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Hello All,
I hope life is treating you well. Things are good here in my neck of the woods. I've been plugging away at the second draft of my novel and am now on chapter four. The writing moves a lot quicker when I have the first copy to draw material from. Only thirty-five more chapters left… sigh.

As I reviewed my new draft, I realized my writing had come a long way. In the beginning, I had no idea how important point-of-view was to approaching a story. In fact, I didn’t fully understand the concept and how it worked. Active and passive verbs were not considered during the writing process. My text was sprinkled with so many adverbs and adjectives it would have made a florist barf. Flowery prose is an understatement. As each of these weaknesses was identified, I endeavored to learn how to correct them. Twenty "how to" books later, followed by lots and lots of practice, I actually have a draft that has the potential to someday become a novel.

Although I've come to the conclusion my prose will never have the polish of Rowling, King or Steinbeck, I can still aim for middle-of-the-road author. I enjoy writing. It provides an outlet by which to get rid of all the stories in my head. Right now, that's enough.

Have any of you read some of your first works and thought, wow! I've come a long way? If so, I'd be interested to know what your weaknesses were. Until next time my friends, happy writing.

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Opinions Pleaaaaaase!!!!!

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I recently began a new WIP.  Although I'm happy with my outline, I've struggled with the beginning. This said, I wrote two opening paragraphs. Both lead to the same place, but they take a very different paths to get there. I just can't decide which one I like better.  If you have a minute or two, I'd  appreciate it if you'd give your opinion. Which paragraph would keep you reading?  Also, please be mindful that these are very raw first drafts.  I'd be happy to return the favor anytime.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Opening #1A cold chill broke across my arms when he entered the room. It happened every time I saw him. By now you'd think I'd be used to him Yet, here I sat, dreading his very presence. You see, to everyone else he was a man of flesh and blood. A man who devoted his life to treating the sick.  To me, he was Doom—bringing false hope to the incurable—deliverer of tragedy, ready to do his worst.  My dad and I had been confronted…

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It's time for another installment of the ISWG, hosted byAlex J. Cavanaugh. To learn more about this wonderful group, click on the preceding link.

I've posted my novel PAWN OF THE GODS on Kindle Scout, a publishing program ran by Amazon. It allows unpublished authors to post their work for thirty days. During that time, readers log on, read the excerpt (or not) and if they like what they see, they nominate the author for publication. At the end of the campaign, the nominations are tallied and the board votes on which books to publish. 

PAWN OF THE GODS has been up for a little over a week.  It was on the Hot and Trending list for nineteen hours, and more than one thousand seven-hundred visitors have viewed my excerpt.  All good stuff right? If that's true, why the hell am I so insecure? I suppose it's because I'm putting myself out there. It's tough to do, especially with such stiff competition. 

This said, if any of you are interested, I posted my link below.  If …

Andrea Franco-Cook's New Release PAWN OF THE GODS

Hello all,
I just wanted to announce the launch of my debut novel PAWN OF THE GODS. It's published for free on Amazon Kindle until May 22.  After that, it will go on sale for $3.99. PAWN OF THE GODS

Book Summary
According to Mayan prophecy the gods of the underworld will declare war on man. Their undoing however, lies hidden deep in the Yucatan in 1572, when a winged entrusted a celestial weapon to a Spanish Conquistador for safe keeping.
Five hundred years later, the winged god reveals himself to Soledad Mendoza, detailing how she is tied to the conquistador, and the impending war. But the young English professor is unsure of herself. Out of shape and a lonely widow at thirty, her predilection for scotch makes her more suited to join a twelve-step program, than become a hero.
Unfortunately, Soledad is forced into action when she learns her family friend, Senator Earl Edmondson has ties to the conquistador and the weapon, ties that could either harm or help her.
A pawn caught in a dan…