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813 Posts tagged with the writing tag
1

Write o'clock

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jul 11, 2016

If you read this blog frequently, you know I'm big into self-assessment. I think examining your progress as a writer is important for you to understand yourself as an artist. In that examination, it's important, I believe, for you to study your habits, both bad and good.

 

For the next few weeks, you are a scientist. You are a behaviorist studying the writer part of you in your natural habitat, and you are going to throw yourself curve balls to see how you respond. Primarily, you are trying to determine the time of day you are most productive. It's a question you've probably gotten before, but you may not have known the answer because you are a busy person, and you just write when you find some free time.

 

As true as that is, I believe strongly that it benefits you to find the best time of day for you to write. When you find it, you will find your writing space. By that I mean, the space in your head where you feel more relaxed, more confident, and more connected to the ethereal world where fictional characters live out their fictional lives.

 

Test yourself. Schedule to write in the morning a few days in a row. Rate the experience. How many words did you write? What is the quality of those words? How did you feel during each writing session? How did you feel after? Switch the time of day to the evening. Go through the same evaluation.

 

Do this routine for a couple of weeks, switching back and forth between the time periods. Be as specific as you want to be, write for as long as you feel the creative juices flowing. If they are flowing more freely during one time period more than another, you most likely have your answer as to what time of day is your ideal time to write.

 

-Richard

 

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

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Is the Early Bird More Creative?

The Power of the Mindless Task

589 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, self-publishing, writing, craft, writing_schedule, creative_writing
0

 

I've written more than once in this space about the maddening (yet seemingly ubiquitous) trend of using "I" when "me" is the correct pronoun. If presidential candidates can't even get it right, I wonder what hope there is for my good grammar crusade. But I refuse to give up!


While not as common as the I/me error, nearly every day I hear someone make a similar mistake regarding she/her and he/him. Here's a refresher lesson about the difference:


"He" and "she" are subject pronouns. A subject does something.


  • Gloria goes to the store. (Gloria is the subject)
  • She goes to the store. (She is the subject)
  • David makes me laugh. (David is the subject)
  • He makes me laugh. (He is the subject)


"Him" and "her" are object pronouns. Objects have something done to them.


  • I saw Gloria. (Gloria is the direct object)
  • I saw her. (Her is the direct object)
  • I gave David the letter. (David is the indirect object)
  • I gave him the letter. (Him is the indirect object)


The above examples are pretty obvious to the ear. It would sound jarring if someone were to say, "Her goes to the store," or "I gave he the letter," right? Where people run into trouble is when there is more than one object in the sentence. For example:


  • I took a photo of David and Gloria.
  • I took a photo of him and Gloria. (CORRECT)
  • I took a photo of he and Gloria. (INCORRECT)


To some ears the third option above might sound right, but it's not. Let's remove the second object in the sentence, which in this case is Gloria:


  • I took a photo of David.
  • I took a photo of him. (CORRECT)
  • I took a photo of he. (INCORRECT)

 

In the above examples, the answer again becomes obvious, right? So, remember this: When in doubt, take Gloria out!

 

-Maria

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

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Grammar tip: How to use gerunds correctly

 

Grammar tip: Have gone, not have went

 

 

 

 

626 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, writing, craft, grammar, writing_advice, grammar_tip, grammar_tips, grammar_rules
0

Data dump day

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jul 5, 2016

 

Your head is full. All those ideas keep coming, and you just keep packing them away in every corner of your gray matter. You have so many story and character ideas soaring in and out of the blue you may even find it distracting. If you're working on a self-imposed deadline to finish your latest book, it can be a little maddening. So, what is a prolific author to do?


 

Pick a day of the week to do a data dump. I actually got this idea from my therapist. It's a way of unburdening yourself from the stress of everyday life. You sit at your desk and you write down every thought in your head in a stream of consciousness style. You don't worry about sentence structure or even if a thought is particularly coherent. You just unload your thoughts.


