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433 Posts tagged with the books tag
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National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is just around the corner! Join hundreds of thousands of authors who are taking the challenge to write an entire novel in the month of November.


50,000 words. 30 days. And 8 tips to get you started. Write on, Wrimos!

 

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605 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, author, writers, writing, nanowrimo, novels, nano
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Five Moral Dilemmas That Make Characters (& Stories) Better - Writer's Digest

Without moral dilemmas, your character won't experience growth. 

                           

Six Tips for Writing Minor Characters - The Passive Voice

Minor characters do have a major impact on your story.       

 

Film

                                                        

How Movies Trick Your Brain into Empathizing with Characters - WIRED

Feeling a little schizophrenic? You might be watching a movie.    

                                          

The Minimalist Guide to Making a Movie - Filmmaking Stuff

You don't need to wait for the perfect moment to make a film. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Four Reasons You Should Sell Your Music by the Single - musicgoat.com

The release of singles may be back in a big way.

 

Niche Music Markets: How to Dominate Genres and Themes - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Sometimes the narrower the market, the better.  

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- October 3, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- September 26, 2014

1,475 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, marketing, music, filmmaking, film, author, self-publishing, indie, movies, writing, films, musicians, craft, filmmakers, social_media
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I've stated before that I am not a "message" writer. Meaning, I don't write a novel with the purpose of addressing or revealing deep, philosophical themes and beliefs. I don;t begrudge anyone who does. We all have our own styles and paths as writers. I am just not talented enough to nudge these types of messages into a story line without making it look obvious, and in my mind, looking obvious is a serious storytelling offense.

 

As writers, we should avoid "on the nose" passages that more or less force a reader to draw a certain conclusion about the secret meaning behind the purpose of a book. These passages are usually found within symbolic events that a writer strategically places throughout the story to subtly reveal what they're really trying to say. The problem is these symbolic events aren't quite as subtle as they were thought to be.

 

For example, a protagonist struggling to get ahead in a cutthroat work environment may witness a small child strolling through the park, stopping only to smell a rose bush in full bloom. Suddenly, our protagonist gets it. The point of life is to enjoy life. That is "on the nose" symbolism, and it can draw groans and eye rolls from readers.

 

Include those secret messages in your story if you must, but navigate the terrain carefully. Avoid lazy writing with "on the nose" symbolism, and dig deeper. Reveal your hidden message without letting your readers know it's there. It's not easy to do, but it's worth the effort. Your readers will thank you by recommending your book to their friends and family.

 

  -Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Don't Insult Your Readers

3 Rules for Writing a Scene

2,017 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, author, self-publishing, writers, readers, writing, craft, character_development, writing_tips, writing_ideas
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Unfinished and Happy

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 29, 2014

I just finished the first draft of a project without actually finishing it. That is to say, I got to the conclusion of my main conflict, breathed in a feeling of accomplishment because I felt it hit the mark in every way, and then I wrote an ending I now hate. It's just wrong. The tone doesn't fit. The dialogue isn't in keeping with the rest of the book. It's just an ugly mess, and I don't care. In fact, I'm thrilled.

 

I'm not required by law to publish the work as is. I am free to change not just one word or two but all the words in the entire manuscript that don't belong. It took me a long time to come to the realization that I'm not judged for anything I write that isn't read by the public. Given that, I just write it badly in order to let it breathe a little.

 

What do I mean by "letting it breathe"? I mean a story can grow stagnate if you refuse to move forward unless you write it perfectly the first time. Forcing yourself to sit at the computer and painfully hammer out word after word at a snail's pace leads you down a path of resentment and bitterness for the story you once felt so passionately about. If you give yourself permission to write badly when you get stuck during the first draft stage, the story takes on a shape and form that you can tinker with, turn upside down, and rearrange until it's not an ugly mess.

