Punting…

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Here I sit with not one good idea for my blog post.

What is the expression when you don’t know what to do? Punt?

I don’t like football, but I am desperate. So, here goes:

Today, I want to talk about encouraging other writers.

My overall purpose in writing this blog is to encourage you.

There is a saying that goes somewhat like this: People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

So…you won’t hear my encouraging words—they won’t be as meaningful to you—unless I form some kind of connection with you.

One way I try to connect is by using a story about myself to which you can relate. On my other blog, today, I wrote about being caught in a storm. It’s likely that others have had similar experiences, or at least known someone who has had. From there, I can take the reader on an encouraging “journey.”

I often use humor. Mine is very dry, but even dry humor helps to develop a bond with readers, much like public speakers do when they share a joke or amusing story at the beginning of a speech.

Consistently blogging, or sharing information via emails or on a website is yet another way to stay connected. Once content is delivered, I look forward to encouraging others to use it.

Inviting my readers to ask questions is another way to encourage, especially if you feel free to ask about my life, struggles, experiences of being a writer, and so on.

But, sometimes, I just have to flat out tell things as they are—and that can be encouraging, too, because I think you are primarily looking for good content, sprinkled with a little encouragement here and there. 

Do you have additional ways in which you encourage other writers? 

Please feel free to write in and share your ideas. 

Authors, no matter at what stage in the writing process they currently are, need the encouragement of a committed community of writers.

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What Makes a Book Worth Reading???

 

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I love to read.

I read a lot of books.

I post a lot of reviews.

When deciding what I liked about a book, I don’t look at things like writing style, typographical errors, or if certain elements showed up at exactly the right number of pages into the book. I’m not reading to be critical of someone else’s work.

I have my reader’s hat on and I am reading for enjoyment or for information. If what I am reading delivers, I am a happy camper.

So, in the case of reading fiction, what is it that makes a book enjoyable for the masses?

Here are a few observations. (Please feel free to write in and add any to the list that I may have forgotten).

I like a book when

  1. I have empathy for the main character, especially if they are the “under-dog” or are hurt or in a difficult situation which they are trying to change.
  2. I value one of the traits he/she has—love, courage, loyalty, etc.
  3. There’s not too much backstory.
  4. There is a nice balance of suspense and humor.
  5. If, by their actions and emotions, the characters seem “real.”
  6. There is enough description so that I can visualize the setting and the characters.
  7. The story doesn’t drag on and on way past when I feel it should have ended.
  8. There is a sentence or two at the end of each scene/chapter that makes me want to read “just one more”—and, often, late into the night. (I just have to find out…)
  9. The story isn’t totally predictable. If it twists and turns, making it a challenge for me to figure it out too readily.
  10. The hero succeeds/“wins.” That doesn’t mean that it must end the way I predicted. In fact, not at all. But, if the hero learns something or is in a better position at the end of the book than when the story began, I am satisfied.