 

The same idea applies to unloading the creative clutter in a data dump. Spend an hour on a day of the week where you rarely feel productive (we all have those days), and just let the ideas drain from your head. Just let it go. Don't judge the ideas. Don't evaluate them in any way. Just let them fall out of your head and into your data dump journal.


 

Later, when you're ready to start a new project, consult your data dump journal and look for a gem of an idea that you can use to kick-start your next book. It's there. I promise you. Even if it's not expressly written down, your next book is in that jumbled mess of words.


 

Your brain is in constant motion. It pushes ideas from neuron to neuron. The data dump journal is a map of those traveling ideas. This map will help you find your way to your next book.


 

-Richard


 

 

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

 


 

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The power of a mindless task

 

Smell that creativity

 

 

 

 

748 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, writing, creativity, craft, writing_ideas, creative_process
1

 

Yesterday I received a rather desperate email newsletter from an indie author in which he essentially begged for people to review his book on Amazon. I empathized with him because I know firsthand how difficult and frustrating it can be to get reviews, especially for self-published books. But then the author did something that made my jaw drop, and not in a good way. In his plea he encouraged us to give his book a positive review--even if we hadn't read it!


I didn't respond to the email, and I won't be reading­, or reviewing­­­, the author's book. As both a fellow author and an avid reader, I'm disturbed--appalled, actually--by his lack of integrity. Reader reviews are supposed to mean something. If they're all just fakes to pump up a friend's book, what is the point? The review system is based on an honor code that should be respected. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't care because I'm also right.


I began my career as a self-published author, and I worked my tail off to find people willing to read and review my first novel--legitimately. Not once did I ask someone who hadn't read the book to review it. The thought never even crossed my mind. I equate soliciting fake reviews to cheating, and I don't cheat.


If a stranger, or even a friend, proactively tells you that he or she enjoyed your book, then by all means, ask that person to write a review. In fact, I encourage you to do so! There's also nothing wrong with asking for reviews via an email newsletter. But there's a clear line between supporters and readers. If you cross that line and ask supporters who aren't readers to post fake reviews, you're sullying the author honor code.


-Maria


 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


 

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Watch for Errors in Marketing Materials

 

Get Reviews for Your Indie Book

 

2,139 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, promotion, writing, marketing_tip, marketing_mistake
0

Wants

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 27, 2016

We all have wants. We wake up with them. We drift off into thought about them. We hope for them. We even talk about them with passion and enthusiasm. Our wants define us as much as anything in our lives. They say a great deal about who we are as people.


Do you know what your protagonist wants? I'm not just talking about within the context of your plot and story. I'm talking about the mundane wants that get her through the day. What does he hope for? What wants carry her from one moment to the next?


The same question can be asked about your antagonist. His wants are just as crucial to revealing his true character. Again, I'm not just referring to the wants that are tied to your story. I'm talking about the wants that weave in and out of her everyday life.


Knowing all your characters' wants can help you make a connection with them you wouldn't make otherwise. When you know something as intimate as their wants, you feel closer with them. I know that's an odd thing to say about imaginary people, but it's true. You feel their pain, joy, disappointments, triumphs, etc., on a deeper level, as if they are real people.


Spend some time when you're not working on your story making a list of your various characters' wants. The items don't have to be huge revelations. It could be as simple as what kind of coffee they want to drink in the morning or what kind of car they dream of owning. Just make a list of all their wants, and as you continue to write your story, you'll notice a closeness with your characters that wasn't there before.


-Richard


 

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


 

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Your Characters, Warts and All

 

Write an Obituary for Your Characters

 

607 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, writing, character_development
2

In last week's post I addressed how using too many exclamation marks in dialogue can (negatively) affect the reader's experience. To catch the issue, I suggested that authors read their dialogue out loud.


While that was a post was about an overuse issue, reading your work (not just dialogue) out loud can also help identify another common problem I see in books that haven't been professionally edited: underuse of pronouns.


