Crescent moon with Venus
Taken at dawn this morning... pretty humbling.
Read about it here
Where it all began!
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Growing as a writer
As I mentioned in my last post, reading a wide variety of material does help you grow as a writer.
I was reading an article in Psychology Today about the things that happen in our sub conscious when we read.
I thought about how these different processes can be used to improve our writing and ultimately create a great novel. When I first started writing, I never considered my audience, but this was a huge mistake because if your reader can't connect on some level, they will give up on your book.
Pamuk says when we read we seek out the meaning of the story, so does your book have one central idea and theme, that initial hook to get them interested in the first place?
The transformation of words to images... have you built up enough descriptive text so your readers can picture your setting and characters and place themselves in your novel's world?
When you've experienced something, it is so much easier to write about because you've been there and know exactly how it feels and how you reacted, but that doesn't mean you can't touch on subjects that are new to you. If you research and interview enough, you have the potential to capture the moment so that the reader will wonder if it's real experience or just imagination...
However, make sure your scenes are realistic to your genre.
You have to love your text and put the time into editing and revising because then you will piece together a powerful narrative that your audience will love too. People who read are always looking for that next amazing book that really moves them.
Create believable characters. As readers, we are judging them, loving them, hating them, feeling sorry for them, willing them and questioning them.
As a writer, keep track of your storyline. A well written novel will connect the dots for the reader into a well rounded plot.
Bring all of these things together to write a satisfying story and do yourself justice.
New project and Goodreads
I've finally joined Goodreads after all of this time and I've set myself a challenge to read twelve books this year. Yep, one a month! Reading a wide variety of work does make you a better writer, so I'm very positive about my pledge.
Also, I'm finally bringing together old material and writing new bonus material for an eBook I hope to go live with in the Spring entitled Getting Ready to Freelance and Write. This will be a guide to laying the foundations to give you the best chance of turning your writing hobby into a serious writing business.
The key to self promotion
Some people can talk about themselves and what they do all day long, whilst others struggle to articulate their belief in themselves and their work. There's also a vast difference between shameless self promotion verses the ability to enthuse about your work and experiences, make people laugh and enrich their life with your tales. I know what side of the coin I'd like to fall on.
In the self publishing world, self promoting is not about forcing an audience to like you and your book. You shouldn't be constantly tweeting "Buy my book" and spamming people through the various social media channels. This kind of bombardment doesn't do you justice and it certainly doesn't add any value to your brand. A few sales may result, but most people will delete you to avoid the spam. We all know the social media code of conduct and not respecting it shows that you don't respect yourself, your fellow writers, or your audience.
Effective self promotion is about real belief in your book and yourself as a brand and pointing out the value of your knowledge and experience. It's a willingness to share, not bombard. This isn't easy with fiction as there are millions of stories, which is why a lot of wannabe writers (like myself) also have non-fiction blogs where we share our publishing experiences and offer advice on our specialist subjects. First you have to establish trust with your potential readers, then they become interested in your style, content, personality - and finally if they really like you and your work, they are more inclined to buy at this point.
Shameless self promoters only show up their chasm of ignorance - that they haven't bothered to do their market research, which could translate as they don't care who their readers are.
If self promotion doesn't come easy to you, just remember you are offering something of value to your audience. You don't have to hard sell anything!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.