Making Your Novel Great

Featured Image -- 6779I attended a seminar recently with author Sophie Jordan.  The session was entitled, How to Take a Good Book and Make it Great. She offered a lot of worthwhile information to consider when writing a novel, and I’m going to share some of those ideas with you. Hopefully you will find them helpful.

  1. The craft. Build your craft by reading and writing.  Write distinctly, read books on writing, and designate time for writing.
  2. The voice. Your voice evolves as you write. Own it and be conscientious of it.
  3. The market. Read everything you like and everything the world is talking about. Stay up to date on what’s hot in the market. Watch the latest movies, mini-series, and TV shows. Stay informed.
  4. The id. Write like no one’s reading. Write what’s deep within you. Fantasize, break away from the guidelines. Find that pleasure principle and entertain yourself.  Your audience will be there.
  5. The identifier. Make the reader identify with the hero/ heroine. Make the characters bad, but not too bad. Give them redeeming qualities to make them likeable. Bad choices make good stories, but the characters must have a reason for making those bad choices.
  6. The concept. Take a familiar concept and turn it on its head.  Think: If your book was a movie trailer, what three or four sentences would you get out of it?
  7. The beginning. Pull the reader in within the first ten pages. The beginning should be memorable and have high impact. Make the shit hit the fan right from the start.
  8.  The black moment. Make bad things happen.  Make the character’s goal seem impossible to achieve. Create that moment when all is lost, that moment when their is no chance they will ever meet their goal.
  9. The love scene. If your book has a love scene, make it uniquely personal between the characters.
  10. The dialogue. Dialogue must reflect the characters and build their relationships. It should expose them.
  11. The ending. Let the reader know what happened to these people. Give them that breath of fresh air.
  12. The packaging. What do people see when they look at your book? They will judge your book by the way it is packaged.

Ten Tips For Creating the Perfect Pace in Your Novel

marathon_mouse_spot-2Sometimes as writers, it’s hard to create the perfect pace in our stories.  I attended a writing workshop recently and learned a few things about pacing. Here’s what I walked away with.

  1. Impose a deadline. Your characters must have an urgency and a time constraint to accomplish their task. Give them a timeframe.
  2. Up the ante. Make the task harder, danger greater, or stakes higher. Challenge your character, create tension and throw things at them that get in the way.
  3. Create a mystery. Leave open questions. Create doubt and uncertainty. Why was he here? What was he doing with that person?
  4. Swap point of view. Change the voice. Alter from heavy to humorous.
  5. Leave white space. Keep paragraphs short. Vary sentence length. Create chunks.
  6. Create an unsettled feeling. End chapters by leaving readers on edge.  Make them want to know what’s going to happen next.
  7. Interlock episodes. Every scene connects to the other. Dive into important stuff and make each scene action or emotion related. Description and action must flow. Don’t write a scene readers will skip. If it’s not important, don’t include it.
  8. Introspection. Put your reader into the thick of your character’s emotions. Climb inside the character’s head and pull the reader in with you.
  9. Punctuation power. Make punctuation pull the flow of the story.  Dashes quicken the pace, semicolons slow the reader down.
  10. Ignore the noise. Make the writing yours and be your own voice. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be true to your own stories.

Curated Content For Writers

Links to useful information for writers.

Story Empire

Content Curation color wheelHappy Friday, Story Empire readers! We’re wrapping up another busy week (and month) here at Story Empire. We would like to thank everyone who visited us on the RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Party yesterday!

But now it’s time to share some of our favorite links we’ve found around the Internet pertaining to writing, marketing, and promotion. P. H. shared a great video compilation and post this week of the struggles of book revisions, and Craig delved into incorporating memories in fiction. Check those posts out if you missed them, and peruse the other links we found for you. So without further ado…


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23 Tips from Famous Writers for New and Emerging Authors

Great tips from great writers.

Millionaire's Digest

Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Amber M.

Founder & Owner of:A Not So Jaded Life

Millionaire’s Digest Staff Team, Author, Successful Living and Writing Writer


1. “I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

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Best Writing Websites of 2017

Stumbled upon this and thought some of you might find it helpful.  I’ve included a few more on the bottom of this page. Happy writing.

Best Writing Websites of 2017

For blogging Tips, check out The Art of Blog’s How to Write an Awesome Headline. It includes tips and links to other sites that give advice on pulling readers in with your article headline.

Rayne Hall’s Tips For Writers– Here you’ll find professional techniques to help you refine your writing project.

Bryn Donovan has a ton of helpful writing tips ranging from writing playlists to master lists of facial expressions and physical descriptions. She also has an entire segment on creating characters for a specific Zodiac sign. Her resources are invaluable.

If you need more help with character development, Ink and Quills has an entire page of information and resources. Other writing information is on there too. Just browse around and you’ll be sure to find something helpful.

Developing a writer’s platform is essential for any writer.  Your Writer Platform gives tips on how to effectively do that.

If you know of other great writing resources, please comment below. I’ll check them out and add them to the list.

 

 

Guest Nicholas Rossis: You’re a SUCCESS!

This is a great article. Thanks Nicholas and Rachael.

Fiction by Rachael Ritchey

I’m so excited one of my favorite authors has agreed to be a guest on my blog.  Today I’d like to welcome Nicholas Rossis to our little corner of the wide web of the world.

nicholas-rossisNicholas is from Athens, Greece (this alone is “‘nough said” 🙂 ). He’s an author, web designer, and author services specialist. To find out more about him, visit his About Nicholas Rossis page on his newly redesigned website. I’m particularly smiling about the part with his dad. It always make me smile. 🙂

So, I’ll stop yammering and let you enjoy this good reminder for us all.


From Guest Author: Nicholas Rossis

You’re a Success!

When Rachael asked me for a guest post, she did so in such a kind and charming way that she made me feel like I’m some big successful author. Which is funny, because I don’t feel particularly successful as an author—not…

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