Top 10 Reasons You May Hate Marketing And What You Can Do About It by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelists

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If I weren’t a writer and mother of five, I’d go into psychology or social work and listen to people.

Oh, I know it’s not all fun and games, like what I saw on The Bob Newhart show in the ’70’s, and from what I understand there’s a whole lotta of schoolin’ to go to, but I like thinking about what people are thinking about. It just could be fun!

psychology writing fear marketing sales ebooks self-publishing
This totally dates me. But I used to watch The Bob Newhart show on Saturday nights in the 1970s. It was the same night as Mary Tyler Moore and The Carol Burnett Show. Among other things, Bob Newhart played straight comedy against his kooky patients. I’d totally do that job if that’s all I had to do.

(And if you really love good situation comedy, click here to watch the pilot episode of The Bob Newhart Show.) 

Until I decide to take the plunge and become a shrink, I’ll satisfy myself with addressing the problem that some writers have:

The Reasons They Hate Marketing.

You poor, poor writers. You pour your heart and soul into your books. You create these magical worlds, these vibrant, three dimensional characters, these intricate plots, these thrilling stories that culminate in an figurative or literal explosion of action and dialogue that leaves your readers breathless, weepy and ready to plunk down more dough for the next installment.

Fabio: "Reading is so stimulating!" Damsel: "I was totally thinking reading. Yes! Reading!"
Fabio: “Reading is so stimulating!” Damsel: “I was totally thinking reading. Yes! Reading!”

Sadly, if we are to have readers, we have to go find them, convince them that our stories are worth spending money on and do it in somewhat civilized way.

The truth? We’d rather not. We’d rather hide behind our computer screens and only have the kinds of relationships that require us to type words.

I’d like to think, (I’m qualified to do this because I pretend to be a TV psychologist) that there’s more to our nervousness about marketing that we don’t like it. 

I’d like to suggest that there are real fears and anxieties here. And if that is the case, it’s going to take some doing to overcome them.

Top 10 Reasons You May Hate Marketing And What You Can Do About It by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelists

 

1. You’re not sure that you’re  good.

A lack of confidence is normal. Every author goes through that. How To Overcome: Hire a professional editor. Join a critique group through Scribofile.  Get a writing buddy on our Facebook group. Then, ask them for their honest feedback and then weigh what they say carefully. Improve where you need to but believe them when they say it’s good.

2. You have a creepy association with salesmen.

We all have creepy association with salesmen. Salesmen have a bad rap. They’re known for being slimy, smarmy and untrustworthy. How To Overcome: Just because others are bad sellers doesn’t mean you have to be. Remind yourself that your work is good, it’s worth buying and you have no ulterior motives. Be authentic with all your relationships and you’ll find selling to be easier.

3. You’ve seen the numbers and they’re not encouraging.

Millions and millions have books have been published in many different formats through many different types of publishers and platforms. It’s true that your little bitty book really isn’t much compared to them all. It’s enough to be very discouraged. How To Overcome: Have low expectations. Gain one reader at a time. Be content with small beginnings.

4. You’re  a little bit embarrassed that you are asking for money to do something you love.

How To Overcome: Change your thinking. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being paid for your hard work. You deserve something of value in exchange for the hard work you’ve put into it. You have talent, you’ve shared it with the world, now receive your compensation. The world operates like this and generosity will certainly open doors for you, you should never apologize for finishing the end of the transaction. This TED video explained to me so beautifully the art of asking. Amanda Palmer made me happy to give up my fear of asking.

asking Amanda Palmer marketing selling ebooks publlishing
Click the image to go right to the Ted link for this video.

5. You have haters.

We all have haters. That’s the beauty and the problem with art: what’s beautiful to some is repulsive to others. What to do: Thicken your skin a little and make your art the best it can possibly be. Then read all of these accounts of writers who were rejected and lambasted in reviews. Then, go back and read the good things your real fans have to say. There are more people in the world who would agree with them. Wouldn’t it be fun to find them?

6. You’ve failed before.

All of us have failed. We’ve failed from the first time we tried to walk, or read or even say coherent sentences. Our failure shouldn’t define us, it should just make us more human. What to do: Make a list of all the ways in which you are successful (if you need help, ask someone close to you). Practice saying positive things to yourself.  Try new strategies or approaches or take active steps to learn what you’re doing wrong that will make you more successful as you market.

7. You don’t want to be one of those pushy writers.

Some writers still haven’t got the message: hard sells get you nowhere. What to do: Don’t follow their example! Instead build relationships, ask questions, engage with people in an authentic way so that they want to buy what you’re selling. You never, ever have to be a slimy salesman.

selling books ebooks marketing hard sell

8. You’re not sure what you want.

What to do: Answer this: What does success look like to you? Is it thousands of books sold? Is it entertaining your friends and family? Think long and hard about what you want your sales goals to be and then take concrete steps to get there. Once you are on the path to your own desires, you may even find that marketing can be fun.

9. You’re not sure about the learning curve.

What to do: Have low expectations. Yup, it’s intimidating to think that once you write a book you still have to learn how to edit, publish, format, and design it. Then, once it’s available, you have to learn Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, Canva, Tumblr, Periscope, Snapchat or whatever social media platform people are telling you that you need to sell your book. Instead of freaking out about all of it, outsource what you can and only concentrate on one or two social media platforms that you’re the most comfortable with. And go slowly. There’s no rush. If this is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

10. You just don’t like people.

What to do: Fake it till you make it. One of the reasons why you’re holed up in your office with your coffee, cigarettes, holey sweater and numerous cats is because the world that you create on your own terms is a lot nicer than reality. I get that. In our stories, the good guy wins, the homely girl finds love and everyone vacations in the Maldives. But honestly? The best marketing you’re going to do is going to come out of relationships and connections. You’re going to have to put on your big writer panties, go out into the world, either IRL or online, introduce yourself and be nice. Even if it’s not sincere. Even if all you know to talk about is coffee, cigarettes and cats. Do it. Everything about your life will be better with friends.

Or maybe your issues are deeper than Bob Newhart can handle in a 22 minute episode.

If they are, that’s okay.

But please know that lots of writers have to buck up their courage to market their books. This fear of putting yourself out there is pretty common. Consider joining a writing group (like all the sweet folks at 10 Minute Novelists) where you can find encouragement, tips and community. And they might just help you with your big issues.

And let me know if any of this helps.

I’ll make sure to send you a bill.

marketing sales books publishing fiction Twitter
It’s Mommy issues. Definitely.