Too often I encounter writing like the following, which is similar to the language in a book I recently read. Actually, that's not accurate. I gave up reading after about 50 pages because I couldn't take it anymore. I've changed enough words to protect the identity of the author.


In the following paragraph, Lucy is alone:


Lucy crossed her arms in front of her chest and sighed as she gazed out over the water, feeling sad and lonely. It wasn't the first time Lucy had felt this way, but that didn't make it any easier. There was just so much history there, and so much pain. Lucy knew she needed to move on with her life, but she just couldn't.


I find it hard––if not impossible––to believe that if the author of that passage were to read that paragraph out loud, she wouldn't immediately realize how jarring it sounds to hear the name Lucy over and over again. It's clear that the scene is about her, so it's not necessary to keep repeating her name. After the first reference, a simple "she" will do just fine.


If that's not making sense to you, think of it this way: When you tell a funny story about something your dad did when he was on a solo fishing trip, most likely you begin with "My dad was fishing by himself," and from then on you'll use "he" or "him." There's simply no reason to use "my dad" more than once because it's not necessary.


Just like listeners to anecdotes about your dad, readers of your novel are smart enough to "get" it, so respect them! If not, they might not make it past the first 50 pages.


-Maria


 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


 

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Listen to Someone Read Your Story

 

Writing Tip: Be Careful, Don't Overuse Uncommon Gestures and Actions

 

1,186 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: author, self-publishing, writing, pronouns, writing_tip
0

A character stew

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 20, 2016

I wrote a play last year that is, I'm happy to say, going to be produced this coming January. I bring it up here because during one of the many public readings, I got the inevitable question about what inspired me to write the story. Specifically, they wanted to know if my characters were based on people I knew.


I cringed at this question even though I knew it was coming. The story is about three siblings: a sister and two brothers. My wife just happens to have two brothers. The story takes place at a vacation home on a lake. My wife's brothers, their wives, and the two of us just happened to have vacationed together on a rental property on a lake. One would think that based on this information you could draw a straight line between the characters in my play and my wife's family. One would think that, but one would be wrong.


The vacation and the family structure in the play were obviously inspired by real life, but the characters in the play and their backstories bear no resemblance to the source of inspiration. I took that week together, and I said what if it were six people stuck in a house together, all with secrets and all with conflicting personalities. That is something that could be interesting. If I chose to write about my wife's family, it would be a boring play full of people being supportive of one another, offering zero conflict to capture the audience's attention.


With this in mind, I answered the question thusly: I don't create characters based on anyone I know. I write characters based on everyone I know. That is the best way I can describe the character development process. I start with a germ of an idea of what a character is like, and then I let my subconscious beg and borrow from all the people I've met in my life, and I create a character stew.


 

-Richard


 

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


 

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A Kramer by Any Other Name

 

When Writing, Don't Outsmart Yourself

 

544 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, characters, character_development
5

I have a love/hate relationship with rules when it comes to writing. I'm an artist. Rules, I once believed, were the destroyers of art. I know now that rules are the sparks that twist the creative mind into finding solutions to be artistic without breaking the rules. One must find the creative wherewithal to adhere to the rules while remaining true to one's artistic sensibilities. That is a neat trick when it's pulled off.


To that end, I would like to introduce you to my four rules for writing a novel. They are my own personal guidelines that help me be consistent while forcing myself to be more creative.


  1. A protagonist has to have a dark side: I just think heroes are more interesting when they aren't perfect. I don't like characters that don't have to face their own moral dilemma at some point in the story. It helps me dive deep into character development and paint a more realistic picture of the good guy (that's the gender neutral form of "guy").
  2. Warts are more interesting: I don't connect with beautiful people, mainly because I can't relate. My stories rely heavily on my characters' imperfections. Warts are far more fascinating to me than beauty marks.
  3. Conversations don't follow a straight line: In real life, when people talk to one another, they don't always listen to one another. The dialogue veers from alternate point to alternate point before the original point ever finds its footing. This is the type of dialogue I like to include in my novels. It's more realistic, and it gives the characters more depth.
  4. Know the ending before you start writing: While I have created outlines, I don't believe they are necessary in order to write a novel. I do think it behooves you, however, to know the ending of your story before you start writing, or at the very least, before you meander pointlessly until you finally figure out what your story's about. Knowing where you're going helps you build steps to the ending.


