My Blog Sucks and I’m Kinda Clueless

Indie Plot Twisters, please welcome Dan Alatorre to the blog today. Do you have a blog? Is it not going as well as you’d hoped? I’m sure we’ve all been there! Dan’s got some great advice to get more traffic and interaction, and for an all-around more successful blogging experience. So sit back, enjoy, and please help Carrie and me make our guest feel welcome.

2015-12-07 My Blog Sucks and Im Kinda Clueless

– – –

Dear Dan,

My blog sucks and I’m kinda clueless about what to do with it…”

Okay, nobody said that… directly.

Indirectly, LOTS of you have.

Here’s some mistakes I see in unsuccessful blogs. They have no followers and they have no/few comments. That indicates that they don’t write interesting content OR they don’t know how to attract people to their blog.

Been there.

My blog had very few followers for about two years. Now, we add new followers to the blog every day.

I can guarantee these bloggers don’t track their stats. They don’t know what works and what doesn’t. (FYI, I achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies, so I tend to analyze stuff.)

I’m not saying I’ve mastered these things, I’m saying I may be a step or two higher on the ladder than you are, and it looks like a mountain from there but from here it looks easy-peasy.

Okay, okay! Enough preamble! What do we do? Sorry. I’m a writer. I get wordy.

Social Media, Kinda

2015-05-13 laptopWhen you looked at Twitter and asked how to get more followers, Twitterites said to find people with the same interests as you and follow them. That same theory applies to blogs. In fact, just about every rule of social media applies to blogs.

If somebody follows your blog, follow their blog – within reason. Puppies? Cool. Photography? Sure. Whips and chains? Um, I’ll probably have a peek but I’m not going to be a regular visitor or comment much because…

Comments = GOOD

Comment on their sites and click “like” when they post stuff you like! Duh, right? It’s the Golden Rule. What do you wish people did on your blog? Read it, like the post, make a comment. Then do that for them!

It takes about three minutes to read and like a typical blog post. That means you could read and like about 10 blogs in about 30 minutes. Now, whether you have that kind of time once a month or every day, that’s up to you. My advice? Do it every evening after dinner for two weeks and see the results. You’ll be happy.

How to comment

When you comment, make it a worthwhile  comment. Each lengthy comment I made on YOUR blog is in fact – ready? – an audition for MY blog to YOUR readers! If your readers saw my comment, maybe they liked it enough to click over to my site and read some more of my stuff there, and as a result, follow my blog.

No spamming!

Here are the rules for that. The comment should be an added value to the readers of that blog, not a spam for your own blog. Don’t say “I’m awesome and here’s my link.” Instead, if they are talking about something funny, ADD to the humor with a funny, relevant anecdote of your own that their readers will enjoy. That way, the blog owner gets a benefit from your comment. Golden Rule, right? You don’t want spammers; don’t be one. It’s not necessary because…

Network!

2015-10-14 Two Women Friends in Coffee Shop CafeAnd network through your network. For example, I mostly follow and comment on WordPress blogs. Anyone there can follow me with a single click when I make an interesting comment. It doesn’t get any easier than that, and while I have nothing against other blog platforms, if I have to jump through a bunch of hoops to subscribe to you, odds are I’m not gonna do it.

Occasionally check your stats and see how you’re doing. That means see what works and do more of it. Post on big days for blog traffic, largely Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, depending on what you’re posting about, and…

Talk about your blog – the right way

Write an amazing blog post, then tweet about it. Wait, I have NO blog readers AND I have NO Twitter followers. Like I said, follow people with similar interests and make interesting contributions to the conversation and soon enough you’ll have both. Amplify that by posting your blog onto Facebook and by sending out a popular Instagram link with a cute picture of your dog or something.

Since I scan my Twitter stats, I take the day’s popular tweet and send it to Instagram, using the same hashtags. That takes less than a minute. You have a minute, trust me.

Occasionally I’ll post a pic of my kid or an amazing sunset, cos I do interesting stuff – and so do you! Readers and followers want to get to know you. Have fun. Act like friends. Yes, on your blog. Why? Because…

Comments Matter! More = Better

A “Great post, thanks for sharing” comment on somebody’s blog is nice. It helps – a little. But some witty banter goes a long way. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Let the OTHER people have the spotlight on your stage. That’s positive encouragement, and people love it. You’ll want to…

Say Thank You!

