Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's reflections on Dialog.
One of the great exercises in creating fantastic dialog is simply going some where and listening to what they say and how they say it. I recently did this and learned two things that I found very interesting. First off, when asked a question, most people never directly answer it, but beat around the bush. The next point is that most people try to talk over the other person. It would be great to learn how to make two people talking to each other at the same time appear on one flat piece of paper.
If anyone knows of an author that has mastered this technique, I would love to read some of that author's work. Let me know what interesting experiences you have had in observing others talking.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's thoughts on life. It's interesting to see how life changes when you have to go to the hospital for a small surgery - I had my gall bladder taken out. However, all is looking better now and I hope to get back to work on my next novel soon. I would like to thank all of you that have been so supportive of me the last two weeks.

The experience made me think about how much emotions and thoughts that a writer needs to express through his characters. This is what is needed to make them come alive. The use of dialog that sounds natural and conveys their inner thoughts is a gift that is hard to learn with out actually forcing yourself to do so. I have heard of this lesson in writing before and plan on doing it in the next few days. It is simple, you take a notebook with you and write down word for word what people say. While I am healing it would be great to try this.
It would be great to see how other writers work on dialog, so leave me a note.

Johnny Ray

Monday, June 30, 2008

Building a brand name for Johnny Ray as a novelist is a step by step process that becomes more and more interesting as time progresses. However, the friends created along the way are making all of the difference in the world.
I think it is important to look at the process of writing from both a writer and a reader. There are thousands of books on how to write. And, they are very informative. However, you do not see many on the subject of reading tips. To fully enhance this experience, I have decided to dig into this much deeper and hopefully provide the little something extra that will help the reader enjoy the book he or she is reading. No, this is not going to be a course in reading, but think of it as more of a way of thinking, of understanding, of experiencing a world that the writer intended.
I think it is very true that the charcters in the book should tell the story, it is impossible to totally remove the writer and his personal opinions. A review of who the author is will help tremendously in reading the book. Now, if it is an author you know from before, you may already know much. But adding to your knowledge of who that person is could be invaluable in understanding the story. On a new book, reading about the author could prove to help understand why the story is told a particular way. So, I guess my first post in this series is to get to know the author and what makes him or her tick. The effort will be well rewarded.

Johnny Ray

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's notes on how to make writing interesting.

First and most important, the writer, in my humble opinion, must find life interesting, intriquing and completely unique in every day it is explored. There is so much to explore , to discover, to live. Yes, all people have a way of enjoying life, some more than others. But, for many life seen through the eyes of the writer adds to their life. It would be good to explore the whole world and see all of the beauty this world has to offer, but not a reality for everyone. That is why I think the writer has a special obligation to experience life and remember all of the details that make places come alive.

It would be great to hear how other writers record their thoughts on places they visit. leave me
a note on how you keep track of the places you visit. Or if you are a reader, let me know what it is about a place that you want to know about. What excites you so much that you want to visit it. How can a writer make a place appear real and vivid to you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's writing tip #1 on polishing the novel. Sometimes finding an error is easy when it stands out from the rest of the work. Other times it's hard when it is so well embedded in the work. A single shell on the beach is always given much attention, but when you see clusters of them every where, you tend to not even notice them. That is why I like using the control F key. There are many times that a writer loves a certain word or phrase. And unintentionally uses toooooo much. You know the words. Just click on one and add it to the control F box. It will amaze you. The secret is learning how to replace it. It takes work, but that is what writing is all about.
Let me know how you like to use the Control F key to polish your work.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's vision of writing from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world proves that dreams can come true.

Caladesi Island near Clearwater Florida was recently picked by Dr. Beach as the most beautiful beach in America. The only way to reach it is by boat and having an experienced captain running the boat is fantastic, especially when he knows the history of the island. I will be working on an article about this island shortly and releasing all of the photos of I have taken.
As always, I want to know what others have in their backyard to inspire them, to excite them to write.
There really is a good story here that needs to be told. More on that later.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's writer's block issues. Some days the story flows off the back of your mind easily and sometimes it clogs up the works. Like today, when I think I can get started again, I find myself wanting to do more and more research. Yes, I'm writing about a city (Moscow)I have only been to twice and then just passing through. However it is amazing how much information and photos that you can have access to over the internet. It is a curse and a godsend.

I have joined a writer's group and look forward to the meeting with them this Saturday. It's the Tampa chapter of the Romantic Writers of America. I think just the excitement of being around so many talented people will be great.

I think it would be great to hear how other writers work through their own writer's block.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's thoughts on how to best self promote your name.
Being a best selling novelist is the dream of many, obtaining it is the reality of a few. The process of promoting yourself with nothing published is interesting. I've been working on it and this is from my web site at It will be interesting to see what others are doing to promote their name.

