Easy Ways to Destroy Your Novel Writing Success

Novel Writing

by Annette Young

Even the most enthusiastic and passionate of writers can murder their chances of being successful in their novel writing efforts if not careful and over the years, I have seen many writers make many mistakes which have scuppered their attempts to have their novel published. As such, I’ve compiled a list and and if any sound worryingly familiar, do your best to avoid them in future.  

Waiting and wondering

Sometimes inspiration is slow to strike. It happens to everyone but yes, it is frustrating. You may have the time, the space and the inclination but the blank page from your new computer is quick to mock you for your inactivity, so what do you do? The worst thing (and most common) mistake for new writers is that they sit and wait for the lightning bolt of inspiration to zig zag out of the sky and to replenish their creativity. Oh, if it were only that easy. Sometimes, you have to give your imagination a jolt the old-fashioned way and just start writing. Each word might be painful and your brain will protest but nail yourself to that chair if you have to.  

The evil inner critic

As writers, we are often so hard on ourselves. We expect the words to tumble like gemstones in a perfectly polished state so that little editing or rewriting is required, sadly, it doesn’t happen this way. The writing process certainly is demanding and if you are one to give yourself a hard time on the occasions when those words do not flow and much of the work has to be rewritten, try to stop those negative thoughts.  Even the most prolific and experienced of writers have to push their inner critic to one side or, better still, banish it from the room.

Oh, the arrogance

While the inner critic demolishes their own chances of success, by contrast, the arrogant writer will blame everyone else for their inability to get published or to make money from their endeavours. The road to writing success is never easy for anyone but being arrogant if and when failure occurs will not help one little bit. I have witnessed the arrogance of would-be writers many times and just having a natural talent with the written word does not automatically ensure success. If a publisher or editor decides to reject your work, they do so for a reason. Perhaps the guidelines were not read and inwardly digested, or perhaps they were read but simply ignored? Sound familiar?


With the relative ease of being published these days, some writers are guilty of rushing their work and then, once published, wonder why feedback is far from sweet. Often writers take the kind words of their families or friends as gospel and then publish immediately instead of doing the sensible thing and requesting a manuscript critique where any errors or developmental needs would be highlighted. It’s far better to take an extra week or so and have the book polished and ready to publish than to read numerous negative views. Ouch.

Holding onto the baby  

Some writers refuse to send their creative baby out into the world, they hug these creations, clasping them tightly and refuse to let anyone see them. Their novel may have become the next best-seller but even if not, if hiding creativity away, there’s no chance of progression at all. If a lack of confidence is the issue, improve your fiction writing skills (and your confidence) by signing up for one of our classes, or join a local college writing course. Some writers finish their novels and place them in a drawer and they are never seen again. What a shame.

Calling it a day

Some writers work feverishly for weeks or months and then get completely stuck. Instead of asking for help by the professionals, they decide writing is not for them, it’s too hard. Well, yes, writing is really hard and that is why when success happens, it is so amazing. The joy of being published is simply incredible, yes, whether self-publishing or not, people can read your novel. You become a novelist. Now that sounds good right? So don’t quit unless you really don’t care. After all, you don’t walk into a new job and perform perfectly do you? You have to learn the relevant techniques and processes and this is exactly the same for writing.

If any of these errors sound more than a little familiar, do something about it. That novel idea you have or the half-written novel tucked away in a drawer could be the best thing ever. Don’t hide it.

If you need help with your writing, talk to us. Email: info@creative-competitor.co.uk

You can also check out our full list of author services right HERE.

Writing a Novel – Stereotypes and Boundaries

Writing a novel

Author Annette Youngby Annette Young

When I started writing my novel Who Killed September Falls, I had the image of my two main characters firmly planted in my mind. I knew that I wanted September to be wildly beautiful but flawed within her own personality and she had to have the perfect foil, Arianne Tawnison who was the loyal friend, the side-kick who recognised her role within the friendship but who gave willingly and gained much as a result. I wanted September, (Sepi) to have a Latin heritage although she was British, so she could be feisty, passionate and indiscreet, and by contrast, Arianne was sensible, sensitive and transparently honest.

