Why Chocolate Is Good For You AND Your Writing

This article was originally published on Bookmarketingtools.com

Books and chocolate

No really, chocolate is good for you. Dark chocolate can even help you lose weight!

But as with all good things, for the above to be true, chocolate should be eaten in small quantities. That means those small quantities had better be good.

The same can be said about writing.

A lot of excess words can help bulk out word count and make you feel good about your output. But it can also make your manuscript overweight, unwieldy and a hard slog for readers to get through.

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”-Stephen King, On Writing

Scenes, paragraphs, and sentences should be pared down and always be working to move the story forward in a flowing, logical manner. A good way for testing this with a piece of writing is to read it aloud. If it flows well while speaking it, then it should flow well while reading it.

I am not going to say that I am the perfect writer that does everything correctly, and never use too many words to get my point across. In fact I am the opposite (as can be seen from this post). I love words and like to use as many of them as possible wherever I can. But as with eating too much chocolate, I know that in the long run too many words will be a bad thing for the story (and this article).

“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”-Stephen King, On Writing

Now, I am not going to tell you how to write like this, just as I am not going to tell you what chocolate to eat. That is up to each individual to decide. Everyone has their particular brand of chocolate, and everyone has their own particular writing style.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide what stays, what goes, and what chocolate to eat.

Happy chocolate munching!

-H.M. Clarke

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April Book Reads for Spring Weekends

Hello Everyone – I hope you are all doing well?

First, a short announcement – I have started a brand new season of the Hainathan cycle, with books one and two now available on Amazon.  Book one is free to those on my email list in the Explorer’s area.  It is set over a thousand years before the events in The Way to Freedom.

Here is my list of books to take a look at for April.  I tried to aim for a bit of a mixed bag and at least for this month, I’ve succeeded.  Finally, books that don’t have a shared ‘theme’ 🙂

Enjoy this month’s selection

-Hayley

NB:Genre’s will vary each month depending on what spine catches my eye in my library when I go to chose books….Also depends on my mood, the phase of the moon, and how much sugar and caffeine is in my blood stream 🙂

Just click on the book image to check them out on Amazon.

CRIME

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Cold Dish

Introducing Wyoming’s Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, the first in the Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the A&E original-and now NETFLIX drama series (Which I love! Funny how they get an Australian to play Longmire.  Hearing Robert Taylor with an American Accent was a little weird…)

 Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love this outstanding first novel, in which New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson introduces Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming’s Absaroka County. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, and full of memorable characters. After twenty-five years as sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire’s hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Pritchard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody has been one of four high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody, it would seem, is seeking vengeance, and Longmire might be the only thing standing between the three remaining boys and a Sharps .45-70 rifle.

With lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and a cast of characters both tragic and humorous enough to fill in the vast emptiness of the high plains, Walt Longmire attempts to see that revenge, a dish best served cold, is never served at all.

FANTASY

Battleaxe by Sara Douglass

Battleaxe

“Douglass has the breadth of vision necessary to create sweeping epics and the storyteller’s gift that makes readers love her.” – Locus the Axis trilogy Book 1.

A stunning epic fantasy in the tradition of David Eddings, Janny Wurts and Robert Jordan.

A thousand years ago the Acharites drove the Forbidden from their land. Now strange sightings along Achar’s northern border foreshadow their return. the barbaric tribes of the Ravensbund are pouring south with tales of fearsome beings who feed on the terror of their prey. Winter has come early, and with it the promise of war. Axis, bastard son of the dead Princess Rivkah, is sent to the battlefront of Gorkenfort with his elite Axe-Wielders. Once there, he must hand over command to his hated half-brother, Borneheld. But travelling north, Axis falls in love with Faraday – Borneheld’s bethrothed – and meets two priests who challenge the very essence of his beliefs. the Sentinels walk the land, the treeFriend has been found, and the people of the Plough, the Wing and the Horn must set aside their differences and unite under one leader against the evil rising in the North…

 

SCIENCE FICTION

Incandescence by Greg Egan

Incandescene

The long-awaited new novel from Greg Egan! Hugo Award-winning author Egan returns to the field with Incandescence, a new novel of hard SF.

The Amalgam spans nearly the entire galaxy, and is composed of innumerable beings from a wild variety of races, some human or near it, some entirely other. The one place that they cannot go is the bulge, the bright, hot center of the galaxy. There dwell the Aloof, who for millions of years have deflected any and all attempts to communicate with or visit them. So when Rakesh is offered an opportunity to travel within their sphere, in search of a lost race, he cannot turn it down.

Roi is a member of that lost race, which is not only lost to the Amalgam, but lost to itself. In their world, there is but toil, and history and science are luxuries that they can ill afford.

Rakesh’s journey will take him across millennia and light years. Roi’s will take her across vistas of learning and discovery just as vast.

Enjoy!

-HMC

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