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More Word Mix-ups

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Mar 19, 2013

A few posts back, I pointed out some common words and phrases I've seen writers get mixed up. Today I'd like to point out a few more:

 

What they say: That sweater really compliments your hair color.

What they should say: That sweater really complements your hair color.

 

What they say: The tickets to the show were complementary.

What they should say: The tickets to the show were complimentary.

 

What they say: I was just laying around doing nothing.

What they should say: I was just lying around doing nothing.

 

What they say: There are no acceptions to that rule.

What they should say: There are no exceptions to that rule.

 

What they say: You must except what they are saying.

What they should say: You must accept what they are saying.

 

What they say: The affect of the storm will be significant.

What they should say: The effect of the storm will be significant.

 

The above mistakes are minor on their own, but if you make too many of them, it's going to create a negative impression on whoever reads your book. That's why I strongly recommend hiring a copyeditor if you go the indie route. (I also recommend hiring a creative/developmental editor. See my post about the difference between the two.) If you can't afford a copyeditor, ask a friend, preferably one who is super particular about syntax and grammar, to do it in exchange for a nice dinner, spa treatment, etc. That way you can focus on the intended meaning behind your words and let someone else focus on the details.

 

-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 and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Does Grammar Matter?

Everyone Needs an Editor!

1,156 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, writers, writing, grammar
2

Peripeteia is when a character meets a sudden, unexpected reversal of fortune. Normally, things go from good to bad for the character. Last week, we discussed anagnorisis, a hidden truth, in Oedipus Rex. That hidden truth led to the peripeteia in the story: Oedipus' fortune changed dramatically when he discovered the hidden truth.

 

A more recent example of peripeteia can be found in a book called A Simple Plan written by Scott Smith. That moment comes when three men find more than $4 million in a duffle bag amidst the debris of a plane crash in the middle of the woods. The money represents a literal reversal of fortune for these three men, who are far from wealthy. However, things go badly for them when they struggle with the paranoia and distrust that grows between them.  

 

When Dr. Malcolm Crowe learns his hidden truth (anagnorisis) in M. Night Shyamalan's film The Sixth Sense, the peripeteia cannot be any worse. Spoiler alert: Dr. Crowe realizes he's been dead the entire time he's been treating a patient who has the ability to speak to and see the dead. Talk about your reversal of fortunes! In one horrifying moment, Dr. Crowe went from a living, breathing human being to a ghost.  

 

However, this reversal doesn't always have to send characters down a devastating path. In the film Trading Places, Dan Aykroyd's character goes from being extraordinarily successful to living on the streets in a blink of an eye, but it is not his end. It actually changes his life for the better.

 

Does your story contain perpeteia? What is the reversal of fortune for your characters?   

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.
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What is Your Pivot Point?

Elements of a Page-turner

43,227 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, movies, writing, fiction, craft
3

In my previous two posts, I asked some of my author friends where and when they most like to write. This week I asked them about preferred background noise. Personally, I alternate between complete silence and the kind of soft music they play at fancy spas. I can't have anything with lyrics or I'll get distracted. Here's how the others get the most work done:

 

  • Karen McQuestion, whose newest book is a paranormal young adult novel called Edgewood: "Complete silence. I self-distract very easily, so tuning out the world is essential in order for me to immerse myself in my fictional world."

 

  • Jezra Kaye, author of The Tattooed Heart: "My preferred noise level is zero, or maybe a little soft jazz in the background."

 

  • Raymond Bean, author of the School Is a Nightmare and Sweet Farts series: "It depends on what I'm writing. I'm a bit of a mixed bag on this one. I'll put on a game or music (no lyrics) from time to time, but silence works best for me."

 

 

I love how different we all are, don't you? Our reasons for preferring different noise levels might have to do with the type of book we're writing, or why we're writing it, or our energy levels at any given time. It also may be none of the above, just as there's no real explanation for why I like chocolate ice cream and you like vanilla. It just goes to show that there's no "right" answer to any of this. Writing is an art, not a science. So if you want to be an author, my advice is this: when it comes to churning out an entire book, the only correct way to do it is to just sit down and write.

