I always have two or three novels on the go beside my bed. So, with that perspective, I will offer my thoughts on why novelists should hire professionals.
The Book Cover
If I love a book cover, I’ll check out the author and then the book blurb, in that order. If I don’t love the cover, I move on to the next one. I do judge a book by its cover. Having said that, if a favourite author, such as Francine Rivers, comes up with a cover I don’t like, such as her latest novel, Masterpiece, I will read it anyway. A cover that is colourful, hints at the genre, and features true-to-life people on it, draws me in and urges me to investigate further. If you want my hard-earned cash, hire a professional when designing a book cover.
What writing method do you use for short stories or novels? There are many. There’s the Skeleton Method that Angela Hunt uses (and taught us at our Fall Conference). Or there’s the Chapter Method where the story is first summarized in one or two sentences and then each chapter is summarized on index cards. The Snowflake Method, created by Randy Ingermanson, starts with a one-sentence summary, and then a paragraph summary, and then that paragraph is expanded into characters, and then into scenes and so on.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with blogs on writing. I finally had to narrow my focus. The two blogs I stick with are The Write Practice and Novel Rocket.
The Write Practice was founded in 2011 by Joe Bunting with the purpose of helping writers practice. Like he says on his blog, the professionals in every field practice.
“Because Michael Jordan practiced. Joshua Bell practices. Tiger Woods practiced. He took his first swing when he was two years old. Bill Gates practiced. Pablo Picasso practiced. He started painting when he was seven.”
Ever notice how even the most mundane reality show, such as renovating a kitchen, includes drama? It’s never as simple as knocking down a wall and installing new cabinets. Never! Tension ratchets up when asbestos – gasp – is found in the ceiling, or nob and tube wiring is discovered in the walls. Disaster! And then a commercial break delays the drama some more, enticing us to stay tuned and find out if the internal problems are fixed.
Summer brings a new set of scents, sounds, and sights, and yet with all the travelling, friends visiting, and extra responsibilities such as painting that fence or gardening, it is difficult to squeeze writing into the mix. Here are five ways I have discovered that help me stay on track in the summer: 1. Take
I have had the privilege of helping other writers through my role with InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. It is an opportunity to give back to writers who have poured their time, wisdom, and encouragement into my life. Can you take a moment to help a wannabe writer by using one of these three ideas below?
Before we get swept away in crafting an exciting plot, we need to wait! Wait until we weigh down our main character.
Susan May Warren pointed out recently in a blog post on Novel Rocket how important it is that we connect with the characters. “Plot is interesting, but not unless it is about someone we care about.”
Every story hinges on the premise, which is the idea that drives the story from beginning to end. The premise is a short blurb, often found on the back cover. The author may or may not write it out, but it is always there, at the very least in the author’s mind before and during the writing process.
How do you write a premise?
According to Joe Bunting at The Write Practice, a premise must contain three elements:
What is your favourite Christmas tradition? Decorating the tree, exchanging cards, or even the simple greeting of “Merry Christmas”? Did you ever stop to think how these ideas took hold and came to be so cherished? Storytellers have had much influence in not only restoring long lost Christmas traditions but also in totally re-inventing them. Following are two examples of authors from a myriad whose beloved characters stepped out of their simple stories and changed history.