The Editor’s Blog: Writing Numbers in Fiction

Ever wondered how to write numbers and time in Fiction? Check this out! The Editor’s Blog shows us how it’s done.

 

“We’ve got rules and standards for everything we include in our novels—how to start those novels, how to increase tension, how to introduce characters, how to format, what to include in dialogue, how to punctuate dialogue, what to exclude from the first chapter. And we have rules for numbers. Or maybe we should call all these rules conventions.

This article covers a few common specifics of using numbers and numerals in fiction. I’m just going to list the rules here, without much explanation, laying out those that you’ll typically make use of in a novel. Keep in mind that there are always exceptions. For the most part, you’ll want to stick to the standards to make the read smooth and easy for the reader and create consistency within the manuscript.

Yet we’re talking fiction here, not a treatise or dissertation or scientific finding. You have choices. And style choices sometimes get to stomp all over the rules. If you want to flout the rules, do so for a reason and do so consistently every time that same reason is applicable in the manuscript. For a comprehensive list of the rules concerning numbers, check out the Chicago Manual of Style or another style guide.”

SOURCE: Writing Numbers in Fiction: Click Here to Keep Reading

Then and Now – Writing 1920s Fiction in 2017 – Guest Post by, Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

My monthly Guest Post with Chris. Writing 1920s Fiction in 2017 has its challenges. It is also a lot of fun. (I’ve been away from the blog lately but I’ll be returning soon.)

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

One of the important pieces of research I must do for my books is to look at the differences between how we live today and how we lived in the early 1900s. In writing book one of The Nora White Story, for instance, I found myself researching some strange things, such as how the people bathed back then. It may sound funny but such details can make or break a work of Historical Fiction. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself doing weeks of research just for a single scene. Here’s an excerpt from The Nora White Story:

Sunday night baths were the norm but the boys got so dirty in the field that mom was bathing them every night. Nora and Walter would take turns drawing the water up from the well on the land, Nora would set it to boil on the stove and let sit for cooling…

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Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – To Thee I’m Wed by Deborah Dykeman

Title: To Thee I’m Wed

Author: Deborah Dykeman

Print Length: 239 pages

Publication Date: December 29, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B019YT5NC2

*I received this book as a gift from the author*

When Jason and Kathy Miller marries in June of 1985, they are in total bliss. As any young couple is they are happy and giddy and excited to start their lives together. They are so happy in fact, that even at the beginning I knew things would not be all peaches and cream.

Twenty years and three children later and the fire dies. Once happy-go-lucky Kathy is starting to feel unfulfilled. The life of a Housewife is now just her duty where it had once been so much more. It had once been fun. Now that the children are older, Kathy seeks work to rekindle the excitement in her life but her husband is not pleased.

Jason can’t understand why his wife is so discontent and is unsure of Kathy’s love for him. After revealing that she’d like to start work, Jason is not happy but leaves it to Kathy to make the decision. She decides to work and though it makes her feel like she has a purpose, things do not get better.

When Kathy meets the owner of the Giordano’s restaurant where she works, everything she felt she was missing in Jason is handed to her on a gorgeous silver platter. Kathy is feeling Antonio Giordano and as hard as she tries to fight it, she begins to change and so does her marriage.

Jason notices the change in his wife and their relationship gets worse as they are met with trials that can threaten all the years they’ve built.

I like how Deborah let us into the not-so-good parts of marriage and the realness of Jason and Kathy’s feelings concerning their responsibility in the relationship. The author developed the persona of the characters well so that it is easy to see them as real people. I enjoyed being able to know what each person was thinking, how they were wrong about the other and ways in which they were right.

I think not having open discussions about marital issues causes a lot of people to feel alone like Kathy. Alone in the sense that others are not having the same kinds of problems but as those who are married know, we all have them!

The truth is that marriage is not all rainbows and sunflowers. If couples aren’t careful they can find themselves getting too comfortable and start to slack off in those areas that attracted them to each other in the first place. This is because not a lot of people realize how much work goes into a marriage. Once someone becomes a part of your life in such an intimate way, the relationship evolves and must be nurtured to grow. If a relationship is not growing it is dying. There is no middle ground.

