Layering a Subplot into Your Novel

layers

We’ve looked at plot twists these last couple of weeks because they are so useful to have in novels. Regardless of the genre you’re writing in, a great plot twist can strengthen your story and make it much more exciting than if you don’t have any.

Warning: this is a long, meaty post, but I’m going deep into one way you might layer your next ten scenes over your ten foundational scenes. You might want to settle in with a bowl of popcorn and a latte for this one.

Two of the ten foundational scenes in your novel should be some kind of twist. If you haven’t downloaded the chart showing the first ten scenes of my 10-20-30 scene builder method, get yours here. We’ve discussed those ten scene types—some in more depth than others—but I hope you now have a good feel for what they are and how and why they work in your story.

While you can build off those ten key scenes in a multitude of directions—and that’s what my next few Monday posts will be demonstrating—to ensure you have a strong foundation for your story, it’s best to work on those first ten. Continue Reading…

5 Valuable Insights for Self-Publishing Authors

secret formula

On Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive.

Today’s post is from 5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Self-Publishing. Interesting to note, I wrote this back in January 2013, but the 5 lessons learned are still as valuable and applicable today, in 2016.

After seeing my first few novels come out in print, published by traditional publishers, over the past three years, I decided to venture into the waters of self-publishing. When I launched my blog January 1, 2012, my aim was to explore self-publishing and glean insights from both professionals and authors involved in this brave new world.

The prospect of being in control of my marketing and promotion was at once exciting and daunting, and as I explored and experimented, often confused, disappointed, and frustrated, I was also wonderfully surprised by the many joys I experienced.

So here are just five key things I learned while marketing and promoting three novels I uploaded as ebooks onto various sites. I could give a list of a hundred, no doubt, but these are the points that really stand out to me, and I hope they will help you in your indie publishing journey. Continue Reading…

7 Quick Ways to Whip Your Novel into Shape

tighten belt

Whipping a novel into shape is a daunting task for many writers. The pain involved with trying to trim down and shape up all those scenes discourages us.

And then there’s the battle with self-esteem and frustration while trying to rework those rebellious passages. Not all that unlike the effort it takes to implement a health-and-fitness regime in our lives.

But there’s good news! Unlike fad diets, there are plenty of easy (painless) ways to help whip your novel in shape.

That’s not to say these tips are a cure-all to major flaws in a novel. But similar to the 30-minutes-a-day-get-in-shape-fast programs, here are some simple things writers can do to tighten sentences, shed unwanted words, and tone and shape the whole “body” of work. Continue Reading…

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