Writing Better Fiction - Blog

Jun 24, 2015

I love your poem "My Children".

I love your poem My Children. You are right, the words, verses and poems are our children. You put it in a very nice way. Thank you for sharing it with

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Jun 24, 2015

Your poem 'The Epitaph' is an exquisite poem.

I won't comment on every single image, but will tell you that this poem is inspiring and invites the reader to meditation. What I like is that you convey

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Jun 09, 2015

Apparently Dumb and Lost

I'm just going to be totally honest here. As downright pathetic and very sad as this is to admit, I am completely lost as to how I should go about self

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May 10, 2015

Flowers for Mother's Day

Flowers for Mother's Day is a poem for all mothers, young and old

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Apr 11, 2015

Rewrite - Wrong

I just saw the trailer for Hugh Grant's latest movie "Rewrite" in which he intones...

"When it comes to writing - there are no rules."

What utter bullshit!

Of course there are rules.

How about, don't bore your audience.

How about, end each sentence with a period

How about, create believable characters that your audience can identify with.

Etc., etc.

There are hundreds of rules. Any school girl that's read a single novel knows there are rules to storytelling.

Just like any other craft. The rules of writing effective fiction are the proven methods, techniques, principles and best practices that make stories work. They help writers stay on track towards creating the best product in the shortest amount of time.

Only those who don't know the rules would profess that there aren't any.

Or, perhaps they're just forwarding the standard bullshit in order to protect their territory by misdirecting the competition.

Because, if the actual rules were better and more broadly know then there would be far more novels worth reading and movies worth watching.

Hugh, you're a wonderful actor...

But, whoever put those words in your mouth - should be shot.

Oh... I forgot.

There are rules against shooting idiots.

Wrote on...

Richard

Apr 08, 2015

13 Fiction Writing Tips - to Survive and Thrive as a Fiction Writer

Of all the fiction writing tips one could possibly get these 13 are more valuable than all the rest.

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Mar 13, 2015

Best eBook Cover Generator for Fast, Free & Easy Covers

The best eBook Cover Generator provides authors with fast, free and easy eBook covers for life. If you're not getting your eBook covers for free - you're paying too much.

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Mar 01, 2014

New Audio Book by Richard A. McCullough

Get your free copy of "The Zipper" today

This twisted tale by author Richard A. McCullough is free today on Amazon

"The Zipper" on Amazon

Book Description:

"When you're only five years old the world is held together by strange and mysterious things like, zippers.

And the greatest mystery is what ants do when they go down in the ground. Trying to follow the ants Johnny opened the zipper that turned the world inside out.

He didn't mean to, I'm sure.

But then... little boys, never do."

And there is a special treat for those who enjoy audio books because the author has published an audio version of this intriguing tail.

For a truly unique experience in storytelling you can listen to the author read his own work in his own voice.

Get the free eBook today and get 50% off on the Audio Book.

Write on...Richard

PS: You can read Kindle books on any device with a free app from Amazon.

Jan 19, 2014

You'll Love to Hate this Guy

Cloning Death

By

Richard A. McCullough

"William J. Witherspoon III was a fabulously wealthy, hateful, obsessive old man who was determined above all else to never die. He would cheat death, like he cheated everyone. But what he did not understand, what he failed to realize is that...

Death can't be cloned."

Download your free copy of this chilling romp through the dark side TODAY...

"Cloning Death" on Amazon

Your reviews are very much appreciated.

Write on...

Richard

Dec 28, 2013

Holiday Gift - Limited Time

Holiday Gift - Limited Time

My book "Sudden State of Mind" is yours for free.

http://www.amazon.com/Sudden-State-Mind-Richard-McCullough-ebook/dp/B00CFBS55Y

Please accept this free book as a small way of saying "Thank You" for your ongoing support.

This book is somewhat controversial and the structure is experimental so I'd like to know what you think.

You can download this book free between December 28th and January 1st from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Sudden-State-Mind-Richard-McCullough-ebook/dp/B00CFBS55Y

Then the price goes back to $4.97 on January 2nd

Please take a moment to post a review and let me know what you think.

Happy Holidays...

Richard

PS: Get your free copy here

http://www.amazon.com/Sudden-State-Mind-Richard-McCullough-ebook/dp/B00CFBS55Y

And please leave your review I'd love to know what you think of this book.

Dec 24, 2013

Story Structure

Is it just me or does anyone else find it disconcerting that there is so little agreement about something as fundamental as the basic structure of stories?

