Book Review – The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue.

Hough on Dialogue: A Fiction Writer's GuideHough on Dialogue: A Fiction Writer’s Guide by John Hough Jr.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book Review – The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue by John Hough, Jr.
The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue by John Hough, Jr. as the title suggests, is a non-fiction guide to writing dialogue.

The Cover: The cover and title clearly represent the non-fiction genre.

The Bad Stuff: To be brutally honest, this book did not inspire me to keep reading. I skimmed most of it because it didn’t hold my interest. I thought a lot of the examples were dated and while I understand the author’s use of them to demonstrate his point, I found the book a tad boring.

The Good Stuff: While this book failed to get my mind racing with interest, the content is valid and may very well help some authors to improve their writing of dialogue. As a personal preference though, this book was not for me.

Overall, I didn’t find this book much use. I do acknowledge that there is merit to the content though, and because of that I’m giving this book a yawning 2 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

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Book Review – Story Fix by Larry Brooks

Story Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to BrilliantStory Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to Brilliant by Larry Brooks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Review – Story Fix by Larry Brooks
Story Fix by Larry Brooks is a non-fiction writing guide to help you wrangle your novels into shape, therefore making them publishable.

The Cover: The cover is a fit with non-fiction, but it is the title (and subtitle) that clearly define what this book is about.

The Bad Stuff: I had to think hard to come up with something to say here. For me, and I would say this is purely personal preference, I think there were one or two analogies too many. While they made valid points, I would have found this a better read without some of them, as I could have gotten to the juicy parts faster.

The Good Stuff: I loved this book. For a writers guide covering structure, story shortcomings and the pitfalls that writers can fall into, this is one of the best I have read. It has solid advice and puts the writing process into a perspective that makes perfect sense. This book tells you what you need to know to be a successful writer. I have been writing for some years now, but nobody has ever sat down and explained things to me quite like this. I have pieced parts of this together over the years from many different sources and still fell short of the level of detail provided here. Great work Larry, you have produced an excellent resource for writers.

Overall, I wish I had found this book when I started out writing. It provides great insights into how you should present your work, how to find problems in your manuscript and how to fix them. I would recommend this to all writers, whatever your level of experience. I’m giving this one a page turning 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks (with a little smiley face stamp on the side).

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Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

A Quick Update for my Readers

 

Image by Jcrakow

Image by Jcrakow

Hello Readers,

My blog has been a little quiet lately, I know. I’ve been focussing on running a promo for Easy Prey and testing some AMS ads out for both The Crimson Guild and Blood Rage. The promo went quite well with 50 downloads over 3 days. This isn’t bad considering I only used free advertising on a few newsletters. I also feel like I am making some progress with my ads. People are clicking on them, that’s a start. The next step in the process is converting the clicks to sales. So I have been revisiting my book blurb for Blood Rage. Reviews also help out with converting clicks to sales and thankfully I have had a few come through recently. They act kind of like a recommendation from a friend, so thank you to every one of you who have left a review so far.

This has been taking up a lot of my time, but in the midst of it all I have been trying to write. I haven’t made much progress here, but I have been creeping forward with a fantasy story I have been working on. I have also been fleshing out another fantasy/sci fi idea that I have knocking about in my head. I really want to get a few more stories out this year, so at some point I may have to lock myself in a room with no internet access and get stuck into my writing.

As for reading, I have made some headway this year. I think I have read 5 books to date (though a goodreads glitch says I have read 2 of them twice on my reading challenge) and I’m over half way through a beta read I’m doing for another author. I’m also 25% through another book, but I’m struggling with this one. The story is original and quite good, but the writing style is not working for me and I think it is going to be a DNF (Did Not Finish). I’ll see how I go, I really don’t like not finishing a book as I like to post a review when I’m done, and polite, constructive criticism can help an author to improve.

Anyway, that’s about it from me, take care and happy reading!

 

What Is Your Favourite Fantasy Novel?

picture-by-shannon-hauser

Picture by Shannon Hauser

Hello Readers,

I was having a look to see if I could find any good fantasy novels/authors to read and while trawling through lots of blogs and webpages I thought to myself “I wonder what my readers really enjoyed reading?” That gave me an idea. Why don’t I ask? So I put this quick blog post together just for that reason. I’ll share some of my favourites with you first.

  1. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercombie.
  2. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercombie.
  3. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
  4. The Lascars Dagger by Glenda Larke

Okay so there are four of my favourites. Now it’s over to you… What are your favourite fantasy novels?