I am a firm believer that you should write about what you know or have experienced, and base your story on solid foundations, pushing back the barriers in ways that stretch the imagination, extending those characters, yet still allowing them to be natural and realistic in their thoughts, feelings and actions.

By the time I came to write my novel, I had lived and breathed both characters for quite some time and had played out various scenarios in my mind. I knew the novel was going to be a murder mystery, but it couldn’t just be that. It had to be about the people who played their part. The characters had to be larger than life, they had to  be emotional, to be able to feel raw pain and to be unable to hide it.

I  also wanted to break down the stereotype that many people have of us Brits, and I say this tongue in cheek because I am sure that there is a definite perception of the  stiff upper lip and that we muster on despite intense heartbreak and emotional turmoil, our lips may quiver slightly but that’s all.  In my mind, I just knew that Arianne wasn’t going to be able to be that tough. She was facing the shock and terror of hearing that her best friend had been brutally murdered. I put myself in that situation wondering what I would feel, how I would cope, questioning how I could recover from such terrible news. As I sat contemplating my writing plan, there was no doubt that I was going to put her through the mill and she was going to feel alone, isolated in her grief and would shed never-ending tears the more that she learned. Arianne suffered the pain of suspected betrayal, faced acute fear and experienced the purity of love which served to comfort and shield her, but throughout, she stuck to her mission with dogged determination and resilience.

I suppose writing those types of scenes made me really consider my own emotions. I don’t like to cry in public and I have never liked to show if someone has hurt me, so I had to turn the tables on Arianne and make life so raw for her that she had to grieve and experience the multitude of emotions that threatens to envelop when someone close to you dies. As she cried, I sat at my desk and cried too. Since the novel was published, I have had many people tell me that there were times in the novel when they cried over the intensity of the emotions and I’ve had others tell me that Arianne certainly didn’t seem like their idea of a British woman and that she seemed to really struggle to get over her loss, so maybe I achieved what I set out to do.

My novel became the murder-mystery with emotion. I created a slice of real life and took two very different women, threw them both into a very dark place which resulted in dire consequences and created a complex mystery with a myriad of twists and turns that took Arianne into emotional places and situations in which she floundered. My ethos was that no-one truly knows how to deal with grief in real life, so I wanted to capture all those dark emotions as a result.

When I started writing my novel, I had no idea of how powerful those emotional scenes would be for me as the writer. I think that Arianne Tawnison really came to life for me because I stripped back the barriers and allowed those raw emotions to live. I think that breaking down the stereotype also enabled me to move more freely in a creative sense. Although September experienced hatred and tragedy, Arianne has evolved and her character has become so powerful that she lives on in a fictional sense in my latest series, Secrets at Cranridge Manor. It’s good to be able to bring her back from those dark depths and to give her something new to focus on.

So when you start writing your novel, consider carefully where you want your characters to end up. How can you break down barriers to make your characters believable? They need to feel real to you so that you can portray them convincingly to others and if they are strong enough, you may be able to breathe life into them at a later date.

Who Killed September Falls?


Interested in reading Who Killed September Falls?









Or take a look at the new series starring Arianne Tawnison…



Buy Part One here:

Series - Secrets at Cranridge Manor













How to Write a Psychological Thriller

By Tabitha Levin

There are many different types of thriller stories, ranging from action adventure, mystery, crime, courtroom, and even paranormal. But there is one genre of this type that is different from the rest because it focuses more on the emotional aspects of the story, rather than the action. And that type of story is the psychological thriller.

Step 1: Write Your Outline

There are many different opinions on how to write a psychological thriller, but probably the most common is that you should start with an outline since it gives you a road map to adhere to when you are writing.

The reason that this is important for this type of book, is that you need to get the suspense elements right, and having a guideline of what you want to achieve will help you keep on track.

Step 2: Have Good Clear Characters

Unlike other genres, you need to make sure that you define your characters completely in your story, since most of the plot will revolve around their emotional reactions to certain situations. Are they weak and run at the first sign of danger? Do they have a past issue with something that is now haunting them again?  Explaining not only how they react, but why, is the key to making them real.