I'm all for originality and creative freedom however, I've observed over the years that just as too much originality (too little structure) leaves a large portion of the audience confused and thus uninterested, too little leaves the audience boarded.

Therefore, should we not be looking for, searching for and trying to understand what all stories have in common - in order to understand the universal and thus master the execution of those universal principles of storytelling?

Coloring outside the lines or thinking outside the box is only relevant when we have lines, and to the degree that we have a box. Without lines and boxes our art form will go the way of poetry, which has become so self-absorbed as to have passed all but completely out of even passing interest of the reading public.

Is not a story a specific thing, designed and executed for a specific purpose? Or is it just whatever anyone decides it should be at any given moment?

Are we creating stories for the audience or simply as a narcissistic exorcise in self-indulgence?

Write on...Richard

Nov 17, 2013

Readers are Loving My Books

Seems like a little social networking goes a long way.

In the last two weeks we've sold 72 books and received 21 very laudatory reviews for my 8 books.

This is the first promotion that we done for any of my books but it seems to be working, word is getting out there and we're building a little following.

You can see all my books here:

http://bit.ly/TippingPointPublishing

And most of them are still on sale for only 99 cents... Happy reading!

Write on...

Richard

Continue reading "Readers are Loving My Books"

Nov 13, 2013

Reviewer Demands My Book Be Banned

And I be "Boycotted" as an Author!

There's a battle raging on Amazon over my book...

By Tia "This work is by an anti-psychiatrist campaigner who wants no one to have access to psychiatric medication, services or even psychologists. It's prose subversively disguised to portray psychiatrists as evil and have that thought enter your subconscious. If you or anyone you know has benefited from medication to help with postpartum depression, anxiety, depression, bipolarism, etc, and/or you believe that people should have the choice of taking psychiatric medication, PLEASE boycott this author!"

What do you think?

Should my writing be BANNED?...

Oct 31, 2013

Writing Systems for Fiction Writers

The writing systems of the great writers of the Golden Age of Fiction (1910-1960) relied on Story Technology. Discover what they knew - that you're missing.

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Oct 31, 2013

Start With the Product

Start with the product to plan any project such as writing a novel this. This is one of the tools of that I use.

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Oct 31, 2013

Self-Publishing is easier but just as treacherous as conventional publishing.

Follow a fellow writer while I navigate the shark infested waters of self-publishing.

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Oct 31, 2013

How to Write a Novel - Introducing the Conception and Design processes

These how to write a novel tools vastly improve the odds of not only finishing the manuscript but ensuring that it's a good salable story.

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Oct 31, 2013

Fiction Writing news, Self-publishing and Books in the news.

Stay up to date with news and trends about Fiction Writing news, Self Publishing and Books streaming from the major news services.

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Oct 31, 2013

18 Elements of Fiction Writing

The elements of fiction are the fundamental principles of writing effective fiction

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Oct 31, 2013

Creative Writing Ideas

There is no shortage of creative writing ideas. The problem is knowing what to do with the idea when you get one. For that you need The Story Engine.

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Oct 31, 2013

Becoming a Writer

Becoming a writer is not what it's cracked up to be. Discover what they don't want you to know to see why you should be an author/publisher instead of a writer.

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Aug 26, 2013

Toiling in a Field of Dreams.

Although many call me a "wordsmith" I really don't like the term.

While it's a cute alliteration to the idea of a writer being like a blacksmith who pounds words into shape for purpose... I've very seldom pounded any words... in or out of shape - swear to God.

I think of myself more like a farmer who plants ideas in the ground, then given enough time, sun and water they grow into something, sometimes quite remarkable. At which point I cruse the field looking for and selecting those fruits and vegetables that best fit the particular basket I have in my hand at the time.

I've even been known to graft one promising shoot onto a wholly different plant... hoping that something quite new and wonderful might grow from the cross match.

Yes, I think I'm a farmer toiling in a field of dreams.

Write on... Richard

Jun 02, 2013

Workable Truth

Workable truth and its pursuit is a slippery subject, hence we need a methodology for considering the relative truthfulness of a given datum.

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Jun 02, 2013

Truth and Simplicity

Truth and simplicity go hand and hand and in studying any subject such a writing friction this is one of the tools of evaluation that I use.

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Jun 02, 2013

The Right Way

There is the right way for doing something and then there are all the other ways.

