Adventures in Other Authors’ Worlds

Introduction:

I know we’re all focused on building our own stories and keeping that going, but you might want to consider writing for Kindle Worlds. Here, Amazon has created a place for you to get paid to write fanfiction. Fanfiction gets a bad rap, but in Kindle Worlds it’s a little more structured. You have to abide by the rules set forth in whichever world you are writing for.

I’ve joined two KWs: The Lei Crime Series and The Sydney Rye Series. Lei Crime is mystery/thriller and Sydney Rye is more vigilante thriller.

5 Key Benefits to Writing in Kindle Worlds?

  1. You’re starting with a ready-made audience. Amazon has specifically chosen popular series to offer kindle worlds to. You often have a plethora of cool side characters to explore. This is especially true for the Lei Crime Series as Toby Neal has gone out of her way to make deep side characters with lots of room for exploration.
  1. Try new things – this is pretty much a risk-free way to try a genre you may not have done yet. At the time, I’d not done any traditional type mystery/thrillers. The first Kindle World story I wrote was Never Again, which was a prequel to the Lei Crime series. It explores the question why one of the characters chose to become a cop.
  1. Interact with other authors – Networking is super important. You never know who you’re going to meet and what the long-term benefits will be of that relationship. As a part of both KWs, I’ve met a lot of great people. I’ve even gotten to meet one of them, even though she lives in Canada and I live in the US. It’s not exactly a mentoring system in all cases. The worlds differ in how involved the original author wants to be.
  1. Power of the collective – The Lei Crime series in particular is very purposeful about launches. You can publish at any time, but joining a launch will likely get you better sales results. I’ve had months where the sales are triple what they normally are just because of the collective advertising and social media presence of a launch.
  1. It’s a heck of a lot of fun. – At the end of the day, you’ve got to enter this because you love what you do. Some of the worlds, like the Sydney Rye one will allow you to integrate characters you’ve already written. The Lei Crime series is under and older contract that does not allow this, but in Fatal Interest (Sydney Rye KW) I was able to bring in Nadia, who is also featured in the Devya’s Children series.

“Writing for KWs is easy and fun. The “heavy lifting” of character and world building is done, and with the addition of a little imagination, the writing feels like play and flows easily. I enjoy the creativity that gets unleashed by not having to build everything myself.” ~ Toby Neal (Author of Lei Crime Series)

“I like how there’s at least a possibility you can get some new eyes on the backlist (on the off chance readers of the KW world’s original author likes your work enough to check out your other books). 🙂 And I feel like Amazon gives their KW books a nice boost during release day / month, which is always welcome.” ~Marian Tee (NYT Bestselling author, The Marriage Dare, a KW novella)

“I love writing for KW LeiCrime because it brings happy memories of living there and I enjoy working with great writers such as Toby Neal.” ~J.L. Oakley (Author of //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=juliecgilbe05-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00VQWUE5C&asins=B00VQWUE5C&linkId=b781e041307cf743263459a8ddaff64d&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff” target=”_blank”>Saddle Road, Lei Crime Kindle World Series)

How do you get involved?

Technically speaking, all you have to do is write a book that follows the guidelines of the world you want to join. Here’s the link to the main Kindle Worlds page. Odds are good that every genre is represented.

The first thing to do is get familiar with the world you want to join. If you’re already a fan of something, that’s great you can skip that step. But this is a hugely important step. Make sure you understand the world. Next, choose a character to write about. I started the Lei Crime Series intending to do a Defining Moments series featuring many different characters in each subsequent book, but once I wrote the second one, I stuck it out with FBI Agent Marcella Scott. I rebranded that series to focus just on her and called it The Shadow Council Series.

It might help to get involved in some of the FB groups for authors interested in a particular Kindle World. I know both the Lei Crime and Sydney Rye series have FB groups. They’re private but if you’re interested, you can always apply and the admins will let you in if you’re serious.

BTW, if you grab one of the free books below then let me know you came from this e-conference, I will enter you into a contest to win a copy of any of my Kindle World titles, 2 Shadow Council pencils, and a postcard pack.

Conclusion:

Kindle Worlds are an excellent publishing option, but you have to follow very specific guidelines for each world. You need to read those rules closely for each world because they will differ. That said, it’s a fun and profitable way to gain more exposure for your existing works.

Thanks for reading!