Johnny has a passion, a thirst, for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. As an avid traveler and professional businessman conducting business worldwide for years he has made many interesting contacts and received numerous awards for top production. He has owned and operated several real estate companies, several insurance companies and a stock brokerage company. His name is well known in the real estate world where he is listed in the who’s who of international real estate professionals. As the previous head of several corporations he is accustomed to appearing on radio and TV talk shows as well as speaking in front of various audiences. He actively maintains a data base of around twenty thousand people he has conducted business with. His self syndicated columns are sent out by way of a special data base he maintains that includes over one thousand newspaper editors.
He is a graduate of Auburn University with post graduate work at the Birmingham School of Law, The University of Alabama, The University of Tennessee, UCLA, New York University, Wil-Var Institute and The American College. He has received the following certifications: Certified International Property Specialist, Certified Residential Specialist, Certified Managerial Accountant, Certified Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant.
When it comes time to play, he is very active in many sports including swimming tennis, biking, and skiing. He loves adventures that are new, interesting and challenging.
He lives in St Petersburg, Florida where he works full time as a writer. His intentions are to market his works aggressively, using the internet as well as public appearances. His background in advertising and public relations as well as his willingness to hire outside professionals will insure that his books will have the very best chance to become best sellers.
He belongs to the Florida Writer Association, the Romantic Writers of America, the Mystery Writers Association, and can be found attending various national writer conventions throughout the year as well as supporting several local writing groups in the St. Petersburg, Florida area.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Novelist johnny Ray's thoughts. The world of writing novels is changing and perhaps I am not the best one to address this, but it appears that to be the break out type novel, the author must not only be a great writer, but must have a commanding knowledge of the subject. In other words his research must be outstanding. I can see the time when a writer must have a full time assistant just to do, or verify the research. I saw an article somewhere recently where author Tom Wolfe made a comment that he thought the way to save or improve the world of the fiction writer is to make him or her more of a journalist. The comment has me thinking and I'm starting to understand his meaning. It is the research into the real world that is needed to make the story interesting. People want to learn something new , to be taught, to be led, but without being bored or beat over the head with facts they have to memorize.
It would be interesting to see how much time and work other authors put into research. I would like to know their thoughts as well. Let me know your thoughts. if you are a reader, I especially want to know your thoughts on the reality inside the fiction.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Working on the beach as a Novelist, I'm quickly learning that branding the name of Johnny Ray is going to be an interesting project. However, learning that this beach is also quickly becoming known as one of the top beaches in the world is not bad. In fact, just south of here is a small island, Caladesi, that Dr. Beach just announced as the best beach in America for 2008.

Inspiration to write can get no better than this.

Now, it would be interesting to hear what other writers use to inspire their writing This is mine!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Novelist Johnny Ray's reflections on life's little pleasures.

I think today it would be good to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Life can be good, as my wife often tells me. Sometimes it is so easy to stress out about things not going right in your life. Yes, writing is important, but it is not the only thing. I know all writers have a way of smelling the roses. This picture taken at the Sunken Garden in St Petersburg was the result of such a quick get away trip. It will be good to hear what other writers use to escape from their work. Let me know.

Johnny Ray

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Author Johnny Ray's thoughts on promoting your book and yourself in order to obtain an agent.

Promoting your book can be a very interesting project. Especially if the book has not been published, purchased by a publisher or even accepted by an agent for representation. However, it's becoming more and more apparent that before anyone will take on the book there has to be a buzz about the author and the book. I think the best way to start is with a web page. I have mine at and have it arranged mainly to attract agents and give them a brief idea of what I am working on. The next area I need to work on is public relations and think that my attending the right conventions and book fairs that just possibly I can meet the right agent or author that will help direct by path. The third area is getting something published and obtaining the credential that appear to be so valuable. I think by writing articles for papers and in fact anyone that will publish them is the best way to go. And, of course, I need to keep working on my next novel. Today I am working on the fifth chapter and a long way to go. But, I am pouring all that I've been learning into it and hope this thriller will catch the attention of an agent.

It will be good to hear what other want to be authors are working on and how they are actively searching for an agent.

Johnny Ray

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm working on two items today: building the brand name of Johnny Ray and doing research on surfing for the book I'm currently writing. I think it would be interesting to see what other authors rely on the most when it comes to research. I personally like to go to the places I write about and walk through the scene like the one here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Okay, so it has been a great day at the beach but now time to get busy working again.
This is going to be the first in a long series of questions and answers that I hope many of my writer friends will add to in regards to their own writing habits.

1) Getting started. What does it take to get you going in the morning. Is it coffee, a big breakfast, a short jog, the bill collector, great music, or are you one that has to shut out the world?
For me, it's a short hike to the local coffee shop and coffee. I read the paper and talk to a few locals before taking up residency there for about three or four hours.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm rewriting a novel and working hard. I think it might be easier
to just start from scratch, but this is truly a learning experience.
I am removing as much passive voice as possible,
change the tense to present, and really stepping up the pace.
This will take some time.
Here are the words I am looking for in the novel
that may need to be changed

was, is, will, not, got, made, thought,drove,found,
,figure,frame,presence,saw, noticed,
by adding it to the control f button and going through the novel,
it takes a lot of time, but i think will be well worth the work
I hope to have it all completed in 3 weeks

I have heard many people say never quit your full time job until you are published,
but then again I remember one saying from sports that has always been with me.

It's hard to steal second base with your foot stuck on first base.

Johnny Ray