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807 Posts tagged with the writing tag
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I've become obsessed with crowdfunding projects as of late. It's something I've always wanted to attempt one day. It's a prospect that scares and intrigues me all at once. It's scary because if you fail, you fail in a very public arena. It's intriguing because if you succeed, it gives you a platform to draw more attention to your book.

 

Here are three elements of crowdfunding that I've observed over these several months of obsessively following projects here and there:

 

1. You aren't the focus - If you ask for people to financially support your project because it's something you've always dreamed of doing, no one beyond family and close friends will donate. The more you make the project about you, the more people will skip getting involved. The project, in this case, is related to your book. Keep the focus on your book.

 

2. Always be thankful - Be grateful every step of the way. When you appreciate the individuals who are supporting your crowdfunding project, they'll get enthusiastic. They'll be more inclined to spread the word and help you find more supporters for your project.

 

3. Simple and quirky wins - The quirkier the creative project the better. People like to talk about quirky projects. The more people talk about your project, the more people want to be involved. It's just the nature of the unusual. The trick is to keep it simple at the same time. If people don't understand what you're trying to accomplish, they're more than likely going to reject any involvement in your project.

 

If anyone out there has gone the crowdfunding route for a book launch or film based on your book, I'd love to know what your experience was like.

 

-Richard

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

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Social Networking Sells Your Brand

Take Control with Marketing Central

2,121 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, marketing, writing, promotions, crowdfunding
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

5 Ways to Beat Average - with Missy Tippens - The Seekers

The temptation to settle for a good word choice instead of the perfect word choice is always present when you're working on a book-length project. 

                           

6 Steps to Overcoming Social Media Writer's Block - Digital Book World

How to get over those moments when you just don't feel like promoting yourself on social media.       

 

Film

                                                        

Cameras Don't Make Movies, People Do - The Black and Blue

It's all about knowing how to use the camera you have.    

                                          

The Creative Process According to Francis Ford Coppola - Filmmaker IQ

The filmmaking legend says the writing is the most challenging part of filmmaking. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

Music Publicity Tips: Three Great Pieces of Advice - Bob Baker's TheBuzzFactor.com

Let them know you're a perk, not a pest.

 

If Not Now, When? - Start Singing NOW! - From the Front of the Choir

There is no time like the present to go after your dreams.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- September 12, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- September 5, 2014

1,891 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, music, filmmaking, author, indie, writers, writing, films, social, draft, music_marketing, musicians, craft, filmmakers, branding, social_media, singers, writer's_block, music_piblicity, creative_process
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I think we have to come up with a different word for what we all do. We don't just write. We invent. We research. We consume large quantities of coffee. We battle angst and doubt over every little word. And we spend huge chunks of time reading what we've already written. At least I do. In fact, when all is said and done, I would say that I have spent more hours reading a book I've written than I have actually spent physically writing it.

 

If I didn't know better, I'd say all this reading is a waste of time. But I honestly don't think it is. Reading and re-reading a novel as I'm writing it burns a story into my brain. The more I read the pages I've written, the more attached I become to the vision of it. Eventually, that vision more or less grows on its own.

 

I can't say for sure, but I think this organic growth of story happens in the re-reading of it every day because the tone of the book becomes second nature to me. I absorb the tone and keep it consistent throughout the writing.

 

Tone is perhaps the most underrated aspect of a story. With the wrong tone, a story goes nowhere. Without a consistent tone, a story goes nowhere. Reading material I've already contributed to a novel helps me fine-tune and keep the same tone throughout a story.

 

As far as finding a different word for what we do, I have no idea what the solution is. I'm thrilled to be labeled a writer. I just wish people understood that the act of writing is actually a very small part of what we do. We are, in essence, storysmiths.

 

-Richard

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

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Avoid Gratuitous Material

Change It Up!

4,839 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, book, writers, publishing, writing, story, draft, craft, tone, character_development, writing_tips, character_arc, author_advice
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Testify!

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 15, 2014

I recently read an excellent book by an indie author, and I let the world know about it. I posted a review on my blog, Amazon and Goodreads. I posted about it on Facebook. I basically shouted from the mountain tops about the book.

