#0057 Writing Tips From Authors On The Novelry Blog

Welcome back, my fellow travellers. It is a joy to have the pleasure of your company and spending a moment together. I hope your week has gone well and you’ve gotten as much life out of that as possible. 

Please like and subscribe. Then share the Bejesus with anyone you feel would appreciate it. Give your referral this link to my published work. If my story touches your referral, chances are high that they will enjoy the blog. Suppose my account doesn’t handle your referral. They should find another blog to read. 

As always, I welcome all of your comments. They are helping me hone my craft and on the pathway to becoming the best writer I am capable of becoming.

Writing Tips From Authors Jan 2023 On The Novelry Blog.  Ranked #1 Worldwide by rankedblogs.com 2022.

https://www.thenovelry.com/blog/writing-tips-from-authors

They asked over 200 successful published authors what the one top tip they would give to other writers was the silver bullet, which they shared. 

List of the author’s top advice.

  1.  Study your craft, find a community
  2. Read – a lot.
  3. Get started!
  4. Keep going!
  5. Write every day. (my modification is to write every day that your life allows. Or if you are determined to write every day and slip one day, that’s OK. Just don’t let yourself have two slips in a row.)
  6. Finish it!
  7. Write the book you want to read.
  8. Edit! (This is easy.  All you have to do is take everything away from your first draft that isn’t the story.)
  9. Keep a sense of perspective and enjoy!

It adds weight to the adage of ‘tried and tested methods’ as their answer clustered into a few key areas. I found that reassuring. 

By far, the single most crucial piece of advice, with over a quarter of the authors responding, is to keep going, to persevere and never give up. If you are part of a community in which one in ten authors gave a piece of good advice, they will be an excellent support for new writers, as they will have been there and probably have the t-shirt in their merchandise on their Twitter account. https://tomgalewriter.com/2022/11/21/three-ways-i-use-to-get-over-writers-block/

One in six of our authors said the most important thing for those seeking to become a published author was to read. https://tomgalewriter.com/2022/11/28/a-list-of-the-books-i-have-read-this-past-year/

So, all in all, I’m pretty pleased that all of the top answers given by successful published authors I’ve worked out for myself. This is just the shot in the arm I need as we plunge headlong into what lies ahead in 2023.

I shall be doing a good old rummage around https://www.thenovelry.com/blog/ for courses, coaching and community resources that have merited their #1 Spot on the list of writing blogs. I’m sure that there will be tons of stuff that will help me in my ambition of becoming the best writer that I am capable of. 

https://tomgalewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/New-Year-Wish-for-2023-for-all-my-Followers.m4a?_=1

 

Well, that’s it for another week. Remember to hit the like button and subscribe straight for future posts to go straight into your inbox for future publications. 

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#0056 My First Recommendation of 2023

A blog by Tom Gale, a new LGBTQ+ writer  Jan 2023 The City of Salford, England

First, I am relieved to see you all made it back in more or less good shape, if not better than when I last saw you. That is not nothing. Good on you. Here’s why. 

  1. It shows that you have what one of my old bosses described as ‘stickability’, and for the sniggerers on the back row, yes, I hear you, and if you look more carefully, there is no ‘W’ in that word—moving on.
  2. You are first in the queue for all the exciting stuff planned for 2023. The team and I at TomGaleWriter HQ have been working flat out towards this, and we are excited.

We are driven by finding ways to give you the best experience we are capable of.

However, if you have a great idea you think your fellow readers/ community members would enjoy, whip it over to us, and we will give it our full attention and give you feedback within 2 to 3 days.

Once again, it is good to see you back. I can’t stop grinning. It makes me so happy. 

So, without any further ado, let’s start with the business. 

My First Book Recommendation of 2023

 

 

 

To scare the bejeezus right out of you. 

Now hands up if you like a book that scares the bejeezus out of you. 

Those with your hands down, you are excused. 

Now keep your hands up if you like that with a side of ‘beautifully crafted’?

And if you are swayed when a book messes with your head, as it challenges the current convention on style and content?  

Finally, keep your hand up if you enjoy the fact that one of the major themes of this scary book is Folklore, specifically Slavic mythology.

For those of you who still have your hands up, then you are going to love the recommendation I have for you.  For those of you who dropped out on the last couple of questions, I think you could do worse than giving it your best shot. 

 

My first recommendation for 2023 is ‘The Bone Mother’ by the Canadian, international award-winning author David Demchuk. It was David Demchuk’s first fiction novel. 

Winner of the 2018 Sunburst award. Nominated for the Shirley Jackson award. Amazon’s first novel award and The Scotiabank Giller prize. In paperback from Proving Ground Press May 26 2020.

