Powerful social-media trends affecting both users and brands are strengthening and accelerating. Learn more HERE.
Check out this great blog post at Amazon - hurry deadline to apply for a grant is December 31, 2017.
Keep on Writing...
When finished with this post you will land on the New York Times Bestseller list. Well, I certainly can’t guarantee that, but this was an example of a “hook”. Did it grab your attention? This post isn’t about teaching you how to write a novel, but I’ll share a few tips that I believe are key to a great story.
You may have heard this over and over, but it really is true, write about what you love to read, whether it’s a romance, mystery, science fiction or a thriller. You may not be published yet, but you have the expertise as a reader.
Focus on an idea, your starting point, and then build on inspiration to carry on into the plot, conflict, and setting. Most ideas revolve around a problem, such as a murder, betrayal or a scandal. Whatever genre you choose, your ideas can come from anywhere, a newspaper article, an obituary, or a personal experience.
If fiction is your choice, then you will want to create a believable character. A reader’s connection with a character is vital to your story. The most important thing you can do as a writer is to create a believable character that a reader will care about. The research and description you do for your character/s will be one of the most important things you create for your novel. The details of their traits, flaws, and strengths need to be real so the reader will stay with the story to the end.
The next phase/step is to build structure and plan your plot. Now that the main character is on stage in a real scene, it’s time to bring all of that together to give your story a heartbeat – this means conflict. Every reader loves a problem, which drives your plot. Once you’ve established this conflict you’ll need to map out the story into three basic sections...beginning, middle, and the end. This can change anytime you wish, but having the basic plan will guide you through to completing your novel.
Hooking the reader and making a good chapter – I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase start your chapter with a good hook? If not, believe me when I say, it’s important. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you will want that first sentence or paragraph to grab the reader. If it’s a non-fiction book/article, start out with a fact or a teaser of what information is to follow. As far as fiction goes, you’ll want a scene that rises with action and tension creating an arc to a mini-climax. A strong scene should advance the plot, deepen characterization, and enrich the setting.
The setting of your story is vital so it can set the stage for the life of the characters. You want your characters to seem real and react to their surroundings such as weather, colors, smells, and sounds. This is the fun part for a writer where you can create your fantasy world, but it’s key that you understand even though this may be a fiction story, you will want to be as accurate as you can. Possibly pick a locale that is easy to visit because the detailed accuracy you give to your setting could either hold or lose a reader. If a reader lives in the town your story takes place and you describe a street or restaurant incorrectly, the reader is liable to think your story isn’t worthy to continue to the end. On the other hand, if your story is a science fiction novel and it takes place on Jupiter, then you have a little more leeway to make up the details.
Another key component to your story and/or article is to have subplots, or sidebars. This would be the smaller conflicts that take place in a fiction novel. This allows readers to explore secondary characters without the pressures of the main plot’s demand. The sidebars for an article would be that interesting tidbit that adds a little more flare to your story.
Once you have finished your novel or article, then it goes without saying, revise, edit, and revise.
Jesse stood frozen in fear with his axe at the ready as he frantically swung in the dark and ____________.
Give your story a title and post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below. Vote below for the best story and the winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and their story will be published on social media. Winner announced 10/31/17.
I carefully opened the door where the eery sounds had emerged and saw __________, and immediately turned and ran back down the stairs. Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.
*I'll post the stories on social media to drive interest to you!
I published a blog post about editing and rewrites on The Muffin blog. Catch it HERE.
So, I go through many stages with my writing, and it changes daily for me. I didn't decide to be a writer when I was young. I didn't journal or enter writing contests when I was in school. Nope, I just began writing in 2006 for no apparent reason. True statement...
I have no clue why or how it came to me. I just literally started to spin a romance story that took place in Ireland. I published it on Lulu and I believe I sold five books...that may be stretching it. I had no formal writing or marketing training prior to this story, but I know how I felt while writing...euphoric.
I decided to take an online romance writing course and I soon discovered how much help I needed to craft my story. I immediately removed my book from Lulu and began my quest to learn as much as I possibly could. I knew I had the creative side, the part where all those crazy things run around in my brain. You writers know what I'm talking about. But I had to learn how to put those ideas in a sequence that made sense.
From there, I took a college writing course. This is when I really began to flourish. It was so much fun. I LOVED the coursework. I couldn't wait for my next assignment. From this training, my first book in my paranormal mystery series, Sullivan's Secret, was born. The rest is history...
I digress, sorry about that. We writers tend to babble. Anyway, the writing part. That's the part that tends to drive me crazy. I mean, who would think that the one thing that gives me so much joy and I have a blast doing, could drive me nuts. But it does in the sense that, at times, I just don't feel like writing...but then feel guilty when I don't. I know, quite the conundrum.
We all have ebbs and flows, and when I'm ebbing (not sure if that's used correctly but I like it), I have to tell myself...Just write damnit! That's the key. I don't believe in writer's block and I've read and heard over and over again, writer's need to read and write. But we also need to give ourselves a break when we're "ebbing".
So for all you writer's out there who aren't really feeling it today...go outside and smell the fresh air and hear the birds singing. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite song. Then get your ass back to it and just write, damnit! Remember - Keep on writing...
Here are some great tips and a video tutorial on creating compelling characters from Writer's Digest.
Here's a nice "boost your spirits" blog post on Writer's Write. Every one of them true...
An interesting article from Forbes by Nick Morgan. "If you’ve got a voice, and an idea, and you’re ready to fight for their significance, then maybe you should write a book this year."
Is an Amazon best selling author- writes paranormal mysteries, nonfiction, travel writer, and speaker.