 

Top 10 Things I Do On A Daily Basis That Make Me More Productive by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

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I am NOT perfect. I make a LOT of mistakes, but one of the biggest things I did right was decide that I would make time for my dreams.

(I wrote a book about it too! Look over there on the right!) 

I realized that if I was going to actually write in 10 minute increments, I would have to organize my life. Now, I’ve been doing this 10 Minute Writer/Novelists gig for nine years, so I’ve streamlined my procedures pretty well (and THANK GOD, my kids are older!)

But I still have 10 Things I think about on a daily basis that makes my organization and productivity possible.

Top 10 Things I Think About On A Daily Basis That Make Me More Productive by Katharine Grubb

 

1. I know where everything is.  I minimize clutter, assign places for everything and have no trouble throwing things away. Need help with this? Check these top ten blogs for organizing! 

2. I have a plan every day. Most of the time I keep it in my head — but I also write lists and keep a calendar. I’ve also discovered that daily schedules have to be flexible, especially as my family’s needs change. Passion Planner has the coolest free stuff for people who want to keep lists too! 

3. I know how long each task should take me. I figured this out when I was devoting my housework to 10 minute increments. Ten minute tasks include: starting a load of laundry, folding one basket of clothes, starting  meal prep, cleaning the bathroom, emptying the dishwasher, emptying all trash bins, vacuuming one floor of the house. Having this information helps my plan my day. I owe one person for this method. I love you, Flylady! 

4. I communicate my time needs to my family. I started training my children when they were young that I would need 10 minute increments to work. Generally speaking, they understood it. Now that they’re older, they have no trouble respecting my need for some alone time. Need a list from a great resource? Try this! 

5. I model good attitudes to my children regarding staying organized. This is the most important item on the list. If I whine and complain about anything I do, my children will, most assuredly echo me. If I want them to be happy cleaner-uppers, then I need to whistle while I work. It’s cheesy, but it works. Need a song? Try these! 

6. I set a lot of timers. Thank you Apple! My iPhone has what I need: alarms, timers, and world clocks to tell me if my friends in the UK are up to talk! Oh, I kid. I’ve now graduated from my microwave timer to my phone, which is better because my microwave didn’t fit in my pocket. How about this one? 

Great gifts for writers
Mug says, “In the time it takes to drink this coffee, you could have written 300 words.”

7. I plan my meals in advance. Generally speaking, I know what we’re going to eat every meal of the week. I also cook the same things every weekend. I love to be creative in the kitchen, but the “old standbys” go faster. I have a couple dozen recipes that I always have ingredients for and I’ve practiced cooking them so often, that I’m pretty fast at it. I also couldn’t function without my crock pot and rice cooker. Wanna go a little crazy? Try once a month cooking! 

8. I don’t waste time shopping or doing other errands. I keep orderly lists and go out as little as possible, combining as many errands as I can. If an item didn’t make the list, then it has to wait a week. It’s brutal, but that’s why we buy four gallons of milk at a time. I use this app to create my lists. 

9. I multitask if possible. I use down time to get stuff done, but I also understand when multi-tasking isn’t such a great plan. Like for all of these reasons. 

10. I delegate household tasks. This is my secret weapon. My kids have always had a lot of responsibility around the house and the older they get, the more jobs are given to them. Some people think having five children is hard work, are you kidding me? Because I do have five, I have an army that cleans the house every Saturday morning, tidies every afternoon and cleans the kitchen twice a day. How do small families do it?

 

All of these took practice, but none of them were too difficult. If you’re  new to the idea of working in 10 minute increments (and perhaps a little intimidated) pick one of the things on this list and practice it for a few weeks until you gain confidence. Then pick up the other one.

know you can find time to pursue your dreams.  Even in as little as 10 Minutes a Day!

Top 10 Things You Can Do When You Are Stuck, Either Literally or Figuratively

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You’re stuck.

This post is exactly what you need, assuming you’re not so stuck that you can’t read a screen.

If you’re stuck figuratively in the writing of your novel and you need a clue on what to do next, this list is for you.

If you are stuck literally: you have gum in your hair, you’re dealing with Super Glue or you’ve driven into a ditch, I can help you there too.

I’ve got all kinds of unstuck solutions for you below. Why do this? Because bouncing back and forth between the literal and the figurative isn’t the least bit weird. 

Top 10 Things You Can Do When You Are Stuck, Either Figuratively or Literally

 

Figurative Stuck Tip #1:

Go back and remember the requirements of your genre.  So this is a romance? You need a misunderstanding. This is fantasy? There’s something magical in his pocket and he doesn’t know how it got there. This is science fiction? You just lost all your oxygen. Do something, fast, or everyone is dead! This is Young Adult? You’ve either been inspired by your favorite poet, you’ve written bad poetry that you want to share, you have to write a book report about a poet or your Emo sister thinks she’s Emily Dickinson. This is a mystery? Oh, someone needs to drop dead. Right here. Under mysterious circumstances. Even if it’s a red herring, do it anyway. My point is that sometimes we get too close to stories and we forget what we are trying to accomplish. If you go back to the “rules” you may be inspired.

Literal Stuck Tip #1:

If you get gum in your hair, rub it with coconut oil and then comb it out. Or you can try these other options from WikiHow.

Figurative Stuck Tip #2:

Have your character take a rest. Pull back a little. Let the main character sit down and eat or sleep or rest and rethink all of what their up to. Remind the reader the mission that’s at stake. Why? If you have a lot of drama, action or intense scenes, your main character needs a breather unless his name is Jack Bauer. He needs to process all the action and so does your reader. You can always cut this later, but you may find that this helps you see the big picture and give you an idea on what to do next.

Literal Stuck Tip #2:

Your crazy aunt has gotten into the Krazy Glue again, hasn’t she? When will you learn to keep it out of her reach? When will you learn how to unstick her fingers? The good folks at Krazy Glue have answers. Here’s a tip, don’t let the person with Krazy Glue on their fingers have access to the computer’s mouse.

Figurative Stuck Tip #3:  

You may need a good tornado to shake things up a bit in your story. Not seasonal? Not the right part of the country? Then an earthquake! A hurricane! A blizzard! A freak thunderstorm! And with every natural disaster you could have power outages, flash floods, injuries and deaths! Never underestimate the power of the earth to cause some great drama for your story!

