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New Client Release: DAKOTA, book 5 of the Bad Boys of Dry River, Wyoming by Susan Fisher-Davis

DAKOTA

Bad Boys of Dry River, Wyoming Book 5

by

Susan Fisher-Davis 

Available now!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobobooks

She broke his heart once but now she needs his help.

Does he turn her away or risk his heart all over again…

When he returned to Dry River to pursue his dream of working the family ranch, being a district attorney, and fighting crime with his brother, Nathan, he asked the woman he loved to come with him. When she refused, he swore never to love again and to forget her forever.

Megan Carson regrets not moving to Wyoming with the man she loves but can’t leave her little brother who is all she has left of her family. When Aiden gets into serious trouble, the only person she knows can help is the last person she can ask, but she does. Now, after her brother skips bail, he is in deeper trouble than he knows but has put her there too. Dakota comes to her rescue even as she knows he wants nothing to do with either of them.

Fearful of risking his heart again, Dakota Walker doesn’t want to help when Megan comes back into his life, needing help with her troublesome brother but he can’t turn his back on her. She still has a claim on his heart and always will. Is this a second chance for them or will she choose her brother over him again?

 

About the Author: 

Susan Fisher-Davis writes steamy, hot, sexy books that women love to read. Her stories always have a happily ever after and isn’t that what romance is about? After starting out with Secret Cravings Publishing, she decided to go indie when SCP closed their doors in August 2015. Now she writes and publishes with Blue Whiskey Publishing.

Susan was born and raised in a small town in the western part of Maryland surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. She moved to Tennessee in 1996 with her husband and two children where she enjoys walks in the woods, fishing, and dreaming about hot men to share with us.
She currently has two series out, The Men of Clifton, Montana and The Bad Boys of Dry River. Cowboys and bad boys…what more could any woman want? Her newest series, The Callahans, a series about four cousins, begins with A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, a novella – nominated for a RONE award in 2017. This wonderful and heartwarming novella is available now, and the following books in the series will be full-length.

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Yes…one of my cover creations. 🙂

Happy Reading Everyone! 

Revisions: Writing Dialogue Part 3

dialogue-3

My apologies to everyone for being away for so long…family issues intermingling with a busy schedule have kept me from concluding this three part series…that and inconsistent Wi-Fi. Don’t get me started on that.

So…as I was saying in Part 2, interrupted speech can build action into dialogue but even more so having one character abruptly cut off another character’s words in an immediate manner—mid word—can speak volumes.

Dialogue abruptly cut off this way is handled the same way by use of the em dash. This takes a little more concentration as you’ll need to consider the sounds of words and syllables before deciding where to break the interrupted word. For example, if you’re asking someone to stop what he’s doing (Please stop…) but that someone cuts you off mid word as soon as you begin. You wouldn’t break off the word stop after the s (s—) because the first sound comes from the combination of the S and the T (st—).

Example:  “I love y—” Annabelle’s foot slipped off the step as she began to declare herself.

Sometimes a person is speaking and someone interrupts them but they ignore the interruption and continue with what they were saying, again the em dash comes into play.

Example:  “If I could have a moment of your time—”

“I love you.”

“—there’s something I need to ask you.” Damien smiled.

Sometimes a characters dialogue trails off because he’s lost his train of thought, doesn’t know what to say next, or in times of stress, doesn’t want to say what perhaps is best left unsaid. When you wish to show this, use the ellipsis (…) and remember, that’s only three (3) dots…not four or more.

Example: “I know we haven’t known each other very long…” He was so nervous that he forgot what he was going to say.

Creating a tension or an intimacy between the characters.

It’s best not to use names within dialogue too much but sometimes, when you’re building intimacy and/or tension, you’ll want to do just that—use the name of the person whose point of view it’s not to create a deeper connection. By the way, this is good advice in real life too.

Always use a comma before and/or after the name when addressing someone directly in dialogue—even if the name isn’t a proper name but an endearment, or curse. 🙂

Examples: “I love you, Damien.”

“Damien, I love you.”

“I love you, honey.”