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Jun 02, 2013

Gradient Scales

Infinity valued logic and the resulting concept of gradient scales is the most significant advancement in the history of philosophy and a fiction writer's best friend.

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Jun 02, 2013

Datums of Comparable Magnitude

Datums of Comparable Magnitude must be used in evaluating any subject.

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Jun 02, 2013

My Philosophy

My Philosophy consists of a few basic philosophical datums that I use to think and evaluate data with.

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Mar 17, 2013

How-to Sell Your Book

Hooks Sell Books

All marketing starts with a "hook"; especially if you're trying to sell something as intangible as a book.

You need a hook, to sell your book.

"Hook" is a slang term used in marketing and sales which literally means "to reduce to a complete loss of self-control" (Webster's Third New International Dictionary).

If you've "hooked" your prospective reader or audience they will have lost all "self-control" and feel compelled to buy what you're selling just to get off the hook. (pun intended)

While there are a good number of other useful definitions listed for "hook" this is probably one of the most applicable ones for our purposes.

As for examples...

Just start paying attention to all the advertising around you. And even the communications that you might not necessary consider "advertising".

A hook is contained in any and every short, pointed communication that demands your immediate attention and action.

It gets you to look, listen, pay attention, and take some action. There is always a call to action. It might be implied but the call to action is always there. It is often no more complicated than "buy this", or "read this" to get more.

Don't get the idea that a "hook" needs to be long or complex.

They are short, simple and hit you at a visceral level.

Think book titles.

Wander around or browse a book store, or a Wall-mart.

Go look at a news stand. Every effective headline contains a "hook".

A magazine cover contains a bunch of them.

The tabloids are a great study of effective titles that "hook" the reader's attention.

Crafting an effective hook for your book is an integral part of marketing, and EVERY fiction writer must understand marketing if he expects to make any money as a writer. This applies to self-publishing writers as well as conventionally published ones.

Remember publishers don't sell books. Publishers only print and distribute books. It's up to the author to sell his book. And all marketing starts with having an effective "hook".

"Hook" literally means "to reduce to a complete loss of self-control" (Webster's Third New International Dictionary).

This video reveals the secret Technology of Storytelling

Write on...

Richard

Feb 24, 2013

Road Trip

Just returned from an 8 month, 14,000 mile road-trip around America.

There are so many stories out there and so little time to tell them…I hardly know where to begin.

P.S.Oh, yea I just remembered…

Video # - 1 Click here to watch "Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast..."

Write on…Richard

Oct 10, 2012

On The Road - 1

Stories are everywhere. That’s not a problem. I should say ‘story ideas’ are everywhere.

99 days on the road and I’ve seen half the country, and talked with a lot of people, and read and seen a lot of history.

But are these “stories”?

The simple answer is “NO”.

You see, no matter the drama, just because something “happened”, no matter how “interesting” it’s not a “story”.

“Stories” are very precise things. They are “created” whether out of one’s imagination, out of fact or a combination of the two to serve a specific purpose.

That purpose is the conveyance of an singular idea.

A Story, irrespective of its seeming complexity, represents a singular truth, better known as a “premise”.

The premise of the story is that idea.

Any given story is dependent upon a premise for continuity, and purpose.

Without a premise we have a purposeless narrative that wanders. The language could be beautiful, even poetic, the action – as exciting as a roller coaster ride; characters that leap off the page and grab the reader by the throat.

But when it’s all said and done if there is no premise, no point to the narrative, then the audience will put down the book, or walk out of the theater, with nothing more than what they started with.

No matter how artful the presentation, they did not experience a “story” but merely a device of distraction.

And that’s the difference between a “story” and simple “entertainment”.

Ideas for stories may be everywhere, but it takes a true “storyteller” to arrange a sequence of action into something that means something; to imbue the events of a life with meaning.

Write on...
And SELF-Publish!

Jan 14, 2012

You Need More Than One Book

"Published" is not something that one becomes; it's something that one simply does.

If you're waiting for the establishment to give you permission to be a "published" author you're holding the wrong end of the stick.

My best advice:

It's damn near impossible to make money from just one book.

