Saturday, October 26, 2013

What is a dialogue tag?

Right way: “I can’t believe you did that,” said Jane.

Examples of dialogue tags: said, screamed, screeched, bellowed etc…

I read a lot of indie writers, and I’ve noticed a trend that runs through them. People aren’t sure how to use dialogue/action tags. They get them confused most the time. I used to be the same way!

Wrong way: “I can’t believe you did that.” Said Jane

I wrote this way forever and had no clue it was wrong! Whenever you use a dialogue tag you want to remove the period and add a comma (unless it’s a !!!! or a ????) and make sure you don’t capitalize your tag.

What is an action tag?

Example: “I can’t believe you did that.” She frowned and crossed her arms.

With an action tag the character does something. With an action tag you always use a period in the dialogue and capitalize your tag.

Problem with tags

From what I’ve read on the internet overusing words like (screeched, hissed, bellowed etc) is annoying. There is NOTHING wrong with using the word said. In fact readers overlook it. You don’t always want your character saying: “I’m clearly yelling!” she yelled loudly. It’s adding something you don’t need.

Hope you find my tips helpful!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tip: How to get rid of the 'less than 200dpi' error on createspace (fixing your pictures)

Tip! Paperback pictures and how to get rid of that annoying error on Createspace!

Tip: How to get rid of that annoying error message on createspace!

So, every single time I went to upload my paperback book I'd get that annoying error on createspace that says: you're pictures are under 200dpi and may be blurry, blah, blah, blah. I just ended up ignoring it cause I didn't have a clue what to do. When I published my Superhero Princess book the pictures turned out just fine (and honestly I'm not sure if it said that error back then) Well, anyways! I noticed that the pictures on book 2 of my Jade series looked pixalated and slightly blurry! While the other one was fine. So, this weekend I was re-uploading some of my books with pics, and of course that annoying thing came up again!! So I started googling (I love google!) and started weeding through people's comments (most knew about as much as me!) After awhile I came across one guy who actually knew what the heck he was talking about!! Ugh, if I knew where I found it I'd post the link, but no clue! I will try my best to explain it.

1. Download Foxit Pdf program (It's free!!!)
2. Next go into word and open your doc.
3. Insert pics by going to: Insert-pictures. Find your pic and throw it where you want. Save your doc.
3. Next (this is the weird part) go to PRINT. Yes PRINT. Weird as that is. Then under select printer go to Foxit reader PDF printer and select that.
4. Then go to Properties and down a little bit it will say image resolution and type in 300. Then hit okay.
5. Then just hit save.
6. Upload to Createspace!

I know this sounds nuts, but for once it didn't say "We have found ISSUES with your doc." The quailty of your pics is now 300 dpi!!! Wahoo!!!  Hope you guys found this helpful!! I have saved you a headache and a half! Haha! Believe I know the annoyance of formatting! Any help I can give I do!!
This was me yesterday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tips for writers

The Zombie carrot 
has nothing to do with this article. Ha ha

1. Don't overuse and abuse a certain word.

I had no freakin' clue that I had used and abused the word "large" in my book Citizen. I would say, the large man, the large building, and the large room. I didn't even realize it until a reviewer pointed it out to me. At first, I was all in a huff cause she said I wasn't descriptive and that I would say "The girl was large and pregnant or the large man." Then I started rereading my book. Ha ha. There was a million "larges" it was crazy!! So, word of advice read your book out loud, give it to a friend, or just watch for that abused word. Even in well known books I notice these annoying words that seem to slap you upside the head. Please, don't abuse a word, it's not very nice. 

2. Watch for those goofy English words.

As I went through and reedited my book Citizen I noticed that I would do stuff like ally instead of alley, or tare instead of tear. Junk like that. When I'm writing, I swear my brain just translates some of those words weird. I think it just thinks, wear are you going? Instead of where are you going. I know that where isn't spelled like wear. It's just something that happens when a scene is running through your head like a locomotive.  I have noticed, as I read other books that they do the same thing as me. Watch for the little words like and, or, but also. Those are easy to forget to actually put in the sentence.

3. Awkward dialogue

Read your dialogue out loud. It will help you like a billion times over. Would you say something that your characters say? I mean come on, would you really ramble for an hour about something? Most the time, no. Unless you're an obsessive talker or something. Most characters I notice kill the scene with all their talking. They just blab, blab, blab and make me want to pound my head into a wall. Dialogue is great, don't get me wrong, but you need to think would someone actually say that? My husband pointed out something to me. When you are talking to someone you will say "Hi, Bob." Then you proceed to talk about whatever. Usually you don't say his name "Bob" again. But, in a book we see people repeat the person's name. They know their freaking name! Remember the saying: that's my name don't wear it out.

4. Plots that suck.

Okay, okay, that's a little harsh. Here's the thing. Get a plot. If you have a weak plot everyone will know it. They will get half way through the book and throw it to the side, because there is no point to the story! I have really liked some books I started reading. They had a great beginning, it was interesting, and then BOOM middle of the book I'm staring at my kindle as it says 50%, and I think what the junk is this book about? They have been going in circles for awhile! Maybe, the author is just warming up, I don't know, but I do notice if I don't know what is going on by 50% I will stop reading it. Period. The sad thing is, some of these books were really good! They had a great idea, great characters, and a decent tone to the book, but they needed to move it along a little quicker. Maybe I'm just ADD I don't know. Just please, have a point. 