These are my rules for writing a novel. What are yours?


-Richard

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


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When do you know the ending?

Creating a bad good guy

1,446 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, craft, rules_for_writing
0

Bad writing habits

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 6, 2016

Before you can address a problem, you must first recognize what the problem is. Take ownership of your bad writing habits. Face them, and overcome them. It's not easy to either identify them or conquer them, but with persistence, it is possible.

 

To set an example and kick things off, I'm going to list my bad writing habits and my best solution for each. Some of you, I'm sure, will relate to my list.

 

  1. Procrastination: It is the writing demon I struggle with the most. The focus it takes to write is exhausting, and sometimes the thought of diving deep into a story tires me out before I even sit down at the computer. I have found the best way to overcome procrastination is to split my writing day into fours. I commit to writing a modest number of words--500 or so--each session, and then I walk away feeling good about reaching my goals.
  2. Lazy writing: I know grammar, and I know how to spell. Most of the time I avoid major mistakes, but every once in a while, I'll get lazy and let typos and bad grammar slip through, and it is embarrassing. It was really a problem in the early part of my career. I've learned to read and re-read and re-read everything I write now before I commit it to submission. And when I read, I do so aloud
  3. Doubt: Whether it's questioning my skill or my choices, doubt always seems to creep into my writing time. It creates the hardest bad habit to overcome: over-thinking. It's not something you defeat right out of the gate. It takes time for a writer to gain confidence enough to trust his or her instincts. The trick is to keep writing and hone your skill.

 

Bad writing habits are pesky little buggers, but with self-awareness and determination, you can overcome them.

 

-Richard

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

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Strategies to Beat Procrastination

Are Writing Rituals Good or Bad?

 

924 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, writing, craft, writing_tips, authro_adivce
0

That vs. which

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jun 1, 2016

On the heels of my post about when to use "who" vs. "that," today I thought I'd address an equally thorny differentiation: "that" vs. "which."

 

Mind you, somehow I managed to receive a degree in English without learning the difference between "that" and "which," so don't feel bad if you have no clue. It wasn't until I was in graduate school that my friend Debbie laid it out for me, clear as day.

 

Here's what she said: If it sounds like you could use either, use "that."

 

For example:

 

*Cooking is an activity that relaxes many people (CORRECT)

*Cooking is an activity which relaxes many people (INCORRECT)

 

In the above sentence, to the untrained ear it may sound like you could use either. So given Debbie's justification, "that" would be the correct choice. And guess what? It is!

 

Wanting a more formal explanation for what Debbie had told me, shortly after our conversation I did some research, and here's what I learned:

 

Essential clauses, which can't be removed from a sentence without changing its basic meaning, require "that":

 

*Cooking is something that I do all the time.

 

If you remove the essential clause above, you'll be left with:

 

*Cooking is something. (CHANGES BASIC MEANING OF SENTENCE)

 

Nonessential clauses, which can be removed without altering the basic meaning of the sentence, require "which." (Note: these type of clauses, such as the ones I've written above, are set apart with commas.)

 

*Cooking, which I love, is relaxing.

 

If you remove the nonessential clause above, you'll be left with:

 

*Cooking is relaxing. (DOESN'T CHANGE BASIC MEANING OF SENTENCE)

 

Got it? I know this is tricky, so if you're more confused than ever, see if the clause in question is set apart by commas. That should help you figure it out!