 

I didn't personally know the author of the book. I wasn't compelled to act the way I did to help out a friend. I wanted people to know about an excellent story that was masterfully written. If I had done this in a church, it would be called testifying. And that's exactly what I did.

 

The author reached out to me a few days after I binge-reviewed his book. Turns out, we have a lot in common, and we've since become very good virtual friends. This new connection has introduced me to some of his readers, and they've now expressed an interest in reading my books. Some of my readers have contacted me and thanked me for letting them know about this author's book. They felt the same way about it I did.

 

I decided to share this experience with you as a case study of what can happen when you testify about a good book written by an indie author. I did what I did for no other reason than I read a good book. The indie author reacted the way he did for no other reason than he was appreciative of my efforts to let others know about his book. Neither one of us had ulterior motives, but yet, we both benefited from my enthusiastic review of his work.

 

If you've read a good book by an indie author, let the world know. You'll be surprised how much you'll gain by doing so.

 

-Richard

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

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The Three C's of Brand-Building

Make Some Noise

2,241 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, author, writing, promotions
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

How to Use Visual Marketing to Sell Books  - The Future of Ink

Have you been paying attention to your color palette?  

                           

How to Write a Novel with the Snowflake Method - The Creative Penn

Writing styles and methods are as unique as snowflakes.       

 

Film

                                                        

3 Ways to Rent Great Cameras & Cinema Gear with No Insurance - Noam Kroll

Noam Kroll has a workaround on how to rent high-end equipment without insurance.

                                          

Who Else Wants a Film Production Checklist? - Filmmaking Stuff

The plan that will help you get your film underway without all that chaos. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

3 Singing Exercises to Improve Your Vocal Pitching - Easy Ear Training

You've got to exercise those vocal chords to find the perfect pitch.

 

10 Music Bloggers Who Write about New Artists - Entertainment Divaz

Got a new release coming out? Here are some bloggers who may want to know.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- September 5, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- August 29, 2014

1,772 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, promotion, movies, publishing, writing, book_marketing, films, musicians, social_media, vocal, film_production, visual_marketing, film_camera, new_artist, sell_books
1

Affect vs. Effect

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 9, 2014

A single letter separates affect and effect, but that one letter makes a big difference. Here's a quick explanation between the two words:

 

Affect is (usually*) a verb. It means to have an impact on something, to influence, or to produce a result. Here are some examples:

 

  • This rain is going to affect our crops if it doesn't let up soon.
  • Please don't let her bad mood affect yours.
  • One minor traffic accident affected the schedule of everyone on the freeway.

 

*I say "usually" because in obscure cases affect can be used as a noun, meaning an emotional response ("a blunted affect"). I rarely see this usage, however.

 

Effect is (usually**) a noun. It means a result or consequence, an influence. Here are some examples:

 

  • The effect of all that rain was a spoiled crop.
  • Her bad mood had little effect on yours.
  • The effect of one minor traffic accident was a lot of missed appointments.

 

**I say "usually" because effect can also be used as a verb when it means "to bring about." A typical phrase in this use case is when someone (usually a politician) talks about "effecting change."

 

I know this can be complicated to wrap your head around, and I promise you're not alone if it's giving you trouble! I've found that a good trick for remembering the difference between the most common uses of affect and effect is this:

 

Affect begins with an A, and effect begins with an E. A comes before E in the alphabet, and you need to AFFECT something before you can have an EFFECT.

 

I hope that explanation is effective!

 

-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, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

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I Hope This Piques Your Interest

More Word Mix-ups

 

4,710 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, writing, grammar_tip, affect_vs_effect
1

Letting Go

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 8, 2014

A few books ago, I killed off a major character. I killed him in an awful, despicable, horrible way. He wasn't just a major player in a story line that spanned five books; he was a beloved character, by readers and by me. Shortly after I published the book, I got some angry e-mails from a few readers. They couldn't believe what I had done.

 

What they didn't know was that it was not an easy choice to make. I knew a full year in advance that the character would die. When the realization came to me, I literally had to sit down. I didn't want to do it. This character was an anchor for another character. He just made everything feel like it was going to be all right. Why did this particular character have to die? Because my protagonist needed to grow. He needed an obstacle that would fundamentally change him. Dealing with the loss was the most logical way to get him to that place of change.