Each commenter gets rewarded by you for playing “Reply”! Most readers don’t comment. They’re intimidated. When they do, reward them for it. Thank them. Add on to their line of thought. Once they do it a first time, they are much more likely to do it again, and that means…

MORE COMMENTS = more popular, more attention, more everything.

People want to do what other people do. If you have ten comments, they’re less intimidated. Walk before you run or you will get overwhelmed quickly. Take on one new thing every two weeks until you’re comfortable with it.

Be generous

2015-04-01 Laptop (640x427)So you FOR SURE want to post on your other author friend’s blog posts when they come out – Golden Rule. Don’t be afraid to ask them/remind them/beg them to post on yours.

Yeah, it’s a lot, but ya gotta start somewhere. One last tip: ASK a question that encourages readers to make a comment.

What do YOU do to increase your blog traffic and avoid the abyss?

About the Author

Dan AlatorreBest-Selling author and humorist Dan Alatorre turned his sights on fatherhood in Savvy Stories, and the results were hilarious. Since then, Dan has racked up a string of #1 Bestsellers in family humor, novels, illustrated children’s books and cookbooks, and has been published in 12 languages throughout 14 different countries. His romantic comedy Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure, set in Tuscany, will be released in a few weeks.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

About His Book

Dan Alatorre, PoggibonsiMike hopes an assignment in Italy will get him promoted and bring passion back to his marriage. His wife is the only woman in Atlanta not flirting with him, and what better place to pursue romance than the land of naked art, Valentino, and yoga pants? His working vacation shatters when a heart attack hospitalizes his Italian partner and Mike’s family does nothing but fight. After seeing his wife and daughter off, a stunning Tuscan beauty captures the attention of everyone in the train terminal. Mike returns to work thinking the flirtatious goddess will remain a fantasy – until she introduces herself as his new assistant!

Sign up for an alert on this title’s release!

 

Four Things To Do With Negative Reviews (And One Thing Not To Do)

2015-11-30 five stars, review good, happyIndie Plot Twisters, it is our pleasure to introduce Allison Maruska as our guest blogger this week. She’s got some great advice on what to do when you get negative book reviews! Also, we’re holding a drawing for her intriguing mystery, The Fourth Descendant. Details at the end!

– – –

 Pop quiz time.

What do the following things have in common?

  1. Traffic jams
  2. Fish in the ocean
  3. The full moon appearing every month
  4. Negative book reviews

If you answered they are all certain to happen, then you pass!

Every book gets negative reviews. The Hunger Games, a book I absolutely love, has 443 1-star reviews. No matter how good your book is, eventually, you will get negative reviews. So since we can’t avoid them, we should have a strategy for what to do when they appear on our product pages, else we collapse into a blubbering heap or decide to quit writing and join the carnival. Sure, the endless access to funnel cakes would be awesome, but your family would miss you.

Below are four actions I’ve gathered from personal experience, talking with author friends/reading similar posts, and research. I hope that by the end, you’ll be able to read negative reviews of your work in the most objective way possible.

2015-11-30 What to Do with a One-Star Review

Action 1: Understand negative bias

Negative bias basically says feedback of a negative nature affects us more than feedback of a neutral or positive nature does (click here for the Wikipedia article). It has an evolutionary basis, because our prehistoric ancestors needed to pay more attention to the lion’s den than to the pretty flower growing next to it. It was about survival. In our current day setting, the bias plays out in our reactions to problems that need solving. Emails of an urgent, negative nature get attention first because we want the problem to go away.

Our brains see negative reviews as problems (because they feel like attacks), but we can’t solve them, so they sting more. Neural activity and heart rates increase, as if we’re preparing to go to battle. This is normal. It’s also why they get stuck in our brains while positive reviews blend in with the rest. Anyone who works with kids has heard the advice that for every piece of negative feedback you give a child, there should be ten pieces of positive feedback. This is why.

Action 2: Realize the negative review isn’t more valid

2015-11-30 chalk board, sad, frown, smiley faceThis goes along with negative bias, but it’s important enough to merit its own point. The negative reviews just feel more true, don’t they? Even if cognitively you know they aren’t (especially when the reviewer dings you because of the ebook price set by your publisher, or they were mad because they didn’t like how your character dressed), you feel like you could have done something to prevent the bad review.

