Spookathon TBR


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How spooky is this! It is that time of year again for spookathon. Last year I used to watch everyone’s videos and see what they were reading. Well, I am going to try my hand at it starting today. I usually do not do well with readathons, but I am really going to put a good conscious effort to try and complete it This readathon is started today and it ends on October 22nd! Below are the challenges and the person that started this readathon, Lala. I really enjoy her videos and her dedication to her channel.

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Lala of Books and Lala! Subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Rules for Spookathon

Brought To You By: Books and Lala
spookathon links
2017 playlist→ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
twitter→ http://twitter.com/thespookathon

shannon: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxAT…
paige: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUF9…

spookathon dates
October 16 – 22, 2017

Spookathon challenges
1. read a thriller
2. read a book with a spooky word in the title
3. read a book based on a childhood fear
4. read a book with orange on the cover
5. read a book that has a spooky setting

Here is my SPOOKATHON TBR!!

Spookathon TBR

I am currently reading Rose Madder by Stephen King. This is the book that was chosen for my Readalong on my Youtube channel ” Kreative Krystol Reads N Writes”. If you’d like to join in on the read along feel free. We started today and are reading 75 pages a day! Let’s have a blast!

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Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover


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This book was something that I was not expecting. Then again, you always say this when it comes to Ms. Hoover. Without Merit made me sob like a baby and question my life and mental health. This book is so captivating, honest, raw and straightforward about a girl named Merit who just wants to matter. She feels over looked by her family and incapable of love until she meets someone that makes her question everything. I do not want to give any spoilers away, but I will say that this is one to pick up and have in the books. Colleen tells stories that makes people think and want to learn.

 

Outing Your Novel 2.0


Outlining Your Novel

Writer's Write

Like any writer, this is a step in the process where it gets real. By this times character profiles should have been done, the plot sketched out on many different post it notes or a notebook. This is the part where your desk or writing area looks a mess with so many different ideas and levels to your story. Writers outline in many ways. Some do not use an outline at all. Whatever way you fancy, outlining or sorting your ideas is a must. Depending on what of novel you are writing, research is very important and some research can take months or even years to sort through. For example, imagine writing a crime fiction novel. You may have old case files, have suspects to figure out, and more.

 

When it comes to outlining, think of it as telling a story from the beginning, middle and the end. Or for screenwriters this Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3, but take things step by step. Ask yourself these questions: How do I want the story to start? What will the main character do in the beginning of the story? Is he/she being dramatic? Is the character going to talk in a narrative tone or third person? Check out this example of how an outline can go.

  1. Main Character
  • Who is it? ( Give me a full fabricated name)
  • Zodiac Sign
  • Mannerisms ( is he/she shy? Smooth and charismatic? A Jerk?)
  • Where does his story start? (High school, middle school, College?)
  • What made him the main character the way he/she is? (Pain, addiction, broken heart)
  • Add other characters, friends, parents, situations and incidents. Give them names, descriptions, complexions, mannerisms and characteristic. Be specific.
  1. Family Life
  • Does the main character have siblings?
  • What was his household like? Day to day routine?
  • Parents accepting of he/she? Did he feel like the black sheep? Got along with everyone?
  • Talk about parents were they good parents? Bad parents?
  1. Personality of Main Character
  • Did he get along with his peers?
  • Have a best friend?
  • Popular/Unpopular
  • What did he like to do for fun?
  1. Plot
  • What happens that shifts the main characters life/lifestyle? What made it hard?
  • Explain in detail, how he was feeling while his life was changing
  • What makes the transition of a innocent child to an adult?
  • Is the main character married? Have kids? What is that structure like while he’s going through what he is?
  1. Final Result Or Ending
  • What is the main character taking away from this?
  • How has he/she learned?
  • Does the good outweigh the bad depending on the situation?
  • What would you like to see for an ending?

