Oct 14 2012

Warning: Readers Have Comfort Zones

Posted by Mathias

Writers sometimes get a little too crazy.  One thing we often do is try to show how smart we are by using what are known as ten dollar words.  I call it the Plethora Rule.  What is the Plethora Rule?  It is best described from the scene that made me realize long ago that fancy words are not always good.  Here is that scene from ¡Three Amigos! that introduced 90% of people who know what plethora means to the word:

(more…)

Oct 04 2012

The Price Of The Unnecessary Character

Posted by Mathias

I learned an important lesson the other day. Unimportant characters equals lots of unneeded words.

During live read edits for Under the Darkened Moon, I felt as though one character, introduced for just one scene, was unnecessary. Sure, he served a purpose. Sure he furthered the plot. Sure he got my main character from point A to point B. (more…)

Sep 28 2012

Under the Darkened Moon Critiques (Both Good And Bad)

Posted by Mathias

I encourage people to say what they really think whenever they are reading my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon). I haven’t had it in a formal review setting since I started the live read and final draft process. But, prior to that, I got a lot of feedback from a variety of sources including: my standard review group, writer friends of mine (published and unpublished), and people who I know and who like to read fantasy.

I’m not someone who isn’t willing to let people, whether they liked the book or not, have their say. Here is a sampling of the good and the bad that I got as feedback: (more…)

Sep 23 2012

Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (21 Through 30)

Posted by Mathias

This is a continuation of my previous lists:
Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (Top 10)
Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (11 Through 20)

21. 1984 by George Orwell

(4.75/5 stars) (more…)

Sep 11 2012

Even “traditionally” published books have errors

Posted by Mathias

People like to knock self-published authors, those brave souls that have decided to try something other than traditional publishing, with broad strokes that lump every self-published author into the category of garbage.  Yes, most of what is self-published is horrid trash.  Bad plots.  Poorly contrived characters.  Not to mention continuity errors, misspellings, and awkward sentences galore!  Sometimes self-published books overcome these problems, Fifity Shades of Grey for one (though don’t ask me how or why), but it is not common.  The crap that is self-published gives everything else a bad name.

But the sad truth is that, for all the bashing of self-published authors who rush their works onto Amazon.com without proper editing and proof reading, traditionally published books are rife with errors as well.  Yes, they are often farer and fewer between, but they are still quite common.  Most traditionally books I read have errors that I spot easily.  So no way a “professional” editor couldn’t.  Usually it’s just punctuation or a cumbersome sentence that takes three or four passes to understand.  These errors stare me in the face all the time, and I wonder how on God’s green Earth they made it past the supposed filters. (more…)

Aug 29 2012

Myth Busted: Passive Voice Is Not Significantly Harder To Read/Comprehend

Posted by Mathias

Are passive voice sentences really harder to read?  I hear this a lot as a reason to not use, or to at least use sparingly, the passive voice in writing.  So I decided to do a little test.  I took a series of sentences and wrote them in both the passive and active voice.  I then checked their readability statistics using Microsoft Word’s native tool for this.

Example 1: 

Active: “I mailed the letter.”

Flesch Reading Ease: 97

Flesch-Kincade Grade Level: 0.7 (more…)

Aug 28 2012

Today’s Word of the Day – Hoary

Posted by Mathias

hoary (adjective) \ˈhȯr-ē\

1 : gray or white with or as if with age
2 : extremely old : ancient <hoary legends>
Aug 26 2012

Best Fantasy/Fiction/Sci-Fi Books I Ever Read (11 Through 20)

Posted by Mathias

This list is the expansion of my Top 10 list which can be viewed here.

11. Lord of the Flies by: William Golding

(4.75/5) (more…)

Aug 12 2012

Best Seller Or Best Give Away For Freer?

Posted by Mathias

This post sort of goes along with my previous post about whether or not one is really an “award winning author” or not.  Seems to me that a lot of authors, particularly self-published ones, want to make themselves seem more prominent than they really are.  In a way, I understand that.  It is hard being an author.  I know, being one myself.  We would all like recognition.  But, like I said in my post about “award winning authors” who get some token award and then tout it as some grand credential, “the only person you are cheating is yourself,” when that recognition is overhyped. (more…)

Aug 01 2012

10 Likely Reasons I Didn’t Follow You On Twitter

Posted by Mathias

Every day I get new followers on Twitter.  I do follow back most (>50%), but I don’t follow back many for various reasons.  Here are the 10 most likely reasons you didn’t get a follow back.

10. You’re a political hack who likes to spout off your ignorant, unresearched, unfounded thoughts on a regular basis.  Note: I’m not on Twitter to listen to such things.
9. You’re obviously just collecting Twitter followers as some sort of meaningless trophy to boost your ego (I.e. you follow 100K people and have 100K followers)
8. A look at your recent history shows you only talk about yourself, don’t RT, or converse with others.
7. Your tweets or profile make it clear you think that Christians are evil, brainwashed people.
6. You tweet 300x an hour, 20 hours a day.
5. The only thing you tweet about is SEO.
4. Your twitter icon is essentially porn.
3. Not only did you follow me, but you immediately sent me a DM making sure I know it and asking when I am going to “return the favor”.
2. Every tweet you make is “Buy my [book/product]”
1. NOTHING you say interests me.