Writing Craft

Break Through Your Fears And Write That First Book!

By: David Falkirk | Posted on August 10, 2018

Writing a book is hard, but even harder is writing that first book. How many great novelists have we never even heard of because they couldn’t push past their fears or self-doubt? Like most fears, the ones around writing stem from the unknown. Do you even know how to write a book? Will anyone read it? Will anyone like it?  For those that push through, they eventually find those answers – which explains why subsequent books are often much easier to write – but what about everyone else? For a long time, David Falkirk was in that everyone else category but he eventually broke through and is now the author of multiple novels. He’s sharing what he learned and how he did it so that you can finish your first book as well. It wasn’t procrastination. Not exactly. I’ve known I wanted to be a writer — an author — since… Read More >

The Fundamentals of a Successful Book

By: Ginger | Posted on July 18, 2018

Recently, resident HG designer Ginger wrote an article about the importance of a strong cover for your novel – but there are many other fundamentals that go into whether a book is successful. Today he follows up on some of the other factors that can help lead you towards publishing success. “I don’t get it,” one aspiring author said to me recently. “I’m spending all this money on Facebook ads for my books – but I’m just not selling any!” Another complained: “I keep getting bad reviews!” A third lamented: “Nobody downloaded my books during my free promo days. Why?” These are questions that keep plaguing many would-be authors, and they don’t like the answer when they finally hear it. But it’s a bitter truth anybody who takes writing and publishing needs to hear – and take to heart. You can invest as much time, money and effort into promoting… Read More >

A Writing Plan Can Help Your Novel Get Started… and Finished!

By: Tracy Brenton | Posted on June 29, 2018

Making time for writing is one of the biggest challenges of beginner writers, often because to do so means juggling an already full schedule.  Jobs, family obligations, or the myriad of other routines in our lives all compete with writing time – but that doesn’t mean you should give up on the dream of writing a book. You just have to figure out a plan to make it happen, and then stick with it. Everyone’s lives are unique, which means the details of your writing plan will be different than those of someone else – but that’s okay. The point of the plan isn’t so much the details, but how it helps you focus and keeps you from being overwhelmed. To that end, author Tracy Brenton shares her story of how she started writing and the details of the plan that led to her success. Maybe it can help inspire… Read More >

Most Readers Really DO Judge a Book by it’s Cover

By: Ginger | Posted on June 26, 2018

Hi! I’m Ginger! I recently joined Hidden Gems as a resident cover designer – the first of many that authors will be able to choose to work with by visiting the new Cover Design service page.  As somebody with a vested interest in book covers, I was invited to share a few thoughts about how important a book cover can be – and how one of the first rules you learn as a child ends up being one of the first rules readers ignore!   When you’re a kid, one of the first things your parents teach you is not to judge by appearances.  “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, many of us do just that. While it’s definitely not fair, most of us make snap judgments about things based on their appearance – like you’d normally walk right past a restaurant if the front windows weren’t clean, because… Read More >

The Magic of Music and Storytelling

By: Rebecca E. Neely | Posted on June 15, 2018

There is a lot of overlap between music and books, both being rich and powerful forms of storytelling. It’s not often that we really stop and think about how closely they’re intertwined, and how one can be used to enhance or improve the other. Rebecca Neely is an author that has been affected by music her whole life, and is here to tell us about how she now uses it to help inspire her work as a novelist.  Since the beginning of time, people the world over have embraced and celebrated the phenomenon of music in all its diverse forms. In turn, it embodies the essence of people by encompassing, reflecting, recording and communicating their diverse heritage, traditions, cultures, customs, races, ethnicities, languages and religions. Even geography, climate, economics and the use of technology contributes to the creation, artistry and performance of music. Indeed, as a whole it’s not only… Read More >

Characterization and Setting – It’s All in the Details

By: Naomi Bellina | Posted on June 8, 2018

When done properly, writing with rich detail and characterization is something a reader doesn’t even notice. It just pulls them into the author’s world and allows them to image the people and places that they visit.  But how do writers create such vivid pictures? There are many techniques, and we asked Naomi Bellini to break some of them down for us. What she delivered is a great behind-the-scenes look at how it’s done that is interesting to both readers and authors. Don’t you love to fall so deep into a book you lose track of real life, and stay up way past your bedtime, because you have to read just one more chapter? Or look up from the page and totally expect to see the scenery and characters you were reading about? As authors, that’s what we hope happens when you read our stories. One way we accomplish this is… Read More >

Reader Expectations: To Meet Them You Must First Understand Them

By: Morgan Jones | Posted on May 11, 2018

One of the keys to selling your book is knowing your audience and what they are expecting. Not only will a failure to meet these expectations properly lead to less sales, they can also lead to poor reviews. That’s why we’ve asked USA Today Bestselling author Morgan Jones to walk us through how to make sure authors understand what the expectations of their readers are, and how to meet them. Have you ever sat down at your favorite coffee shop and opened up your laptop ready to dig into your next great novel, when you take a sip of the elixir of life only to discover that they got your order wrong? Are you the type of person to return to the counter and demand it be corrected, or are you the one that just sits in silence because you don’t want to deal with people? Personally, I don’t want… Read More >

What Makes Me Fall in Love with a Hero?

By: Samantha Westlake | Posted on September 1, 2016

Sometimes, when I pick up a romance novel by a new and unknown author, I know right away that I’ll love these characters. I can sense that I’d better clear my schedule, just so I can sit and read. Some heroes mesmerize me, so well-crafted that after just a few pages, I feel like I truly understand them, like they could step off of the page and sweep me into their arms. On the other hand, some romance books make me want to throw my Kindle across the room.  If I had a girls’ brunch with the heroine of these tales, I’d just want to grab her by the shoulders, shake her to and fro, and shout, “What is wrong with you?  He’s perfect!  Why are you struggling with such an easy decision!?” What makes some heroes feel perfectly human, while others just seem uncannily perfect? Why do some characters… Read More >