He takes you from Scrivener to avoiding stigma attached to self-publishing and finding a good editor. Terrific links and sources that will aid you on your journey of turning that manuscript into a successful book.
Okay, confession time. I haven’t been writing for the past few weeks. Nothing but cold, wet weather and to top this misery up pops Daylight Savings Time. Yuck.
But, today is sunny so, I’m back at my desk attempting to make some forward progress on my blog in addition to the 2 WIP sitting here.
You may ask what I’ve done all my time…
Reading, reading and reading. Devouring books of all types.The good, great, bad and ugly. Some I’ve not been able to finish. Life is too short to spend hours reading junk. So, I may toss a couple of duds in search of a really good read. Found a few.
All this reading got me to thinking. Why do I reject a book after just a couple of chapters? Or even a few pages? And most of all, what can I do to avoid readers rejecting my stories? No writer wants them to run screaming from our books. Not unless we scare the pants off of them. LOL
Ms. Hayward gave me a lot suggestions. Some I related to and some I need to chew on but all I want to avoid in my writing. Whether you write, children’s books, novels, flash or short stories these tips will help you tighten up your writing.
While this may not bother some readers, it drives me nuts. I already striver to avoid this one.
Missing Main Character
This happens when a writer fails to introduce the MC within the first few pages.
Too Much Backstory
Okay, here is another of my reading pet peeves. Try not to put the reader to sleep with history.
Floating Head Dialog
Ground the reader before throwing them in the middle of a conversation. If you must start in the middle of a conversation, make sure the reader understands who is talking.
Action without Grounding.
We’ve all heard, start with action. But you still need to ground the reader or they won’t care what’s happening.
Easy going over past events. Instead of a character going over what led them to a place, show the reader what happened to avoid boring the reader.
In an effort to convey a sense of mystery a writer may leave too many details vague. Don’t. You need to let the reader connect to the character.
Don’t start with a cliché. There are no new beginnings, but add something to yours and make it special. Hook the reader with something unique.
Be sure and click on Ms. Hayward’s article (here) and read everything she has to say about engaging your reader.
Which one of these 8 puts you off a book?
Do you have any suggestions to add to Ms. Hayward’s list?
PLEASE TAKE ANOTHER MINUTE AND LOOK ME UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS BELOW.
AND STOP BY JEAN’S WRITING ANYTIME, I’LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON.
Last week I wrote about seizing the reader. (click to read.) In that post, I talked about using the dramatic pause to capture a reader’s attention.
But, we don’t just want to capture a readers attention, we want to keep it and get them to share with enthusiasm. And that usually happens through word of mouth. Think back to the last book you couldn’t stop talking about…
What compelled you to tell others about the book?
Something made you want others to share in your love and excitement for the book. But what did that book have that others did not?
Even if you want to take the traditional publishing road, consider agents receive thousands of submissions each year. And of those thousands, agents usually take on between three – ten new authors a year. (Click to read more.) And should you choose to self-publish, your competition is thousands released every day. So we must write better than ever.
What I learned from Alexandra:
URGENCY must be woven into the fabric of the plot, character, and voice of your novel. It can’t be just slapped in as an afterthought.
No matter the genre, URGENCY must evolve naturally from the characters, in the plot and circumstances.
URGENCY, it is the Voice itself that makes the audience want to continue reading.
To achieve a well-rounded story, I should try and incorporate URGENCY in as many areas as possible.
Let my characters deal with conflicts in their way, NOT in the way I might deal with a conflict. This should prevent me from writing the same thing over and over. Hmm.
Any section where a reader’s attention might wander is where I need to add URGENCY.
There are 3 basic areas where URGENCY should be included:
Plot which must include conflict.
Places to add URGENCY…
Last sentence of the first paragraph
Beginning and end of each chapter
Beginning and end of each section, IF divided into sections
When changing narrators or Points of View
Periodically throughout the novel
End of a novel IF it is in a series
I can’t stress it enough, head over and read Alexandria’s article. It’s jam-packed with information on how to write a stand-out, attention-getting, well-rounded novel.