day jobs, we would be sleeping under a tarp. What, you say, you're still ranting about money. Maybe I'm partially guilty, but there is always a craft solution that can help improve things. If you have a book that is not catching on, don't wait to change the promotional or jacket materials. That's writing too. I have found when I wrote in a flamboyant style for my cover and description of THE WOLVES OF SHWERWOOD FOREST that my sales went up. I knew I had done my job when I received good reviews and other comments.

Working Girl, a 1988 movie is all about ferver for the job, creative thinking and in 1988 especially smashing stereotypes. Here's the trailer:

 I couldn't find one of my favorite scenes in which Melanie Griffith explains to the CEO how she came up with the idea (That saved the day).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tell lies, show the Truth

To compare "show don't tell," to tell lies, show the truth is invalid. Tell lies, show the truth is just another tool in the professional writer's toolbox.

"No, I don't love you. You must leave now."
But her eyesbrows were drawing together and her foot tapped. She felt something for him. "Don't worry, there are guards about but if I make too much noise they'll think it a Nightingale. If I fall, they'll make a fair cushion."
"Please be careful." She leaned over the balcony squeezing the railing.
He bounced up. "So you do love me." He hopped back in her suite and put his arms around her.
"You know I do."
Later in the scene (which includes a kiss) she tells the truth about why he must leave.
[The dialogue comes from my vague memory of a famous scene from the 1938 version of Robin Hood.]

A subcategory of this technique involves the awful "info dump." If you must use an info dump, because the story can not be told any other way that you know, [IMHO, there's always a way] have one of the two in dialogue lie, have the other a body language expert or just plain tuned in notice subtle descepincies. As an example, the woman is a NCS agent and the guy is from the NSA. They have just been assigned to each other and there's a bit of distrust, a bit of lone wolfing, etc. Oh and a bit of chemistry, right?

This week I want to present one of the songs from my new novel A MORE PERFECT UNION. For this story I felt it worked to set the mood for each chapter. I listened to the song and wrote. I recommended to readers who like to listen to music while reading that they consider my suggestions per chapter.

The song for Chapter Seventeen: Ray Charles, Hit the Road, Jack, 1961