Julie Gilbert 2013 (5 of 25)

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Introducing Audiobook Readers’ Edge

What’s the Benefit to Readers?

Here’s the deal … You’ll Get:

·         A short, vetted list of indie audiobooks I recommend every week. I’ll try to give you a clear rating system in terms of curses, adult content, and the like. (I’m thinking Sundays.)
·         Free audiobooks. (The author emails of those willing to share audible gift codes or directly gift you the book you’ve select.)
·         News of any audiobook price drops, giveaways, and cool contests put on by the lovely authors on the list.

(You’ll also get the ebook links if you want to look at the full descriptions before committing to anything.)

What’s the “catch”?

Nothing really, but I run by the principle: “If you like it, then you shoulda put a review on it.” (And if you don’t like it, let the author know privately.) As such, I will be asking that if you enjoy a particular audiobook you let the world know it by posting reviews to Audible and Amazon.

Think of it this way, these authors and their narrators have poured hours upon hours into creating an entertaining or informative show for you. Listening and enjoying their hard work is one step, but it costs you about five minutes of your time to thank them with a review. It also helps other readers find and enjoy things you love.

Nitty Gritty Details:
By “vetted” I mean I’ve either read the book or know the author and the quality of their work personally. (I will be gathering a small team of audiobook readers I trust to make such decisions, but right now, it’s just me.) My reading tastes tend very strongly toward mystery, thriller, and science fiction with a smidgen of fantasy and a few other genres. Therefore, you can expect the list to lean heavily toward these genres. Also, I write (and therefore tend to read) squeaky clean stuff. I’m not saying there won’t be curse words here and there as it fits the story, but these will be the works you wouldn’t mind if your grandmother caught you reading it.

I’m just the middleman here as it were. I’ll show you thing I’ve enjoyed or am excited to try out. It’s up to you to contact the authors who are kind enough to offer some free codes.

Eventually, I’ll be posting the lists to my wordpress blog. After they’re up and running, I’ll send you a link to the recent post(s) at the bottom of the weekly newsletter.

If that sounds like a good deal to you, please sign up below. As a bonus, I’ll enter you into a drawing to win one of 5 ebook, audiobook, and paperback bundles of any of my applicable works. (Clarification: It has to be a title that has an audiobook, ebook, and paperback version.)

Questions can be directed to: devyaschildren @ gmail.com (take out the spaces)

Meet Julie Hinton – the Voice Behind Malia’s Miracles

KEY:
Julie Hinton’s Comments

My Comments

About this Work:

What brought you to working on this project? I’m a YA fan, and I really liked the idea of these special teenagers making a difference.
(Cool. Hope you get a chance to check out the whole series. I’m eager to see what you can do with book 4.)

What was the hardest part of bringing this story to life?  Finding enough character voices that were distinct and identifiable.  A lot of people run through this story!

Do you have a favorite character voice from the project? Why/ why not?  Malia’s was my favorite voice to do.  It was easy to find and she sounded so different from the rest.  Having said that, her chapters were also the most frustrating to narrate because she speaks so slowly …

(She became one of my favorites to listen to.)

About your other works:

How many other works have you narrated?  This is my seventh audiobook.

What was the most challenging other work you’ve voiced? Easiest? Most fun? What made it hard, easy, fun??  The easiest was my first production, Me Before You: A Summary and Analysis.  It was basically a Cliffsnotes of JoJo Moyes; best-selling book.  I didn’t have to do character voices and it was quite short.  It is also the most popular of my narrations, so the best of all worlds!  

My favorite moment was probably in More Fables & Fantasies.  One of the stories there is a fractured fairy tale, and I got to voice a lot of fun fairy tale voices.  I think that section is in the Amazon audio sample if you’d like to take a listen.  As far as the most challenging, in most novels (like this one) I get the same feeling of panic towards the end when I worry that I’ve run out of distinct voices, and then I see another character pop up.  The solution to each situation is slightly different, but it’s a great opportunity to stretch just a little more each time.

Can you recommend any of your other titles for us? What about the work is appealing?  I don’t know that I can recommend just one as they’re all so different.  The Me Before You summary is great for cheating in a book club and still hearing a fantastic love story.  Heartless and Prestigium are both paranormal novels about women discovering new worlds they can make a difference in.  More Fables & Fantasies is a fun collection of 5 very different short stories – a perfect length for many commuters.  Glistens is a fairy story ideal for pre-teens, and The Dripping Wet Yellow Rubber Gloves (on iTunes) is a children’s story written by a good friend of mine perfect for the whole family.  My favorite part of narration is bringing these characters to life.  

