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Messages - Michael Marnier

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Ask a Question / Re: Kindle and Amazon Prime
« on: June 09, 2020, 04:35:21 AM »
Amazon offers a beta version of their KDP reports data that shows pages read for a period of time that you, the author, specify. Here is mine for the past 90 days. Unfortunately, pages read has declined, even during the stay-at-home Covid virus time. I backed off on my advertising dollars so awareness has likely dropped.

The Bar & Grill / Re: Obituary For 2par
« on: June 12, 2019, 01:15:16 AM »
RIP, 2par.

A meandering tidbit indeed but entertaining still. Hmmmm...plotting my next move to the cupboard for a snack. Thanks for posting. I wonder if the Shady Lady has a plot featuring a Belgian Malinois warrior dog, retired but still full of spirit.

I agree with previous comments and would add one more. The abrupt action of 'Natalie goes limp...' does not quite fit the tempo, IMO. Perhaps a single preceding descriptive sentence that signals John; like a sudden stare or steady eye contact between Natalie and John would foreshadow what she plans to do. For example,

'Natalie's eyes went steady, locked onto John's. Don't do anything silly, Natalie. She suddenly goes limp...etc.'

I would try to extend and build the tension a bit more before the blunt force action that follows.

On the other hand, John is a consummate keen observer in such situations so he would be ready for it without the signal. Just a thought. I always enjoy the blow-by-blow descriptions you apply to fight scenes although I much prefer to see Frances do it with cat-like quickness and deadly force applied with artistic finesse when required. At least that is what is stored in my mind's eye from reading your snippets about Frances and John in the past.

Michael aka Artemis

Ask a Question / Re: Multiple povs - what to watch out for?
« on: April 30, 2019, 06:35:27 PM »
Just read this thread now so my comments may be unnecessary.

I write my action adventure tales mostly in first. It allows me to show the wry, sarcastic side of my ex-Navy SEAL main character, Charley Manner, with his narration along with his dialogue. In DEEP STRAIT, I tried adding some scenes from his war dog's POV. Great fun. Many readers sent me positive feedback and want to see more of Spirit. The pic attached is her slashing at would-be kidnappers when they tried to abduct a young girl.

Of course, the story is impossible to write entirely in Charley's first since several scenes, such as back room plotting by the villains take place without Charley present. Third person POV is mainly adopted but even there, I sometimes use the first POV of the antagonist as he commands the scene, dominating over his thugs.

In any case, given my limited experience as a serious writer (okay, maybe not so serious with my sometimes over the top action adventures), I try not to stress about structure and rules, other than maintaining clarity about who is narrating. Close attention to proper scene breaks or new chapters is paramount as others have said.

Hillwalker has published an ambitious project in his novel, TALLAHATCHIE LIES, in which he repeats many parts of the story in subsequent chapters as seen by a different character. It gave the reader an interesting re-look at what actually happened as recalled by more than one character. Not easy to do (for me) but he pulled it off well, IMO. Might be worth a look to see how he did it.

Good luck, Annmarie.

Writer's Talk / Re: Sex, please, we're writers
« on: April 12, 2019, 10:21:17 PM »
(Occasionally it's the dog.)

As new characters enter the Charley Manner series, I try to contrast their quirks with the MC's. Vicky, the female DEA agent, is tough but still plays damsel-in-distress waiting for help from the big, bad Navy SEALs. Not that she isn't performing a rolling karate-kick move like I have seen Gyppo's France execute when necessary. Adding females (as I mentioned, Vicky the DEA agent, and earlier in book 1, Charley's older sister) has helped me expand the dialogue, banter included, hopefully in a meaningful way.

While developing DEEP STRAIT, it occurred to me that Charley's Military Working Dog, Spirit, should have a broader role. Yes, you might have guessed, Spirit is a female Belgian-Malinois, fearless and loyal. And very smart. I have written several scenes from her POV and reader feedback has been positive. Who does not like a dog in a story?