The same goes for the baddie of the story. Since the antagonist is usually the one heaping the emotional stress on the protagonist, you need to make them clear in their intentions as well. Are they doing it for revenge? Fun? Because they know something about the hero that they want to reveal to the world?

Often you’ll find that the good guy and bad guy are emotional opposites of each other. One will be strong and resourceful, and the other weak but single minded. By the end, the hero will usually always overcome whatever issues they have and be able to beat the antagonist at their own game.

Step 3: Get Into Your Characters Minds

Since most of the fear and suspense will be happening in your characters mind, you need to let the reader see this fear that the character is experiencing. If the character jumps at the sound of a branch snapping, you need to make the reader feel that same terror with your writing. This takes practice to get right, but slowing down the action and focusing on every gust of wind, every hair that is sticking up on the back of the characters neck, will help create that mood. [http://www.squidoo.com/thriller-stories]Thriller stories, especially psychological driven ones, are increasingly popular with readers and being able to thrill and excite your audience is the key to becoming a successful writer in this genre.

Tabitha writes short thrillers (amongst other things). You can find out more about her books at her website: http://tabithalevin.com/category/action-suspense-short-stories

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?How-to-Write-a-Psychological-Thriller&id=7180999] How to Write a Psychological Thriller

Want to Be a Writer? These Tips Will Help to Make Your Dream Come True

By Harriet Hodgson

Last week I met a writer who had one book published. Since his book sells well, and he speaks to groups across the country, he thought about writing a second book. But he didn’t take action on this idea. “Writing is too much work,” he admitted, “so I just revised my existing book.”

This writer speaks the truth. Whether it is a novel, mystery, history, self-help, poetry, children’s book, sports book, or another genre, writing is hard work. You also have to deal with submission guidelines, editors, deadlines, and marketing. In short, your work isn’t done when your book is done.

Writers also have to deal with comments from readers. During my 35+ years as a writer I have received compliments and thoughtless comments. One man was disappointed when one of my books was released. “I was going to write that,” he complained. However, I researched the topic, spent weeks on the outline, spent months on writing, and submitted the manuscript to publishers.

I acted upon my book idea and he did not.

Many people have approached me and said they wanted to write a book. When I ask what they are working on at the moment, however, the answer is always the same — nothing. I have never met a would-be writer who was working on anything. By definition, writers are supposed to write. If you want your book published, you need to create a body of work.

Volunteering may also help you reach your dream of becoming a writer. You may serve as volunteer editor of your church newsletter, for example, or write articles for the public library newsletter. I wrote a brochure for a local community group and you could do something similar. Over time, your volunteer efforts will become a body of work and prove, without a doubt, that you are a writer.

Community education and college courses may also help you to achieve your dream. Taking courses proves, yet again, that you are serious about becoming a writer. Keep a file or files of everything you write to track your progress. If you don’t have a resume, now is the time to create one. List courses, volunteer efforts, and completed manuscripts on your resume.

These tips helped me to achieve my dream of becoming a writer and I hope they help you.

Write every day. You may write letters, blog postings, short articles, or work on a book outline.
Find your genre. This may take some time, but keep at it.
Research publishers in your genre. Never submit a manuscript to a publisher that you have not researched.
Work on a one-page query letter. Put it away and take it out in a few weeks. Make any revisions you think are necessary.
Create a resume, including all of your volunteer writing positions.
Update your resume regularly.
Keep a file of submissions and rejects. Hopefully, this file will eventually include acceptances.
Be persistent. If you don’t believe in you, others will not either.
Consider self-publishing. In this sagging economy many writers are going directly to self-publishing and the Kindle or Nook. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, investigate the publisher and read reviews on the Internet.

Copyright 2012 by Harriet Hodgson http://www.harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson is the author of 31 published books, including six grief resources. For the first time in her writing career, two of her books were released simultaneously — “Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss” and “Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids: Grandparents Adapting to Life’s Surprises.” Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Want-to-Be-a-Writer?-These-Tips-Will-Help-to-Make-Your-Dream-Come-True&id=7163352] Want to Be a Writer? These Tips Will Help to Make Your Dream Come True

Suggestions For Writing the End of a Novel

By Sheila C Skillman

So important is the end, that it can spoil an otherwise excellent novel. As a regular Amazon reviewer, I have read novels thinking, This is superb. I’m going to give this novel 5 stars. And then I’ve reached the end, and my potential review slips a star.