Here’s the thing: reviews are opinions about your work. That’s it. They’re not about you, personally (in most cases. Reviews that leave personal attacks are a whole different issue). My book has received side-by-side reviews, one positive and one negative, both discussing the characters. One thought they were great and well-rounded, the other thought they were cardboard. Is one more right than the other?

We can’t control where readers are in their lives when they read our books. Perhaps a negative reviewer just lost a job and a character reminds them of their jerk boss. Even if they aren’t fully aware of the connection, that experience will taint the reading. Of course, we don’t get to read all that in the review. All we see is “the story sucked and the characters were unlikable.”

I’ve read that 1-star reviews tell more about the reviewer than the thing being reviewed. I tend to agree. There are people out there who seem to really enjoy complaining, and reviews are a great vehicle to do that. I would say a truly 1-star book would have no redeeming qualities. I’m not sure I’ve read such a book, but apparently, some people have read several, including The Hunger Games.

Action 3: Look for patterns

Sometimes, negative reviews are more than just opinion. If many say the same thing, like the book needs editing or the formatting was a mess, that’s probably something you need to address (if you’re an independent author and have the power to publish updated material). I read a post by an author that said she accidentally published an early draft and didn’t realize it until the negative reviews rolled in, criticizing her poor editing. You may also see a pattern if you’ve miscategorized your book. I know if I bought a book thinking it was a mystery and it ended up being a western romance, I wouldn’t be a happy reader.

However, it’s possible that no patterns exist. My book has a handful of negative reviews, and while a few kind of say the same thing, overall they’re pretty different. Most solely talk about the story’s content (characters and events) rather than the writing itself. This leads us to…

Action 4: Realize negative reviews help sell the book

2015-11-30 Dislike, not good, bad, sad, unhappyI know, it seems completely counter intuitive. Bad reviews = scared away readers, right? While that may be true in a few cases, negative reviews often contain something many positive reviews don’t: specific details.

Small picture, a detail the reviewer hated could be something the potential buyer enjoys. Or if the negative review is especially ranty, the buyer may wonder what all the fuss is about.

Big picture, the total number of reviews your book has affects how visible it becomes on Amazon. It doesn’t take into account if those reviews are positive or negative. More reviews = better visibility = more sales.

And now for the one thing not to do: Respond

I said reviews are not about you, personally. They are also not for you. They are readers talking to other readers. Granted, the online forum opens the door for more negativity than you’d probably see in an in-person book club, but the idea is the same. Reviews are readers talking about content.

Responding to a review puts you in a position of challenging someone’s opinion. The chances of you changing the reviewer’s mind with a comment are zero. Just don’t do it. People don’t like to have their opinions challenged, and responding brings attention to the negative review you don’t want people to see.

Instead, read all your positive reviews. Print out a few of your favorites and tape them around your desk. Internalize them. You wrote a book that people love! Those ideas are much more deserving of your mental energy.

The Book Giveaway

Allison has one free ebook copy of her mystery, The Fourth Descendant, for our readers. To enter the drawing, just scroll down and leave a comment in answer to this question: How do you approach negative reviews, either as a writer or a reader? The drawing will end on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!

If you tweet the following, we’ll enter your name twice! 1) Don’t remove the @IndiePlotTwist tag. 2) Let us know in your comment that you tweeted! It’ll help us match your tweet to your comment.

About the Author 

Allison Maruska headshotAllison is a YA and mystery/suspense author, writing/humor blogger, teacher, mom, wife, coffee and wine consumer, and an owl enthusiast. She published her debut novel, The Fourth Descendant, in February, 2015, and it has been on Amazon’s historical mystery best seller list since April. Her newest book is a YA dystopian/urban fantasy called Drake and the Fliers, which she released on November 20th, 2015.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

About Her Book

Allison Maruska - The Fourth DescendantWhen Michelle receives a call from a Richmond historian, she sees the chance for a much-needed adventure. All she has to do is find a century-old key.

Three others – a guitarist, an engineer, and a retiree – receive similar calls. Each family possesses a key to a four-lock safe found buried in a Virginia courthouse, though their connection is as mysterious as the safe itself. Their ancestors should not have interacted, had no apparent reason to bury the safe, and should not have disappeared thereafter.

Bearing their keys, Michelle and the other descendants converge in the courthouse basement and open the safe, revealing the truth about their ancestors – a truth stranger, more deadly, and potentially more world-changing than any of them could have imagined. Now it’s up to them to keep their discovery out of the wrong hands.

