How do you choose your next great read?

I’ve heard some people say that cover art isn’t terribly important. Oh, so wrong… at least in my opinion. My reading preference is historical fiction. I look for covers that convey the past: historical images and a strong sense of what the book is about. That’s the first step.

Next comes the title. Does it sound interesting? If yes, then I click the Look Inside button. For me, and I hadn’t really thought about this before, the title typically isn’t as important as the cover image, although sometimes the two complement each other perfectly. If the image isn’t quite so exciting, the title can still hook me — or vice versa. Maybe I lean toward the image because I’m a visual person, being a writer and an artist.

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Emotional writing

I’m on the third edit of my novel, and I’m not happy with the way I’m conveying character emotions. So, I’m going back to the drawing board and reading this book, which another blogger recommended.

Writing is an ongoing process of learning and practicing, writing and revising. My weakness these days seems to be my ability to write emotion that will draw the reader in and feel empathy or some kind of connection toward my character.

My main character is a smart, stunning, hard-working, fun-loving woman, but is too quick to give her heart away. Trauma from her childhood and a guardian grandmother who basically made her feel like an orphan in her own home, left her with many issues to deal with. How do I draw out her emotions on these things so the reader feels and understands what’s going on with my character?

I need to use emotions to convey how she moves along from the sometimes teenager-like choices and reactions—to anyone who shows any kind of affection—to a grown woman who loves herself and is deserving of love.

Stay tuned for a future article about what I learn from this exercise. What have you learned about writing emotions. If you have tips to share, feel free to share them in the comments. We’d love to hear.

Everything happens for a reason

Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.
—Marcus Aurelius

The key is to foreshadow
and create tension

As I worked through the second draft of my novel, I discovered a couple scenes for which I couldn’t answer the following question, “What is the purpose of this scene?”

I almost deleted the passage, but then I asked myself if I could give it a reason for being. As hard as it is to admit, I have difficulty deleting words I’ve taken so much time to create. Sometimes you have to, I know, but….

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11 tips to lure your reader into your story

Many blogs, books, and web articles talk about crafting that perfect line and paragraph to start your story. I envy anyone for whom the task comes easy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed mine trying to improve it. It takes a real talent, much effort, and a lot of practice to craft a flawless opener that will make your reader want to devour the remainder of your story.

Now that you can peek inside many books on Amazon to peruse the starting pages, I find myself doing so for two reasons:

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Who do you write for?

Some people will say they write only for themselves or their family. That’s great. At the other end of the spectrum, people write because they hope the world want their book. If you’re writing for “the world,” you have to understand that not everyone out there is going to read your book. Before they even open the front cover, they will choose not to read for various reasons. Here are a few:

  • They don’t care for the genre.
  • They aren’t in the mood for your premise right now, but may another day or even next year.
  • Maybe they read one of your other books and didn’t care for your writing style, so they won’t choose your current book either.
  • The price of the book was too high for their current budget.
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