12 Secret Meanings of Beta Reader Lingo

dictionary-wideIt is said we find the truth we seek. That makes it very easy to look at feedback and see it as glowingly positive when the reader may actually be trying to tell us something else. Here are a few common phrases used by readers and what they might really mean:

1. The story was absorbing.
I used your book to clean up something I spilled.
2. It moved along very quickly.
I skipped over quite a bit of this drivel.
3. The writing was accessible.
The author’s vocabulary is very limited.
4. The plot dynamics were intricate.
It may be time to up the author’s medication.
5. The characters were instantly relatable.
We all know boring people.
6. The style was captivating.
You know, like a train wreck you can’t help but stare at.
7. The dialogue was gritty and real.
This author knows a lot of bad words.
8. It’s easy for the reader to become immersed.
Swallowed up by a whirlpool of convoluted sentences.
9. I wondered how everything would be wrapped up.
It should be wrapped up, set on fire, and stomped out with golf cleats.
10. The ending was very satisfying.
So relieved this is over.
11. It left me wanting more.
More plot, better dialogue, better characters…
12. I am looking forward to the author’s next book.
It has GOT to be better than this one.

Do You Deserve a Break Today?

books and computerWe writer types are a fine bunch. We write. We write about writing. We write about what others say about writing. We write about the fact that writing makes us authors … and then we write some more.

Recently, Martin Crosbie wrote about writing words—lot’s of them—every day.

I respect what Martin does and he is certainly a leader amongst our Indies Unlimited family and beyond. His example is inspiring and sets the bar for what us writer types should be doing. Continue reading “Do You Deserve a Break Today?”

Featured Book: Hey Joe

Hey Joe“Hey Joe”
Poems and Stories from the Peace Corps
by Robert Nicholas
Genre: Travel, biography, memoir
Available at Amazon.

Most Peace Corps Volunteers experience some form of culture shock. But which was worse – giving everything up to spend two years living a simpler way of life on a small remote island in the Philippines, or returning to the US and realizing what we’ve lost?


Now my favorite word was “kwan”. I struggled at first to understand this often used term. “Kwan” seemed to pop up in every conversation I heard. How could that be? It didn’t make any sense. So much “kwan”. Sometimes it seemed to be a verb, other times a noun, or an adjective or adverb, though never a preposition. Finally it dawned on me that “kwan” was the equivalent of “uh” “er” “ah” “umh” or the ever popular “you know”. “Kwan” means I am clueless as to the word I should use here, but you catch my drift. And if you do, please tell me the correct term. Man did I use “kwan” a lot once I figured that one out. Now I could speak far more fluently and sound as if I actually knew what I was talking about. I even used to buy “kwan” at the merkado.

What others are saying:

“Having read many books about the Peace Corps experience I feel this book is one of the best.” D. Ianni former Philippine Peace Corps Volunteer.

Using Google Drive as Writers

rj crayton library
RJ CRayton

Last month, I wrote a post about setting up books to sell in the Google Play store, which is a bit complicated (so much so that K.S. Brooks wrote a follow up tutorial). This month, I thought I’d go in the opposite direction and discuss how to use an easily navigable Google product, Drive (formerly Google Docs), to help your writing process.

The free product allows users to store files online for access by devices (computer, tablet or smart phone) with Internet access and a web browser (or Drive App). File types include documents, photos, spreadsheets and presentations, but today I’ll mainly focus on documents.

Drive’s document capability is useful because it allows writers to create and edit documents online. First up, is it secure? Yes, it’s as secure as your email. In fact, when you sign into your Gmail account, you automatically have access to Drive.

So, why would you want your documents online? There are lots of reasons. Continue reading “Using Google Drive as Writers”