So, You Want To Be An Author Part Six – Character Building

Donna Collins' Blog

You’ve been itching to begin writing, and are so nearly there. But, what is a story without characters? Not a very good one, I can tell you in an instant.

Now, you could be forgiven if you believe a good idea is all that’s needed to write a successful novel. After all, you may be writing an action story. What do you need character’s for? Aren’t they just well toned guys flexing their muscles while shooting up the place? Well, without believable and interesting characters, you’ll have nothing but a lifeless story. Although, if muscles are you’re thing, you may not care if there’s not story 🙂

Okay. For those that aren’t quite sure, I’ll quickly explain the difference between a plot driven story and a character driven story.

Character vs Plot

Plot Driven Story: Usually action-based. The action is what’s classed as driving the story forward. For example, Transporter, Star…

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The Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Happy Monday! Okay, last week, upon my return from Thrillerfest, we explored what I felt were the 5 top mistakes that are killing traditional publishing. Then, on Friday, we talked about how self-publishing can help writers as a whole, even traditional writers. It is a wonderful time to be a writer, but I want to make myself crystal clear.

This business is hard work. There are no shortcuts.

I Don’t Take Sides

I feel that traditional publishing has a lot to offer the industry. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t spend so much time and effort challenging them to innovate to remain competitive. Self-publishing is not a panacea, and, since I spent last week focusing on the traditional end of the industry, today we are going to talk about the top five mistakes I feel are killing self-publishing authors.

Mistake #1 Publishing Before We Are Ready

The problem…

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Building your Author Brand

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

There is a difference between book branding and author branding. Book branding means that everything you do online will encompass your books. They will remember the name of the books over who wrote them. If you step outside your book branding with a new series or genre of books, you better have a pen name for those books because people will be upset if they are too different from your book brand.

Now, if you build your brand around you, this means making a name for yourself in the reading world. Yes, you heard me right, reading world. Why not the publishing world? Because not all of us have to answer to publishers and their impossible dictates. Some of us only have to answer to our muses, ourselves, and sometimes our readers. Although the opinions of readers are rather subjective to tastes, so that doesn’t always work.

An author brand…

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“Misery”: A Good Lesson for Writers

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

I’m going to admit that though I’d seen parts of the movie “Misery” and knew what happened in it, I never sat down and watched the entire thing until a week ago.  I’ve since watched it three times.  Stephen King really is a master of suspense.  He makes you wonder what will happen next.  But since Stephen King wrote the book that inspired the movie and since he’s a popular author, I imagine he might have felt some of the author’s angst while he wrote the book.  As an author, I can relate, and I think other authors can relate to this stuff, too.  Here’s what I mean…

1.  “I’m your number 1 fan.”

At first in the movie, this seems like such a sweet sentiment.  The smiling and seemingly helpless woman who rescues the author comes off as the ideal person to nurse him back to health.  Except, she’s…

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When Your Fans Want You to Write the Book But You Don’t

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

This is a hard one.   No one wants to disappoint one of their readers, especially readers who’ve stuck with you through all of your books.  But let’s say there was a secondary character that some people want a book for or a continuation of a series that you feel is complete.  Then what?  As easy as it is to say, “Write what you want,” it’s really not that easy.  The problem is that  you want to please your fans.  You want to give them what they want.

But you usually run into these roadblocks:

1. You feel the series is complete.

You know how readers get disappointed when the series stops being interesting so they go on forums and reviews to express their discontent?  Usually, you’ll see this with traditionally published books because those authors signed a contract saying they would write X number of books, and the publisher…

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Be a Storyteller First

Another great post by Ruth Ann Nordin. Best advice ever.

Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

It seems to me that there’s so much focus on things that truly do not matter to writing a book.  Authors squabble over passive vs. active voice, whether it’s okay to use adverbs or not, how often you can write a certain word in a scene, etc.  In my opinion, all those little details aren’t that important.  Passive voice is okay.  Adverbs are okay.  If you want to repeat the word “walk” in a scene, that’s okay, too.  The point is not whether you use these techniques or not.  It’s HOW you use them.

The bottom line with any book is the story.  Was it a story that compelled the reader to keep turning the page?  Was it a story that made the reader lose sleep because he/she had to keep reading?

You want to know who cares about these things?  Writers (aspiring or otherwise), editors, and others in the…

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