So how as a writer do we go about ensuring that our novel has a satisfying conclusion? For the key is in the word ‘satisfying’. It’s possible to write a novel having a rough idea of where you’re heading and when you get there it’s quite a different outcome. A novel is an organic thing. A writer may set out on the journey with the goal of exploring what it is he or she wants to say. The theme may be as yet unknown. Only by a satisfying end to the story will that theme reveal itself. Characters can change your mind. A pre-determined end turns out to be totally inappropriate. A story may have its true conclusion earlier than you had envisaged. Or too many strands are tied up neatly. You need to backtrack, finish the story at an earlier point, leaving some questions still open in the mind of a reader.

A novel may have a closed or an open ending. The end may be happy, sad, bittersweet or ironical. But certainly the end is determined by the way in which the main protagonist has pursued that over-arching desire which is the spine of the story. As Robert McKee says in “Story”, the protagonist may not achieve that desire, but ‘the flood of insight that pours from the gap delivers the hoped-for emotion… in a way we could never have foreseen.’

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself as you consider the end of your novel:

1) Is there a “deus ex machina” in your conclusion? Or has the ending evolved from the choices made by the main protagonist? Could this ending have occurred if the protagonist had not made those choices? And does the outcome depend solely upon the inner resources of the MP, which you have developed throughout the novel, folding them through the plot in a skilful weaving of characterisation and action?

2) Have you answered too many questions and tied up too many loose ends?

3) Have you said more than you needed to? Have you failed to respect the intelligence of the reader?

4) Is your ending a surprise? – in fact, does it top all the other surprises in the novel? or could the reader have predicted it?

5) Has the outcome been foreshadowed at all? Could the reader say, ‘Oh yes, of course, this makes sense because…”

Above all, we abhor a vacuum of meaning. The end of the story must have coherence, even if it’s tragic, or unhappy, or ironical, or shocking. Take some great endings as an example. John Fowles’ novel “The Collector” has a conclusion which penetrates the reader to the core, it is so chilling. And yet it has an organic relationship with the events of the novel and the development of the two characters. The end of “The Lord of the Rings”, J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy masterpiece, is one that on many levels satisfies, and yet I personally felt it went too far. For my satisfaction, I didn’t want to know about Frodo sailing away. I’d sooner it was left with the hobbits back in the Shire. But that of course is just my own personal response. One aspect of the ending which did greatly satisfy me was when Tolkien notes that the power of the Dark Lord is reduced and shrunk but not totally annihilated. It is still there, in a corner. It can be reawakened. I found that a profound recognition of the nature of evil in this world.

Finally, a very well-known happy ending is to be found in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. And yet we are still left with the irreduceable fact that Mrs Bennett and Lydia and Wickham will all continue to be problems in the future. The problems they pose will be of a slightly different nature as a result of the events of this story – but they’ll still be there, because they are inextricably bound up with those characters.

S.C.Skillman is an author and blogger. She writes mystery romance novels. Her debut, “Mystical Circles”, may be found on Kindle. The story “weaves romance and attraction with spiritual searching and emotional needs, powerful universal themes which affect us all”. To find out more about SC Skillman, visit her blog at http://www.scskillman.com to read posts on writing, books, travel, inspiration, art, culture and history.

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Suggestions-For-Writing-the-End-of-a-Novel&id=7076832] Suggestions For Writing the End of a Novel

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Studying Your Favorite Author Can Help You Write Your Book

By Flora M Brown, Ph.D.

Staring at a blank sheet of paper or Word document as you start your book is a scary thing. It stops the flow of creativity in even the most talented writer. As for newcomers to the process, it can kill the dream at the start.

Published writers, editors and publishers offer much advice about what you should do before you write your book. Most say you should create an outline or put pressure on yourself by announcing your plan to the world.

One thing that is extremely helpful to authors as they are writing their book is market research. You may have heard this term used as it relates to consumer research for marketing services and products, but it is also a very relevant practice for writers, too! Studying the work of a writer you admire is an excellent example “market research” for writing your book.

