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Write a Travel Novel

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jan 21, 2013

We open on a cruise ship. The relaxing, yet festive atmosphere suddenly gives way to the discovery of a dead body slumped over on a stool at one of the slot machines in the casino. An intrepid widow takes it upon herself to solve the mystery before the killer has the opportunity to disembark at the next port of call. Or, here's another storyline: we open on an all-inclusive resort where a struggling couple makes a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. They have seven days and six nights to fall in love again.

 

Novels with travel-centric themes are not only fertile ground for "beat the clock" plot building, they are also packed with built-in marketing prospects. Does your story take place on a cruise ship? Approach a cruise line about arranging a "floating" signing or discuss the possibility of them carrying your book in onboard gift shops. Is your setting in a tropical resort? Contact a resort about doing an appearance. You could even conduct a writing seminar on their property for guests. In addition to the actual locations, there are travel agencies and travel websites that might be open to some cross-marketing arrangement.

 

The beauty of writing a novel that focuses on some aspect of the travel industry is that it reaches a niche audience. Niche audiences are so convenient; they are generally easy to find because they tend to form communities and bond over their common interests, and in most cases, there already exists an industry that caters to their niche needs.

 

Beyond the promising aspects of publishing a novel that incorporates travel, think of the fun you'll have researching it. So what are you waiting for? Book that trip and pack your laptop. You've got some writing and relaxing to do.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Could You Write a Holiday-themed Novel?

Marketing Based on Content

856 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, self-publishing, writers, writing, travel, promotions
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Start a Novel Right: 5 Great Tips - Writer's Digest

Some tips that could save you some frustration during rewrites.

                                                    

Author to Swim 2.4 Miles to His Book Signing-GalleyCat

Publicity stunts are alive and well in publishing.                

 

Film

                                                        

Hire Actors - Filmmaking Stuff

The key to attracting investors could be tied to the actors you attach to your film.

                                          

Meet the Hollywood Eccentric Who Invented High Frame Rate Film 30 Years before 'The Hobbit'- The Verge

Peter Jackson is an innovative filmmaker who used a unique filmmaking process to shoot 'The Hobbit.'            

                                    

Music

 

7 Things You Probably Don't Want to Hear as a Musician... - Digital Music News

The list also includes four things musicians do want to hear.          

 

How to Promote a Brand - Music Coaching.com                                          

Music business expert Marty Maidenberg discusses the ins and outs of building a music brand.            

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - January 11, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - January 4, 2013

686 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, book, music, film, author, writers, musicians, filmmakers
0

In last week's post, I offered three tips for getting that manuscript done. Here are four more:

 

1. Be flexible.

 

If you thought your novel was going to go one way but find it unfolding in a different way, just go with it. This approach will result in a more believable story, as opposed to something forced or far-fetched. 

 

2. Use sticky notes.

 

You never know when creativity will strike, so it's important to jot down an idea the moment it enters your head. My short-term memory isn't great, so I carry around sticky notes to write ideas down as soon as they occur to me. I've learned from experience that if I don't do this, there's a good chance the ideas will be long forgotten the next time I sit down to work on my book. I don't use every idea from those sticky notes in my novels, but I certainly use a lot of them, so I know from experience that this tactic works.

 

3. Try voice-recognition software.

 

For those of you who hate the idea of typing your thoughts into a computer, why not speak them? You'd be amazed at how much you can capture - quickly - with speech-recognition software. This is a great idea for non-fiction authors who know their material inside and out because it's part of a business practice, regular speech/presentation, etc.

 

4. Be persistent.

 

Yes, an entire book seems like a lot. However, if you write just one page a day, in less than a year you'll have an entire book. One page a day. You can do that, right?

 

Yes, you can. Now's the time to get started!

 

-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

Can Visualization Help You Finish That Manuscript?

2,432 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writers, writing, craft
3

A while back, I wrote a post stating that I am not my characters. What I tried to impart that day is that I am not a murderer or a mythical beast or a hired gun living 75 years into the future, but sometimes my stories call for those things. A few writers countered that they felt an author should become their characters in order to write them effectively. They take a kind of "method" writing approach to creating their characters. It's a valid technique, and I'm not here to knock it.

