Writing Tips

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Writing a novel is  ahuge undertaking that can take months and even years to complete, depending on the amount of research and detail you put into your work of fiction or non-fiction.  Even knowing this, it can feel like it's taking too long to complete your novel.  If you feel that way, it may benefit you to read a few tips and tricks in order to speed up the process of writing your novel without diminishing its quality or value to readers.

Creating an outline or a breif synopsis of the plot as well as short character descriptions can help you get your ideas down so that you do not have to continuously stop and think, What's Next.  Of course, utilizing a good novel planning and writing book, like Ultimate Novel Planning Workbook: Worksheets for the Writer, Ready, Set, Novel!: A Workbook, Outlining Your Novel Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises for Planning Your Best Book (Helping Writers Become Authors 2) and Ready, Set, Write: Level 1, may help keep you focused and on the productive writing path.

For more writer tips and tricks, keep reading.  You're sure to find some ideas to help keep you on the path to publication.

If you’re submitting to agents in order to attain representation for a traditional publishing contract, you may be wondering what to do after you’ve completely exhausted your list. If you haven’t created a list of agents, there is one here that includes thriller and horror agents as well as links where you can find more agents. If you need an efficient way to create a list of agents and keep track of your submissions, you can find that information here.

So, You’ve Reached the End of Your Agent List

First, let me congratulate you for submitting to all the viable agents in your genre. I’m sure it was not an easy task, and you are probably already receiving rejection letters. Stay strong. Hopefully, here in a few weeks all your effort will pay off, and you’ll get the coveted request for your full manuscript and an offer of representation. However, until then, you’ll need to find ways to keep yourself occupied and in good spirits. Once you reach the end of your literary agent list, you’ll still have months to wait until all those submissions time-out, and it’s best to stay busy and look ahead not behind you. Whatever you do, you do not want to sit and stagnate.

 

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Have you heard of the term over-editing? If you’re a fiction or non-fiction author, you’ve probably run across this term more than once. It obviously means, you’d done too much editing on your current manuscript, but what is the definition of too much editing?

Over-Editing – A Definition

Over-editing occurs when the editing process fails to move the book forward or make the content of the book cleaner and/or more appealing to readers.

 

I understand that the definition is extremely vague, so let’s add some definable ideas that are actionable. If you find yourself re-editing the same paragraph, chapter or section over and over again, you are over-editing. If at any point your editing hinders your forward progress, you are over-editing. The editing process on your manuscript should not take years. It should take a couple months at most. This, of course, assumes that you aren’t editing a book full of technical information or math problems, but for the majority of writers, self-editing should take a couple of months at most.

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(In a Word Processor.  This assumes you will have your original cover from your Amazon Book that you can easily adjust to fit the dimensions)

Do you want to create your own paperback cover or hardback cover for a book published through Barnes and Noble Press? You can do this with your favorite word processor such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer. If you use Microsoft Word, Barnes and Noble Press has some templates to help you get started.  Here is a quick guide with how to create a paperback cover for Barnes and Noble on your own PC or Mac.

 

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Third person fiction is the most common form of narrative. It’s the easiest perspective to write from, because it allows a lot of flexibility in how you craft the narrative. You can write as an omniscient observer or as a narrator limited to only the perspective of the characters in the scene. You can even stay attached to the perspective of a single character, without having to resort to using the first person. Here are some pros and cons of writing fiction in the third person.

PRO: It’s the perspective most readers are familiar and comfortable with.

Many readers don’t like first-person or second-person perspective in fiction. Most readers prefer third person. It’s the most common perspective in fiction writing, so it’s the one most readers are comfortable reading. Some people really don’t like being forced into the perspective of a single character as in first-person fiction. Others find second-person (where you are put into the shoes of the protagonist) confusing and disorienting. Third-person fiction is the most straightforward and easiest to write. While first-person and second-person perspective can work well when written well, most stories work well when written in third-person.

 

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Wavemaker is a piece of novel writing and card making software with novel planning features.  It is an add-on for Chrome and Chromium.  Because it adds onto the browser as an external application, it works with all platforms.  It's also available in the Google Play Store.  All versions of this software are free as of this writing.