-Maria


 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


 

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Refer vs. Recommend

 

 

Is It "I" or "Me"? Use the Switcheroo Technique to Get It Right

751 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, self-publishing, writing, grammar, capitalization, author_advice, grammar_advice
2

     It sounds like a stupid question. What purpose do writing rituals serve? Duh. They make you more productive, right? Yes, overall that’s the effect, but the question is why do writing rituals make you more productive? There are a few notable reasons for this;


  1. Comfort: Rituals provide a comfort zone of sorts for writers. They provide a space (both physical and mental) that puts an author at ease. When an author is more at ease, it’s just common sense that he or she will be more productive.
  2. Discipline: Rituals are disciplines in disguise. When you get up at 4:00 a.m. to write because that’s your ritual, you are a disciplined writer. When you write 500 words before you take a break, that’s discipline. When you meditate before you write, that’s discipline.
  3. Strategy: Rituals are building blocks to your overall goal. When you set a goal to write a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days, you probably put a strategy in place to help you reach that goal. That strategy consists of rituals you will follow to hit the 50,000 word mark.
  4. Control: Rituals are your way of controlling the process. When you’re in control, you’re more confident, and you’re more productive.


Rituals make you more productive because they help you focus. They strip you of the stress of having to deal with the unfamiliar. They aren’t for everyone. Some authors use the unfamiliar to help get the creative juices flowing, but many authors like the structure that rituals provide them, and it makes them more productive.


-Richard


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


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The Rituals of a Writer's Life

Are Writing Rituals Good or Bad?



1,037 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, self-publishing, help, writing, craft, writing_tips, author_tips, author_advice
0

I see a lot of capitalization errors, but one of the most common is regarding family members, especially parents. Here's a refresher on the rule:


 

If the "Mom/mom" or "Dad/dad" is replacing the name of the person, then capitalize it because it's a proper noun. If it's replacing the title of the person, leave it in lowercase.


 

For example, let's say you're speaking to your sister about your parents, whose names are Gloria and Dale:


 

  • You: "Do you think Mom and Dad are coming to the barbeque this weekend?" (CORRECT)
  • Your sister: "Yes, but they'll be late because Mom's company is having some' event in the city." (CORRECT)


 

In the above scenario, "Mom" and "Dad" are capitalized because they are replacing "Gloria" and "Dale," which are proper nouns. If you and your sister were to refer to your parents by their first names, you could use "Gloria" and "Dale" in the above exchange.


 

Now let's say that you're chatting with your sister about her in-laws. We'll pretend your sister's husband is named Bob, and his parents' names are Linda and Sal.


 

  • You: "What about Bob's mom and dad? Are they coming to the barbeque? (CORRECT)
  • Your sister: "No, his mom hasn't been feeling well, so I think they're going to stay home." (CORRECT)


 

In the above scenario, "mom" and "dad" are lowercase because they aren't proper nouns. You couldn't swap "Linda"and "Sal" for "mom" and "dad" there.

 

 

 

Here's an example of a combination of the two scenarios:


 

  • You: "That's too bad. I hope his mom feels better because I really wanted her to hear Mom tell that funny story about how she and Dad got stuck at the airport."(CORRECT)
  • Your sister: "I'm sure she'll be fine. Bob's dad said it's just a bad cold, but I agree that his mom will love the way Mom tells that story." (CORRECT)


Do you see the difference? If you're still confused, keep this sentence on hand for future reference: "Mom and Dad, you drive me crazy sometimes, but you are also the best mom and dad in the world!"

 

-Maria


 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

 

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Common mistakes in capitalization

 

More grammar pet peeves!

 

 

 

 

794 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, grammar, capitalization, grammar_tip, author_advice, grammar_advice, grammar_rules
0

Culture profile

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger May 23, 2016

I have plans for a book that, in part at least, takes place in Bolivia. I'm a huge Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fan, and it's my way of paying homage to the classic film. I have a major hurdle to overcome first. My knowledge of the country and region is based solely on the 1969 film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

 

Obviously, that means I have some studying to do. My goal as a writer is to avoid creating characters that are stereotypes. My view on stereotypes is that they don't provide the kind of depth one needs to develop a character readers will really connect with. Instead, I want to develop Bolivian characters that are modeled using cultural norms and cultural deviations that test those norms.