About you/random ques:

What drew you to voice acting?  I got a degree in acting.  I love it, but not too many of us have the ability to do it full-time.  I started doing voice acting on the side and now do it more regularly than “regular” acting.  In audiobook narration, I get to play all the parts, not just one! 

Is this the only acting you do? If you do other forms of acting, which is your favorite and why?  Most of my early experience was on stage.  I found myself starring in musicals and Shakespeare productions.  Both of these genres prepared me for voice acting since the voice (both singing and speaking) is a tool needing to be worked out and shaped.  In recent years, I’ve been doing more short films, and I anticipate feature films to be my next step down this road.  You can see my resumes, production photos and some of the short films on my website, www.juliehinton.net.

Do you have a process when you approach a work? Please describe it for us.  I start by reading the manuscript cover to cover just for the reading pleasure.  I try to store my reactions and responses away so I can reclaim the fascination, joy, sorrow, and other emotional reactions to use in my performance.  Then I decide on voices for the main characters and work with the author until they get just right.  Finally, I get started in the narration process.  I try to stay in contact with the author as I go so we can make any decisions together that arise, such as pacing changes, new voices, etc.  I usually produce my own recordings at my home studio which has its pros and cons.  It’s nice to be able to work at my own pace and schedule.  It’s also nice to have a director to collaborate with as I make moment-to-moment decisions.  Once I come to the end of a recording, I forward it to the author who makes any final decisions, and then send it to the publisher for production.

What’s one random thing people don’t really know about you?  I don’t have a middle name.

If you could only leave 1 lasting impression on the world, what would it be?  I think entertainment is so important.  We all have crazy lives, and often it is best to be able to leave them aside for a few moments to refuel our reservoirs.  I consider myself fortunate to contribute to some good entertainment that brightens people’s days and gives them those moments of escape.

Do you get to read for fun? Do you have a favorite genre to read for fun?  I read all the time in a bunch of genres – thrillers, YAs, mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, and more.  As long as it’s fiction and not too serious, I’m usually game.

Do you have other hobbies? What do you do to relax?  Read!  I watch a lot of TV and try to do various projects with my hands while I’m doing it so I feel productive. I’m also a screenwriter and musician.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?  Those with happy endings 🙂

If you could meet one person from history or present time, who would it be and why.  I don’t really have an answer for this one.  I prefer to watch from afar, and worry that anytime I might actually meet someone I idolize I’ll just make a huge fool out of myself and never be able to look at them again …

Thanks for stopping by to answer some burning questions.

Malia’s Miracles is currently being offered for FREE on Audiobook Boom! Comment here or drop me a line at Devyaschildren @ gmail.com (you’ll need to remove the spaced to prove you’re human and let me know you’re interested in listening to the story. We’re looking for people willing to review but in line with amazon’s new TOS we’re not demanding feedback. A review is simply you telling the world what you think of a story. Of course, we’d love for you to enjoy the story, so if you enjoy it, please share your thoughts on Goodreads/amazon/your blog, etc

Links:
Julie’s facebook page.

Julie’s audiobook page from her website.

Link to Malia’s Miracles on Amazon.com.

***If you’re willing to review if you like the story, email with a link to your audible or amazon reviewing platforms. We have a limited number of free codes for this endeavor.

julie-hinton-119c

7 Suggestions for Writing Awesome Book Blurbs

The Problem:

Many writers struggle with writing the description for the stories they’ve just poured their soul into over the last few weeks/months/years.

Who am I to try and answer this question?

A few months ago I joined the launch of the Lei Crime Kindle World. (If you don’t know about kindle worlds, you should go look them up, after you finish this post, of course.) During that process, we exchanged our descriptions and offered them up for critique. I found that I enjoyed tinkering with those descriptions and trying to make them stronger.

  1. Open with a question or a short, catchy description.

You don’t absolutely have to use a tagline, but thinking up some taglines will help you later with Twitter posts. Besides that, it will prime your mind to write an awesome book blurb. If you can pare your story down to a tagline, then you’ll have an easier time of expanding that into a decent description.