Amazon

New Release! 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing (Part II)

CS Lakin - 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction WritingIf you enjoyed the excerpt about omniscient POV last week from the book 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction, we have great news. We have a Part II! I’m in possession of an advance reader copy of this book, and from the bits I’ve read, I have to say, I’m captivated!

What sets this book apart is not just the five editors who together give a very round view of twelve writing sore spots, but the way they show before-and-after texts to illustrate what they really mean.

This excerpt is written by C.S. Lakin and digs even deeper into omniscient POV. And if you didn’t win the giveaway drawing last week … we’re doing it again! (Details at the end of the post.)

2015-11-23 Subjective Omniscient POV

Subjective Omniscient POV

2015-11-23 eyes see woman girl female person peopleSubjective omniscient POV features a narrator with a strong voice who can show the internal thoughts of the characters within the scene. An omniscient narrator can hop around into heads and go where he wants. And it can be very effective to have that narrator react to the thoughts and feelings of the other characters.

This is a fairly uncommon POV, but it can be done well and powerfully. Such a narrator has his or her own voice, and everything that is seen, felt, and experienced by the characters gets filtered through this narrator’s mind and personality.

Sound confusing? It can be. That’s one reason it’s rarely used. It is also a bit tricky to do well. Sure, it limits the POV violations—because when you’re omniscient, you can know anything and everything. But that doesn’t make it a great default POV for your story.

Unless it serves your premise specifically to have an omniscient narrator with a unique storytelling voice, don’t use this POV. It can be imposing and distracting to have this “main character” controlling the story. But again, when it’s used well and to good purpose, it can be terrific.

Here’s one way the passage from last week’s post could convey a subjective omniscient POV:

Diane Chandler stood on the ledge of an eighth-floor office windowsill, her eyes closed and her hands gripping the wrought-iron railing that framed the window. She inched out on high heels. Wind whipped at her, making her wobble.

Her life was in shambles, and she knew it. But she saw no other option. Even though her death was going to destroy more lives, at this moment Diane Chandler only cared about one thing—ending her pain. She had extorted money from her company and gotten caught. It had been foolish for her to think her coworker John wouldn’t have ratted to the boss. She’d always been kind of naïve that way. Quick to ignore the signs. Thinking everyone was honest and upstanding. Like she had been. Once upon a time. If only someone had pointed that out to her years ago.

Moments passed as the traffic below moved in fits and starts.

Diane stiffened.

“Wait!” A man’s voice came from behind her, from inside the office. Ronald Moore, her boss.

Seeing Diane on the ledge came as a shock. But he had to stop her. He couldn’t tell her how he really felt, how he didn’t care about the money she took. He knew the trouble she was in, her dark and troubled past. Her criminal record she failed to disclose on her application. He didn’t care about any of that. He loved her. Well, maybe he should have told her. That might have changed everything. Moore knew, though, it was too late. His heart ached. He always was a sucker for “bad” women.

Diane kept her eyes closed, her head tipped back. She did not turn around.

“Diane, please. We’ll work this out. You don’t have to do this.”

Diane shook her head, not daring to turn to look at him. He didn’t understand. Couldn’t understand. He could sweet-talk her all he wanted. She’d still go to jail.

Sadly, leaving Angela with her sister, Judy, was not going to work, but Diane couldn’t know that in this moment. In this moment, her sister was on the Interstate, talking on her cell phone to her boyfriend, and was about to get smashed by a truck veering across the divider due to the driver having a seizure. Angela was facing a life in the Child Welfare system. But would Diane have stepped off that ledge had she known? Who’s to say?

Moore pleaded. “Listen, just listen. Don’t move. Just take my hand—”

She loosened her grip on the railing and sucked in a breath. Then, to Moore’s shock, she stepped out into the air. Oh well, he tried. He would suffer many years of nightmares of this moment—of reaching out and just missing her fingertips. But in time, he would get over her. Like all the others that had slipped through his hands . . .

There are lots of ways I could have written this, including more or less of Diane’s subjective thoughts and feelings, adding more of Moore’s, going into their past. Or I could have amplified the narrator’s subjective voice—more opinions, more personality. Again, it all depends on the premise and plot of your story.

Ask: Does my story need a narrator? If so, why and who? The narrator is palpably present in such a story, and so needs to serve a purpose in being there. He may show up in the story at some point as a visible character, or he may stay invisible—heard, not seen.

