The Carver Settlement

I'm looking for comments on the first novel I've attempted to publish (on Lulu only, for now). I think I've corrected the worst of the grammatical mistakes. Feel free to comment on any area, be it the story, the way it's written, or anything else that you notice. I don't have many first readers, so I'd appreciate even a scathing review...Thanks, Tim Gaddo

 

The Carver Settlement

http://www.lulu.com/shop/timothy-gaddo/the-carver-settlement/paperback/product-23037082.html

(Corp should be Corps, page 10, 1st paragraph. I missed that one, dangit.)

Comments

  • What is going on with that cover? There's dogs far larger than a tractor, even though one is farther away. There seems to be an atomic explosion in the background, and the centre looks as if it slipped while being printed.

     

    There's no need for numbers in any form on the Front Matter.

     

    You cannot really say First Printing with a POD book.

     

    You need First Line Indentation.

     

    I do not see why a supposed omnipotent, omnipresent being that is said to have created the Universe and all in it, would have been confused by (or even interested in) some petty squabble on a mite of dust in it. I see little point in that first paragraph when the usual term of God Forsaken would do.

     

    Surprisingly enough, the PLO were not a religious organisation. Is the Forward the start of your fiction? To be honest I would do away with the Forward (unless it is a review of a previous book/s in a series) and meld it in to the actual story, perhaps a bit at a time.

     

    OK, now you have first line indent, but I think it is too large.

     

    I flash read the preview and wonder what it has to do with the last part of your blurb.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Thanks Kevin. I needed that. All of your points are well taken. I think that you misunderstood a couple of things, but still, if you did, then any reader would be likely to as well.

     

    Take the PLO, for example. I didn't say it is a religious organization, but I see that mentioning it in the same sentence as religious militias might make some readers think just that. It's an easy fix. Thanks for pointing it out.

     

    The forward was supposed to be true, and is, to my knowledge, except for, yeah, that first paragraph. I thought it sounded good, didn't think it would cast doubt on the veracity of the rest of it. So you really think it has to go? Dang. Regarding removal of the forward, the first time through, I tried to move from past to present and back again, but I couldn't make it work. I was very satisfied when I gathered all of the confusion of that place and put it together as coherently as I was able to, in the forward.

     

    Page numbers on the front matter: I thought I read that it was standard to have them but to change the form (i,ii, instead of 1, 2) but yes, I can see that they serve no real purpose. First printing, of course, makes no sense in a POD book. I can't honestly explain why it didn't occur to me to take that out of the template I copied from somewhere. And the indent, I used 5 spaces. It should be 4, or 3? Didn't know that.

     

    It would take some time to explain the cover. The book takes a paranormal turn near the end, and the cover elements reflect that. I really liked the cover, but if it doesn't work for you, thanks for jumping out there and saying as much. Maybe I'll have to rethink it some. Oh, the background is the photo that has been floating around the internet for a long time, since someone uploaded it, I guess. It's the 1983 explosion, taken, it is assumed, by one of the bad guys. It's been used in many articles on the bombing over the years. There has never been any attribution associated with it.

     

    I don't understand your last line:

    I flash read the preview and wonder what it has to do with the last part of your blurb.

    The preview you read is just the first few pages, right? And the last part of the blurb refers to the last part of the book, so there wouldn't necessarily be any direct connection. Or, perhaps you had dropped out of critique mode, and were just asking out of curiosity? If that's the case then you probably know by now, that it's an early reference to that paranormal element I mentioned.

     

    Thanks for the time you invested in this. I appreciate it very much. Tim Gaddo

     

     

     

  • You  need to rethink the cover. If it takes time to explain it, than the cover is not working. A book cover should not depend upon any special knowledge of the book in order to be understood. That is putting the cart before the horse. Your cover should get across in a single glance something of what the book is about or what its themes are. This is sometimes very hard for an author to do, since it requires a lot of objectivity.

     

    The back cover background is much too busy for all of the text you have placed on it. The image also doesn't seem to have any obvious relation to the cover or the description of the book. 

