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Writing for Life

Mondays

Nailing Your Novel’s Genre in Your Opening Scene

woman with hammer

In the last two posts on my blog in this Writing for Life section I’ve been exploring how writers can target genres that sell well in order to find their own measure of success. I’ve done numerous posts on success: how we writers might not only define success but tweak our personal definition of success so that we can reap deep joy and a sense of fulfillment in our writing.

I firmly believe attitude plays a huge part in feeling successful. For, even if a writer is a “flop” according to worldly standards (numbers of copies sold, revenue per title, etc.), she can feel successful in the way that really matters—which is in her own soul. We have to live with ourselves, and the way we measure success can either open the way for great joy or for great misery. Continue Reading…

12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction

Wednesdays

The Secret to Crafting Genuine Characters for Your Novel

eyes

Think about what makes you interested or drawn to certain people. What qualities of theirs pull you in? Is it a sense of humor? Some interesting hobby or skill? Engaging style of talking or fascinating facial expressions or gestures?

Every character in your novel should have something about him that makes him interesting. It takes some work to create original, fresh, unpredictable characters, but it’s worthwhile to do. If you don’t want to spend an evening at a party among boring people, how can you expect your readers to be willing to spend ten to twenty hours of their life “hanging out” with your boring characters? We owe it to our readers to take the time to give them a unique cast of characters. Continue Reading…

Say What?

Fridays

Are You Irritated or Aggravated?

saywhat2

Does it irritate you when people use aggravate when they mean annoy? Or are you just confused about the correct use of these two words?

Aggravate comes from Latin, and if you look carefully you’ll see its root—grave. The original meaning was to make heavy or increase the burden. Over the years the meaning and usage morphed into meaning “to make worse or more serious,” or “to intensify.”

  • The spicy chili aggravated Malcolm’s colitis.

But aggravate can also mean annoy or exasperate—synonyms for irritate. In fact, that meaning came into use about the same time as the previous meaning. Continue Reading…

Recent Posts

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Add a Bit of Romance to Your Novel

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August 20th, 2014

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Tweaking Your Writing and Genre for Success

Tweaking Your Writing and Genre for Success

August 18th, 2014

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Are You Progressively Tense?

Are You Progressively Tense?

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Characters in Novels That Are Allies and Reflections

Characters in Novels That Are Allies and Reflections

August 13th, 2014

We’ve been looking at secondary characters in novels these past few weeks, and there is so much more[...]