Tag Archives: fiction tips

Writing Fiction And Getting Read: 4 Easy Tips

Writing Fiction And Getting Read: 4 Easy Tips

Not only is writing fiction fun, today it can be very profitable indeed. You don’t need to get your book onto any bestseller lists to make a nice income. All you need is ebooks which are read.

Readers in genres like romance are voracious. They’ll read everything you write, if your books excite them.

Get read, make money

Your aim in writing short stories and novels is to be read right through to the end, particularly if you enroll your ebooks in Amazon’s KDP Select. Enrolling in Select automatically makes your ebooks available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. In KU, you’re paid for every page which readers read.

How do you get readers, and keep them reading? Let’s look at some tips.

1. Spend time on your hook — and keep up the suspense

Ideally your reader finds your hook so amazing that he must start reading… and can’t stop. A “hook” hooks readers’ attention. To keep readers reading, you need to embed your hook, and make sure that you keep hooking readers, right through the ebook.

Spend time studying the hooks in bestselling fiction. Your hook doesn’t need to be outrageous; just something which intrigues readers.

I just checked Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers in Literature and Fiction. Currently the top ranked book is The Good Neighbor, by J.A. Banner.

From the description:

“Shadow Cove, Washington, is the kind of town everyone dreams about—quaint streets, lush forests, good neighbors. That’s what Sarah thinks as she settles into life with her new husband, Dr. Johnny McDonald.”

Can you see the hook? It takes just two sentences, and your curiosity is aroused. Simple as it is, it’s a hook which works.

2. Keep readers guessing, and surprise them in every scene

You know that readers hate info-dumping — that is, telling too much in an indigestible lump. Info dumps stop your story dead. And there’s a bigger problem with info dumps too. When you info dump, it’s like piling all your storytelling ammunition into a heap, and then ignoring it.

Information is valuable. Dole it out sparingly. Keep readers guessing, and see if you can embed a surprise in every scene.

3. Ensure that your main character has a problem he can’t ignore

Every popular short story and novel is the story of change in the main character, or characters. If there’s no change, readers stop reading. Your characters need to grow.

We’ve talked about character flaws. In your fiction, your characters must have flaws, and they must overcome them. Your main character’s flaw can’t be trivial. It needs to be crippling, so that if he doesn’t recognize the flaw, and overcome it, he’ll be destroyed.

Genre comes to your rescue here. Most genres have tropes, which give you your flaw. In historical romance, the hardened rake is a trope, with a built-in flaw. As Maya Rodale suggests, you can turn that trope on its head, and create a virgin hero.

4. Up the ante: make everything WORSE (or better)

If your readers aren’t reading, chances are that you’re letting your characters off too easy. Don’t do that. When you write a scene, ask yourself how you can make the character’s situation WORSE.

Let’s say that you’ve written a scene in which your main character loses his job. Well done — now make it worse. Not only does he lose his job, but he’s also arrested for fraud. His fiancee calls off the wedding.

While you’re busily making things worse, make sure that your character never, ever sees himself as a victim. Disaster brings out the best in him, not the worst. (Unless you’re writing a comedy.)

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial fiction has been around since the days of Charles Dickens. Self-publishing authors love it. Discover how to write serials in our new four week class. Coaching is included — you’re not writing alone.

By the end of the program, you’ll have published several episodes of your serial fiction. You’ll also be steadily marketing, while you’re writing and publishing.

Join us: you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll boost your fiction writing career.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

3 Fiction Tips: Write Stories Readers LOVE

3 Fiction Tips: Write Stories Readers LOVE

Want to write stories readers LOVE? If you do, you need to make your stories satisfying. Consider your favorite story. Why do you love it, and read it again and again? I’m a huge P.G. Wodehouse fan. I read his books for the humor, and for the characters. Lord Emsworth and his pig, the Empress of Blandings, totally charm me, as does Bertie Wooster, wastrel that he is.

When we think about the stories we love, we remember the characters. We love our favorite novels because our favorite characters overcome challenges. They have goals and motivation. Trouble and conflict prevent them getting what they want. Readers want to see your characters achieve their goals. As your characters struggle, you’ll write stories your readers love.

Let’s look at some fiction writing tips to help.

1. Who’s Your Main Character, and What Does He (or She) Want?

Authors’ biggest challenge is making your character WANT something enough. It’s not enough for your heroine to lust after the hero. She has to want something so badly that she’ll do whatever is necessary to get what she wants.

The stronger you can make your characters’ desires, the stronger your story will be. Readers love to see characters struggle, and truly deserve their happy ending. In Linda Howard’s romantic suspense novel, Cry No More for example, the main character Milla Boone’s been searching for her stolen son for ten years. Milla is desperate to find her son, and her willingness to do anything drives the plot.

Try This: Interview Your Main Character.

Before you plot your novel or short story, interview your characters – or at least, your main character. ASK your character what he/ she wants, and why. I hand-write my interviews, and I’m always surprised.

When you know who your characters are, what they want, and why, writing a hot-selling story becomes easy.

2. Your Plot Is Your Character’s Journey to Get What He Wants.

There are various plotting systems. However, your plot doesn’t exist in isolation. In Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury says:

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”

What your characters DO is the plot. Your challenge is to motivate your characters, so that they ACT. They have no choice; they must act. If your characters don’t come alive for you, look to their motivation. They’re not acting because they don’t want something enough.

3. Everyone Wants Something, and Everyone Has a Secret.

Before you start writing, make a chart of what everyone wants. In a short story, you may only have three characters. In a novel, you’ll have many more than that, but be careful not to introduce characters just for the heck of it. You need to motivate each and every character. On your chart, create a column for Goals, and another column for Secrets. In every story you write, every character has a goal (want, desire, need), and a secret.

You’ll find your story “wants and secrets” charts immensely useful, because when you work out what a minor character wants, you’ll often see that the character deserves his own story.

So, in summary – to write stories readers love, your characters need to want something desperately. Their actions to get their “want” drive the plot.

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

Step By Step To Fiction Which Sells: Plotting And Scene Magic

eBook: $5.99

Your readers want to enter your novel's world. They want to experience your book -- they want to live your book with your main characters.

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Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

Map It: For Writing Success — Fiction And Nonfiction Outlines Made Easy

eBook: $5.99

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.

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Updated: January 2, 2018