16 Query Tips From Agents

A special thank you to Jacqui Murray for this very informative advice on query tips from Agents! https://ryanlanz.com/2018/04/28/16-query-tips-from-agents/

A Writer's Path

by Jacqui Murray

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

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#interestingliterature Ernest Hemingway and The Old Man and the Sea

Robbie, I am reblogging because this post is so intriguing! I love the details and the informative review as well and thank you. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/interestingliterature-ernest-hemingway-and-the-old-man-and-the-sea

Robbie's inspiration

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Ernest Hemingway is the most famous American novelist I know. He appears on the on all the top ten author (English books) lists that I have ever read along with William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, JK Rowling and George Orwell.

The Old Man and the Sea is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. This book is a novella that was written by Hemingway in Cuba in 1951. The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and contributed to Hemingway receiving the Noble Prize in Literature in 1954. 

The Old Man and the Sea is the story of a lengthily battle between an elderly but experienced Cuban fisherman, Santiago, and a huge marlin that takes his bait. Santiago has been on an unlucky streak with his fishing when he decides to take his skiff into the Gulf Stream. His luck appears to have…

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Quotations on Imagination

This is a wonderful post. I wonder if we would have cell phones, maybe or maybe not, if it wasn’t for Star Trek. Imagination for medical breakthroughs, industry, technology and life styles are enhanced with imagination!

charles french words reading and writing

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“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”

                                                                             G. K. Chesterton

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“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”

                                                                              Ray Bradbury

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“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

                                                                             J. K. Rowling

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How to Write Better Stories

How to Write Better Stories

better stories

A few insights to help you write better stories.

You know that feeling you get when you read a novel and become completely lost in it? You can’t put it down, so you lose track of time. When you finally finish, you wish it would just keep going.

Isn’t that the kind of story you want to write?

Over the past year, I’ve read only a few books that I couldn’t put down. Unfortunately, several of the books I started to read didn’t keep my interest past the first few chapters. There was a time when I forced myself to finish every book I started, no matter how boring it was. But I don’t have time for that anymore. My book pile is big and my reading list is long, so if I’m not compelled by the time the second act gets underway, I move on and find something more intriguing.

As a reader, I’m on a perpetual quest for better stories. What does that mean for writers? 

1. The Best Fiction Sticks

I’ve been thinking about what makes some books so easy to put down and what makes others impossible to let go of. After reading The Catcher in the Rye, for example, I had the strangest feeling that Holden Caulfield was a real person. I expected him to come walking around some corner and start mumbling about the lousy week he was having. This sensation lingered for a few days, both times I read the book.

But let’s go back further. I read Charlotte’s Web when I was about six years old. Then I read it again. And again, and again. I watched the animated film over and over. No matter how many times I read the book or watched the movie, I always cried at the end. To this day, quotes from the book and scenes from the film get me choked up. It’s a story that sticks.

A few years ago, I couldn’t put down The Hunger Games. I’m a science-fiction fan, so the dystopian world intrigued me, but what really kept me glued to the page was the heroine, Katniss Everdeen. She wasn’t fearless, but she was brave, strong, and honorable.

Stories like these haunt readers, lingering in hearts and minds. These are the best kinds of stories.

2.  Writing Better Stories

If we want to write better stories, we need to read the best fiction and figure out what makes it so excellent. When I’m absorbed in a book, I always try to keep one corner of my mind focused on what the writer is doing so brilliantly to keep my full attention on the story. Some things are obvious: compelling characters, an interesting plot, realistic dialogue. Other elements of the best fiction are more elusive. Here are some observations I’ve made about how to write better stories:

3.  Give People a Reason to Read

If I get to the third chapter of a book and still don’t care about it, I’ll probably put it in the donation pile. The characters have to want something badly enough to go out there and try to get it. They must have purpose, an objective if you will. The characters’ purpose gives me a reason to read their stories. Intriguing mysteries and unanswered questions are also good reasons to keep turning pages.

4.  Don’t Bore Your Readers

Pages of description, minute details that are neither interesting nor relevant to the plot and dull scenes that have no essential function to the story will bore readers. Keep the conflicts coming and the action moving, and your readers will stay up to read your book rather than reading it to help them fall asleep.

5.  It’s the Little Things

Too much detail and description gets boring, but the right details can make an otherwise average scene extraordinary. One liners that make readers laugh, subtle (or overt) pop culture references, and symbolism that has deeper meaning keep readers stimulated.