 

However, I do feel that I need to expound upon my philosophy behind character development. When I write, I like to pretend that I am sitting in my office with the main character. The character paces behind me while I type away on my keyboard and record what they are saying. I am never the storyteller when I write my books. I am simply a reporter taking an eyewitness's testimony.

 

Like any good reporter, I keep my emotions out of it. I don't judge any of the events or the characters. I simply present the story as it's presented to me. That doesn't mean I don't feel connected to these characters or don't feel the emotions they're feeling. I do. Deeply. But using the reporter method has allowed me to shut down that part of me that would hesitate to do what's necessary to tell a story. Storytelling can be an ugly, sometimes offensive business. On occasion, it is necessary to dip deep into the dark side of life in order to make a point. I have a hard time going there without censoring myself, but when you censor yourself as an author, you're not telling the real story; you're telling the safe story. As the reporter, I free myself of the need to censor the story and simply tell the whole fictional truth and nothing but the fictional truth.

 

I realize my "reporter" method isn't right for everyone, and I can respect that. In order for art to evolve and grow, it must be approached from different perspectives, and I won't proclaim my technique as the only or even the best technique. But, if you're stuck on a particular story because you just feel like you can't go where it needs to go, I encourage you to try the "reporter" method and remember to write without judgment.

 

-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

Use Emotion to Propel Your Story

1,211 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, craft, craft, craft
2

If you're reading this blog post, you've probably either written a book, you want to write one, or you're somewhere in the middle. No matter where you are in the process, here are three resolutions for you:

 

1) Finish your manuscript (If you're done, then polish it.)

2) Publish it (If you've already done this, focus on the following resolution.)

3) Market the heck out of it

 

It's really that simple. If you really want to write a book, publish a book, or market a book, just do it! That's all it comes down to in the end.

 

To finish the manuscript: Sit down and write. Then do it again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. Start with just 500 words a day. Then once you've reached about 10,000 words, strive for 1,000 words a day. Then once you've reached 40,000 words, strive for 2,000 words a day. If you need a break, take two days off a week, just like a weekend. But force yourself to write at least five days a week. If you follow this regimen, in three to four months you should have a first draft. Three to four months. That's less time than your average celebrity marriage!

 

To publish it: If you go the indie route using print-on-demand technology or just want to publish an eBook, your book can be ready for sale this week. I'm not kidding. If you'd still like to get an agent or traditional publishing deal, resolve to take steps to make that happen in 2013.

 

To market it: The key to book promotion is consistency. Do something, however small, every day to spread the word about your book. Book marketing, especially for indie authors, is a never-ending process, and it takes time to build up a following. If you don't have a clue where to begin, read my previous blog posts for suggestions (click here, here, here, or here for a few, or just search for me in CreateSpace's site search), or check out my website.

 

I meet people all the time who tell me they dream of being a successful author. However, while they want to have their name on a book cover, they always seem to have a list of reasons/excuses not to write it, publish it, or market it. "I'm too busy" is usually at the top.

 

You know what? I don't buy it. Just like when I don't buy it when people say they're too busy to stay up on current events, or to exercise. Give me a break. It's all about priorities.

 

Happy New Year! Now get writing. And publishing. And marketing. Here's to a successful 2013.

 

-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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Two Not-So-Typical Resolutions for Writers

A Resolution Writing Prompt

1,085 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, marketing, marketing, book, book, author, author, writing, writing, promotions, promotions
0

Uniting Author Brands

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jan 14, 2013

I have an author friend who has a fairly well-established brand. He has a deal with a traditional publisher, but even with that deal, he regularly independently publishes other titles to supplement his income. He recently started coauthoring books featuring characters he developed in earlier releases.

 

I have to say, I think it's a brilliant move by this author. He's not a household name by any means, and the authors he partners with are not household names, but together they can combine their separate pools of fans and garner additional exposure. This has potential to expand their readership for the other titles they've published and will publish. It's a win-win for all involved.

 

He obviously had a well-defined background story for the characters they built new storylines around, and he most likely took the lead on the project and provided a lot of guidance to his writing partners. They have published so many books that I'm assuming his coauthors are doing a good bit of the writing. And in some cases, they're releasing novellas instead of full-length novels.

