Thank you so much for the Monday Funnies with Aunty Acid, TSRA! You are the best, every Monday! ❤
M.L. Davis of Uninspired Writers provided us with a very helpful step-by-step method to write a synopsis. Thank you very much!
Morning writers, I hope you’ve had a lovely week.
A couple of weeks ago I started writing a synopsis based on the early draft of my second novel. Like many writers, I find synopsis writing tedious, difficult and frustrating. However, they are a necessary evil, published or unpublished.
The method I ended up using this time round actually made the process much easier, and I did it in steps. Please note this is by no means a tried and tested method, with no guarantee that it’ll work for you. But it worked well for me, so I thought I’d share. If you have any synopsis writing tips of your own please pop them in the comments below, as I’m always keen on new ideas and advice.
1. Write a bullet list of key points
In this first step it’s important not to think too hard. Write a list of the key points in your story, but don’t worry about what you’re including. Use the first points that come into your head. Chances are that if they stand out, they’re important.
Crime writer Sue Coletta provides us with a fascinating forensic case which I read with great interest. To my surprise the comments to the post are about as informative as the post and I couldn’t resist sharing it with other writers!
In late November/early December, something on a Discovery ID show blew my mind. On the dramatization of this real case, the detectives investigated a dead body found in the Oregon forest. Nothing new there, right? Here’s the kicker … The victim was decomposing at three alarmingly different rates. The corpse was not dismembered, either. One intact body, from head to foot, but with three different decomposition processes taking place at the same time.
The legs looked fresh. No change in appearance, very little, if any, discoloration. The torso had decomposed enough to show most of the ribcage, with exposed, decaying organs. As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, only hair was left on the head, the scalp sliding off a bare skull. No face, no tissue, nothing left but bone and teeth.
This rarity baffled the forensic expert they called to the scene. It also drove me crazy, because they never said what caused it. Instead, the show concentrated on the multiple homicides and finding the suspect. Probably made for better TV. A short comment at the end of the show stated they hadn’t unraveled the mystery. At the time of the homicide, that may have been true, or they just didn’t want to shift focus.
Chris McMullen published a very useful and educational blog post about advertising for KDP authors. Thank you very much for the information, Chris!
AMAZON ADVERTISING VIA KDP
As of 2019, Amazon modified how their advertising campaigns work, so this seems like a good time for a new article about how to use it.
I started using Amazon’s advertising feature several years ago, when it was first introduced to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
Since then, my ads have generated over 100 million impressions. So I have a little experience with how this works.
Advertising is one of many marketing tools. Like most marketing tools, you probably won’t blindly achieve instant success.
And like any paid marketing tool, advertising carries risk. If you aren’t careful, you can spend a lot of money quickly, and you might not recover your investment.
Advertising probably isn’t the solution for a book that isn’t selling on its own. It works better for some books than others, and for some authors than others. The success of the ad depends on a variety of factors.
One big problem is that there are many variables to consider:
How much should you bid?
How do you target your ads?
Is your custom text helping or hurting?
Does your cover draw your target audience in effectively?
Does your product page sell effectively?
Don Massenzio provides us with his advice. Thank you very much for your help, Don. I think your book titles are very artfully chosen!
When I wrote my first novel, I wanted the main character to be, like me, and Italian American. There are many Italian-sounding first names I could have gone with, Tony, Johnny, Carmine, etc. I decided to go with Frank. Frank is a name that is common among Italians, but it also gave me the opportunity to be clever with the title. I went with Frankly Speaking. There were other books with this title, but none in the genre in which I was writing. It was a good title in that it seemed to work and not adversely affect sales.
Anne R. Allen took the time to provide us with a warning about writing scams to look out for in 2019. Thank you very much Anne!
Predators are on the lookout for scammable new or discouraged writers.
by Anne R. Allen
As long as there are writers, there will be writing scams. Hungry predators will always be lying in wait, ready to pounce on any tender young scribe who strays from the safety of the mainstream herd.
And now there are an increasing number of scammers who target the established writer as well—hoping to profit from the discouragement so many indies are feeling as Amazon’s changing policies and algorithms leave them behind.
In the 1990s, bogus literary agencies were everywhere. They advertised directly to writers in magazines and online—often buying ads in prestigious magazines like Writers Digest and Poets and Writers.
Kristen Lamb posts about nerve-shredding tension, generation page-turning and about conflict. Thank you for another post to learn from, Kristen!
Secret-keepers have what it takes to be legendary storytellers. Stories aren’t solely about pretty writing, glorious description, or witty banter. Excellent stories are about one thing and one thing only….CONFLICT.
Want to know the secret ingredient that turns responsible adult readers into reckless maniacs willing to stay up until DAWN to finish a book…on a work day?
Secret-Keepers Resist the Urge to Explain
Secret-keepers learn to resist the urge to explain, which we’ll talk about in a moment. Before any deception even comes into play, we—as authors—must make sure we cast jacked up people in our story. To be blunt, perfectly well-adjusted, responsible people are dull.
On Master Seumas Gallacher’s blog, I found an excellent blog post, written by author Tony McManus. See what they have to say about Amazon’s author review policy.
…my pal, Tony McManus, ponders Amazon’s ‘killing the golden goose’ policy on Author reviews…
…the following superb piece from my Author friend, Tony McManus, mirrors what so many of us in the self-publishing community feel right now:
A LOW BLOW FROM AMAZON
I have mixed emotions regarding Amazon. On the one hand, and I guess like most indie authors, I am grateful for the opportunity Amazon has given me to become a self-published independent author of thrillers. On the other hand, they do things that puzzle, baffle and annoy me.
Writing a book, a novel, fashioning a work of fiction, and doing it well, is not easy. Even for ‘natural’ writers, highly gifted and driven writers pursuing destiny, it’s hard work. That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable. A writer on a roll, writing well, enjoys a ‘high’ like nothing else on earth. Like a ride to the moon, it can be the most satisfying thing he’s ever done. He gets to feel good about things.
But then, after completion, he has to sell his book. This is the hardest part.
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Don Massenzio wrote an educational blog post about being a prolific author – and useful writing techniques everyone of us should know. Thank you very much, Don!
When you think of prolific authors, who comes to mind. I immediately thought of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Patterson. In reality, these authors are small fries when it comes to being prolific. Stephen King himself said he was considered to be prolific despite having written “only” a few dozen novels to date. He also stated that some renowned novelists have written fewer than five books in a career. His quote on this was, “…I always wonder two things about these folks: how long did it take them to write the books they did write, and what did they do with the rest of their time?”
What about you my fellow authors and bloggers? Are you trying to write the one great American novel like To Kill a Mockingbird?
I started writing my first published book five years ago. Since then, I have published eight fictional novels, a book of short stories and a non-fiction books. I guess that’s considered prolific. But I also have some secrets that helped me get there quickly. They’re not really secrets, but useful techniques. Here are some of them.