  1. Focus on your main character(s).

A lot of authors throw in the names of extraneous characters. Having more than one or two names on the back cover copy can get confusing.

  1. Avoid giving a full synopsis of your story.

Oh, I think I’ve broken this one from time to time, but people don’t want anything that could be a spoiler to ruin their reading experience. If you plan to pitch to an agent or traditional publisher, you’ll probably need to do a 1 page synopsis at some point, but the back cover copy is not the same thing. Keep some things secret in the description.

  1. Stay focused on the major story arc.

It’s easy to go off into some of the side challenges the characters will face, but keep your description zeroed in on what really matters. There are a ton of additional details to be discovered in your actual story, but you have very little time to get your point across during the description.

  1. Be cautious about putting the title in the description.

It can be done but it often doesn’t look natural. Likely people will be staring at your book cover, so your title will be fresh in their minds. I wouldn’t worry about trying to work the title into the description.

  1. Keep the description relatively short.

The blurb, back cover copy, book description, whatever you want to call it is your baited hook to get the reader to check out your work. If we’re going with a fishing analogy, writing too much would be like trying to shove 6 worms on one hook. It’s wasteful and messy and might even do more harm than good for you.

  1. Keep your writing crisp, clear, and simple.

This doesn’t necessary translate to short sentences, but you’ll want to seek a certain flow within the paragraphs of your description. I don’t mean to sound harsh here, but the reality is that if your description falters or comes across as stilted, fewer readers will risk giving it a chance.

  1. Don’t be afraid to vary paragraph size.

I know in English class we’re taught to write 3-5 sentences to make a complete paragraph, but in your description, think suspense. Regardless of which genre you’re writing in, you’re a suspense writer when you put the description together. Keep the reader hooked. Short sentences that make up their own paragraph can be very powerful if used well, but don’t overdo them. It’s only riveting if it’s rare.

 

  1. Close with a question or with a statement about the stakes the characters face.

The job of your description is to get the reader to think, I’ve got to know what happens.

  1. Have somebody look over your description and give you suggestions.

This might seem obvious, but if you gave your description to a few trusted people, you’d probably get some great suggestions about what works and doesn’t work for them. As with anything writing related, you want somebody who can look at your work objectively.

TWO EXAMPLES:

Seal of a Monk by Eden Baylee – First Draft of Description
Kauai is ancient jungle full of travelers seeking unconventional experiences.

In SEAL of a Monk, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast. Twenty-five women are under her care for ten days in a remote location, separated from men and civilization. Lainey expects only inner peace on this trip, but four days into the course, one of the meditators disappears without a trace—her best friend’s daughter.

Did she leave of her own free will, or is she the victim of a plot to lure her away? Bound by duty and friendship, Lainey is desperate until an unexpected ally comes to her aid. Maxamillian Scott is a retired Navy SEAL with unique skills.

Together, they must find a missing girl, but in the process, can they also unravel the mystery of each other?

Comments: I like the beginning sentence. Title is superfluous here. I almost feel the retired SEAL part is too, but she seems attached to it, so I should keep it. We know it’s her friend’s daughter so the duty and friendship part isn’t needed. I like the idea of the end question. First part is strong, but the end seems too romancey.

My Suggested Rewrite for Eden Baylee:

The ancient jungles of Kauai offer the perfect place to seek peace.

Despite the terror she experienced on her last trip, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast of Kauai. The plan is to spend ten days in a gorgeous yet remote location teaching twenty-five women how to find inner peace.

Four days into the trip that plan changes when one of the meditators disappears without a trace.

Did the girl wander off or was she lured or forced away? Where is she? Is she in danger? Lainey’s frantic to answer those questions. As she reaches her wits’ end, she finds unexpected help in the form of a retired navy SEAL, Maxamillian Scott.

Now Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what happened to (enter girl’s name) and the case of her own heart. Can she ever trust a man again?

Eden’s Final Description:

The ancient jungles of Kauai provide the perfect setting for self-discovery.

Despite the terror she experienced on her last trip, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast. Twenty-five women are under her care for ten days in a beautiful and remote location. Lainey expects to find inner peace, but four days into the course, one of the meditators disappears without a trace.

Did the girl leave of her own free will, or was she lured away by a strange cult? Lainey is frantic to answer these questions. As her desperation grows, she finds help from an unexpected source—a retired Navy SEAL named Maxamillian Scott.

