Once again it is that time of year when many writers immerse themselves into a frantic month of writing. National Novel Writing Month gives writers the opportunity to begin, or indeed finish a writing project. Taking part is a challenge, it certainly motivates and is a great experience in writing to a deadline. This banner says it all.
My project this year is book two of The Delphic Murders, my detective trilogy. The title is A Tainted Search. Unfortunately, I managed to delete last year’s project, book one, The Elusive Trail, when I changed the date by mistake. Although, it does show as a goal. Onward and upward as they say. That manuscript has already gone through several revisions and edits.
Personally, I have found NaNoWriMo to be useful for my writing, as stated in the illustrated banner, but also as the vehicle to meet other writers around the globe. We are all experiencing this challenge in different ways, with varying success, but in a uniquely linked way through the portal. It is also a personal challenge and one we can learn from in regard to our writing technique and commitment. Having such a shared experience and the ability to communicate while doing it makes it a fun project, although anxiety inducing as we watch the word counter.
Are you entering the challenge this year? I’m happy to be a buddy – my user name isMandyB
Please share your project so we can encourage and support each other.
Today’s question is: What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
Does a cover image play a vital role in attracting a reader? Should it reflect the genre and characters in the story?
Have you changed a cover? If so why? Was the new cover more successful?
Please leave your replies in the comments. Thank you
Comments from last week question:
When your narrative is set in a real location do you research it or do you visit it?
What are the pros & cons of utilizing the internet to find out about a location versus actually staying there?
I once wrote a character who worked in a factory. I didn’t care what kind of factory, it just had to be a factory. My aunt worked in a meat packing plant, so I asked her if I could visit her at work. Not only did they let me visit, I got a tour and got to watch “the line” as they worked. It was fantastic. The story was “Poor David” and it’s in my collection, Things Withered! I’m telling you, visiting that plant was invaluable, and I’ll use the info again in some other piece, I’m certain. It’s always better to see and feel and hear a place.
I was looking back on my writing progress this weekend and came across a blog post I wrote in February 2011. Prior to that piece of writing, I had not tried out my ‘writing muscles’ in any form.
When I first joined my writing circle I was too shy and unsure of my ‘talent’ to read, but did enjoy listening to other members work. Eventually I summoned up the courage to read a piece. It was short and the result of a 5 minute writing exercise. The shocked faces around me as I finished reading will stay with me forever. It is still a conversation piece even now! So I thought I would share it – the three words I was challenged to use were Fire, Clock & Certainty.
Fire light flickered on the walls and ceiling as Joan sat with a glass of her favorite red wine. Watching the flames lick the logs and send little sprays of ash and sparks upward, she tried to calm her mind. It was a certainty that Thomas would be angry with her once he knew of her accident. The clock ticked as its hands made their gradual path towards 9 o’clock and the inevitable argument.
Joan had tried to cover up the dented fender with a casually placed cloth but Thomas would immediately know something was wrong as she had parked in his place in the garage. Such a creature of habit, her husband he had rules and very particular likes and dislikes. His routine had to be strictly adhered to or there was hell to pay. She knew he would go over the top with his recriminations and probably ban her from driving for months.
The clock struck nine and she heard the garage door open as Thomas drove up to it. Straining her ears she heard his car drive forward and then shriek to a halt. His place was taken up by her car now he would be mad. A slam of the driver’s door told her he was walking through to the kitchen and she could feel his presence enter the lounge.
She squeezed the trigger slowly as the instructor had told her and Thomas’ face flew apart. No more shouting, no more rules, no more living in fear. Watching Thomas’ foot twitch as the life left him gave her a rare feeling of joy. No more tormentor.
What was the first piece you read aloud to an audience?
Since this foray into writing, I have experienced an incredible journey. My writing group members have become firm friends, given me encouragement, advice and support. Without my passion and the fellowship I have enjoyed with them, I would not now be personally published, not just once but four times. (And twice in other collaborations).There are many projects for the future and ideas crowd my mind on a daily basis. It is my happy place, where I feel alive and my are words appreciated. I admit I am obsessed with this particular craft form and long may it continue.
What inspired you to write your first book? My experience of SCUBA diving and a writing circle in which “angels” were a prompt.
How did you come up with the title? “Angels from the Sea” was inspired by a prompt and an appreciation for angel fish seen while SCUBA diving.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)? My poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines, anthologies and trade magazines. I have published two books of poetry, one produced by Dream Write Publishing and one through CreateSpace, as well as four chapbooks of poetry sold as a fundraising project. I produced 5 copies of “Angels from the Sea” and published them using handmade paper hardcovers produced by a woman at the Strathcona Farmers Market.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? “Angels from the Sea” was written after two diving trips to Belize. I wanted to share the profound, one of a kind experience of diving and travel in writing.
How much of the book is realistic? Many of the poems arose from my appreciation for travel, SCUBA diving and observations on these two trips.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? These poems are based on my experience, thoughts and feelings.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Interestingly, my latest book “Shadow Girls in the Spotlight” is the opposite of the goodness of “Angels from the Sea.” And no, I wouldn’t change either book, although I am working at changing myself.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? We all have dualities in our nature.
What do you enjoy most about writing? Expressing the relationship between ineffable concepts and concrete forms.
What age did you start writing stories/poems? I wrote my first short story in grade 10.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? I enjoy research in all projects.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write? Spiritually focused poetry.
Do you see writing as a career? Yes. Especially journal writing for personal growth because it is my purpose and the subject of my writing workshops.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Retired and writing my memoir.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Writing fiction that has nothing to do with my real life.
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline? Satisfaction.
Have you ever hated something you wrote? No. It’s all been grist for the learning mill.
What book do you wish you had written? I want to finish my memoir and a novel.
What is your best marketing tip? Be comfortable reading to an audience.
What genre is your next project? What is it about? Poetry. “A Madwoman’s Raving.”
Can you tell us about your upcoming book? This book is about surrendering negative thinking and embracing love and positivity.