 

-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 and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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More Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

Inspiration Can Be Everywhere

1,311 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, writers, writing, craft, background_noise
1

There is no doubt that Oedipus Rex by the Greek playwright Sophocles is one of the most seminal pieces of storytelling in the history of the art form. The tragedy, one of a trilogy, was first performed in 429 BCE, and it is still performed today. The story is lauded for its examination of the struggle between fate and free will. It's often called the perfect tragedy because it paints the picture of a heroic king with wealth and power who is essentially undone by his own hands. It's also important to those of us who study story structure because it contains a shining example of the storytelling device known as anagnorisis.

 

Before I define anagnorisis, let's look at a short summary of Oedipus Rex. The kingdom of Thebes is suffering from a curse. The king, Oedipus, is determined to uncover the origins of the curse and how it can be lifted. He discovers that the basis of the curse lies in a prophecy that he will one day kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus leaves his homeland and adoptive parents to avoid the prophecy, only to stumble upon his birthplace where - not knowing the identity of his biological parents - he indeed kills his father and marries his mother. In his effort to avoid fate through free will, he actually fulfills his fate.

 

This is the dialogue from the play when Oedipus realizes he's fulfilled the prophecy:

 

All come to light! All the prophecies true!

O light, may you never flood my eyes again!

I, Oedipus, damned in my birth, damned in my marriage,

Damned in the blood I shed with my own hands.

 

This moment, this uncovering of the hidden truth is what's known as anagnorisis in storytelling. It is a revelation that alters a character completely. It makes a character question everything he has known to that point. More often than not, it leaves him with a crisis of identity or faith.

 

But an anagnorisis is not a sudden revelation; it is something that is revealed overtime. It still contains the element of surprise, but the journey of the story to the point of anagnorisis is often filled with hints as to what the hidden truth really is. In essence, it's a tool that keeps the readers/audience engaged and compels them to assemble the clues as they follow along, and as a result, builds apprehension and anticipation. A gifted storyteller will even manage to shed doubt on the validity of the clues that lead to the truth to keep the final reveal somewhat in question. When it's done right, it is a masterful storytelling trick to behold.

 

So, do you use anagnorisis as a storytelling tool? Can you think of other examples of anagnorisis used in literature, film, or theater?

 

-Richard

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

 

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The Basic Elements of a Character Arc

Defining Characters through Action, Not Description

1,568 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, storytelling, craft, anagnorisis
7

In last week's post, I asked some author friends where they like to write. This week I asked them when they prefer to write. While I tend to be the most productive in the middle of the day and late afternoon/early evening, their answers were quite different:

 

  • Karen McQuestion, whose newest book is a paranormal young adult novel called Edgewood: "Morning is best! But not too early in the morning, if I can help it. I love my sleep too."

 

  • Jezra Kaye, author of The Tattooed Heart: "I love to write in the middle of the night, when the world is quiet and I can hear myself think."

 

  • Raymond Bean, author of the School Is a Nightmare and Sweet Farts series: "I write almost exclusively at night. I'm sharpest when the activity of the day is long gone and the house is quiet. I wish I could type in my sleep, I'd have so many more books."

 

  • Ellen Greenfield, author of Come From Nowhere: "Although I'd like to say I come to the page daily, the truth is that I have a pretty demanding weekday work schedule and I save up a week or more of book ideas and then dive in for marathon sessions in the studio on weekends. Once I'm in there, you can't pry me loose all day."

 

The time authors can devote to writing varies from person to person, but the important thing to take from this is that these authors are making the time. It might take some experimentation to get into a regular writing schedule, but you'll be more productive for doing so.

 

Next week, these authors will share what they listen to in the background, so stay tuned...pun intended!

 

In the meantime, let's hear from you! What times of day do you find to be most productive for writing?