     

    You do not need to put "by" before your name.

     

    Page numbers should start with the first page of text. They do not belong in the front matter, such as the title page and copyright page. If you want to use Roman numerals, these might be on your acknowledgements and foreword pages. Then your story can start on page 1 (a right hand page). Any commercially published novel would make a good model for you to follow.

     

    Kevin is right in saying that there is no such thing as a "first printing" in POD publication.

     

     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    First, you're well into the 90th percentile or higher, from what I've seen, in that you've written a book, and done it in legible English, and in complete sentences that are coherent. I've seen worse book on shelves in stores. Take pride in those facts, first off. Now for the finer points:

     

    All meant as constructive criticism:

     

    First, the blurb on the webpage is too long. The goal in a blurb is to entice the reader. All bait, no hooks. This one is a detailed rundown of the plot. I'd go more like:

     

    John Carver's military career has been anything but easy. The Beirut carbombing,  decades of logistical troubleshooting in one hotspot after another, and finally a tragic mistake that strips him of his rank and sends him to prison: It's well past time to retire and take it easy once he's released. But a con man with friends in high places has other plans for John and for the multi-million dollar settlement coming to him.

     

    On the book proper -- the cover could use a makeover. Looks like a nuclear bomb explosion in the background of an old farm, but the graphics quality is a bit low.

     

    The Forward, unless you're making a deliberate military pun, should be a Foreword, that is a Word to the reader be-Fore the story proper. Your Foreword, as written, is a synopsis of the Beirut conflict, but it's too wordy, too dry, and a touch cynical. Never preach to your audience before you've drawn them into the tale. For example, compare John Grisham's The Client, where he drew the reader in with a story about some kids finding a scary man in a car before preaching for the rest of the book about judicial injustices, against his book The Chamber, where he came out preaching from the first line. One book sold millions based on the story. The other sold thousands based on Grisham's name.

     

    If you want this in for context, make it a simple timeline:

     

    1977: Some faction blows something up

    1978: President Carter sends advisors.

    1979: John Carter goes to Lebanon ... etc.

     

    The parts about rocket launchers and pickup trucks, villages on mountaintops, etc., should be in the exposition of the story. Never TELL us as raw facts what you can SHOW us as part of your story.

     

    Page 1 -- paragraph one is telling, not showing. This is where you want to draw us into John Carver's life and hook us on the story, not recite textbook facts to us. Blend those into the story. With some rewrites and a punchy first line, paragraph two could work well. By the end of the page you're reciting facts again already.

     

    pp. 2, 3 ... Slow Down. Don't dump data on us. Tell us the story. Draw us in. Take your time; there's no rush. Pacing, pacing, pacing. Tease us a little -- give us a clue and then talk about the food on his plate and then follow up with a dialog with an old friend. Bury the FASTAB data in the conversation, along with how he got there... and so on.

     

    Now, that's how I would do it, and it's your story, so you do it your way. But if you want my two cents, and you did ask for it, that's how I would have done it.

     

    Hope that helps.

  • Thanks Kevin. I needed that. All of your points are well taken. I think that you misunderstood a couple of things, but still, if you did, then any reader would be likely to as well.

     

    That's always very true. You vast selection of Keywords could also lead to confusion. Are all those things really in the story? I am not sure why Lulu display the Keywords. Sites normally hide them. They are normally just embedded for use by Search.

     

    Take the PLO, for example. I didn't say it is a religious organization, but I see that mentioning it in the same sentence as religious militias might make some readers think just that. It's an easy fix. Thanks for pointing it out.

     

    Or you could name those religious organisations. But very often religion is used as an excuse for conflicts, when really it is all about power.

     

    The forward was supposed to be true, and is, to my knowledge, except for, yeah, that first paragraph. I thought it sounded good, didn't think it would cast doubt on the veracity of the rest of it. So you really think it has to go? Dang.

     

    I see no point of it in Fiction to be honest, apart from the previous reason I gave.