Literal Stuck Tip #3:

Allstate Insurance apparently has had a few calls about this. So many that they apparently had to write a blog post about how to get your truck out of the mud. I suppose that’s helpful of them, but maybe you shouldn’t be driving in the mud to begin with? Oh, I get it. The flash flood from the previous paragraph did this! I swear this list is getting very dramatic!

Figurative Stuck Tip #4: 

Bring in your antagonist’s antagonist. Someone is out to get your bad guy. He’s a bad guy, he’s made an enemy or three, right? Your bad guy owes someone money. Your bad guy or gal is connected romantically with the wrong flirt. Your bad guy or gal is getting a little too big for his britches among the powers that be. This is a force that can stir up some interesting trouble in your story and maybe can be used for your protagonists advantage.

Literal Stuck Tip #4:

Let’s say you’re out camping and you wake up in the middle of the night needing to um, shake the dew off the lilies. But you can’t get your tent zipper open! It’s stuck! Perhaps in your camping gear, you packed any of these nine household items that can unstick a zipper. But keep in mind, that stuck zipper could be all that’s between you and bears. You may want to leave it stuck.

 

Figurative Stuck Tip #5: 

A innocent needs help and needs it right now, like say, she needs to tinkle and can’t get out of her tent. How better to demonstrate the virtue and goodness of your protagonist (and make him interesting and likable to your reader) than to put in in the way of someone who really needs help?  A small child. An unwed mother. A hurt puppy. Have your main character stop everything, because they have that streak of goodness in them, and possibly WD40, and help them. And in the middle of the helping of them, they realize the clock is ticking or opportunity is missed, or they dropped their gun or THEY SAW A BEAR something happens that will keep them from accomplishing their ultimate goal. They need to not only be delayed but also regret, even for just a minute, thinking about someone else when they needed to care for themselves.

Literal Stuck Tip #5:

You find it hard to swallow. I’m not talking about this literal/figurative list, I’m talking about actual food. This is a video that demonstrates how to administer the heimlich maneuver. People, slow down. Chew your food thoroughly!

Figurative Stuck Tip #6: 

Someone from your main character’s past shows up. The ex girlfriend/boyfriend, the one that he thought he was going to marry, shows up and has a really good reason to talk to our main character. Maybe she misses him. Maybe she’s changing her mind. Maybe she’s really a psycho who just likes toying with him. It almost doesn’t matter what genre you write, everyone has a past. Use it to mess up your character’s plans!

Literal Stuck Tip #6:

As a homeschooling mother of five, I have a lot of quick fixes to big problems. I’ve divided a candy bar into fifths and had five content children. I’ve explained all they needed to know about the facts of life, in a whisper, during a church service, in 7.5 seconds. I can make dinner for my large family in 15 minutes if everyone is out of my way, but I’m no MacGyver. You could do a lot worse in your literal stuckness than if you read this book and be prepared for anything. 

Figurative Stuck Tip #7: 

Your sidekick has second thoughts. Up until this point, your sidekick has been the person that your main character has depended on to keep going.  Kind of like Pete Thornton or Jack Dalton or Murdoc. Kinda.  But now the sidekick should get kicked to the side. Forget MacGyver, let’s think Hobbits! You know how in The Return of the King when Gollum tries to make it look like Sam at all the lambas bread and then lied about it? Frodo, understandably because he was a complete basket case at that point, kicks Sam to the curb and is willing to go on without him. Sam’s explanation is harder to swallow than lambas bread. And neither of them appear to know the heimlich maneuver. Of course, if this hadn’t happened, then Sam wouldn’t have been able to save Frodo’s sorry butt yet again, but this little bit of drama was awful. Can you set up a situation like that where your sidekick either disagrees with your main character, or speaks the truth when it’s not welcome or sees something your main character doesn’t see? This will add to your conflict beautifully, especially when sidekick comes up just at the right moment and saves the day.

Literal Stuck Tip #7.

If you are ever out fighting a Ringwraithe and you get stabbed by sorta dead king, it’s great to have an elf on your side to race you to Rivendell. And Kingsfoil. That helps too. I bet Arwen knows the heimlich maneuver just fine.  Yes, I realize that my literal stuck tips are getting kinda figurative. Here’s another tip: When you don’t know what to write about, throw in a hurt hobbit. 

Figurative Stuck Tip #8.

What is your story’s big finish going to look like? We all know that the big climactic moment is the doorway in which Act Two moves into Act Three, and you may or may not know what you have to do to get there. Why don’t you mentally jump ahead and list a few necessities. Like, what kind of trap will your hero have to be in? What kind of mutually exclusive choices will he have? What pressures will he have? What will the antagonist have at that moment to make life miserable? How can you get our hero out, without it making look too easy? Once you’ve answered these questions, work backward. (Here’s a hint: your reader has no idea in what order you wrote your scenes in!)

Literal Stuck Tip #8:

I’m a mother of five. That means that at some point, I had five toddlers. Sometimes more than one at a time. So when I say that you really need to know how to unstick a clogged toilet, I know what I’m talking about. This video can show you more. This is a serious life skill. I wonder what MacGyver has to say about this?

Figurative Stuck Tip #9:

Think Third Act. Even if you don’t have your climactic moment all sculpted out, ask yourself what do you want to accomplish? Every good ending is a permanent one that makes sense to the reader. What do you want your ending to be? If you can write out in a paragraph what you want from the ending, then you can think backward from this point too and try to see the steps necessary to put your protagonist in that situation. Your antagonist needs to be foiled. How will you foil him?

Literal Stuck Tip #9:

 Here’s a bunch of photos of unusual things stuck in unusual places. I have no idea how they got them unstuck, but I tell you what, this could be a great way to unstick your story.

Figurative Stuck Tip #10: 

In a couple hundred words or so, tell the story from the point of view of another character. This may give you fresh insight into the conflicts. It may reveal a misunderstanding or hidden motive. It may clarify something that’s been bugging you.

And the last Literal Stuck Tip #10:

All I need to say here is Don’t Do This. Any of this.

Being stuck can be state of mind. It can also be an issue of physics. Regardless of whether or not your stuckness is figurative or literal, your story may be helped one way or another with these tips.

What do you when you’re stuck? And please, this is a family friendly site. Thank you for not telling me everything.  

Making Your Author Platform Work for You — A Guest Post by Rachelle M. N. Shaw

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By Rachelle M. N. Shaw

In such a highly competitive world of publishing, it’s no surprise that author platforms have taken center stage and become the foundation for any writer’s success.

