The Author Queen In You
Hey beautiful hey, it's me again bringing you some useful information on writing. Lately, my inbox has been flooded with questions on writing and publishing. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it's hard work and it takes dedication and vibrant passion. I know many people who have started to write their own book but then toss it to the side and never get back to it. Others work bit by bit on it and eventually finish while most people who contact me have finished their first book and are now eager to get their work onto local bookshelves. Yaassss!
If you've ever finished writing a book, you know the feeling I'm talking about. Writing your own book is like no other experience you've ever had. The excitement is always overflowing and the creative endorphins are exploding. When the book is near complete, the Author either abandons their work (out of frustration, fear, anxiety) or eagerly seeks the tools they need to get their work into the hands it was masterly created for...readers and book lovers alike.
If you've finished writing your book and you're on your way to getting it published and into the public hands, congratulation! You are a total rockstar.
If you've abandoned your work and you're not sure what to do next or even how to start again so you can finish writing your book, you're not alone and don't give up! Sometimes it just takes a jump start to get your creative juices flowing again and other times it just takes some inspiration. I'm here to help.
If you're at the stage where you are finished writing but you don't know what to do next, I’m here for you. I get it! You have a rough draft of an awesome manuscript and now what? Well, it's time to get it to edit, professionally typeset, cover page designed and created, a synopsis written, registered and assigned an ISBN. Most importantly, you need to figure out pricing, royalties, distribution and even copywritten. Sounds intense, I know, but that's only because you've never experience it before. It's the main reason why people just like you come to me. The actual writing of your book is the first step to the process. There are many elements to consider when publishing and distributing your book. Distribution and recognition are extremely important for increasing sales, readership and gaining notoriety. If you need help with this, contact me directly. I'd love to help you.
If you are still in the creative stage of writing your book, you'll want to read the rest of this blog.
One of the most common question I'm asked is:
How to create believable characters?
The second most common question I get asked is:
How I decide upon a title for my book?
While the answer to how I chose a book title can vary, creating a character and building on the character traits remains constant.
First, I like to start with building my character around my plot (not the other way around). Commonly, fictional books are started with a general idea on how we want the plot to playout. A general storyline is created, however the leading character is the driving force of the entire storyline. The tricky part to character creating is to develop a character unlike your own personal voice. I use a character template to map out each character trait including eye colour, hair length, personality traits, accents, schooling, degrees, specialties, hobbies, likes, dislikes etc. This process also helps when needing to reference back to the specifics of the character as your storyline unfolds.
Get out of your own head and start thinking like your protagonist. Okay, sounds super easy but in actuality, it's anything but. While creating your character, you must first become one with them. Really feel their moods, desires, quirky ways and own it! Write your character as they really are. Feel it and embrace it. Relate to their vibes, expressions, experiences and create them from their point of view. Do what an actor would do if they were playing that characters part in a film...assume the part! Really transform your thoughts into that persona and then write from the inside out.
Study people around you. It doesn't matter what you're doing in your day, there are always people around that you can watch and study. Watch how people interact with one another. Seek out dynamic, brilliant, talented, funny, creative, ambitious, quirky characteristics that you want your character to have. Study them so that you can effectively utilize the working of that character trait effectively with your character and storyline. Look for others that are unlike you. I mean, you know yourself better than anything so seek out others who are different than you. People watch whenever you can and soak in the diverse traits that people gift us with. Watch people at work, on the train, in coffee shops, at the movies, in parks, at social gathering...pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Study them and utilize their unique personalities so that your protagonist can emerge.
Put your protagonist to work! What I mean by this is that you will have to make him or her go up again an antagonist. Allow your protagonist to act and react to the situation at hand. Follow your protagonist's lead. Allow their motivation and character trait to become clear with the story. Remember, their reaction is not your reaction. Allow them to respond based on how you created them to respond. Let them become the character you created. Often this leads your story into a whole new and unexpected direction. This writing style is my ultimate favourite.
Do your research! I can't stress this enough. If your protagonist is a doctor, psychologist, artist, dancer or emergency personnel, and you're not, seek out the people who are. More than enough times, they will give you insight into what their real world looks like. The good, bad and the ugly of their job will help deliver a believable character. When I wrote my second novel Protect Me Not, it seemed like I always had my head buried into research. Not only did I have to research the job of a psychologist, I also had to perform extensive research on psychopathic behavior, mental health issues and delusional thought processes and patterns. The book itself was mentally draining to write but the outcome resulted in a superb bestseller.
Listen to the opinion of others. Normally you would never catch me ever giving you this advice when it comes to self validation however, when it comes to writing, I highly suggest you don't skip this step. It can be challenging to listen to feedback but this constructive criticism is a excellent tool. Use these unique perspectives to fill in the blanks and uncover hidden insight you might have been blind to. It's a great method to determine whether or not your protagonist is a believable character.
The last point I want to share is to dig deep when creating your characters. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Use strong language and passionate situations so that your readers can become emotionally invested. That is the secret ingredient to great writing. Capture the emotions of your reader and you will hit the jackpot every time.
Thanks for hanging out with me today. I hope you feel inspired to create.
Always with gratitude and a love for writing,
p.s. I love you!