Do you have self-doubt? Guess what? You’re probably a writer. No, I take that back; you’re probably human. Yes, we all struggle with self-doubt at one time or another. If we didn’t, I daresay we’d have wooden blocks in our heads instead of brains. I believe any thoughtful, contemplative, and — especially — creative person suffers from self-doubt, be it a momentary pause or a lifelong battle. The big question is: how do we deal with it?
Recently I watched one of my favorite movies, Shadows in the Sun. It’s about writers, one young, one older. The older one (Harvey Keitel as Weldon Parish) has not written in twenty years, not since he had a best-seller and then lost his wife. He’s paralyzed by the fear that, along with his wife, he’s lost the world-acclaimed talent he used to have. He sits at his typewriter, fingers poised over the keys, and tears stream down his face. He can’t type even a single stroke.
So why do hashtags play such an important part in literary growth?
Here are two reasons I love using hashtags:
1) Free advertising.
Hashtags are a great way to get your literary product or service in front of people seeking exactly what you offer. Many people follow hashtags all day long to find new inspiration, products, to check reviews and so many other things. With the right hashtags you are placed in front of those people whether it’s hair styles, branding products, new shoes, or restaurant reviews you can be seen for free.
2) Consistency and User Generated Content
Posting on social media on a daily basis can be a daunting task. We know being visible on a regular basis is important but what about those days you just can’t come up with anything?
#️⃣Hashtags to the rescue again! Creating your own custom tags that your audience can use to post their own related content will grow your influence and provide credibility to your brand. Customer endorsements build your business faster than most advertising strategies will due to them being genuine and organic. The bonus is you get content that you can also share on your page and your community will grow.
4 Facts You Should Know About Hashtags.
1. You can only use 30 hashtags on a post. The tags you use in the caption and in the comments count towards the 30 max.
2. Hashtags on private pages will not show up, of course your business page should not be on private anyways so in case you needed another reason why, here you go.
3. You should review/update your hashtags every 60-90 days. Sites like Instagram grows quickly so you want to stay on top of which tags work for your page and use them consistently.
4. Hashtags that you add in other pages comments don’t work, you can only tag your own posts.
Trite, hackneyed, tired — there are plenty of words to describe an overuse of clichés in your writing or speech. While they can be an easy way to express yourself, more often than not they’re a crutch, a sign of linguistic laziness. Start digging deeper into your vocabulary and leave these 15 clichés behind.
What Is a Cliché and Why Is It So Bad?
A cliché is a phrase that has been beaten to death (that’s a cliché). Because it’s been so overused, any significant meaning it may have had has been lost. Instead of adding color and interest to your writing, you often wind up sounding corny.
If you’re writing about how scrappy entrepreneurs are achieving success, that message was lost the minute you wrote “survival of the fittest.” Charles Darwin sounded original in his theory of evolution; you just sound clichéd.
Authors, publishers and readers love series – authors because it’s easier to write each new book in the same world as the first one, publishers because it’s much easier and more profitable to market and sell a sequel to a successful book than a standalone, and readers because if they discover a series they like, they will read them all. Each new book feels like a homecoming. But as an indie author, how do you know when to call a halt to a successful series and move on? Debbie Young, who has just completed her seven-book Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, gleans top tips on finishing a series from ALLi author members.
Finishing a Series
Author Debbie Young
Debbie Young is the author of two series of cozy mystery novels, each with a book shortlisted for The UK Selfies Awards. She also writes short stories, guidebooks for authors. articles for writing magazines and blogs, and humorous columns for magazines that serve the local community in the Cotswolds, where she founded and directs the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Find out more about Debbie on her website www.authordebbieyoung.com and Twitter @DebbieYoungBN.
