Category Archives: Author Resources

EDITING 101: 64 – Story Organization…

Susan Uttendorfsky is on Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s blog with Part 64 of her Editing 101 series: Story Organization. This series is second to none, and I’m sorry to see it end. If you’ve missed any episodes, Chris has indexed them for us so we can bookmark. A heartfelt thank you to Susan and Chris for sharing this outstanding series

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Story Organization

We talked briefly about this in Article #21, “Plotting.”  But now I’d like to go into a little more detail about it.

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, you’re simply going to have to keep track of some details, especially if your book deals with the passage of time. And that’s just about every book ever written—whether it’s only one day throughout the whole book or a number of years, or even decades or centuries. You must keep track of what is going on when. In addition to tracking time, you can also plot out your story arc (to be the theme of a future article), false clues (red herrings), foreshadowing, and other details.

As I said in Article #21, some authors use white boards or bulletin boards, notebooks or pads of paper, sticky notes, index cards, or…walls. And then there are those who avail themselves…

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EDITING 101: 59 – Character Profiles…

Susan Uttendorfsky is over at The Story Reading Ape‘s blog with Part 59 of her Editing 101 series, Character Profiles. Have you considered interviewing your characters as a way of developing them into strong, flexible, and unique personalities? Susan’s articles are invaluable and highly #recommended

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Character Profiles

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser (101:21), I’m almost 100% certain that at some point, you’ll have to keep track of your characters’ details. The plotter/pantser post also covered some practical ways that some authors make sure these details are fresh in their minds—or, at least, quickly available.

However, before you can list these precious tidbits of information, you have to either discover them (if your story leads you) or decide on them (if you lead your story). The obvious information is focused on physical appearance: eye color, hair color, stature, body shape, etc. But sometimes authors neglect to round out their profiles with other information that can play a critical part in your story. I’m talking about…

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EDITING 101: 40 – Editing Myths…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 40 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape‘s blog. She debunks several editing myths, every last one of which has derailed my little grey cells at times. But I now feel I have permission to merrily toss them out the window, in keeping with Susan’s guidelines. I’m such a stickler for correct grammar that I sometimes feel like a train wreck after a long day of writing. I expect Susan’s post will reduce your writing stress level as much as it has mine 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Editing Myths

I’m sure you’ve heard of these “rules” that need to be applied to your manuscript. Today we’re going to debunk them as myths!

  1. Never start a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, or), however, or because.

  2. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

  3. Passive voice is always wrong.

  4. You use “a” before words that start with consonants and “an” before words that start with vowels.

  5. Don’t use who when the rules call for whom.

  6. Don’t split an infinitive verb with an adverb.

  7. The only way to write a possessive is to add ’s to the word.

  8. Data and media are plural nouns and always take a plural verb.

  1. Because the English language is fluid and adjustable, there is no…

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EDITING 101: 35 – Using the five senses…

In Part 35 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape, Susan Uttendorfsky discusses using the five senses in our writing. I especially enjoyed her examples for the sense of smell, e.g., A gym bag in September that hasn’t been emptied since June. Visit Chris’ blog to read the rest of this superb article and link to the previous 34 in this series…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Using the five senses

I love it when an author decides to use the senses in writing their descriptions. It’s so rarely done, it seems, that it keeps the story fresh and exciting for me. Let’s talk about some ways to incorporate each of them into your descriptions—without going overboard, of course! Nobody wants a blow-by-blow listing of everything your main character smelled in a day, especially if he’s a homicide detective in the morgue!

When using any of the senses in writing description, you want to remember “Show, don’t tell” to get the most effectiveness out of it.

  • Taste

Your first cup of coffee in the morning—does anything taste better? Or, on the other hand, it can be your biggest…

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#BLOGGER INTERVIEW – Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape

The Story Reading ApeChris Graham  is much admired, respected, and appreciated in the blogging world. His indefatigable support of authors and bloggers is rivaled by few others.  The Story Reading Ape‘s 4th blog anniversary is April 4th, and I can think of no better way to show my appreciation than by featuring him on my blog. Here’s to you, Mr. Ape! May you live long and prosper. I’m also putting energy out there for you to win the lottery 😊

Follow Chris’ blog  HERE 

When did you start blogging and what prompted you to do so?  