6.  Stimulate Imagination, Provoke Thought, and Pull Heartstrings

Speaking of stimulation, it’s one of the main reasons people enjoy reading so much. Sure, lots of readers are just looking for escape and entertainment, but plenty of us want to engage our imaginations and have our intellects challenged. Get readers emotionally involved, and not only will they enjoy your book; they’ll also become loyal fans of your work.

7.  Do Something Different

Forget about trying to be completely original. I doubt that’s possible anymore. Every story is the result of stories that have come before. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put your unique stamp on the canon. Give old story premises new twists and your stories will feel fresh and invigorating.

7.  Write Smooth Sentences That Make Sense

This one is last on the list for a reason. One of the best novels I recently read did not have the best sentence structures. In fact, some paragraphs were fragmented and disjointed — not so much that I couldn’t understand what was going on, but it was jarring at times. The story was strong enough that I didn’t care that much, but this type of oversight can mean the difference between a four-star and a five-star review.

8.  How Do You Write Better Stories?

When you’re reading and writing fiction, do you think about the little things that make the difference between a mediocre story and a mesmerizing story? What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down? What was it about that book that made it so potent? How do you apply what you’ve learned as a reader to your own fiction? How can authors learn to write better stories? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment, and keep writing!

My brief thoughts about this article.

I found that number 4 Suggestion really stood out regarding my own writing. I really write way too much description about scenery, weather, scent, and backstory.  I started out in my life drawing scenes of people, nature, landscapes of all kinds and then as a clinical researcher, detail was everything. So, now that I have found a pertinent excuse, I can excuse my excesses, however, it is a lesson now learned.  Karen

Ubersuggest: An Awesome Free Keyword Tool

I just had to reblog this very helpful post about Ubersuggest! Sometimes the right word is just out of reach or unknown too. So, having quick access is so important. Thank you Nicholas and Dave! Awesome!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Ubersuggest | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookYou may remember my review of Dave Chesson’s (aka Kindlepreneur’s) KDP Rocket. KDP Rocket is by far the easiest way to find keywords for your Amazon ads, as it searches for books similar to yours (in the Also Bought department) and offers these in a handy Excel spreadsheet.

I have now discovered the perfect companion to KDP Rocket: Ubersuggest. As the name, well, suggests (Ueber being German for over or hyper), Ubersuggest is a free keyword tool that comes up with more keywords than you can shake your virtual, SEO-supercharged stick at. You can then use these keywords for your Amazon ads, your Google ads, etc.

Even better, Ubersuggest allows you to choose whether you’re focusing on images, web, or shopping (hint: you want shopping).

How To Use It

Say you want to create an Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) campaign for your children’ book. You’ve already used KDP…

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What Book Would You Read? — Revisited

Charles, I really liked this post from two years ago and it is certainly worth repeating!
https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/what-book-would-you-read-revisited/

charles french words reading and writing

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One of my best memories from summers when I was a child was of those days when I didn’t have to do anything. Work had not yet reared its head, chores were finished, and the weather was just right. It wasn’t too hot, and the humidity was low. The sky was filled with imagination-inducing legions of clouds.  On such days, I remember sitting under a tree, leaning back against it and reading a book—all day, with the exception of going in for lunch and supper. They were perfect days.

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Now, imagine something like that. For one day, you have no responsibilities, the weather is nice—75 degrees, almost no humidity, and a sky of bright blue and cumulus clouds like scattered cotton candy—and you have the time to indulge in reading a book. At your side is a container of coffee, iced tea, or whatever…

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How Authors Can Amplify Their Small Audience

Don, Thank you for posting! Who doesn’t want a larger audience? Thank you for posting! I am reblogging this on my blog!
https://howtoebook.org/2018/04/13/how-authors-can-amplify-their-small-audience/comment-page-1

How To Ebook

 

There is no such thing as a small audience.

Anytime there are eyes on you – on social media, within your newsletter list, on your blog – no matter what the number, you have something to work with.

Now, I’m not trying to be the “forever optimist” and just give you warm fuzzies about your book marketing. If you have one newsletter subscriber, you’ve got something to work with.

If you have a small audience, you’re actually in a fantastic situation.

Why?

read more https://www.mixtusmedia.com/blog/how-authors-can-amplify-their-small-audience

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