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Writing Craft

Writing in the Third-Person Perspective: A Guide

By: Ginger | Posted on January 17, 2020

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve published a couple of articles on first-person perspective in writing – which can be a fun and productive exercise even if you ultimately choose not to pursue that style of writing in your work. But there is more than one way to tell a story, and many authors prefer writing in the third-person perspective.  So today, Ginger is giving the details on writing in that style, and some of the common issues to keep in mind while doing so. When I wrote my blog post Defending First-Person POV, I didn’t anticipate the number of people who disagreed with me – and while I might not share their opinion, they all made valid points – and I think it’s a point worth discussing. For a start – don’t listen to me! If you want to write your story in third-person, go right ahead. I… Read More >

Writing in the First Person Perspective – A Guide

By: Ginger | Posted on January 10, 2020

If you read last week’s post advocating for writing in the first person and have never attempted it before, you may be wondering what goes into it and where to start. In fact, a few authors contacted us about that specifically, which inspired us to dig a little bit deeper into the subject. This time, instead of just suggesting you give it a try, Ginger has put together a quick guide on writing in the first person perspective in the most compelling way possible. So, you read my blog post advocating for writing in the first person perspective – and you’ve bitten. But, how does one go about writing from the first person perspective? Especially in the most compelling way possible? Last week, I wrote about the often underappreciated value of writing in the first person perspective. Not everybody agreed with me, with talented author Edita A. Petrick making the… Read More >

Defending First-Person POV

By: Ginger | Posted on January 3, 2020

Many authors are so used to writing from one particular point of view (POV) that they never give any consideration to switching things up. But while there is something to be said for writing in the style you’re most comfortable in, limiting yourself means limiting your ability to tell your story in the most effective way possible – so it’s worth understanding the merits of alternative styles. For example, if you always write stories in third-person POV, then you may not be aware of some of the benefits to writing in first-person.  Describing things through your character’s eyes can be an incredibly powerful narrative technique. The more time I’ve spent editing and reviewing other author’s books, the more I’ve come to differentiate the storytelling aspect of a novel, and the writing part of it. The story is what grabs people – hooks them into the lives and fortunes of your… Read More >

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

By: Ginger | Posted on December 27, 2019

Sticking to a plan is essential when you’re an author, especially if it’s not your full time job and you’re finding you need to juggle writing with all sorts of other things in your life.  So start 2020 off right by prioritizing what it is that makes you a successful writer, and resolving to actually do those things regularly and consistently! The end of the year is, to most of us, a time of reflection. We see what aspects of our year went well, and which went badly, and a lot of us write a list of ‘new year’s resolutions’ to follow to give the upcoming year a better outcome. For me, 2019 saw a dip in my overall book sales, but a more consistent outcome to the books I published. I had a good period of book sales which was directly attributed to a process I stuck to –… Read More >

Give Your Audience What They Want

By: Ginger | Posted on December 20, 2019

Santa may only bring gifts once a year, but as an author, your job is delivering what your readers want all year round.  That’s why it’s important to understand your market and your genre, and meet the expectations of your audience.  That doesn’t mean selling out or having to change your actual story, just making sure you’re telling it in the most effective way. And to help make our point, we have a few popular examples of where this has gone wrong, and when it’s been done right. Readers expect something from you – so, successful writers don’t disappoint. The other day, I half-watched The Mandalorian, on Disney+, since my wife was watching it while tidying up. To her annoyance, I kept predicting what would happen next – even down to the specific lines of dialogue – and eventually she switched it off and snapped: “Well, you might make fun… Read More >

How to Use Time in Your Stories

By: Ginger | Posted on December 6, 2019

You’ve likely heard someone discussing whether a book had a good or bad flow often enough that you understand how important the concept is to get right – but there are many factors that contribute to it.  Stilted writing, repetitive ideas, even word choice can all break the flow of your story, as can grander things like pacing.  You want your reader to be able to move easily through your story, be drawn in, follow along, and ultimately arrive satisfied at the end. So while it may seem risky, even counter-intuitive, to write a story that doesn’t flow through time in that same straightforward, linear fashion, when done right it can be a fabulous technique to add to your author toolbox.  Books and movies are full of examples of non-linear timelines used to enhance their story, and today we’re going to explain the whys and hows so that you can… Read More >

The Paperback Problem – Print or Not?

By: Ginger | Posted on November 22, 2019

For some authors, they’re first and foremost. For others, it’s an afterthought. Today, we ask where physical, paperback or hardback copies of your books fit into your self-publishing strategy. Ginger uses images of one of his own books as an example, but if you’d like to share pictures of your own physical books – plus any tips or tricks you have for printing them – we’d love you to hear from you in the comments section below. “There’s nothing like a real book,” one of my old college buddies recently told me. “The feel of it in your hands. The smell of the paper. You’ll never catch me reading anything on a Kindle.” We’d studied English literature together – so far from sounding erudite and cultured, I argued that his position was kind of arrogant. In refusing to read eBooks, my oh-so-cultured friend cut himself off from 37% of fiction… Read More >

10 Software Essentials for Authors

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 15, 2019

With the rise of self-publishing, there’s a growing differentiation between people who just publish – and the truly successful authors who produce books that are indistinguishable in quality from those of the top 5 publishers. One of the ways in which they achieve this is by using the same tools as publishers do; or often, even better versions of them. Here are some software essentials as recommended by our community of Hidden Gems authors – which could empower you to add additional speed, precision and polish to your published works. Vellum It’s a cliche that writers tend to favor Apple products, but in the case of this highly-touted formatting software, the fact that it’s only available on MacOS suggests there’s some validity to that.  Vellum is designed to streamline the entire process of formatting books – including inserting links and pretty flourishes, assembling box sets and store links, and even… Read More >

The Most Important Part of Your Story Is the Dialogue

By: Hollie Jones | Posted on October 18, 2019

Writing great dialogue is just as important as creating the imaginary world or colorful characters of your book, and so it shouldn’t be ignored or rushed through. In fact, when done right, your dialogue will not only make your characters seem more authentic, but can help with the rest of your world building as well. Not convinced?  Today’s guest author Hollie Jones breaks down why dialogue is so important and how, when done well, it can improve so many aspects of your story. I’m no great fan of silent movies, but I acknowledge that they offer value to the cinematic world. In the absence of the spoken word, the visuals step up to shape perception, with deliberate framing and subtleties in body language conveying the intended themes. But think for a second about what people remember of the classic movies — in Gone With The Wind, is it the pause… Read More >

What Goes Into Choosing Your Genre?

By: Sloan Quinn & Katherine Stark | Posted on October 4, 2019

In your spare time you may read a number of different types of books for pleasure, but as an author, you need to focus on a particular genre to write in.  For some, that’s a fairly simple decision, but for others it may not be so easy.  So how do you decide? What factors go into choosing your genre, or your sub genre?  There are many ways to do it, but in today’s guest post authors Sloan Quinn and Katherine Stark offer up a few ideas based on the process they used. Romance as a genre is huge. There are so many different sub-genres contained within it: paranormal romance, contemporary erotica, thrillers and romantic suspense, romantic comedies… the list could go on for ages. We both are newer romance writers: Sloan Quinn writes the Dirty series, enemies-to-lovers romances centered around the criminal underground in Philadelphia (where she went to college);… Read More >