Tag Archive - writing tips

7 Ways to Help You Be Precise in Your Writing

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…

Targeting Genre with the KDSPY Kindle App

Recently I wrote some posts on targeting genre for big sales, as this is a topic that I’ve been very interested in, personally, for years. I always wondered just how much genre had to do with a novel’s success, and when I did my “experiment” a couple of years ago by writing in a genre that purportedly “sold itself,” I proved to myself (and perhaps to many others) that genre really matters. (If you didn’t read my blog post on The Book Designer that went viral in the writing world, take a look at it here. )

My aim was to write a novel that carefully fit a big-selling genre and see if it would sell with little effort on my part. I used a pen name, and although I did a little bit of marketing—similar to what a new author would do—I was astounded by the sales I saw. Way more than all the sales I got from my other half dozen self-published novels.

Whether You’re in It for the Money or Not

You might not care about making money off your books. But some of us have families to support and bills to pay. I felt guilty for years writing novel after novel that didn’t sell, “wasting precious time” (my assessment) when I could have been working at Wal-Mart for minimum wage and at least bringing some money in. Continue Reading…

3 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence As A Writer

Today’s guest post is by author and blogger Jennifer Blanchard:

As a fiction writer, you likely compare yourself to the novelists that you love. People like Stephen King and Jackie Collins and J. K. Rowling are your favorite writers, and they make you feel like you’ll never measure up. And maybe this has kept you from writing (or finishing) your story.

But no more.

Because here’s the thing. Even the pros have bad days. Even the pros have moments where they lose their confidence and feel like they have no clue what they’re doing.

Take for example, my dog, Weiland. He’s a pro at climbing the stairs in our apartment building. He’s been doing it since the day we moved in almost two years ago. But the other night, we were coming in from a car ride and he wouldn’t climb the stairs. He just sat there at the bottom of the steps, wearing his plaid jacket, cowering and making crying noises. At first my husband and I laughed and tried to coax the dog up the stairs. But he wouldn’t budge. My husband ended up going downstairs and carrying him up. But then later that night, I took Weiland out to potty. He went down the stairs and he climbed back up them with no problem.

So what happened? Why did he for one moment freak out and think he couldn’t climb the stairs? Continue Reading…

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