“I love you, Damien, more than I ever loved my ex-husband.”

Dialogue within a paragraph.

When dealing with multiple lines of dialogue within a paragraph, make sure all the dialogue belongs to only one speaker. It’s best to put the dialogue tag at the end of the first sentence since tags are for readers so they may keep track of the speaker, but this a personal voice thing as well.

My greatest advice for a long bit of dialogue is that it is not left hiding at the end of the paragraph as that doesn’t help the reader and can make them backtrack—something you don’t want them having to do. Ever! Remember everything is about flow and moving the story forward.

Where to put the dialogue tag is something that you need to feel out for yourself. The feel of the dialogue or rhythm of the speech might require a different construction but as a rule, the end of the first sentence helps keep the reader on track. Especially, when three or more characters are talking in a group, readers might be able to guess who is speaking but there’s nothing wrong with helping out the reader either.

Examples:

“I was wondering if we could talk a moment. I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something I want to say to you,” Damien said. “It’s rather important.”

(This might work well if you want Damien to sound rambling.)

“I was wondering if we could talk a moment,” Damien said, grabbing her hand. “I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something I want to say to you, and it’s rather important.”

(The reader knows it is Damien still speaking. He even sounds a little surer of himself too.)

It’s all about your voice.

Now beyond this, sometimes dialogue might stretch across paragraphs without another character speaking. This happens quite often when someone is dominating the conversation. When this happens, you will use proper punctuation, a terminal punctuation—i.e., a period, question mark, or exclamation point at the end of the paragraph but if the dialogue continues, there will be no closing quotation marks until the very end of the dialogue. Some grammar experts say to use an opening quotation mark to start the next paragraph, but this again is a personal choice. As long as the reader understands that the character is still speaking, it’s your choice to use opening quotation marks. But you must close the dialogue with closing quotation marks.

Example: Note the quotation marks.

I was wondering if we could talk a moment,” Damien said, grabbing her hand. I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something, I want to say to you, and it’s rather important.

The sky is looking a little like snow, isn’t it? Here, let’s sit over here and I’ll tell you what I have in mind. Oh, careful of that step, it wouldn’t do to have you fall and hurt yourself, he told her catching Annabelle’s arm as her foot slipped from the step.

However, when another character joins the conversation, each dialogue set must be opened, and closed, with quotation marks as well as a new paragraph begun each time the speaker changes, whether there are tags or not.

Example:

She glanced over at Damien. “I’d wanted to tell you for some time now but we’ve been friends for so long, I didn’t know if you wanted more. I just didn’t know what to say.”

“I’ve loved you nearly from the first moment we met. Being friends was the best way to stay close to you…even after you married.”

“Had I known that, I might not have married him. I never loved him like I love you, Damien,” Annabelle admitted. “I’m sorry I never said anything before.”

Mixing dialogue with narration in the same paragraph can work as long as the narration refers to the character speaking and preferably, the one whose point of view the scene is focusing on. Dialogue can go in at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the paragraph and the narration. However, if the narration refers to several characters or you can’t tell which character is the focus of the paragraph, begin the dialogue with a new paragraph and a dialogue tag. In other words, don’t make the reader guess who is speaking.

If the paragraph opens with a wide view of a group of people but then the focus narrows to a single character, you could introduce that character’s dialogue into the end of that same paragraph because the focus is completely on that character—or you can simply begin a new paragraph with the dialogue.

This is what makes your voice unique but the important key to good dialogue writing is to keep the reader in the flow of the story. Confusion over dialogue can and will pull the reader out of the fictional world you’re working so hard to create.

Example:

Annabelle exited the building, the cold wind blowing up under her coat as she walked along path toward the parking lot. Her steps slowed when she spotted Damien standing near the pedestrian bridge that stretched over the creek separating the building from the lot. Still embarrassed and somewhat angry at having walked in on him in the break room with Sarah in his arms, Annabelle decided ignoring him was the best course of action. Tucking her head down as if evading the wind, she quickened her steps to get past him without confrontation. When she saw him step forward, she said, “Not now, Damien.”