 

If you find yourself unable to come up with the perfect ending for your book, don't. Come up with an imperfect ending. Finish it without actually finishing it. It's just the first draft.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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How to Get Through the First Draft

After the First Draft

2,052 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writing, prefect_ending
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Use Visual Marketing to Sell Books  - The Future of Ink

Have you been paying attention to your color palette?  

                           

How to Write a Novel with the Snowflake Method - The Creative Penn

Writing styles and methods are as unique as snowflakes.       

 

Film

                                                        

3 Ways to Rent Great Cameras & Cinema Gear with No Insurance - Noam Kroll

Noam Kroll has a workaround on how to rent high-end equipment without insurance.

                                          

Who Else Wants a Film Production Checklist? - Filmmaking Stuff

The plan that will help you get your film underway without all that chaos. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

3 Singing Exercises to Improve Your Vocal Pitching - Easy Ear Training

You've got to exercise those vocal chords to find the perfect pitch.

 

10 Music Bloggers Who Write about New Artists - Entertainment Divaz

Got a new release coming out? Here are some bloggers who may want to know.  

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- September 5, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- August 29, 2014

1,507 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, promotion, movies, publishing, writing, book_marketing, films, musicians, social_media, vocal, film_production, visual_marketing, film_camera, new_artist, sell_books
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A Satisfactory Ending

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 18, 2014

The end is nigh. You've been burning the midnight oil to get to that point in your novel where you can crack your knuckles and finally type "The End." The problem you're having is you're not quite sure if it's time to end your story. Is the ending you're offering truly satisfying? Will your readers celebrate your name or curse it once they read the last page?

 

Your first order of business is to forget your readers. If you try to craft an ending that will please them, you will most likely miss the mark badly. As writers, we love readers. They are our greatest partners in the storytelling process, but their participation can't influence the path your story needs to take.

 

With the reader not a consideration, what should be your guideposts to a satisfying ending to your novel? Here are three elements to consider when writing an ending:

 

  1. Tone - If you've written a dark horror story that's managed to include one terrifying passage after another, you're not going to wrap things up in a nice little cheery bow. Your ending should match the tone of the rest of your book. A romance novel will most likely end on a high note. A mystery will end in triumph for the protagonist. The type of book you're writing has a lot to do with the ending.

  2. The ending belongs to the main plot - Not all of the unknowns have to become known at the end of your book. You can leave unanswered questions, but what you don't want to do is abandon the main conceit of the story at the end of a novel. The primary thematic element of your book has to come to a conclusion in some way on the last page. You may have introduced secondary plots throughout the book, but the time to address those is before you're ready to end your story.

  3. Open or closed - That conclusion can come in open or closed form. It is possible to answer a question in a way that creates more questions. You may end a mystery with the good guy killing the bad guy. The closed version of that ending is the good guy has all the evidence he needs to prove the shooting was justifiable. The open version of that ending is the good guy has no evidence that the bad guy was even the bad guy. He just has an unwritten confession. In this case, you've concluded the main conceit (Who's the bad guy?), but you ended with an unanswered question (How will the good guy avoid getting in trouble?). Open endings can be great catalysts for sequels.


If I were to include a fourth item to this list, it would be that your own personal style has bearing on how you end a story. That style is something you will develop over time and after writing more books.

 

How do you end a novel?

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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When to Say "I Don't Care"

Does Writing Change the Author?

2,114 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writing, ending
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Word Count Paralysis

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jul 23, 2014

Sometimes staring at the blinking cursor on your computer screen can make it morph into a stop sign and prevent you from holding a thought long enough to tap it out on your keyboard. It can be an unintentional panic signal that freezes your fingers in place and fills you with heaping helpings of writer's doubt. Your focus shifts from what you want to write to how many words you must write before you will allow yourself to stop for the day. Gradually, you fixate exclusively on that word count goal, and you're unable to type a single solitary word.

 

I call it "word count paralysis," and there's really only one way to prevent it: Ditch the daily word count goal. In the end, it doesn't really matter how many words you write in a day. Your only goal is to make some sort of progress; big or small, it doesn't matter. The only thing that does matter is that you advance from where you were the day before.