Using omniscient POV can be a lot of fun, but watch out for traps—especially the tendency to use excessive telling instead of showing.

In Conclusion . . .

2015-11-23 binoculars sky see eyes targetMastering POV takes work. You need to pay close attention to who is experiencing a scene, and then be faithful to that character’s purview.

Before you start to write a scene, think through your objective. Consider what key plot points you plan to reveal and how they would best be revealed and by whom. Then write your scene sticking faithfully to that character’s POV.

You may decide you want to try your hand at omniscient POV. It’s your story, so you get to choose. But choose wisely so you can tell the best story possible, and consider what’s common for the genre you are writing in. Then follow the POV rules so you don’t get ticketed for egregious violations!

The Book Giveaway

Susanne and her fellow author/editors have one more free copy of 5 Editors Tackle the Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing for our readers – an ebook edition, any format. To enter the drawing, just scroll down and leave a comment in answer to this question: What POV violation really bugs you when you read a novel? We’ll pick a winner based on our favorite answer! The drawing will end on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!

About the Author

CS LakinC. S. Lakin is the author of sixteen novels and five writing craft books. Her award-winning blog Live Write Thrive gives tips and writing instruction for both fiction and nonfiction writers, and her Writer’s Toolbox series gives fiction writers everything they need to know to create compelling, solid stories.

The newest release—5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing—is available here and features more than sixty detailed Before and After examples of flawed and corrected passages to help authors learn to spot flaws in their writing.

Website | Amazon Author Page | FacebookTwitter

About Her Book

CS Lakin - 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction WritingFiction writers often struggle to improve their craft. And the biggest challenge comes from the inability to see what isn’t working. The prose feels off. The scene isn’t gelling. The dialogue sounds stilted or clunky. But they don’t know why or how to fix it.

This book lays it all out.

5 Editors Tackle the Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing demonstrates the deadly dozen pitfalls on the road to a strong story, along with revisions that show writers exactly how to avoid novel failure. Buy it on Amazon!

 

New Release! 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing (Part I)

CS Lakin - 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction WritingIndie Plot Twisters, we are thrilled to present to you what promises to be a fascinating new book, 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing. I’m in possession of an advance reader copy, and from what I’ve read so far, I have to say, I’m captivated!

What sets this book apart is not just the fact that it was written by five (count them: five) editors, who together give a very round view of twelve writing sore spots; but also the way they show before-and-after sample texts to illustrate what they really mean.

Following is an excerpt from the book explaining objective omnisicient POV. And if you think that’s fun – next week we’re featuring the next section on subjective omniscient POV! Both are written by C. S. Lakin, on of the five editors who contributed to this book. Don’t forget to stick around for the book giveaway! (Details at the end of the post.)

And now … enjoy!

2015-11-16 Objective Omniscient POV

Objective Omniscient POV

2015-11-16 sigting scope telescope binoculars view see searchNot a whole lot of writers use omniscient POV anymore, for various reasons (that I won’t go into in this post), but there are times when it’s a great choice. Let’s take a look at some ways omniscient POV might be used.

Objective omniscient POV is a narrator without a “voice.” Essentially the narrator is invisible; no personality comes through. Events are related as they happen, but the narrator doesn’t share insights, reactions, or opinions. This POV is a silent camera, recording the scene.

Since an objective POV can only show actions and dialogue, what the characters feel can only be implied by their actions and speech. That means writers can’t use “to be” verbs such as “he felt” and “she assumed.” That also nixes telling emotions: “She was angry (or sad or frustrated).” Take a look at this example:

Before:

Diane Chandler stood on the ledge of her eighth-floor office windowsill, afraid to look down at the heavy traffic below on Fifth Avenue. Her heart pounded as she inched out in her expensive Gucci high heels. Wind whipped at her, making her wobble. She clenched her hands tighter on the railing, her nails digging into the flesh of her palms.

But she ignored the slight pain in her hands, steeling herself for the greater pain she would soon feel when she tumbled to the street below.

She gulped, wishing there was some other way.  But there wasn’t. She had ruined everything. Her life was a disaster. Her boss would fire her once he found out the truth. And John . . . that traitorous friend! Telling her he’d keep his mouth shut if she paid him off. She knew where that would lead—to a lifetime of blackmail.

Diane squeezed her eyes shut, trying to muster the courage to take that small, final step. She sucked in a breath, but then heard something behind her.