Available from all the usual suspect booktoriums and the like

I read it during a recent transatlantic flight. With ancestors from Lithuania and a robust masochistic streak satisfied by having the bejeezus scared out of me, I realise this may have made me an easy catch. 

However, this did more. It landed, smashed my head on a rock, slit me open, removed my guts, and filleted me, keeping the skull and bones for stock. It gripped from the first page to the last, and I couldn’t put it down. It even worked a bit of magic on my bladder, which usually is weakened when I fly transatlantic.

It Satisfied My Robust Masochistic Streak 

 

If anyone has muttered ewwwww at any of that, then maybe The Bone Mother isn’t for you. I’ll let you be the judge. I will not do any spoilers but rather leave you with this. The greatest delight was for me other than having someone tell me some creepy, scary and even horrific stories with the fact that Mr Demchuk had left sufficient space between his words for my imagination to expand and contract in the same rhythms as his structures. 

 

Well, that’s it for another week. Remember to hit the like button and subscribe straight for future posts to go straight into your inbox for future publications. 

Leave a comment by hitting the “comments” button, and leave your feedback which I value greatly. 

Click the links below for my social media sites, website and published work. 

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Published work

 

#0049 A List of the Books I Have Read This Past Year

Welcome back, my fellow travellers. It is a joy to have the pleasure of your company and spending a moment together. I hope your week has gone well and you’ve gotten as much life out of that as possible. 

Please like and subscribe. Then share the Bejesus with anyone you feel would appreciate it. Give your referral this link to my published work. If my story touches your referral, chances are high that they will enjoy the blog. Suppose my account doesn’t handle your referral. They should find another blog to read. 

As always, I welcome all of your comments. They are helping me hone my craft and on the pathway to becoming the best writer I am capable of becoming.

When I began writing full-time about two and a half years ago, one of the first books I read was “On Writing” by Stephen King. It is part memoir and part ‘here’s how to do stuff’ book. One of the things that struck me was his insistence that to become a good writer; you have to do two things. One is to write. Then I learned that writing is much more than just putting words onto the page or screen. I won’t go into it, but if you are a beginner writer looking for a good book about how to write. I can’t recommend it enough. The other thing that you must do is read. Purists will say that you have to read a ‘proper’ book. Stephen disagrees, and I share his opinion. There are many ways to read these days. Both in ‘proper’ book form and other media. Such as e-books and audiobooks.

I don’t think that there is anything to be gained by informing you what media the books I’ve read are in. However, when it comes to audiobooks, I realised there was a lot of empty air if you only played at the speed it recorded. x 1.0, in other words. Whereas if you increase the speed to x 1.5 or even more. I’ve found that my ear can tolerate a rate of x 1.8, which means that you will get through an audiobook in almost half the time it would take to read in the usual manner.

List of Books Read in 2022

Author Book
Surname First Name Title
Albom Mitch Tuesdays With Morrie
Angelou Maya I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Boghossian Peter How To Have Impossible Conversations
Bryson Bill The Body
Bryson Bill A Short History of Nearly Everything
Chomsky Noam The Essential Chomsky
Clear James Atomic Habits
Coben Harlan Deal Breaker
Coben Harlan Tell No One
Corey James S A Leviathan Wakes
Dawkins Richard The Selfish Gene
Doyle Andrew Free Speech
Fry Stephen Mythos
Fry Stephen Heroes
Gladwell Malcolm Talking To Strangers
Govan Russell Bank On Nothing
Haidt Jonathan The Righteous Mind
Haidt Jonathan The Coddling of the American Mind
Iannucci Armando Pandemonium
Jordan Robert A Crown of Swords book seven in the Wheel Of Time
Jordan Robert Lord Of Chaos book six in the Wheel of Time
Jordan Robert The Shadow Rising book four in the Wheel of Time
Karr Mary The Art of Memoir
Karr Mary The Liars Club
Kay Adam This Is Going To Hurt
Kidd Sue Monk The Secret Life of Bees
King Stephen On Writing
Kondo Marie The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Lamott Anne Bird By Bird
Logan Kirsty Things We Say In The Dark
Maksimovich Jennifer Two Shadows. A Ghost Story based upon real events
Manson Mark Everything Is F*cked
Manson Mark The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
Martin George R R A Game Of Thrones
Maupin Armistead The Days of Anna Madrigal
McGrath Titania Woke
Murray Douglas The Strange Death of Europe
Murray Douglas The Madness of Crowds
Niven Govinden This Brutal House
Norton Graham Holding
Peterson Jordan B Maps of Meaning
Peterson Jordan B 12 Rules For Life
Pinker Steven The Blank Slate
Redek Amy What Happens At Night
Sagan Carl Cosmos
Sedaris David Me Talk Pretty One Day
Shapiro Dani Slow Motion
Shrier Abigail Irriversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters
Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr The Gulag Archepelego
Starkey David Monarchy
Stuart Douglas Shuggie Bain
Welsh Irvine Trainspotting
Walker Matthew Why We Sleep

Using apps allows me to carry a whole library of books wherever I go. Helpful when going on holiday. You are not taking up vital space in your luggage for reading material. It is also beneficial if I chat with someone about a book and they express an interest in it. I can send them a copy and share mine with them. It doesn’t cost them or me anything extra. As you know, a book habit can get costly if you’re not careful.