     

    Regarding removal of the forward, the first time through, I tried to move from past to present and back again, but I couldn't make it work.

     

    That depends on what actual Tenses you are using. Some writers always use Past Tense so it has to made very clear when something is a 'flashback' or whatever. The simplist method is to use the actual date as a chapter title. Look at this >>  http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/past-tense   but oddly the one I use is missing from that. Absolute Present Tense. 'I am working'    Smiley Surprised

     

    I was very satisfied when I gathered all of the confusion of that place and put it together as coherently as I was able to, in the forward.

     

    Page numbers on the front matter: I thought I read that it was standard to have them but to change the form (i,ii, instead of 1, 2) but yes, I can see that they serve no real purpose. First printing, of course, makes no sense in a POD book. I can't honestly explain why it didn't occur to me to take that out of the template I copied from somewhere. And the indent, I used 5 spaces. It should be 4, or 3? Didn't know that.

     

    No 'spaces' really. The setting is normally a measurement as far as I know. I use 0.25".

     

    It would take some time to explain the cover. The book takes a paranormal turn near the end, and the cover elements reflect that. I really liked the cover, but if it doesn't work for you, thanks for jumping out there and saying as much. Maybe I'll have to rethink it some. Oh, the background is the photo that has been floating around the internet for a long time, since someone uploaded it, I guess. It's the 1983 explosion, taken, it is assumed, by one of the bad guys. It's been used in many articles on the bombing over the years. There has never been any attribution associated with it.

     

    Which explosion? There have been far more than just one, and there are millions of images used, not just that one. And which bad guys? Anyone could have taken it.

     

    I don't understand your last line:

    I flash read the preview and wonder what it has to do with the last part of your blurb.

    The preview you read is just the first few pages, right? And the last part of the blurb refers to the last part of the book, so there wouldn't necessarily be any direct connection. Or, perhaps you had dropped out of critique mode, and were just asking out of curiosity? If that's the case then you probably know by now, that it's an early reference to that paranormal element I mentioned.

     

    Perhaps the blurb says too much then? Just like the cover tries to do.

     

    Thanks for the time you invested in this. I appreciate it very much. Tim Gaddo

     

    At least you asked   Smiley Happy and before you applied an ISBN to it.

  • I know I have said this before, but words Tell, they do not Show. One lecturer in writing once applied the term to words alone for some unknown reason, I cannot recall who, and it seems to have stuck in the heads of some people.

    Words Tell a story that should generate images in the reader's mind. The reader could then be said to be Showing the story to themselves. That is the aim of the words. (But you can bet that each reader will not generate the exact same images).

    I suppose one example is screenplays that have never been books. There's hardly any descriptions in them because the director will sit down with the set designer, and often the writer if they are still alive, and come up with the Show, literally.

     

    What can be classed as Show and Tell are book covers.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    kevinlomas wrote:

    I know I have said this before, but words Tell, they do not Show. One lecturer in writing once applied the term to words alone for some unknown reason, I cannot recall who, and it seems to have stuck in the heads of some people.

    Words Tell a story that should generate images in the reader's mind. The reader could then be said to be Showing the story to themselves. That is the aim of the words. (But you can bet that each reader will not generate the exact same images).

    I suppose one example is screenplays that have never been books. There's hardly any descriptions in them because the director will sit down with the set designer, and often the writer if they are still alive, and come up with the Show, literally.

     

    What can be classed as Show and Tell are book covers.


    Kevin, it is a useful metaphor to explain the difference between:

     

    John looked in the mirror, at the long, thin scar along his jawline. It almost disappeared under the deep tan on his face, but he noticed it every time he shaved. It was a reminder of that day, that terrible day, at the barracks in Beirut. None of them had expected it ...

     

    AND

     

    John had been in Beirut when the truckbomb exploded at the barracks. A bomb in a truck exploded. It killed lots of people. John had a scar from it on his jaw.

     

    That is what most people understand when they see "Show, don't Tell."

