Saturday, March 30, 2024

Book Club: Sole Survivor

This morning I am going to my Book Club. This month we read Sole Survivor by Ruthanne Lum McCunn.

I really love this book club. Not only are the people great but it leads me to read books I may not otherwise read. Sole Survivor is no exception.

This book was really brutal in detailing all the hardships Poon Lim went through. These kind of stories will help make me a better author.

Here is the description from Amazon:

On November 23, 1942, German U-Boats torpedoed the British ship Benlomond and it sank in the Atlantic in two minutes. The sole survivor was a second steward named Poon Lim, who, with no knowledge of the sea, managed to stay alive for 133 days on a small wooden raft. Finally rescued at the mouth of the Amazon River, Poon was hailed as the "World's Champion Survivor." He still holds the Guinness World Record for survival at sea.

--Great book, highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tuesday Tip: Ending First

So you have a great idea and you have no idea where to begin. 

Try this: Write the ending first.

If you can see where the destination of the idea goes, write that climax. You may find it easy when you flesh out the ending, to back up into the inciting incident.

--Give it a try.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Kindle Countdown Deal!!

 What if everything they knew about Vampires was wrong?

--Back to regular price on April 1st!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Tuesday Tips!

A Great Writing Tip for New Authors:  Habit

One great writing tip for new authors is to develop a writing habit. Building a consistent writing routine can help you overcome writer's block, stay motivated, and make progress on your projects. Here's why establishing a writing habit is important:

Consistency: Making writing a regular part of your life helps you develop discipline and consistency. By setting aside dedicated time for writing, you create a habit that becomes ingrained in your routine.

Productivity: When writing becomes a habit, you're more likely to make progress on your projects. Even if you don't feel particularly inspired, sitting down to write regularly can help you overcome creative blocks and generate ideas.

Improvement: The more you write, the better you become. Writing regularly allows you to practice and refine your skills, helping you grow as an author. It's through consistent practice that you can develop your unique voice and style.

To establish a writing habit, consider the following tips:

Set a Schedule: Determine a specific time each day or week when you can dedicate yourself to writing. Treat it as an appointment with yourself and prioritize it.

Create a Writing Space: Designate a quiet and comfortable space where you can focus on your writing without distractions. Having a dedicated space can help signal to your brain that it's time to write.

Start Small: If you're new to writing, start with shorter writing sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. Consistency is more important than the length of each session.

Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable writing goals for each session, such as writing a certain number of words or completing a specific scene. Breaking down your writing into smaller tasks can make it more manageable and less overwhelming.

Remember, building a writing habit takes time and effort, but it can greatly enhance your writing journey. Embrace the process, stay motivated, and keep writing consistently to develop your skills and bring your stories to life.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Can We Unleash Creativity Harnessing AI to Write a Novel?

In an era where technology continues to transform various aspects of our lives, it is no surprise that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has found its way into the realm of writing. Aspiring authors and seasoned writers alike have begun exploring the possibilities of using AI to assist in the creative process. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating world of using AI to write a novel, exploring the advantages, challenges, and potential implications of this emerging trend.

Enhancing Creativity: AI can be a powerful tool for writers, acting as a creative assistant by generating ideas, suggesting plot twists, or even developing unique characters. By feeding the AI system with relevant data and prompts, authors can tap into a vast reservoir of information, expanding their own creative boundaries. AI can provide fresh perspectives, offering unique ideas that may not have occurred to the writer otherwise.

Enhancing Efficiency: Writing a novel is a laborious task that requires time and dedication. AI can significantly enhance efficiency by automating certain aspects of the writing process. Grammar and spell-checking, proofreading, and even generating drafts can be streamlined with the assistance of AI tools. This allows authors to focus more on the creative aspects of their work, saving time and energy.

Balancing Human Touch and AI Assistance: While AI can be a valuable aid in the writing process, it is crucial to maintain a balance between human creativity and AI assistance. It is essential for authors to maintain their unique voice and style, ensuring that the final product remains a genuine expression of their creativity. AI should be viewed as a tool to augment and support the writing process, rather than as a replacement for human imagination.

Ethical Considerations: As we embrace the potential of AI in writing, it is important to consider the ethical implications. Plagiarism, copyright infringement, and the authenticity of the creative process are concerns that need to be addressed. Authors should be transparent about their use of AI tools and give due credit where necessary. It is vital to understand the limits of AI and to preserve the integrity of the writing profession.


The integration of AI into the writing process opens up exciting possibilities for authors. From inspiring creativity to enhancing efficiency, AI tools can be powerful allies. However, it is important to strike a balance between human creativity and AI assistance, ensuring that the final work remains an authentic expression of the author's unique voice. As we venture into this new frontier, it is essential to navigate the ethical considerations and preserve the integrity of the writing profession. With the right approach, AI can be a valuable asset, helping authors unleash their creativity and bring captivating stories to life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Quote of the Week

 "Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good." 
- William Faulkner .

"As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand." 
- Ernest Hemingway.

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme." 
- Herman Melville .

"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." 
- Louis L'Amour .

"The first draft is just you telling yourself the story." 
- Terry Pratchett .

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

22 Story Tips from Pixar

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coates, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list - When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

3. Trying for a theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

4. Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

5.Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

6. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

7. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

8.Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

9. When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

10. Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

11. Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

12. Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

13. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

14. Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

15. If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

16. What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

17. No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

18. You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

19. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

20. Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

21. You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

22. What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Quick Software List

I got several emails recently about what software I use. Here is a quick list:

Some useful software for sci-fi authors includes Scrivener for organizing and structuring your writing. There are lots of Scrivener training vids on YouTube and books on Amazon

Plottr for plotting and outlining your story.

I also recommend ProWritingAid and Grammarly for editing and improving your writing. Neither is perfect but both are useful.

That's my quick list!

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Tuesday Tips!

Here are five great tips:

1. Develop a unique and believable world: Create a detailed and immersive world for your story, complete with its own history, technology, and social structures.

2. Focus on character development: Make sure your characters are well-rounded and relatable, with their own motivations and flaws.

3. Use science and technology creatively: Incorporate scientific concepts and futuristic technology in a way that enhances your story and adds depth to your world.

4. Explore ethical and philosophical themes: Sci-fi is a great genre for exploring complex ethical and philosophical questions, so don't be afraid to delve into these themes in your writing.

5. Keep the plot engaging and unpredictable: Make sure your story has plenty of twists and turns to keep readers hooked, and don't be afraid to take risks with your plot.

I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any other questions.