 

I knew he was going to die before I started writing the book. It was on my mind night and day during the weeks that led up to the scene where the deed would be done. On the day I wrote the wretched act, I paced the floor in between writing stretches, and then when he was gone, I walked away from my computer in total mourning. I awoke the next day fully convinced I couldn't go through with it. I was mad for thinking I could. I sat down and read the scene. It crushed me, not because it was well-written, but because I knew I was going to keep the scene.

 

That feeling of loss and bitterness I felt was necessary. It was something I had to experience because my protagonist was experiencing it. It's not easy letting go of a major character, but if the story calls for it, it has to be done. You have to let go.

 

-Richard

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

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Write an Obituary for Your Characters

Defining Characters through Action, Not Description

1,914 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, writing, character_development
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

Quick Tip: Conduct an Author Website Audit - All Indie Writers

Is your website working for or against you?  

                           

3 Ways to Pare Down Your Prose - Beyond Paper Editing

Some advice for nonfiction authors.      

 

Film

                                                        

6 Filmmaking Tips from John Cassavetes - Film School Rejects

The art of improvisational filmmaking.    

                                          

How to Generate a Sticky Story Your Audience Will Love - Filmmaking Stuff

Do you know the core of your story? 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

How to Sing - The Definitive Guide - From the Front of the Choir

It all starts with opening your mouth.

 

Studio Headphones: Tips for Best Use - Judy Rodman

Don't forget the value of ambient sound during a recording session.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- August 29, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- August 22, 2014

1,946 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, selling, filmmaking, editing, indie, help, writing, nonfiction, social_networking, social_media, audience, singing, author_website, music_industry, filmmaking_tips, headphones
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As writers, we want to make an impact on readers. We love to make readers sit up and re-read a passage because it was so moving or unexpected or – dare I say it – brilliant. What we don't want to do is write something that removes the reader from the story. If you include an element in your book that has no value other than to get a rise out of readers, that's referred to as gratuitous material, and it can kill a story.

 

Normally we associate gratuitous material as being overtly violent or sexual in nature. But, in this context the word literally means "being without apparent reason, cause, or justification." It can be applied to any component of a story that interrupts the flow of the narrative. Readers can be so disenchanted by gratuitous material that it can damage your brand.

 

As the author, you may not always be sure if what you've written is gratuitous or not. I've struggled with identifying gratuitous material in my own writing more times than I can count. It's happened so often I've developed a quick questionnaire to help me determine if the material is of a gratuitous nature. It's so quick, there's only one question.

 

Does the material make the story better?

 

I don't care if it makes it more shocking. That's not better. By making it better, I mean, does it compel the story forward? If it does, then it belongs. The nature of the passage doesn't matter. If it's a step toward the natural conclusion of your story or an important revelation of character, then it is not gratuitous.

 

What about you? How do you decide if something you've written is gratuitous or not?

 

-Richard

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

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The Power of the Mindless Task

A Satisfactory Ending

2,406 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, authors, book, content, readers, publishing, writing, story, craft, writing_tips, author_advice
1

A few years ago, I conducted a writing workshop at my local library. The actual workshop had very little to do with author branding, but the topic came up during the question and answer period. I shared my belief that branding in an online environment ruled by social media is essentially community building. You (the author), as the administrator of this community, use blogs, videos and social networking to engage readers and link them to both you and each other using your book(s) as the connective tissue. In other words, in order to build a successful brand today, authors need to market dynamically. In this age of the internet, there's very little downtime when it comes to author marketing and brand building.

 

After the workshop, a gentleman approached me. He had published a book via a small publisher, and he was frustrated that it wasn't selling and even more frustrated with his publisher because he didn't think they were doing enough to sell the book. I reiterated my points about author branding in today's Internet world, and he responded by declaring that he would never do the things I suggested. He just wasn't interested. I assured him that I understood that it wasn't for everybody and recommended he hire a publicist to try and help him. He had looked into it, and it wasn't financially feasible. He went to his publisher, and, as it turns out, they directed him to take the community brand-building route we had discussed at length. He then handed me a copy of his book and urged me to read it. He was convinced once I read it I would drop everything and do all that I could to make sure it became a bestseller. I refused at first. When he asked why, I was blunt. If he wasn't passionate enough to do what it takes to market it and build a brand, I didn't feel inspired to read it. If he truly felt the book was a must-read, he needed to get behind it. To his credit, he didn't take no for an answer. He insisted I take it, and I finally relented but only because I had another appointment. I took the book home, and to this day, I've never cracked it open.