 

Now, I currently don't have the resources to travel to Bolivia and do a field study. I will have to rely on books, articles, and videos to find the knowledge I seek. I will create a file on my computer that will be called "Bolivian Culture," and I will start collecting material. Before I even sketch out the plot for the book, I will create character profiles for the Bolivians who will be in my book. I'll do a general outline for secondary and background characters, and I'll do a more detailed summary of the main Bolivian characters. That's where the cultural deviations will come into play. Conflict is crucial to creating multidimensional characters. The practices outside of what is widely accepted as a cultural norm are a great place to find conflict to fully develop a character.

 

When writing characters that come from a different culture than you, steer clear of stereotypes. Dive deeper and do your homework in order to create a culture profile that will give your characters depth.

 

-Richard

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

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Give your characters virtual depth

Start a dialogue with your characters

592 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: writing, characters, craft, character_development, writing_advice, character_arcs
0

Many debut authors don't know what to put in their bios. That's understandable! In fact, I recently met a debut novelist--I'll call her Lucy--whose bio at the end of her book was one line long. It said exactly this:


This is Lucy's first novel. She lives in San Francisco.


She laughed and said she knew it wasn't much, but she had no idea what else to write. She had't won any awards. She'd never written anything before. She didn't feel she had any relevant professional experience.


If you're in the same boat as Lucy, here are my two cents on the issue: I don't think what you write in your bio is as important as how you write it.


By "how you write it," I mean two things:


1)    You write it well. That means no grammatical errors, no crazy long sentences, and no weird syntax.


If you're putting yourself out there as a professional writer, be sure that's reflected in your bio. (For example, I've lost track of how many indie authors refer to themselves as Authors in their bios.)


2)    Your bio shows readers what they can expect in your writing.


If your book is positioned as a comedy, make your bio funny! If your bio makes me laugh, I'm much more likely to want to read your book. If your book is a mystery, write something mysterious about yourself. (I could never write a mystery, so I'm not sure what I would do in this case, but you get my point.)


Of course if you have specific life experience that relates directly to the content of your book (e.g., you were a police officer for 20 years and the book is about a detective, or if you're a nurse or a doctor and the novel is about life in a hospital), of course include that information in your bio. For the rest of us who simply make things up for our stories, I truly believe that elements one and two are enough. So stop stressing and get writing!


-Maria


 

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Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor and the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series, Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, and Wait for the Rain. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Have questions for Maria? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.


 

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Marketing Tip: Set up an Author Page on Amazon

Why Grammatical Errors in Your Author Bio Can Sink Your Sales

 

967 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, author, promotion, writing, author_biography
0

Beyond the visuals

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger May 16, 2016

I am the son of an ophthalmologist, and my father was the son of an optometrist, and there are a few more eyesight specialists who appear in my lineage. You might say I am hyperaware of visual acuity and the mechanics behind it. I am also aware that vision is a bit of a cheat when it comes to creative writing. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have sight rely heavily on visual elements when it comes to character description, setting, and even action passages.


Here is my creative challenge to you today: write a descriptive piece that leaves the visuals out. Rely on your other senses to convey your message. I read a new book by a fairly well-known author recently, and I rolled my eyes on a number of occasions. Everyone was beautiful and athletic. The women had pinup girl looks and the men had chiseled features. To be honest, I felt cheated because I wanted to know more about the characters than their looks. I wanted to know what they smelled like, the timbre of their voices, the way they breathed. Telling me that they were all athletic and beautiful was a shortcut that prevented me from connecting with the characters. This author did the same with the scenery. It was how everything looked and nothing else. Sounds, smells, temperature--they all provide deeper anchors of connection with the reader.


Think beyond the visuals. Give your book depth by using the other senses. We live in a multi-sensory world, so don't limit your story to just one. Incorporate them all.


-Richard


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


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