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Showing posts from 2015

Writing that Sizzling Opening

“If you don’t know where to begin your story, try introducing readers to the protagonist’s unmet desire, vividly show them the location, and give them something to worry about.” Steven James, Story Trumps Structure


Getting started is the toughest… you’ve written so many openings that just fizzled… right? I've written the opening to my next novel about 10 times and it's still not quite right.
I'm trying not to agonize too much. I'm hoping that the perfect opening will hit me once I'm well underway. I'm sure I'll re-write it a hundred times before I'm happy with it… and then re-write it again!
Looking for inspiration I just grabbed a couple of my favourite novels off my book shelf and then headed to Amazon and took advantage of the 'look inside' option of some best sellers.
Here are a few I came across that definitely grabbed my attention (a few contemporary and a few classics):
“When the first bullet hit my chest, I thought of my daughter.” No Second C…

7 Steps to Outlining Your Novel

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!” Ray Bradbury
Over the past five years, which is actually when I started writing fiction, I have grappled with the question of whether I’m a plotter or a pantser. You know, the plotter being the writer who is keen to develop the entire plotline, laying points on a graph, identifying the ‘inciting incident’ and all the ‘energetic markers’ and where they appear, above or below the plot line; and the pantser being the writer who writes by the seat of his or her pants.
I definitely pantsed my way through my first novel and then got stuck mid-way through my second and the only way I could get unstuck was to complete a chapter outline. Not necessarily a plotter move, but somewhere in the middle.
So here I sit, happily in the middle, swaying from one side to the other, as needed. When preparing for my recent Paradise Writers’ Retreat, I decided to do a workshop on outlining and to share a happy medium method I have cobbled together, b…

And the Winner is… Awards Programs for Fiction Writers

Getting recognition for your writing in the form of an award is not only a boost in confidence but it’s also a great marketing and PR opportunity. Having an industry stamp of approval from an unbiased judging process is a great endorsement of the quality of your writing and gives you fodder to help rise
above the noise of the competition.

One of the most highly regarded awards programs for indie authors is the IPPY Awards, which was started by Independent Publisher Magazine 20 years ago. My first novel, Mental Pause, was a bronze award-winner in the best adult fiction ebook category in 2013. I was both shocked and pleased, as it was the first awards program I had ever entered. The publicity alone was well worth it, not to mention a great party in New York!
The point is, including awards programs in your book launch marketing plan is a solid strategy. It’s great exposure for both you as an author and for your books.
Here are the awards programs I’m submitting or have already submitted …