There are three good reasons for it:

1. Inspiration
The mere fact that a favorite author has successfully shared her ideas in print is encouraging, especially at the start when your first words seem out of reach. Observing the author use words you can understand to unfold concepts before your very eyes will give you encouragement and often call forth your ideas that until now were too shy to reveal themselves.

2. Guidance
It is very instructive to turn an analytical eye to the work of an admired author or even the top authors in your genre, whether you admire them or not. You can learn about writing, structuring and publishing all in one place.

First, pay attention to how you approach the book as a reader: check out the title, author’s name, quick scan of front cover, flip over to back cover looking for proof that this book will keep the promise of its title and solve your problem or fill your need.

Second, go inside the book to see how the author delivers on his promise. How does he begin, develop and end the chapters? Is the book light-hearted, humorous or serious, with lessons and activities? Are there quotes, stories, illustrations, and if so, do they add to the message? Are there examples to make key points clear or does the author pose questions and leave you to reflect?

3. Direction
After you have read, examined and analyzed the book, you will begin to see gaps in what and how the author wrote his book and how you want to write yours.

You will notice omissions, ideas she didn’t cover or information glazed over that you’d like to explain in more depth in your book.

You will begin to see missing evidence you would set forth to support ideas in your book that somehow the author in question neglected.

In this phase you will begin to see your book emerge as distinctive. Even though it may be on the same or similar topic or style and isn’t even written yet, you will begin to see the gap your book will fill in the literature.

You will be able to visualize the books currently on the bookstore shelf moving closer together making just enough space on the shelf for your upcoming book to join them.

There are two very practical reasons to study another author or authors in your genre:

You will be able to return to them when your confidence wanes along the way (and it will).
If you plan to approach a literary agent or submit directly to a traditional publisher, this will be a required part of your proposal, without which they will not even consider your manuscript.

Using some of these techniques and tips will keep you moving forward on your path to writing your own book. Start putting them into action today!

Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. is an author, coach, speaker, radio host and entrepreneur. Her book, Color Your Life Happy, promotes making choices that give you the life you want. Her forthcoming book, Color Your Life Published: How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 90 Days, gives the ordinary person reassurance and guidance in getting their books published and creating multiple streams of income. Get her free ebook, It’s Time to Write Your Book, at http://www.coloryourlifepublished.com

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Studying-Your-Favorite-Author-Can-Help-You-Write-Your-Book&id=6864442] Studying Your Favorite Author Can Help You Write Your Book


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Fiction Writing – How To Keep Readers Turning Pages

By Karleene Morrow

You’ve arranged your writing area, you go there every day and churn out x number of words on the story you have set out to tell. Kudos. But along with writing your dream, there are techniques that make a story sizzle and lack of those techniques that make it fall flat. Among these are developing characters, components of the story, i.e., beginnings, middles and endings, building plot, dialogue, diction, style, scene and sequel, point of view, tight writing.. and more.

Along with writing every day, one should learn something about the craft every day. Each strategy a writer learns will benefit him as a writer. It is important, one could say imperative, to work at learning the craft of writing on a continual basis and not think that the book should be written first, then the skills learned and the book ‘fixed’ afterward. Wrong approach. The more one learns the more improved the writing process and certainly the better the manuscript that is coming into being. Lack of writing basics is undoubtedly the prime reason that many first novels end up in the bottom drawer and subsequent novels see print. The more we learn and the more we write, using that combination together, the finer writers we are going to be.

That is not to say we should sweat over each word or phrase in our first draft. On the contrary, wiser writers than I, such as James Michener and Stephen King,believes that it is to our benefit to write ‘straight through.’ Write the first draft without looking back. By the end of it you will have an understanding of the story that was not available to you when you began. The rewrites, however many it takes, will bring the novel out in all of its potential. But the more we know about the art and craft of story telling, the better both the first draft and subsequent rewrites are going to be.

It is difficult, or maybe impossible, to say that one technique is more important than another. Interesting characters, for example, will not save a novel that is loosely written and perhaps abounds with exposition, page after page of description. Yawn.

