It’s our first guest post, folks, brought to us by Cassie Phillips from Secure Thoughts! Enjoy!
Self-publishing is a great way for new and up-and-coming authors to get their work seen and bought. It’s given the power back to the hands of the writer and negated the need to deal with big-name publishing houses and other middlemen.
However, just because you’ve chosen to self-publish doesn’t guarantee you’ll have automatic success. These tips will help aspiring authors get the most out of their online book releases.
Yes, that was a pun in the title, though a very simple and obvious one. Groans are appreciated.
Seriously, though, this week we need to talk about the importance of tenses and tense agreement, specifically through the lens of the style of your writing. Now, obviously, keeping your tenses straight when writing is critical. The tenses you use form what could be likened as time-stamps for the actions that are described in the book. When these time-stamps are misused, confusion reigns supreme!
We talk about pacing a lot here in the writer’s kitchen and for good reason. Proper pacing engages the reader and enhances the themes and plot of the story. It picks up the tempo when the drama rises and properly slows to allow the reader to breathe and focus on characterization. Much of what determines good versus bad pacing comes down to the actual content of the book. I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but bear with me!
Writing in the sense that we talk about it here relies on the artistic use of language. We use words to inform, influence, and most importantly of all entertain. It’s understandable then that when we use foreign settings, fantasy universes, and alien worlds, we might want to use elements of foreign languages to match those settings.
If you couldn’t tell by the title of this article, I’ve been essentially in burn-out recovery for the past few weeks. Many of us who write know of the stress that attempting NaNoWrMo can bring on, trying to write an entire novel-length manuscript in a month.
Try doing that three months in a row. Three whole novels in three months with deadlines and marketing windows to hit and all of that good grid.
So let’s kick this off right with some Bad Habit Writing and I think the best way to go is with some classic trope talk. In case you’ve forgotten or you never knew, tropes are common literary devices, similar to the idea of archetypes, that are commonalities through out genres, media types, and so on. As with archetypes, tropes aren’t good or bad; they are tools in the creator’s toolbox. How we use them determines their value.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s talk about a classic one: Our X Is Like/Not Like Your X!
Today, we talk about book blogging in terms of the book review, critical and objective critiques, and the need for professionalism when you do professional reviews (remember, the moment you exchange anything for a review, you’re a professional now!).
Enjoy and please feel free to discuss or comment below!
Okay, so we all know that it’s generally a bad idea to self-edit. When you edit your own work, it is quite easy to let your knowledge of the story and your own intentions to color the editing job. The human mind is a master of filling in the blanks and you’ll find missing words inserted, misspelled words corrected, and extraneous words edited out, all because YOU know what’s up.
Of course, the problem arises that, well, many of us out in Starving Authorland simply don’t have the cash to get professional editing, even if you have cheap sources for it (SHAMELESS PLUG INSERTED HERE). So I’m going to reveal what, to me, is the secret if you find that you must self-edit.
Let’s say you are writing an action-adventure piece, or an action piece, or really any genre that has a heavy action emphasis (from military sci-fi to a martial arts slugfest). Obviously, you would want to set a fast pace for the plot to match the fast action. The pace should be a driving force, keeping events rolling forward at break-neck speed … or should it?
We writers often like to examine real life issues through the lens of fiction, as a way of entertaining and educating at the same time. From religion to today’s topic, prejudice and persecution, there are few topics that can’t be examined through the lens of creative writing and other media. To cut to the chase then, this past weekend I saw the movie Zootopia and was struck by how it approached societal issues in such a nuanced and ‘real-feeling’ fashion. It’s something I think we writers can examine to help us approach examinations of prejudice and racism in our own works. So, yeah, SPOILERS AHEAD!