My last book in #ReadIndieInDecember was not a great one. I wrote a lengthy review for my readers, and then realized that it served nobody to criticize an indie author so harshly.
Rather than exposing you to that negative review, I have decided to use the shortcomings in that book as discussion points for personal improvement. Hopefully the lessons that I learned from this book will help my author friends, without actually reading this book for themselves.
This won’t be a long lesson. Just three simple main points. But trust me, getting these things right will make all the difference in your next fiction novel.
Read to the end of this short article to get some great recommendations for your 2021 reading list!
Write What You Know
The magnificent part about reading indie authors is that each one approaches the story from a different life experience.
If you grew up speaking a particular dialect, use that in your dialogue. Draw upon the other accents you have heard to give your other characters unique voices. If you are unfamiliar with a certain accent, don’t be ashamed to ask for help—I did, for Carried Away!
Research and preparation are key components of writing a believable, immersible work of fiction. If you don’t put in the effort to learn about your setting, or to learn about the people in that setting, your readers will never lose themselves in your book.
If You’ve Got A Good Thing Going, Don’t Interrupt
A great novel will combine suspense, excitement, and maybe even some romantic tension. But not in the same paragraph. Maybe not even on the same page.
If your characters are fleeing for their lives in the darkness of night, this is not the proper moment for them to discover the deep, colorful hues of each other’s eyes.
If your hero is hanging upside-down over an alligator pit, this is not the proper time for him to consider anniversary gifts for his wife (unless she really likes alligators, I guess).
Details Are What The Reader Wants
A character that drives a ‘69 Ford Mustang will always be more interesting than one who drives a ‘car.’
A banquet of roast boar, seasonal greens, and buttery potatoes is always better than cooking ‘food.’
Learning Brazilian jiu jitsu is better than learning ‘martial arts.’ Serving in the 101st Airborne Division is better than having ‘military experience.’ Growing up in Mobile, Alabama is better than growing up in the ‘south.’
You get the picture. Or you don’t.
Other Points Of Order
Reading this book got me thinking about how to make my scene changes deliberate. I noticed the difference between an purposeful run-on sentence and an accidental one. I saw how an author can sometimes bring up important social issues irresponsibly instead of giving them a fair and balanced discussion.
But those are all discussion points for another article.
Start 2021 On The Right Foot
I try to read a lot of indie fiction. I have made friends with several indie authors, some of whom have partnered with my website to provide honest book reviews and exciting new literature. You can find links to their websites on the home page.
If you are looking for an exciting new author to get into, I can recommend several. These other authors generally demonstrate the three points that I mentioned above. Pick up any of these books for a great reading experience in the New Year.
The Blackbird And The Ghost, Huw Steer’s amazing introduction into the world of the Boiling Seas.
The Minotaurs of Maze World, Eddie Patin’s thrilling second book in his bounty hunting sci-fi series.
Short Stories From Mythnium, C. Borden’s introduction to her upcoming epic fantasy series.
Heishi, by Jeff Sabean, the first book in his portal fantasy/military crossover series.
If you have been reading other indie authors for #ReadIndieInDecember, or if you have other indie authors to recommend, please comment below! I would still love to encounter some exciting new up-and-coming literary stars!
Thanks, everyone—authors and readers alike—for making 2020 a year for new book discovery! Share this website with your friends, because a good, honest book review can sometimes make all the difference.
And of course, don’t let this year end without getting Carried Away!