Don’t start a scene without these four essential elements – Written By Nathan Bransford

Writers often don’t pay quite enough attention to how they start their chapters.

Starting a new chapter is kind of like starting a new mini-novel. Some time has likely elapsed since the end of the previous chapter, and we might also be shifting to a new physical location. We’re starting somewhat fresh, and it’s useful to help the reader get their bearings.

But even aside from just establishing where we are with good physical description and how much time has elapsed, there are four magic elements that are incredibly useful to deploy at the start of every chapter to help orient the reader within the story.

If you make sure these four elements are present at the start of every chapter you almost can’t help but write a good one.

Continue reading HERE

36 Tips for Writing Just About Anything – Written By Melissa Donovan

on Writing Forward:

There’s a lot more to writing than typing words.

Writing well takes years of study, practice, and experience. It requires diligence, attention to detail, and dedication to the craft. Each project has a unique set of requirements and different types of writing have different rules.

For example, when we’re writing fiction, we have one set of concerns (character, plot, and setting, to name a few), and when we’re writing poetry, we have en entirely different set of issues to deal with.

Writing becomes natural with practice, but there are countless elements to deal with in any given project.

Continue reading HERE

5 reasons writing fiction is good for your mental health – Written By M. L. Davis

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, and it seems relevant to talk about writing fiction, and the positive way it can impact your mental health. I’m sure a lot of writers write as an outlet, so I thought it’d be appropriate to talk about 5 of the reasons writing fiction is good for you mental health.

Writing is cathartic
There’s just something about the act of writing that’s cathartic. It’s relaxing, calming, and allows you to outpour your thoughts and feelings. This is true of journaling, poetry, stories….any writing. When you need a release, getting words down is immensely healing.

It enables you to explore and understand emotions
Pent up emotions often lead to further stress and complications. It’s important to go through your emotions and do all you can to understand them. Writing gives you the space to do that. You can use emotions in your work, and through your characters explore them and their outcomes. Often, writing helps you understand how you’re feeling, and that can be vital.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Setting Yourself up for Success Before You Write a Single Word – Written By Angela Ackerman

on Writers Helping Writers:

As a lifelong student of storytelling, most of my posts are about the craft. After all, knowing how to best develop our story vision and put it on the page? Kind of a big deal. But there’s an important step to writing that we need to think about before all that structure, characterization and technique stuff: Prepping our writing space to make magic.

Because that’s our job, folks…making magic.

(Seriously, we are all so lucky to do what we do!)

But what do we really need other than a keyboard or writing device? The story’s inside us, swirling around in some nebulous fold of brain matter, after all. We should be able to just grab that laptop and download our genius…right?

If only it was that easy. Unfortunately though, writing is hard. Sometimes thrust-a-screwdriver-in-my-eye hard. So thinking about how to set ourselves up for success as we sit down to write is a smart thing to do.

Continue reading HERE

5 Ways to Keep Your Protagonist Proactive – Written By Janice Hardy

on Writers in the Storm blog:

Get your protagonist up off the couch and into the story.

When I was six, I wrote a series called Dog City that followed the adventures of a team of dog archaeologists as they searched for a lost city of, you guessed it, dogs. It was all of four books, bound in aged cardboard from the backs of legal pads, and custom illustrated.

Laugh all you want, but that series had a more proactive protagonist than the “real novel” I wrote twenty years later.

Those industrious little puppers had goals—to find that lost city and fetch a rare magical item that would save the world from evil dinosaurs (it really should have been mailmen, right?). My “real novel” had a protagonist who was being manipulated by gods for a variety of reasons, and there was a prophecy she didn’t want to be a part of, and some romance, and an evil sorcerer, and a curse…you get the picture.

Even written in crayon, the dog story was better because it had a protagonist actively trying to achieve a goal and resolve a problem, and not just a protagonist who only acted when something else forced her to. My six-year-old self knew what the story was about and who was driving that story. My older self did not.