BTW, I recall a note of advice from Alice from Dallas, our departed friend who is sorely missed: I had posted an opening scene from Hellhole in Khyber where Spirit is wounded when the SEAL team is ambushed by Taliban fighters. She advised, whatever I do, do not let Spirit die. Hmmm, Old Yeller from a Disney film I saw as a young boy was so traumatic. So no way will Spirit die in my stories, except from old age eventually.

Funny how our characters help us weave our tales, errr, tails? Well, you know what I mean.

Hmmmmm,...very interesting. I could not make out all the words in the pic but the title, Session Man, evokes images of someone deep into psychotherapy, or maybe a serial killer planning his next "session" with an unlucky victim. Great fun conjecturing. Go for it, Gyppo.

Success Stories / Re: Deep Strait finally out
« on: April 12, 2019, 09:42:16 PM »
Thanks, guys. You are the best. Good writing to all.

Hilly, thanks for the review. I'm not sure you noticed, but I finished Talahatchie Lies and posted a review about a week ago.

Success Stories / Deep Strait finally out
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:08:31 PM »
The third book in the Charley Manner series is finally available on Amazon. Dang it, RL keeps slowing my writing. Getting married in three weeks!

Best to all,
Michael aka AQ

Welcome - START HERE! / Re: Cake and vodka for all!
« on: April 11, 2019, 08:44:02 PM »
Congratulations, Annmarie. Belated but still sincere. I am happy for you and admire your tenacity. Hmmmm, vodka and cake. Sounds wonderful.


Michael (aka Artemis, aka AQ)

Ask a Question / Re: First name terms?
« on: February 11, 2019, 05:40:58 PM »
@His Gypship: Fingers working reasonably well after hand surgery early November. Writing more and also a little golf, if the rains let up.

@Lady Bannister: No capital b does look less jarring. When I search-and-replace it is, as Charley would say, "easy peasy." Yikes, I discovered that I use "bro" a dozen times throughout the story. Perhaps a bit too much.

Thanks for the advice. Good discussion. Alas, no hard and fast rule, but that is creative writing.

Ask a Question / Re: First name terms?
« on: February 10, 2019, 11:45:54 PM »
Thanks for the viewpoint, Bro. 😉

I will spellcheck my WIP of Deep Strait accordingly.

Michael aka AQ

A delightful ditty, Gyppo. (I noted the rhythm in her finger taps, lol). The "lyrics" are pure Gyppo-people-watching at its finest. Reminds me to apply the practice to my character descriptions. Guarding against verbosity, of course. Thanks for sharing.

Ask a Question / Re: First name terms?
« on: February 10, 2019, 09:00:16 PM »
I agree style is quite important. And style is certainly conveyed by word choice, names and sentence structure, among other things.

I use names in various forms in the Charley Manner Action Adventure series to emphasize relationships between the characters. Initial introduction of a character usually employs their full name. Later in the story I choose surname, first name or nickname appropriate to the scene and character relationships.

For example, the MC, Charley Manner, is called CJ by his best bud former Navy SEAL teammate, Harold Hawk Handy. And Hawk bristles if anyone, even CJ, calls him Harold. Hence the moniker Hawk. Hawk and Charley also call each other "bro" at times. BTW, should bro start with a capitalized B?  I am not sure.

Another benefit of using a particular nickname can eliminate the need for a dialogue tag and still be clear about who is speaking. Hawk is the only character that calls Charley CJ. There are many scenes with Charley, Hawk, Vicky (the sexy DEA agent that has a thing with Charley) and Spirit, the Navy SEAL war dog. Keeping it clear who is speaking is enabled with this approach. Not needed of course if the dialogue spoken is "Woof!" 😜

Welcome - START HERE! / Re: I Didn't Die!
« on: February 10, 2019, 08:18:04 PM »
Welcome back, Noiz. 😎

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