“I was wondering if we could talk a moment,” Damien said, grabbing her hand. “Please, I know you’re probably tired and want to get home. I even heard it might snow tonight but there’s something, I want to say to y—”

“I love you,” she blurted out before she lost her nerve.

Remember…attributions can come before the dialogue, especially if you want the dialogue tag to be noticed but you can also hide them, put them in the middle or at the end of a sentence, however, although not always, you will want the dialogue, and not the attribution, to stand out.

I hope you now have a greater appreciation of how dialogue can evoke emotion, action, and create depth in a scene, sometimes without saying it all. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments or write me directly. I enjoy hearing from you and want you to succeed, grow, and be a happy writer. Let me know, if I may assist you in gaining success for you and your manuscript…it’s what I do.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Happy Release Day! FIT FOR A KING by Susan Fisher-Davis!

3-fit-for-a-king-cover_digital-front-1950-x-2850

Happy Release Day

to my talented client, Susan Fisher-Davis

FIT FOR A KING

is now available at

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobobooks

 

Wade King believes he’s worth nothing, especially in the eyes of the man who gave him a chance to be somebody. When Win’s beautiful teenage daughter kissed him on her eighteenth birthday, he refused her even though it was the last thing he wanted to do. He knew he was not the kind of man her father would want for her. Now she was back. 

Hannah Winston has always loved Wade King, even while she was married to another man. No man could live up to the man who had claimed her heart as a teen. Now she’s returned to Win’s Circle ranch to claim her inheritance only to discover her father had other plans and it involves the one man she tries so hard to hate, but can’t forget—Wade King. 

With no other choice but to work together, Wade and Hannah try to ignore the pull each has on the other, only to fall victim to their desires. Now Hannah wants more but Wade still refuses her. What must a woman in love do to make a hardheaded cowboy understand that he might think of her as duchess, but she’s only truly fit for a King? 

 

My thoughts—Wade is a real SOB but I suspect you’ll love him as much as I did while editing. Hope you’ll read FIT FOR A KING by Susan Fisher-Davis. And yes, I wrote the blurb and I made the cover. Very proud of it all too!

In the meantime, if you’re looking to bring your characters to full life through expert editing, please feel free to contact me and we’ll discuss your success. It’s why I’m here…to help you find success. 🙂

Happy Writing Everyone!

Revisions: Flow Killers – Filler Words and Repetition

Thesaurus cartoon

Are you struggling with revisions, not understanding what needs expanding, and what needs cutting?

Let’s start with filler and repetitive words.

Some say you need to cut out filler words, adverbs, all passive voice, and cut down on descriptions…well…yes and no. It all depends on your voice, what your story line might dictate and frankly, it depends on what your characters have to say.

Yes, your characters. Don’t kid yourself that your characters don’t have complete control over everything you do when writing their story.

Filler words such as that, just, very, much, really, completely, totally, somehow, somewhat, basically, literally, absolutely, rather, up/down (as in stood up or sat down),  so (as in so fast), both (as in we both stood), and own (as in she gazed at her own reflection) can be used but it all depends on your voice. As with any word, phrase or descriptive adjective, too much of anything can become less than a good thing. I don’t advise cutting all filler words but instead read the line through and think of a tighter, more exact way of saying it. Yes—exact! Only you know what you want to say so push the limit until you are saying exactly what you wish to say.

For example, in the lines I used to explore expansion and layering: (see Part One post)

Angry and feeling as though if he didn’t leave immediately, he was going to hit someone, John stalked to the door, threw it open, and despite the pouring rain, marched into the street.

Rather than using the filler word though, I tightened the line down by removing the word and using a comma after Angry:

Angry, and feeling as if he didn’t leave right away he was going to hit someone, John stalked to the door, threw it open so wide driving rain sprayed him and the foyer floor. He marched into street without looking back. He knew he’d never return.

Tighter, and more expressive, it shows the event more than tells it—our main goal as writers of fiction.

