I joined Twitter recently and I really love it. I don’t know why I haven’t tried it earlier. I think it can be very beneficial to my writing career. I did learn quite early, however, that I need to watch what I say.
I follow several established writers. One of these writers is Dean Koontz. One day I posted a comment to him. I said that I thought he and Stephen King should have a duel to the death. I was kidding, of course. I even said I thought Mr. King could take him even though he was somewhat older. I thought it was a funny comment and didn’t think much of it.
It was two days later when I spotted a black limousine parked at the curb outside my house. My first thought was that it was Publisher’s Clearing House coming to tell me that I had won. But when I stepped outside onto the porch to investigate the car took off. I was very disappointed. I really could have used the money.
That evening I had gone to Walmart to throw away some of my money. When I came out of the store I saw that same limousine taking off. I thought that was unusual, but not as much as what I saw when I got to my car. There sitting on the hood of my car was a Dean Koontz book. Watchers. The word on the cover was highlighted in yellow. Something told me then that something was wrong.
When I got back home I saw scraps of something strewn across my front lawn. It was paper. I figured some neighborhood kids must have thrown their trash in my yard. Maybe I had ticked some kid off because I wouldn’t give him his baseball back after it had gone through my window. On closer inspection I saw that it was the ripped and torn pages of a book. Actually more than one book. And then it hit me. I felt cold shivers run down my spine. These were the pages from two of Stephen King’s books.
I ran back into the house. I didn’t leave for two days. I didn’t get on the Internet at all. It was several days before I felt safe again. Since then there have been no more instances, and I have learned my lesson.
I really appreciate Goodreads! When I published my first book I knew hardly anything about the internet. I didn’t even know there were such things as reading sites. At first I was unsure about joining any such site. What do you do on a reading site? I looked around, investigating other sites to see what each offered and how they compared to each other. Goodreads looked the most professional and seemed to have the most to offer. I’ve learned a lot since joining and think this site is by far the best.
For me one of the things that makes it great are the people. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a few people on the site, and have had some good experiences. I’ve had friends and people in the community review my books and have been very pleased. They have not all given my five star reviews. There have been some criticisms, but they were not done in a hurtful manner. In fact these criticisms have often been very helpful in me creating a better book.
Goodreads offers a lot for authors, but I try to remember that this is primarily a reading site. I enjoy contributing to the many discussions. I was first a reader and still am. My real reading started when I was seven years old and lying in a hospital bed. My mom brought me comic books to keep me entertained. You can see glimpses of this early influence in my books.
I don’t profess to be an expert on all things writing, but sometimes I come across something that helps me in my writing career. Then I think that maybe someone else could also use this same information. So here it is for whatever good it is.
When you write a book keep a notebook on it. Keep certain information written down in it, it will come in handy later.
Write a chapter outline: In each chapter write down a brief description of what happened. Note anything special or significant to the story. After you have more than one book under your belt you may forget certain things that may come up while trying to promote the book, such as during an interview, or an author Q &A. With a chapter outline you can find the answers you’re looking for quicker than searching through the entire book.
Write down the list of characters in your story. Put in a brief description of them. Are they easily angered? Are they timid? Do they say things before they think? Are they evil or just misguided? This helps me even while I am still writing the book. If I have a character that I present as timid in the beginning I can’t have this character doing something bold and reckless later on, that is, unless there is a character changing element in the story.
Make sure to make notes of places and times. It’s a little confusing for the reader when the town he is in is first called Barnsly and the next time it is Barnsville. Also note times. If a character is beaten half to death don’t have him running a marathon the next day as if nothing happened (usually it’s not quite as obvious, but I think you get the point). Note the time changes in your story.
It’s also good to have a miscellaneous file for information that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else.
That’s all I can think of for right now. I hope it helps.
When I write a blog, I try to keep it relevant. Often it will be about writing and books. I also review books that I read.