You need to publish 6-8 good books a year. That kind of quality volume, aimed at a specific reading public, is the cornerstone for the most effective promotion a fiction writer can do for his work. To get to that level - you need to:

  1. Learn how to write effective fiction quickly and consistently. "The Rich Writers Story System" is the best solution I know for that. Click here to watch the free videos for fiction writers. "The Rich Writers Story System"
  2. Selfpublish what you write. Conventional publishing is too slow, while keeping 80% of the profits, not to mention the fact that your book will be "out of print" 4 months after it hits book stores. All of which robs the writer of any but the slimmest chance of viability.
  3. Discover who your reading public is.
  4. Find the cheapest way of letting them know about your books.
  5. Keep writing.
  6. Keep publishing everything you write.
  7. Keep promoting your books to your existing public and potential readers.
  8. Bank all your income.
  9. Save 20% of what you make.
  10. Pay your bills.
  11. Invest the remainder in tested and proven promotion methods and things that increase your production.
  12. Ignore critics but answer all correspondence from your fans.
Click here to find out about "The Rich Writers Story System"

Write on...
And SELF-Publish!

Jan 08, 2012

Common Questions - Uncommon Answers

Q. What's your biggest problem or frustration with writing fiction?: Revision.

A. I would suggest that you write more and revise less. Write the manuscript, correct the typos, publish the book - and move on to writing the next one. That's the only way that you'll make progress.

I find it a very strange fact that the writing of fiction is the only profession where constant "revision", "editing" or "re-re-re-writing" is not only considered normal but desirable.

This is like going to the dentist only to have him re-fill the same cavity over and over again. Where is the benefit in that? Or having a chief re-re-re-cook the same eggs 6 times before finally putting them on a plate for you to eat.

Engineers don't constantly re-build bridges. Painters don't constantly paint, scrape and re-paint the same house over and over again, day after day. Your surgeon doesn't constantly re-re-re-transplant your heart... So where do writers get the idea they are supposed to re-re-re-re-write?

Why don't writers have the idea (like every other profession) of just doing it right in the first place? Do it once, do it right and be done with it!

The obvious and only answer is that they are uncertain of their craft.

But if the writer knows what he is trying to create and how to create it there is no uncertainty. Uncertainty comes from a lack of knowledge and therefore lack of control over one's craft.

The solution for this lack of knowledge it simply to study the Technology of Storytelling or what I call Story Tech. Storytelling is a Technology.

If one knows and uses the correct technology correctly then they get a good product. If one doesn't know the technology or does not use it then - they get crap. It's that simple.

PS. No amount of "revision" will turn crap into gold. But constant revision can turn gold into crap.

Click here to find out about "Story Tech".

Write on...
And Publish!

Dec 31, 2011

Writing Myths

There are many common writing myths. Here are a few of the most deadly.

Continue reading "Writing Myths"

Dec 31, 2011

Deadly Writing Myth - Number 1

  • I Need An Agent, And/Or Publisher.
What every writer needs first and foremost, is a good story, well told.

To achieve that you must know and use the correct tech of storytelling - what I call Story Tech.

Then you need to know how to sell your manuscript or book like any business person would sell a product. If you can do the above, everything else will take care of itself.

If on the other hand; you believe you can sit on a mountain top and simply type whatever comes to mind and some agent or publisher is going to swoop down like the tooth fairy, whisk your pages away and leave you bags of gold - your living in a dream world and it's time to wake up.

Writing, publishing and selling fiction is a business and it does not suffer fools.

Write on...
And Publish!

Dec 29, 2011

Writers Need A System To Succeed

"Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its denouement before anything be attempted with the pen. It is only with the denouement constantly in view that we can give a plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points, tend to the development of the intention." ~ Edgar Allan Poe, excerpted from his 1846 lecture "The Philosophy of Composition".

Poe goes on to dismiss the idea of artistic intuition and argues that writing is methodical and analytical, not spontaneous.

He explains that other authors are reluctant to admitted this because most writers would "positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes... at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair... at the cautious selections and rejections."

All of which argues in favor of acquiring "The Rich Writers Story System" or, if you've got 10 years to spare - developing your own system.

One way or another you need a system if you expect to write well enough - fast enough - to make a living at it.

Write on...
And Publish!
Rich

Dec 28, 2011

Quotable Quotes

"A book has but one voice, but it does not instruct everyone alike." ~ Thomas Kempis

"The lover of letters loves power too." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is probably no hell for authors in the next world - they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one." ~ Christian N. Bovee

"The chief glory of every people arises from its authors." ~ Samuel Johnson

"The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." ~ James Baldwin

"I'm all for keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters." Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959) architect

Write on...
And Publish!

Dec 27, 2011

Should You Selfpublish?

