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Ray Rhamey
I'm a novelist and editor focused on the craft of storytelling.
Interests: interested in helping novelists. email me with questions.
Recent Activity
Thanks, Vaughn. Forgot to include it. Now fixed.
I'm sure Mr. Mankell well deserves his bestseller status. Keep in mind here that the focus is on the storytelling power of the FIRST page. Clearly he has appeal beyond that . . . IF you turn the page. Also, an editor and a translator would seem to be two quite different functions. Not sure that one would do the job of the other. And this editor could have paid more attention to crafting a compelling first page.
Good point, John. I was a bit quick on the trigger. The point is that it needs to be done and could be done easily. In an edit, I would suggest a remedy. Thanks for your comment.
Thanks, Tim. Same to you.
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2020 on Dealing with fire at Flogging the Quill
I guess it depends on the venue, Ken. The image in this post is the size you'll see it on Amazon, which has to be the primary resource for looking for a good read. Barnes & Noble also has good-sized thumbnails.
Thanks, John. A cut-and-paste goof. Fixed now. Apologies.
Thanks, Ken, I've fixed it. I sometimes miss when doing a copy/paste.
Well, if you were a writer you might appreciate receiving objective and constructive criticism on your work. I DO know what it takes--I've written five novels in addition to editing scores of them. This is not "tearing down" but contributing--that is, to writers who are working on learning their craft and are open to growing their abilities.
Typepad HTML Email You’re welcome. Luck with it—you’re clearly taking a professional approach. Ray
Thanks, Dennis, I copy and paste a lot of the post and forgot to change the title. I've fixed it.
Seems to me that, even if it is true that women did not generally use walking sticks in those times, that's no reason for a character to not have one. As for the possible logical inconsistency of being glad that tea defeated the odor of werewolves yet she suspects the woman of being one, the fact that she can, by squinting, normally perceive the energy field of a werewolf without the aid of scent, and if the smell of a werewolf stinks, then it makes sense to me for her to be glad of her tea.
Absolutely, a great quote. Thanks.
Typepad HTML Email Sorry about the title, I’ll fix that. It’s a copy-and-paste goof. I know about typos—a book design client of mine found one in the second paragraph of the first page after it had been proofed, I’d read that part, and the book was into a second printing. I think computers create those things on purpose. Luck, Ray
Tiffany, I disagree with "rules" such as the inciting incident comes after chapter 1, and I don't follow or advocate a regimen of following a pattern of artificial plot points that must appear at specified points. In my view, the inciting incident should come as close to the opening as possible, and definitely not after the first chapter.
Typepad HTML Email Thanks, Lilly. It’s a long path to publication, but I’ll try to hang on to your email address and let you know. Best, Ray From: TypePad Notification Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 12:48 AM To: Subject: Typepad: [Flogging the Quill] Lilly submitted a comment on "Seems there's a book drought, so take a whack at my newest" Hi Ray Rhamey, Lilly ( has replied to your comment: Sorry about the email, I haven't found time lately to check it. I'd love to beta read this book, but this is such a busy time for me [kids back in school, a couple of family weddings, and a brand-new grandchild.] I will certainly buy the book when you have it published. I'm hooked! Status: Published Options: Unpublish
Lilly, I tried emailing you but got no reply. Would you be interested in beta-reading this book for me? I can send Kindle, epub, PDF, or Word doc. Let me know:
Thanks for your notes, Catrin. Yes, V1 is a spoof of V8 juice. Yes, calico males are that rare--and they are also sterile, so there's no need to "fix" a calico tomcat. He does reveal this in the first book, The Vampire Kitty-cat Chronicles. You never know how to make things clear but still not be "on the nose" (stated flatly). The coyote is also the cop that rings the doorbell and wants to talk to them about murder--note the references to twinkling blue eyes and winking. He's a werecoyote as well as a detective, and the book is about "unmurders." But, hey, if it didn't work for you and it does for others, then that's the way the page turns (or doesn't).
I'm not sure I understand your issue, Brent. The narrator is a cat, one with experience with humans. Of course he knows the cat side of things, and he has observed the human side, often from a lap.
Yeah, that is a bit of a stumbling block. Her father is a minor? Thanks for pointing that out.
I think a prologue can be an aspect of a story, but only if it connects to the story. In this instance, there is zero linkage between what happens in the prologue and the story that begins in the first chapter. So it is difficult for me to see this one as "story." It may relate somewhere deeper in the novel, but at this stage it's pretty much a waste of space in terms of immersing a reader into a story IMO.
Typepad HTML Email But what are the consequences of her not dealing with her depression? I’m not sure that a story about dealing with depression will grab readers who are not interested in that topic. I saw that she was “down,” but there weren’t any hints in the chapter about what trouble could be ahead for her. As one writing coach says, you don’t have a story until something goes wrong. What goes wrong to jolt her out of her current state? Luck, Ray Ray Rhamey From: TypePad Notification Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:51 PM To: Subject: Typepad: [Flogging the Quill] Dennis submitted a comment on "Flogometer 1042 for Dennis—are you compelled to turn the page?" Hi Ray Rhamey, Dennis ( has left you a comment: Ray, thank you very much for your comments, they were very illuminating. I clearly need to do a better job communicating Zafira’s mental state: she’s not grumpy, she has learned helplessness (see , which is presenting as chronic severe depression. Whether and how she will recover from it is the first story question. I need to find a way to communicate that. Status: Published Options: Unpublish
That may be, Lisa, and I have no problem with that, but ONLY of there is tension/a story question on the first page.
Agreed! Well put.