But who has time to keep up with all the Tweets, Pins, and Instagram posts needed to do so? The truth is, successful authors don’t. They pick the top few social media sites that fit their style and their audience, and they roll with it.

By Making Your Author Platform Work for You --

What an Author Platform Should Do

  • Provide original content fitting of your audience through a well-designed blog or website
  • Become a place where you regularly engage with your followers; this doesn’t mean you sit back and let autoreply do all the work
  • Teach readers about yourself or your writing process
  • Allow readers to connect with you and follow you on various social media
  • Build your credibility as an author
  • Act as a landing site for media and for readers seeking events that you’re hosting; it’s a good idea to include a press release, a bio, and a professional photograph of yourself in at least one place
  • Tastefully link to your books, including where to buy them

Keep in mind that even though your platform is about you as an author, its main focus should always be on your readers and what you can provide them.

Think of it as a job interview—you want to show off your skills while marketing yourself as a prime candidate for the position.

What an Author Platform Shouldn’t Do

  • Spam readers with promotions for other authors—if you want a creative way to spotlight other authors on your website or blog, try author interviews; they’re a fun and easy way to build connections
  • Contain nothing but reblogs from other sites (it’s okay to share some of these too, but the majority of your posts should be ORIGINAL content)
  • Use completely automated responses
  • Be information based only (readers need a way to connect with you personally; a newsletter or blog is a great way to achieve this)
  • Ignore rules regarding grammar, punctuation, and spelling—this will sink your credibility faster than a one-star review
  • Feature a bathroom photo of yourself or one you took while out drinking with your buddies
  • Spam readers with promotional content for your own books (keep it to a minimum with a blurb or tagline and links for buying your books; you can also put your information about your books on a separate, clearly marked page)

Choosing Social Media that Is Right for You

The most important thing to sort out when it comes to choosing which social media you want to use is which ones will cater best to your audience. For me, though I write both YA fiction and general nonfiction about the craft of writing, the age for my target audience for the two overlaps the most for readers between the ages of fourteen and twenty-nine. For that reason, sites like WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are my main areas of reach. However, six social media sites still proved to be too many to invest my time in. So I opted to keep things simple and to go with the sites that worked best for me in terms of audience and comfort level: the blog on my website (a WordPress substitute that actually works better since it leads followers directly to my own website), Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Through active engagement and regular original content, I’ve been able to build a relationship with my readers on those sites, and my author platform has grown because of it.

The secret to building a successful author platform is this: you don’t have to reach every virtual corner of the Internet to do so.

You just need to delve into those media where you’re mostly likely to reach your target audience and provide them with solid content that they can’t resist.


Rachelle M. N. ShawAn avid reader who has an incurable need to research everything she comes across, Rachelle is an author of paranormal, horror, and writing craft books. Since scribbling down her first story at the age of eight, her love for language and books has blossomed into a full-time career. She currently works as an independent editor and author while being a stay-at-home mom to her children and two rather persnickety cats. When she’s not baking cupcakes or playing in the snow, you can catch her blogging, tweeting, or plotting her next series. Her e-book, The Eyes That Moved, was released in May 2015. It is the first in her three-part paranormal horror series The Porcelain Souls. Part two is slated for release in the spring of 2016.

Rachelle also has two solo short stories and the first in a four-book series about the craft of writing fiction in the works. 

Website: http://rachellemnshaw.com/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rmnsediting 

Tumblr: http://fmtpextended.tumblr.com/ 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rmnsauthor/ 

 Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachelle-M.-N.-Shaw/e/B00X8D3LSY/

Top 10 Writers Conference Substitutes For The Poor & Xenophobic

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If you’re a writer of any artistic credibility at all, then you have no money and you’re kind of afraid of people.

But don’t let either of those things stop you from becoming the best writer you can be.

The internet is full of free (and many not-so-free) writers resources that can help you become really awesome. Most of them have  the added bonus of not actually having to create small talk, bathe or find clothing that isn’t a moth-eaten sweater. For us financially strapped xenophobes out there, this is a win-win.

Top 10 Writers Conference Substitutes For The Poor and Xenophobic by Katharine Grubb 10 Minute Novelist

1. The Actual Conference 

A conference is an event, usually at a hotel, where a bunch of strangers meet in stuffy or inexplicably cold rooms, listen to a monotonous, overrated speaker read Power Point slides verbatim while the attendees struggle to stay awake. Are you sure you don’t want to scrape up enough money to go? How about these options instead? If you want to feel at home, mess with your home’s thermostat to make it as uncomfortable as possible.

What’s free:  The Muse Online Writer’s Conference  or the San Francisco Writers Conference

What’s not so free: The Backspace Writers Conference

2. Celebrity Authors Who Talk About Writing

Sometimes conferences have big name writers come and talk about their experiences. And then at the back table, when you’re standing in line to get their book signed, you get all tongue tied and forget how to spell your name for the inscription. Never fear, you can see these writers online and you lower the risk of fangirling significantly.

What’s free:  Anne Rice on YouTube, Susan Conley at TedTalks, Rick Riordan,  And all of these Ted Talk videos that are really cool. Need more? Do a search on YouTube for “Authors Talk About Writing” and you will be amazed at what you find.

What’s not so free: James Patterson Teaches Writing

3. General Fiction Writing Tips and Strategies

At a writer’s conference, often they have instructive sessions that go over the ins and outs of writing. If you’re lucky, they aren’t immediately after lunch, because then you’re fighting to stay awake. How about this? Go to these links for similar instruction and if you get sleepy, just put your head down on your desk. No one will know!

What’s free: Start here: Inside Creative Writing, episode one from Florida State University, Then, you can YouTube search: fiction writing.  You will find DOZENS of videos to watch. Watch them all!

What’s not so free: Gotham Writers Online Writing Classes

4. Ideas For Marketing

Sometimes at conferences, they have marketing experts come in and help authors with their platform and sales ideas. Who doesn’t want to sell more books? The more books we sell, the more conferences we can go to! Try these if you’re not going to conferences this year.

What’s Free:  Eighty-nine book marketing ideas that will change your life. And Five Easy Ways To Publicize and Promote Your Book or, my friend Rachel Thompson has created a list of sources for you! 

What’s Not So Free: This list from Publishing Review will give you some links to book promoting sites that can help you out. 

5. Writing Courses

So if you went to a conference, your speaker would cram a lot of information in a 55 minute session.  If you want something a little more thorough, you could take a course instead! And these courses don’t require you to get dressed or shake the cat hair off that holey sweater.

