One of my great pleasures in life is reading, but guilt sneaks in whenever I sit down to imbibe in a gluttony of chapters. “A waste of time,” whispers the little voice in my head. “You must vacuum, dust, write something, or cook a meal … anything but read.” Such lies must be refuted instantly.
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.
No Limits or Know Limits? We can’t all be good at everything – no matter how much we wish it were true. Knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses is the first step toward success no matter what the situation, but never more so than for those hoping to ‘make it’ as an independent author. Putting
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.
Planning for Productivity
I love sitting down periodically with a calendar, day planner, and a lengthy list of projects, chores, and dreams. For me, making the plan is half the fun! The key to success, however, is not allowing stress about failed resolutions derail my plan altogether. When I see that something isn’t working out, or when I choose to fritter away my time, (it happens!) I make adjustments and carry on. My goals are in an ever-changing state of ‘flex’. However, I believe having a plan is the first necessary step in sustaining productivity.
We all have fears and insecurities as writers. If we don’t, we may be in denial. I created a list of my five top writing fears. Yours may differ in the order or the content, but you may also find some that match.
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
The Soup of Writing “So it’s writing time again,” I tell myself. I’ve been whispering it for weeks now. Today I shout it. Nobody is listening and that includes me. Surely I am not alone. Surely one or two of you have experienced the dreaded dry spell of summer and perhaps even fall and winter.
I have loved the written word as long as I knew it existed. One of my favourite early memories is of accompanying my mother to the grocery store and reading as many Little Golden Books as possible while she paid for her purchases. Yes, in those days ,children’s books were displayed next to the checkout line. If I was lucky, Mom would agree to buy me a book and I’d choose one I hadn’t yet perused.