Now, Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what happened to the missing girl and the case of her own heart. Can she ever trust a man again?

Torn Roots by Scott Bury – First Draft of Description

Hawaii is volcanoes, jungle and rocky shores. An irresistible magnet for people and money.

Detective Pono Kaihale has just accepted a six-month term as Acting Lieutenant in the fabled town of Hana on Maui’s rain-forested coast. He’s anticipating a quiet period in his career, dealing with nothing more challenging than lost hikers and maybe the occasional domestic dispute. In his second week on the job, a brilliant geologist claims to have evidence about who started a forest fire on the slopes of Mount Haaleaka, Maui’s volcano.

That begins a series of baffling events. A beautiful environmentalist stages an illegal protest against a luxury development on the fragile shore. That night, an arsonist sets the same development site ablaze and a violent woman disappears. A Homeland Security helicopter chases the environmentalist across the island and a new FBI agent shows up at his office early in the morning.

When Pono’s hunting buddy gets into the middle of this storm, Pono knows this case will be worthy even of his former partner, Lei Texeira.

Comments: I like the opening but it seems choppy. Why does it matter that it’s a six-month term? Why do we care what his title is here? Setting is great info. The transition to the geologist and forest fire evidence is jarring. When the FBI agent shows up isn’t necessary. We know this will be part of the Lei Crime Kindle World, but the mention of Lei here is distracting.

My Suggested Rewrite:

Hawaii is known for volcanoes and sandy beaches. Beauty and danger reign.

Ready for a quiet period in his career, Detective Pono Kaihale accepts a short-term position as Acting Lieutenant in Hana on Maui’s rain-forested coast. After (insert something about prev crazy assignments…ie dealing with murders on ___) he’s looking forward to redirecting lost hikers and moderating mild lovers’ spatz. But by his second week on the job, he gets the feeling the trouble here might run deeper and come in unexpected forms.

Truth hunters, protesters, arsonists, kidnappers, and FBI agents cross his path, making him feel like the eye of a brewing storm. When an old hunting buddy gets sucked into the storm, Pono realizes the stakes are much higher than the island’s natural beauty.

Lives could be lost—and likely will be lost—if he doesn’t solve this mystery quickly.

Scott Bury’s Final Description:
Hawaii is known for volcanoes and sandy beaches. Beauty and danger reign.

After breaking a case of murdered poachers in Maui’s national park, Detective Pono Kaihale accepts a short-term position as Acting Lieutenant in Hana on the island’s rain forest coast. He is looking forward to redirecting lost hikers and moderating mild lovers’ spats and enjoying the natural beauty of the southeast coast. But by his second week on the job, Pono finds trouble here comes in unexpected forms.

Environmentalists, property developers, protesters, arsonists, kidnappers, and a rogue Homeland Security agent converge on his new post, Pono feels like the eye of a brewing storm. And when a new FBI agent gets involved, Pono realizes the stakes are much higher than a quiet period in his career.

Lives will be lost if he doesn’t solve this mystery quickly.

10 Reasons a Reader Might Hate Your Fiction Book …

And what that says about your story.

Introduction:

Hate might be a bit too strong for my meaning, but it was much quicker than saying “dislike/loathe/have an aversion to/ can’t connect well with/ grew bored with/ etc.” These are in no particular order within their groupings, but I believe there are neutral, bad, and good reasons people don’t connect to your story.

Bad Reasons:

  1. Too many grammar mistakes – Oddly enough, poor grammar doesn’t bother everybody. The writer in me cringes at that notion. Since I’m guessing a lot of you are writers too, I think we can all understand this one. Typos are often the bane of our literary existence. Yes, they happen to pretty much everybody, but that’s why there are advanced readers, editors, and conscript-able family members. That said, be cautious relying solely upon the last one unless your significant other is an editor or a writer. Lay family members also have a vested interest in remaining on your good side, so they may not be able to offer an unbiased critique of what can make the story better.
  1. Confusing plot – There’s a difference between “complex” and “confusing.” Complex is good. As writers, we strive to create a world that’s intricate enough to enthrall the reader. In many genres, part of that entails keeping the reader guessing what will happen next. It follows that confusing is bad. There are definitely times to lead readers on fantastic journeys to far-off lands, but you don’t want to leave them stranded there somewhere with no idea how to return. Strive for detailed, but don’t lose the reader.
  1. Blah characters – This is a tricky one because every reader comes with their preconceived notions of what makes a character interesting. For me, the key lies in the question: does this character contribute to the overall plot? Is s/he useful? For example, it annoys me when a princess is a cardboard character who only exists for the purpose of being rescued. Give her some personality. If her life being threatened is integral to the plot, then you’ve got to make us care about her first.