First Things First

Wavemaker is not set up like normal novel planning and writing software.  There's no menu for Chapter or Scene.  Instead, there are Siblings and Childs.  How you use those, I think, is up to you.  For myself, I think I'd use the Add Child for Chapters as it indents under the manuscript title, which is populated with "my story".  You can click on My Story and easily change the title.  It's very similiar to how Google docs does their titles.  In fact, all the titles are like that.  You can name childs and siblings in that manner.  To get the software to sync properly, you must connect it to Google Drive.  By doing that, you are allowing it to update automatically and be availalbe for you no matter which device you are using. (This is the primary benefit of this product.  It works everywhere.)

What WaveMaker Includes

  • A writing and editing window (Writer)

  • Search Function

  • Database Cards (Not sure what this could be used for.  Up to your imagination I think.)

  • Snowflake Tool (Bad name for this, but you can add characters and locations and extra novel information and have it exported to the Writer Tool)

  • Planning Board (Shows sections that are in the Writing Tool)

  • Grid Planner (I guess if you were going to do some detailed novel planning, this is where you'd do it.)

  • Mind Map (Again, probably for an author who really wants to plan the crap out of their novel)

  • Timeline Tool (What happens when.  Another novel planning tool)

  • Challenger Mode (Timed Writing.  Productivity Tool)

  • Export Documents

  • Google Drive Sync Up

Pros of WaveMaker

  • Available on all Platforms that have Chrome of Chromium Installed

  • Available for Android Phones

  • Definitely usable for writers using a combination of Linux and Android Portable Devices 

  • It Syncs with Google

  • Can be exported as HTML, Markdown, RTF and as an Ebook (Ok, ebook someday.  It's not available as of this writing)

  • You can download the project file

  • Has the ability to turn on paragraph indents (although, they are very shallow)

Cons of WaveMaker

  • It's not intuitive

  • It is not laid out like other novel software writing programs

  • There is a learning curve.

 Wavemaker is probably very powerful and useful once you get the hang of it. A lot of the features are not precisely defined, so the author has a lot of leeway in how they use the functions of this program.  Is it good?  Is it bad?  The jury is still out.  I really haven't used it enough to make a determination, but I think authors should give it a try.  For a free peice of novel writing software, it looks pretty robust.

 

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Writer Tools is a piece of novel writing software that is available for Android and Online, meaning it can be used for all types of computers as well as portable devices. The software is completely free for mobile, tablet and online use. It is advertised as a novel planner, tracker and editor.

The Writer Tools Mobile Application

The Writer Tools mobile application is available in the Google Play store. It is completely free to download and install. However, it contains ads and offers in-app purchases, so as with every piece of free software, it’s important to pay attention and not accidentally purchase something you did not intend to purchase.

What the Application Offers

  • Backup Creation – Clicking on this automatically backs up your progress.

  • Writing Progress Tracker – Track your writing progress automatically.

  • Timeline – Create timeline events

  • Characters – Create, Name and write biographies for all your characters

  • Chapters – Writer your chapters (There’s no scene feature)

  • Locations – Create your locations.

  • Quarterly Goals – Create and track your quarterly writing goals.

  • Ideas – keep track of your novel ideas

  • Custom Lists – Create custom lists

  • Thesaurus – Get those big words or alternative words so that you don’t say the same thing 45,000 times

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Updated: May 5, 2019

On May 5, 2019, the creator of Biblisco contacted me, letting me know that Biblisco 2.1 was available for download for Mac, Linux and Windows, so I have updated this to reflect the new version, which is improved over version 2.0.3, which was what I had previously downloaded for Linux.  First thing to know.  If you've started a project under the old Biblisco, I recommend you finish it and switch to the new version for your next project.  I was unable to create an archive in the old Biblisco and get it to load in the new Biblisco.  The new Biblisco did not see the old project's archive.  Thankfully, I was using the old Biblisco to test the functions.  I'm doing the same with the new version (with the intent to use it as a way to organize projects that I've been working on in Google Docs. (Full discolure there.)

 

If you haven't heard of Bibisco, don’t fret. It’s a lesser known piece of software for writing fiction. Bibisco specifically works with Windows, Linux and MAC computers. Unfortunately, there is no Android or Apple application as of this writing, but the desktop versions are offered in free or paid versions.

Free Bibisco

The free version of this fiction writing software contains:

  • The ability to create unlimited projects

  • Sections for creating your novels, premise, fabula, setting and narrative strands.

  • The ability to create locations.