 

 

I’ve attached some blog posts that will help you get starting with the writing process once you are ready. Included are other example outlines and more notes as well. I’ve put them in order of the writing when you get started. I hope this article and the other examples I have provided help you go far with your writing! NanowriMo is coming soon ( National Novel Writing Month) and I hope you guys that are writers will participate.

 

 

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/back-to-basics-character-profile/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/the-power-of-the-plot/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/why-is-it-so-hard-to-choose-names-for-your-characters/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/is-it-okay-to-use-a-pseudonym/

 

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/i-want-to-turn-my-book-into-a-movie-how-should-i-do-that/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/my-gift-to-you-signatory-agent-list-for-writers/

 

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/creating-the-ending-of-your-story/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/are-word-counts-really-that-important/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/my-book-is-completed-now-what/

 

  1. https://writingsbykrystol.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/my-book-is-completed-now-what/

 

 

 

Want to join my read along?


Thursday

I hope that your Thursday was really good! It’s almost Friday so don’t worry. I wanted to invite you guys to a read along that I am hosting on my YouTube channel! We ( me and my subscribers) do a weekly read a long where we vote on books to read together. This has been so successful and I wanted my subscribers here to join in. I will posting DAILY reading updates about the book and what I have read thus far and my thoughts. The readathon will start on Monday, September 18,2017 at 12am. We will be 75 pages a day  of this book here!

Jane Eyre

This will be my FIRST Bronte book so I am excited to see how it is. I did watch the movie a while ago and I fell in love with it. Hopefully, the book will not disappoint. If you had read this book before, please let me know what you thought about it. I hope that some of my subscribers here are able to join me!

 

Can Rejections Ruin Your Confidence As A Writer?


Thursday

This Is Deep…

As a writer, it is hard for others to see your work the way that you do. I mean, how many no’s can we take? J. K. Rowling took a one too many no’s before she got her yes. I tweeted Angie Thomas, ( author of The Hate You Give) and she gave me some sound advice. She said, ” All you need is that one yes.” But, it seems with the more rejections we get as a writer, the less excited we feel that our yes will come. With writing, can the rejections ruin our confidence?

Okay…

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Growing up as children we all hated the word NO. So, it is only right that as an adult we still do not like the word, especially when it comes to something we think is so perfect like our writing. I will be honest, in my lifetime, I have given up on my writing abilities three times due to rejection. There was one time I was querying agents for a book and I did not understand why I was getting rejected. Once, I did my research the correct way and not listened to what other writers were telling me, I realized why. My stories were not aligned with the correct word count.

Once I realized my wrong doing, I self-published all of my books. For a while, the ,money was great, but after a while, the money stops. Then I felt like I had exhausted all possibilities to make money from this way. The more writing I was doing, the more I felt that I had to re-invent myself in some way. Now, I have a completed book that I want to be published the traditional route. The process of getting an agent is tough, but it will be worth it once I get my yes. This experience is damping my spirits just a bit, but I am not going to give up. I said to myself, ” My stories are not good and I am throwing in the towel.” Then, I had someone inbox me via social media and asked me when was my next book coming out. The message that the young lady sent me was HOPE. In that moment, I realized that I could not writing or telling stories. They were in me and it is my duty to share it with the world. Never give up, keep the confidence and the faith. You are a writer.

The Waiting Game With Queries


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Happy Wednesday! I hope all is well on you end. As for me, I am learning patience in more ways than one. Let’s see, I will say that my mind is on an overload from querying so many agents. Granted, agents look so many queries everyday, but for some reason I have in my mind that they are supposed to respond to me as soon as I send the e-mail. LOL! This is silly I know. I am learning patience, but it is getting hard.

snoopy

I have read and watching many videos on how to pass the time when waiting to hear back from agents. Thus far, I have queried about 60 agents and have gotten 8 rejections. The ball can still be in my court, so I have not given up hope yet. It is still alive. Since I have started this process of traditional publishing, my mind has not been on writing anything but my blogs here and my article for Conscious Talk Magazine ( btw, go subscribe at conscioustalkmag.com). I am still job hunting like crazy so I am trying to stay occupied. How can you when you read books that are NYT’s Best Sellers and know that pieces or a few pages of your works is out there for agents to read and determine if I have a best seller too? So, this is what I have come up with:

  1. Meditation – Relieve some of the anxiety that I am feeling.
  2. Pray – Prayer changes EVERYTHING!
  3. Read – This is a given. You can not be a writer if you are not a reader first. ~ Stephen King
  4. Talk To Writer Friends – I do not have many writer friends that I talk to often so I will have to get some new ones on twitter.
  5. Breathe – This is a given.

Get out of your own way

 

Lately, to pass the time I have been thinking a lot about my life thus now and where I want to be in the next five years both personally and professionally. My goal is to be a New York Time’s Best Seller and continue to write books while I change the world with my words. I will still work a day time job as well ( preferably with writing) or helping in some capacity whether it is through research, etc.

 

Book Review: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


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Wow! I do not know what to say about this book. First, I will say that this is the first book that I read by this author. She is very hyped. I tried to read Song of Solomon first, but everyone persuaded me to this book. This book pissed me off. I felt so bad for the characters of Claudia, Penola and even their mother. I won’t disclose too much about what the book is focused on, but I will say it was so sad for me. This book contains race, molestation and rape, so WARNING!

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was a great topic read, but I did not care for the story as much. Maybe because I used to have color complex issues as a child and I could relate to Pecola. I think the mother was as dysfunctional as her husband and se allowed so many things that me personally I would not have. This book was just okay for me. I gave it a 3 star review.

Book Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray


The Diviners

Wow! This tome here was excellent! Okay, I read this book for the TomeTopple readadathon that is going to be over on August 17th! I read this with a buddy named Kaylee who I met on twitter! She’s a great person and loves books just as much as I do. Any whoo, Libba Bray has become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is so captivating and the worlds she brings to life makes me want to go there. This tome or big book was over 500 pages and we finished it in just a week. This book is about a girl named Evie O’Neil who has a supernatural gift. She is able to see what others have been through just by touching something that is meaningful to them like a shirt or a pen. She is what you call a Diviner and others are like her in New York City. She lives with her uncle due to getting in trouble. But, as I was reading this book I wanted to know what came next. Libba Bray has really outdone herself with this one. Now, I will not give any spoilers, but I will say that the ending was not favorite, but I still recommend this book. In fact. I am reading the second book in this series right now and it is a tome as well coming in at 618 pages. I know I will fly by it since it is just that good.

Author Interview: Ed Duncan, Pigeon-Blood Red


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Hey readers! Meet my writer friend, Ed Duncan! He has a new book out and I wanted you guys to have the SCOOP of how his latest book , ” Pigeon-Blood Red” was all about. Be sure to read up until the end of the interview so you can check out his social media!

Synopsis

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

 

Pigeon Blood Red at 238 pages, is not particularly long as books go, but Duncan packs a lot of story into those pages. Readers in search of a tight, well written, good guy versus bad guy, crime/action/adventure will find Pigeon Blood Red by Ed E. Duncan, an engrossing story that will keep them involved to the end. And like me, they will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.” Mike Siedschlag

 

Let The Interview Begin…

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  1. What got you started with writing?

I’ve always wanted to write but I postponed jumping in with both feet because I was always too busy with my legal practice.  I probably got the bug at least as early as the eleventh grade in high school when my English teacher wrote on my term paper that my writing was seldom if ever equaled among her students.  That really knocked me off my feet and I never forgot those words, which I filed away in the back of my mind.  Alas, I became a lawyer rather than a writer, but I always read for pleasure and for many years I was a member of a book club.