There are, however, two parts of the writing process that rise to the top in value. The first is keeping your novel “active” right out of the chute. That means Show – not Tell. You will hear that over and over if you work at learning the craft of writing. As you read and study you will continually be told to write in the active voice or to not write in the passive voice. Listen up. Pay attention. The passive voice will kill your story, it will make it drag, be boring and will lose all but the most masochistic of readers. Seriously, it is self-torture to try to stay with a dragging, boring story unless there is nothing else in the house to read except the toothpaste carton.

Showing is letting the reader see the scene or event. Telling is having the reader hear the event, it is explaining. Sometimes, rarely, telling works but basically it is lazy writing. Work at doing better and you will be a better writer. “The morning was bright and warm.” What’s wrong with that sentence? Not much, the grammar is correct, it has a subject and a verb. But it is passive. The sentence is telling us something. It is explaining. What about: The day dawned bright and warm. Ahh, now we see it, we feel it rather than hear it. If a character is mean and abusive, don’t tell us that. Show us something in his actions, allow us to experience him. “My front window was broken by your son.” Passive. “Your son broke my front window.” Active. Better.

What would you think of this: “It was the last morning of Virginia’s bloodiest year since the Civil War. There was a fire burning and through the window sunrise would show the sea.” Sound all right?

Or maybe this instead: “On the last morning of Virginia’s bloodiest year since the Civil War, I built a fire and sat facing a window of darkness where at sunrise I knew I would find the sea.” Does that sound, feel, read better? Yes, I’d say so. That’s the opening to Patricia Cornwell’s Cause of Death. Excellent writing.

While you’re focusing on the active voice, there’s something related that you should be aware of. Please, please don’t have a character tell another character something she already knows. Don’t have Jane say “I ran into your friend Betty, the hair dresser, today.” She knows her friend is a hairdresser. That’s sloppy writing, used when the author butts in to tell the reader something he should have shown. Learn all you can about showing and not telling. Use the active voice. It will be one of the two biggest favors you do yourself as an emerging writer.

One way you can help yourself stay on track is to use the Search feature on your word processing program when you finish a chapter. Look for “was.” Almost every time you find it you will see a passive sentence. Rewrite it. Make the ‘was’ search a routine until you are absolutely, completely certain that you have overcome the habit of writing in the passive voice. Also turn on your grammar and spelling feature and watch for those green underlines. The program, not being human, is often wrong so skip those notices but it’s not generally wrong about a passive sentence. Rewrite to make the sentence active and you will see instant improvement.

The second technique a writer should know if he wants to keep his readers turning pages is to end each chapter with something unresolved, something that makes the readers want to go on. It does not have to be a major event like the house burning down or a burglar crawling through a window. But if the chapter ending leaves something the reader is unsure or curious or concerned about, he’ll keep reading. This is the kind of writing that readers mean when they say “I couldn’t put it down,” or “It kept me up half the night.” The reader is anxious to know what comes next.

Read the ending of one of your chapters as if you were a new reader. Does it make you want to turn the page? Do you want to know what happens now? If not, analyze that chapter and consider how to make the ending intriguing. Good story line along with good writing engages the reader but dull chapter ending are dangerous. The reader is apt to close the book and maybe never get back to it again.

At a writers’ conference in Austin, Texas several years ago, speaker James Magnasom said a friend told him he had finally figured out why Louie Lamour’s books were so popular. When asked why, the friend said, “At the end of each chapter there’s a knock at the door.”

Put a post-it note on the left corner of your monitor that says ‘Show, Don’t Tell.” On the right corner stick one up that says “Is there a knock at the door?” Keep those in front of you as you write your novel. Whatever else you learn about this craft, these two techniques will be among the most valuable tools in your bag of writing tricks.

Karleene Morrow is the author of the historical fiction novel, Destinies, set in 18th century Russia. Available from Amazon.com and other online stores. Karleene lives at the beach in the Pacific Northwest with her Pomeranian show dogs. Visit her at http://www.karleenemorrow.com

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Fiction-Writing—How-To-Keep-Readers-Turning-Pages&id=6737452] Fiction Writing – How To Keep Readers Turning Pages

Thriller Novels – What Will Be The Next Big Theme?