What’s Free:  Here’s a link to 10 Universities that offer free writing courses! FREE EDUCATION!  All you poor impoverished xenophobes out there don’t even have to get dressed!

What’s Not So Free:  Writer’s Digest has a lot of courses! These look really good!

6. Podcasts

It’s time to rest your eyes and use your ears! If you leave your earbuds in, all the time, no one will talk to you. Make the most of this alone time by listening to these writing podcasts. The Write Life has found the 10 Best for you! 

7.  Resources on Twitter

It’s all free! Here are 52 tweetchats and hashtags that can help you in your writing pursuits. And my favorite is the #10MinNovelists chat every Thursday at 9PM EDT. This is the great thing about Twitter. You can follow along and you don’t have to talk to anyone! (That is, unless you’re the host. Like me. Yikes.)

8. Agents’ blogs

Because you are true xenophobe, you can glean all the wisdom of some great agents through their blogs. Rachelle Gardner’s is a great place to hang out. Janet Reid has a lot of good stuff to say. Laura Crockett’s blog is not just informative, but it’s also so pretty! And Chip MacGregor is the only literary agent in this list that has bought me nachos. This is his blog.  Most of them don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, so if you want to get their attention for your work, read their submissions guidelines carefully.

9. Editors’ blogs

And maybe the reason that you are xenophobic is because you’ve been stabbed with a red pen too many times. Never fear. These editors can’t reach you through your computer screen. But they do have a lot to say about writing and what not to do. This is Evil Editor, Query Shark, and Subversive Copy Editor. You know, they do seem a teensy bit scary. If they’re too much for you, go over to Robin Patchen’s Red Pen Editing Services and ask for a virtual hug, she’ll be happy to oblige.

10. Wrapping it all up on Pinterest

10 Minute Novelists have over fifty writing related boards on Pinterest that link you to hundreds of resources on craft, marketing, social media, writing prompts, structure, character, everything! And no one will bother you there. They’re free and when you’re done clicking all the pins, you’ll know everything and that’s our point here, isn’t it?

This list is NOT exhaustive. But it will certainly get you started if you can’t afford to go out to learn how to be a great writer. And DON’T forget your local library (although you should put clothes on to go there, and you may have to actually speak to someone. You can do it, though, most librarians don’t bite and if they do, they probably have all their shots.)

I have to stand next to the financially strapped and xenophobic writers this year, but that’s not an excuse for not learning all I can about how to write well. If I can do it, you can too! 

 

 

Do you have any other suggestions? What worked for you? What didn’t work? Are you poor or xenophobic or both? 

Top 10 Ways Poetry is Better Than Food

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Poetry is better than food.

At least sometimes it is.

Just like we eat a variety of things so that we can nourish our bodies, I think we should read a variety of poems so that we can nourish our souls. I love that some poetry  is bite sized like a Dickinson poem or a haiku. I like that some poetry is a full five course meal, like a Longfellow poem.

Hungry yet?

Top 10 Ways Poetry Is Better Than Food by Katharine Grubb 10 Minute Novelists

 

1. Like vegetables, poetry is good for you. 

If you have the literary nutrition of a poem daily, the you can  appreciate rhythm, imagery, metaphor, meaning, communication, pathos, story telling and good craftsmanship. If you analyze it,  much in the same way you would analyze a novel, you will most certainly find value.  Ask yourself these questions: What is the poet trying to say? Why did he make the choices that he made? What emotions are you experiencing as a result of the poem? What insight do you have that you didn’t have before? Why was this so important to this poet? What literary elements, like alliteration and repetition and assonance are used here? What does this poet want his reader to take from it?

2. Many great writers were poets. If you read these manageable bites from great writers, you’re sampling great writing. 

YouTube is full of lectures on the great poets of literature. By taking the time to study the turbulent lives of the poets, their muses, their successes and their failures, it can make you appreciate not just the art that is created but the journey each writer took to make it. Crash Course has a great series on literature. And this one is about Emily Dickinson is hilarious. Can you sing them to I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing or Yellow Rose of Texas?

I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath,

3. Poetry won’t make you fat. Little Debbies cakes will. 

You can indulge all you want. If I want to gorge on the 500 most popular poems in literature, check out this book. It’s one of my favorites! You can even hoard, I mean, collect your favorites in one place at PoemHunter.com. 

 4. You don’t have to go to the grocery store to get great poetry.

You don’t! You can find it nearly everywhere! Besides Poetry Hunter, there’s also The Poetry Foundation, Academy of American Poets and Poetry.com which is an online community for amateur poets. If you still can’t find that one with the dashes by Emily Dickonson or the sad one by Sylvia Plath or the Wordsworth poem in which he ponders how great nature is, check your local library. It’s likely they have a whole section devoted to poetry and all of these resources are free! 

5. Poetry is for everyone. Beluga caviar is not.

Poetry was originally used to remember events, pass down history and entertain the common people long before literacy. If you are really into poetry, you’re not all that different from people of ancient civilizations who treasured the way poetry made them feel or reminded them of the past. You are not a literary snob if you can recite Paul Revere’s Ride,  you just like everyone else who wanted to remember a great event in a fun way. It’s even more fun if you listen to Sean Astin read it. 

6. Food just gives you necessary chemicals for life. Poetry makes you a great writer.

Some poems are even about food. But is food ever a poem? Not very often.
Some poems are even about food. But is food ever a poem? Not very often.

Novelists can benefit from the lessons taught by the great poets. We’re so busy making our characters likable and our plot points believable that we leave out the metaphor, the pathos, the art. I think in our rush to self-publish that we forget the necessity of the time required for good craftsmanship. As long as we don’t take a lesson from Coleridge and use drug use to create a Kubla Khan, (which I think should be an exception, not a rule.) A little nuance, a little subtlety, a little mystery a challenge may do them some good. We can learn this from great poems.

7. Poetry can get you through tough times better than chocolate ice cream.

We’ve all had some bad break-ups that requires high calorie dairy products to get over. But with poetry as the salve to your broken heart, you can articulate your pain more precisely. This is When We Two Parted  by Lord Byron. Don’t look too closely to Byron for relationship advice. He was kind of, um, weird.

8. Quoting poetry makes you look smart. If you memorize the back of the cereal box, no one cares.

I think everyone should memorize poetry. Memorize it for the sake of the discipline of it, of committing something to your soul, of tasting the words as they come off the tongue, of subconsciously realizing that these poems were put together with great care and craftsmanship. This is Longfellow! Tennyson! These aren’t slapdash inklings of a self-absorbed teen. This is something you can carry with you.But this article argues this point far better than I can. So does The New Yorker. So does The New York Times. 