I will only tell you the author of the book and the title. I’m not sharing feedback on the books. However, I may do it at a later date. The list is quite long, and the author and title are enough.

Another thing that I have found extremely useful is learning how to read speedily. Most of us read at a rate of around 190 words per minute. Using a combination of apps and webinars, I have increased my speed to about 260 wpm. Don’t you think that’s possible? Try it and find out for yourself. Please don’t take just my word for it.

I will put the list in alphabetical order of the author’s surname. So if you have a favourite author in mind and want to know if I’ve read them, you can scan through the list quickly, which gives it some structure and makes sense to me. Other opinions and methodologies are available.

Suppose mine disagrees with you. Leave me a comment, and I will do my best to find another solution for you. Would a recording of the list be helpful, for example? Should I be thinking about more significant font types? What about other languages? Do let me know. I welcome all of your feedback and comments.

 

So there we go, a list of the books I read last year. As you can tell, I read a wide range of genres and a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Which I believe was something else Stephen King encouraged. I do read everywhere I go. That’s another benefit of having different media to choose from you. I can pick the press to suit the environment that I am in. I squeeze in a few minutes while waiting to have my groceries checked out. Or any other queue situation I find myself in. Doctor, dentist, pharmacy, customer service call on hold, and so forth. I can read in the car and my reading corner at home. I would instead read than watch something. When I want to watch something, I use a reward system—20 mins for each goal or sub-goal I achieve in a day. So for an hour of viewing. I would need to complete a minimum of three goals. I mark it off on a little chart on my fridge door. Seeing lots of ticks on the sheet as the weeks and months pass is very satisfying.

Has anyone else compiled a list of books they have read in the past year that you would like to share? Do you have any recommendations that are not your own? What reading habits have you taught yourself? Please let me know by liking and leaving a comment.

Well, that’s it for another week. Remember to hit the like button and subscribe to your inbox for future publications. 

Leave a comment by hitting the “comments” button, and leave your feedback which I value greatly. 

Click the links below for my social media sites, website and published work. 

 Twitter

Facebook

Website

Published work

#0043 To Dash or Not To Dash-That Is The Question?

A blog by Tom Gale a new LGBTQ+ writer in Salford, England. Oct 2022.

 

What joy. Our paths cross again. Have I told you lately how much I love you all? No? Well, I
do. My heart overflows knowing you are following, liking, and commenting on my blog. I have
so many exciting things coming up that I hope you will love as much as I have creating them.
However, that’s to come. Onto this week’s topic. My poor grammar and punctuation.

 

No One Complained

Depending upon how old you are, drills in grammar surrounding commas, parentheses and
em dashes may have benefitted you greatly. Personally, when I missed the 11+ by a year, in
my mind, learning grammar wasn’t as high on my list of priorities. If I had my English
Comprehension and English Literature, Bs would have been As. However, as I was the first
pupil in my school’s history to have achieved 8 ‘O’ Levels and 3 ‘Higher’ levels, no one
complained about whether my use of commas was up to snuff.

Mortified and Bullied

The smile on my English teacher’s face when it was my turn to read aloud was enough to let
me know I was on the right track. However, she mortified both of us when she told the class.
However, as one was bullied every day for the first two years of high school-being, being
called ‘swat’ or ‘teacher’s pet’ was nothing in comparison.

Come Back To Haunt Me

As a new writer-having started writing full time two years ago, it has come back to haunt me.
So what if I use a dash or parentheses instead of a comma? Will it matter that much? Well, it
may. It may even matter greatly, particularly when I reach the point of handing over my
manuscript to a professional editor.

Insult to My Beta Reader

That was torturous reading. I didn’t take it personally and thanked them for their
thought-provoking feedback.
Once I had ranted and sworn a few times in private about the comments, I gave it some real
thought. I concluded that there was little I could show to bring doubt to their analysis. So I
decided to make it a point of personal growth to read some books on the subject. Choosing
books that included exercises over those focused more on theory and rules.

Getting Re-acquainted with Terminology

I re-acquainted myself with ‘absolute possessive’, ‘brackets’, ‘commas’ and ‘dashes’ amongst
many other terms, such as ‘vocative case’, ‘weak verbs’ and my personal favourite ‘zeugma’.
With a hand on my heart, I can say that is one word I never heard out of my English teacher’s
mouth in the four years I was in her class.