 

This author essentially published his book and viewed it as a "Field of Dreams" project. If he published it, the readers would come. If the stars are aligned just right, that could indeed be the case. In other words, it's possible but not plausible. If you want to sell books, you have to be passionate about building your community and get behind the theory of dynamic brand building.

 

-Richard

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

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The Generous Brand

 

The Three C's of Brand-Building

 

 

1,872 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, author, writing, promotions, branding
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Change It Up!

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 27, 2014

I am prone to bouts of writer's block. There are times when I can't think of a thing to write. It is a maddening experience. Sometimes it can even get a little frightening. After all, a writer who can't find the inspiration to set his or her fingers dancing across the computer keyboard in a coherent manner is more or less a person who has mastered the art of staring pensively at the screen. That's not much of a skill. Trying to fight through writer's block usually fortifies the blockage.

 

One day, after struggling to overcome writer's block, I pushed away from the desk and decided to make a run to the post office. It's a trip I have made many times in my life. I have a set route that gets me there and back without wasting precious writing time sitting in the car. On this particular day, the route I normally take was unavailable due to construction so I had to take a long and annoying alternate route. I grumbled and groused the entire way.

 

Turning down a road I normally don't travel, I spotted a street sign, Able Street. For whatever reason, the name stuck in my brain. By the time I reached the post office, I must have repeated the name in my head a hundred times. I was constantly aware of the name. While I stood in line to mail a package, I changed Able to Abel. Suddenly it wasn't a street name anymore. Abel was a man, a large, gruff, and volatile man that had the temperament and skills to save a town from a band of marauders. That was it. My writer's block was a dusty pile of rubble. I had a main conceit for a story. By the time the night was done, the first chapter was saved to my projects folder.

 

What allowed me to break through the writer's block? Change! I did something I normally don't do. My mind wasn't on autopilot. I was forced to pay attention to my surroundings because I was thrust into unfamiliar territory. If you are blocked, I invite you to break out of your normal routine and compel your brain to take on new tasks. You never know the creativity you may spark.


 

-Richard

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

 

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Unblocking Writer's Block

Do You Have Writer's Block?

3,501 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, publishing, writing, craft, writer's_block, writing_tips
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The Generous Brand

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 25, 2014

I've taken to producing short project update videos for my Facebook friends that I post once a week. For whatever reason, I've discovered that most of my interaction with readers takes place on the social networking site. After posting a video not long ago, a young writer contacted me and wanted to know if I would be willing to give him advice on writing and publishing. I was more than thrilled to do it. His inquiry prompted me to produce a new video where I announced I would be happy to field anyone's questions on the same topics.

 

Within a few minutes of posting that video, I got a private message from a friend letting me know that I had lost my mind. This friend feared I had opened the floodgates, and worse yet, I had volunteered this knowledge for free. Surely there was money to be had, and I was throwing away an opportunity to make some extra cash.

 

I explained that just because I was giving knowledge away for free doesn't mean I wouldn't benefit from it. An author brand doesn't represent a corporate structure, not in the traditional sense. An author brand represents a community. In my community there are readers and other writers, all of whom discuss and recommend each other, and to their own branch of friends and followers, the books that I have written. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I offered to help them by addressing their questions as best I know how because it's the right thing to do. At the same time, I'd be less than honest if I didn't acknowledge that I am aware that I am deepening their loyalty to my author brand and our community by being generous with my time.

 

Free does not mean without profit. Don't be afraid to give of your time and talents to strengthen and build your community.

 

-Richard

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

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Building an Author Brand is Easy

Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

1,638 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, writing, branding
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

Books/Publishing

 

5 Ways an Editor is like a Dentist - The Book Designer

An editor might cause you a little pain, but it's for the good of you and your book.  

                           

How to Be an Author Book Bloggers Will Love - Author Culture

It's really a matter of planning and being considerate.      

 

Film

                                                        

The Shocking Truth about Your Movie Idea - Filmmaking Stuff

The key to a successful movie idea may be finding the audience first.    