I've talked before about my own word count philosophy in previous blogs. My goal while writing a book is to write one word a day. Not only have I never come short of my goal, I have far exceeded that one-word-a-day benchmark every single time, occasionally by as much as 6,000 times.  

 

Daily word count goals always have been the bane of my writing existence. They have served as arbitrary roadblocks that fill me with dread. As long as I ask myself to contribute only one word a day to a story, I am relieved of that pressure that leads to word count paralysis.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Writing a Word a Day

Unblocking Writer's Block

3,195 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: books, author, writers, writing, draft, writing_process, word_count, chapter_length
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I'm in the early stages of writing a new book. To date, I have written about 12,000 words of a planned total of 100,000 words. I'm going to give you a brutal assessment of the work I've done so far: It's horrible. The main character is flat, the villain is over the top, and the setting isn't really that well developed.

 

 

But here's the thing: I don't care. My goal at this stage is to get to the 100,000 words mark with as few distractions a possible. The biggest distraction I encounter when writing a novel is that little voice in my head that constantly asks, "What on earth are you doing?" And for kicks, it chimes in with a "If anyone ever sees this, your career is over."

 

 

Every time my inner voice speaks up, I reply with "I don't care." I say it so many times within the confines of my bald head that it's become my writing mantra. "I don't care. I don't care. I don't care." The truth is no one will ever see this version of my book. I won't be judged by anyone outside of my own internal imaginary critic. My inner voice will try to destroy my ability to sally forth. When I get to the rewriting stage, I'll sing a different tune, but now is not the time to even think about how I'm going to fix this mess. Now is the time to make this mess.

 

 

I invite you to borrow my mantra. Use it every time your own inner critic attempts to halt the progress of your first draft. Shout it loudly if you must and shout it proudly. I don't care!

 

 

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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How to Get Through the First Draft

Writing Tip: When You Get Stuck, Use ALL CAPS and Move On

2,252 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: books, editing, author, writers, publishing, revisions, writing, drafts, beginning, rewriting, writing_stages
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Jog Your Memory: The Effects of Exercise on the Brain - Michael Hyatt

An infographic that shows how exercise can help your brain stay in writing shape.             

                                                    

How a Strong Circle of Influence Can Increase Your Results - The Future of Ink

Start building contacts with skills to help effectively spread the word for future releases.    

 

Film

                                                        

How Short Should a Short Be? - Film Shortage

Where your audience will see the film makes a big difference when deciding on the length of your short.    

                                          

For Jennifer, Whomever You Are - Advice on How to Pursue Your Art - Filmmaker IQ

Helpful advice for a photographer that also applies to filmmakers.    

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Songwriter Vocal Strain: Hazards of Singing While Writing Songs - Judy Rodman

The key is to ease in and pace yourself when using vocals to write a song.

 

Know about Your Acoustic Guitar - Musician Makers

A detailed look at all the parts of an acoustic guitar.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- June 6, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- May 30, 2014

1,636 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, music, film, self-publishing, promotion, indie, movies, writers, publishing, writing, films, promotions, craft, filmmakers, branding, social_media
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The Mid-Novel Crisis

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger May 27, 2014

"What have I done?"

 

It's a phrase I utter often during the writing process. It usually first happens about midway through the first draft after the exhilaration of spawning a new idea gives way to the tedium of seeing that idea through to the end. I call it the mid-novel crisis.

 

I've talked with enough writers to know I'm not the only one to experience it. Turns out writing a novel is a bit like a relationship. There's that wonderful phase at the beginning where you're embraced by the warm light of euphoria. Nothing can go wrong. You write without restraint, marveling at how easily the story is coming to you. Then one day you wake up and there's a bit of struggle to get a few pages out. The subplot that you were counting on never really takes shape. The secondary characters aren't really adding anything to your story. But, you shrug it off and feel a sense of satisfaction that you've hung in there as long as you have. Tomorrow is another day.

