Monday, 26 May 2014
Guest Post & Giveaway: State of Infection by Michael J. Frey
Guest Post by Michael J. Frey
With so many books out there, I am sometimes asked, How Do You Keep Your Writing Different? It’s hard to stand out in a sea of new books. It’s not easy to pull off a novel which is acceptable to publishers but which is different enough to stand out to the reader. In my experience publishers and editors like a little flavor, not too much mind you, but enough to spice it up.
Let me start with the not-so-spicy. Grammar is important. No one will take you seriously if your grammar stinks. If your grammar does stink, consider a refresher by way of a book (ex: The Elements Of Style) or online course. Even if you have the greatest novel in the history of the world, no one will publish it if you don’t use proper grammar. I could never begin to call myself a grammar expert but I will suggest a few basic concepts that are very important to creative writing. First, begin sentences with subject noun before the verb, making meaning early (if at all possible). Use strong verbs. Try to avoid words ending in –ing. People are often confused about sentence length and what is appropriate. I think long sentences are fine but you should consider mixing them up with short sentences. That way it’s not boring or hard to read. For more technical areas, keep sentences short.
Word choice is a way to spice your story. Writing interesting sentences can be a draw to your novel. Some writers like to use slang words. I think this is a great spice to add (though the grammar police might disagree). Say you’re not a slang expert, try wordspy.com. They have an extensive list of fun new slang expressions which you can work into your story. If done carefully, adding the occasional foreign word can spice it up too. Beware, some folks hate to read foreign words, but if added only in the tiniest degree, it can be a fun addition. Ditto on curse words. There are also advanced concepts like homilies, and internal repetition but that is a bit beyond the scope of this blog.
I think throwing in CAPITAL letters is a fun way to express ideas without putting exclamation points everywhere! Ditto the use of italics to stress the expression of certain words in a sentence.
When proofreading your work, always read it over twice. Once out loud, once to yourself. All writers have heard the expression, ‘Kill your darlings.’ After your first draft is completed, go through the manuscript and kill off all extra, unwanted words. Also try to avoid using the same word over and over again. Keep “same” words separate by at least one paragraph if possible. Also if at all possible, reject all cliché sentences.
Anyway, these are just some tricks I use when writing. Again, I’m not an expert, but this is what I’ve come up with so far. Hope you enjoy State of Infection and thanks for reading this blog.
State Of Infection
Michael J. Frey
Genre: Science Fiction/ Horror
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date of Publication: March 6, 2014
Number of pages:266
Word Count: 84K
Cover Artist: Tommy Dalston
Just months before the Battle of Central Park and the onset of the Second Civil War, President Obama declares martial law in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as Montoya’s encephalopathy spreads.
Despite the military’s best efforts, the government falls and Manhattan is reborn as a city-state under a military dictatorship. Survivors Mike Calaf, and Avalon Calendar struggle to survive, caught between the zombies and the new ruler of New York.
But long before the zombie infection, during the First Civil War, Doctor William Jackson (of the Confederate States of America) is trying to unravel the mystery behind this strange new sickness. He knows that if Complex P fails to work, there could be devastating consequences which might influence the future of mankind.
Book Trailer: http://www.stateofinfection.com/pics---video.html
Purchase it at Amazon | BN | iTunes | Goodreads
Michael Frey is a physician and assistant professor in New York City. He lives in Westchester, New York with his wife Jessica, two children and two dogs.
5 ebook copies of State Of Infection by Michael J. Frey