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The #Writer’s Craft: Word Counts, Story Length & Story Structure

The #Writer’s Craft: Word Counts, Story Length & Story Structure published on 1 Comment on The #Writer’s Craft: Word Counts, Story Length & Story Structure

(Beth Turnage Blog)  I’ve written several posts on Quora on writing and thought I’d curate some here. You can call it laziness, but really it’s a lack of time since ghostwriting is keeping me very busy. Really. 😉

How do word count limitations affect what you can fit into a story?

This is an excellent question, and I thank you for asking it. Now you will get a lesson ripped from the pages of “Beth’s Book on Writing Fiction.” Okay, there is no such book, but you know what I mean. After six years of writing professionally as a ghostwriter and having to render stories according to a client’s word counts, themes, and tropes, I may have an answer for you.

I studied the reviews of the titles for different stories that I wrote for clients and listened to their complaints. And I dug into story structure and pacing to render stories that people find satisfying. I’ve written almost every genre, except horror and a few sub-genres of romance.

Just about every writer will hate me for what you are about to read, because the unwritten rule is, “there are no rules.”Continue reading The #Writer’s Craft: Word Counts, Story Length & Story Structure

The Craft of #Writing: Grabbing the Reader

The Craft of #Writing: Grabbing the Reader published on 1 Comment on The Craft of #Writing: Grabbing the Reader

(Beth Turnage) I’ve written a number of posts on Quora on writing and thought I’d curate some here. You can call it laziness, but really it’s a lack of time, since ghostwriting is keeping me very busy. Really. 😉

When writing, how do you grab your reader’s attention as quickly as possible?

How do I do it?

I bring the reader into the story as quickly as possible. I answer the questions who, what, when, where, why in the first paragraph. This means no long moody passages about the weather or vague impressions about feelings, or any of the awful beginnings that beginning writers are prone to pen.

But I’m not the only one. Plenty of first-rate writers do the same thing and here is an excellent page to see the first sentence of their books:

Continue reading The Craft of #Writing: Grabbing the Reader

The #Writer’s Craft: #Edit using #Free SAS #Writing Reviser

The #Writer’s Craft: #Edit using #Free SAS #Writing Reviser published on No Comments on The #Writer’s Craft: #Edit using #Free SAS #Writing Reviser

Writer thinking about editing(Beth Turnage) One gem in Google Apps is the free editing tool g.suite’s SAS Writing Reviser. Designed for school use, there is no reason why you can’t use it for your writing.

Now, I love this thing, not only for its price point but also for the tools it offers, including, and get this, a verb tense analyzer. That is pure gold because if you wanted a similar tool, you must purchase another online tool and pay $30 a month for the privilege of using it. Um, no.

But the caveat with using SAS Writing Reviser is that you must know what you are trying to accomplish with it. Unlike ProWriting Aid that stands over you with its whip and commands you to change this or that, SAS provides few guidelines on where to hit your prose with its editing magic. So let me take you through this lightly and you can explore the rest at your leisure.

First, you must be working in Google Docs. Now, you’re probably working in Word, or good heavens, Scrivener, but save yourself a ton of problems and come over to the side of Light and Goodness now. Continue reading The #Writer’s Craft: #Edit using #Free SAS #Writing Reviser

Pirate’s Luck: Chapter 14~The Dead Zone

Pirate’s Luck: Chapter 14~The Dead Zone published on No Comments on Pirate’s Luck: Chapter 14~The Dead Zone

“Damned-to-the-seven-hells stupid pirate captain.”

Arekan cursed Etharin while he crawled in the ventilation shafts of The Rogan, a spaceship thirty-years too old, and sixty-years behind in repairs and upgrades. The tub was not fit to sit in, let alone travel the black depths of space. In his short life, nineteen-year-old Arekan Mor’a’stan never thought he’d land on a pirate ship, or as the captain called it, a salvage vessel. Arekan also never imagined he would need to use an alias, or sell his sword skills honed since he could walk to land a berth on the decrepit scow.

Worse yet, the Kyn Imperial Navy had boarded the barge which put Arekan’s life in danger. Arekan continued to spit venomous words born from the roiling bile in his gut. Etharin illegally recharged ramjet batteries and stored them in the engine room, the energy signatures of which must have attracted the Impies attention. Arekan could not afford this. The Impies would find him on board. As a member of an outlawed Kyn family, the Imperial Navy would automatically kill Arekan as soon as a DNA scan confirmed his identity.

From his perch in the ventilator grate that overlooked the cargo hold, Arekan watched the Impies march onto the metal deck. Their heavy boots rang through the large compartment. A man walked up the line with the swagger of one in command. Arekan couldn’t see because of the angle and the grating the man’s rank on the collar of his dark blue uniform.

“Who’s in charge of this tub!” called the officer.

“I’s is,” said Etharin, who stepped forward from the ragged line of crew. This surprised Arekan who’d only seen the enigmatic ship’s master twice. Once when the captain hired him, and earlier today when he took the new crew member Rastan, AKA Peppen, to the bridge to meet Etharin. Arekan counted the number of heads and found one missing, besides him. He peered through the grate again to find First Mate Grokin, Engineer Tinnen, General Hands Obon and Egrin, the new crewmate, Peppen, and Cook standing in line. They were a foul-looking lot, and they had nasty habits. Arekan also noted Cripin, the navigator, was missing.

