Tag Archives: publishing

Start from the Middle: How One Single Idea Just Changed Everything

 

 

by Matt Frick

I didn’t write ONE sentence of my current book project this week. Not a single word.

But man did I make some progress!

I told y’all how I like to outline the entire story in multiple levels of detail before I really get to writing a manuscript [Planning: The Importance of Outlining (for me, anyway)], so you probably don’t see anything wrong with that first-line declaration, given the fact that I’m still in the outlining phase. But that line is more attention grabbing than, “I didn’t add a single bullet point to the 30th scene of my outline this week.”

Continue reading Start from the Middle: How One Single Idea Just Changed Everything

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Writing Romance for the Skeptic

 

by Elisabeth Wong

Okay, I guess it’s confession time: I’m a love skeptic.

To a certain extent. And if you were wondering, yeah, that confession was for my own sake too. I don’t know that I’ve acknowledged this trait in myself before – not because I’m ashamed of being a skeptic, but because romance in general is a big no-no for me. Horrified gasp! Yes, I’m one of those people! I’m that girl whose parents wouldn’t allow her to date in high school; that one girl who (what?) hasn’t owned up to having a crush on a guy for like eleven years now.

Continue reading Writing Romance for the Skeptic

Using Your Bad Ideas

 

by Chloe-Anne Ross

Other than uploading on time (sorry!) my biggest problem continues to be planning my novels. I plan on writing a series and right now I only have act 1 of W.OT.G worked out but even still I plan on re-working my plan.

My idea for the opening scene didn’t go so well and I knew I had to change the landscape she was climbing, the beasts she was running from and the compass she carried with her and just her entire word! No biggie : -/  hmm…right?

Continue reading Using Your Bad Ideas

Throwback Thursday: Things I Wish I Knew Before Self-Publishing

 

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by J.U. Scribe

 

It’s been over a year since I published my book, Before the Legend. This past year I’ve learned so much about self-publishing and marketing. Although I’m thankful for the little successes and milestones I was able to reach, there were several things I wish I could have done differently before and after self-publishing my book. The first three in the list are things I already knew before publishing but underestimated while doing this process. Here are my top 7 things you want to do before you self-publish.

Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Things I Wish I Knew Before Self-Publishing

How to Write Children’s Picture Books: Is He a Good Guy or a Bad Guy?  (Part 5)

 

by Yvonne Blackwood

The creative juices are flowing and you are writing as if there is no tomorrow. You are able to do this because you have carefully plotted out your story. Great start. As the story progresses, Ronnie Rabbit gets up to some tricks. You have narrated these tricks and you know how the matter will be resolved in the end. Yet, somehow your rabbit character seems flat. Why is this?

Continue reading How to Write Children’s Picture Books: Is He a Good Guy or a Bad Guy?  (Part 5)

How Every Writer Has Their Own Method

 

by Cynthia Hilston

 

How many of you remember the dreaded research papers you had to write in high school?  Raise your hand.  Better off, don’t raise your hand.  That’s too reminiscent of being back in school.  But anyway, I’ll tell you this: if I never have to write another research paper in my life, I won’t complain.

What I hated the most about the process was how formal and rigid it was.  When I was in school, the Internet was still pretty new, so we, the unfortunate victims, spent hours in libraries using dusty reference books that served better as paper weights and taking notes from pages with tiny print.  We had to write on 3×5 notecards in pencil.  We needed to come up with an outline, and this was to be done the proper way with the numbers, letters, Roman numerals, and I don’t even know what.  The rough draft was written in pencil, and yes, written by hand.  The final draft was then typed up.  I used my mom’s electric typewriter, as we didn’t have a computer with that now-antique Windows 95 on it. Continue reading How Every Writer Has Their Own Method

Throwback Thursday: Four Questions to Ask Before You Hit “Publish”

 

Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!

by Allison Maruska

 

A friend emailed me a question. She’s written a book and is considering what to do with it.

Her question: “How do you self-publish on Amazon?”

She didn’t mean what buttons to push on KDP that makes the book go live. She meant: “What are the steps necessary to prepare a book for publication?”

