The New Year will be here soon. I considered updating my 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers but it is a pretty good list so I am going to take a moment to list some of my better writing-related posts from 2016. You can check out my top publishing related posts next week.
If you want to read these posts, simply click the “read more” link next to that topic.
World Building: The Rules of Magic
When I was a child, I always thought it would be interesting to have magical powers. You could levitate a snack to you or close the door without even getting up. You could keep someone from grabbing you or perhaps start a fire with just a thought. But not once when I was thinking of these magical powers did I consider that there would be a limit to what could be done.
However, if you are writing a story, whether it is a fantasy, romance or horror, with magic in it, you need to spend some time developing a believable system of magic. Magic needs limits or consequences. Without these, whoever wields magic would win. There would be no conflict to your story or in other words, no story. And without a story, you have no readers. (Read more)
The need for a well-developed character
The difference between a well-developed character and one that is just two-dimensional or something everyone has already read about can be the difference between having a book readers enjoy and talk about and one that is put aside unfinished.
Character motivation – keeping it real and true to the character
I once wrote about my husband always asking me why a character does this or that. He can be annoying about it, but it does improve my novel. You can’t have characters do things just because you, the author, want them to. They need to be motivated by their own desires. (Read more)
4 tips on choosing a title for your novel
I am in the midst of writing my next book. And even though I am not at the stage yet where I have to decide on the title, I find myself occasionally thinking about it. This tale is about a young man and a dragon so for the longest time I just referred to it as my dragon novel. Now a turn of events within the story has me toiling with the name Blood Bond.
Picking a title for your book can be hard especially if you have developed a working title for it that you decide cannot be the actual title. (Read more)
Steps to writing a novel
While looking for new topics to write about for this blog, I did a search for the steps to writing a novel. And found that most of the steps listed were already topics that I have done. I guess after doing this for so many year this is the problem I face.
So rather than keep searching for new topics (though I am always doing that and open to suggestions), I thought I would go ahead publish the outline of what it takes to plan, write and edit a novel for publication. (Read more)
Doing your research before you write
I have often written about making your story believable. And the one way to do that is to do your research.
In the days of e-mail and the Internet, researching for novel is even easier. But as with all things found on the Internet, remember to take everything with a grain of salt and verify and re-verify any “facts” you read. (Read more)
Descriptions in fiction writing – less is more
Creating a realistic world for your reader can be challenging. Description of the setting and characters can help your reader “see” your world.
Descriptions of setting allow the reader to see where events are taking place. And descriptions of characters allow the reader to see who is involved as well as draw conclusions about the characters. Descriptions should engage the reader, draw him into the story and stir up his curiosity.
The key is to decide how much description your reader needs to see and feel your character’s world. (Read more)
5 tips for developing good writing habits
There is only one way to become a better writer, and that is with lots of practice.
Establishing good writing habits have several benefits: it allows you to write regularly, and it improves your writing (through practice).
Below is a list of essential writing habits that can benefit your writing skills. Try incorporating one of these into your routine to improve your writing. (Read more)
6 Tips to strengthen your writing
The best way to become a better writer is to simply write. And even if you have been writing for years and have numerous books under your belt, you can always improve.
You have probably already heard all the typical advice: read often, write daily, learn grammar and style and so on. Here are a few more tips to help strengthen your writing. (Read more)
It has to end sometime…Ending your novel
Recently, I read a book and instead of ending the story after the climax, the book went on and on. It was a romance novel, and the author seemed to want to keep writing about this relationship all the way through the engagement and up to the wedding. She even had an epilogue with a baby in it.
All I could think while I was reading was why is this still going on? There was no more tension in the story, and it just seemed like filler. Yes, I love the happy-ever-after of a romance novel, but once you have gotten the couple together the book needs to end shortly after that. Any extra wrap-up of a wedding or a child can be in the epilogue. (Can decide if you need an epilogue? Check out my post on that topic here.) (Read more)