Classic Being a Better Writer: Romance and Gender

It. Is. Time …

For another Classic Being a Better Writer post! If you’re new to the site, or found this page through a search, well, here’s how it works, just to get you up to speed before you click away: Unusual Things is home to Being a Better Writer, a weekly article designed to help new, young, or even experienced writers with their craft. This has been ongoing now for … almost four years, actually. Which means that sands and storms there’s quite the backlog by now. Around 50 articles a year for four years is a pretty impressive pile of writing guides!

Now, each post is tagged, and there’s the archives and the search function to make do with, but sometimes it’s simply easier to give those seekers of knowledge an even easier collection to find. Hence, classic reposts!

Well, not reposts. Each of these posts links to the original articles. So, are you ready? Because today’s classic posts are three on writing Romance and Gender. from the archive of Unusual Things! Get cracking!

Starting Romance—
Romance—real romance—is a topic that humanity has written, studied, and explored for thousands of years, and yet many of us are still very much in the dark. I don’t think it hurts that it’s a little different for everyone, but the end result is that we’re probably still going to be writing about romance thousands of years from now. Or watching movies about it. Or whatever form of entertainment the future happens to hold (new rom-com collection—dozens of media memories from the greatest love stories in history beamed right into your brain!). Romance will always remain a topic that inspires and infuriates our species equally.

Romance—
If that sounds both hard and complicated, then you’re thinking along the right lines. Real romance is hard. Writing out a romantic relationship between two characters is a complicated, difficult dance of keeping track of both their lines of thought, emotions, reactions, and flaws. Mistakes are make. Apologies are given. Both parties learn. Where a “romance” book is more concerned about getting both characters in the same room (and then the same bed, in lurid detail), a romance is a story or subplot wherein two characters are discovering and building a love between them, one that’s far more than just a bedroom.

Writing the Opposite Gender—
Don’t go into it with the idea that men and women are two alien, almost irreconcilable creatures. Clear your mind of the pop-culture junk that’s infected television, facebook, and twitter, because 99% of what’s out there is, taken straight, junk. Take all that pile of “men do this, women do this, etc” and toss it out for the moment. Gone. Clear your head.

Then write a character. Someone fully 3D. Wants, desires, wishes, flaws.

You know why? I’ll give you the same answer I gave at LTUE: Because ordinary people don’t consciously flavor everything they do with their gender. Most men don’t wake up and think to themselves “Right, waking up … like a MAN! Using the bathroom … like a MAN! Eating breakfast … like a MAN!” Neither do women thing “Driving to work … like a WOMAN. Taking the elevator to my office … like a WOMAN! Saying ‘hi’ to my boss … like a WOMAN!”

 

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Just a Little More …

If you give the counter in the upper left-hand corner there a quick glance, you’ll see that One Drink is currently sitting at 119 of the 200 free units needed to unlock the next discount for Dead Silver. Currently it’s only at a 33% discount, but if One Drink‘s counter hits 200, the discount goes to 66%. And if it somehow reaches 500 … Dead Silver will be free!

We’re halfway through the week now, so time is starting to tick down. Be sure to grab your copy to help that number climb, or if you already have, leave a review to add a 10 to that number!

And if you’ve somehow been on this site for a time and completely missed the basic crux of One Drink, you can read a sample here, but here’s the gist of it: Jacob Rocke is a “Spook,” an individual licensed by the National Security Agency, Unusual department. Which means he’s one of the few whose job it is to actually deal with things that go bump in the night. Usually, while Unusual, these cases tend to be fairly standard. So when a client tracks him down claiming that a ghostly wolf bounded through her walls and attacked her husband, it’s definitely Unusual. Not too much. At least, not at first …

One Drink is free through Friday!

Rolling Sale Update!

In just over a day, One Drink has moved 99 units! Halfway to unlocking the next sales tier for Dead Silver! Keep it rolling! If it can hit enough, Dead Silver ends up free!

Don’t forget: If you’ve already purchased a copy of One Drink, a review on Amazon or Goodreads counts as 10 units moved, so you can still help tick that number up by jumping on one or both places and leaving your opinion on the book! Or you can just do the classic thing and share the sale!

Be sure to watch that counter in the upper-left tick along! We’re halfway to the second reward tier!

