Joseph Clay – Author

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Writing Update WWU #10-17 and Writing Tips

WWU 10-17

Oh yeah, welcome to Friday my friends, I can smell the weekend, what about you? I can also see the spring on the horizon and summertime is not for away. We know what that means, time to get that swimsuit body into shape!

I got a lot to cover so let’s get straight to the updates.

  • Thunder Bear Book Cover: The polls are still open so there is time to cast your vote for the book. Not sure what I’m talking about read ‘Help Me Choose a Book Cover’. The tally is as follows. TB-1 (20) votes, TB-3 (30) votes, TB-4 (10) Votes, and TB-5 (30) votes
  • Thunder Bear: down to the last two or three chapters, I have it scheduled for completion for the last of the month.
  • Tales of Joe: This is the short story collection. I finished a re-write of a story I originally penned back in 1978 titled The Bloody Waters of Wahoo Creek. For my friends who live or have lived in and around Sargent Georgia, this tale comes from the folk-lore of the headless woman in search of her husband. That makes a total of five stories so far. The book also includes the following tales. Cursed; To Be or Not To Be, Death of a SoulBirth of a Killer, Night of Dreams and The Birds of Peace.
  • The Erotic Tales of Joe: At this time this book still has only one tale, a poem titled To a Princess. The good news is there are two stories out lined. The exciting news, I have solicited the help of two excellent erotic writers to write the female point of view in these tales. The first titled Getting My Mojo Back will feature Ava Bell as a female co-lead and G. Michelle as the other female co-lead. Me of course, I’m the male lead. Yeah I’m a lucky guy. The second title Lust Verses Commitment will be feature G. Michelle as the female lead.

That covers the updates.

I have read a couple of books from independent authors over the last week who didn’t have their work edited by a professional editor/proofreader. They made several  common new author mistakes. So this week I wanted to share a couple of writing tips. The excerpts that I will use as examples are from my manuscript Witch’s Dilemma.

Line Break

The line break is used for:

  • To change Point of View (POV)
  • To show an amount of time has elapsed since the last sentence read.

There is no right way or wrong way to insert a line break. However to help your reader follow the story it is essential that one is used. I use a space, *** centered, followed by another space, and no indention for the  paragraph following the ***. Like you do at the beginning of a new chapter.

Example:

 “I agree. I’ll be in around two to go over your discussion material for the conference, that give you time to get a shower and regroup?”
Megan nodded as she picked up her bag, along with the pink pieces of paper that had her messages on them.
Sandra knocked on the door before she stepped in. Megan was leaned back in her chair, eyes opened, with her ear buds in place. “Meg, you ready to get started?” Sandra inquired as she walked closer.

Now if you read the whole chapter you will see that this conversation wrapped up around one o’clock and Sandra is going to come see Megan at two. Without the line break it appears that Megan followed her to her office, but yet that was left out of the story.

Now read it with the line break inserted. 

  “I agree. I’ll be in around two to go over your discussion material for the conference, that give you time to get a shower and regroup?”
  Megan nodded as she picked up her bag, along with the pink pieces of paper that had her messages on them.

***

Sandra knocked on the door before she stepped in. Megan was leaned back in her chair, eyes opened, with her ear buds in place. “Meg, you ready to get started?” Sandra inquired as she walked closer.

Next the reader doesn’t need to know every move the characters make, or do they want to know. If the characters actions are not moving the story forward, well to put it in the words of Elmore Leonard, its Hoopte Doodle and needs to go.

Never Trust Auto Correct or Spell Check

When writing a scene in a book the writer tends to be focused on what is in their head and not on what they are putting on the screen which will transfer to paper later. If you depend on auto correct and spell check too much it’s going to bite you sooner or later.

Example:

   Levi was removing the ear buds from his ears as he spoke. “With all due respect, detective, this is a free country, once they walk out of here they have the right to go where they wish and will (excursion) that right, please don’t tell me your department has a problem with that.” Levi stated as he took a step toward the detective.

The word (excursion) is spelled correctly but is not the word that was meant to be used, (exercise) is the proper word. When typing ‘exercise’ it was misspelled and auto correct changed it to ‘excursion’.

Text and Background

I write an article for Live, Laugh, Love Nashville who has a blog and Facebook page. These articles are for a feature called Music Mondays. It is an informative article on the local talent here in Nashville. When you write an article on someone whether it be an individual or group three reputations are at stake. They are listed below in order of importance.

  1. The person or group the article is about
  2. The person who writes the article
  3. The person or group who posts the article.

The rules to follow are simple and will give you a professional looking piece. For starters, the person or group is the main focus of the article, not the writer or the organization posting the article. Do not misquote them, if you don’t understand an answer, ask, and if you don’t get a reply leave it out. The lead in to the story, if not about the person or group, should be no more than two lines, one preferably, as they are the feature of the article. Nothing is to draw attention away from the article and the stars of that article. This includes but not limited to, a flashy back ground that covers text or headers, some text centered, while other text is left or right justified, using a dark background and when text is cut and pasted, it has a white background. With all that said here are some basic tips to follow.

  • Use a white or light-colored back ground for your text, which should be black. Makes sure your blog background doesn’t interfere with the text by distracting from it.
  • If you are cutting and pasting a piece written for you, make sure you keep the paragraph structure correct.
  • If you are writing the article, have it edited and proofed, and if at all possible let the client read it before posting.
  • Use pictures sparingly one or two at the beginning of the text with one or two at the end. It’s recommended not to break the text up.
  • Make all text the same, left, right, or center justified, do not mix.