So my kids and I like "We Are The Music Makers" so much that we rewrote it. It's about food, which shouldn't surprise anyone.
So my kids and I like “We Are The Music Makers” so much that we rewrote it. It’s about food, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

9. Poetry can go with you everywhere. You don’t need a cooler. 

This article is from 2012, but it’s still mostly relevant. You can carry poetry in your head. You can carry poems on your phone. And no matter how many times you quote The Raven, you’ll never get crumbs in the bottom of your purse.

10. Good poems have a longer shelf life than dairy products.

We shouldn’t let our own voice sink to the lowest common denominator. We should, instead, nurture it with great words like those found in the poems of the past and present. We imitate what we have before us. If all we read is junk literature, the latest pulp novel, a sappy, uninspired romance — all of which are like pop culture bursts of nothing —  then our work will could potentially be stuck in the pedestrian and the common. One way to fight this is to surround ourselves with the wholesome, the healthy and the literarily nutritious.

Why do we need it poetry? Writers who savor poetry become better writers. 

 This Ted Talk lauds the value of poetry! 

What about you? What’s your favorite poet? Your favorite poem? Your favorite source for great poetry! Please share! 

Top 10 Things To Consider When Choosing A Publisher With The Same Care As A Jane Austen Heroine Chose A Husband

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a good story must be in want of a publisher.

It’s the age old story. You have so many hopes and dreams. You have all these wonderful stories to tell. You know that it will take an attachment, a proposal and perhaps a big commitment to make you moderately rich and a teensy bit famous. So you, the perfect Lizzie Bennet, who will only writes for love, not necessarily £10,000 a year, will be happy just to attach yourself with a publisher who respects you.

Fortunately for you, your access to publishers on the internet is an inviting a prospect as a town full of regimental soldiers to a 16-yearold girl. But if you don’t have a benefactor such as the much lauded Lady Catherine de Burgh, or your family’s connections are little more than a barrister uncle in Cheapside, you’re going to have to figure it out on your own.

Never fear. This list will give you some guidance.

Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing A Publisher With The Same Care As  Jane Austen Heroine Choose A Husband

Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing A Publisher With The Same Care As Jane Austen Heroine Choose A Husband

 

  1. You’ll attract folks like you. If you want the best, then be the best.  Before you start looking for a publisher, make your story the best it can be. I know, you’ve been working on it for a long time and it really is good. It’s not silly like Lydia or Kitty’s, and it’s not quite as good as Jane’s (but she’s being courted by the Big Six.) Your first responsibility as a writer is to write well. Take your time. Learn from the greats. If you are going to take your writing seriously and you want to attract publishers who take writing seriously, then push yourself to the most excellent level. If you want to make a fast buck, then you’ll attract publishers who want to do the same. Don’t know where to get advice? Start with hanging out at my Facebook group, 10 Minute Novelists, which was named by Writers Digest as one of the top 101 sites for writers for advice. 

 

"That is enough, child. Let the other ladies have a chance to EXHIBIT!"
“That is enough, child. Let the other ladies have a chance to EXHIBIT!”

2. Get the right kind of feedback from those knowledgeable in the industry. They will push you to excellence and the right connections. Your story is level headed. It  has a liveliness to it,  it’s been tempered by your exposure to great literature and you’ve been told, more than once, that it has “fine eyes.” But the best advice will come from critique groups, beta readers, editors or experienced writers who know the business and can honestly show you where to improve. You need to listen to them and improve your story in the very best way you can. You also never know who knows who. It does pay to be connected. I recommend Scribophile as a great resource. 10 Minute Novelists has a group there. Check them out. Ask for Sara Marschand. She’s awesome!

3. You understand your own goals for publication. Some writers have Rosings Park ambitions. Some will be content with Longbourne. (Forget Purvis Lodge. The attics there are dreadful!) If you don’t know what you want, then it will make choosing a publisher all the more difficult. This is what I did: I tried to find books, both fiction and non-fiction, that were similar to mine in content. I looked at who published them and who represented them. I asked myself if I wanted my books to be lumped together with these kinds of books. If I did, then it was from this list of publishers and agents that I would do research. If I didn’t, then I kept looking until I found books that were a better match. Writer’s Market is a great resource for writer willing to do the research. Get the book! 

Oh, Mr. Collins! You are such a charmer!
Oh, Mr. Collins! You are such a charmer!

4. You have a full understanding that an entire industry has been created to take advantage of desperate authors. And along comes your first contact with a publisher. He is tall, dark, handsome (okay maybe not in reality, but go with me, this is fun!) He is a mercenary. He may not be interested in art. He may not be interested in your long term goals. He may just want to cash in from your hard work. Legitimate publishers, who have good reputations, are, in this current economic climate, not likely to initiate relationships with writers. They don’t have to. They’re turning manuscripts away constantly.  It’s the less than trustworthy who are Googling authors and trying to sign anyone. Anyone. What to do? Go to Preditors and Editors and look for the names of reputable and notorious publishers, agents and editors. This is like Consumer Reports for writers. You’ll be really glad this site warned you about that Wickham!

5. If the publisher that contacted you is a start-up with few past authors, you need to be careful.  This should be a red flag. If you are their first client, or one of the first, it’s not likely that they have the credentials or the power or the skills to make you famous or even sold. Get names of anyone associated with them and send a few emails. Ask this, “I understand you worked with Wickham House for your book on gambling. Was that a positive experience for you?

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 11.54.16 AM

6. You should get a third party to look over a contract or legal document. If this potential publisher wants you to sign something, it is in your best interest to ask a lot of questions. Find a lawyer that specializes in contracts, or ask an agent to look something over for you. You don’t have to sign with an agent to sign a contract, but if you should be fully informed in what you’re signing. This is not one of those moments when I agree to the terms and conditions should be your knee-jerk reaction. And if your potential publisher doesn’t have a contract to sign, that means they’re depending on verbal agreements. This should be a red flag for you. A reputable publisher will be happy to provide you a contract, make adjustments, be patient with you while you get someone to look over it, and calm your nerves.

7.Make sure that they have professional editors working for them. Get names. Ask for specifics. Just because they say they’ll handle the editing, doesn’t mean that they will. You would hate it if your ARC was full of spelling and punctuation errors. It would be as embarrassing as having your petticoat six inches deep in mud. Need to find an editor? This is a list of reputable editors who would be happy to help you prepare your manuscript for publication. Check them out. 