5. If you're bored then everyone is bored.

If you find a scene really boring in your book I'm pretty sure your readers will find it boring too. Don't hit the snooze button when you're writing. If you're sleeping while typing, generally it's best not to add that scene. There is always slow scenes, but make sure they actually have a point to the story otherwise cut it out. 

I hope you enjoyed my tips!! Would love some feedback! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Life of a Pantser Writer

We all have dreams. Big, big, big dreams. When you first put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, you get this dopey grin on your face. You're just aching to write your amazing idea down. Then you start.

You write the first chapter like it was eating chocolate cake and keep on smiling because that was as simple as pie. Am I making you hungry? You get twenty some pages into your story and you...choke. You stare at the screen in horror. What do you write next? The empty pages mock you. Nothing. You got nothing. So, you flip your computer off your lap and walk away in a huff! Yes, I have been there, though I've never flipped my computer, but I have tossed it to the side. This is exactly how I write. It's probably not the most brilliant way to write, but it's my way! My book, The Vullens' Curse Book 1 of the Jade series, started off with me and a notebook at work. I wrote this crazy scene down and was all proud of myself. I got a good hundred pages into that book when I realized it was totally screwed up. I deleted half the stuff I wrote and literally ignored that story for a good six months. Then like a lightening bolt, it struck me in the face. I had it. Everything. Sometimes, as a pantser this is the best plan. Other times, the story dies screaming. I have had a few of those. The idea is great, but point blank, you need a decent plot. You can have plenty of cool scenes, but if you have no clue where the characters are going it's going to fall into quick sand. The more you struggle with it, the faster it sinks. Eh, yeah. Here's the thing, don't delete your book! Save that thing! I couldn't imagine if I had just up and deleted the Jade Series books. That would have sucked! 

A pantser needs to just let the story tell itself. I've learned this. I will literally not "think" about my story before I write it. Sure, I do think about it here and there, but I never plot unless I am directly in front of a computer with my fingers ready! Here's a tip for all you pantsers out there, for the love of God, don't publish until you read your book like ten times. You may find plot holes where characters disappeared, or an idea you had fizzled out. That is one thing I notice as I read a good indie book. It's all crazy amazing and then it's just not. It's super disappointing. It makes me sad because the book had tons and tons of potential to be amazing and then dialogue  or plot holes, or just plain dumb stuff got in the way. Please, don't kill your story with dialogue. Put a fight scene in it or a zombie eating someone. Just don't make your characters talk your readers to death! Okay, okay I'm done with my rant. Word of advice pantsers, just keep writing! You may not feel "organized" (points to self) but the thing is, you love what you do and your story is a passionate mess. Just keep writing it even if it has to sit on a shelf for six months!

Tips for publishing on Kindle Publishing

Sorry for the crazy camera work!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kindle Publishing and all it's quirky quirks. Tips for the indie author

Here's a ninja to help you understand this article. 

So, you want to publish with kindle publishing? Awesome! Except for one thing, it’s as picky as a three year old at dinner time. You have worked on your novel, polished it up as best as possible, and you’re super duper excited to shove it in the world's face. You go to kdp and you upload the book and preview it. It’s jacked. So, you sit there and read for the rest of your life how to fix your novel so that people don’t turn their noses up at you.

I have learned a few things being an indie author. You better make sure that book looks good or else people will sniff and walk away. I see so many books, including traditionally published books, that have things all screwy. I think kdp is sitting behind their desk and laughing like a fiendish fiend because we can’t figure out how to make our indents work.

Tricks of the trade

1. Indents are of the devil.

Just kidding, they really aren’t that bad. First off, make sure you have Microsoft word 2007 then what I’m saying will make sense. Make sure you are on the home tab. Now select your document with ctrl A. Go to the button that says “paragraph” there is a tiny box there. Select that and it will bring up another window. In that window it will say “special” select that and on the right it says the size of the indents. I’ve found 0.5 or 0.4 is the best. You may have to preview it to get it just right for the kindle. You don’t want your indents super massive. It’s really annoying to read that! Confused? Good! That is how you publish for the kindle. Make sure if you had any previous tabs or spaces that you get rid of those.

2. Page breaks

Use them! I’ve found when there are no page breaks in a book it can be annoying. Some books are novellas or novelettes and they don’t really need those, but anything else give it a break! The Kitkat song is running through my head right now. Don’t know what the heck I’m talking about? What’s a page break? Okay, let’s do this. After the end of each of your chapter you need a page break. Go to the insert tab and the third button over it says page break. Click that baby and you’re good to go! Having page breaks helps the reader go back and forth between chapters.

3. Justify it

Select your entire document ctrl A and go back to the home tab. 
Right above paragraph there are lines, you want to go all the way to the right. 
What this does is smooths out all the crazy edges in your story, so it doesn't look like a roller coaster ride.

4. Saving the day

Saving your doc is pretty important, especially with pictures. With kdp you want to save it as webpage filtered or html. Go to save your file, but do save as then under the options of what kind of doc to save it as, choose webpage filtered and save it. If it has no pictures you can easily upload it. If it has pictures it’s a little trickier. You have to zip the pictures and the doc together. You select both files and right click and then you hit zip. It should create another file for you, which you then upload. Are you really confused? Good! That’s how you publish for kdp. 

Just keep looking at the ninja and you'll understand it eventually. Good luck!