Self-editing masterclass snapshots: Characters are grief stricken – how do I stop that becoming monotonous?

Roz knows how to Nail Your Novel

Nail Your Novel

guardgrief-stricken characterI’m running a series of the smartest questions from my recent Guardian self-editing masterclass for novelists. Previous posts have discussed how much extra material we might write that never makes the final wordcount, and how to flesh out a draft that’s too short. Today I’m looking at an interesting problem of pacing:

Characters are grief stricken – how do I stop that becoming monotonous?

One student had a story in which the characters are coping with the death of a close family member. How, she said, could she keep the new developments coming, as the grief process would take many months?

We’d been talking about pacing the story, and how it was crucial to be aware of change. Each scene should present the reader with something new, to keep the sense that the narrative is moving on. That change could be big or small – a major twist…

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What Comes After “Book”

From the pen of my friend Linda Yezak.

Linda W. Yezak

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It seems to take an eternity to go from dream to book. I have ideas that float around in my head and never seem to navigate as far as the page, even to sketch the primary components. Others sit in loose outline form in a file on my computer, and still others, few though they are, have made it to Amazon.

For me, the hard part truly begins once the book is out there. You look at this picture, this meme, this almost-accurate graphic, and you see “Book” sitting on an iceberg, and although the reader boat is in the vicinity, it’s heading the wrong way. Smart sailing. No boat wants to collide with an iceberg. Somehow, you have to change the image to that of a welcoming tropical island. After all, islands go just as deep.

Folks who are great at marketing know how to make their books appeal…

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The Missing Piece – What Most Antagonists Are Lacking

Some important thoughts to consider when creating your antagonist,

Story Life

Every reader loves a good villain, and most writers love them too.  If you rack your brain about some of the most memorable characters in books, movies, and on TV, I’d bet more than a few villains pop up.

I personally find antagonists fascinating.  Sometimes I find them even more fascinating than many heroes out there, and it’s difficult for me to take my attention and shift it back where it belongs (and before you say I should make my villain my main character, I’ve already done that a few times.  Great minds think alike!).

What’s interesting, though, is that when creating antagonists, more than a few writers forget the most important part.

A good antagonist isn’t necessarily just a villain at large in your story world – sometimes he or she isn’t even a bad person at all.  The most important thing to remember about your antagonist is that they are…

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Attacked!

Never take the safety of your computer for granted. Back it up, back it up, back it ALL up. There are many free services to back up your data securely in the cloud. Lots of people use Dropbox or OneDrive. I use Google Drive. There are also free backup services like MozyHome (I use and recommend them). Be safe.

Linda W. Yezak

trojan horse

Guess who fell under attack this week? I tell ya–there’s nothing worse.

I was working and had to do a quick look-up on a website I’d just used earlier, but I put in .org instead of .com, and wham! I got notification that I’d been hit by a horse. It froze Google Chrome entirely. I couldn’t switch tabs, couldn’t shut down the alert, couldn’t close out the window. I opened another window, and it worked for a few minutes before the horse climbed into that stall too. Then I shut down the entire system. Turned off the computer and tried to go again.

What a nightmare.

My experience proves the importance of backing up your files on something other than your computer. If I’d limited myself to HP’s backup system, I would’ve lost everything.

It was horrible! The virus took over the system to the extent that it shut down…

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Self-Publishing: How to Choose What’s Right, pt. 2

Faith Blum

Sel-Publishing Post 4

Today’s Self-Publishing post is part 2 of 3 in the “How to Choose What’s Right” posts. Today I will concentrate on editing and proofreading, as well as a few marketing tips I have learned. As always, feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them.

Editing and Proofreading-What’s the difference?

When I first got into publishing I thought that editing and proofreading were pretty much the same. Then I heard other terms being bandied about: Line editing, copy editing, content editing, and proofreading. So, what is the difference and why are some more expensive than others?

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Self-Publishing: How to Choose What’s Right, pt. 1

From my friend, Faith Blum.

Faith Blum

Sel-Publishing Post 3Today is the third post in my Self-Publishing blog series. If you missed the first two posts find them here and here. Today’s post is the first part of three discussions on what to pay for and what to do for yourself.

How to Choose What’s Right pt. 1

AKA: What to do for yourself and what to pay for?

ISBN numbers- free or paid? For ebook only people, this is irrelevant since ebooks have ASIN numbers rather than ISBN numbers. However, if you do a hard copy of your book, you will need to have an ISBN number. Createspace (Amazon’s affiliate for self-publishing your hard copies) offers a free Createspace assigned ISBN. This is personally what I have used for each of mine. You can also choose Createspace’s $10 Custom ISBN option which allows you to use your imprint name. If you want to have yourself listed as…

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