     

    Yes, the metaphor is more apt in a movie than in a book. Yes, technically, we can only tell, and not show. But to those of us who use the English language to communicate, it is a useful metaphor. It is stuck in the corporate psyche because it is a useful metaphor. As a useful metaphor, it works quite well. Well it works, as a quite useful metaphor.

     

    In the instant case, since I gave specific examples of "Telling instead of showing" I think that it should be clear which things need description as narrative instead of as a data-dump statement of facts. Feel free to argue -- I'm fairly certain that you argue with your housecats, and they may actually win.

     

    But I think that the phrase "Show, don't Tell" will serve as a useful metaphor in the case that we see here.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Tim, to re-iterate -- Even though we've found many points to pick apart (in hopes of helping you see where the story could be improved) your story has a good idea for a plot, and has the potential to be a great novel. You do have a style and you do write well, but you just mainly need to loosen up and let the story flow at its own pace.

     

    At first, we all just want to get the facts on paper. They did this, he did this, she did that, say what! Boom, bang bang, car chase, someone's arrested, done, over. But that's not what readers are looking for. Readers want to get lost in the story. They want to see details. They want to imagine John looking into the mirror and seeing the scar; being reminded of that day. Or whatever device you may want to use to illustrate the point...

     

    They don't want to know that he's wondering if he got in over his head; they want to imagine him sitting in the mess hall, eating a breakfast of white sauce #3 over toast, referred to by his barracks-mates as S.O.S., while he tells a buddy that he's wondering if he got in over his head.

     

    But even so, you're at that 90th-percentile mark, as it stands. I think I can safely say that 90% of the stories we see here are below the mark you've set. It's a workman-like product -- now you need to work on the things that will make it a work of art.

  • Both of your examples are words >> Tell.   This is Show >>

     

    lebanon-car-bomb-600.jpg (600×338)

     

    Tell is to use words to describe that particular scene.

     

    No matter.   Smiley Tongue

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Also, indentation should typically be about the equivalent of 3-5 spaces.

     

    Word, by default, will make it huge. I usually go at around .4" (point four inches) because this is pleasing to my eye. This would be around 4 1/8 spaces.


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Tim, to re-iterate -- Even though we've found many points to pick apart (in hopes of helping you see where the story could be improved) your story has a good idea for a plot, and has the potential to be a great novel. You do have a style and you do write well, but you just mainly need to loosen up and let the story flow at its own pace.

     

    I am sure as writers there's very few stories we can read without finding something we dislike or even annoys us, even if it's only a potentially missing comma. I was reading the reviews of some book on Amazon, and there was around 400 left, the top one said "I can forgive all the typos because it's such a good story."  Not that I am accusing the OP's book of being like that, but don't you think that's a strange review and opposite to the advice we give to people?!

     

    At first, we all just want to get the facts on paper. They did this, he did this, she did that, say what! Boom, bang bang, car chase, someone's arrested, done, over. But that's not what readers are looking for.

     

    Unfortunately that is all many readers want. And I will admit that at times that's all I ask of a story.

     

    Readers want to get lost in the story. They want to see details.

     

    But not too many as to make a story boring. One often has to ask oneself, does this progress the plot? Is it really relevant?

     

    They want to imagine John looking into the mirror and seeing the scar; being reminded of that day. Or whatever device you may want to use to illustrate the point...

     

    I find that the best way is to imagine things myself, then put what I see in my mind in to words. Fiction writers need to be 'dreamers' in full living Technicolor.

     

    They don't want to know that he's wondering if he got in over his head; they want to imagine him sitting in the mess hall, eating a breakfast of white sauce #3 over toast, referred to by his barracks-mates as S.O.S., while he tells a buddy that he's wondering if he got in over his head.

     

    Surely he would have mulled it over in his mind before he brought the subject up with his mate? It could add a 'Will he won't he' admit his doubts aspect, make him more human? Some people mull things over for months before they bring subjects up even with friends. But I always only include the thoughts of the main character. To know what every one is thinking seems unreal to me, unless the main character is a mindreader!

