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Robert Burton Robinson - Author of the Ginger Lightley Mysteries RSS Feed (near Houston, Texas)

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Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules
Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules
by Steven James
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.84
78 used & new from $10.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are Writing Rules Weakening Your Fiction?, December 22, 2014
I’m currently writing my tenth novel, and have read several dozen writing books, most of which were helpful. Some were excellent. I understand the concepts of plot, three-act structure, archetypes, motifs, symbolism, etc. But those are analytical terms, useful for studying a work of fiction AFTER it’s been written. The author recommends that you break the rules espoused in many of these books. Not ALL the rules. Just some of the “most important” ones.

For example (I’m paraphrasing):

OUTLINE RULE: You must create a detailed outline before you begin to write, otherwise you’ll end up wasting time and throwing away a lot of pages.
TRUTH: You’ll waste time writing the outline, and then waste more time rewriting the outline when your characters want to take the story in directions you couldn’t anticipated.

THREE-ACT RULE: Your story must have three acts with specific plot points.
TRUTH: If you force your characters to stay within rigid boundaries, you may well end up with a cookie-cutter story that lacks momentum.

HOOK RULE: You must “hook” readers by blowing them away with your first sentence/paragraph/page or you will lose them.
TRUTH: You do need to “hook” readers early on—that much is true. However, if your first chapter explodes with over-the-top excitement, Chapter 2 may seem like a dud in comparison, and you’ll likely lose readers by Chapter 3. Instead, the tension must continually build from the first sentence to the climax.

THEME RULE: You must determine the theme of your story before you start writing. What’s it about? What’s the point you’re trying to make?
TRUTH: If your story can be boiled down to one or two sentences, why write the book?

Like a good novel, the value of this book cannot be condensed into a few paragraphs. I urge you to read every page and let it soak in, and then follow the author’s advice and create your story organically. Then you can analyze the structure if you like—after it’s written.


How to Make a Living as a Writer
How to Make a Living as a Writer
Price: $3.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Everything You Need Without the Fluff, November 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A great no-nonsense guide to making a living as a writer. Years ago, James Scott Bell figured out that successful writers are not born--they're made, through hard work and a driving determination to improve. Yes, a certain level of talent is required, but most of what you need can be learned. And you can learn a lot of it from this book, which will teach you how to improve your writing AND how to market your book--the smart way (that's easy on your schedule and your bank account).

And I love his LOCK System for novels. It will help you make sure you're following four important principles that are vital for your book's success.

I highly recommend this book!


Twitter for Writers (Writer's Craft)
Twitter for Writers (Writer's Craft)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unless You're a Seasoned Twitter Pro, You Need This Book, November 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am not a newbie author--I'm working on my tenth novel. But I've never done much with Twitter until recently, and this book was exactly what I needed to get me up to speed. The author makes it easy to understand how to make the best use of Twitter for promoting your books. I already knew some of the no-no's, like Tweeting: "Buy my Book! Buy my Book!" You don't have to be on Twitter very long to see how annoying many of the book promotion techniques can be.

But how do you make Twitter friends, get book reviews, and sell your books without turning people off? Rayne Hall explains it in detail, and she gives many great examples.

So, unless you're a seasoned Twitter pro, this book should be extremely helpful to you.


Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (The Writer's Toolbox Series)
Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (The Writer's Toolbox Series)
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers on Its Promise: The Secret of Crafting an Unforgettable Novel, October 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am now writing my tenth novel, and have read dozens of writing books, yet this book provided powerful new insights that are going to have a major impact on my WIP.

Thanks, Susanne. Great job!


12 cup Premium Silicone Mini Muffin Pan
12 cup Premium Silicone Mini Muffin Pan

5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great in Our Toaster Oven, August 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We have a large toaster oven that will handle pans up to 10 in. x 10 in., so I was looking for a mini muffin pan that would fit. This pan is 9.5 in. x 7.25 in., so no problem. And I liked the idea of silicone since some of our old pans have begun to rust.

I just sprayed the cups with a bit of Pam before adding the batter, and the muffins came out very easily. No sticking whatsoever.

The instructions tell you that you may need to place the pan on top of a cookie sheet since it is so flexible, and you definitely would if you were using it in a conventional oven, because the pan would probably tip between the bars of the rack and spill your batter. But the rack bars in toaster ovens tend to be very close together, so this is not an issue. Although, you do have to be very careful to give enough support under a filled pan when you are carrying it to the toaster oven or some of your batter could end up on the floor. To me, this is not a big deal. You just have to be aware of the issue.

I'm very pleased with this little mini muffin pan, and I plan to purchase at least one more.


Veronica Mars Season One [HD]
Veronica Mars Season One [HD]
DVD
Price: $44.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Our daughter talked us into watching this series, June 6, 2014
Our daughter talked us into watching this series and we were surprised at how good it was. It's got snappy dialog, great chemistry between the characters, and an intriguing mystery, with a hero you quickly learn to love. Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars is wonderful. So, what more could you ask?


BUGERA BUGERA BC15
BUGERA BUGERA BC15
Price: $129.99
4 used & new from $129.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes me feel like a teenager, May 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: BUGERA BUGERA BC15 (Electronics)
I wish I'd had one of these when I was playing lead guitar in a little rock band in high school in the 1960's. "Day Tripper" would have sounded so much better on this amp than the equipment I had back then. I couldn't afford anything that sounded this good.

The Bugera BC15 is a great practice amp that could also handle a garage session--if I ever wanted to call the old band back together for a jam. I love the variety of sounds I can get from this thing. And it comes at an amazing price!

Even a guitar amp this nice can't transport me back to the '60's. But it does kinda make me feel 16 again. ;)


Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure
Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a newbie novelist, you might not be ready for this book, May 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I would recommend this book to all my friends who are novelists, and to newbie writers as well. However, if you're a newbie, you might not be ready for this book. I know I wasn't when I started out. I had stories to write and I just wanted to hit the ground running. Structure, smucture. Who needed it? And I did okay. I'm now working on my tenth book. But over the past couple of years I've begun to read more and more writing books (32, to be exact), looking for ways to improve. Out of all those books, this one has been one of the most valuable to me (and this is not the first book I've read about structure).

Check out the sample. It will tell you exactly what the book is all about. And if that doesn't make you want to read it, then either you're already well-versed in structure and understand its importance, or you're just not ready.


Wacces® Doorway Chin Up Bar Chrome Pull Up Home Gym
Wacces® Doorway Chin Up Bar Chrome Pull Up Home Gym
Offered by WCS STORE
Price: $16.99
3 used & new from $13.68

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Will NOT fit a 24-inch door, March 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The description for this item includes this line: "Adjustable bar length fits doorways 24 inc through 38 inc wide." This is a lie. The bar adjusts down to 24.5 inches, so it will NOT fit a 24-inch door frame.


Jack Reacher [HD]
Jack Reacher [HD]
DVD
Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great dialogue and action, March 16, 2014
The dialogue in this movie made me smile. Tom Cruise and the other actors made it work well. A lot of fun.


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