If you find yourself using one particular filler word a lot, or any word/phrase for that matter, it might be time to rethink the use of the word. Whereas the use of a word such as that or like is common in everyday language and so is fine for your characters to use, they can begin to act like roadblocks to a reader’s attention. I’m not saying these words can’t be used…on the contrary, sometimes it just can’t be said another way without changing your voice but when certain words occur in every sentence, it’s time to rethink your vocabulary. The use of a good thesaurus or online thesaurus can be invaluable.

Repetition can be a flow killer. It can be anything from using the same word to describe a movement, a body part, or even an emotion…remember to shake things up…keep it fresh.

Remember, it’s all about flow. Keeping the action moving is important, but if the flow is awkward and the reader’s eye has to stumble over rocks in the form of repetitive words then eventually the reader is going to quit. Good writing makes reading effortless, and you a success.

When you’re ready for editing, talk to me about how I can assist you in finding that success.

Come back next time to continue learning how to turn your manuscript into something worth reading.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Revisions: Turning Your Manuscript Draft Into Something Worth Reading

I am a writer

If writing was easy, everyone would do it and do it well.

As I’ve mentioned, a draft is NOT, and NEVER will be ready for anyone other than the author to see…I wouldn’t even venture a friend…but certainly not an editor, and not a reader. So how do you take that draft and get it to a level where an editor at a publishing company might accept it for publication or a hired editor might assist you in turning it into something a reader will just eat up?

Revisions. Revisions. And more revisions.

When you start revising your manuscript, you’ll begin fleshing out characters – making them three-dimensional, and more alive – developing action as well as setting, and emotion. It’s about stepping into your characters’ shoes and living the story with them. It’s about building the life and depth of the story line through layers of words like a bricklayer builds a wall.

  • An example, let’s say your draft gives you:
  • John strode to the door, opened it, and walked out on the street.

That sentence is fine. It’s grammatically correct…it shows the action, but what does it really present to the reader? It says he opened the door and went out to the street. Simple and to the point, but that’s a draft.

Revision one:

  • Angry, John stalked to the door, opened it, and walked out onto the street.

Now we know he was angry, by both stating it and making it evident in the way he walked to the door.

Revision two:

  • Angry and feeling as though if he didn’t leave immediately, he was going to hit someone, John stalked to the door, threw it open, and despite the pouring rain, marched into the street.

Now we know just how angry he was as well as creating atmosphere because now we know it was raining outside but it’s not very smooth so let’s take a step further.

Revision three:

  • Angry, and feeling as if he didn’t leave right away he was going to hit someone, John stalked to the door, threw it open so wide driving rain sprayed him and the foyer floor. He marched into street without looking back. He knew he’d never return.

By layering emotion, setting, action, and expanding that simple line, you can create a scene and that’s what we, as editors and readers, want to see in a story. Through revisions, you can layer into it so much more without writing eons of words.

If you’re struggling with revisions, not understanding what needs expanding or what needs cutting, come back next time and I’ll start breaking things down with you. Remember…when you think you’re really ready to show it to the world, having a professional editor like me look at it can only make it shine brighter.

Let’s find success for you – together.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Cover Reveal for SAM, book seven in The Men of Clifton, Montana by Susan Fisher-Davis

SAM_digital front cover final_2 600 x 876

SAM

A Men of Clifton, Montana novel #7

by Susan Fisher-Davis 

An honest man wants an honest woman to love. But when a lie comes between them, can their love be saved?

 

Everyone tells Sheriff Sam Garrett to find a good woman and settle down. When he sets his sights on Clifton’s veterinarian, he fears she despises him yet he’s desired her from the first moment they met. She is quite possibly the only woman in town who isn’t attracted to him which might be why he wants her even more.

Tessa McGuire has a secret and she fears anyone learning it, especially Sam who she can’t seem to resist even though she knows she should. After arresting her for outstanding warrants, desire fuels their mutual needs to the point where neither can resist its pull. Once they start seeing each other, she’s happier than she’s ever been but knows she should tell him the truth.

Tessa wants Sam to be happy, but wanting him for her own is dangerous because her secret could change everything… When her secret comes out, Tessa’s life and hopes fall apart, possibly putting everyone around her in danger. What once was a hopeful relationship with Sam comes to a heartbreaking end. Now can she win him back and save what they had?