8. Make sure that they have professional graphic designers working for them. Ask what happens if you don’t like the cover. Ask other authors if they liked their covers. Ask for them to show you all of the covers that they have been responsible for in the past. If you don’t like what you see, you may want to rethink this relationship.

9. Know the difference between a self-publishing house, an indie house and a vanity press. More importantly know what kind of publishing house you are working with. Check out this article that explains what a vanity press is and why you sign up with on, you just may regret it. 

Jane: "Oh Lizzie! The deepest love! And  . . . I can totally see up your nose!"
Jane: “Oh Lizzie! The deepest love! And . . . I can totally see up your nose!”

10. Don’t be desperate. Beginning writers think that having the word “published author” is like a halo of legitimacy. In some ways it is, but waiting to get published with a reputable, trustworthy publisher is far better than rushing into a relationship that you’ll want to get out of in a few months. Take your time. Do your homework. Someday I’ll use your book to teach your ten children how to play their instruments very ill.

Because you want so badly to be published, you’re not much different from the sad situation that all young women of the Regency Era were in.

You want to be published! That’s been the goal all along! Your mother has four other writers in the house who need to marry well because if they don’t the estate will be entailed away to Harper Collins! (Oops, sorry. I got carried away!) But trust me, you don’t to sign up with the first soldier that comes along. 

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 12.02.15 PM

You do have choices. While being published is a great accomplishment, it’s not the only opportunity for writers. So before you sign, take the time to really get to know your publisher and do your research.

And your ending will be a happy one.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 11.58.45 AM

Top Ten Resources For Classical Story Structure by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

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Do you have a new story idea and don’t know what to do with it?

It is very possible to want to write a story, have a story idea, and plan on knocking out 50,000 words in 30 days without really knowing the important necessities of a story. Sure, in Western Culture we’ve heard countless stories, we have a general idea of beginning, middle and end.  We know that you need characters and setting and some sort of plot despite the title of this book. But to write a story you really need to get a handle on what’s needed in a GOOD ONE before you try crafting one.

What do I do when I'm stuck on a story idea?
from Frabz.com

What Do I Do When My Story Isn’t Going Any Where?

Or maybe you have tried crafting one and it seems like a hot mess. Maybe you get about 10,000 words in and you have no idea where you’re going. Maybe you found yourself trapped in a giant tangle of backstory that, while fascinating, doesn’t seem to be moving your characters toward any big objective.

Never fear.

Today’s List is all about resources for understanding story. 

Check them out. Analyze what you’re doing wrong. Go back and rewrite that hot mess and make it something beautiful!

1. This is a very clear, well articulated list of 25 Things About Creating Stories from Justin McLachlan.

2. This is classic story-telling geeky stuff! Aristotle’s Incline and ways to look at six key events in a story. Janalyn Voight’s whole blog is awesome!

3. This is a FREE pdf that you can download and print that illustrates the classic storytelling arc. Sometimes seeing something simply drawn out is very helpful.

4. Here’s a slideshow that demonstrates Freytag’s Pyramid, demonstrating how stories are structured. If you don’t know, Gustav Freytag was a German playwright and novelist who had to analyze stories to death. Leave it to the Germans to analyze this to death.

5. Then a dude named Blake Snyder came up with his more detailed analysis of what stories should accomplish and he called it Save The Cat! Blake Snyder was an American screenwriter, which totally explains his much more catchier name for his title. You can read his Save The Cat books here. 

6. My personal favorite book on story is by Robert McKee.

What books are good for learning about story structure?
Best book on Story Structure evah!

(Click the image to take you straight to Amazon.com!)  Yes, technically it’s on screenwriting but I think novelists could benefit from reading it!

7. My friend, K.M. who writes this awesome blog, also wrote a book about story structure and you should click the image below and check it out!

What books can teach me about story structure?
K.M. Weiland is currently writing a work book to go along with this!

8. Then the good folks at Writer’s Digest have this little article that describes The Four Story Structure That Dominate Novels. I found this very interesting and hadn’t thought of this before. (Note to self: memorize this for Nanowrimo!)

9. Need more? This piece from Daily Writing Tips quotes Nigel Watt’s Book Write A Novel & Get It Published  and explains the critical EIGHT POINTS needed in every story. (Hey! I have that book! You can have it too if you click the image!)

How do I write a novel?
This book was very helpful in researching “Write A Novel In Ten Minutes!”

 

10. And check out 10 Minute Novelist’s Pinterest board on structure, it is FULL of great resources!

The Fastest Growing Writers Group on Facebook!

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Thanks for dropping by the 10 Minute Novelist website!

But this isn’t where the fun is.

The real fun is over on the Facebook group.

Over 2000 writers from all of the world engage daily in a self-promotion free environment. We encourage each other, we give great advice and we have become a significant community. We have so much fun that in April 2016,  Writer’s Digest as one of the Top 100 Sites for Writers in 2016!

Awesome gifts for writers
Mug says: “I’m A 10 Minute Novelist and I have awesome friends!”

Jessica White said: This group has reminded me of my first love, community organizing, and how important it is to work together and encourage one another to learn and grow as a writer.

On Mondays we share each others blogs. We also have a chat every Monday afternoon on important issues for writers. (You have to join the group to join us!)

Erin Cupp  said: It’s made me smile and kept me motivated, and I’ve seen it do great things to promote writing friends as well.

On Tuesdays we have Buddy Day, which means our members can specifically ask for critique partners, reviews or beta readers.

10 Minute Novelists Facebook GroupSara Marschand said: I’ve learned to be less frustrated by not making my goals with the little kids around. It is hard. I’m thankful for those who know and remind me so that I can accept the writing fails with grace. 365k, while I struggle to make the small numbers, keeps me focused. This group gives me a bandaid when I scrape my knee, and I hug when I get up before putting me back in the game.

On Wednesdays we’re the only place on the internet that hosts #AuthorHappiness! This means we celebrate with each other all the great things that have happened in our week.

On Thursdays we have a Twitter chat. Follow this hashtag #10MinNovelist to join us at 9PM Eastern, USA.

Sandy Stuckless said: This group, along with a couple of others have given me an outlet, a place I can go where people DO understand and feel what I feel. It makes my desire to write even more acute and awesome.

We also have special events like the 365K Club where our members try to average 1000 words a day written each day of the year. We have games, contests, conversations, special guests and events for our members all year.

