Much like the Not Ready for Primetime Players, there is a group of amazingly talented authors on the cusp of stardom. They gather here at the Not so Famous Author's Blog to tell you all about writing and smashing your head on a desk. No just the writing part. .


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Guest Post from Phillip Tomasso

Writing a Novel for the Teletubbie Audience

by Phillip Tomasso

When I came up with this blogging topic title, I realized it sounded as if I were insulting my (and all) readers. Trust me. That is not the case. It should, instead, insult society as a whole.

People love to read. Books are more popular now than I ever remember in the past. E-Readers like Nooks, Kindles and tablets, make carrying an entire library around with you not only possible, but plausible and acceptable. This is awesome! Fantastic! Technology rules!

Unless, that is, you are an author.

Let me explain. I’m going to use myself as a prime example. I just bought an e-reader. I’m forty-three. Never thought I would. I love, and still prefer, actual physical books. I wanted to get with the times. I broke down and purchased a Nook HD+. Know what? I love it.

I can play games, Facebook, Tweet, stream Netflix, do my banking, visit Goodreads, Google+ . . . the things I can do seem endless!

Oh, that’s right, and I can read books, too. But not just any books. Free and $.99 books! In mere days, I went from not having an eReader, to having an eReader with nearly 100 titles downloaded to my library. What to read first? What to read next?

Sure. The author gets credit for the download. It is about  than that, though, I’ll guarantee a Starred Review is what that author desires equally as much as a free download. But with over 100 books to choose from, when will I get to “that” author’s title? Next year? Two years? Never?

This is where Teletubbie writing comes into play. Readers are busy people. They have jobs, families, X-box (Playstation), and Roku. As a novelist, if I am going to compete with everything else available out there I need to do three things, and more importantly, to do those three things well:

1. GET TO IT. Oh, it’s okay to have a little build-up, some background, some developing . . . but don’t overdo it. Start with action. That’s my advice!

2.  K.I.S.S., BABY. We all know what K.I.S.S. is –Keep It Simple Stupid. This is essential. Take your readers where they need to go. I prefer short sentences, as compared to long flowery prose. I write thrillers and zombie novels, though. If you are writing literary fiction, which may not easily apply. However, I still strongly suggest incorporating the idea as often as possible

3. ATTENTION SPAN IS…WHAT WAS I SAYIN? Think lots of “color,” and short scenes. A long chapter or a long scene in a book before there is any break (especially if there is little to no dialogue or actual action), will just kill my interest. James Patterson has to give successful credit to his one and two page chapters. A six page chapter is rare in a Patterson novel. Readers devour his books . . . why? (He doesn’t even write them any longer) Because it only takes a minute or two to read an entire chapter, that is why. So why not read another, and another, and another. . . I’m telling you – mind the length of your chapters. I hate to say it, but longer isn’t always better. Rarely is, when writing.

As a writer, we want readers to keep reading what we wrote. Sounds foundational, right? For me, these three tips are just that, tips.  However, they seem to help me ensure competitive steps have been taken against countless other –not just novels— “things” that sidetracked readers from actually . . . reading.

Everyone is in a hurry. For some people a 3-minute bag of popcorn in the microwave is like being forced to wait an eternity.  All I am saying is remember that today, people are easily distracted.  Keep your writing tight and concise; packed with action and dialogue; keep those chapters short and colorful. Make sure you do all you can to ensure your book is the one read cover to cover!

Thank you for this opportunity to share my own personal, nonsensical beliefs about writing!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Zombie novels, VACCINATION and EVACUATION
the YA drama, SOUNDS OF SILENCE, and nine other mid-list novels

Twitter: @P_Tomasso

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Thanks for being on the blog today! Here is my review of Vaccination for those who want to know! VaccinationVaccination by Phillip Tomasso III
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vaccination was a great zombie read for me. There are a lot of zombie books out there, but this one kept the momentum going. There was action from beginning to end, and it was a different way to tell the same old story where it was interesting and entertaining. I will definitely want to read the next installment. The relationships between the characters weren't typical but they were great, and the main character was developed well.

View all my reviews

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