“If in 100 years I am only known as the man who invented Sherlock Holmes, then I will have considered my life a failure.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Authors Mark and Connor Sullivan are no strangers to utilizing suspense in their novels. Here, they share their top 8 tips for writers to do the same.GUEST COLUMNMAY 5, 2021
As storytellers, we believe it is the writer’s responsibility to keep the reader glued to the story and turning the page. Writers who can do this have long careers. We also believe that writing can be looked at as a trade, a craft that can be taught, practiced, and improved. Like all trades, there are specific tools and strategies in the craft of writing taut novels, including these eight that will add suspense to any piece of writing.
Writing compelling conflict is a crucial tool to add urgency to your novel. Analyze the conflict through the lens of stakes and goals at the scene, chapter, or even full story level, looking for those situations where the characters do not seem vital or active. One thing I like to always ask myself is, “What is the most painful thing that could possibly happen to my character at this point in time?” These burdens can be physical, emotional, or psychological. Then think of what the character needs to achieve or to change about themselves in order to alleviate that pain. This approach forces your characters into a crucible where action is the only choice. The action will reveal the character’s true self and so propel the story forward, which leads to my dad’s first tip.
(Mark) Write in an Active Voice
Examining and tweaking the voice through which you tell a story can radically increase its suspense. James Patterson taught me the value of writing as if you were in a bar telling the story to the person on the adjoining stool and focusing on the highlights. Stephen King says he knows if a writer is in control of a narrative within a couple of pages because he can hear the voice in his head driving the story and his interest forward.
The hero’s journey is a concept most writers and students of literature are familiar with.
But they perhaps haven’t heard of the heroine’s journey, though they’ve certainly absorbed stories that include it.
What sets the two apart is not the gender of the protagonist, but rather the way in which they approach the obstacles — solo for a hero; with a network for a heroine — and what kind of conclusion they seek (victory for a hero, unity or compromise for a heroine).
Think the recent Wonder Woman movie for a contemporary hero’s journey and the Harry Potter books for a contemporary heroine’s journey.
So, unsurprisingly, writers have different considerations to take as they draft their protagonist’s journey.
Author Gail Carriger appeared on Joanna Penn’s podcast to discuss the key features of a heroine’s journey and the writing/revising strategies an author might take for it.
A transcript of their conversation about writing the heroine’s journey — as well as a link to the audio of it — is available at The Creative Penn.
Marketing plays a huge role in any book’s success, but this is especially true for self-published books. Before you publish a book (or before you even start writing it!), it’s important to think about who you’ll be selling your book to—and how. Digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be tough for authors to keep up with the top trends. We’ve rounded up the top digital marketing strategies to help both new and savvy indie authors understand how to market self-published books.
Over the last few years, fiction podcasters have brought audio storytelling into the 21st century, with experimental sound design, sharp writing, and compelling plots that leave listeners wanting more.
If you want to dive into the deep end and make a scripted fiction podcast of your own, where do you even start? What mics are best for capturing dialog? What about casting? And what exactly does a sound designer do?
Luckily, Multitude created a free in-depth guide on how to make fiction podcasts! In celebration of our new audio sitcom, NEXT STOP, we’ve written a guide to help you get your fiction podcast off the ground and into the ears of your audience.
Launching a book is an exciting moment in an indie author’s life–but there’s so much to do. What order should you do it in and how much time do you need in advance of your launch to complete it? Today’s post is the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Ultimate Guide to Launching a Book (including timeline).
A few caveats before we begin this post.
No two indie authors launch books in the same way. The below is not a strict “this must be done here” guide but a suggestion of how you can time the activities for your launch. Of course, not everyone will have a long lead time either and not every author does every single item listed.
What is a Book Launch?
When we use the term “book launch” here we’re referring to all the planned marketing activities surrounding your new book, in its first weeks or months.
The most well-known and popular ways of drawing attention to a new book are:
Media coverage and PR
Social media campaigns leading up to, and during, the launch
Hosting a launch party
Book signing(s) either stand alone or as part of a book tour
One key factor to any marketing strategy’s success is knowing who your audience is, and yet, this tends to be the main ingredient many of my author clients miss from their marketing process.