 

-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 and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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More Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

Advice from New York Times Bestselling Author Guy Kawasaki

3,356 Views 7 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, craft, productive
4

In today's blog, I'd like to take a step back from brand building strategies and tools and focus solely on brand identity. I spend a lot of time writing about blogging, social media, personal appearances, etc. Those are important tactics for creating brand awareness, but they are not your brand. I've even said that your brand is simply you - your personality - on display for all the world to see. It is, but as an author, your brand is more than a package of your insights and online musings.

 

At the very core of your brand is your writing. The quality of your author brand lies squarely in the quality of your writing.

 

It's a point I don't reference enough in my postings about building a brand, but it's something you should never lose sight of as you move forward in your indie author career. Your writing matters much, much more than all the other things you do to build your brand. Effective marketing may lead a reader to a book, but if the book's content is sub-par, you risk one of two things: the reader tells no one about it or the reader even discourages others from reading it.

 

That's why I think it's important not only to practice the skill every day but to study the craft. Talk with other authors about their philosophies on writing. Explore the history and evolution of the written word. Try out different writing styles until you find the best one for you. Become an expert on writing.

 

Sometimes in our pursuit of book sales and brand value, we neglect the thing that brought us here: writing. Most of us didn't start writing to get rich or become famous. Most of us took up writing because it's our passion, something we love to do. We may not even be able to explain why we love it so much, but we do. We write not to build a brand; our writing is our brand.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Build Your Brand with Original Content

Building an Author Brand is Easy

3,430 Views 4 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions, social_media, brand_identity
0

There is a point in a book on which all things after it depend. In essence, the direction of the story and character development relies on this integral action. It doesn't matter the genre or length of a story - that one defining moment is still there. Let's call it the pivot point; without it, a story can appear to be a meandering, pointless mess.


A pivot is a powerful thing. It changes everything. In essence, dealing with change is what stories are about. The change characters face presents itself at that pivot point. Characters are forced to choose between two paths: do nothing and remain as they are, or follow the pivot and become something entirely different. Here are some pivot examples:


  • A man finds out he has cancer and is forced to pursue an illegal form of work in order to raise money quickly so he can leave his family a nest egg.
  • A happily married couple is faced with mistrust for the first time when one of them engages in infidelity.
  • A child has to learn a new way of life when his or her parents divorce.


The cancer diagnosis, the infidelity, and the divorce all are pivot points that are the foundation of character growth and a story's action.

 

If you're working on a novel, identify your pivot point. What is the event that forces change on your characters and provides them with the impetus for growth? And by growth, I don't necessarily mean what makes them better people. What action changed them, for better or worse? If you find that pivot point, you'll most likely find the 'mission statement' of your book. Not only will it make staying on task much easier as you write, it also will make the dreaded short book description and back cover copy much easier to write when the time comes.

 

-Richard

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

 

 

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Book Marketing Tip: Stay Positive

The Author Bio is an Important (and Often Overlooked) Marketing Tool

1,062 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, selling, book, writing, fiction, craft
9

 

I used to write in coffee shops, but now I write almost exclusively at my desk, which is located in a tidy corner of my living room. It's not a separate office, but it works just great for me. I thought it would be fun to ask some author friends where they feel most productive. Here's what they had to say:

 

  • Karen McQuestion, whose newest book is a paranormal young adult novel called Edgewood: "I converted a former bedroom into a home office and it's perfect for writing! I have a mahogany desk with my regular computer, a recliner in the corner for when I use my laptop, a bookcase, and an electric fireplace, which keeps me warm in the winter."

 

  • Jezra Kaye, author of The Tattooed Heart: "I usually write in my home office, but the best place I ever wrote was on the balcony of my room on a Caribbean cruise ship (my husband had a gig, or trust me, this wouldn't have happened). Warm air, big sky, the boat cutting quietly through the ocean, oh my God it was great!"