Arekan couldn’t worry about Cripin. Job one was to solve the problem of the contraband ramjet batteries. There were a dozen of them in the engine room. They were dangerously close to the null space generator which was the piece of machinery that made space travel to distant stars possible. But in the batteries in their present state were unstable and moving them could blow up the ship.

–> Read More

A Very Special FWO Weird #Christmas

A Very Special FWO Weird #Christmas published on 2 Comments on A Very Special FWO Weird #Christmas

(Beth Turnage Blog)

From time to time at Fantasy Writer dot org we have submission challenges were we challenge each other to submit en massé to one publication to see how we fare. At Christmas, we participate in the Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest,where Craig, the owner of the site, chooses a few winners and a bunch of honorable mentions who record their stories for his podcast. Alas, none of us made the cut this year, but we wanted to record our stories, so I offered to host the recordings. In no particular order, here are flashes of 350 word weird Christmas goodness.

Continue reading A Very Special FWO Weird #Christmas

#NaNoWriMo and a #Free #Writing Tool

#NaNoWriMo and a #Free #Writing Tool published on No Comments on #NaNoWriMo and a #Free #Writing Tool

(Beth Turnage Blog) So you are deep in NaNo and emotions run high. Perhaps you’ve finished a chapter or two, but then the dreaded crash. You know where you are heading but now you’ve become stuck in the mire.

Because I write a lot of novels each year for my clients, I don’t have the time to wallow through the muck. One thing I found helps me move along is this tool.
Continue reading #NaNoWriMo and a #Free #Writing Tool

NaNoWriMo 2019 Project: A Matter Of Time

NaNoWriMo 2019 Project: A Matter Of Time published on No Comments on NaNoWriMo 2019 Project: A Matter Of Time

(Beth Turnage Blog) For my NaNoWriMo project I’ve dusted off an older project, Cassandra Sees: A Matter of Time.

Here is the blurb:

When a Detective Dan Arrington investigating local murders finds a woman who knows more details about them than she should, can he believe she got those details from astrology? Or does her information come from more personal involvement? And why does Cassandra hide from the world in her apartment? What or who is she afraid of?

This project springs from my personal knowledge of Forensic Astrology, theastrology that helps to solve crimes. This is a small specialty within the astrological community due to its complexity. Only a small percentage of astrologers practice Forensic Astrology and no one practices it as I do. You can see the cases on which I’ve speculated on True Crime and Astrology. Okay, it’s been a while since I updated the blog but the articles are still good. I’ve also given a lecture on this subject to the Astrological Society of Connecticut. (Click to read more)

Arekan’s Blog: MORE Laundry Problems

Arekan’s Blog: MORE Laundry Problems published on No Comments on Arekan’s Blog: MORE Laundry Problems

Arekan: So the scribe is still writing the trash that “pays the mortgage” but since it seems to keep her in coffee and milkshakes, I won’t complain too much, though I’ve heard there a bit of clamor for her to finish the Arekan’s War Series.

[scribe, um Beth:] One reader is hardly a clamor.Continue reading Arekan’s Blog: MORE Laundry Problems

The #Writers Craft: One Big Step for #ProWritingAid: One Giant Leap for Writerkind

The #Writers Craft: One Big Step for #ProWritingAid: One Giant Leap for Writerkind published on 1 Comment on The #Writers Craft: One Big Step for #ProWritingAid: One Giant Leap for Writerkind

(Beth Turnage Blog) Christmas arrived in July when Chris Banks of Pro-Writing Aid made this announcement in their monthly email:

Beta Testers Needed for our New Google Docs Add-On

We are thrilled to introduce our shiny new Google Docs add-on! Now you will have access to the full ProWritingAid editor right within GoogleDocs.

It’s brand new, however, which means it might still have some wrinkles. We’d love for some of our users to try it out and report back about any problems they run into.

It’s easy to get the add-on set up on your computer. You just need to make sure that your ProWriting Aid license is associated with a Google email address (google.com, gmail, etc.)

And like a kid at Christmas, I had to unpack this right away. Continue reading The #Writers Craft: One Big Step for #ProWritingAid: One Giant Leap for Writerkind

Pirate’s Luck: Chapter 13 ~ Laundry Problems

Pirate’s Luck: Chapter 13 ~ Laundry Problems published on No Comments on Pirate’s Luck: Chapter 13 ~ Laundry Problems

Pirate's Luck Chapter 13Rastan cleaned his body in the sonic shower, while Arekan stood at the door preventing any of the curious crew from entering. The fact was Rastan, or the alias he used, Pepin, the new crew-member they had picked up illegally, was too pretty for a group of hardened criminals to resist. Arekan worried about this and feared for the day when the riffraff would storm them both. This worry grew the closer they drew to the Kyn border.

Arekan had four causes for worry here. One was the illegal turbo-ramjet batteries that Captain Etharin stored in the engine room. The irony was that the turbo-ramjets made up very little of the ship’s actual propulsion capacity it lifted the vessel off planets but did nothing else. But they weighed heavily on Arekan’s mind. Captain Etharin illegally recharged batteries never meant to be so, and they were extremely unstable. Each time the ship jolted in and out of Null Space, Arekan was sure they’d blow and ignite the fuel in the two large tanks of turbo-ramjet fuel. When they passed the Kyn border, they’d drop out of Null Space, triggering another opportunity for disaster. Read More —>

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