Ryan M. Church

Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

Write Better by Reading

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2015 at 9:03 pm

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

This is not a revelation, as this is a very well-known fact.  If you write, you most likely read.  And while reading, you are subconsciously taking in new techniques and vocabulary.  I think this is extremely important.

I’m currently reading Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson, and I’ve noticed how his writing draws me in to the world so easily.  I feel like I’m there.  Without concentrating on how he writes, I just let the voice continue in my mind while I started narrating a scene of my own.  I tried using the same style of narration, particularly the action and the descriptions of facial expressions, and found I came out with a more authentic and captivating scene.   It worked.

I wasn’t stuck in the Malazan world when thinking of my own story, but the same general richness transferred over to my own thoughts.

How much do you think reading helps…

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Research is the pits… but I love it…

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Kate Murray

I really do. When I get an idea I sit down and write a plan. It normally starts as one sentence which I expand to a paragraph and then I start to think about semantics. How does this world exist?

Sometimes that is an easy ask, like the WIP which is set completely in one house over one day, but this new idea has been one that I’m having to create a world for. A world that has been stuck in the time of the Stuarts… That doesn’t sound too odd except that I don’t know anything about the Stuarts.

I remember during my A-levels (an awful long time ago) I studied the Tudors, but I failed the A-level, so I can’t rely on that. And anyway I need the era 50 years later, which in the lives of the people who lived there, one and a half generations would…

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Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm


I made $164,000 last year from my writing. I’ve averaged more than $100,000 in writing income for the last ten years, which means, for those of you who don’t want to bother with the math, that I’ve made more than a million dollars from my writing in the last decade. In 2000, I wrote a book on finance, The Rough Guide to Money Online. For several years I wrote personal finance newsletters for America Online. When I do corporate consulting, it’s very often been for financial services companies like Oppenheimer Funds, US Trust and Warburg Pincus. I mention this to you so that you know that when I offer you, the new, aspiring and dewey-eyed writer, the following entirely unsolicited advice about money, I’m not talking entirely out of my ass.

Why am I offering this entirely unsolicited advice about money to new writers? Because it very often appears…

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How to Market Fiction Books (Show, don’t Tell)

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2015 at 9:35 pm


aliens Images combined from ShutterStock.


I meet many amazing fiction writers here at WordPress. I’d like to see you sell more books.

Not by telling you what you should do. Though I have several book marketing posts that do just that.

But by showing you. I’m going to take the plunge and write, publish, and market fiction.

I’ve written, published, and marketed a variety of nonfiction books. So this will be a change.

More than that, I will show you how I go about the planning, writing, publishing, and marketing. Every step of the way.

I hope you’ll see that I do some things different. I hope you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” (But if you do, it won’t be too late.) Or, “Oh, I want to try that, too.” I’ll also carefully consider the many decisions that authors must make as they write, publish, and…

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How to Use Amazon’s New KINDLE TEXTBOOK CREATOR (Tutorial)

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm




Amazon just released a new FREE self-publishing tool for Kindle, called the Kindle Textbook Creator (KTC).

  • Press release: (It actually mentions my name. So cool!) It’s worth reading as it describes how e-textbooks can help with highlighting, notes, flashcards, dictionary look-up, and portability of the book. These are features that students may appreciate (and so being aware of them may help you sell your book).
  • Kindle Textbook Creator homepage: This is where you can download the free tool and learn about system requirements. You can find FAQ at the bottom, too.
  • KDP EDU: This is a new site that KDP launched specifically for educators. It’s a lead-in to the Kindle Textbook Creator.

The new Kindle Textbook Creator creates a print replica file. Print replica is a basic fixed format designed to preserve the layout of a print book with a rich format.

Print replica…

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Writing Your Own Ebook Part Six – Creating the Ebook Framework

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

If you decide on the DIY approach and are stuck with, e.g. Word, how do you get a clean result when you convert to Ebook?

Remember the “Garbage in Garbage out” maxim; you need a clean input file to get a clean output file.

There is no way around it, you are going to have to learn about some of the functions of Word that you may not have had any need to know about before. Specifically, you need to learn about:

  • How to Show all formatting tags
  • How to set up & use Style sheets (fiction writers may be able to get away with only three or four paragraph styles)
  • The Find/Replace function
  • Using Formatting tags

Key points about formatting your book!!!!

  • Remember that you will NOT be printing your Ebook file so it really doesn’t matter what the source file looks like. You don’t need to make it…

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How to Hook Your Reader and Deliver

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

winter walk-stockholmA great story opening arouses, delays and rewards. Constructing a compelling beginning—often called a hook—is a common challenge for even established writers, and one of the most important parts of a story.

The opening should sweep the reader into the story like a tidal wave. It doesn’t need to be wild action. It just needs to compel the reader to want to know more. This is accomplished by engaging the reader with “intrigue”. In his article “Three Ways to Keep Your Readers Hooked” in the April 2001 issue of Writer’s Digest, Joe Cardillo suggested that the three elements of hooking a reader resemble the steps he uses to train his Samoyed puppy: 1) arouse interest; 2) delay, then 3) reward.

The writer arouses interest in the reader by providing enough detail to get the reader to ask questions. Now they want something. You tease them with the delay; that…

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Passion is the Key to Enjoying What We Do

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

Lately it seems there’s a lot of talk about selling books.  How can I sell more?  How can I get noticed in a sea of other authors?  At what point can I quit my job and make a living writing?  What do I do when my sales drop?  What if I have to go back to work?

Last time I posted a question on this blog asking what kind of posts authors wanted to read, most people wanted to know how to sell books.  It’s why I hesitated to ask the question again.  I have been trying to come up with blog post ideas, but my mind keeps coming up blank because I have no magic answer on how to sell books.  I wish I did, but I don’t.  And the truth is, you might be making money today, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make it tomorrow.  That is true…

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Creating Maps for Your Fantasy Novel with Deedee Davies (Fellowship of Fantasy Writers Blog Tour Guest Post)

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2015 at 8:59 pm

The Infamous Time Jump

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2015 at 8:57 pm

Legends of Windemere

Prince of Persia Quote Prince of Persia Quote

Well, I believe I survived my first day without a blog post.  I’m writing this on December 12th 2014, so who knows.  Anyway, I’m going to cover a writing tool that gets used in series and I’m just learning how to utilize.

A ‘Time Jump’ is when you skip a modest length of time between chapters or books.  This can range from a day to a few years depending on the story.  Many times there are events that occur during this time and the characters operate a little differently than they did before the jump.  This tool gets used for several reasons, which include:

  • Moving the main story along to avoid filler sections.  These skipped events can be handled in short stories at a later date.
  • Altering characters to rejuvenate them to the reader.  For example, a positive hero goes through severe loss and is reintroduced…

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