Kathy is representative of many women who feel differently after children, especially if they are stay-at-home moms and have focused so many years on raising children and taking care of husbands that they forget how important their own self-care is. I think this is why it’s so important for women, wives, and mothers, in particular, to give themselves the same kind of love and attention that they give out. If you aren’t right mentally, spiritually, or physically you cannot be of help to your family or anyone else around you. Don’t forget to take care of you!

Jason is representative of many men who get comfortable as well in the relationship. Too caught up with work that they don’t realize how they are neglecting their wives in little ways and because men and women think differently, chances are he is not seeing it that way and thinks all is well. This is also why communication is so important. A lot of misunderstanding could have been resolved if Jason and Kathy told each other how they were truly feeling.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5 / 5

To Thee I’m Wed is Available Now on Amazon

(Isn’t this cover beautiful? I love all Deborah’s covers!)

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Be Sure to Also Follow This Author on Social Media!

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Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – When We Go Missing by Kristen Twardowski

Title: When We Go Missing

Author: Kristen Twardowski

Publisher: Kristen Twardowski; 1 edition (December 16, 2016)

Publication Date: December 16, 2016

Language: English

ASIN: B01NBIZRC8

*I received this book as a gift from the author*

The moment Alex fell for Nathan Radcliffe, I knew that something wasn’t right. I imagine he saw her from a distance, watching her confused and lost, and knew she was easy prey. Whatever the reason, I knew something was slightly off kilter because she trusted him too quickly.

When We Go Missing is the debut novel of Kristen Twardowski and tells the story of one woman’s struggle to convince a psychiatric hospital that she is not crazy and that her husband is in fact, a killer. We first meet Alex on a boat. She has been kidnapped and is being taken to an undisclosed location. It is soon that Alex realizes she’s been taken to a psychiatric hospital and that the story concerning her mental well-being is in question. She is being told that her husband is a good guy who visits her every week. Her last name is even different from what she remembers.

Alex even screams in the night like the other patients and experiences delusions and paranoia. This leads her to question her own sanity and although I knew more than Alex did, from a reader’s perspective there were moments where I wondered if I knew what I thought I knew! I found myself questioning Alex’s state of mind. Was she really kidnapped? Is her husband really a killer? Or did she make this all up? What really happen to Alex Gardinier? I love books like these! They make me think.

Though Alex is the woman to which the story primarily surrounds, this is not the story of one woman but a group of women who go missing every day. This book lets the reader in on some of the things that could happen and do happen when we go missing. I couldn’t help but to imagine myself in the women’s shoes and to contemplate the importance of women knowing how to fight (includes using weapons), understanding our surroundings and getting to know the men we are with! It takes time to truly get to know someone and there are red flags that should never be ignored. We all have flaws and marriage provides a lifetime platform to work those flaws out. However, some things are beyond “normal” issues and are just weird. Don’t ignore the weird stuff.

I loved the “six degrees of separation” type feel that Kristen gave to the women involved as well and how this would all tie into the truth concerning Alex’s fate.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 4/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

When We Go Missing is available now on Amazon

Be sure to follow this author online!

About.

Kristen Twardowski stumbled her way through working with wolves and libraries and found her professional home doing marketing and data analysis in the publishing industry. Though there will always be a place carved in her heart for numbers and graphs, the rest of her love is given to the craft of writing.

Blog: https://kristentwardowski.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16190135.Kristen_Twardowski

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristenTwardowskiAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristenTwardow

Writers Wednesday – Chapter 2: The Men with Blue Eyes

Chapter 2 – Missing

Did you miss Chapter One? Start Here!


“Ronnie, no!”

Tina shot up, swung her legs off the bed and snatched her robe from the hook on the door. Pulling it tighter around her body she was in Janiyah’s room in an instant and rocking the seventeen-year-old in her arms. There was no explanation needed and no sound escaped either of the women’s mouths except the whispered shooing coming from Tina. She rocked and rubbed the young woman’s head with her eyes closed. This had become her routine. Running into Janiyah’s room in the early mornings, holding her through the nightmares she didn’t think would have lasted this long. She also worried she could not sympathize with her sister’s daughter as intimately as she wanted. After all, she wasn’t there but Niyah was. To lose your baby brother in such a violent way was one thing. To witness his murder was another thing. And then, there was the other thing.