Being a Better Writer: Escalating Tension

All right, so this topic has been on the list for a while, and it’s high time it gets crossed off. Which means … I’ve got to talk about it. Time to see how much knowledge I can impart! So here goes!

So, before on this site (several times in fact, if memory serves) we’ve spoken about the three act structure, or the rise and fall of action, or pacing … Like I said, if memory serves, this topic has come up quite a bit. Anyway, with that, the classic plot timeline has come into play. You know the one. Rising and falling action, a climax, all that jazz? Hang on, I made one at one point. Take a look.

Yup. That thing. Like I said, we’ve talked about it before. And we’ve touched on key points, such as the falling tension, the climax, the resolution, the stinger, or even the various parts. But one part of that timeline that I don’t believe has ever been talked about on this blog is the moments of rising tension.

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The Rolling Sale is ON!

Round one is here, and the rolling sale is underway! See that sweet counter in upper left? That’s keeping track of all the status of the sale so far! What’s on sale, what’s up next, what the next unlock is, and of course the next title coming down the pipe with that achieved unlock.

 

So don’t forget! Spread the word and get those units moved! Or leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads! The clock is ticking. Dead Silver is currently sitting at 33% off, but it can go much, much lower!

Don’t know what a Rolling Sale is? Confused or curious? You can read up on it here.

Shared – Scammers Break The Kindle Store

On Friday, a book jumped to the #1 spot on Amazon, out of nowhere; it quickly became obvious that the author had used a clickfarm to gatecrash the charts.

The Kindle Store is officially broken.

This is not the first time this has happened and Amazon’s continued inaction is increasingly baffling. Last Sunday, a clickfarmed title also hit #1 in the Kindle Store. And Amazon took no action.

Over the last six weeks, one particularly brazen author has put four separate titles in the Top 10, and Amazon did nothing whatsoever. There are many such examples.

Source: Scammers Break The Kindle Store

The Rolling Sale — 1st Round!

All right, people! We’re only a few days away now from the start of the first round of the Rolling Sale, which begins July 17th. That’s right: This coming Monday! Prepare now!

What is a rolling sale? Good question! It’s a domino effect sale, really. How it works is that one book starts out on a discount of some kind, and then the number of copies it sells determines the coming discount of the next book in line. The better the first book does, the deeper the discount for the second title, all the way down to free. Then, once that book goes live with its part of the rolling sale, its sales then determine the discount of the next book after that, and so on until every book has been given a spot on the list.

What’s this mean for you? Well, it means that the better a book does during its time in the spotlight, the better a deal you’ll have when the next book arrives. So you want a book to do well.

But … what if you’ve already bought the book in question? After all, One Drink, the first one in line, has been out for years, and it’s not exactly expensive to start with. Are you out of luck?

No. A sale is a sale (even if it’s a free copy). But so that those who’ve already grabbed a copy can still get in on things, I’ve added an additional rule: A review of the book on Amazon or Goodreads will count as 10 units moved. So if you’ve already bought the book, you can still do something to kick that counter up for the next title.

Additionally, sharing the book can help out too. If you post a link on Facebook or Reddit and three people grab it, that’s three more sales towards hitting the next tier for the next book. Even KDP reads during this time will count towards the total number, so that those with Kindle Unlimited accounts can help out as well. Each read complete through KU will count as one sale, though this will put the readers on a bit of a clock to finish things before each deadline!

Okay, so, we’ve got the basics of how this works down. Now the question on everyone’s mind: What are the tiers? What sort of numbers need to be reached? What book is going to be available at a discount next week? What about after that?

 

ROLLING SALE!
Free July 17th – 21st!

Good questions. Let’s answer them! The first domino in this rolling sale is none other than One Drink, the Urban Fantasy-Mystery novella that was the first thing I ever released! Now, One Drink is pretty inexpensive at the best of times anyway, being 99 cents, so there’s not much further down it can go than “Free.” Which it will be, starting next Monday and running through Friday. Yup, entirely free. No charge.

 

Remember, though, if you already have it, leaving a review for it counts as 10 sales. Or if you’re really extreme and haven’t bought it, buy a copy, read it, and then leave a review, for a total of 11 sales. But that’s pretty dedicated. You don’t have to do that, but you could. No one would complain, I imagine.

Especially as this would further everyone else’s goals in helping move the next title in line to the next sales tier.

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