After I had been in practice of a short time, I purchased from my book club a one volume collection called The Novels of Dashiell Hammett, which included Hammett’s masterpiece, The Maltese Falcon.  I fell in love with the novel and it rekindled my interest in writing,  Still, I didn’t act on my impulse to write fiction until many years later when the idea for Pigeon-Blood Red popped into my mind while I was attending a legal seminar in Honolulu.  I started working on the novel at night and on weekends, but I could never devote enough time to it until I retired a couple of years early in 2012.  Meanwhile, I wrote a legal treatise in 2008 called Ohio Insurance Coverage, and that whetted my appetite to finish Pigeon-Blood Red.

2. As a writer, it’s always good to read.  What kinds of books do you read?  What’s your reading schedule?

One thing I learned after writing Pigeon-Blood Red is that writers have to devote almost as much time to publicizing and promoting their work as they spend on writing.  This includes keeping abreast of and contributing to social media, which can be time-consuming.  Also, there is also the next book to think about and ultimately write (Pigeon-Blood Red is the first in a trilogy).  In short, I don’t have enough time to to devote to reading as I’d like.  That said, I read every installment of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.  I usually bring one of these novels with me on vacation.  I’m an insomniac so I often read to help me fall asleep.  I recently read Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley and A Deadly Shade of Gold by John D. MacDonald, as well as Sun, Sand, Murder and Beach, Breeze, Bloodshed by new author and friend John Keyse-Walker.  I also read nonfiction and literary fiction when I get a chance.  I just read Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly and I reread The Stranger by Albert Camus.  I’m currently reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

  1. Your book Pigeon-Blood Red, what gave you the idea for the book?  Is it based on any true events in your life?

As I mentioned, the idea for the book came to me out of nowhere while I was attending a legal seminar in Honolulu.  That was sometime in the mid-90’s, which is an indication of how long it took for me to find the time to finish it.  In my mind’s eye I saw a beautiful woman traveling alone and carrying something valuable that dangerous people were trying to get their hands on, and I saw a lawyer (like me!) coming to her rescue.  Over the years that followed, I filled in details, many of which changed as a result of the many drafts and redrafts.  The title also changed.  It was originally Murder in Paradise. The “something” the woman was carrying became a pigeon-blood red ruby necklace worth millions.  The phrase “pigeon-blood red” was coined centuries ago by Indian gem dealers.  It describes the color of the rarest and most valuable rubies in the world, the same color as the first few drops of blood that trickle from the nostrils of a freshly killed pigeon.

Paul Elliott, one of the two main characters, is a lawyer.  He is a highly idealized version of my younger self.  Everything about him is fictional, however, except for two very small details that aren’t pivotal to the narrative.  At one point, Paul recalls a childhood fight with another boy and at another point he recalls a court case he handled when another lawyer was unable to do so.  Those two events actually happened.

  1. Regarding the writing of this book and future books, what is your writing process?

I write the first draft in long hand (actually I print) on a legal pad.  I then make changes to that draft in long hand.  By the time I’m finished, no one except me could possibly read what I’ve written.  I then transfer that draft to my computer and do several additional drafts on the computer.

  1. I see you studied law.  Do you use any of that knowledge in your writing?  If so, how much of it is involved?

So far I’ve not used any of my legal training in my novels.  The case to which a passing reference is made in Pigeon-Blood Red is fleshed out a little in The Last Straw, the next novel in the trilogy, which I’ve just finished.  It becomes the focal point of an argument between Paul and his girlfriend Evelyn and reveals a little about their respective characters.  Also, in that novel a teen commits a crime for which he may have to stand trial, and there is an issue concerning whether a witness will have to testify at a trial.  However, the legal issues are very basic and didn’t require any legal training to imagine or write.  I’ve consciously avoided writing legal thrillers.  Perhaps in the future I’ll find a way to weave my legal knowledge into one of my plots.

  1. For new writers, it is hard for them to get started with the process.  What advice would you have for them?

First of all, read widely.  Second, do multiple drafts and don’t be discouraged by the first draft.  Even the most polished writers will admit that their first drafts are awful.  If sending queries to agents or publishers, don’t be discouraged by rejections.  Everybody (well, almost everybody) has gotten them.  If self-publishing, hire an editor.  It will be money well spent.  No one can edit himself.  Finally, consider hiring a publicist.  Some people can do what a publicist does on their own but even if they can, the time spent probably could be better spent writing.