Pay Attention To This…

It felt like I was looking for a foreign language. I had forgotten many of the terms or never
paid attention in the first place. That was like a klaxon going off. ‘PAY ATTENTION TO THIS.

Absolute Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Determiners

The term “absolute possessive pronoun” refer to possessive pronouns “mine”, “yours”, “his”,
“hers”, “ours”, and “theirs”.

A Possessive pronoun is “a word replacing a noun (or a noun phrase) and shows ownership.”

The term “absolute possessive pronoun” differentiates these pronouns from possessive
determiners “my”, “your”, “his”, “her”, “its” “our” and “their”. Which are traditionally
called possessive adjectives.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=possessive+adjective%2C+possessive+determiner&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1

%3B%2Cpossessive%20adjective%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cpossessive%20determiner%3
B%2Cc0

Another Steep Learning Curve

The realisation I was just the beginning of ‘As’ brought into sharp focus that this would be a
steep learning curve. Which shouldn’t have come as a surprise as every part of my writing
pathway has also been. Although, in my defence, writing full-time has been just over two
years, which has helped.

One Of My Sharpest Tools

I am determined to make this one of the sharpest tools in my writer’s toolbox that Stephen
King refers to in his book “On Writing”, which I found incredibly revealing about what it will
take to become a good writer day.

There’s An App For That

But Tom, don’t you know there are apps for that these days? I hear you screaming at me from
behind this page. The purpose is for me to learn grammar. I observed the apps I’ve looked at
while doing a splendid job of recognising poor grammar and offering suggestions. To me,
that feels much like the old proverb. “Catch a fish for a man, and he will eat today. Show him
how to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.” I want my grammar to feed my writing. However,
it will point out spacing inconsistencies and correct all occurrences with a click. It will also
offer suggestions for rewriting a sentence(s). Or when a word repeats in the same sentence or

paragraph, it will provide recommendations for alternatives. However, will they ‘play nice
with my writing and blogging apps (I use five for different purposes)?

As I wrote in a previous blog
https://tomgalewriter.com/2022/06/06/why-do-you-have-to-learn-the-hard-way/

Loving What I Do

I want to be the best writer I can be, which is why I am doing this. It is more in keeping with
the spirit of “loving what you do” I am already doing what I love and am thankful for that.
But, like all jobs, some aspects are not as enjoyable as others. So this is me learning to love
more about editing more. I am also doing other things to learn to love marketing my work. So
that I will be able to say with confidence “that after some considerable time and effort, I do
love what I do.”

I think that will be a blog for the future.

To Dash Or Not To Dash

As commas, parentheses, and dashes set off extra information or expand upon something
preceding them. As mentioned earlier, the rule of thumb regards how close or distant it is to
the data. Commas do the job when the material is closely related to that around it.
Parentheses when the material is more distantly related. The middle ground uses the dash.

Or

You can use it to set off or introduce defining phrases and lists.

Something like “Sarah stared at a choice of three croissants-plain, almond and chocolate,
taking all her will not to go in.
Or

Use it in place of a colon or semi-colon to link clauses.

Leni would never forget the day the head called her to his office, brimming with
excitement-she had made history for the school.

Or

To set off illustrative or amplifying material. Phrases that may be introduced by, for example,
namely, and that is.

“You must see it now?” John said, stressing the must. “As anyone with even one eye would see
from its shape, the movement is horizontal, not vertical.”

Or

To introduce a summary statement.

Chocolate chip, oatmeal with raisins, peanut butter, salted caramel, macarons and
macaroons- the plethora of varieties on this week’s Bake Off was impressive.

Are you all still with me? I do hope so. However, I realise that will have been a lot for some.
If there was an easier way to explain it believe me I would have. That’s the thing with
grammar it is a stickler for its rules and definitions. My poor use of it up until now may well
be one of those key elements that determine within seconds if a manuscript goes in the “B”
pile, “B” for Bin that is. Or the “A” pile. “A” for Ah hah!
Those terms are fictional. They came from my own head. Whatever pile is the smallest.
So, if the pain of “to dash or not to dash” added to the pain of the terminology B-Z of which
there are many, I see that as the cost of being the best writer that I am capable of. When I can
witness to the truth of the saying “I love what I do.” not just do what I love.

Remember To Like And Share

As always thanks for coming back. Remember to like and share with your friends who might
be interested in my blog. Thoughts, comments and feedback are always welcome. Just hit the
comment button and tell me. Until we meet again you can find me

You can read my published work at the link below

https://madmagz.com/magazine/1933351#/page/51

Peace my friends.