 

As you're searching for ways to expand your brand and get more exposure, this might be a strategy you want to try. My suggestion is to look for authors with a more established name in your genre, read their material, and approach them with a possible partnership. You might have better luck if you approach authors with whom you already have a relationship. Sell them on the benefit you could bring to their brand. Give them the details of your social media connections. Demonstrate your value.

 

Above all, respect the fact that these are their characters and adhere to their guidelines. In the end, your author brand will be able to get exposure to the other author's fan base. Good luck and happy coauthoring!

 

-Richard

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

 

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Writing with a Partner

How to be a Confident Writer

823 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, author, author, sales, sales, writers, writers, writing, writing, craft, craft
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


Practice Makes Perfect - Self Publishing Coach

Every day for three years - that's what John Kremer says it takes to effectively market a book.


The Top 6 Social Media Mobile Apps You Need Now -BadRedhead Media

Having trouble keeping up with all your social media accounts? These apps may help.


Film


Very Independent Filmmaking >> Money - NoHo Arts District.com

Is it really possible to make a film for next to nothing?


6 Filmmaking Tips from Kathryn Bigelow - Film School Rejects

The Oscar-winning director doles out advice for up-and-coming filmmakers.


Music


10 Reasons to Be Excited for New MySpace - Perfect Porridge

Is MySpace making a comeback?


When a Song is Used in a Motion Picture... - Artists House Music

Who decides how much a song is worth when it's used in a film?


-Richard

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


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Weekly News Roundup - January 04, 2013

Weekly News Roundup - December 28, 2012

704 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: filmmaking, filmmaking, author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, writers, writers, musicians, musicians
0

I'm somewhat of an obsessive reader. I'm not necessarily saying I read volumes and volumes of books, but I am saying that I don't just read a book. I investigate a book and its author. I want to know as much as I can about every word that was written and the person who wrote it. I'm fortunate enough to live in the age of search engines to satisfy my compulsion to research such things.

 

Now, I don't do this type of research purely as a reader. I do it as a writer. I'm endlessly curious to know how other writers do what they do. How did they suck me in and hold my attention? By pulling back the curtain, I've uncovered a lot useful information that has helped me either improve my craft or given me comfort that I'm on the right track.

 

For instance, I recently read a book that I fell in love with, and I took to the Internet to post a review. I was shocked that so many other reviewers slammed the book and, by extension, the author for the offensive social and political commentary in the book. Surely we hadn't read the same book. The author wasn't saying what these reviewers had read. He was saying the opposite by using absurdity as a storytelling device. The author has been dead for over 20 years so I couldn't ask him if I was right in my interpretation of his book, so I started searching for old interviews. They were tough to find because the author was popular in the 1930s, but one afternoon, I came across an interview that addressed the author's writing style. The interviewer asked him about what some readers considered the vulgar nature of his writing, and he basically said he rarely, if ever, agrees with the views of his characters. His job isn't to tell them what to believe. His job is to record what they believe. He even said he was embarrassed at times by what they say and do.

 

A light went off in my head when I read this; it reaffirmed for me the kind of writer I want to be. I don't want to tell my characters what to say and how to behave. I want them to tell me. My "reading" obsession helped me get a better grasp on my writing philosophy. It helped me be more confident.

 

How about you? Where does your relationship with a book end? Are you an obsessed reader too?

 

-Richard

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

 

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Advice from New York Times Bestselling Author Guy Kawasaki

Interact, Interact, Interact!

1,135 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, writers, writing, research, craft
3

When people find out I've written four novels, they often ask, "How in the world can you write an entire book?" For many aspiring novelists, the idea of writing hundreds of pages is so daunting that it keeps them from writing even one, which is a shame.

 

Here are some tips for how to get it done:

 

1. Set a dedicated time each day to write.

 

When people say they don't have time to read, exercise, work on their novel, reply to emails, etc., I never believe them. The simple truth is this: If something is important to you, you make the time for it. So if you want to write a book, set a designated time each day - even it's just an hour - and write. No excuses.

 

2. If you get stuck, edit.

 

When I can't think of what to write next, I often go back and tweak what I've already written. That way, even if I'm not advancing the story, I'm making the most of the time I've set aside to write. However, be careful not to do this too often and/or let it turn into a crutch that keeps you from moving forward. If you take a deep breath and concentrate, you can usually come up with something new to put on the page.

