Fiction Addiction: How Great Storytellers Put the “Meth” into “Method” – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen informs us with her new post about how great storytellers put the ‘meth’ into ‘method’. Thank you, once again, for your educational blog post, Kristen.


Fiction, when crafted to hit that psychic sweet spot, is highly addictive. Which is why soap operas, daytime shows (e.g. Judge Judy & Dr. Phil), and ‘reality’ programs are all going strong with no sign of slowing down.

‘Days of our Lives’ is more like ‘Decades of Our Lives.

Drama is always in demand. In fact, we’ve even added a brand new term to our cultural lexicon to reflect this modern reality—‘binge-watching.’

Between Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, and the bazillion specialty channels delivered via Roku? Then add in all the devices where audiences regularly inhale ebooks, podcasts, audiobooks, blogs, videos, etc.

Let’s just say cultural appetites for stories in all their forms—from hard-boiled documentaries (Making a Murderer) all across the spectrum to the epic high fantasy fiction (Game of Thrones)—has never been so insatiable.

***I know we’ve spent the past couple posts deep-diving the publishing industry, and I PROMISE to blog about other changes ahead. Alas, I figured it was time for something a bit lighter, and yet still salient to being successful in this industry.

Good news is that audiences crave stories, and they are always hunting for their next fiction addiction no matter WHAT is going on in the publishing world.

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Does Everyone Really Love A Bad Boy? – Written By Charles Yallowitz

On ‘The Legends of Windermere’ blog, written by Charles Yallowitz, I found this excellent blog post about bad boys and how they really are used. Thanks for the great post, which I think to me is quite helpful, Charles.


A while back, somebody suggested I write a few posts on the ‘Bad Boy’ concept. I agreed thinking it shouldn’t be too hard. Now, I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I was thinking. Seriously, this feels like it’s outside of my ballpark because ‘Bad Boy’s in my mind don’t really appear outside of romances and dramas. Then again, I’m using a very narrow definition. Let me try to enhance it by some stream of consciousness writing.

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Personality Test For Writers – What Type Are You?

Lately, I found a personality test for writers on the ‘greatstorybook.com’ website. I read that there are many different types of writers and I was curious about what type I am.

According to ‘greatstorybook.com,’ there are eight different types of writers:

Inspired Writer

Eternal Writer

Logical Writer

Savvy Writer

Closet Writer

Literate Writer

Hesitant Writer

Innovative Writer

 

The first question was, which type I think I am, and I spontaneously replied ‘Inspired writer’. As it turned out, I was wrong.

After replying to 31 questions the result told me, I am an ‘Eternal Writer’, just like Agatha Christie and Laurie R. King.

I admit I’m honored to find myself in such illustrious circles.

This is apparently the writer type I am:

Detailed Description

Many Eternal Writers have a genius intellect, but you know from personal experience that this doesn’t mean everything is necessarily easier because of that. If anything, it’s something of an annoyance because people tend to disregard anything you do as something you hardly had to work at in order to get done. You are, after all, a genius. So, of course, you can do what you do – or so the common thinking seems to be.

But you know that if you want to actually accomplish something, you still have to do the work to get it done. While not many people will really appreciate this, one thing you will find is that other professional writers, editors, and agents will indeed appreciate your abilities and the efforts you’ve put into your writing.

Eternal Writers are people who typically like to do things on their own, learning what they need to learn in order to reach a new goal. You’re the typical autodidactic, do-it-yourself learner. Your general interest in life drives you and when it comes to researching any kind of topic for the benefit of your writing, this is an enormous advantage you have over most writers.

However, you may be starting to realize the truth of the old saying that “no man is an island.” Ultimately, your choosing to let other writing professionals into your life will be one of the defining career-building decisions you can ever make.

There isn’t anything you can’t do, and you know that. At the same time, fear of success tends to hold you back. If you are truly successful, then people will start to expect even greater things from you. They will want to know more about you, your personal life, how you do what you do. You’ve probably been put on the spot before and know that this can be a very uncomfortable position.
You also know that all too often, the words you’ve said when taken out of context can be twisted into a completely different meaning. Some part of you isn’t sure this is the type of life you want, but would you prefer to be seen as the typical flakey-creative type? Probably not.

As an Eternal Writer, you also feel the need to be recognized for your work. You want people to understand you and your concepts and thoughts, even if at some level you suspect they probably never will. Does that really matter? You have a duty to use your abilities for the benefit of others – even if that actual benefit seems small to you personally.

You probably don’t realize it, but the words you say and the things you do have a great impact on other people. Truly. Whether you realize it or not, you do have that particular kind of power (which is rare) and you should put it to good use. The reason it’s important for you to realize that is because people need writers like you. You are the type of writer who inspires people and gives them hope. So do that.

Be aware too that your words also have the power to pull people down, so be cautious about the kind of writing you put out in the world. This isn’t something all writers need to worry about, but you do. Because you are the particular type of writer that you are, you are held more accountable. Your words are your ultimate tool, and you wield them well. Don’t underestimate the damage you can do to readers by taking their hope away. Not many writers are even capable of doing that, but you actually are.

That said, there’s a lot you still need to learn in order to get where you want to be as a writer.

