Today’s Writing Tip

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Enhance the professional appearance of your book’s interior by using a glyph that relates to your story instead of asterisks for section breaks. There are many options in unicode and wingding fonts which are easier to use overall than a jpg file.

For example, multiple jpg files can be a nuisance for some print on demand establishments such as Ingram, where the pdf file needs to be distilled. Creating a pdf from a MS Word file reduces their resolution, so each one has to be replaced manually. If every section break is a jpg this would be a major pain!

Today’s Writing Tip

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It’s best to mark your section breaks with a few asterisks rather than simply rely on an extra space, which might not be noticeable on an electronic reading device. This is particularly important if you change the point of view with the next section, a significant amount of time has passed, or the scene location has changed. Every time you leave a reader confused enough that they have to go back and reread a previous section to figure out what’s going on you run the risk of losing them entirely.

Delicious Personal Glimpses


I really enjoyed this collection of stories from members of Rave Reviews Book Club, a.k.a. RRBC. As a member myself, it’s always heartwarming to learn something about your fellow members and what they’ve been through in their life. Hearing what others have endured always places your own issues into a different perspective.

If you’re not a member of this group, the stories are still of considerable value, they just won’t have the same impact as they do when you are familiar with the individuals on a different level. However, it will also show the caliber of people as well as their writing skills which can be found in this group. If you consider yourself a “born writer” or perhaps a “born reader” then you’ll want to check out both this anthology and the Rave Reviews Book Club, which has plenty of room for both.

You can pick up a copy of this enjoyable read on Amazon here.

Today’s Writing Tip

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If your book is loaded with characters, do your readers a favor by providing a dramatis personae, a fancy Latin term for a list of who and what the players are which you provide in the beginning of the story; a cast of characters, if you will.

Not all readers have a steel-trap memory that can keep track of too many people. This is another thing that can throw a reader out of a story, wondering or trying to remember who someone is. For ebooks, make sure this list is included in your table of contents so readers can get back to it easily for reference.

Today’s Writing Tip

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One way to check whether you’ve slipped out of a character’s viewpoint is to consider the subject scene as if it were written in first person. That will usually identify anything that doesn’t belong.

Bear in mind it can be confusing to the reader if you break viewpoint. Some slip-ups may go unnoticed, but others will throw them out of the story, the ultimate author faux pas.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Understanding what it means to stay within a character’s viewpoint can be difficult for new writers. Bear in mind that all narrative, including the vocabulary, that relates to the POV character can’t be anything s/he doesn’t know or understand.

There are a few exceptions, but they need to be noted, such as by using a qualifying statement, i.e., “He didn’t know it at the time, but…” The main thing is not to give a character with a high school education the vocabulary of a literature professor. Unless, perchance, he’s a genius in disguise, or there is some explanation for it.

Meet Actor T.W. Ashworth, Narrator Extraordinaire of “The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51” Audiobook.


Getting my first audio book produced was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, thanks to the talents of my narrator, Hollywood actor, T.W. Ashworth. You can learn more about him and his credentials on  IMDB. Meanwhile, he was willing to participate in a short interview so I could show you the face behind the many voices you get to enjoy in the audio version of “The Terra Debacle: Prisoner’s at Area 51.”

MF: How long have you been acting? How did you get your start?

TW: I’ve been performing since 1970 in a pretty varied career. Ballet dancer, Classical regional Theatre as an actor and director, national tours in musicals, movie musicals, commercials, music videos, and television. I got my start when a friend in high school dared me to audition for Eugene Ionesco’s RHINOCEROS…I got cast and fell in love with the stage.

MF: What’s your favorite part about narrating a book?

TW: Like Bottom in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, I get to play all the roles. I enjoy finding different voices in my story telling.

MF: What was your favorite role so far as an actor?

TW: Let me give you an answer as varied as my career: Classical Stage – Face in Ben Jonson’s THE ALCHEMIST, Musical Theatre – Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN, Stage – Pastor Brian in Christine Ashworth’s two person play CASSANDRA CRIES, TV – Mr. Fisher in HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, sketch comedy – Pat Bristow’s HOW TO SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

MF: What are you working on now (either acting role or narrating, or both)?

In narration I’m working on A Fairy Night’s Dream: or The Horn of the Oberon by Katharine Elise Chapman, Samantha V. Hutton and Symbols: Book Two of The Allegoricon Parables by Jason P Doherty. It’s the off season for TV and a slow time for film, so I’m primarily working on narration.

MF: Who was your favorite character in “The Terra Debacle”?

TW: Gabe, a gentle telepathic  intellectual botanist, who is more than a bit bothered by his psychic  gift.

MF: Did any part of “The Terra Debacle” surprise you?

TW: The bittersweet ending.

MF: Who do you think would enjoy this story the most?

TW: A person with an intelligent heart.

So now you know what the man behind the voices you’ll hear in “The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51” looks like and a little bit about him. You can get your copy of the audiobook on Amazon (where you can listen to an excerpt), Audible, and iTunes. If you’re not already a member, you can get it for free if you sign up for a 30-day trial. If you’re already a member and would be willing to give the story a review, contact me at and I’ll make arrangements for you to get a complimentary copy.

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Today’s Writing Tip

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“Cardboard characters” are those that have no personality. Make sure yours have likes, dislikes, and opinions so they act like real people. If necessary, keep a list of each character’s physical and personality traits on file if they’re not vivid enough in your mind without it. Readers notice if your hero’s eyes are blue on one page and green on another. Same goes for that couch or car! Never underestimate how astute your readers may be! Otherwise you’re likely to find out when they give you a lousy review.


Today’s Writing Tip

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Give your book a professional appearance by formatting it properly, whether for an ebook or print version. If you don’t want to bother doing this, hire someone to do it for you. Proper formatting contributes significantly to your story’s readability.

Improper or sloppy formatting is distracting and pulls the reader out of the story, a big author no-no. Proper formatting should be virtually invisible to the reader, allowing him or her to be entirely immersed in the story.

Today’s Writing Tip

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If your story has terminology that will be unfamiliar to the average reader, consider including a glossary. A few words can be covered by footnotes, though these require special handling in the ebook version. Defining them in context the first time you use them is a must.

Using accurate terminology adds to the authenticity of a story, but be aware that it may annoy some readers. It depends on whom you want to impress, those familiar with it or those who aren’t. If it’s inaccurate, you’ll lose credibility with those in the know and won’t make inform those who aren’t. Good fiction should be believable.