Tina’s cell vibrated in the other room, the loud hum calling out to her. Peering down at her exhausted teenager, she removed her arms and let the girl’s drowsy body fall back into the sheets and covering her, Tina tippy toed out the room.

“Hmm.” She looked down at the tiny screen and plopped down on the bed. That was odd. What was the office doing calling her so early? She looked toward the window. The sky was still dark, the sun not yet peeking through. She still couldn’t believe the city settled and despite four people living here, the house was still too big, though no amount of money could bring her nephew back. She threw herself back into the bed and called the number back.

“You better have a good reason for calling me so early in the morning,” she laughed, pausing as the person on the other end spoke.

“What?” Tina’s smile faded and she shot back up in the bed.

“Everyone? How is that even possible?”

Balancing the cell between her ear and shoulder, she slipped on a pair of jogging pants. Trying to do the same with a blouse was not going to work.

“Hold on a minute…” Placing the phone on the bed she slipped on her shirt and decided it was best to put the phone on speaker.

“The phones are blowing up over here. Officer Parks said she started getting them as early as last night,” said the caller.

“Calls? What calls? I thought I told you to hold…”, she said before almost slipping on a sock. She picked it up and put it on. Now if she could just find the other one. Tina wasn’t the organized type at home. What she could do in the courtroom somehow did not manifest in her private life. It was one of the worries she had about being a mom. Lawyers didn’t exactly have a lot of time on their hands. She found herself hiring a Nanny against her better judgment to help maintain that balance. She had little time for laundry and housework and now that Janiyah had her license she could pick up her brother and sister from school. She did make it a point to be back in time to make dinner and spend time with the kids. It made her feel motherly, like she was upholding her end of the bargain. Ms. Alice was not allowed to cook for her family except on occasion and during emergencies. This was one of them.

“All I know is you better get your butt down here asap.”

“I’m on my way,” said Tina looking under the bed, “Where in the world is that other sock?”

“Yea, I know what that means. I’ll give you an hour,” said the caller.

“Freddy, chill. I said I’m on my way.”

“Your on-the-way has a different meaning from everyone elses. Yours means two hours from now”, chuckled Freddy.

Tina rolled her eyes and hung up on her partner.

“Kayla! Michael!” she yelled, grabbing the toiletries bag on her way out the door. She’d only have time to jump in and out the shower.

She bypassed Janiyah’s room and climbed the stairs where a giant blue M hung against a door. She banged.

“Michael!”

She turned around and ran down the short hall where a giant pink K hung, she banged, “Kayla!”

Running back downstairs Tina revisited the slightly open door from earlier and peered in, “Niyah, ya’ll come on. I need ya’ll to get up.”

The young woman stirred and slowly sat up, a black night scarf covering her head. Her elegantly arched eyebrows shot up, “What time is it?”

Tina smirked. She didn’t know how she did it, but Janiyah managed to be cute at every occasion, even after waking up. The nose ring she begged Tina for didn’t look bad against her golden-brown skin. Janiyah scratched at her nose as if reading Tina’s thoughts and as she could have guessed, her nails were freshly done.

“I need you to call Ms. Alice, tell her I need her to come in early. Like, right now.”

“OK.” Janiyah patted her head and then laughed, “Where’s your other sock?”

Tina cut her eyes and smirked as she turned away from the room to head back across the hall.

“Mike, KK. Up. Now!”

As she prepared the shower her mind flooded with Freddy’s urgent message.

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Everyone involved in the Ja’mella case were missing. The men accused of the rape, their girlfriends, the police officers, the journalist who wrote about it, even the detectives who investigated the case. Gone. “How was that possible?” Tina pondered as the shower poured its steaming hot blessings over her body. It didn’t make sense. The black men accused of raping Ja’mella Jones, a famous hair stylist on Chicago’s West Side, had been found innocent after the woman admitted she made it all up. Ja’mella even opened her store back up last year. From every angle it just didn’t add up. At least physically it didn’t.