I started blogging on April 4th 2013 after reading authors’ pleas (on Goodreads) for promotional opportunities on blogs. 

What moved you to choose an ape as your gravatar and online presence? 

My Most favourite author was (and still is) Terry Pratchett, who once stated, “The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens (‘wise man’). In any case it’s an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan Narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.” 

From this I extrapolated that since I didn’t TELL stories, but listened to, or READ them, I must be a Story READING ape (Pan Audiencia – as near as I can get). 

What motivated you to make author promotion and support the
focus of your blog?
 

I’ve always enjoyed reading, either to learn or be entertained, and owe a debt of gratitude to authors, so when I saw their pleas on Goodreads, I decided to focus on authors, rather than the stories they wrote. 

After all, there are LOTS of book review blogs, but very few that give authors the opportunity to talk about themselves (as well as getting a plug in about their books). 

You also add a weekly dose of humor to your blog. Does humor play an important role in your daily life as well? 

Yes, it does. 

Like everyone else in the world, I have my bad times, as well as good, but was raised not to dwell on, or agonise over, the bad things. It’s better to learn from them and get on with those aspects of life I DO have control over. 

Laughter and the ability to see humour (or the stupidity) in bad situations helps me get over, or overcome, the depths of despair that others seem to slip into easily. 

It may well be an Irish trait, an example being after a funeral, where humour, song and celebration are an important part of remembering the deceased (and overcome grief). 

This could be summed up in the old joke about friends putting a crate of drinks on top of the coffin and saying, “He left instructions that the drinks were to be on him.” 

How much time each day do you spend blogging? 

Too long I suspect; I often pop in and out of the blog to respond to comments and thank those who share the posts, while I’m reading emails, other peoples’ posts and searching around for articles that might be of interest to my blog readers (and myself). 

Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books? 

Apart from Terry Pratchett, I enjoy books by the old masters like Dickens, et al, but there are quite a few modern (and self-published) authors I enjoy as well – however, I’m not going to say who – they already know who they are 😊 

You and your sister recently published a book of your mother’s My Vibrating Vertebraepoetry. Tell us a little about your Mum, her poetry, and the book. 

It was my sister Lorna who collected the poems and Jo Robinson who edited and formatted the book – all I did was upload and publish it. 

Poetry was a side of Mum that I never knew about until Lorna sent them to me. So I was both surprised and humbled when I read them. 

What most inspires you in life? 

Nature in all its diverse forms, from the variety and tenacity of life, to the wonder and immensity of the Universe. 

Any parting words for your followers? 

Read, learn and experience as much as you can about everything. 

If Reincarnation exists, it will help you progress. 

If it doesn’t, you will have enriched your time while alive. 

I hope you enjoyed learning more about our very own blogging Ape. I’m sure I speak for all of us in thanking Chris for his abiding support of authors and in wishing him a

VERY 

 

Please visit and follow Chris’  BLOG, and take a peek inside his book,  My Vibrating Vertebrae
Thanks so much for stopping by ❤

Our Jogger – Guest Post by Emily Gmitter (by kind permission from Zoe)…

Thank you to Zoe the Fabulous Feline for giving her monthly blog spot to her person on The Story Reading Ape. Emily Gmitter speaks to the regret we feel for not offering a kindness, and then wishing we had when it was too late. Moving and thought-provoking… ♥

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

profile-pic_my-name-is-zoe

Zoe here, I’m on a break, so I’m going to let my human have my spot this month, but I WILL be BACK.

It seemed the end of an era. I knelt beside the still body that was lying on the sidewalk in front of my house. I touched the back of my hand to his familiar face; it was cool to the touch. Not that I needed to do that; the thin skin on his face was a shade of bluish gray that indicated only one thing. I called 911 and waited for the paramedics to arrive.

Leaning against the stone wall in front of our home, I continued to stare at the body. I knew him, but I didn’t know him. Who were you?