Stock characters have their places. There’s simply not enough time or page space to make every character a main one, but choose the few you flesh out wisely.

Neutral Reasons:

  1. Style preference: first person vs third person – If I had to guess, I’d say the vast majority of fiction works are written in the third person style. Third person generally allows the author a little more leeway with revealing details. It’s easier to be omniscient in that style. First person usually allows one to really get inside the head of the main character and/or the narrator. Often the narrator is the main character but that’s not always the case. I’ve done both styles, and I think they work well in the respective series. Yet, I completely understand not liking first person narration.

The main question that comes up subconsciously is: “Do I believe in this character’s voice?” That question is closely followed by: “Do I like this character’s voice?” In a book told in the first person, the reader’s going to be trapped inside the head of the narrator for all two-three hundred pages of your story. If the reader doesn’t particularly like the voice they’re hearing that whole time, it’s a tough thing to overcome.

  1. Writing style: general – As a reader, I just don’t connect well with how some people write. That’s the nature of the beast. I’m filing this under neutral because this reason is nothing you should automatically seek to change or question yourself about. Chalk that up to “you can’t win ’em all” and move on.
  1. The genre isn’t the reader’s favorite – This is probably one of the most common reasons I can cite when I identify a book I’m not connecting well with. You might ask why I’d bother reading a book in a genre that’s not really my favorite. It’s a fair question. The answer usually is that I was asked to read the book by the author. Also, I’ve read plenty of great books in genres I don’t consider my favorite. Every book is different, and you won’t really know unless you’ve tried it.
  1. Tone – Some people love humorous books, but often, when things veer into the ridiculous, I turn off as a reader. I love when there’s a lighthearted tone even about serious situations, but if everything’s a joke, then I can’t take the story seriously. The same could be said for a story being too gloomy. I don’t do well with tragedies on the whole.

Good Reasons:

  1. Characterization is so good that the reader ends up annoyed because they hate the bad guy. – While I’m sure we’d all love every reader to absolutely adore the story we’ve poured our heart and soul into, there is such a thing as making something too realistic. I know I’ve watched movies and read books that I mostly enjoyed but disliked because one character drove me crazy with their cruelty, injustice, or stupidity.

In an odd way, it’s a testament to your skill, but it’s also something to be aware of as you craft your next antihero or villain. Does the villain have any redeeming qualities? Is there something respectable about the antihero?

I guess one should be cautious that the characterization isn’t just bad, but then again, there are real villains in the world who ought to be hated and/or feared. I’m not saying you should congratulate yourself for annoying your reader, but I wouldn’t worry too much if one or two people cite this as a reason for not enjoying the story as much as they would have liked.

  1. Tone – Some people love humorous books, but often, when things veer into the ridiculous, I turn off as a reader. I love when there’s a lighthearted tone even about serious situations, but if everything’s a joke, then I can’t take the story seriously. The same could be said for a story being too gloomy. I don’t do well with tragedies on the whole.
  1. Outrage over a plot point/ ending – I think this one could easily cut both ways, as in be a good thing or be a bad thing, but I’m going to focus on the good here. If you can evoke very strong emotion in a reader, you just might be doing your job. Hopefully, you’ve intended for the reaction and aren’t being blindsided by people freaking out unexpectedly. Although this could be another sign of your skill as a writer, be cautious. You want readers to be on your side. Evoking emotion is good, but provoking a reader beyond reason is not good. Try to find that nice balance point.

Conclusion: Writing is an art and a skill. One of the aspects that I love most about writing is that it can be improved over time with practice. Some writers are afraid to share their work, but if you want to make it the best it can be, you’re going to have to let other people critique your baby along the way. If they truly have your best interests at heart, the people who critique the work will be open and brutally honest. Some of what they say may sound harsh, but take it with good grace. Remember, it’s not an attack on you. I’ll share more of my thoughts on what to do with constructive criticism later.

Thanks for listening.

-Jules