Showing posts from August, 2014

How to Make Readers Care About Your Story

It’s an age-old question. How do you make your readers care about your story? It’s the ultimate goal for writers, to make their readers care enough about the story and characters, because that is what makes them read your book and continue reading right until the end. There isn’t a straight forward answer for this one simply because there is so much involved in the process and lots for a writer to consider. It’s not really about the story, per se, because the story can be about anything, and so it becomes a secondary thing, but it’s how the writer uses the characters within the story that makes us care about what happens and therefore it makes us care about the overall story. We want the characters to reach their goal, we want them to win the day, we want them to succeed, and that’s because we care about what happens to them. How do we care? Firstly, you should write the story for the reader, not yourself. This is vitally important. It is not your story. So many writers

What Makes a Bad Writer?

We’ve all been bad writers at some point.   Being a bad writer is all part of the ritual of becoming a good writer. Everyone starts out a bad writer and becomes a good writer over time. (Good writers will also know that good writing isn’t formed instantly – it takes years of practice). But how can you tell a bad writer from a good one? How do you know if you are a bad writer? The main difference with good writers and bad writers is that good writers are always learning, always developing and are always open to feedback. Good writers know their limitations and their skill levels, and they’re always striving to become better; the best they can be. Bad writers, however, are a different beast altogether. Bad writers have no real grasp of their limitations, they presume to know everything there is to know about writing, without the experience to back it up. But even if they have three self-published books on Amazon, it doesn’t make them an expert on fiction writing. It just mea

Self-publish or Traditional?

There has been a lot of debate recently about whether an author should go down the traditional publishing route or whether to self-publish through the likes of Amazon or Create Space. Whatever the author decides, these two prospects offer different pros and cons. There is a certain element of the quality of writing and prestige with traditionally published books that is not yet present with self-published books, so many authors still pursue traditional publishing, despite the lure of becoming self-published. Traditional Publishing Despite what the naysayers might think, traditional publishing is still very strong and it is still important to writers. Finding an agent is usually the starting block for most writers wishing to look for the traditional published path. Others submit their work to publishers direct, whether large publishing houses or small indie publishers. It can be a long, drawn out process to get on that publishing ladder, so any writer who wants to pursue t

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Subplots

I’ve touched on the subject of plots in the past, but lots of people have emailed asking to know more about them, so here’s everything you need to know about them: What are they? The first thing to know is that they’re not the enemy. The subplot is a secondary plot (think of it as a mini-plot) to the main story, an additional story strand that also runs parallel to the main story, or is interwoven with the narrative. Subplots must always connect and relate to the main story. They play a supporting role to the main story. It’s no use having a subplot about characters that only briefly appear in your novel, because they won’t have been in the novel long enough for the reader to care about them. The same is true if you have a subplot about something that has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the story. It won’t make sense to the reader, and it won’t make sense to the story as a whole. Why do they happen? Subplots happen because of the main story, not because it might