 

  • Raymond Bean, author of the School Is a Nightmare and Sweet Farts series: "I've tried writing in different places. When I was in college, I wrote at the library and coffee shops. I don't think I'd be able to focus in a busy place anymore. Sitting at my desk with the laptop and a marble composition notebook is best for me."

 

  • Ellen Greenfield, author of Come From Nowhere:"I write in my head at all times and places: in the subway, in bed at 3 a.m., in the shower, on long road trips...but I really get down to cases in a wonderful little studio that my husband built with his own two hands. It has windows opening onto two ponds and has a nice long desk (made from an old door) covered with all the totem objects that support me."

 

In upcoming posts, I'll also ask these talented authors what time of day they prefer to write, as well as their preferred background noise levels. Should be interesting!

 

Now it's your turn to weigh in: Where do you like to write, or where is the best place you've ever written?

 

-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 and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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Four Forms of Creativity Fuel

Creative Writing Exercises

3,715 Views 9 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, writing, craft
1

In order to build an author brand, you have to know more than what you do well; you have to know what you don't do well. In other words, what are your weaknesses?

 

It's a fair assumption that, as authors, our strength lies in writing since that's what we do. Maintaining a blog? That may be easy for you since most of blogging relies on the written word. Participating in social media? Again, not a huge leap from our normal writing pursuits, though the style is different from platform to platform. It's a given that everyone will be better at some marketing activities over others.

 

But creating a brand goes beyond tactics and has more to do with who you are as a person. So what are your branding weaknesses? As you dive in and do a little soul-searching on the topic, look beyond the various media that make up your brand-building toolkit, and examine your personality traits as well. Are you a positive person who enjoys lifting people up? Then don't adopt a combative persona just because you think controversy sells. Are you the type of person who speaks your mind in a clear and entertaining manner? Then go for it. Don't avoid showcasing your true personality because you think it will conflict with the readers of your genre. To put it succinctly, don?t lead with your weakness just because you've seen that particular trait work for another author; lead with your strength.

 

It's absolutely essential that you know who you are in order to build a successful author brand. It's not a revelation that comes to you immediately; it's something you will discover as you build the foundation for your brand. You'll know what feels right and what doesn't each time you take an action toward building your brand. Those things that feel right, those are your strengths. Your weaknesses are those things that just don't feel quite right. Over time, you'll hit your stride and leave those weaknesses behind.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Is Your Brand Built for Controversy?

Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

1,953 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, writing, promotions, brand, craft
2

Suspense novels rely heavily on one key ingredient to make them successful: suspense. It may sound obvious and it's not hard to define, but it sure is hard to pull off. Not only does your overall theme need to be steeped in suspense, but practically every moment of your story should contain suspenseful elements in order for it to satisfy veteran readers of the genre. In short, it needs to be a page-turner.

 

Page-turners contain three key ingredients that hook the reader over and over again:


  1. Compelling Characters - You can't have a page-turner without characters that readers either care deeply about or hate intensely. The trick is to write characters that elicit emotional responses on both sides of the spectrum. Readers should be invested in your protagonist's success, and the old adage "everyone loves an underdog" is true. A good guy in a suspense novel is usually a character who has experienced loss and has to find the strength within to fight when everything says he or she will lose yet again. On the flip side, the bad guy has to demonstrate a disregard for everything and everyone except their own selfish interests.
  2. The Slow Reveal - Using the word "slow" in reference to a page-turner is an oxymoron, but if you think about it, page-turners contain a series of events that lead to a satisfying conclusion over the course of tens of thousands of words. Each chapter should serve as a step to that conclusion. Hints and fakes as to what that conclusion may be should be alluded to in order to lead the reader into a fit of involuntary guessing games. They'll be compelled to read to determine if they're right or if you have a surprise in store for them.
  3. Unpredictably - To keep readers turning the page, you want to convince them that a twist waits for them. You do that by teasing them with the occasional predictable outcome in a scene. Lull them into a false sense of security that they know what's going to happen, only to be jolted by an utterly unforeseen action. If you can pull this dance off from chapter to chapter, you'll create readers who don't just want to read your book, they'll need to read your book.


