Songs of Life and Stories of… well, life, too.

This is great stuff! Who needs sleep?
This is great stuff! Who needs sleep?

The other night as I was trying to fall asleep at 3 AM after a huge writing binge (of which I’m particularly proud), there was a commercial on TV for some old ‘60s records. Maybe they were ‘70s I don’t know. Oldies though.

They played a snippet of a song that I never really knew and certainly didn’t ever hear on the radio, I don’t guess. It’s just got a great little melody and it’s sung in a very sweet manner.

I just always thought it was a great little love song.

It stuck in my head, so the next day, I looked up the lyrics on the internet, to learn about the song.

I thought it was the girl singing to the guy, saying you and I are in this together, we are a team, the world doesn’t get us but we don’t need the world. And there’s one particular line that every time he makes eyes at her, she runs to him.

I thought, how sweet! What a lucky guy.

I could not have been more wrong.

She’s breaking up with him. She says we’re not right for each other.

Him, afterwards
Him, afterwards, I guess

When she said she runs when he makes eyes at her, she is saying she’s running away.

“You and I travel to the beat of a different drum,” does not mean you and I, together against the world. It means you are marching to one drummer and I am marching to a different drummer. We ain’t even on the same page.

And she breaks up with him.

Yet another song that I thought was a great love song turns out to be completely the opposite.

Fucking internet.

Either I have a totally dyslexic ears from my youth, or I am one of the worst interpreters of songs in the world.

It happens!
It happens!

But you know what? I like my version better!

I like happy songs.

I’m sticking with that.

i am not making the connection to writing tips here
I am not making the connection to writing tips here

Now, WHAT does any of that have to do with writing? Well, if a reader gets off track – as has happened with my stuff from time to time – it can cause them to completely misinterpret a scene. One crit said I should start every chapter with a reintroduction of the characters, anticipating the reader putting the book down and not coming back for a few days.

What? That’s insane.

How about writing a book a reader can’t put down? And if they do put it down, hope that they are smart enough to go back a few pages and refresh themselves with the freaking story.

There’s so much bad advice out there, it boggles my mind. Rereading introductions every chapter? If I read the book straight through, that would cause me to put it down – and never pick it up again.

Books of bad advice for writers - and these are just the ones from this year!
Books of bad advice for writers – and these are just the ones from this year!


Here’s the deal. Assume your reader is smart. Assume your critics mean well. But write a story that you’d want to read, and write it the way you’d want to read it.

For a songwriter, if you don’t write a great tune, the rest doesn’t much matter. Crappy lyrics? Linda Ronstadt isn’t singing it for you.

For a story writer, write a good story. One with a quick pace and interesting characters, told in a compelling manner. Otherwise, all the good grammar and stuff doesn’t matter.

And if some pinhead misinterprets it for twenty years or whatever, that’s on them. Because I’m a smart guy but I liked that song anyway, didn’t I? Even though I misunderstood it? Still do. It’s a classic.

I just like my version better.

Odds are that kind of screw up won’t happen with a book.

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He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?
He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?

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Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

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