Don’t you hate it when you’re talking to somebody and they are all wishy-washy? Why can’t they just come out and say it? Most of the time you know what they are getting at and want to spit it out for them. Well, the same thing goes for writing.
The surest way to gain and hold a reader’s attention is through definite, specific, concrete writing. Don’t make me as a reader try to figure out what you are trying to say. It’s not my place to write your novel. I just want to read and enjoy it. Allow me to enter the realm of your imagination without trying to figure out every little detail myself.
The weather was dreadful. vs. It rained every day for a week.
He was happy to take possession of his well-earned reward. vs. He smiled as he placed the coin in his pocket.
I don’t think I have to point out which sentence in these examples is the more specific and concrete.
Best selling authors are effective because they deal in particulars and report details that matter in a definite, specific, concrete way.
Just something to think about.
Achieve plausibility through believable character motivation.
If your villain guns down sixty people, blows up an airport terminal, hijacks a jet and then crashes it into the White House – all because his Social Security check arrived one day late, you’re going to have trouble selling your novel. Dean Koontz – How To Write Best Selling Fiction
Enough said 🙂
I’ve written several blogs patting authors on the back and thanking them for the joy they provide to people like my mom.
She is elderly and can’t go to the places she would like to visit, but my mom loves books. They take her not only to places she would like to go but places she could only go to in her dreams.
Consider this! Your novel is a journey. You aren’t just walking through that journey; you are the tour guide, and you’re taking your reader with you.
When you write that novel, you are doing at least one of several things.
- Taking the reader somewhere they cannot personally go.
- Showing your reader new aspects of a place they are already familiar with.
- Suggesting a place your reader could not even imagine existed.
- Reflecting on places, people, and situations that your reader may be familiar with, but are unable to put into words with your particular expertise.
Enjoy the journey and be cognizant of those who are with you. Remember, they can’t read your mind. It’s your job to put the story in writing and make sure that your reader is following the intended path. You are the guide! You are their eyes and ears!
Something to think about.
I’ve been kicking around the thought of having a ‘Writing Tip’ Thursday for a while, but still haven’t come up with a witty title for the blog. There are so many one-liners out there. Useful information provided by successful authors that grab your attention and make you stop and think. Some may even tickle your funny bone 🙂
So here goes!
If your hero is eating dinner in Moscow, you better know that steak is thirty bucks a pound; if he is drinking sake in Tokyo, you better know which hand he should use to hold the cup; and when he is sunning on the beach at Cape Cod, remember that there won’t be palm trees. Dean R. Koontz – How To Write Best Selling Fiction
I love Dean Koontz. He has a way of getting the point across in a fun, self-explanatory manner.
Something to think about 🙂
- Is your book available as an ebook? You should definitely produce a print-on-demand book, but so many new authors want that book deal with distribution in bookstores and don’t consider ebooks. Most indie authors make more income from ebooks. Something to think about.
- Has your cover been professionally designed? That cover matters. When I’m purchasing a book, the first thing to catch my attention is the cover. Book buyers shop with their eyes.
- Has your book been professionally edited so that it reads well? Edit your books until you can’t stand them any longer, and then you should consider hiring a professional. If that’s not in your budget then try using a critique group of readers within your genre.
- Have you submitted the book to the right categories? It’s important to match reader expectations and the promise of what your book delivers with what your book is actually about. If you’re not sure what categories to use, choose a few books that yours are like and see what their categories are.
- Have you priced your book realistically? Get to know your genre and the expectations of your readers.
- Have you written, or are you writing, another book? The more books you have, the larger your virtual shelf space, and the easier it is for people to find you.
- Have you done any marketing? Marketing is sharing what you love with people who want to hear about it. Build your platform and an email list.
- Have you asked for reviews or submitted a review site?
- Have you optimized your Amazon sales page with a hook, quote from reviews, or other material?
- Are you working your butt off? Have you given it enough time?
Hope this helped. I got most of the information for this article from a free ebook written by Joanna Penn. If you haven’t checked her out, I would highly recommend her blog- firstname.lastname@example.org
She provides a library of useful information and many reference books at no charge.
You’re an aspiring author. Your ultimate goal is to find a great agent and get published. Who doesn’t want to be the author of that blockbuster book/movie of the year with a million-dollar payout?
Newbies have a tendency to set unrealistic expectations. I’m not saying you won’t achieve your goal, but odds are, you’re going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up like the rest of us.
I’m not trying to discourage you. You can do this. I’m just trying to help you set realistic goals. I want you to be prepared not only for successes but the failures that you will most likely incur along the way.
There are some things you can and should be doing as you build your platform and prepare that first novel for publishing.
- Get your life out of the way. You don’t have control over everything that goes on around you. We all have situations that arise. Don’t allow them to impede your daily writing time.
- Find a trusted friend or spouse who will listen and respond intelligently. You need a cheerleader/an accountability partner.
- Until you become successful, write in one genre. Once you’ve achieved success, you can spread your wings and venture into different areas.
- Don’t be picky about where you get published initially. Use your experience and publications to build on new ones. You will get there.
- Learn what’s selling. You want to cater to your customers.
- Develop tough skin. You will probably hear a lot of things you don’t want to hear. Everybody has an opinion. Let it roll off your back!
- If a bad review holds merit, adjust your writing and admit your mistakes. This is a learning process. You won’t get everything right the first time.
- Don’t give up! The number one characteristic of successful authors is as you probably guessed, they’re persistent. Don’t allow a bad review or hateful word to get in your way.
Some things to think about 🙂