The fourth unnumbered and unseen ingredient of a page-turner is rewrites. Never are rewrites more crucial than when trying to pull off this type of book. It takes careful crafting to create prose that will titillate a reader from page to page. All the pieces have to fit together like a puzzle. Take your time and don't be afraid to surprise yourself either. If you don't see it coming, chances are your readers won't either. 

 

-Richard

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


 

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After the First Draft

The Basic Elements of a Character Arc

19,911 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: writing, fiction, craft, branding
1

What Is a Platform?

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Feb 19, 2013

A platform is the publishing industry's term for how you will market your work. No matter what type of book you write or who publishes it, it's important to develop a platform. If you have a traditional publishing contract, you may get some marketing support, but if you go the indie route, it's all up to you. (However, most traditionally published authors still must spend a great deal of time working to build up their own platforms. I'm a good example of this.)

 

The simple truth is that the bigger your platform, the better your chances of selling books. A platform can vary based on the content of your work and whether or not you write fiction or nonfiction, but here are some general examples of elements and metrics that a strong platform should include:

 

  • Confirmed views and/or subscribers to your blog and/or newsletter
  • Monthly (unique) visitors to your website
  • Social media followers and interactions
  • Existing client base (e.g. if you write a book about financial planning, to how many clients can you promote it?), or average audience size
  • List of upcoming speaking engagements

 

Do you have any of these? If not, you really should. I've blogged about all of them at one point or another, so please look back at previous posts for ideas on how to get started.

 

Remember, if you want to make money as an author, the actual writing is just one small part of the job, at least until you get to Stephen King status. For the rest of us, for success to happen down the road, we need to roll up our sleeves and build our platforms now.

 

-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 and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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Setting Goals for Your Brand

How To Throw A Book Launch Party For Free

1,287 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions, craft, branding, platform
1

You are a writer...More than that, you are a published author. Even more than that, you are an indie author. You have an abundance of knowledge in that noggin of yours. Best of all, your knowledge comes from practical experience. You know all about writing and publishing because you have lived it. Others might be interested in all that knowledge you've accumulated.

Why not help them by offering a workshop or seminar you've created? I've had the pleasure of conducting a few seminars myself, and they've been extremely rewarding and beneficial to both the attendees and me. They walked away with as much information as I could pack into a two-hour presentation, and I walked away with 10 to 20 people acutely aware of my brand.


The key to pulling off a successful seminar is planning. You have to go in with a carefully constructed agenda. For example, if you're giving a seminar on science fiction, you might create the following agenda:


  • Define the genre
  • Give famous examples
  • Share thoughts and quotes from the masters within the genre
  • Discuss what isn't science fiction
  • Review writing elements, including story structure, the hook, character development, plot, and subplots
  • Share outlining process
  • Talk about goal-setting (e.g. how many words a day?)
  • What to do after the first draft (editing, rewriting, etc.)
  • Present publishing options


This is a basic overview seminar intended for beginners, which is something you'd want to make clear in your descriptive text overview of the presentation. Next, think about where you might be able to host such a seminar. I've had luck with public libraries and schools; basically, anywhere with classrooms or conference rooms is a potential site. For my event, I was fortunate enough to be paid a minimal amount for utilizing the space and bringing people into their facility. You could also approach writing groups or book clubs about giving a guest presentation on a predetermined topic. The organization you're working with will usually even advertise the event to their audiences.


What I didn't do that I now wish I had was record the seminar. That would have enabled me to break it up into dozens of short videos to post on my YouTube channel and blog.


Teaching what you know to others is not only a possible source of income and opportunity to give other writers a leg up, it's also helps you build your brand. So, what are you waiting for? Let loose your wisdom and reap the rewards in the process.


-Richard

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


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Should You Try to Make a Viral Video?