     

    But even so, you're at that 90th-percentile mark, as it stands. I think I can safely say that 90% of the stories we see here are below the mark you've set. It's a workman-like product -- now you need to work on the things that will make it a work of art.

     

    Well said. Perhaps more people need to read it and see how many agree on what the story is telling them. It can be annoying and frustrating when you have to say even to one person, "that is not what I meant at all!"


     


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Also, indentation should typically be about the equivalent of 3-5 spaces.

     

    Word, by default, will make it huge. I usually go at around .4" (point four inches) because this is pleasing to my eye. This would be around 4 1/8 spaces.


    I was wondering if he literally used spaces, because Kerning can cause them to be a bit random.

  • Gentlemen,

     

    I can't thank you enough for all of the advice. It'll take me days to sort through it a piece at a time, deciding if I can push myself to adapt each to my writing. You are all correct, I think, in that the book could be better. I can't promise that I'll incorporate each of your suggestions, but I'm going to go through it all again with your comments printed out beside me. (And any additional that may be offered). It's funny, each of the times I've gone through it already, thinking it would be the last time, just to catch any mistakes or typos, I'd make so many changes that I'd decide I should go through it again just one last time, just to be sure that I didn't mess something up while making the changes, and the same thing would happen, over and over...But I really felt good about each change, that it was more readable for the changes. So I'm sure the same thing will happen this time as well.

     

    Thanks for the compliments too. I have to confess though, I did start out with an isbn. It's sitting there on my Lulu page. But I didn't submit it to the market, instead made the non-isbn copy and thought I'd try to get a someone to read it. Glad I did. And now I'm wondering why I made the non-isbn copy. Could have accomplished the same thing with the isbn. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

     

    Regarding the indent, I did in fact use the Word default of .5 inches, not 5 spaces as I said earlier. Easy fix to shrink it down. I wish the rest would be so. And the misspelled foreword, can we just pretend that never happened?

     

    Thanks again for your time and guidance. Tim

     

    Oh, on the Kudos, is it proper for me to go through and add one on each of your posts?? Or does anyone care about them?

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Tim, it sounds like you're following a process much like mine. I spend about 2 months writing the rough draft, and then 3-4 months reading, re-reading, pulling on loose threads, re-writing a sentence here, a paragraph there, a page or two... Hey, can I incorporate this new idea?

     

    Eventually you reach a point where you say, "This is pretty good, and if I mess with it much more I might foul it up." That's the time to publish it. Even if you do see more errors or things to fix later, this will not be your last novel, right? There are more stories inside you, and at some point, they're going to come to you and demand to be let out. If this one still has flaws in your eyes, try to make the next one better. And the next one, and so on.

     

    As for Kudos, there are no hard and fast rules. I generally use them as a kind of "I agree" when I have nothing of substance to add. You're welcome to the advice; use as much or as little as you like.

     

    Welcome to the forum, as well.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    kevinlomas wrote:

    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Tim, to re-iterate -- Even though we've found many points to pick apart (in hopes of helping you see where the story could be improved) your story has a good idea for a plot, and has the potential to be a great novel. You do have a style and you do write well, but you just mainly need to loosen up and let the story flow at its own pace.

     

    I am sure as writers there's very few stories we can read without finding something we dislike or even annoys us, even if it's only a potentially missing comma. I was reading the reviews of some book on Amazon, and there was around 400 left, the top one said "I can forgive all the typos because it's such a good story."  Not that I am accusing the OP's book of being like that, but don't you think that's a strange review and opposite to the advice we give to people?!

     

    At first, we all just want to get the facts on paper. They did this, he did this, she did that, say what! Boom, bang bang, car chase, someone's arrested, done, over. But that's not what readers are looking for.

     

    Unfortunately that is all many readers want. And I will admit that at times that's all I ask of a story.

     

    Readers want to get lost in the story. They want to see details.

     

    But not too many as to make a story boring. One often has to ask oneself, does this progress the plot? Is it really relevant?

     

    They want to imagine John looking into the mirror and seeing the scar; being reminded of that day. Or whatever device you may want to use to illustrate the point...