Tina stopped moving, letting the water drench her skin. How could she have forgotten the most important piece of the puzzle? Her nephew Ronnie.

She tried to tell him about these streets and his loyalty to Big Sam ultimately cost him his life. THEY had killed him. Is that why the city had settled? Who would want to admit that Ronnie’s death was not by the hands of men but…

Tina shook her head. It’s these kinds of thoughts that got her in trouble in the first place. Still, she couldn’t shake the truth and her skin shivered from something more than the cooling water. Her skin had also started to wrinkle. Her “quick” shower had lasted longer than she wanted it too.

Tina pulled the dry towel from off the top of the shower rod. She knew. Had known all this time that Big Sam wasn’t human and that Ronnie’s death was no accident. And something told her the Ja’mella case was connected and that she was not the only person who knew. Someone was trying to keep it hush hush. Or something.

Writers Wednesday -The Men with Blue Eyes


Chapter 1: Friday, December 31, 2005, 11:55p

632 N Dearborn St., Excalibur Castle Chicago Dance Club

BODIES FILLED THE MASSIVE VENUE, and the music growled from the belly of the loudspeakers. Excalibur once again managed to stuff every available body into the three-level club. Blue, green, red, and yellow lights beamed from above the DJ table and hung from the second and third floors, illuminating the mass of intoxicated bodies on the ground floor.

“Erica, girl where you been? It’s about to start.”

Tina turned away from the bar to face the short woman of milk chocolate complexion and short hair. Her body filled out the black dress as the woman waved her hot face.

“What?”

Tina laughed, the women couldn’t hear themselves over the music. “Its bout to start! The countdown!” she yelled in Erica’s ear.

“Wait lemme get my drink.”

“Girl please, time don’t wait for nobody you better c’mon,” said Tina jumping down from the barstool.

“Grey Goose Martini and a plain cranberry juice”, shouted Erica to the bartender who smiled and winked. Baby girl was full of it tonight.

A crowd of people began to surround the main stage as it prepared to lower the huge crystal ball to the middle of the floor.

“I need yall to make some noise!” boomed the voice of the Emcee from the microphone, sending the crowd into hysteria.

“C’mon E,” said Tina, watching as the bartender handed Erica her drink.

Erica wobbled over to Tina and the women stumble toward the stage, laughing.

“Here we go!” yelled the DJ.

“Whew!” yelled Tina, laughing. It had been a long time since she had this much fun.

“I love you Chicago!” yelled Erica. Tina laughed. She was feeling it.

“We love you!”

“I love you too baby”, said the DJ.

“Whewww!” the women laughed.

“Ten…nine…” began the DJ.

“Eight…” said Erica.

“Seven…” said Tina.

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As the crowd chanted along something caught Tina’s eye. A man standing in the midst of the people and staring at her from a distance. Wearing a black suit and tie he is oddly out of place and looked to Tina to belong in a courtroom, not a club. The sound around her went mute and her mind raced to decipher the identity of the strange man. After spending the past year in therapy, she had tried to forget about her now fading past. Purposefully considering her sanity, she had not expected to walk into Erica’s office to receive such a down to earth reality check from a doctor who was now dancing out her dress in a club with her patient. As such, Tina took this as a sign that things were finally back to normal, taking hallucinogenic suppressants as prescribed and even cutting off any ties to the former life.

But now, as the club lights bounced off the hint of blue that gleamed even in the darkness, she knew that the nightmare she’d tried so desperately to separate herself from would be back and she would have to face the reality that the events of almost two years ago did, in fact, happen. Her nephew was murdered in a warehouse trying to save his sisters and brother from a possessed woman, she was now raising her nieces and nephews as her own, and as much as she wanted to be, she wasn’t crazy. Why couldn’t they leave her alone? What did they want now?

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

The return of sound and Erica’s sudden hug made Tina fall back as Erica spilled her drink.

“Damn, messing with you”, she said wiping at her dress. “Hey girl, you alright?”