  • The ability to create detailed character biographies

  • Chapter and scene creation

  • Analysis of the books sections and word counts

  • The ability to export files via PDF or .doc 

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Writing a book and publishing a book are only the first steps to author success.  This is because you could have written a great book, but this does not matter if no one knows about it. Thankfully, there are promotional tools and things you can do to help spread the word.


Social media is a great place to promote your book. You can potentially reach thousnads and even millions of people with properly timed and hashtagged tweets and posts. You can also start a blog, create promotional and informative articles and share those across your social media accounts.  There are even sites where you can promote your book for free.

Additionally, there are also several Amazon books available to get you gather book promotion ideas so that you can create your own custom book promotion strategy.  Great Noevel marketing books include:

  1. Novel Marketing: Making Your Author Brand Work for You & Your Books
  2. How to Market a Book Third Edition (Books for Writers)
  3. The Kindle Publishing Bible: How To Sell More Kindle Ebooks on Amazon (Step-by-Step Instructions On Self-Publishing And Marketing Your Books) (Kindle Bible Book 1)
  4. How Your Book Sells Itself: 10 Ways Your Book is Your Ultimate Marketing Tool (Marketing for Authors)
  5. Sell More Books!: Book Marketing and Publishing for Low Profile and Debut Authors Rethinking Book Publicity after the Digital Revolutions
  6. Let's Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books (Let's Get Publishing) (Volume 2)
  7. 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, Real World Edition: Authors: How to sell more books, ebooks, multi-media books, audios, videos, white papers, and other information products in the real world

 

In addition to the above helpful books, here are a few articles to help you self-promote your books.

Free Kindle eBooks

 

 

 

Writing Books (On Walmart)

 

 

 

Thriller Book Suggestions

 
 

Classic Horror Collection
By: Various
Published by: MobileReference.com

Classic Horror Collection. Incl. Dracula, Present at a Hanging, Tales of Terror and Mystery, The Phantom of the Opera, The Cask of Amontillado, Varney the Vampire, Frankenstein, The Raven & MORE... more...
 

Horowitz Horror
By: Horowitz, Anthony
Published by: Philomel

From the creator of the Alex Rider Adventures comes this wicked collection of macabre tales sure to send shivers up the spine. more...
 
 

Kitty's House of Horrors
By: Vaughn, Carrie
Published by: Grand Central Publishing

REALITY BITES Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a... more...
 

Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror
By: Writers Association, International Thriller
Published by: Dutton Children's

Don't turn out the lights. Don't go out alone. And whatever you do, don't let down your guard. Because your neighbors might seem normal, but why do they collect knives and eat their steaks so bloody? more...
 
 

Our Haunted Lives
By: Belanger, Jeff
Published by: ReadHowYouWant

Our Haunted Lives features the stories of dozens of people who have witnessed the supernatural firsthand--in their homes, at work, in cities large and small, in the United States and abroad. more...
  Ghost Hunt
By: Hawes, Jason; Wilson, Grant; Dokey, Cameron (other)
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
An exciting new middle grade collection of spooky paranormal investigations based on REAL ghost hunts from stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters , the number one reality show on cable television! In a lush, thick volume, Ghost Hunt will feature multiple... more...
 
 

Living With Ghosts
By: Sperring, Kari
Published by: DAW

The dazzling debut from a brilliant new fantasy talent. This highly original, darkly atmospheric fantasy novel immerses readers in a world where ghosts and other malevolent spirits seek entry into mortal realms—invisible to all but those who are not... more...
 

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Paranormal
By: Brown, Nathan Robert
Published by: Alpha Books

An otherworldly examination of the unknown that will keep fright fans reading all night From any strange experience that can't be defined by science to psychic phenomena to monsters and weird creatures, The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to the Paranormal... more...
 
 

Shadow Tales
By: Grover, John
Published by: Double Dragon Publishing

There is a world that exists within our world. It is the world of shadow. A realm where anything is possible, a world where nothing is as it seems, a world that few have ever seen and returned to tell the tale. In this world new kinds of monsters are... more...
 

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft
By: Gleason, Katherine
Published by: Alpha Books

This guide offers a beginner's look at the history of paganism, Wicca, and witchcraft, from the Druids and Celts to the witches of today who practice an earth-based religion, cast spells, and perform natural magic. The book, written by a practicing witch,... more...
 
 
 
 

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