In my other life, I run the digital marketing department of a creative firm, and I have a number of Facebook Ads author clients. The main difference between my business clients and my author clients? My business clients tend to know exactly who their customers are, thanks to face-to-face interactions.
My author clients sometimes have an idea of who reads their books, but more often than not, they either
don’t have a clue,
think they have a clue but are actually way off base, or
they’ve pigeonholed their core audience and are missing other potential groups of readers.
The most successful of my clients know their readers.
There are quite a few things that writers should follow, like other writers. But I am not talking about that today. Today, it’s all about habits.
3 Habits all writers should follow
. Write something every day.
a. Sit down and start typing.
b. You can free write until the ideas flow
c. The key is don’t edit yourself now. Just write.
2. Read–for fun
a. Reading should be fun. It was once, wasn’t it?
b. You learn from others
c. Make reading a priority to stay current on what kinds of books are out there.
3. Go for a walk
a. Don’t take your phone–instead focus on nature
b. Allow creativity to flow
c. Accept inspiration when it comes
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There are many bad reasons to focus on short fiction and one really good one…and both present their own problems. Stick with me as I show you how to adapt your writing to short fiction OR expand your short stories into novels.
Bad Reasons to Write Short Stories
Short stories are great for your career, they say. Start with short fiction, they say, to
Build your publication credits
Help new audiences find you
Let editors know you’re serious
Raise your profile by winning contests
Keep your novel fans happy in between books
The problem is not everyone loves short stories. I’m talking about readers and writers, here.
Writing short, while undeniably a useful skill, just isn’t something everyone loves. Maybe you’re in that group.
The bigger problem for you is that the mythical ‘they’ who tell you short stories are a great tool in your toolbox aren’t wrong.
But don’t worry, I’m going to explain some of the reasons you find it hard to write short, and I’m going to show you some techniques for stopping your story’s attempt to become an epic 14-part novel series.
If you have designs on publishing and selling a book this year, there’s work to do before, during, and after your book launch. My goal is to help guide you through the process so you can find your readers in 2021.
Thankfully, the American election season is now in the rear-view mirror, but there’s been one more landslide recorded when votes of another kind were tallied.
Every so often, I poll the BookBaby audience by asking this question: What do you want to learn about self publishing?
It’s the fourth time I’ve asked this question in my regular Saturday email. My previous queries have elicited a variety of responses. Some respondents asked for writing tips. Many others asked me to write about self publishing. And I’ve always received a smattering of requests for book marketing tips. Up to now, it’s been a mixed bag without any one area receiving a majority response.
Well, that all changed in my latest request for input. Here’s a representative sampling of the latest responses.
A ruling by the Constitutional Court could mean the nuclear power stations Doel 1 and Doel 2 have to close down earlier than the government planned. The Court this week struck down a law passed in 2015 which extended the lifetime of the reactors by ten years. The case was brought by two environmental organisations, Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL) and Inter-Envir […]
Turkey has canceled an agreement with a Japanese-led consortium to build a 4,500-megawatt nuclear plant in Sinop in northern Turkey along the Black Sea coast. The Sinop site would have been Turkey’s second nuclear plant Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that results of feasibility studies conducted by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries did not meet […]
"We are not at the desired point on the Sinop nuclear power plant project," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told daily Nikkei. Erdoğan arrived in Japan today for the G20 summit in Osaka, where he will meet with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump. Responding to a question that says, "Feasibility studies show that the cost […]
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary is working to modify financing for a nuclear plant being built by Russia so it only starts repaying the loan once the two reactors begin supplying power, a Hungarian minister said, after an EU review of the plans contributed to delays in the project. The existing 2 Gigawatt Paks plant, which accounts for half of Hungary's po […]
MINSK, 14 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed decree No.15 “On responsibility for nuclear damage” on 14 January, the press service of the head of state told BelTA. The document creates a mechanism to ensure financial assurance for damage caused by an activity involving nuclear energy. The decree limits the liability for damage of […]