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806 Posts tagged with the writing tag
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

1,262 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?

 

899 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

712 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?



1,005 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!

 

 

 

 

747 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

565 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

 

925 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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Defining Characters through Action, Not Description

The Stranger in the Room

617 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, character_development, senses
1

I'm going to sound like a hypocrite today. On this blog, I've frequently shared the advice to stay true to the art of writing. I've often said that you shouldn't consider the reader while you write. Your only consideration should be for the story and the characters in your story. Your first draft should be a no-holds-barred work of storytelling wizardry.


But when I talk about rewrites, my advice switches gears somewhat. This is where I don't mind if you give some consideration to the reader. I'm not suggesting you ditch your artistic integrity, but I am suggesting that you're now in a better position to blend the interests of your readers with the interests of your characters. You've gone on a journey that is tens of thousands of words long, and you now have a better understanding of how far you can bend the story without breaking it.


The concept to remember as you rewrite is tweaking it to make it more marketable. I know that may sound antithetical to honoring the craft and art of writing, but the two ideas don't have to be mutually exclusive. You can find a happy medium that embraces both the risk of art and the relative safety of commercial appeal. In fact, finding such a medium may be your greatest artistic achievement.


The first draft is where you let the imagination fly, sometimes wildly, in order to get words on the page and make a connection with your characters. The rewrites are for you to use that connection to artfully give your story marketability. You always want to choose the artistic path when possible, but taking brief excursions onto commercial paths is not a bad thing.


-Richard

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Use Two Brains for Writing and Rewriting

The Perils of Rewriting

 

571 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, manuscript_rewrites, book_marketability
3

As I've mentioned before, I read a lot about book marketing and publishing. The other day I came across an article about an indie author who had recently published a novel about baseball. I love sports and thought his book sounded interesting, so I looked it up on Amazon. There were just two reviews, one of which was five stars and had the title: Great book. Among other glowing things, the review said the book was "a nice easy read for kids of all ages" and "well worth the time and money."


Then I noticed that the name of the reviewer looked strangely familiar. I scrolled to the top of the page and realized it was the same as the author! I couldn't believe someone would have the gall to give his own book a five-star review, but there it was, staring me in the face.


Needless to say, I didn't buy the book. How could I support such unethical behavior?


I've said more than once in this space that I believe asking friends and family to positively review your book is a bad idea. It puts them in an awkward position (what if they didn't like your book?), and it's just not credible. Reviewing your book yourself is even worse. Of course you think it's worthy of five stars; you wrote it! But that's beside the point. For reviews to mean anything, they need to be written by objective readers. That's the point of reviews.


The only time I think it's OK for a friend to write a review is if that person proactively tells you that he/she enjoyed your book. In that case, feel free to say, "Thank you! Would you mind putting that into a review?" Otherwise, don't do it. All you're going to do is shoot your credibility--and your sales--in the foot.


 

-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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Get Reviews for Your Indie Book

Dos and Don'ts of Soliciting Book Reviews

 

1,109 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, sales, writing, promotions, book_reviews
0

Your main characters don't appear on the pages of your novel alone. They are surrounded by and, in most cases, vastly outnumbered by your supporting characters. As the name indicates, they offer your story and your protagonists and/or antagonists support. Their development is as critical as your main characters'. Here are the four primary roles of supporting characters in most works of fiction:


  1. Establishing setting: Setting isn't just landscape and architecture. Supporting characters are just as crucial to setting. Accents, dialects, attitudes, cultural norms, etc., are just a few details that supporting characters can lend to a story's setting.
  2. Acting as comedic vehicle or voice of reason: Supporting characters can give a story balance. If you're writing an intense thriller or mystery, a supporting character can provide a handful of laughs to allow the reader to breathe. If you're penning a novel where your main character is on a journey of self-discovery, supporting characters can show him or her the way.
  3. Adding a curve or two to your twist: Sometimes authors use supporting characters as a diversion. What is a seemingly innocuous supporting character may actually either be the springboard to your main plot twist or he or she may be the actual twist.
  4. Contributing a piece of the puzzle: Why is your main character a steely eyed tough guy or a sharp-witted policewoman with finely honed investigative skills? Such people aren't born, they are made, and they are made by the people in their lives--supporting characters.


As you develop your supporting characters, concentrate on what purpose they serve. If they don't meet the criteria of any of the above roles, there's a better-than-good chance they are weighing your story down and can be trimmed during rewrites.


-Richard


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


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Too Many Characters in the Kitchen

Who Are You Trying to Please?

587 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, authors, writing, supporting_characters
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You've written an engrossing mystery novel. Now what? It's time to dive into the marketing end of the publishing process and to do so with as much gusto as you showed writing the book. You are going to want to incorporate a mixture of conventional marketing strategies and…nontraditional strategies.


     Since you can use your favorite search engine to find a plethora of conventional book marketing strategies, let us focus on the nontraditional route in this blog post. Did I mention that nontraditional means fun?

 

  1. Murder mystery themed gala: Yeah, I know. Gala sounds expensive. Don't worry. All it really means is a party or celebration, but if you use the word "gala" in your marketing material, you add a little bit of panache to your event. This is a simple idea that requires a lot of planning. You're going to use friends and family to stage a murder mystery game in the middle of your gala, using characters and themes from you book. You won't follow the conclusion of your book or reveal little twists, of course. You don't want to give away any spoilers, but you do want to give attendees a taste of your story. They'll still have a blast. If you have the budget to hire a troupe of actors, all the better.
  2. Ten-minute plays: Speaking of actors, approach a local theater about renting their space for an evening of 10-minute plays based on material from your book. You'll want to focus on those passages and chapters in your book that emphasize character development. I'll be taking this route myself for an upcoming release, and I won't be writing the 10-minute plays. I'm handing material to a group of playwrights whom I know and trust and letting them have fun with it.
  3. At the movies: Thrillers and mystery films are never in short supply at your local movie theaters. Before the movie starts and before they show trailers of upcoming films, they usually show ads for local businesses. You are a local business. Your ad doesn't have to be fancy. It just has to be effective.