<1>"Selfpublishing was the only form of publishing for 400 years between Gutenberg and the Victorian era. It's not only honorable, it's historic." ~ Godfrey Harris, author and publisher.

Dec 01, 2011

FAQ's - Writers Resources

The best writers resources are the comments and advise of other writers. Ask questions and share your advice - in this writers community.

Continue reading "FAQ's - Writers Resources"

Dec 01, 2011

Creative Writing Tips

These creative writing tips are the simplest, most powerful, and sought after tips for fiction writers. They debunk many of the myths about the craft.

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Nov 28, 2011

Writing a Novel

Writing a Novel is simple when you understand how. Here's what you need to know and how to get started.

Continue reading "Writing a Novel"

Nov 27, 2011

Story Starters

Before you waste a lot of time with story starters; discover how to actually Conceive, Design, and Research your story before you try Composing it.

Continue reading "Story Starters"

Nov 26, 2011

Writing Styles

Find out why writing styles are far less important for the fiction writer than simply creating a good story and telling well.

Continue reading "Writing Styles"

Nov 18, 2011

Writing Fast Is The Ticket

Did I mention, You need to write fast?

Headline

"Unknown, self-published author makes one-millionth Kindle sale

Yahoo! News Canada (blog"

"It's a self-publishing success story rarely told. After over 50 rejections from agents and publishers, Hocking found an audience online. "Each book takes between two and four weeks to write and she sells them for between 99 cents and $2.99. ..."

Note that Hocking only spends 2-4 weeks writing her novels.

John Locke reports that his novels only take 3 weeks.

Do you recognize the similarity?

Writing fast is a primary ingredient of their success.

Watch my 4 videos to learn how you can write fast - like Hocking and Locke.

Video # - 1 Click here to watch "Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast..."
http://how-to.write-better-fiction.com/fe/16117-write-a-killer-novel-fast

Click here to read the rest of the news story.

Nov 12, 2011

Agent, Agent - Who Wants an Agent!

May I give you some advice?

Forget about "finding an agent". You neither need nor want a blood sucking agent in this digital age. In fact literary agents are going the way of the do-do bird. In a couple years they will be extinct, and good riddance.

And you don't need to ask permission from a conventional publisher either.

Selfpublish your novels as ebooks and get on with writing the next, next, next one and beyond. And the sooner the better.

If you've watched my videos. You know what can be done and how to do it. And you know that this writing business is a learnable technology.

So, what are you waiting for?

If you're lacking self-confidence then buy one of my packages and you will know how to write fast, books that will sell. And you'll know that you know. It's not voodoo and it's not rocket science.

The single most important aspect of selling your books is having a significant quantity of them available to buy on Amazon, Barns & Nobel, etc.

Just get on with it.

The world is in desperate need of good stories and the storytellers to tell them.

Watch my videos for fiction writers and learn how to write killer novels fast, that will sell.

Video # - 1 Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast...

So, Write on...

And selfpublish.

Nov 10, 2011

The Million eBook Club

Amazon adds 3 three new authors to the million book club

Click here for the full story.

And while you're at it watch these free videos to understand how to write a quantity of good novels quickly enough to achieve an impact in the marketplace.

Video # - 1 Write a "Killer" Novel, Fast... Write a Killer Novel Fast

Think about it...

None of the above writers did it with just one book.

If anyone doubted the viability of ebooks before its clearly time for the doubters to call it a day. John Locke became the first author to sell a million ebooks on Amazon and now he's joined by three more writers.

Get John's book (an ebook of course) on how he sold his million.

Very informative, no fluff, here's the nuts and bolts - to a successful book campaign in this new digital age.

Write on...And selfpublish.

What are you waiting for?

Nov 08, 2011

Chalk One Up for Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison Wins 'In Time' Lawsuit against New Regency for copyright infringement.

Harlan Ellison

Good to see a writer of Harlan's stature getting his due from Follywood.

Just goes to show that the move moguls don't always read the scripts they green-light.

See the rest of the the article hear
as reported today in sciencefiction.com

Write on...

Rich

Nov 06, 2011

types of poetry - My Children

This is one of the Types of Poetry. An Ode to my other children - the words I birth onto the page.

Continue reading "types of poetry - My Children"

Nov 04, 2011

Writing for Publication

Writing for Publication is the only legitimate reason to write stories. Creating "Art for art's sake" is a fool's errand.

Continue reading "Writing for Publication"