Amazon Best Selling Author: Sharon C. Williams

I came across something by complete accident. I found out that my children’s series in audible made the Amazon Best Sellers list last week. I am not sure how high up the chart they went since again I found out by accident. But they did make the top 75, as of last week that is, and for that I say WOOHOO!!!

I been on this list before years ago with an anthology I collaborated with but this time this is my own individual works.

I had not even announced that my books had been made into audibles yet. That will be for a different post however.

Making a splash for our books is not only wonderful but not easy to do. So to see something like this really made me pause, not believing I was seeing what I was seeing at first, but after the happy, giggling and good feeling inside quickly filled in.

But even if does not maintain that number or improve at least I can say it has occurred with the screen shots for prosperity.

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Do you know your writing voice?

According to Margaret Maron, creator of Judge Deborah Knott: Voice is the most important ingredient in a successful book. The plot may be clever, but if the voice doesn’t engage us, how can we care?

According to John Morgan Wilson who writes the Benjamin Justice mystery series: There is difference between voice and style though it is difficult to get at. To me voice is closer to attitude and the emotional quality of the prose, reflecting the personality of the author.

Jason Pinter, ( an author who I love reading) a former St. Martin’s Press editor states: Voice is the conversational quality of your writing, the way you “talk” to your reader. It’s as important in writing as it is in conversing aloud with someone or speaking to a group. If your voice isn’t confident, assured, authoritative, natural, and appropriate for your characters and story, the writing will feel stilted, forced, ragged, weak, awkward. Just as speaking aloud is ineffective if one is halting, hesitant, lacking in confidence, and so on

Now that is all well and good until I try to find my own voice. My Character Development instructor said he knew my voice and I did as well. I do? Funny I thought to myself for my last instructor told me the same thing. This is a trend for people out of my writing groups concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.

One good way is to read your story aloud. It may sound silly but it is a good way to hear one’s errors, pace and flow. Perhaps a writer will discover their voice. Will I ever be able to describe this important ingredient to others, I do not know. Hopefully though my voice is being written loud and clear in my writings.

Developing your story: Characters and so much more

After taking a character development class the instructor passed out a form on how to critique the members of the group. That made me wonder. It would be awesome, in my opinion, if we could pass this on to our writing group members after they read what we presented to them. It would be also interesting to hand it out to reviewers prior to them submitting their reviews of our books. Granted that could get interesting but also informative.

 

What would you add or change if you did this yourself?

 

So if I could pass on a form this is what I would include. Each section is worth five points.

Plot

-Attention needs to be paid to plot development

-The story lacks credibility in places

-Good start/good ideas but loses direction and force

-The story holds interest throughout but the ending is disappointing

-Flows smoothly,well researched, almost there

-This is a well-crafted story and it is clear that the author has considered all the aspects of the plot

Characterization

-The characters do not always come over as real people

-Told from the viewpoint of too many characters, so that the readers learns little about them

-In general, the characters are believable , although there is room for improvement

-The characters are well drawn and true to life/does the character have an inner life

-Strong characterization means that the reader’s sympathies are instantly engaged.

Pace

-The story starts slowly

-The story needs a more varied pace

-Side-issues slow the story down

-In general, the story moves well, although there are times when interest wavers

-A good pace is maintained throughout

-This story’s page-turning quality is excellent

Dialogue

-The characters all tend to speak with the same voice

-Some attention should be given to the dialogue, which does not always ring true

-Although the dialogue is believable, there are places where it serves no obvious purpose

-In general, the dialogue sounds authentic

-the sharply written dialogue reveals much about the characters

-The dialogue is excellent, adding a sparking dimension to the story