Tina’s eyes darted frantically around the club for the man, but he was gone.

“Yea girl, I’m good,” she said waving her hand.

“You sure? You been taking the pills, right? Don’t let me have to write yo butt up.”

Stealing one more glance in the direction where the blue-eyed man stood, there was no one there.

“Yea girl, I’m alright. Where the bathroom though?” she said with laughter to feign the fear that already started to seep its way through her pores and release its gas into the air.

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews Special Edition: Introducing William Spivey’s “Strong Beginnings”

Title: Strong Beginnings

Author: William Spivey

Publisher: TBA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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This is the last book review of the year and what a way to go out. Today’s review is a special one.

I am honored to introduce to you William Spivey, a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, and Enigma in Black. William is also the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education”. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL.

His goal now is to make his voice heard and make a difference, and he has given me the honor of advanced reading his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel “Strong Beginnings”.


When Frederick Douglass Strong witnesses the murder of four African Americans on the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Covington Georgia in 1966, he set into motion a string of events that would influence the actions of his family for years to come. After all, Frederick wasn’t the only one to witness what would be known as The Moore’s Ford Bridge Four but so did Chris Lee Thomas, the teenage friend of his son Roosevelt and the son of one of the white men who just murdered the four.

Gripped with anxiety, Frederick goes home and is unable to sleep. With a thorough understanding of the time, he is drenched in the fear of what could happen next. Neglecting to reveal the details to his pregnant wife, he suffers silently until a knock is heard on the door. It’s Chris Lee Thomas and he wants Frederick to step outside. Frederick does and is faced with a lynch mob. Meanwhile, his son Roosevelt is peeking through his bedroom window, watching as the men chase his father.

However, Roosevelt is also seen by Chris just as his father was and the family is panicked with a decision of a lifetime. After Frederick’s death, it is clear, they must leave Covington if Roosevelt is to survive.

The story goes on to follow the life of Roosevelt and his family fifty years after The Moore’s Ford Bridge Four in Orlando Florida. His daughter, Voncelle Strong is one of the foremost voices of the novel. She is a passionate teacher and blogger and we watch as she positively influences her students, battles the unfair school system, juggle relationships and come face to face with relatives she didn’t know she had. As a former teacher, I enjoyed Voncelle’s fight for the student’s well-being.

As for the incident, can the Strong family outrun their beginnings? What will happen when they come face to face with their past?

There were many things to love about this book, such as the History, the family bonds, and education. Most of all, I loved how the title to this book is appropriately titled. Not only in its relation to the Strong family and the symbolism of new beginnings, but the beginning of this novel also starts out strong. I was nervous for Roosevelt as the family was deciding what should be done before making the decision to leave Covington. I also enjoyed the relationships, how they were tied into the story in a realistic way. For instance, when Voncelle travels to Europe she meets two young men who have more in common with her than she thinks and when a family member contacts Roosevelt all those years later for a family reunion, it sets in motion a string of revelations that would impact the family for a lifetime I am sure.

I recommend Strong Beginnings to anyone with a passion for the plight of African Americans, for those concerned about the politics of education and those who have a love affair for strong families.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Characterization: 4/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

Strong Beginnings is not yet available. Stay tuned.

Don’t forget to Follow this Author online!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrongBeginningsaNovel/

Blog: https://enigmainblack.wordpress.com/

E-mail: wspiv001@aol.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/william.spivey1

Twitter: @wspiv001


I hope you enjoyed our final review of the year! It’s been amazing and I am truly honored to be in the company of such a talented group of individuals. Don’t forget that you can contact all of the authors on the new Indie Author Page HERE. It’s a new page so there isn’t much going on right now but over my break (which started about…5 seconds ago) I intend to update it so it looks more “authorly” (whatever that means lol).

I have many more authors to come so be sure to return to The PBS Blog after the new year. If you’re an author in need of more reviews, be sure to register your book HERE for consideration. Also, do not forget to update me on any special occasions or anything exciting you have going on! I love supporting the authors I review so let’s stay in touch. Each one, reach one.

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