The mystery genre has a number of marketing opportunities that other genres don't have. Go the traditional book marketing route, yes, but don't be afraid to use your imagination and explore crazy ideas. Those crazy ideas have the biggest potential to become shared events on social media. The most important thing to remember is to have fun.


-Richard

 

 

 

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

 

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Should you spend money on traditional advertising?

 

Take your book to the theatre

 

 

 

 

1,085 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, self-publishing, promotion, writing, novels, mystery, promotions, writing_advice
2

 

I keep reading (and hearing) authors use the pronoun "that" when they should be using the pronoun "who," so I thought I'd do a refresher post on the difference between the two.

 

WHO refers to people:

 

  • I am the one who is writing this blog post.
  • You are the one who is reading the blog post.

 

 

THAT refers to things:

 

  • The blog post that grabbed my attention the most was the one about pronouns.
  • The topics that seem to be the most popular with my readers are grammar, writing, and book marketing.

 

1) From an interview about a debut novel:


WHAT HE SAID: "I have two boys that judged me at every turn."


WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE SAID: "I have two boys who judged me at every turn."


(Reason: Boys are people, not things.)


2) From an author bio:


WHAT IT SAYS: Lisa's daughters were the ones that encouraged her to write, saying she should turn the bedtime stories she made up for them into a book.


WHAT IT SHOULD SAY: Lisa's daughters were the ones who encouraged her to write, saying she should turn the bedtime stories she made up for them into a book.


(Reason: Daughters are people, not things.)


3) From a book description:


WHAT IT SAYS: The story takes place in a dystopian society where teenagers are the ones that rule the land.


WHAT IT SHOULD SAY: The story takes place in a dystopian society where teenagers are the ones who rule the land.


(Reason: Teenagers are people, not things.)


Got it? People: WHO, things: THAT. Now 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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There vs. they're vs. their

The dreaded "who vs. whom"

 

1,043 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writing, grammar_tip, that_vs_who
1

I saw an interview with Will Smith years ago where he talked about his movie selection process. Apparently, he and his representatives sat down one day and listed the biggest blockbusters in all of cinema at the time, and they concocted a formula based on the similarities all these movies shared. If a script matched the criteria outlined by this formula, Will Smith would agree to do the movie. This was before he had reached mega-star status. The formula apparently worked because he's done a number of huge blockbuster movies that have made him one of the best paid and most respected actors in the film industry.

 

So, the question is, can a writer develop this same kind of formula to write a bestseller? The answer is probably yes. In fact, without even doing a search engine dive, I can guess there have been a good deal of books written on the topic. I don't know how effective such a tactic would be, however.

 

Why? In my mind, the most prevalent element of any book that becomes a bestseller is the passion that went into writing it. When an artist pours his or her heart into a project, they connect wholly with their characters, and it's that connection that captivates readers. I have no scientific proof of this, by the way. Call it a gut instinct based on observation of the industry for a number of years.

 

Trying to write a book that adheres to a formula is different from writing a book that obeys the unwritten rules of genre. Those are often innate characteristics that happen organically, usually because a writer is a fan before he or she is an author. The makeup of a genre is hidden in their storytelling psyche. A formula is an artificial construct that dictates everything from basic character descriptions to number of romantic, violent, humorous, etc., encounters. In other words, it removes the passion from the writing process. Such a result may match the criteria of the formula, but it lacks the je ne sais quoi that catapults books into bestseller status.

 

If want to increase your chances of writing a bestseller, write with passion and develop your craft. Forget about the formulas.

 

-Richard


 

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


 

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The bestseller quandaryMega-authors

Mega-authors

 

1,068 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, bestsellers, writing_a_bestseller
1

You CAN write a book

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Apr 26, 2016

This morning I received an email that made me smile...or maybe even grin. It was from an aspiring author named Becca. In particular, I loved this part of her message:


"Reading through your blog has been very educational and exciting for me. I love all your knowledge, advice, and mostly your encouragement to not give up when it gets hard. I don't expect that starting into this will be easy; however, I think it will be so fun to try! My husband and my kids are all very much on board and supportive."


Go Becca! I love her positive attitude. And to all the Beccas out there reading this, you CAN write a book! No, it's not easy, but yes, it's fun to try. And at the end of the day that's all it really comes down to--trying. And trying. And trying! If you keep pushing yourself forward, day after day, week after week, eventually you'll have a book. It may not be very good, but that's okay. My first effort wasn't very good either. But once I had that first draft, I went back and rewrote it a few times, and that part was fun. In my experience, editing and tweaking is always more enjoyable than coming up with something from scratch.

 

Writing an entire book takes discipline--and patience. It's not going to happen overnight. Focusing on moving the story forward little by little will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed. And then one day, after many days of plodding along, your manuscript will be done. Done! If you're like me, when that happens you'll probably take a step back from your keyboard, exhale, and ask yourself, "Did I really just do that? How did I do that?"


Then, you'll do a little dance and go celebrate!

 

-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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