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Monday, September 7, 2015

The Invasion of the Free Books

As you know I am accepting books for reviews. But because most of the time I receive romance which I don’t read, I have developed a habit of downloading free books from Amazon and reviewing them. And you know what? At the moment I have nearly 100 free books in my kindle. And don’t forget that I stay away from anything with elements of romance; otherwise the number would be 1000 instead of just a hundred.
This is really crazy. The free books are attacking!
There are so many books out there that the writers keep offering their babies for free, hoping to hook the reader. I have not one, but two free books. And with this free book invasion I can’t believe how lucky I am for still selling books.
It seems that almost every first book in a series is offered free. Sometimes the sequels are put on a free promo as well. With so many free books being offered every single day many readers abandon books after the first few pages or chapters. I know I’m guilty of that. There was a time when I’d finish the book no matter how tedious it was. But there are so many books on my Kindle now, that I am committing an unredeemable sin every once in a while. If the book doesn’t capture my interest after the 10-20% point, I’m prone to not finishing it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

He said, She said

If you have read my review for Key Lime Die, then you know this post is about what not to do when writing a book. This is just my opinion, not a testament to good writing. The book was filled with an immense amount of telling instead of showing. 
But what irked me the most was how the characters were mentioned. In order to avoid using the protagonists’ names all the time the author used terms like "independent young woman,” “her practical daughter,” “the flabbergasted owner,” “her uber-responsible daughter,” “the beleaguered pie shop owner,” “the ill-mannered teen,” “the weary shop owner,” “the irate woman,” “the beyond-tired woman,” “the young woman,” “her well-intentioned offspring.” And the book was really short, so these substitutes were on every page. 
This wasn't just amateurish, this was irritating. It would be much better to use the names of the characters instead of searching for all types of substitutes. And the author wouldn’t have to worry about mentioning the characters’ names too often if she avoided using “he said, she said” all the time. 

POV Switches

One of the most frequent mistakes newbie writers make is switching the POV (POV = point of view). 
They tend to start the scene from the point of view of one character, then suddenly switch to another character, then switch back, and forth, and so on and on. 
Example: 
Gary snatched his mobile and dialed Alex. It couldn’t be true, he was certain, yet he needed to hear it from Alexander, his friend of forty years. It’s not him, he was thinking, counting the seconds. It’s not him.
But as he heard Alex’s hoarse “Yes,” Gary hung up the phone. 
Alexander stared at the screen of his cell phone. It was Gary calling. 
Has anything happened? he wondered, hitting Gary’s number on the quick dial. After almost a minute he had to disconnect. Gary didn’t answer. Staring at the screen of his phone with Alexander’s name flashing across it, he was shaking with anger, with despair and fear.