Besides this blog I have an obscure one that holds all my book reviews, interviews and the articles I have written for Live, Laugh, Love Nashville. I use it to lay the articles out to visualize what I think they should look like. None have been published but I decided to publish my book review with Nashville Author G. Michelle as an example of a journalistic piece. You will notice the clean white back ground with black text. No it doesn’t have a lot of color or bells and whistles in the blog background, but that allows the person or group and the article to be the center of attention.

Book review: Promise Me Always by G. Michelle

Till next week keep reading, writing and dreaming,

J.C.

 

 

 

 

 

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From the Desk of Joseph Clay – Author. Weekly Writing Update #4-17

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I hope everyone is having a good week and has recovered for Super Bowl Sunday. Why they don’t make the Monday following the big game a holiday is beyond me. No matter if your team won or lost I think we all can agree it was one of the best Super Bowl games in recent years.

Before we get into the writing updates, there is a few things about the websites I need to let everyone know about. If you will remember in From the Desk of Joseph Clay – Author. Weekly Writing Update #2-17,  I changed the name of my official website to Joe’s Bookstore and More, making it a store and my official page. Well that didn’t go over well at all, so I had to drop some cash, to solve the problem. Oh yeah the problem, it appears people who want to shop, that’s all they want to do, they don’t want to know about the author, how to order books for their store or schedule a book signing; this also worked in reverse. I began the task of separating the two.

I can’t tell you how many times over the weekend I heard, “Steffon, it’s your Franklin, and I charge by the hour, you coming to bed?”

“Not now, Guinevere, got to get these websites separated and operational.”

“I’m going to start with out you.”

“Go ahead Guinevere, what I’m doing is a little more important.”

Once the weekend was done so were the websites and Guinevere. The websites or etched in stone now and are as follows.

Now on to the writing updates:

  • Upcoming Book Review: The G. Michelle book review of Promise Me Always: Gabe & Evie (Bayou Romance Book 1). Has been written and will be sent to the editors over the next week. I have it scheduled to post on Friday February 24, but I’ll try to get it sooner.
  • Upcoming Interview G. Michelle: The questions are still with the G. Michelle. I talked to her yesterday and she apologized, but had good reasons why she wasn’t finished with them yet.
  • Upcoming Interview Tiffany Miller: I have begun working on Tiffany’s twenty questions about marketing and the services she provides. Tiffany is a go getter so, getting her to sit still long enough may be an issue.

Joes WIP:

Tales of Joe – A compilation of short stories that have been written over the years, some dating back to 1977. At the present time the manuscript has five stories in it, with a total word count of a little over 30,000. Once I hit between 50,000 and 75,000 words Volume One will be complete. The titles so far:

  • Memories
  • Night of Dreams
  • Death of a Soul – Birth of a Killer (This tale is one of the darkest I have every written, and I can get pretty dark. It was so dark and twisted I let a few people read it including my editor. People either hate it, or they love it. I got the go ahead, with a few modifications to leave it in the book.)
  • The Birds of Peace.
  • Cursed; To Be or Not To Be. (This one is my favorite to date)

The Erotic Tales of Joe – A compilation of short stories that have been written over the years, but mainly scenes that were removed from manuscripts that editors and publishers deemed pornographic, and had to go. So I pulled them and filed them away hoping one day to get to use them again. See this is the reason you never throw anything you write away. I have begun pulling those files, cleaning them up and writing stories around them. At this time there is only one story in the book. How ever fans of erotic not to worry, if  I had to, I have enough material to write this one in weekend if necessary. Like with the Tales of Joe once I hit between 50,000 and 75,000 words Volume One will be complete. The lone tale so far:

  • To a Princess (I wasn’t sure which book this one went in, so my editor read it and decided The Erotic Tales of Joe was where it belonged.

Rise from the Ruins – This one should be headed to the editor soon and will be the first one to come out this year. This manuscript has been through the wringer so to speak. So next week’s blog will cover this one in detail.

Till then keep on smiling, makes yourself and others feel good along with making a few wonder what you have been or what you or up to.

Joe

From the Desk of Joseph Clay – Author. Weekly Writing Update #1-17

Hello everyone, after taking some time off for the holidays I’m back in front of the typewriter, well keyboard. Here is an update on what’s going on and what I hope to publish this year along with other news.

  • Free eBook: Friday January 13, 2017 will began a book give away, that’s right you read it here first, a book for free, by Ava Bell – Author. Check back here tomorrow, January 12, 2017 for the information and link to obtain your free book, C/curious Book 1 of The Tabu Series. Which is guaranteed to melt the snow from you’re your roof.
  • Upcoming Book Review: G. Michelle hit a home run (scored a touchdown for y’all football fans) right out of the gate with her first book Promise Me Always: Gabe & Evie (Bayou Romance Book 1). Proving that she is not just a pretty face but a very talented author. That review is scheduled to post before 1-20-2017.
  • Upcoming Interview: G. Michelle has agreed to pull up a chair and answer my twenty off the wall questions so we can get to know her a little better.
  • Upcoming Interview: I’m also hoping Tiffany Miller, owner of The Marketing Mill will also agree to an interview. Her company can help a lot of authors new and old with promotions, events, and more.
  • Joes WIP: I have three writing projects I’m working on. The first, The Tales of Joe, is a collection of short stories from over the years. Most of them are dark tales, but there is some light that breaks through a page or two. The second, The Erotic Tales of Joe. Once again a collection of short stories written over time, or scenes that were kicked from a book due to content and restructured for this book. The third Project and the one that will most likely be published first is the first book in The New Era Series – A Levi West Novel titled Rise from the Ruins. That title is subject to change to The Death of Thunder Bear or Charlotte Rises to Power, or something else. Subscribe to the blog and stay abreast of all the above works.

Tell next time, keep reading and enjoying the escape a book can offer.

Yours Truly,

Joseph Clay

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