By James Marinero
For authors of thrillers, the Cold War was a massive subject. Then it ended. Just in time Al Quaeda arrived, and it has been a gift for novelists. Despite the countless deaths and the pain it has engineered, the central theme of an organisation bent on attacking all things Western has been the framework of many novels since 2001. With the asymmetric nature of the distributed war that has driven large scale re-organisation of armed forces, then we have another rich seam which authors have mined keenly.
This war is science fiction coming to life, with UAVs, known grimly as Predators – surely soon to join common parlance as the ‘Hoover’ did for vacuuming homes in the UK.
Predators, high resolution satellite surveillance, cyberwarfare, robot soldiers – the emerging technology list grows daily and exponentially.
This asymmetric war arrived at a propitious time, both for novelists and armed forces. The Cold War was over and Western armed forces’ budgets were being cut – their role in a relatively peaceful world was under review (relatively being the key word there). Armed forces and novelists alike were casting about for ideas. Then, Twenty First Century warfare is born, with a new set of weapons and new, sexy technology! So much written, and now has become passé.
Where will the next strong theme come from for thriller writers? I believe it is the emerging threat of China. Chinese muscle-flexing is being driven from the bottom up by a vast population with rapidly rising expectations, ingenuity and hunger. The only safe way that this internal pressure can be managed is to let it out, gradually.
The lid of the kettle – that is the that is the Chinese Communist Party – wants to stay firmly in place, so other ways have to be found to reduce growing internal pressure.
Consequently, the People’s Liberation Army is expanding its Navy, turning outward from a simple coastal defence force to a global blue water force. China also has manned space flight and a long term digital warfare program.
China has also ripped open western markets, with a huge migration of manufacturing resources and jobs alike – from the West to China, with its huge low-wage population. The vast country also has a significant control of strategic metals (such as being a major producer of neodymium); conversely, China is a huge importer of Australian iron ore, forming an important portion of Australia’s foreign currency income.
Financially, China is the largest foreign holder of US dollars and one of the top three in the published gold bullion reserves list.
These are scenarios ripe for thriller novels!
James Marinero writes topical thrillers, such as ‘ [http://www.jamesmarinero.com/Publications/Gate-of-Tears.html]Gate of Tears ‘ with themes of global politics and terrorism, with gritty action. With a strong interest in the growing power of China – its financial, industrial and military impact on the West, he blogs at [http://jamesmarinero.blogspot.com]James Marinero’s Blog

Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Thriller-Novels—What-Will-Be-The-Next-Big-Theme?&id=6710173] Thriller Novels – What Will Be The Next Big Theme?

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Good Writing Results in Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

By Irene Watson

The other day when I was talking to an author who is in the middle of writing her book, I asked her, “Who is the book’s audience?” The book was a memoir about her childhood and the abuse she had experienced growing up. Since my own memoir, “The Sitting Swing,” is along those lines, I thought I could be helpful to her.

She replied that the book would be read by other survivors of verbal, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as people in those situations now who needed the courage to get out of them, and anyone who liked a human interest story about overcoming your problems. I agreed with her that those people were her primary audience. Then I asked her, “How are you going to reach them?” Her response was, “Well, that has to do with marketing and I can’t think about that right now. I’m putting all my focus on writing the book.”

I can’t say I was surprised by this response. I’ve heard it before, and I certainly understand authors not wanting to put the cart before the horse, so to speak, since writing a book is in itself a tremendous undertaking, but I also know that when it comes to writing a book, you can’t define the writing as the horse and the marketing as the cart. If anything, it’s probably the other way around-the marketing is what pulls the book, what brings it out into the public eye. But an even better analogy is an automobile. An automobile is not split into two parts (cart and horse) but is one object where all its smaller pieces work together to get it where it’s meant to go. Writing and marketing are really the same thing-they are inseparable.

The author I spoke to only had a few chapters of her book written, and she was struggling to move forward with it. She didn’t want to talk to me about “marketing” so as I continued to try to help her, I avoided using “marketing” or any other words like “promotion,” “audience,” or “readers” that she equated with it. Instead, we talked about “focus,” “purpose,” and “organization.” In short, we talked about marketing without her realizing it.

