‘Book Vacation’ Reviews ‘All That Matters’

The ‘Book Vacation‘ blog just did a very nice review of ‘All That Matters‘. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Tanha certainly has a way with words, and All That Matters is a beautiful story.
  • I especially enjoyed this reversal of devotion in that it is the male lead character who bends over backwards for the girl.
  • I wasn’t expecting it, and it did change my feelings for some of the characters, though, in reality, it is to be completely expected, and I can actually say that this novel truly couldn’t have ended any other way, even though I may not be happy about it.
Check out the full review here at ‘Book Vacation’.

Being Compared To Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks

Something I am seeing in a lot of the reviews about my book ‘All That Matters‘ is that I am being compared to the author, Nicholas Sparks. That is such an honor to me. I have one book published so far and people are already comparing me to a highly successful and amazing author such as Sparks. I am flattered and humbled by this.

I am a fan of Nicholas Sparks and have read many of his books over the years. One of his first books I read was ‘A Walk To Remember‘ which had major and positive impact on my life.

Sparks’s writing style is fluid and keeps the story moving along. This is something I have found to be an influence my own writings.

Savannah recently made this comparison between myself and Sparks on her ‘Books With Bite‘ blog when she reviewed ‘All That Matters‘. Here are a few things she had to say:

  • What I liked most about this book is the struggle, the fight for love that is once there, but for some reason fades away.
  • I adore the characters in this book.
  • I struggled towards the end with hiding my tears…

You can read Savannah’s full review on her blog, ‘Books With Bite‘.

Creating An Outline

Before I ever start writing a book, one of the first things I do is write an outline. Having an outline makes writing a book so much easier. Having the roots of your story established so that when you write everything can grow and branch out.

When I write my outlines I do my best to keep everything simple and clear. It keeps you from suffering the derided blank page that seems to haunt many writers. It also ensures that you know where your story is going. It does this by making you think out all the major events that are going to take place before you start writing it.  Nothing is worse than getting halfway (or more) through writing a book, only to find yourself stuck not knowing what to do next.

Some people may argue that having a detailed outline of your book before you start writing takes away all the creative freedom one has from free from writing. My experience has found that to be a completely false statement. The way I write my outlines allows for plenty of room for one to be creative and come up with story ideas and events on a whim.

When I create an outline I date it with the date I started working on it. I will then title it ‘Outline’ with a subtitle of the book’s working title if I have one. I will than indicate the chapter followed by the month and year of when the even in the chapter is taking place. So for example:

Chapter # – (Month/Year)

  • Even number one
  • Event number two
  • Event number three

So If I took the template above and added actual content to it, it might look something like this:

Chapter 1 – (December/1980)

  • Birth of Joseph White at McCady Hospital
  • Joesph’s parents notice the new baby is not like other babies
  • Joesph’s parents struggle to keep their babies special abilities a secret from friends and family.

That is how I outline my books. Chapter 1 through however many till I am done.

Once my outline is done then I begin writing it all out. I do this by opening up a new blank page in my word processor application and copying my outline for chapter one and pasting it in that new blank page and use that outline as my guideline.

As you can see by my outline it leaves plenty open for the creative process to take over. My writing can take me off in many different tangents. Some are good and help the story along, while others do nothing but bloat out the story with needless details. I don’t normally worry about that during the first draft of my writings. I just let myself write and get it all out of my system. Its normally the second draft of my writing where I will go over everything line by line eliminating the needless tangents or the excess descriptions.

I found a really cool youtube video called ‘How To Write A 1000 Words‘ not to long ago. It’s was pretty neat for me to see a visual representation of how I pretty much write.

I hope you found this information useful. I am interested to read what you might do when creating an outline, or any writing tips for that matter. Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Book Vacations Reviewed ‘All That Matters’

All That Matters Kindle Cover
All That Matters Kindle Cover

Shana with the book review blog ‘Book Vacations‘ reviewed ‘All That Matters‘. Here are some of the kind things she said.

  • ..raw look into young love, a love so pure and uncanny, is completely different.
  •  Most books I read tend to deal with female leads smitten with a male who could care less, and Tanha has created a nice change of pace in his novel.
  • Tanha certainly has a way with words, and All That Matters is a beautiful story.

‘Reading On The Run’ Blog Reviews ‘All That Matters’ And Is Giving A Copy Away

Lacey Hittle did a really great interview with me and a review of my book ‘All That Matters‘ on her blog, ‘Reading On The Run‘. It is one of the more in-depth reviews I have gotten to read of my own work.

One of the other cool things Lacey is doing on her blog is putting on a contest to win a copy of my book. So, if you want to read the interview she did, read the review of my book she wrote, or just try to get your hands on a free copy of my book, head on over to ‘Lacy Hittle’s ‘Reading On The Run‘ blog to check it out.

A couple of great highlights from her review where:

  • From the Introduction I was hooked.
  • When Amanda and Ethan have their first date, you are able to remember the feelings you had on and after your first date as you experience Ethan’s feelings.
  • As I was reading about their first few dates, I kept thinking “KISS HER”…
  • From beginning to the last chapter I really enjoyed the book…

Rambling Bookmarks Reviews ‘All That Matters’

All That Matters Kindle Cover
All That Matters Kindle Cover

The Reviews just keep coming in. Marriah, with Rambling Bookmarks blog reviewed ‘All That Matters‘ recently and had the following to say about it:

  • I loved it.
  • It’s a great love story told from the boy’s point of view.
  • I haven’t read a book that is so honest about what a high school student experiences in a long time.
Marriah rated my book one of her favorites. What a compliment!
Please check out Marriah’s full review of my book over at Rambling Bookmarks.

Create A Cheat Sheet

The Simpsons Family Picture
The Simpsons Family Picture

Before I ever start writing a book there are a couple of things I do that help me with my writing process. One thing I do is create a ‘Cheat Sheet’ of characters I am going to use in my book.

My ‘Cheat Sheet’ helps me keep track of people, there names, there personalities, there ages, and anything else I might need for future reference. A character I keep on a cheat sheet rarely takes up more than one line on text. So the whole thing is clean and simple and is an easy to use reference.

So here is an example of a cheat sheet I would create using characters from the Simpsons. It contains the important information I might need to know about a character in one line of text.

Bart Simpson • 10 (Dennis The Menace) Trouble maker – Fat – Prank Caller
Homer Simpson • 36 (Ralph Kramden) Loud – Get Rich Quick ideas – Lazy
Lisa Simpson • 8 (Marcie from Charlie Brown) Smart – Voice of reason – Musical

So the idea behind it is pretty simple and generally includes.

  • Character Name
  • Age
  • Who they remind me of
  • Personality traits to remember

This is actually the template I use when creating a cheat sheet.

Character Name • Age (who they remind me of) Traits – Personality – Quarks

Thats how I do it. My cheat sheet has been such a valuable tool for me when writing. It makes the whole process of writing so much easier. I really hope anyone getting into writing will find this tip useful. Let me know if you have any tips on how you track characters. I am always interested to learn how others write.