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7 Tips to Creating the Perfect Antihero

batman

Today’s guest post is by Stephanie Norman:

An antihero is the central protagonist in a literary piece, movie, or comic book who lacks the conventional attributes of a hero. Unlike a traditional hero, he is characterized with aggressiveness, clumsiness, dishonesty, or other terrible habits that make him more flawed and distasteful. Nevertheless, he is still the hero of the story because his magnificent traits make him more appealing than loathsome.

Antiheroes are flawed, just as all people are. The light and the dark sides are in a never-ending battle, and their souls are the battlegrounds. Of course, the good in them has to win at some point. Otherwise we would simply call them villains.

A traditional literary hero is the perfect role model. He is brave, strong, and focused. This character always does the right thing, no matter how tempting the situation is. He is Odysseus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the Little Prince.

Idealistic heroes rarely work for contemporary readers though. The modern heroic qualities are somewhat similar to the traditional ones, but they gravitate towards the dark side too. Readers want to see complex characters that don’t always do the right thing but are heroes nonetheless. Continue Reading…

7 Ways to Help You Be Precise in Your Writing

clockworks

Today’s guest post is by Dawn Field:

The best books suck you into an alternative world in a single sentence. Ideally, it happens in the opening sentence. Some take a paragraph—others longer. If it takes too long, few will chose to read a book unless they’ve already cultivated a love for the author or the topic, or someone promised it was a terrific read.

The best books create worlds you can feel and understand even though they are imaginary or, if based on true stories, you only experience vicariously. A great read gets comments such as “I could so relate to that character,” “I never knew the life of a Buddhist monk was like that,” “I could just feel his pain when he broke his leg,” “I could see the jungle temple in my mind,” and “I could feel the cold in the winter survival scene—I almost started to shiver as he was trying to start the fire in the snow.”

The art of pulling a reader in is not due to being a master of words—although this helps tremendously—as much as being a master of the human experience and human psychology, and understanding the key features that define the essence of any experience. It is also a matter of achieving precision in descriptions. Continue Reading…

8 Powerful and Efficient Strategies for Marketing Your Self-Published Book

stacks of books

Today’s guest post is by Nicole Boyer.

As a writer, I have always been fascinated by the topic of self-publishing. The idea that anybody with something to say can reach hundreds, even thousands, of readers through e-publishing—and thanks to the existence of book-selling websites such as Amazon—is absolutely fascinating to me.

Of course, self-publishing a book is only the first step. As with any other product, books must be marketed and promoted. I spoke with a few friends of mine who have managed to generate a thousand dollars or more in monthly sales for their books to get their take on marketing strategies.

1.Create a Specific Target Readership and Gear All Marketing Efforts Toward It

Books are, by design, a niche market. There are very few books in general that appeal to a wide audience. There are even fewer in the world of self-publishing. If you gear your marketing efforts toward a general audience, you might be wasting time and money. You’re also missing potential readers. Continue Reading…

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