Tag Archives: Write a novel

Write A Novel: How To Write What You Really Want To Write

Write A Novel: How To Write What You Really Want To Write

What if you want to write a novel, but you’re frightened of the struggle?

Several months ago I coached a novelist who was terrified of beginning another novel. She’s written three novels, and is pleased with the sales, but couldn’t face writing another.

“I want to write, but I can’t,” she said. “I’ve been putting off starting for six months. Maybe I should give up, and write a nonfiction book?”

Write a novel from your heart: what do you REALLY want to write?

Writers write. Writing may not always be comfortable, and at times you wish you were doing something else — anything else. Sooner or later however you realize that writing is just something you do, and you’re happier writing than not writing.

So, I asked the novelist to dig into her subconscious to discover what she really wanted to write. What if she kept a dream journal for a week?

Dream journal to access your creative self

Your creative self is part of you; a powerful part. If you’re not writing, chances are that your creative self is putting blocks in your way.

A dream journal is a simple way mine your subconscious mind, and uncover your creative blocks.

Funny story. A few years back a client commissioned me to create a plan for a series of horror novels, with the main characters, and the first three books in the series plotted out. He was targeting the Young Adult market.

Problem: generally speaking, I avoid horror stories. My favorite horror tale is Casting The Runes, by M.R. James.

So, I decided that I’d better leave generating ideas to my subconscious. I kept a journal beside my bed, and each night, I imagined myself waking up in the morning, with the perfect idea for a horror series.

This worked rather too well. (I’ve often thought that the subconscious mind has a sense of humor.) For the two months I that worked on the series, I’d wake up at least three times a week, shaking from a nightmare. It got so bad that I slept with the light on.

I’ve used dream journaling since, without any drama, so I’ve no idea why the nightmares occurred. 🙂

A dream journal exercise to help you to write a novel you really want to write

The dream journal exercise is simple. Before you go to sleep, write in your journal: “I need a plot for a story that I’d love to tell.”

When you wake up, scribble a sentence or two about any dreams you remember. Keep your notes brief, there’s no need to analyze your dreams, you’re just nudging your creative self.

If you wish, and if you enjoy drawing, draw or paint any images from a dream.

The blocked novelist I was coaching started writing a new novel three days after she began dream journaling, so that process worked for her. I chatted to her after Christmas, and she’s still using her dream journal. She says that the process has helped her in many areas of her life.

Resistance is common when you write a novel

“Resistance” is the feeling that you want to write, but you can’t. Unfortunately, resistance is common when you’re writing a novel.

Here’s the thing — it doesn’t matter why you’re resisting writing. You don’t need to know why. You just need a way to prime the pump of your creativity again. Try journaling, dream journaling, or even bullet journaling — the process may work for you too.

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99

In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.

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Writing Success Secrets: How To Conquer Self Doubt, And Achieve Your Writing Goals, Starting Today

Writing Success Secrets: How To Conquer Self Doubt, And Achieve Your Writing Goals, Starting Today

eBook: $5.99
Author:
Genre: Writing

Today, the opportunities for writers have never been greater. Back in the day a writer who was making six-figures a year seemed a creature of myth. These days, highly successful writers are making six figures a month.

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Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Book Marketing On Twitter: 3 Tips You Can Use Today

Book Marketing On Twitter: 3 Tips You Can Use Today

Confused about Twitter? Think of it as a way of having a conversation… with everyone on the planet. Naturally, this makes Twitter perfect for book marketing.

I adore Twitter. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been tweeting since 2007. I especially love it because you get an instant response when you want HELP. Twitter is comforting for those moments when your power suddenly goes off, or something disastrous happens, such as a bush fire way too close for comfort.

Disasters aside, you can market your books on Twitter, and you should. It’s a great way to let people know about your books.

Angela Booth on Twitter

Book marketing on Twitter: what you need

One tip. Avoid the hard sell. It’s not necessary to tweet BUY MY BOOK (all in caps); that’s just annoying.

As I said here about selling on social media, on the social media networks, your aim is to:

… provide value: entertainment, news, and information which people need. In the process of this, you’ll be able to sell.

Have fun, and be social.

On Twitter, you can mention your latest book on your profile, and in addition, you can pin your “my book’s published” or similar tweets to your profile, so they don’t get lost.

So, what do you need?

You need:

  • Your book, published or unpublished (aim to build an audience before publication day);
  • Images: photos you took of yourself, your workspace, your dog, your kids… And/ or photos — your book’s cover, plus photos you’ve sourced elsewhere. These might be people who look like your hero/ heroine, etc;
  • Talking points. Such as your book in 25 words; (fiction) character descriptions; (fiction) a character’s journal… etc.

How let’s look at some tips.

1. Avoid random tweeting: create a Twitter book marketing campaign

We discuss this in my new program, Social Media Copywriting And Graphics: Get Attention And Sell More.

Creating campaigns is essential, otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels. You need a baseline, a goal, and a time limit on your campaign, as well as the content that you’ll use.