You can’t separate writing and marketing. Well, you can, but if you do, you probably will end up with a poorly written book that is unmarketable. A good author knows the value of good writing, and what qualifies as good writing has to do with understanding who you are writing for-who your audience is, how your readers want to receive your message, why they want to hear your message, and how your message is going to help them (even if helping them only means entertaining them or allowing them to escape from their troubles for a few hours by entering the fictional world you have created).

Non-fiction authors who work with traditional publishers, both for book-length manuscripts and even magazine articles, already know that marketing starts from the beginning. Most traditionally published non-fiction authors will come up with an idea for a book, and maybe write a chapter or two just as a writing sample, and then submit a proposal for the book to the publisher to find out whether the publisher is interested and will fund the writing. In other words, what’s the point of doing the work if you won’t be paid for it? And even if the publisher is interested in the topic, he might have some suggestions to make it marketable and interesting to readers-better to know those things up front than have to do an overhaul and rewrite later to fit the publisher’s requirements.

Even if you plan to self-publish, you need to think about how you will reach your audience, and how you reach that audience, even whom that audience is, should significantly influence your actual writing. As you write the book, you will have your readers in mind so you will know what questions they will have, what problems they want solved, or what kinds of characters and settings in a novel will appeal to them. All of that is marketing and all of it is also writing.

Another comment I’ve heard from authors is, “It doesn’t really matter how good or bad the book is because if it’s marketed well, it will sell.” Sadly, there is some truth in that statement. Numerous books have become bestsellers because they were marketed well, but anyone who reads a lot can probably come up with a half-dozen books he or she has read that were bestsellers but were truly awful books. Those readers were dazzled by the marketing-it might have been the spectacular book cover, it might have been the placement of the book in the store, it might have been the string of testimonials by other authors (most of whom I guarantee never read the book), or it might have been the back cover description, or it might have been ads in magazines or on TV that made readers buy the book. That doesn’t mean all those people liked the book or even read it-just that the marketing campaign was successful enough to convince people to buy the book.

But good writing can triumph over good marketing, which is why good writing is a form of marketing in itself. That badly written book that becomes a bestseller might sell well, but if readers don’t like the book, the author’s next book may not do well because the readers who were supposed to become his fans instead felt disappointed and even cheated out of their money by a book that was subpar. They might even bad mouth the book, which will definitely hurt sales.

At the same time, plenty of success stories exist of books that received little marketing buzz, were even self-published, yet they skyrocketed to becoming bestsellers, not because a big publisher invested thousands of dollars into promoting the book but because of positive word-of-mouth. One or two people took a chance on the book and enjoyed it and they told their friends, who also read the book and told their friends, and a lot of those people even bought multiple copies of the book to give as gifts.

I’ve experienced this kind of “word-of-mouth buzz” myself recently with the bestselling book “The Help.” The publisher may have spent a lot of money to market it, but honestly, I don’t recall having seen a single advertisement for it. I heard about it from a friend who loved it so much that I was intrigued enough to buy a copy. This friend had been told about it by a friend who had been told about it by a cousin who had been told about it by a sister. Soon the friend found that nearly everyone she knew was reading, had read, or wanted to read the book. That’s the power of word-of-mouth. And we all know “The Help” has gone on to be a successful motion picture. The book has become a success because the quality of the writing itself marketed the book, and that writing was good because the author worked very hard to create engaging characters and situations for her book. She also had help from agents and writing coaches to develop the book so it would be well-written and connect with readers. If you haven’t read “The Help,” I encourage you to do so (word-of-mouth promotion). Part of why I recommend it to authors is because one of the main characters is herself writing a book and she continually gets advice from an editor in a major publishing house about how to make the book marketable and successful-yet another example that the marketing starts with the writing.

Marketing and writing cannot be separated. Good writing is the best form of marketing to create word-of-mouth sales. Marketing the book after it is written is important and can also lead to the book’s success, but the real marketing begins the minute pen is set to paper, or the first word is typed on the keyboard.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find [http://www.readerviews.com/]reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides [http://readerviews.com/services_about.html]author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

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