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Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

I recently read an article about how writers need to connect more with the wants of readers.  The idea is to help writers.  The only way to get these answers though is to do a survey or ask people in a blog what they want to read.

I love to read children’s books and some adult fantasy and mystery books. I have also been reading some fantasy young adult. Please comment below what you like to read?

The reason I read these genres is because this is what I like to write. In the book store or library, my head will be bobbing up and down in the children book sections examining all the new or old titles, looking for the next big hit. I love to explore new authors works. I also like to read what is at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. This keeps me up to date on what the market is selling, or publishers pushing, and also what readers are hungry for.

Readers are an important part of the writing process. They keep authors writing more to please them.  When a book review comes up on Goodreads or Amazon about a book you wrote, then you want to read it no matter if it is good or bad. Authors are starving for feedback. What is working and what is killing a book?

I love readers and I feel happy when I see someone curled up in a chair with their nose in a book.

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To read the article click here: http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/advice-for-writers-3-keys-to-connecting-with-young-readers-online

 

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A book that uses the shoulders and backs of other hard working novels to become a bestseller tends to get some attention. When I read a book I look for the audience it is written for: like Children, Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult. Then I see what the genre it is: Comedy, History, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. Is it Fiction or Non-fiction? Does it have a huge following? Is the author well known? Has the book won an award? Or has the author won any awards? These questions are used for the selection of book I will read to fill my brain with.  image_preview

There is a little bit of space in my brain and unlike a computer I cannot add an external hard drive to store more information. So I am pretty selective about what I read. I have a degree in English literature and have had to read books that were not of my choosing. These books were chosen because they are in the literature canon. Not every book that makes it into this collegiate masterpiece of literature is likable. I did not like reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Garcia Marquez Gabriel, nor did I understand how this book became a classic. But other books I was glad to have read.

I have read so many books over the years that I have to have a log of what I read or I would forget them all. My genre of choice is Middle Grade fantasy. Why? Because this is what I write. When a writer is told by other authors to “write what you know”, that means to write what you read or experienced.  Now this does not mean I do not read adult or young adult books, because there are occasions in which I flit over to the other shelves tempted because of an attractive cover. Which brings me to my point.

 

I just finished reading a novel (more like a novella) called “A Shade of Vampire” by Bella Forrest. The authors name alone told me she was a fan of “Twilight”, but I should have noticed by the title that she was a fan of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, too. This book is what makes other writers cringe. Too many cliches. Too predictable. And the writing was high school level. When I say she wrote what she knew it is evident when you read the first few pages. This is not classic literature with beautifully written prose. Nor is it written by someone with a large vocabulary. When did romance/fantasy novels become sub par on their writing? There are adult books written by Mary Higgins Clark or Nicholas Sparks that are smarter than what I read. Books should be enjoyed and pondered over. Young adults should not be reading something that needs to belong in the Adult section of the bookstore. The only thing stopping me from giving this book a negative review on Goodreads was that I know what happens to books like this. The book everyone hates turns into a best seller because everyone wants to know what the big deal is, then they go buy the book. So I gave it an average rating and made no comments. Readers beware of the trap of making a new writer into a hit. Instead read the cover for yourself and decide if you want to read some drivel about a guy and a girl and you know how it ends. The books are all the same. In fact new writers spit out so many books at readers that they all blend into one massive collection of phlegm. Gross!

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Please save a reader! Write good works.

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I was doing some reading and found this article to help my writing.  Hopefully it will help anyone else out there in the revision stages.

 

WFMAD Day 18 – Revision Roadmap.

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There are some books I love to re-read just because they were so much fun the first time like Harry Potter, The Last Apprentice, and The Sword of Shannara.  But what makes your all time list of favorite books?

 

 

Which book have you read the most times? | Nathan Bransford, Author.

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6 Reasons To Fall In Love With Maggie Stiefvater’s “Raven Cycle”.

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This is the longest debate about reviews for authors.  Some people on Goodreads, or other sites where you can leave reviews of books, do not understand we are reviewing a book and not the author.  Author’s should not let these reviews feel like a personal attack. But how do you not?  Read more in the article below.

 

How Many Times Do I Have to Say This? Reviews Are for Readers, Not Authors | Mike Mullin.

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So I usually don’t write about what I am doing besides writing and reading.  I blog about what I read.  Or I blog about the latest piece I’m working on.  But I hardly ever talk about what I am learning.  I just finished a class on Astronomy.  It was elementary astronomy in my last semester of college.

I have always loved astronomy.  I have studied the stars, moon and other constellations ever since I was small.  Late at night my family and I would watch meteoroid showers shoot across the sky.  A shooting star is something I constantly wish upon.  How can anyone not be amazed by the heavenly sight we see at night?

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A solar flare erupting.

 

 

 

I follow astronaut Reid on his Twitter page along with NASA on their Google+ and Twitter page.  How interesting it is to see the solar flares that shoot from the sun everyday of the week, or see pictures of the Earth as colors of fall change the face of the planet?  We can view photos of other stars colliding with each other.  And now we know a black hole sits in the center of our galaxy.  Our limited grasp of knowledge on the universe is like a grain of sand compared to how huge the universe really is.

Now compare this bit of information I have learned to the science fiction books I have read. When I finished reading the “Maze Runner” series, by James Dashner, I knew he must have researched the effects of CME’s or solar flares on Earth.  Most science fiction writers, who are smart enough, will do their research and make sure they are not making up a fantasy world.  It must be a plausible idea.  Whether a solar flare causes the equator to dry up like a desert or lightening storms cause massive damage, each idea must have a working theory.  Just like the idea of bug aliens who come to destroy us like in “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card.   Each idea must stem from a piece of truth.

Truth #1 There is a possibility we are not alone in the universe.  Take SETI and their mission of finding life in space.  Research them on your own at www.seti.org

Truth #2  A solar flare can cause a communication black out on Earth.  Look at history and see what they say about 1859 and CME’s.  Also check out what a solar flare can do to you if you are on a plane when it hits Earth. http://science.howstuffworks.com/solar-flare-electronics2.htm 

Truth #3  A black hole exists at the center of our galaxy.  Astronomers can show proof that stars near the center of the Milky Way speed up at a central location.   https://www.nsf.gov/about/history/nsf0050/astronomy/milkyway.htm

The proof is in the pudding.  We have brilliant astronomers who have theories that they must prove right.  Can anyone argue with them?  I wouldn’t.  A theory refers to a framework of ideas and assumptions that must be continually tested.

I love astronomy and now I know a little bit more about the subject.  Never stop learning and reading.  Because if one day you decide to write a science fiction book about the sun imploding and turning into a black hole then you will need to go back to the drawing board and learn more about the sun.  There are 12 stages of a star, and we are in stage 7 of the main sequence.  If the sun reaches stage 12 (becoming a planetary nebula) then it has passed the stage of red giant and 100 million years has gone by.  All life had been destroyed when the Sun’s core heated up and expanded.  We would have died in stages 8 and 9.

October in North America means the Orionid meteor shower.  Don’t miss it.  Take out that dusty telescope and start searching the night sky for a spectacular light show.

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