What is the best secret to writing something original?

Use a formula.

Yep, you heard me right. Sounds contradictory I know. Why? Because we are creatures of comfort and formulas work.

I mean, who doesn’t have a favorite comfort food, favorite chair, a feel-good movie, or book? We enjoy the familiar.

A genre formula is a writer’s best friend.

Sticking to a genre formula lets the reader know what to expect. You know what to expect when you pick up a book by Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson or Danielle Steel.

Putting your own unique spin, touch or style is what makes a reader recognize your uniqueness.

Sort of like spaghetti sauce. Everyone knows it’s made with tomatoes, meat, and spices. But how the cook puts it all together will determine the flavor.

Remember, how you execute a story is what makes it unique.

  • You (the cook) make the difference.
  • Different isn’t always a good thing.
  • Readers want genre fiction they recognize and a world they feel comfortable visiting.
  • A little originality goes a long way, too much can be unnerving, even disturbing to some people.
  • Genre formulas and templates are a writers friend. Like a recipe for a cook.
  • Know the formulas.

Even if you write in more than one genre, it’s important to know and understand the formulas.

You are the secret ingredient. 

Want to know more about genres? Click on the links below.

Okay, time to talk:

Which genre do you write?

Do you know and understand the formulas?

Do you use a template for your writing? Formula outline for the genre?

Are you comfortable with one genre over others?

What do you think?

Genre Writing and Formulas By Rob Parnell
Advice for New Authors: Five sure-fire ways to find your book’s genre By Helena Halme
How To Write A Bestseller – According To The Formula By Peter Winkler

 

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Do you know the right way to kill a character?

Are you writing a mystery, who-done-it, legal thriller, or suspense story?

Then remember the devil is in the details.

In death, like pregnancy, there are no half-measures. After reading an article by Matt Knight, killing off one of my characters is more complicated than I realized. 

 

What did I learn from Matt?

  • There is a big difference between Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide. And I need to understand the difference!

Feel free to save the above quick reference. 

His article goes into much more detail. I recommend you click and read. You never know when one of your characters might go off the rails and kill someone.

Murder, Manslaughter, or Homicide – What is the difference? By Matt Knight 

Is any of this new to you?

Are you planning on killing off a character?

Tell me what you think!

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How to get over the writer blues

Do you need to work through the winter blahs?

Well, I do.

Cooped up inside and too sick to write, my brain turned to mush. Every time I sit down to write takes a monumental effort. The words won’t come. But today, lo and behold, other writers came to my rescue.

This morning over coffee I opened my email and read…

How to Start and Keep Writing After a Long Break

Ask a question and someone has an answer. I really enjoyed reading READ TO WRITE STORIES and the suggestions in this blog post. And I can’t wait to get the recommended book.

There are a few exercise suggestions in the post. Some you may be familiar with, others may help jog your characters.

My favorite was DROP AND ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

Think about that for a minute. I’m sure y’all have been in a room where everyone tip-toed around an elephant.

After you read the article, tell me what you think.

How do you get back into the writing groove after a long break?

 

Want to read more tips on jump-starting your writing?

Click and read…

4 Left-Brain Exercises to Jumpstart Your Writing By: 

Stimulate Your Mind With These Writing Exercises!

12 Ways to Kick-Start Your Writing By CHARLOTTE RAINS DIXON

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Here’s hoping you have a wonderful holiday filled with reading

Are you looking for additional books to read by the fire?  

I’ve found a new favorite book on writing. This is not a quick read, but it’s good information about the style of writing. Click on the image to read an excerpt from Amazon.com.

A couple of favorites I’m going to revisit. These images will take you to Amazon where you can read more about the books. 

      

 

For entertainment, I’m gonna continue with the Outlander series.

Outlander Series (8 Book Series) by Diana Gabaldon

I’m ready for book #6

What books are you reading this holiday?

Have you finished a really good one recently?

I’m always looking for a great book, so share.

 

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