                                          

6 Filmmaking Tips from Terry Gilliam - Film School Rejects

And now for something completely different from the only American who was a member of Monty Python. 

                                                                                                                                              

Music

 

In Response: You're an Artist AND an Entrepreneur - New Music Box

Success belongs to those who wear both hats.

 

Singing Low Notes at a Recording Mic: The Ninja Technique - Judy Rodman

Hitting that low note is a pressing matter.  

 

-Richard

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

 

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Weekly News Roundup- August 15, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- August 8, 2014

1,812 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: filmmaking, writing, movie, editor, artist, recording, blogs, entrepreneur, musicians, filmmaking_tips, book_blogging
4

My friend Cathy Livingstone wrote a clever (and useful) book called Bubbe, Mimi & Gigi: The Best Grandmother Name Book Ever. The guide recently received a glowing review in grandparents section of About.com, which described it as "a perfect gift for a grandmother-to-be and an especially cool way to let a mom know that she's about to become a grandmom."

 

Wow! That's about as good as it gets. The grandparents section called it a perfect gift? Talk about target marketing!

 

Cathy published the book on her own, so how did this wonderful review come to be?

 

It happened because Cathy made it happen. I love that!

 

Here's what she did:

 

1) She searched online for a book reviewer in her genre
2) She sent the reviewer a personalized email query
3) The reviewer replied and said she would consider it
4) Cathy sent the reviewer a book
5) The reviewer wrote a review

 

See how effective marketing can be if you're smart (and organized) about it? When efforts to promote a book go nowhere, it's often because the author isn't reaching out to the right audience with the right message. By searching for reviewers in her genre, Cathy was able to connect with a woman who was interested in hearing what she had to say. That's half the battle right there.

 

Another reason book promotion efforts go nowhere is because the author isn't assertive enough. Cathy sent the reviewer a book without knowing whether or not it would result in a review. Another smart move.

 

Cathy was smart about her book promotion, and look at the result. You can do it too!

 

-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, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.

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Use a Blogroll to Promote Your Work

Marketing Tip: Put Your First Chapter on Your Website

5,805 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, reviews, author, writing, promotions
1

A Satisfactory Ending

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Aug 18, 2014

The end is nigh. You've been burning the midnight oil to get to that point in your novel where you can crack your knuckles and finally type "The End." The problem you're having is you're not quite sure if it's time to end your story. Is the ending you're offering truly satisfying? Will your readers celebrate your name or curse it once they read the last page?

 

Your first order of business is to forget your readers. If you try to craft an ending that will please them, you will most likely miss the mark badly. As writers, we love readers. They are our greatest partners in the storytelling process, but their participation can't influence the path your story needs to take.

 

With the reader not a consideration, what should be your guideposts to a satisfying ending to your novel? Here are three elements to consider when writing an ending:

 

  1. Tone - If you've written a dark horror story that's managed to include one terrifying passage after another, you're not going to wrap things up in a nice little cheery bow. Your ending should match the tone of the rest of your book. A romance novel will most likely end on a high note. A mystery will end in triumph for the protagonist. The type of book you're writing has a lot to do with the ending.

  2. The ending belongs to the main plot - Not all of the unknowns have to become known at the end of your book. You can leave unanswered questions, but what you don't want to do is abandon the main conceit of the story at the end of a novel. The primary thematic element of your book has to come to a conclusion in some way on the last page. You may have introduced secondary plots throughout the book, but the time to address those is before you're ready to end your story.

  3. Open or closed - That conclusion can come in open or closed form. It is possible to answer a question in a way that creates more questions. You may end a mystery with the good guy killing the bad guy. The closed version of that ending is the good guy has all the evidence he needs to prove the shooting was justifiable. The open version of that ending is the good guy has no evidence that the bad guy was even the bad guy. He just has an unwritten confession. In this case, you've concluded the main conceit (Who's the bad guy?), but you ended with an unanswered question (How will the good guy avoid getting in trouble?). Open endings can be great catalysts for sequels.


If I were to include a fourth item to this list, it would be that your own personal style has bearing on how you end a story. That style is something you will develop over time and after writing more books.

 

How do you end a novel?

 

-Richard

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

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When to Say "I Don't Care"

Does Writing Change the Author?

3,159 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, books, author, writing, ending
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