 

3. Don't wordsmith; highlight and move on.

 

If you're satisfied with the general content of a scene or chapter (e.g. your two main characters get into an argument over dinner) but aren't entirely satisfied with how it reads, highlight the section and move on. It's important to keep the story moving when you're feeling it. Then if you get stuck later, you can employ tip #2 above and put that creative energy to work on the highlighted areas.

 

In next week's post, I'll offer a few more tips on how to get that manuscript done.

 

-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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Should You Write Daily to Write Well?

The Rituals of a Writer's Life

3,795 Views 3 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writers, writing, craft
0

You know what they say about the best laid schemes of mice and men, right? They always work out perfectly...What? That's not the quote? Of course it isn't. Plans, no matter how perfectly conceived and set into motion, rarely go exactly as expected. And, believe it or not, that's a good thing.

 

If everything went as planned, virtually everyone would sell a million books and win a National Book Award, but that's not how it works. Fate, luck, or destiny - whatever you want to call the building blocks of good fortune - has some say in who does and doesn't make it big. It is not the sole factor, but it does include itself in the process. And it doesn't always choose its recipients arbitrarily.

 

It usually rears its opportunistic head when the chips are down and a plan has fallen apart. More times than not, good fortune makes itself available to those who adapt to events that alter plans and flourishes under determination that never falters. The more hurdles you overcome, the "luckier" you'll get.

 

We're about a week into 2013, so as you go over your New Year's resolutions, make a note at the bottom of the page that, above all, you are committed to adapting to whatever unexpected events come your way this year. The challenges won't sideline you by ruining your plans. If adaptation is part of your plan, how can they? Once an obstacle comes along, you'll be prepared to deal with it and move forward. Learn from it and move onto the next step of the plan. As that classic quote states, "the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry," but the resilient artist never fails.

 

-Richard

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

 

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A Resolution Writing Prompt

Could You Write a Holiday-themed Novel?

599 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writers, writing, resolutions, destiny
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Legal Issues in Self-Publishing: What Authors Need to Know - Huffington Post

Paul Rapp, an attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights, discusses some of the most common legal issues authors may face.

 

Konrath's Resolutions for Writers -A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Whether you're a new writer or an established author, Joe Konrath has the resolution for you.

 

Film

 

Has 3D Film-making Had Its Day? - BBC

Is 3D filmmaking literally too "in your face" to be an effective storytelling tool?

 

7 Rules for Writing Short Films - Raindance Film Festival

Just because a short film is short doesn't make it easy.

 

Music

 

Facebook Fans Now Liking but Unsubscribing From Trendy Bands - Hypebot.com

Some people like a band's Facebook page only to unsubscribe after receiving an onslaught of status updates.

 

Music Makes You Smarter [INFOGRAPHIC] - Audiolicious.tv

Playing a musical instrument can expand your mind.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup - December 28, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - December 21, 2012

583 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, self_publishing, music, music, author, author, movies, movies, writers, writers, writing, writing, musicians, musicians
1

I recently finished a novel that wasn't terrible, but I never really got into it because I just didn't care about any of the characters. Not one.

 

If you want readers to become invested in your writing, they must become invested in your characters. I'm not suggesting that all your characters need to be charming, or even particularly nice, and I'm certainly not suggesting that you can't have villains. But there has to be something in at least one of your characters that your fans want to root for. Otherwise, what's the point? This is just my opinion as a reader, of course. But I'm also a bestselling author, and the countless e-mails I've received from loyal fans telling me how much they care about the protagonist of my novels proves I'm on to something. And believe me, my heroine is far from perfect.

 

In the book I just finished reading, every character - save for a fringe one who was only 10 years old - was extremely unlikable. The two main characters in particular were dreadful. From the first page of the book, I didn't like them. I kept reading, thinking maybe one of them would demonstrate a side of their personality that would change my mind, prove me wrong, or perhaps offer a clue from their past to explain their present behavior. But that never happened. Instead, they kept annoying me, and I didn't like them the entire way through the novel. Then at the end, when they were both murdered, I just didn't care.

 

Characters flaws make for great characters. However, great characters also use their flaws to draw in readers.