In death, he did not seem as old as he had appeared when he was jogging through our neighborhood, which he did every day…

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EDITING 101: 25 – Style Guides for Fiction…

Susan Uttendorfsky is a guest on The Story Reading Ape, bringing us Part 25 of her Editing 101 series: Style Guides for Fiction. Even though The Gregg Reference Manual is typically for business, I’ve used it for decades and find it an invaluable resource. Susan lists several other editing guides that you might find helpful. Bottom line: If self-editing, a style manual is a necessity!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Style Guides for Fiction

In order to make the English language (or any language) consistent, style guides and manuals have been developed to use certain consistent rules or standards. Most industries or professions have their own style manual, so that all materials written for that industry are of the same standard. This not only includes punctuation, but also capitalization and grammar.

For instance, all newspaper articles in the US are written using AP (Associated Press) style. For business, there’s The Gregg Reference Manual, and for web publishing, there’s the The Yahoo! Style Guide. Each of these style guides has different rules, and someone writing for those industries must follow those rules.

If you’re working for the United States government, it has…

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Introducing: Sunrise Editing Services…

Author Andrew Joyce spells out the reasons why writers should have their work professionally edited. He introduces his editor, Emily Gmitter, whose rates are very reasonable. Speaking metaphorically and from personal experience with Emily, she will find a needle in a needle stack! Hop over to The Story Reading Ape‘s blog for the details, and check out Sunrise Editing Services. It will be well worth your time …

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

aj-author
My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I’ve been lucky enough to have three of my books become best-sellers on Amazon, and two of them have won prestigious awards. I only tell you this because I want you to know that I am serious about my writing and will not publish a book until it is free of errors, and that means not until it has been edited many, many times.

I am also associated with another writer that you may have heard of, the famous (or infamous) Danny the Dog. He is also serious about his writing.

One thing both Danny and I agree on is that a writer cannot edit his or her own work.

Let me repeat that: YOU CANNOT EDIT YOUR OWN WORK!

Excuse me for yelling, but it is important that I get that thought through to you.

The number…

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#Authors – If you’re SERIOUS about Marketing in 2017 – Read this article…

Christopher Graham with some very good advice for authors … Chris is an ace in the blogosphere, and his posts are widely disseminated. If you haven’t taken advantage of his promo opportunities, the beginning of a new year would be a good time to do so. Join Chris and swing through the jungles of promotion with The Story Reading Ape 😊

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

My good friend and author Tina Frisco kindly included my contribution in a recent post on her blog.

However, in case anyone didn’t get the hints I gave, let me be clearer.

I created my blog, in April 2013, to be a FREE TO USE Independent Author Promotions Platform and Resources Hub for author’s, writers, poets and readers.

Since it started, the viewing stats have stunned me:

2013

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2014

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2015

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2016

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As you can see, 2016 saw a staggering (to me) number of blog visitors and followers, leading to viewing stats exceeding 500,000 over the year(as of 29th December).

Note: the number of direct WP followers = 4,000+, but because I use WP Publicize to upload also to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, the blog has a total number of followers = 10,500+ (many of who re-share the posts on their blogs and/or other media)

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EDITING 101: 18 – Writer’s Block…

Susan Uttendorfsky brings us Part 18 of her Editing 101 series on The Story Reading Ape. The focus is writer’s block, and she lists 14 ways to attempt breaking through. I love it when an editor helps the harried writer hike the hurdles.  🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Writer’s Block

Ok, so maybe you’re not quite done writing. Maybe you’re stuck. Horribly stuck, and you have no idea where to go next in your book. You are so completely, terribly, frantically stuck that you can’t even write a darn thing! (Yes, that’s a lot of “ly” adverbs there, isn’t it?

What now?

Aha! Super Susan to the rescue. I can’t say I’ve ever been there, because I don’t do a lot of writing. But I can imagine how horrible it is, and I’ve read a lot of threads in LinkedIn writing groups talking about writer’s block. So I’ve stored up quite a few hints and ideas to get you over the hump. No, not Hump Day—that’s the Geico® camel*…

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