     

    I find that the best way is to imagine things myself, then put what I see in my mind in to words. Fiction writers need to be 'dreamers' in full living Technicolor.

     

    They don't want to know that he's wondering if he got in over his head; they want to imagine him sitting in the mess hall, eating a breakfast of white sauce #3 over toast, referred to by his barracks-mates as S.O.S., while he tells a buddy that he's wondering if he got in over his head.

     

    Surely he would have mulled it over in his mind before he brought the subject up with his mate? It could add a 'Will he won't he' admit his doubts aspect, make him more human? Some people mull things over for months before they bring subjects up even with friends. But I always only include the thoughts of the main character. To know what every one is thinking seems unreal to me, unless the main character is a mindreader!

     

    But even so, you're at that 90th-percentile mark, as it stands. I think I can safely say that 90% of the stories we see here are below the mark you've set. It's a workman-like product -- now you need to work on the things that will make it a work of art.

     

    Well said. Perhaps more people need to read it and see how many agree on what the story is telling them. It can be annoying and frustrating when you have to say even to one person, "that is not what I meant at all!"


     


    Kevin, that's remarkably reasonable of you.

     

    Also, the use of a conversation with a buddy ("mate") is just a tool to tell the reader what he's thinking without having to pop inside his head.

     

    You even made a good point about using "Beta-readers" to see how the story looks to someone outside your own skull. Who are you, and what have you done with Kevin?


  • kevinlomas wrote:

    Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Also, indentation should typically be about the equivalent of 3-5 spaces.

     

    Word, by default, will make it huge. I usually go at around .4" (point four inches) because this is pleasing to my eye. This would be around 4 1/8 spaces.


    I was wondering if he literally used spaces, because Kerning can cause them to be a bit random.


    Using the space bar for indents can result in uneven indentations, especially if you are justifying your text.


  • tgaddo wrote:

     

     

    Regarding the indent, I did in fact use the Word default of .5 inches, not 5 spaces as I said earlier. Easy fix to shrink it down. I wish the rest would be so. And the misspelled foreword, can we just pretend that never happened?

     

    If you are using inches, an indent of 1/4' looks good.

     

     


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Tim, it sounds like you're following a process much like mine. I spend about 2 months writing the rough draft, and then 3-4 months reading, re-reading, pulling on loose threads, re-writing a sentence here, a paragraph there, a page or two... Hey, can I incorporate this new idea?

     

    Eventually you reach a point where you say, "This is pretty good, and if I mess with it much more I might foul it up." That's the time to publish it. Even if you do see more errors or things to fix later, this will not be your last novel, right? There are more stories inside you, and at some point, they're going to come to you and demand to be let out. If this one still has flaws in your eyes, try to make the next one better. And the next one, and so on.

     

    As for Kudos, there are no hard and fast rules. I generally use them as a kind of "I agree" when I have nothing of substance to add. You're welcome to the advice; use as much or as little as you like.

     

    Welcome to the forum, as well.


    There is a step missing from your list that sets most self-published books apart from commercially published novels. And that is having the book vetted by an objective reader...ideally someone expert. Most if not all authors are simply not objective enough to effectively edit their own work.

  • Kevin, Ron, Cliff,

     

    In reading over your comments again, I came across something I thought I'd like to clear it up, just for propriety's sake. You had asked about the explosion on the front cover, and the answer I gave didn't do the subject justice. My fault. Sorry.

     

    The background photo on my cover depicts the Marine barracks bombing, Oct 23, 1983, at the airport in Beirut. FBI investigators said later that it was the most powerful non-nuclear blast they had ever investigated. There is only this one photo of the event. Nothing, to my knowledge, is known of the photo's origins. However, considering the unique vantage point and timing involved, it seems most unlikely that it was taken by an innocent who just happened along at the right time with the proper equipment, and therefore most likely that it was taken by someone who had advance warning of the event, which makes him a bad guy, by any definition. I've attached the photo, sans my added foreground clutter. Thanks again to all of you for your help. Tim

     

     


  • tgaddo wrote:

    Kevin, Ron, Cliff,

     

    In reading over your comments again, I came across something I thought I'd like to clear it up, just for propriety's sake. You had asked about the explosion on the front cover, and the answer I gave didn't do the subject justice. My fault. Sorry.