The 10 Minute Novelists Facebook group is free and it’s for writers of all kinds from all over the world. Click here to join us! 

 

Top 10 Ways To Make Your Story “Good” by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

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“Is this any good?”

After, “is there any more coffee?” and “can I take your order?” this question is asked the most often by aspiring novelists, short story writers, screenwriters and other creative story-telling types. Unfortunately, that descriptor “good” is a vague one.  We may not even know what we’re asking when we ask it. We may not want anything from the person we are asking except a nod, and maybe their dinner order. We really only want validation that our creative efforts aren’t wasted and that maybe that MFA degree wasn’t  a waste of money.

“Is it good?”

Top 10 Ways To Make Your Story "Good" by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

If you’re asking, then go through this list and see if it has at least some of these requirements:

1. Being good means having a recognizable structure. Because we were all raised on stories, we have it wired in our brains what it means to create a story. If a story is a watercolor anecdote, a “how we met” story, a novella, a play, a graphic novel or War and Peace, there is an expectation of beginning, middle and end. If you are going to be a story teller, then you can’t ignore the recognizable that is required of stories.

2. Being good means creating clear desires for your characters. Each story not only requires recognizable structure, but it also must have recognizable desires. Your characters must  want in a way that is universal to everyone else’s wants. They’re hungry. They’re thirsty. They long for love. They want justice. They want freedom. They want revenge. They want to be rich, famous or get home in time for Christmas. To be good, these desires must clear and set up well from the beginning.

3. Being good means creating interesting characters. While your character does have desires, and I would argue that the desire is the most important part of the character’s development, the details of the character are important too. Your reader needs to know, even if they aren’t familiar with this word, what kind of archetype your character follows. Are they the warrior? The studious professor? The wholesome girl next door? The spunky kid? By clarifying this for your reader, you’re setting up a general expectation for the story. Even if you tweak it, having this in place will invite your reader to come along with you for the ride. It also helps to have a good basic description: an understanding of their appearance, education, age, anything really that would show up on a Facebook profile or job application. It would also help, although plenty of authors have been successful without doing this, to have a psychological understanding of your character. This means setting up their actions and responses in a way that is consistent. Are they extroverted? Sensitive? A planner? Easily distracted? Make the effort to create well-rounded, believable, possibly even likable characters so your reader can identify with them and be interested in their story.

4. Being good means sticking to the story.  Unless your name is J.R.R. Tolkien or Victor Hugo, keep your story on track. Do not go into long descriptions of French sewers or the history of hobbits. If there were a spectrum of being overly wordy (Tolkienesque) on one side and then being economical (Hemingway, maybe or Steinbeck) then lean toward the Americans. I know, you spent weeks developing the backstory to your main character’s auntie, explaining exactly how she lost that eye in a freak NASCAR accident, but unless it is important to the story, leave it out. Here’s a thought, write another one with One-eyed Auntie as the main character!

5. Being good means not telling too much too soon. This means that you are telling your story at a reasonable pace. You keep your characters moving forward in such a way that your reader is intrigued, kind of like dropping bread crumbs in a forest. Pacing is tricky. Consider getting a trusted beta reader or developmental editor to help you along if you find yourself getting bogged down or rushing things. You don’t have to get it perfect in the first draft. But you do, need to be willing to make whatever changes you need to enhance the story.

Coffee6. Being good means building rising action. This means that the trouble your main characters get into needs to be progressively more treacherous or complex. Spend the first fourth of your story setting up your characters and getting them ready for the big adventure, spend the middle two fourths putting them in more and more trouble as they pursue the objective, then, have a spectacular moment when they either get what they want or they don’t and there are no other options. Then, spend a fourth, or even a bit less, cleaning up the mess and settling things down for the reader.

7. Being good means creating mutually exclusive choices. This means that your climax or your big spectacular moment puts your character in the position of either one serious objective or the other. Either they save the world from destruction or they get the girl. Either they keep the suitcase of diamonds or they keep their buddy from getting shot. Either they keep their reputation as a rule follower, for a lifetime of security, or they marry the shyster with the great hair. It’s this choice, and all of the stuff leading up this choice, that will keep your readers enticed. Then, when they make the choice, make it believable, satisfying but not too predictable, so that your reader can finish the book thinking, this was a great story!

8. Being good means creating high stakes. High stakes means that the potential loss to your characters if they don’t reach their goal will be heartbreaking, devastating or embarrassing. You can raise the stakes as the story goes along by throwing in natural disasters, untrustworthy companions, something from the past that shows up wanting something or a sheriff who shoots first and asks questions later. Having the right amount of risk for  your characters will keep your reader interested, so make those characters suffer!

9. Being good means clear, concise writing. After you’ve gotten the main parts of the story just right, go back and make sure it’s told well. Simple, clear writing, that generally follows the rules of good grammar, will do fine. Don’t try to impress your reader with big words. Don’t try to sound like some other author. Wise writers recruit savvy buddies to help out. None of us are perfect. So make the effort to do the best you can. Oh, and there’s this: bad writing can’t save a good story. Excellent writing can make a good story into a great one!

10. Being good means being free of errors. Once the story is perfected and the writing is polished, go over your art a couple of more times and look for tiny mistakes. Generally, these are easy fixes in punctuation, grammar, or spelling that can add professionalism to your work. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, then make sure you’ve done all you can to make your work worthy of your readers.

If you’ve done all these things, then your story is probably “good”, but even word “good” is open to interpretation.

And a good story can’t become a great one unless these ten issues are perfected. My advice to you? Pour yourself another cup of coffee, finish your shift and make your story the best it can be. It may never be good, but you, as a result of the hard work, will definitely be better.

What else makes a story good? Have I forgotten anything? Which is the easiest or hardest for you to do?

 


Conquering Twitter in 10 Minutes A DayWant more tips on how to make Twitter work for you? CONQUERING TWITTER in 10 MINUTES DAY is available! Specifically written for authors, this book will help you think about yourself, your brand, your books, and your goals on Twitter, create great questions to ask and organize your time in such a way that you can get the most out of every tweet.

Available for $.99! 


I am a fiction writing and time management coach. I help time crunched novelists strengthen their craft, manage their time and gain confidence so they can find readers for their stories.

Katharine Grubb is a homeschooling mother of five, a novelist, a baker of bread, a comedian wannabe, a former running coward and the author of Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day. Besides pursuing her own fiction and nonfiction writing dreams, she also leads 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook, an international group for time-crunched writers that focuses on tips, encouragement and community.