2. Consider Twitter advertising: is it worth it?

The more books you’re promoting, the more Twitter advertising may be worth it to you. If you have just a single book however, hold off on paid advertising until you’ve created several successful Twitter book marketing campaigns.

We discuss advertising Returns on Investment (ROI) in Social Media Copywriting And Graphics: Get Attention And Sell More. At times, you can ostensibly “lose money” on advertising, and still make a profit.

3. Twitter can be your own personal market research tool when you connect with readers

One of the benefits of social media in general is that you can interact and engage with readers. The relationships you build on Twitter will be useful, because:

  • Readers will tell you what they loved/ didn’t love about a book… think of Twitter as an ongoing focus group;
  • People you get to know on Twitter can make wonderful beta readers;
  • You’ll discover genre trends before other authors.

Book marketing on Twitter: will it work for you?

People tend to either love Twitter, or hate it.

If you’re on the fence, and haven’t tried Twitter, create an account, and start following a few authors. Comment on their posts; retweet tweets you find useful. Remember to set up your profile with the information on your latest book.

Most importantly, have fun on Twitter. It’s one social network which can surprise you at times — in a good way. 🙂

Wish that you could make social media work for you?

Our latest program for writers, Social Media Copywriting And Graphics: Get Attention And Sell More, makes selling your books on social media easy.

In 2019, as book marketing becomes ever more competitive, social media offers solutions, especially if you’d like to become a full-time writer — or if you just want to sell more books.

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

Self-Publishing Strategy Made Easy: How To Market Your Books In 15 Minutes A Day

eBook: $5.99

Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.

What if you could market in just 15 minutes daily?

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Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99

In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.

Make Plotting Fiction Easier: 3 Ideas For Settings And Moods

Make Plotting Fiction Easier: 3 Ideas For Settings And Moods

Before I begin intensive plotting for any piece of fiction, I like to brainstorm settings and moods. It makes plotting easier. Just as movies have location scouts, you can scout locations for your scenes too.

New fiction authors tend to use just a couple of settings, so their fiction is less exciting than it could be.

Plotting and place: everything happens somewhere

Unlike a playwright, or a movie director, novelists don’t have to worry about a budget. They can set their scenes anywhere their imagination takes them — on a lonely island in the Pacific, or on Mars.

Aim to develop settings which will indicate a mood, because this will affect your characters, and intensify their emotions.

You could set a scene in which your main characters are out in a small boat in a storm for example. Set the scene on a cruise ship on a sunny day however, with your characters sipping margaritas, and the mood would be very different.

Let’s look at some ideas for plotting with settings and moods.

1. Enhance your plots: brainstorm locations

Having a variety of settings makes plotting easier.

For example, let’s say that you’re writing a contemporary romance, which is set in your home town. Why your home town? Because you know that location well, in every season of the year, so it cuts down on research time.

Your main character is an artist, who owns a gift shop. Without brainstorming, your locations might be: her home, an old Victorian house; her gift shop; a coffee shop.

All fine, of course. But what if your locations included:

  • The courthouse, where your heroine works as a sketch artist during a trial;
  • The local museum, where she’s commissioned to paint a mural;
  • The local spa, where…
  • And so on.

Without thinking about it too much, you can quickly come up with a number of settings which will set a mood, and help you with plotting.

2. Pantser? Develop settings while you’re writing

Although it’s easier to develop settings while you’re plotting, before you start writing, what if you’re a pantser?

In that case, opportunities to vary your settings will present themselves, if you’re looking for them. Keep asking yourself: what if…?

  • What if I set this scene on a deserted beach, rather than in their kitchen?
  • What if the murder happened on a plane, rather than in an office?

3. Better settings: change your scene locations when you’re editing

Let’s say you’ve written the first draft of a novel, and you’re concerned that the settings are generic. You can change them when you’re editing.

You needn’t change every scene. Look for a scene which needs a little extra punch — you’re sure that you could do more with this scene.

Brainstorm locations. You’ll able to revamp the scene, changing the setting and the mood, without too much effort.

Keep a “settings” file: it makes plotting easier

When you become aware that settings and mood can enhance your fiction, you’ll want to develop a “settings” file.

I keep a Settings notebook in Evernote. If I’m out and about somewhere, and think “oooh… fascinating”, I’ll snap a couple of photos. When I get back to my car, I write a few sentences about the location.

At home, I’ll transfer the idea, as well as the photos, to Evernote. Then I brainstorm how I could use the setting. The brainstorming is important, because ideas tend to be as hazy as dreams. Unless you cement your idea, it drifts away like smoke.

Have fun with settings — you’ll find plotting easier.

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

Yes, You’re Creative: How To Unlock Your Imagination And Build The Writing Career Of Your Dreams

eBook: $5.99

In this book we'll aim to increase your creativity to unlock your imagination and build the writing career of your dreams.

More info →
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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.

More info →
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Scribd
Buy from Kobo
Buy from Amazon Kindle

Resources to build your writing career

Check out Angela’s Writing Classes and Angela’s books for writers.