     

    The background photo on my cover depicts the Marine barracks bombing, Oct 23, 1983, at the airport in Beirut. FBI investigators said later that it was the most powerful non-nuclear blast they had ever investigated. There is only this one photo of the event. Nothing, to my knowledge, is known of the photo's origins. However, considering the unique vantage point and timing involved, it seems most unlikely that it was taken by an innocent who just happened along at the right time with the proper equipment, and therefore most likely that it was taken by someone who had advance warning of the event, which makes him a bad guy, by any definition. I've attached the photo, sans my added foreground clutter. Thanks again to all of you for your help. Tim

     

     


    I don't know about that...Judging by the cloud, it would appear to be some moments after the explosion (it has already had time to drift and the mushroom vortex is very high). There are amateur photos of nuclear tests that show the explosion at a much earlier stage---doubtless because the photographer wasn't taken by surprise. I don't know what you mean by "vantage point." The explosion would seem to be quite some distance away and would apparently have been visible from anywhere nearby. "Proper equipment"? All that would have been required would be a camera. Given how many unusual events have been caught by photographers, the fact that this photo exists does not surprise me in the least. For instance, just choosing an event at random, here is a photo taken by an amateur photographer of the crash of the Concorde. I am pretty sure that the photographer had no prior knowledge of the tragedy, yet the photo is a striking one.

     

    .dfsd

     

    In any case, the information I have been able to find about the Beirut  photo credits it to the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC 

    Photo ID: 1038763
    VIRIN: 131011-M-ZZ999-002

     

     

     

  • And now I'm wondering why I made the non-isbn copy. Could have accomplished the same thing with the isbn. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

     

    The problem with ISBNs is they release a book on to the open market, before people have asked for advice.  Smiley Surprised

  • Tim, it sounds like you're following a process much like mine. I spend about 2 months writing the rough draft, and then 3-4 months reading, re-reading, pulling on loose threads, re-writing a sentence here, a paragraph there, a page or two... Hey, can I incorporate this new idea?

     

    It's difficult knowing when to stop. But one way I use is the chapter at a time method, and at times even the paragraph at a time method. Keep going back and often many times. It can be an absolute chore fully writing from start to finish, and then going back to the start to begin fiddling. Right now I am up to 190,000 words with something! That is not to say that when I do get to the end I will not read from the start again, but hopefully only to do a final proofreading! (Oh, and to make it cheaper I will also have to find suitable places to split it. That may result in a re-write of a chapter or two).

    As I progress I do often go back to a place and change some thing so that the story can progress, or to add some thing that makes a part I am working on make more sense! Look at that like a form of time-travel.

     

    One interesting thing is even once one is convinced it is finished, you can read it a few years later, and want to change it! Perhaps the moral there is to never read your own old stuff?  Smiley Indifferent

  • Kevin, that's remarkably reasonable of you.

     

    What is?

     

    Also, the use of a conversation with a buddy ("mate") is just a tool to tell the reader what he's thinking without having to pop inside his head.

     

    As I say, it makes people seem to be more human and easier to relate to, and can help mold his/her personality type. I am sure that very few people do not think over some things they are going to say before they say them, especially 'confessons'. Don't you? In a good many top selling books most of the dialog is the main character's thoughts (which is very handy, unless they talk to themselves). When they are turned in to films it's often turned in to first-person narrative.

     

    You even made a good point about using "Beta-readers" to see how the story looks to someone outside your own skull. Who are you, and what have you done with Kevin?

     

    I am only replying how I always reply, perhaps the current mood of the reader alters what it means to them and how they react? Smiley LOL

  • Most if not all authors are simply not objective enough to effectively edit their own work.

     

    It can help to have multiple personality disorder.   Smiley Very Happy

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