You’re writing fiction. You’ve published one, or several novels. Perhaps you’ve yet to complete your novel.
Wherever you are in your publishing career, you want one thing — the same thing every other author wants. You want your novel to sell because you want readers.
So, how can you be certain that your novel will sell?
There’s only one way.
When you’re writing fiction, stop “writing”
To sell, your novel must entertain readers.
Unfortunately we authors often lose track of the “entertainment factor.” It’s easily done. We’re writers, so we concentrate on the writing. We want to write well — but when that shows, it’s fatal.
In New Novelist: Write A Selling Novel With One Simple Strategy, I shared my favorite Elmore Leonard writing tip:
My most important rule (for writers) is … if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Similarly, you may have heard the advice to “kill your darlings.” It’s the same thing. It’s “writing”, so you’re not entertaining readers.
Next time you read something in your fiction which gives you a warm glow, stop. Are you thinking, modesty forbids… but that’s quite good? If you are, ask yourself: am I creating an experience with these words?
The easy fix for “writing” syndrome
There’s an easy fix for “writing”. Here it is. Stop focusing on the words. Focus on what’s happening in your novel instead.
Unfortunately, this can be a challenge, especially if you’re a new author. You’ll get better at recognizing “writing” problems as you gain experience.
In your first draft, only fix obvious problems.
When you get around to editing, rewrite when you find anything which bores you. Ask your beta readers to identify any scenes in which their attention wandered.
Tip: entertain yourself first
If you’re not having fun with your writing, your readers won’t have fun either. Boredom is always a clue.
When boredom hits, try this simple exercise.
Set a timer for five minutes.
Start writing with this phrase: Here’s how to make this scene exciting…
Then follow your own advice. Make writing fiction fun for yourself, and you’ll entertain your readers.
I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.More info →
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily.More info →
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