Don Massenzio informs us on his blog about the challenges we Indie authors permanently face. Thank you very much for sharing the information, Don!
As an author, there are significant challenges. Finding original ideas and turning them into something interesting is a significant challenge. If you are a traditionally published author, you have to not only find an idea that interests you, but it has to interest your publisher as something marketable and viable so that they can make money. You also have to please your agent so that they will push your work on a publisher.
As an independent author, coming up with ideas, in my opinion, is the smallest hurdle to be faced. Because we are independent, we are free to publish whatever interests us and then take that work directly to the readers. One thing that indie authors discover quickly through social media, there are niche reader markets for just about every genre you can think of. If you like to right paranormal zombie western romance erotica, there will be a group that will read it.
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Anne R. Allen informs us about 10 mistakes for authors to avoice. Thank you very much for sharing this information, Anne!
These days, an author’s online presence is of vital importance to a career, whether we’re published or planning to publish. Whether we’re indie, hybrid, or trad-pubbed, it’s not only essential to be easy to find online, but we need to keep a professional presence and guard our author brand and reputation.
I’m not just talking about how we present ourselves on our websites. Your online presence means your book page bio, blog, and all your social media bios and interactions–anything that comes up in a Google search.
Charles Yallowitz of the ‘Legends Of Windermere’ blog provides us with an excellent blog post posing the question if we should know the ending of our book. Thanks a lot, Charles!
I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to disagree with this sentiment. The path of the pantser if fairly common. Not the way I do things, but I’ve run into many who simply fly into a story to see where it goes. There could be an ending in mind or it could just be a beginning or middle that they have. One thing I can be sure of is that it differs from person to person. Then again, I’m a severe plotter, so I shouldn’t speak as if I understand the other side of the pasture.
While I don’t come up with my endings first, I do like to have them in mind before I start writing. This helps me keep things on track and avoid running the story into a brick wall or minefield. Some would say that the downside is that your writing becomes too linear and dull because you remove the chaos of creation. I can see how you can come to that conclusion, but deciding on the ending doesn’t mean you know how you’re going to get there. Most of my books had the finale planned out, but I only had a general idea of how to get there. That goes for chapter and book endings. Probably why I had the outlines and still had that excitement of not really knowing what will happen.
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Should You Know Your Ending?
Don Massenzio asks us how important endings are and if we think it’s important they need to be happy. Check out this blog post, it’s fascinating. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Don.
In the past days , I’ve talked about book openings and middles in my posts. This post talks about the other end of your book, the ending. It will briefly discuss the types of endings and the importance of choosing the right one for your book.
Leaving the reader hanging – is it a good idea?
Many sources will tell you not to end your book with a cliffhanger. The reader needs some satisfaction or a happy ending to complete their reading experience. In my opinion, the answer to this is not quite that simple.
As someone who has written a series, I strive to make each book capable of being read as a standalone story. There is, however, a backstory arc for my main character that continues from book to book. What I like to do is resolve the current story within the book but provide a lead in to the next book.
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On Nicholas Rossis’ blog I found an article by “Reedsy”, providing us with 7 tips for writing fantasy. Thanks a lot for your efforts to share this information, Nicholas! We really appreciate it!
Reedsy recently published some great tips for fantasy authors–tips which can be easily applied to any fiction writing. Here is my summary of a selection of these tips.
1. Identify your Market
If you think it’s enough to say, “oh, I write fantasy,” think again. With so many fantasy genres, readers tend to cluster around specific subgenres which can range from Harry Potter to steampunk and Young Adult.
2. Use Short Stories
This was a great tip, reminding us of the value of short stories to flesh out our world and characters. When you write these with the specific aim of excluding them from your novels, you will find that you have more creative freedom and can discover surprising things about your universe.
Continue reading the article on Nicholas Rossis’ blog here:
Don Massenzio published a phenomenal blog post about research, facts, and details. I had thought for a second that writing fantasy books is easier – a little magic and you can turn things the way you need them, right? – Wrong. I tried that once – and screwed up the entire following chapter. Don is right – do your research. Thank you for your valuable advice, Don!
In my first book, Frankly Speaking, my main character, Frank Rozzani, notices someone has broken into his home. He reaches into his glove box for his Glock and proceeds inside with caution. Sounds right, doesn’t it. That’s what other characters in books, television, and movies do.
In my original draft, however, I had him making sure the safety was off. When I let an author acquaintance of mine, who is a retired police officer, read the book, he came to that part and let me know that a Glock doesn’t have a safety. I had no idea. I didn’t know a Glock from a hole in the wall.
This taught me a valuable lesson. I went back through that book and looked for other things. For instance, I used GPS and satellite phone technology in the book and I researched the use of these things extensively to make sure that it was accurate.
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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.
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.
Author Don Massenzio was busy blogging last week and I admit, I couldn’t make up my mind about re-blogging. That’s why I decided to share all three posts here, convinced that each one of these posts are a gain to our writing life. Thank you for all your work Don!
Am I a Real Author?
When I jumped into the indie author scene, it was a calculated risk. Like I do with a lot of decisions, I looked at the pros and cons.
Top Excuses for Not Writing Your Book and How to Get Over Them
You’ve always wanted to write a book. You know you have at least one book bouncing around in your brain. So what’s stopping you?
So You Want to be a Writer? What Are You Going to Write About?
In some capacity, I have always been a writer. When other kids dreaded writing papers or completing essay questions on tests, I welcomed them. These things were a chance to show what I knew and what I thought instead of testing my capability to memorize data. My ability to write served me well throughout my professional career (day job). Something was missing, though.
Kristen Lamb published a phenomenal blog post about flawed characters and the difference to “Too Dumb To Live”. Thanks for another educational as well as entertaining post and your wonderful humor, Kristen!
Which is more important? Plot or character? Anyone currently doing NaNoWriMo is all, “WORDS! ONLY WORDS MATTER NOW! Get off my case, Blogger Chick. I’ll figure out plot and character later.”
To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY.”
If we goof up plot? Readers/Audiences get confused or call FOUL. Watch the movie Ouija for what I am talking about *shakes head*.
Goof up characters? No one cares about the plot.
New writers are particularly vulnerable to messing up characters. We drift too far to one end of the spectrum or the other—Super-Duper-Perfect versus Too Dumb to Live—and this can make a story fizzle because there is no way to create true dramatic tension.
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