“Wait!”

Diane’s heart sank to her feet. How had her boss found out so quickly? Traitor John must have run straight to Moore’s office after watching her pull the money from the safe.

“Diane, please. We’ll work this out. You don’t have to do this.”

Diane shook her head, not daring to turn to look at him. He didn’t understand. Couldn’t understand. He could sweet-talk her all he wanted. She’d still go to jail. And she’d never see her baby again. She couldn’t bear the thought of her daughter seeing her behind bars. No, she couldn’t bear it. Better for Angela to grow up never remembering her mother. I’m sorry, sweetie. But Aunt Judy loves you. She’ll take good care of you. Better than I ever could.

Moore spoke again, and she heard the frantic urging in his voice. But it rolled over her like the wind. Tears spilled down her face. She loosened her grip on the railing and sucked in a breath.

Then stepped out into the welcoming sky.

I hope you can see this is truly deep third-person POV. I spent much time going into Diane’s thoughts and feelings. And if that is truly my intent, I should stick with this POV. However, if I want to convey a detached objective take on this scene, wanting distance from emotion and a more insensitive camera feel, then the objective omniscient POV would be better.

Even if your novel is written in shifting third-person POV, it’s common to see partial or even whole scenes in omniscient POV. Usually you’ll see this at the start of a scene or in a novel’s opening scene. The reason is the writer wants to keep distance, prevent the reader from seeing and knowing too much of what is going on. This can add mystery and grab the reader’s interest right away, making her curious as to what is really going on.

If I wanted that effect in my opening scene, for example. I would write it using the objective omniscient POV. Let’s assume I’m the camera, and although positioned in the building across the way, I have a great telephoto lens and can get fairly close to the character. Take a look at the rewrite:

After:

A woman stood on the ledge of an eighth-floor office windowsill, her eyes closed and her hands gripping the wrought-iron railing that framed the window. She inched out on high heels. Wind whipped at her, and she wobbled.

Moments passed as the traffic below moved in fits and starts.

The woman stiffened.

“Wait!” A man’s voice came from behind her, inside the office.

The woman kept her eyes closed, her head tipped back. She did not turn around.

“Diane, please. We’ll work this out. You don’t have to do this.”

The woman shook her head.

The man spoke again. “Listen, just listen. Don’t move. Just take my hand—”

She loosened her grip on the railing and sucked in a breath. Then stepped out into the air.

Of course the After passage is much shorter. Out went all the things Diane knows and thinks and feels. What’s left is just what my camera records. The dialogue, the action.

My camera doesn’t know what brand of shoe she is wearing. Nor does it know it’s the wind that’s making her wobble (see the subtle difference in how I rewrote that phrase?). She could be wobbling because of her nerves. My camera doesn’t know the characters’ names or their relationships, so they can only be a man and a woman (until Moore says her name). That much I can tell from across the street. I decided I couldn’t see her tears, but I could tell by her body language that she sucked in a breath.

Each passage has a very different style and creates a wholly different reader experience. So it’s up to you, the writer, to decide what you want the reader to experience and choose your POV accordingly.

The Book Giveaway

Susanne and her fellow author/editors have one free copy of 5 Editors Tackle the Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing for our readers – an ebook edition, any format. To enter the drawing, just scroll down and leave a comment in answer to this question: What fatal flaw of writing will make you stop reading a novel you just started? We’ll pick a winner based on our favorite answer! The drawing will end on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!

About the Author

CS LakinC. S. Lakin is the author of sixteen novels and five writing craft books. Her award-winning blog Live Write Thrive gives tips and writing instruction for both fiction and nonfiction writers, and her Writer’s Toolbox series gives fiction writers everything they need to know to create compelling, solid stories.

The newest release—5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing—is available here and features more than sixty detailed Before and After examples of flawed and corrected passages to help authors learn to spot flaws in their writing.

Website | Amazon Author Page | FacebookTwitter

About Her Book

CS Lakin - 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction WritingFiction writers often struggle to improve their craft. And the biggest challenge comes from the inability to see what isn’t working. The prose feels off. The scene isn’t gelling. The dialogue sounds stilted or clunky. But they don’t know why or how to fix it.

This book lays it all out.

5 Editors Tackle the Twelve Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing demonstrates the deadly dozen pitfalls on the road to a strong story, along with revisions that show writers exactly how to avoid novel failure. Buy it on Amazon!