I emailed her my response, and as I did so I realized my email was pretty darn close to a blog post. Ergo, I’m sharing it with you.

Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Four Questions to Ask Before You Hit “Publish”

Critiquing: Giving and Getting the Gold

 

by Josh Langston

 

So, what goes into a critique? What is it that makes it useful, or not? For openers, try to be positive. That doesn’t mean sugar-coating. It means finding something you can focus on in order to start on a positive note, even if most of the piece being reviewed needs work. Then you can move toward the areas that you found confusing or which bumped you out of the fictive dream.

Continue reading Critiquing: Giving and Getting the Gold

9 Tips to Improve Your Writing

 

by Cátia Isabel Silva

 

Improvement. That’s an amazing word and fundamental for all of us who want to continuously get better at our jobs. As I already said in previous posts, there is plenty of competition in the writing field, so, if you want to write for life, you must be good at it.

You might read a whole lot and that certainly helps you in becoming a better writer, but even then, there are some points or specifics regarding your work that seem to lack that special something, right? There always is. I leave you here with some tips on how to improve your stories, your books, or, wherever you’d like to write.

 

1. Make them cry but also make them laugh

No matter how sad your story is, your readers will be delighted with some giggles somewhere in it. A safe way to do it is by creating a rather funny character, even among the most horrifying tragedy, he or she will have something fun to say, or even do. Your story will be all better for it, and much more interesting, believe me.

The same should happen in the opposite direction. You can be writing a fun story, but come on, nobody likes a full-time clown. So, some serious moments might prove useful.

 

2. Be logical

You may write about a completely crazy fantasy world, where nothing seems real, however, you should be coherent. Even within craziness, you need some logic. If everything is random and non-logical, people will lose interest.

So, you must decide for some rules when you’re creating your fantasy world, no matter how crazy they are, all that matters is that they are applied from the very first page to the last.

 

3. Structure

The classical structure of a novel or short-story is a character who needs to, somehow, solve some conflict in order to achieve some goal. You should always keep this in mind!

Now, of course you can fight the classical structure, but, you should be careful and have a purpose for it yourself, such as, getting a specific reaction or surprising your audience in some clever way. However, also keep in mind that usually, the further you move away from that classical structure, the smaller your audience will be.

 

4. Run from stereotypes

There are many successful stories about stereotyped characters, they usually intend to criticize some class or type of person. You could go there, if you wanted to, but remember, the stories who keep people talking about them, aren’t usually like this.

They have unique characters, deep thoughts and actions. They give their readers something to think about, analyze and interpret, almost all on their own with subtle clues, actions and dialogue within the storyline. Let your readers make up their own mind about a character.

 

5. Your reader is the most important one

This builds on the conclusion from the previous point. Do not treat your readers as if they don’t know anything. They are important and you want them to be interested in your story, right? So, let them have an opinion, don’t tell them everything, make them think, lead them to take their own conclusions.

 

6. Paper and pencil is the best way to start out

You might never think about it, but when you sit at your computer you’re being limited by it. Pick up a paper and a pencil and do whatever you want. You can write words, you can draw, make a map, anything you want. And don’t worry, it’s just for you, nobody will see it, so it doesn’t really matter if your cow ends up looking like an ostrich.

 

7. Take a walk

Writing is a solitary job, usually sitting down, closed off in a room by yourself. But the creativity and fun stories are out there, amongst LIFE. Get out! See people, talk to them, observe them, think about them and their issues. You’ll see your characters become more interesting and your writing improving.

 

8. You have 5 senses

And so do your readers… You should never forget about that, use it in your favor. When writing your amazing descriptions remember all of them and try incorporate them into your writing. Talking about the smell, the feeling of the wind against the skin, the sound of the forest will make your scene that much more interesting and detail-rich.

 

9. Nobody is definitively good or evil

If you want your character to be interesting and catch the reader’s attention, you must humanize it. The bad guy could have some positive characteristics and the hero can be a real jerk sometimes. A hero too good tends to become boring and a villain too bad is unrealistic (they can’t be all crazy, all the time, can they?)

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by by Cátia Isabel Silva. Catia is a Portugal native who works in the school system. In 2010, she wrote New World as her debut novel.