  1. What do you want your readers to get out of this book?

I want the readers to identify with the struggles of the main characters and feel that the characters were well drawn.  No matter where they happen to be in the novel, I want readers to look forward to reading the next page.  I want readers not to want the novel to end and I want them to eagerly await the next installment in the trilogy.  In short, I want readers to enjoy the novel immensely.

  1. Do you have a particular place that you like to write at?  What are some writing do’s and don’ts that you are willing to share?

When the muse arrives, I can write almost anywhere, at least until the muse departs.  Generally, though, I write at a table that separates my den from my kitchen.  When I transfer the first drafts to the computer, I write upstairs where my desk, files, and computer are located.

Regarding writing do’s and don’ts, I think each writer has or will develop his or her own, depending upon what is comfortable.  For instance, it is often said that a writer must write something, no matter how much, every day (or at least every weekday) or that he must force himself to write a certain number of words or pages whenever he sits down to write.  I disagree.  I think those kinds of strictures are necessary for some writers but not for all.  Another old saw is that you should write only what you know.  With the advent of the internet, that is much less true today than perhaps it used to be.  I think you should should write what you like to write.  If the subject matter interests you, you will be willing to do the necessary research so that by the time you start writing, you are in fact writing what you know.

  1. For writers who love crime, what do you have in the vault for the future?  Any series?  Standalones?

As mentioned, I just finished The Last Straw, which is the second in the trilogy that began with Pigeon-Blood Red.   I have to decide whether to self-publish it or to try to publish it traditionally.  The third in the trilogy has already been written as a screenplay (unproduced), so I just have to convert it to a novel.  The title of the screenplay is Rico Stays, which I intend to use for the novel.  I don’t currently have a standalone in mind but I am not ruling it out.  Also, it’s possible that I’ll expand the trilogy.

  1. What events are coming up for you? The only event I have coming up is an appearance before the Thrillers and Chillers Book Club at the Henderson Memorial Public Library in Jefferson, Ohio on August 26 at 1:00 p.m.

About The Author:

 Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy. To learn more, go to http://eduncan.net/

Connect with Ed on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

How Often Do You DNF A Book?


Tuesday

Good morning! I hope that everyone is doing fabulous on this great Tuesday! I have so many books on my TBR shelf and that I am currently reading it is a shame. But, I still have my July TBR and Booktubeathon starts next week. Not to mention the books that I got in the mail that need to be reviewed. Where does one find the time? Any who, I wanted to get your guys opinion on DNF’ing a book. Is there really a proper way to stop reading something that is no longer interesting to you? How many pages do you give it? Sure, they can be some good parts and bad parts, but for you what do you do when you are like, ” Okay, I am not finishing this, I will be DNF’ng it.”

I have read many books that are slow and does not pick up fast enough for me. Granted, I read slow already, but if the book looses interest so do I. Does that make sense? If I read a book,I want it to be enjoyable from the beginning to end. On the other hand, I start to wonder if a part of the book is slow and then it just starts to pick up and still turns out good. You never know unless you read the entire book. One of my goals this year is to not DNF books so much.

What I DNF’D This Year:

I know that some of you maybe thinking, what?! Let me explain. Home going is a book that was making me cry with every page that I was reading. The book is sad, but real. Unfortunately for me, the sad and gruesome parts overwhelmed me. An Ember In The Ashes, was good, I was listening to that book on audiobook. I still have it and can always go back to it, but it started to be slow as well. I want a book that is fast paced and if it is slow, i want to be slow because it is building the world or the characters POV ( point of view).  I can always pick both back up, but as for now I am going to read and try to get through other books. Tell me in the comment, what books have you currently DNF’d thus far?