 

The only thing is tomorrow brings more struggles, maybe even a little regret that you didn't pay more attention to the words that were pouring out of you the weeks before. You're paying for that reckless abandon now. Your free-wheeling ways have backed you into a character arc that's falling apart and a plot that is just plain blah. The thought of ditching the book altogether and starting a new one becomes a viable option, one you never thought possible in the beginning. How did it come to this?

 

Here's the thing. Writing a book isn't a relationship that will sour if you set it aside for a while. There's no danger that a story will leave you if you stop paying attention to it. I know the panic that sets in at the mid-novel crisis point. It's not real. It only feels real because you're pressing. So, take a break from the story if you're just not feeling it anymore. Start your other book. I think what you'll find is when you step away from a book that's not working anymore, your mind will give rise to solutions that eluded before.

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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The Moral of the Story

The Micro Story Challenge

1,873 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, writing
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Are you excited? I mean really excited! Are you jumping up and down and doing a victory dance? Or is the fist pump your thing? Whatever your chosen expression of excitement is, it's time to show it.

 

What's the call for all this excitement? You published a book. Before that, you devoted a great deal of your time and life to writing said book. Before that, you dreamed of publishing a book. Why shouldn't you be excited? Now that you've gone through this obstacle course and reached the very goal you set for yourself, you need to not just be excited; you need to let the world know just how excited you are.

 

Enthusiasm sells. Specifically, your enthusiasm will sell your books. If it's not special enough for you to get excited about, why should potential readers be excited? I understand that patting yourself on the back may not be in your nature, and I'm not suggesting you take to the virtual waves and tell everyone how awesome you are. In fact, I highly discourage you from doing just that.

 

I'm suggesting you take to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other part of your platform and tell everyone why this accomplishment is so special to you. Make it personal. Let everyone know why you wrote this book and why you want people to read it. Make your case, and do it with a confident smile.

 

Whether this is your first book or your 101st book, it is a big deal. Let the world know how much it means to you.

 

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Do I Really Have to Self-promote?

Marketing: Begin with Your Strengths

2,930 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, selling, writers, first_book, publishing, social_networking, social_media, target_audience
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Let's go offline and local today with our marketing discussion. We all want to master the Internet and become a global sensation, but a better strategy may be to develop a following in our own communities and let the word spiral out like a growing galaxy of influence.

 

Now, just because it's your hometown doesn't mean finding readers is going to be a cakewalk. You are still going to have to do the leg work, and you may even have to shell out a few bucks here and there. I am of the opinion that spending time and money on local advertising could have a better return on investment than putting money into an online outlet that reaches readers around the world. Why? Because everyone wants to discover a new local literary talent.

 

How can you reach these readers? Here are three offline and off-the-wall suggestions to get you started. Feel free to sprinkle in your own ideas too.

 

  1. Advertise in local alternative newspapers. Most cities, big and small, have weekly newspapers that cater to the artsy crowd. The advertising rates are usually much cheaper than your typical newspaper, and the newspaper may even be willing to do a story on your book. Remember, one ad won't do. A series of ads over a number of weeks is more effective in a print environment.

  2. What about that restroom for customers in your favorite restaurant? I'm not kidding. A lot of restaurants and bars work with third-party advertising companies to rent out space on their bathroom walls. Think about it. There's a lot of idle time spent in bathrooms. The grocery store down the street from my house even has ads for local businesses in their bathroom.

  3. Anyone ever tell you that your book would make a great movie? Maybe you don't have the funds to produce a movie based on your book, but what about an ad that can be shown in the theater before the feature starts? We've all seen local businesses being advertised in a movie theater. Why not your book?

 

With a little research on the marketing opportunities in your hometown, you could discover that starting local is a great way to go global.

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Offline Branding

Small Marketing Steps

3,499 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, marketing, advertising
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

The Last Few Days at London Book Fair Have Been Mind-blowing for Me -The Creative Penn

An excellent breakdown of the news that really mattered coming out of the London Book Fair.             

