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mandyevebarnett:

A great post on finding your blog’s audience. What are your tips for attracting readers?

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

We spend a lot of time discussing ways to use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to grow your blog’s audience. Forums are another effective tool for increasing your readership: these niche social networks are a focused way for bloggers who publish on specific topics to connect, boost their blogs, and find new post inspiration.

Finding your people

Sadly, the needle is not always so easy to find -- but forums and niche communities can go a long way toward shrinking your virtual haystack. "Needle in a Haystack," James Lumb .

Sadly, the needle is not always so easy to find — but forums and niche communities can go a long way toward shrinking your online haystack.
Needle in a Haystack,” James Lumb.

Finding people on the internet is the easy part. Finding the people you want to connect with — the people who care about the same things, or share your values — is another matter entirely. Many new bloggers feel alone despite joining a community millions strong, because simply participating doesn’t mean you’re connecting.

There are many ways to…

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What is your motivation for writing?

Let’s look at each scenario:

money

a) Money – we would all love to be a best seller and have fame and fortune like the ‘big’ names, such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and the like. However, we need to be realistic – firstly can we manage to get a publishing contract with a big publishing house? How many years are you willing to wait for that? If you use the self-publishing route how much of your time (unpaid) can you sacrifice for promotion? Should you give your work away?

These links will give you an idea of the practicalities of writing with monetary visions foremost:

http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/01/how-much-do-writers-earn-less-than-you-think/

http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2008/11/validation-of-money.html

success

b) Success – once again we should temper our expectations. Global sales are a dream we want to make real but maybe measure our success on more of a local level. Do you have your books in local bookstores, the library, offered at local events? The more you attend and promote within your own locality the more your ‘success’ becomes tangible. Articles in the local newspaper could have people approach or question you in regard to your being an author. Social media allows us to expand our locality, of course, but starting small will give us a firm basis from which to start. Never under estimate the power of word of mouth for promotion.

This link has a list of concepts:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/03/01/definition-of-success/

satisfaction-

c) Satisfaction – Although this is third on the list, I feel it is the most important of all, as having your words, ideas and stories readily available for people to read now and for future generations, is the penultimate success. Our narratives will be enjoyed and relayed long after we are gone. It is our legacy.

A tongue in cheek link:

http://magicalmusings.com/2006/03/27/10-advantages-of-being-a-writer/

Obviously, a mixture of all three of the above would be the perfect scenario.

What do you consider the most satisfying part of being a writer/author?


hammock

Let’s plan to do something fun this weekend, whether you seclude yourself with notepad and pen, grab a favorite or new novel or find an exciting event to share with family and friends, take advantage of the summer weather. I plan to continue editing and revising my cowgirl romance, Willow Tree Tears, enjoy walks with two dogs I am looking after and make a couple of new recipes.

What are your plans for this weekend?

hedgerow

Why not use this prompt to start a new story? Alisha kicked at the box, half hidden under the hedge. She didn’t expect what came out of it…. Share your creation in the comments.

This is a particularly fun event. http://www.standard.co.uk/showbiz/philip-pullman-prepares-grimm-burial-in-east-end-9092572.html

And a historical event for China: http://english.cntv.cn/2014/07/17/VIDE1405597441880213.shtml


reblogApologies for missing this re-blog yesterday – crisis required attention!

Please see the attached link for the original

http://thewritelife.com/cliches-avoid-4-story-endings-readers-will-hate/

I have placed the post here:

Writing a book is difficult, but crafting an ending that is both impactful and wraps the plot up beautifully is even more so.

You worked hard to create a beginning that grabbed your readers, so make sure to write an ending that lives up to the rest of your story. Relying on clichés will only leave your readers feeling disappointed and dissatisfied.

Stay away from these four cliché endings:

1. The happily ever after

What it is: All of the characters in your book live happily ever, with no hardships to bear. The hero defeats his foes and all of the plot twists are nicely tied up – perhaps a little unrealistically.

Why to avoid it: Life doesn’t necessarily end happily ever after, which makes this type of ending feel disingenuous. You want your readers to feel enthralled with your book so that they’ll want to share it with friends, read more of your work or even re-read your story. Real life isn’t perfect, so make sure that your book stays in the realm of realism.

2. The drawn-out dream

What it is: The drawn-out dream ending involves the main character waking up safe and sound in their bed, realizing that the entire plot has just been a dream.

Why to avoid it: This type of ending typically annoys readers, who feel that the author has copped out. A book should be emotional to everyone involved, and an author who uses this ending seems to betray readers’ trust and cheapen the emotions they’ve felt throughout the book.