If you’re thinking of joining a class or convention or book fair, do so. Even though you like to figure things out on your own, the best way to meet others in the publishing business is to attend these kinds of classes and events. It’s where other writers are and you never know what you’ll glean there. Even if you don’t learn new information, you’ll be inspired to keep going, and you need that extra kick every once in a while.

Just don’t give up when you hit another wall. It’s important that you keep going, and on some level, you know that to be absolutely true. Don’t worry about what will happen if you do step things up in your writing. Don’t worry about what will happen if you don’t. Just decide what it is you want to do and do that.


This is a very detailed and interesting description of what kind of writer I am. I recognize myself in parts of it. I am extremely curious if other writers are experiencing the same positive outcome of that test.

Would you mind taking it and let us know in the comments what you think about the result? I think we all could use a break and a little bit of fun.

TAKE THE TEST HERE

 

7 Tips on Writing Characters with Healing Factors/Regeneration – Written By Charles Yallowitz

Thank you very much, Charles Yallowitz, for providing us with great tips on writing fantasy. I personally found your post phenomenal and I’m sure not the only one.


One power that I use a lot in War of Nytefall is the regenerative powers of the Dawn Fangs. They can heal quickly and keep fighting as long as their head and enough limbs are attached. That second part is debatable for some characters too. Parts can be reattached if pressed to the wounds as well. It means that their fights can be very bloody, but only because of how I use this power. I consider every usage to make sure it still fits, which makes me realize how healing factors might not be as easy to write about as I thought. It can fall into abuse before you know it. So, what are some things to consider?

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…the writer’s backlist… the gift that keeps on giving… – Written By Seumas Gallacher

Seumas Gallacher’s books are in demand! Master Gallacher describes something all authors feel: the gift of selling books. Thank you very much for your post, Seumas!


…I can speak only for this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler, but sense that hordes of my fellow-authors will agree, that selling even one copy of one title is a source of great satisfaction… to feel that even one single reader has taken time and invested money to indulge my work is such an immense pleasure… over the years since I was first absorbed into the mind-blowing vortex that is the world of writing books, the reading public has blessed and honoured me with more than 100,000 aggregate downloads and sales of my wee literary babies… like many of my contemporary successful writers, I pretend not to pay much attention to my author’s sales pages on Auntie Amazon Kindle, but that would be a blatant lie!…

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Moodboard Of My WIP

I’m currently drafting book 7 in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. It is quite some work. By a list of blog post ideas, I felt challenged to publish a mood board of my work in progress, using 9 pictures. It took me forever to decide what the most important parts of the plot are and how to express them. Then I had to pick the images and, of course, spend another few hours to choose the ones I think express best the feelings of the story.

Picture courtesy of: https://spark.adobe.com/make/mood-board-maker/

This is the mood board of book 7.



I hope I could give you an impression of how the emotions will be within this book, caused by the story and the plot.

This is the first mood board I ever created. I’m curious to read in the comments what you think about it.

The Story And The Cover – Finding The Right Model

While working on ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, I built character by character, developed, considered their look, decided who they are and in what direction they would head within their story.

But also, I was ‘creating’ their look; dark hair, blue eyes, black hair, bronze eyes, tall, muscular, petite, almost ethereal. I will deliver many descriptions while ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series progresses.

In my head, the characters and their personality formed together with their look, and while creating them, I didn’t consider any consequences – like the book cover to the story.

Let me give you an example:
Katie is a breathtaking beauty with caramel colored hair and brown eyes; her cream skin makes her look almost fragile.

To find ‘Katie’ I was busy looking through hundreds of pictures on several websites. In a way, it was an exciting task, and my excitement grew with every picture. But after a while I got slightly bored, my hope slowly dying that I would find “THE” Katie… the woman I had created in my head.

I wish I could say, ‘suddenly’ I found her, just as she was in my fantasy… but the fact is, I didn’t. Katie was not one of the models, but the Model I found has caramel colored hair and is stunningly beautiful. I set the first mark on her picture. Whenever I discovered a model who got close to her beauty or my description, I tagged her. In the end, I compared all the models and by process of elimination, I ‘rejected’ one model after the next until I got ‘my Katie.’

I took some time to get used to ‘combine’ my fantasy with the model and then went through the different pictures of the model. Finally, I picked the one that’s on the cover now.

By now that’s ‘my Katie’ on the cover.

I was talking with my cover designer about the cover. I could deliver her Katie, but what about the rest of the cover? The man, the background, the font? I’m lucky to have a cover designer who knows her stuff. I informed her that I couldn’t go through the model search again. I wanted some mystery, some secret.

Soul Taker isn’t a love-story-romance where a man and a woman are kissing on the cover…


I wanted something different; a man every reader can connect to, and has the chance to create the character’s look in their own fantasy. And my cover designer found the solution. I’m very proud of the ‘Soul Taker’ cover.

Since the second book in the series is completed and only needs to return from the Copyright Lawyer, we had to get together and discuss the next cover.

Believe it or not – I was sitting on the monitor and dully clicked through hundreds of pictures.

Let me tell you – the thought of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series is planned to contain 13 books, scares me.

How are you designing your covers? At what point do you start considering what should be on the cover, and if you have cover models – how do you pick them? Let us know about it in the comments. We’re curious.


Buy Soul Taker here:


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