Small Marketing Steps: Venues for Personal Appearances

1,643 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, craft
2

At the risk of having to turn in my "man card," I have a confession: there are times when I get emotional when I'm writing. It happens most often when a tragic incident befalls a beloved character or when an innocent is witness to a dark event that shatters their world view.


When I first experienced this, it was, to say the least, disconcerting. These weren't real events or characters. They were inventions of my imagination. How could I be so invested in their physical and emotional wellbeing?


In fact, I can distinctly recall when a realization came to me while I was exercising one day that a character I really enjoyed was going to have to die. The story absolutely called for it. I literally had to sit down and gather myself, even forgive myself because I had no other choice. A number of readers expressed their displeasure with me when they finally read the book. My response to them was, "How do you think I feel?"


It sounds like a crazy, miserable fact of writing that we writers put ourselves through the emotional wringer. It even borders on torturous, but in a weird way it feels right. If we connect with our characters so deeply that we experience real emotion and have gut-wrenching reactions to the tribulations we put them through, then surely our readers will feel it as well.


What I don't know how to convey to young writers is how you get there. What is the trick to eliciting that emotional response as a writer? I have no idea. It just happens. The only semblance of advice I can give on the topic is to spend time with your characters. Don't just know what they're doing in your novel; know the life they have outside of your novel. Picture them living normally, in mundane and everyday situations. Give them inconsequential depth. Maybe then you'll see them as "real." Maybe then you'll feel the emotion.


-Richard

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


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Write without Judgment

Too Much Exposition

12,606 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, fiction, craft
1

Some writers are fortunate enough to never have to overcome writer's block, or so I'm told. Every writer I know personally has had to deal with it at one time or another to varying degrees of severity. I wrestle with it virtually every book I write. In fact, I still have unfinished manuscripts in folders on my computer just waiting for me to get back to them and add meat to their underdeveloped bones. I will.

 

And when I do, I will most likely read what I've written, open my graphics software, and start designing a cover for the book that it will one day be. I do it for one reason: envisioning a cover and constructing the various visual and design elements that go into it totally immerses me in the story. My mind takes all those thoughts I've had about the story and gives them order. I see the book in a single image. While I tinker with every little detail of the cover, I am forced to justify why they belong and explain to myself what they represent. More times than not, this technique will unblock me. The difficulties I had with the story become clearer as the cover takes shape.

 

The good news is if you want to try this method of beating writer's block, you don't have to know anything about imaging and graphic design software. You can cut pictures and words out of magazines to build a mock-up of a cover on a piece of cardboard and achieve the same results.

 

Sometimes beating writer's block simply takes seeing the story from a different vantage point. Creating a cover design can give you a fresh new perspective that may have eluded you in the past. Good luck and happy designing.

 

-Richard

 

 

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

 

 


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More Tips for Completing Your Manuscript

Can Visualization Help You Finish That Manuscript?

942 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, cover, writing, craft, branding
3

I go to the store. She goes to the store.


She and I go to the store.


Simple, right? Apparently not, because everywhere I go, and every time I turn on the TV, I hear people say things such as "Her and I go to the store" or "Her and I have been friends since college" or "Him and I get along great."


Why is this grammar mistake so common? You would never say "Her went to the store," right? So why would you say "Her and I went to the store?" And you would never say "Karen saw I," right? Or does "Karen gave I the apple" sound correct to you?


Here's how it works:


"I" and "she" are subject pronouns, i.e. they can be used as the subjects in a sentence.


  • I go to the store.
  • She goes to the store.


"Me" and "her" are object pronouns, i.e. they can be used as direct or indirect objects in a sentence.


  • Direct object: Karen saw me.
  • Indirect object: Karen gave me the apple.
  • Direct object: Karen saw her.
  • Indirect object: Karen gave her the apple.


The fight for good grammar in the written and spoken word rages on, but I'm determined to do my part to stop the madness. I hope you will help me!


-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 and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.


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