Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Step Right Up

"Hurry, hurry, step right up and see what it's all about, folks! I have here a gen-u-ine, I said GENUINE, book that demands to be read. This book will keep you up nights reading page after page till you end up unhappy. And why unhappy? Because the book will be finished and you'll want another book! A thrill ride from beginning to end! Lots of romance, lots of adventure are threaded in these thin little pages. Just one harmless book, priced go to at 2.99. Did I say 2.99? But wait, there's more! Buy the book this very minute and we'll also throw in this incredible bookmark which you'll want to use again and again. See the climbing roses that adorn the front of this fantastic piece of art? Now look on the back. Puppies! Everyone's going to love this free gift, absolutely free when you purchase this awesome novel."

Far fetched? Maybe. But not much. Promotion is an important part of any author's craft. If nobody wants to read your story, you may as well kiss your career goodbye. And maybe it's a perfectly readable story. Maybe it's delightful. It's a page turner, a book everyone will demand. One they'll want to see made into a movie.

But let me ask you this: WHO KNOWS ABOUT IT? What do people know about it? Where are they getting their information? How are you communicating your story's desirability?

Write on!

Friday, May 23, 2014

In Praise of a Hero

Nobility, honorable character, and virtue should be applauded. Brag about your character. Toot the horn on his behalf; he cannot do so for himself, and your audience would think the less of him if he did. Does she make her every gracious act seem like Heaven itself shines in her smile? Does kindness flow from his eyes like the sun's rays spilling over the morning horizon? Do the lessons of their bravest acts linger like a beautiful scent even after they have vacated?

How can you carve your most creative descriptions around your characters' goodness?

Saturday, May 3, 2014


It's always useful to have your main characters in a dilemma.

Does your hero have an unfulfilled desire? Does this drive him or her to try and achieve it? What about two simultaneous desires that conflict, contending with each other for his or her mind and heart?

In almost any good story one thing must be given up to gain another. Your main characters will have to decide which one's better.

Let's go with some public domain fairy tales, ok?

What does the third pig give up to gain protection from the wolf? His playtime. He works longer and harder than his two brothers and gains a safe place to live. Did he want both playtime and safety? Undoubtedly, but he chose one over the other.

What did the wicked queen want in Snow White? She wanted to be the best and to eliminate any possible competition. Yes, even villains must make choices about how to go about obtaining their desires. And what did she give up to try and obtain it? Her beauty. It was supposed to be temporary, of course, this disguise as a harmless beggar carrying apples. Nonetheless, in going to such lengths to be seen as the most beautiful, she put aside her beauty in an attempt to deceive her competitor.

What did Dick Whittington desire? He wanted to be free from an abusive lifestyle. Why did he go back to the house where he was having such a very difficult time? Because the bells sang to him that he would become Lord Mayor of London, and he believed them. His desire to succeed and arrive at a good place in life superseded his desire to get away from those who were treating him unkindly.

And so it goes. Find some of your own.

Write on.