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Book Review – Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker

Smashwords Book Marketing GuideSmashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Review – Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker
Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker is a non-fiction that covers off of marketing techniques.

The Cover: The cover is basic but professional and clearly fits the non-fiction title.

The Bad Stuff: This is an obvious Smashwords promotional tool and the tips provided really shouldn’t be anything new to the average author who has been publishing for a while.

The Good Stuff: The book is well produced and all the basic marketing tips are here in one place (along with a few things that some authors may not know or have considered). This would certainly be a very useful resource for a new writer and will help them set themselves up as an author, giving them the best shot at making their writing a successful business.

Overall, this is more a marketing tool for Smashwords and I really don’t have an issue with that. In my opinion this book does not contain much in the way of new information for a writer that has been self-publishing for a while (though I appreciate there are differing levels of experience out there). It is however a treasure trove of good ideas and advice for the novice. For this reason I’m giving this one a profile lifting 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Book Review – Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes

Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle (Book of Never, #0)Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Review – Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes

Never: Prequel to The Amber Isle by Ashley Capes is a short fantasy story about a thief with bad blood (hmmm… why does that sound familiar to me). We follow the story of Never as he steals he way towards a cure.

The Cover: Okay, I’m adding a new section for cover design in my reviews as I feel they need to be spoken about. I love the cover on this book and probably would not have bothered to pick this title up if not the beautiful artwork. It screams fantasy to me, provoking a mood of gritty action and danger. Just my kind of book.

The Bad Stuff: The name of our protagonist threw me off. Every time I read his name I was confused by the actual meaning of the word, expecting a sentence to form somewhat differently. The writing style didn’t grip me and pull me in either, I found it a bit passive.

The Good Stuff: I must say that once I got over the character’s name and the writing style, I actually enjoyed this story and the world building that was developed over this short story. It is certainly a fantasy set in a world I enjoy to read. The characters were also quite well rounded for a short story. The storyline isn’t bad at all, but as with any new author you read, it may take a few pages to get into the swing of things. I’d say give it a chance and see what you think, I found it free on amazon and if the end matter in the book is up to date, you can get the following book free if you sign up to My Capes Newsletter.

Overall the story was interesting and well-paced, I wasn’t fully invested in the characters, but feel if I were given a little more time with them, I would form a stronger bond. If you are looking for something quick to read with a fantasy setting, I’d say give it a go. I’m giving this one a shadow hugging 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

The Crimson Guild Book Promo.

the-crimson-guild-3d-render

Hello Readers,

Good news! I’m currently running a promo on ‘The Crimson Guild’ and for one week only, I’ve dropped the price by 50%. This fantasy novella follows the story of Conall O’Lorcan, a boy with a rage inside of him, a rage he doesn’t know how to control. Cast out of his village, he seeks a new life where nobody knows his secrets. But when he is recruited into a guild of thieves, his secrets become hard to hide.

The book is available from multiple retailers, including: Apple, Kobo and Amazon. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy while it is going cheap.

If you love fantasy then this is a book for you. Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews on Goodreads.

Please share this post with anyone you think may be interested in this special offer, and of course, if you do grab yourself a copy and you enjoy the read, the best thank you any author can wish for is a review from a happy reader.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Easy Prey – Free for Three.

Easy Prey 3d render

Hello Readers,

I am writing this post to give you all a heads up on my latest book promo. I have my short horror story ‘Easy Prey’ on Kindle Unlimited (KU). Under the terms of KU the book is exclusive to Amazon. But don’t worry… if you don’t own a kindle, you can download the free app from your store. For those that do not subscribe to KU, I am making ‘Easy Prey’ free for 3 days commencing today, 1st of February 2018 (Pacific time).

Because it is only a short story it usually retails for under a dollar, so it isn’t a huge saving, but hey… free is free after all. And it gives you a chance to trial my writing without spending any cash. So why not grab yourself a copy and give me a go.

Still not convinced? Maybe this blurb will sway you:

Something sinister lurks around Shady Ridge. It’s places like this you can find easy prey. Mack Conway is a creep with an eye for the ladies. Life hasn’t exactly been kind to him. It could be better if he just played nice, but he ain’t nice… and he’s looking for trouble.

Please share this post with anyone you think may be interested in a copy, and of course, if you do grab yourself a copy and you enjoy the read, the best thank you any author can wish for is a review from a happy reader.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.