 

-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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The Basic Elements of a Character Arc

Your Characters, Warts and All

2,251 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, craft, character_development
2

I am fortunate enough to receive occasional emails from young adult readers (and/or their parents) of some of my books, and I have to say they always leave me smiling. I usually respond with an email expressing my gratitude and offer to send them a free signed copy of my latest book. When they receive the book, I usually get an email thanking me. I say "usually" because one time, something completely unexpected happened.

 

One afternoon, I walked to my mailbox to retrieve my mail, and waiting for me inside was a handwritten thank-you card from a young reader who had received a signed copy of one my books. It was as if I had received a note from a different era in which people actually took time to sit down, place a pen in their hand, and express their thoughts on a piece of paper. In short, it was a memorable gesture that was so special I snapped a picture of it and shared it with my social network.

 

Now that the holiday season is behind us, it occurred to me that perhaps authors should write thank-you cards to readers. At the very least, we owe them thanks for purchasing and reading our books, and in a lot of cases, they've spread the word about our books. Granted, it's impossible to send every reader a handwritten thank-you card for a number of reasons, not the least of which is you don't know their names and addresses. But, I'm betting you do know a few of them. You've probably received some correspondence via email or your social network from a reader who just wanted to let you know they enjoyed your book. Perhaps you even sent a few signed copies of your book like I did. Why not send them a handwritten thank-you card? It is a special token of appreciation that is bound to touch them on a deeper level than a simple electronic show of appreciation.

 

Pick a handful of readers and experiment with this strategy. It is a low-cost marketing tool that will leave both you and your reader feeling delighted. Good luck, and let the community know how this strategy works out for you.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Recognize Your Readers

How to Connect with Your Readers

1,923 Views 2 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, author, writers, writers, publishing, publishing, promotions, promotions, thank_you, thank_you
0

The New Year is upon us. Perhaps your resolutions are locked in and ready to morph into achievements. You'll do your part and put in the work that will help you see your resolutions through. I'm not going to preach to you the importance of follow-through and the joy of accomplishment, blah, blah, blah. You've been doing this for years, you know the drill.

 

Instead of giving you advice on how to keep your resolutions, let's do something a little different. Let's use our skills as writers to bring them to life by turning them into writing prompts. If you're new to the world of writing prompts, here's how it works: writers take a short scenario or photograph or some other catalyst and they develop a story around it. For instance, you may be given the information that you walk into a kitchen and see an apple cut in half on a cutting board, a knife, and a significant amount of blood. The story is now yours to create.

 

Let's do that with one of your resolutions. I'm guessing you have a number of writing resolutions on your list. Is completing a new novel on your list? What will happen when you complete the novel? What obstacles will you face and overcome in writing your novel? Take that resolution to complete a new novel and turn it into a writing prompt. Build a fictional story around the completion of your novel.

 

This is more than a writing exercise; it's a way for you to visualize the completion of your new novel. I'm a big believer in visualization to help you achieve goals, particularly those that are creative. It just gives your mind a roadmap that helps you keep moving forward.

Have fun with it, and give those resolutions a fictional life! Feel free to share them in the comments to inspire your fellow authors.

 

-Richard

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

 

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Two Not-So-Typical Resolutions for Writers

WordPlay: A Strange Note

993 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: authors, authors, writers, writers, resolution, resolution, writing, writing, craft, craft
0

Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.


Books/Publishing


Millennials Want Brand Engagement - Somersault

Perhaps more than any other generation, brand matters to those born between 1980 and 1995.


What the Heck Is Editing About? -BadRedHead Media

Editing may seem tedious, but it can make a bad book good and a good book great.


Film


6 Filmmaking Tips from Peter Jackson - Film School Rejects

The legendary filmmaker believes you have a duty to make your film accessible to as many people as possible.


Investing in Movies - Filmmaking Stuff

Where have all the investors gone?


Music


How to Sing Tired...When to Cancel Vocal Performance - Judy Rodman

It's better not to sing than to never sing again.


Despite Free Streaming, Music Remains Popular Holiday Gift [STUDY] - Hypebot

Yes, Virginia, people still like to get music as gifts during the holidays.


-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

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


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Weekly News Roundup - December 21, 2012

Weekly News Roundup - December 14, 2012

728 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: author, author, self-publishing, self-publishing, writing, writing, promotions, promotions, musicians, musicians, filmmakers, filmmakers
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