 

About the Author:

Susan Fisher-Davis writes steamy, hot, sexy books that women love to read. Her stories always have a Susan Fisher-Davishappily ever after and isn’t that what romance is about? After starting out with Secret Cravings Publishing, she decided to go indie when SCP closed their doors in August 2015. Now she writes and publishes with Blue Whiskey Publishing.
She currently has two series out, The Men of Clifton, Montana and The Bad Boys of Dry River. Cowboys and bad boys…what more could any woman want? Her newest series, The Callahans, a series about four cousins, begins with A COWBOY FOR CHRISTMAS, a novella, which is now available but the following books in the series will be full-length.
Susan was born and raised in a small town in the western part of Maryland surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. She moved to Tennessee in 1996 with her husband and two children where she enjoys walks in the woods, fishing, and dreaming about hot men to share with us.

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***cover created by yours truly of which I’m quite proud. I can create one for your book too.

Click Here for more information on Book Cover costs.

***tagline and blurb written by yours truly as well. I can assist you in getting success too.

Happy Writing Everyone!

No First Drafts Need Apply…

First Draft

SO…you’ve written a book, and are now thinking…this being a writer thing is easier than I thought. I’ve written this great first draft and it’s ready for publishing…who needs revisions or editing, right? If I get a publisher, they’ll do that, right? And if I decide to self-publish, I don’t need to do anything more…because…I’m a writer! Right?

No. No. And no!

As a well-known writer once said…The first draft of anything is shit. And he’s right because it’s the second, third, or even fourth or fifth draft that will finally tell the reader the story.

If you’re a writer planning to self-publish or you keep getting rejected after submitting to publishing houses because your manuscript is ‘not what they’re looking for’, it’s because your manuscript is far from being ready. A first draft is exactly that—a FIRST DRAFT.

Those two words speak volumes. It’s rough…it’s a first draft, which means it is the first thoughts of your story. A first draft is more like an outline. You’re telling your initial story but now it needs fleshing out…meaning the characters are still in need of development, both internally and externally. Its missing words, filled with spelling errors, and the punctuation may or may not be correct. And maybe, you don’t have a good handle on point of view changes or if writing in first-person, understanding how to stay there. If it was perfect, polished, and ready for publishing, it would a FINAL manuscript not a FIRST draft, or even a second.

I recommend all writers, even the best, even best-sellers revise their first draft at least twice before even having an editor look at it. When we are writing, we are completely submerged into the work and because of that, we don’t see all the errors, missed words, poor sentence structure, head hopping and sometimes, we are even missing points of conflict and emotion that our characters and story line need. When we write a first draft, we don’t always get everything on the page we want there. It takes starting from the beginning, and going through it word for word, and experiencing it to begin to achieve the level of completeness to make it ready for an editor to see. And then the editor takes it apart again.

Editors are a fresh eye on your work, and once you reach the point where you don’t think you can revise one more word, an editor might see other problems or places that can be expanded or deleted that will enhance the story, and the characters even more…and can also suggest how to fix it. Without an editor and a fresh eye, you may be hindering your work and keeping it from being published or if you’re self-publishing, keep you from getting top rated reviews and in turn, selling books.

Do you really want to put your hard work out there in a first draft or even unpolished manuscript? I have to tell you that is a surefire way to make sure you don’t succeed.

Yes, editors are costly. There are some that cost thousands, some come a little cheaper but honestly, where as some say they are cost efficient, and might be able to do a 65,000 word manuscript for a squeak under a thousand dollars, I can do it for less than $600. In addition, for new clients, I always offer a FREE 2000 word sample to show them what I do for them…and to see if we’re a match.

Who knows, you might be a fast study and be able to take what I show you in that free sample and edit your work yourself…but would you be sure that you did your hard work a good service?

No.

But if you want publishers, readers, and reviewers to take notice…you want your manuscript thoroughly and completely, word for word, edited. No First Drafts Need Apply—ANYWHERE! 🙂

Let’s find you success. Happy Writing Everyone!

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