3. The guilty hero’s monologue

What it is: When the hero finally defeats the bad guy or force, the reader is privy to her internal thoughts of regret or remorse. The monologue is supposed to show the character’s guilt at what she’s had to do and how it’s eating away at her. Even though the ending is happy, our hero must now live with the blood on her hands.

Why to avoid it: In general, writers should strive to show, not tell, readers what is happening in the book. By strongarming readers into feeling specific, manufactured emotions, you are taking away their freedom to experience the story in a way that is reflective of their background and experiences. Readers may feel they are being led to specific conclusions, and few enjoy the feeling of an author holding their hand throughout a book — especially the ending.

4. The lover’s life

What it is: This is a special twist on the happily ever after ending, in which the main character falls in love, sometimes for an unexplained or random reason. It shows that true love makes the world go ‘round and that all that happened in the course of the story was worth it.

Why to avoid it: Unrealistic endings tend to annoy readers. If a love interest is too sudden, it isn’t all that real. If it is unexplained, it leaves your characters lacking depth. The truth is that not everyone falls in love and lives happily ever after. The best endings are unique, somewhat realistic, and really make your readers think.

Thank you to Allison VanNest for allowing me to share this insightful post with you all.

Have you ever rewrote a novel’s ending? Care to share?

My alternate ending to Life in Slake Patch was due to persuasion from my writing group members. The original left my protagonist awaiting a trial’s outcome. The revision gave my readers a verdict.

 


articlesWithin the multitude of genres in fiction, traditionally there have been constraints on what is and what is not ‘allowed’ in terms of content or style based on the genre’s ‘main’ heading. However, with sub-genres being created almost daily, an author has a multitude of options to choose from nowadays. Does that make it easier or more difficult to categorize your novel though? Sub-genres can mix and match almost any genre together. Is this the ‘new’ vogue for literature? Make one up to fit your narrative rather than ‘fit’ your novel to a genre?

So let’s look at what you do.When defining your novels, what methods do you use to decide on its ‘genre’?

Do you decide to write specifically to a particular genre prior to starting a new manuscript?

Or – do you write your story and worry about the genre later on?

As most of you know I am a free flow writer so my story comes first and the defining comes much later. An exercise in branding several months ago did enlighten me to the fact that all of my narratives centered around ‘love’ – be it romantic, parental or another kind – so in essence I can use that title within the more traditional genre heading.

With so many alternative genres to choose from the ‘bonus’ of multiple ones enables us to entice more than one ‘type’ of reader. Romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book.

It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is an underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.

My novel, The Twesome Loop also has romantic elements in it but also has a reincarnation element and is set in England and Italy so is it romance alone or do I possibly create a sub-genre: historical suspense romance..? As I am writing, I realized this sub-genre could also fit my fantasy The Rython Kingdom, as it is set in medieval England, has a romance and a master plot by a vengeful witch so should I add fantasy to the long genre title?

Obviously, some novels are easier to categorize than others and if you have found your ‘perfect’ genre and prefer to write in that one alone then enjoy!

genres

 

 

 

 

 

Link: http://fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue19/themedefine.htm

 


invisible

Many of us experimented with ‘secret’ writing as kids playing spies with our friends and sending messages to each other. There were kits you could buy to be a Secret Agent or there was always the lemon juice technique. However, as I read recently – see link:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/55195/11-historical-uses-invisible-ink  – there were numerous occasions through history where invisible writing was used for more sinister reasons.

How many of these did you know of?

Certainly it is fascinating to read about the culprits and there ’causes’. So that brings us to today’s prompt.

What method did/would you use and what message did/would you send and to whom. Have fun with it.

FunDay

 

 

 

 

 

And on the subject of letters, I had to share this wonderful story today. Letters declaring love shoould never be a secret – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/01/real-life-love-story-ww2-soldiers-letters-recovered

 


mandyevebarnett:

reblog

Fabulous advice on that somewhat elusive book blurb we all struggle with. If you have any tips to share jot them down.

Originally posted on readful things blog:

So…you’ve written an awesome book, right? Of course you have. You’ve slaved over it, perfected it, edited it until you can’t even see the words anymore. You have a great cover, your beta readers have sufficiently fluffed your feathers and then you realise…oh shit…(sorry Chris,) that you need to have words on this cover other than your author name and the book title.

What do you say to describe an entire book in a few sentences? How do you approach this situation when you have so many great scenes running through your head and you can’t pick just one or two?

This is going to sound silly. Wait for the logic. (Yes, I can still produce some once in a while.)

Treat it like a love interest.

Seriously. Think of your potential audience like someone you are trying to attract and go on a first date with.

First…

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