That’s the difference between a proactive and a reactive character, and why some novels flatline even though the scenes are filled with exciting problems.

Continue reading HERE

The difference between children’s and adult books – Written By Nathan Bransford…

Authors often get into trouble when they’re writing books for children or adults and end up blending the two in an awkward way. I’m here to clear up confusion around the differences between children’s books and adult books.

Particularly when authors write “coming of age” novels or fictionalized versions of their childhood, they sometimes end up writing novels that feel like they’re not quite for adults and not quite for children. Others set out to write crossover novels that appeal to both adults and children that wind up feeling like strange mishmashes.

Continue reading HERE

4 Rules Of Writing To Put You Ahead Of The Rest – Written By Derek Haines

on Just Publishing Advice:

You can find so many rules of writing that it can become a little confusing. I could probably list a hundred or more.

But, as with all things, it’s always best to keep things as simple as possible.

If you have a short set of guidelines that you can remember and implement for any form of writing, you can develop a routine.

These simple rules have worked for me for years when I write books, articles, or blog posts.

Continue reading HERE

Top 60+ Most Popular Social Networking Sites – Written By Nicholas C. Rossis

We keep hearing that we must promote our books on social media. Given the billions of people who get online every day, this seems like a great idea. With so many media out there, however, how can you choose which one’s right for you?

Thankfully, Hostgator Coupon Code has published an exhaustive list with 60+ social networking sites and a quick description of each. If you’ve ever wondered what the heck Tout or Shutterfly is, here’s your chance to find out. This epic list includes the following, among others:

  1. WhatsApp – Simple. Secure. Reliable Messaging and Calling
  2. Facebook – It’s free and always will be
  3. Twitter – See what’s happening in the world right now
  4. Instagram – A photo and video-sharing social networking service
  5. YouTube
  6. WeChat – A multi-purpose messaging, social media & mobile payment app
  7. Tumblr – Micro-blogging and social networking website
  8. Flickr – An image and video hosting service
  9. Photobucket – An image and video hosting website

CONTINUE READING HERE

2021 Book Marketing: How Authors Are Promoting Their Novels – Written By Diana Urban

on BookBub Insights:

With each passing year, there seem to be more and more book marketing tactics you can use to amplify a title’s exposure and reach more readers. And it can be tough to keep up with all of them! So what are some of the biggest (or newest) book marketing strategies that authors have been using in 2021 to promote their novels?

We’ve compiled a list of strategies we’ve seen authors buzzing about so far this year. Some tactics can help directly increase book sales, while others may help expand an author’s platform, which can lead to future sales. And while this is by no means an exhaustive list of book promotion tactics, we hope it helps give you some ideas for strategies to consider as you create your next marketing plan.

Continue reading HERE

The Writer’s Journey: From Total Newbie to the Joy of Mastery – Written By Kristen Lamb

Mastery is peculiar in that spectators see whatever the professional does as ‘easy.’ Masters rarely seem to even break a sweat, whether they’re dancers, authors, or entrepreneurs. What they do seems so natural that it’s easy for us to be fooled into believing we could do the same right off the bat.

Sure.

I recently signed up for a watercolor workshop. Years ago, I dabbled for fun painting in acrylics, but I’ve always heard how watercolor is among the most challenging mediums. With running a business, writing, homeschooling my young son, taking care of my aging mother, etc. I needed a hobby and a time and place to simply chill.

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Oh how my Type A personality loves to muck things up. It’s taking everything for me to RELAX, let go and simply give myself permission to be NEW. My teacher has painted thousands of watercolors and is arguably one of the top masters in the country. It takes all I have to not compare my rookie attempt to his version he seems to produce without even having to actually focus.

***A skill earned through many years, countless of hours of practice, and training.

Same with authors. With the pros? Their stories flow, drag readers in like an unseen riptide only to release the exhausted and elated audience at The End. 

Mastery, to the casual observer, appears seamless and effortless.

CONTINUE READING HERE