Why Identifying Your Reading Audience Age Is Crucial

You’re writing an intense novel about vampires. You’re exploring deep themes of family loyalty and courage. You believe adult readers will love this high-action somewhat violent novel.

But your protagonist is an eight-year-old boy who is struggling to deal with his new life in this not-so-brave new world.

This is a big problem.

And it’s similar to what I see week after week as I critique novels by aspiring writers.

I get that you have a killer idea and you’ve worked hard to come up with a great, compelling plot with lots of action and twists and complications. But before you began, did you even consider who your target audience might be? Continue Reading…

Get in the Habit of Making Time to Write

In this series about productivity, I’ve been talking a lot about excuses and distractions. Many writers complain to me how they just can’t find time to write, how they can’t seem to finish their book they’re writing, and how they can’t get motivated.

I mentioned that the key to becoming a super-productive writer is you gotta want it. That’s at the heart of why so many aspiring writers spin their wheels and never finish or publish anything. If you really don’t want to put in the hard work to see the success you’re after, be honest with yourself. It’s fine to dabble in writing as a hobby. Writing is fun, and if you’re pressuring yourself to be a famous best-selling author and it’s really not what you want with all your heart, you should examine why you’re pushing yourself toward this goal. Maybe it’s time to take up golf or sewing.

On the other hand, if you truly want to crank out books—quality books—and you’re struggling with your attitude, your biological challenges, and/or your habits, you need to identify the culprits and attack them. We’ve looked at many things a writer can do to evaluate the roadblocks to super productivity, and we’ve looked at a number of hacks or workarounds to get passed those behaviors.

In this post I want to share a few more insights and hacks for our habits that, I hope, will help you further. Continue Reading…

5 Reasons to Consider Using an Omniscient Narrator

Today’s guest post is by Brenda Berg.

Take any writing class, and talk to any editor, and he’ll say “never write with an omniscient narrator.” I’ve never heard a good reason for that, though, and that’s why I decided to get a writing consultation with Paper Fellows. We worked on the issue, and here’s what I learned.

What is an omniscient narrator?

An omniscient narrator is one that is literally all-knowing. He (or she) knows everything that is happening in your story at any time, and that includes any information that your characters may not be aware of. He also has a good understanding of the history of your story’s world.

Why are writers told not to use the omniscient narrator? Because editors know just how easy it is to make mistakes with it. After all, you’re not all-knowing yourself, so how can your narrator be? It’s actually easier than you think if you take care when you’re writing and use tools such as Cite It In to get the facts correct. Here’s why an all-knowing narrator is so useful and how you can use one.

  1. Readers get to know multiple characters

A story is often much bigger than just the one character. Multiple characters will be making an impact on the story, making changes that affect others who may not even know them. This can be seen in the Game of Thrones books (though these books are not written with omniscient POV; they’re third-person shifting POV), in which chapters jump between different characters and show what they’re all doing. Continue Reading…

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