                                                    

How Authors Can Market Themselves as Experts - Marketing Tips for Authors

Authors of fiction can be experts too.     

 

Film

                                                        

10 Filmmaking Myths: Busted - Raindance

Elliot Grove, the founder of the Raindance Film Festival, dishes on the myths he has come across on his independent film journey.   

                                          

Case Study: "Memory Lane" - A Lesson in Sustainable Indie Filmmaking on No Budget - IndieNYC

How an independent filmmaker secured an international distribution deal for a film with a $300 budget.       

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Live Shows! How to Squeeze More Marketing Power Out of Your Music Gigs - Bob Baker's The BuzzFactor.com

A live performance is your opportunity to gain a fan for life if you play your social media cards right.

 

Quieting Your Mind for Performance Focus - Judy Rodman

Your vocal performance depends on your state of mind.   

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Weekly News Roundup- April 18, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- April 11, 2014

2,844 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, music, film, author, writing, musicians, filmmakers
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One of my favorite stories is The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. It's a classic written by a legendary literary figure. My love for the story is so strong I assumed everyone felt the same way. The Old Man and the Sea is universally loved, right?

 

Wrong. There are plenty of people who hate The Old Man and the Sea. It's tough for me to accept it now even though I just got through typing it in the previous sentence. It just seems wrong to me. But it is a truth I must face, especially after stumbling upon an article club called ?What Not To Read? on BookRiot.com. As their name indicates, they list what books they hated, and you, the reading public, shouldn't bother reading. Sitting at number five on their list was Mr. Hemingway's classic tale of an old man fighting to bring in the catch of his life to the show the boy he was still relevant, and he could still contribute something to this world.

 

I like Book Riot. It's something that's rare these days, a fun website devoted to the world of books. After getting over my initial shock of finding my favorite story on their list, I actually saw a silver lining in the literary diss. If a man who's so respected worldwide for his writing talent can make it on to such a list, why should I get upset over a bad review of one of my books? It's someone else's opinion. It doesn't mean they're right or wrong. It just means the book wasn't for them.

 

Book Riot's inclusion of The Old Man and the Sea on their list of books not to read doesn't diminish my love for the story, and a bad review of one of my own books doesn't diminish my passion for writing. The only thing to do is to keep my head down and keep publishing. 

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

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Bad Reviews & Great Company

Online Reviews: Just Say...Nothing

2,317 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, reviews, writers, writing, reading, book_reviews
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I love reading. I read on the subway, before I go to sleep, while waiting for various appointments - all the time! I read both fiction and nonfiction in a variety of genres. I'm not the fastest reader, but I'm always reading something. Not only do I read for education and entertainment, but also because reading other people's work makes me a better writer.

 

Reading good writing is inspiring and educational. When I run across a clever turn of words, or a vivid description that makes me feel like I'm right there with the characters, it motivates me to create a similar effect in my own work. When an author does a great job of developing a protagonist, I want to do the same with mine.

 

I learn from other authors by experiencing the impact of their work firsthand, i.e. as the reader. For example, if you react strongly to a particular scene, ask yourself why. Is it because the author uses a lot of details? Or does the dialogue ring true? Are there a lot of colors? Smells? Actions? Emotions? All of the above? There's no exact formula for writing a great story, just a lot of potential ingredients that - if mixed together correctly - could result in something special.

 

Reading a book you don't like can also help you improve for the same reason, just flipped around. Why don't you like it? What does the author do that bothers you? Pay attention to the answers, and then ask yourself if you do the same things in your own writing.

 

Writing is hard work, and it takes a lot of time to complete an entire book. I recognize that for many authors the idea of spending more time with words on a page, especially ones that aren't your own, might be the last thing you want to do. But I promise it's worth it.

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Being an Obsessive Reader

 

The Most Powerful Word

8,255 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writing, reading
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