My Copywriting Friend,
Following these 14 secret novel writing tips should make your novel or non-fiction writing so much easier!
1) Wondering what to write about? That's easy! Write about what you know. Write about the powerful things that have affected your life. You already have the powerful emotions stored inside you from your experiences, good and bad, let them out. Let them flow into your novel! Your readers will sense that your novel is real as they relive it through you. Love, hate, fear and sorrow, even disappointment, hurt, ecstasy and rage, they are all there inside you and only you can tell this particular story! You have an exclusive!
2) Give our story a good backbone. Have a solid outline before begin the actual writing. Otherwise your readers will sense that you making it up as you go along. If you are following your outline as you write, you will know what happens next, giving yourself that important air of authority.
3) Try to avoid warming up at the beginning of your story by explaining what's going on and who the characters are. A good writer will start their story with a powerful moment that will drag the reader into the story begging for more. Then set the stage and fill in character backgrounds as you go along.
4) When using first person “I” characters, take advantage of emotion. Since these narrator type characters are usually just witnesses, they tend to have dry, just the facts, parts. Give them emotion, let them release these emotions to highlight powerful moments.
5) Make sure your characters are easy to differentiate. Let them stand out by giving them an attitude. Yes, a powerful attitude. Even if the author has to work overtime to control these out-of-bound characters. Know the ones I mean? They are the ones that will do anything for attention, even popping up where they don't belong. They may even become more powerful than the author!
6) I read somewhere that every line should do one of three things: 1.Advance the story; 2.Strengthen the character; 3.Establish the mood. But this is often hard to do and most stories fall short of this lofty goal. Measure each line with this 3-point scale to check each line of your story for strength and usefulness, allowing you to separate the wheat from the chaff, or something like that.
7) Make sure your secondary characters also pull their weight by being involved in the action and affecting the main characters.
8) Is the dialogue of the characters in your story as life-like as possible? Does it reflect real-life conversation? Is it full of emotion, intrigue and conflict? We must constantly avoid putting our reader to sleep! Reminds me of Cal Worthington, the Southern California car dealer who would literally stand on his head to make a deal. Then sometimes Cal would be shown riding on a tiger, elephant and even an alligator!
9) Don't go overboard on delivering information to the reader such as using unnecessary repetition just in case the reader didn't get it. Life waits for no man and your story shouldn't wait for a reader to catch up!
10) Never let your readers down. Don't just string them along, hinting that something is about to happen, then just drop it, they'll never forgive you! Every turn down an alley should have a strong basis for it, otherwise your readers will start to feel that you don't know where you are going!
11) Don't be afraid to make use of some cliches, even overdoing it, and even doing it badly such as I have done throughout this list of pointers.
12) Your readers will love to be involved with your characters, don't let them down! Figure out ways that your readers can relate to them and how your characters can reach out to your readers. Your characters doing heartwarming acts of kindness at unexpected moments is a powerful method. Think about how your readers be able to get close to your main character.
13) You may feel that withholding important information from your readers will build suspense, but think again. I used to tease my cocker spaniel by playing games with his dog biscuits. Did he appreciate it? Did he see the humor in it? No, I think he wanted to take a chunk out of me. It's been said that the best suspense is when the readers are let in on a secret that your characters are unaware of.
14) “Opening words create powerful images!” And positive words create positive first impressions. Use your words wisely.
15) “Expect the unexpected” At one time I did some catalog copywriting and design work for the Carushka Bodywear catalogs. She used that tag line “Expect the unexpected” on her catalog covers and some of her clothing, such as on her caps. Little surprises and bonuses throughout your book will keep your readers from jumping ship. Bet you didn't even notice that I stuck this extra pointer in here, did you? I billed this as “14 Secrets to help you write the Great Novel” and behold, here's 15! And you just thought I couldn't count.
Your writing, marketing friend,
P.P.S. Also checkout my four copywriting eBooks listed in the right column of this page. Even if you have no interest in copywriting, you just may find some powerful ideas in there to help with your book writing. Or maybe you might want to try your hand at working as freelance copywriter until your book hits No. 1 on the best seller list! Also my Copywriting Headlines and Copywriting Words eBooks may prove to be a great boost to the quality of your book writing. Sure, I'm trying boost sales of my copywriting books, but my main concern is to be as helpful as possible to your writing efforts!
How to write a book... 14 Secrets to help you write the Great Novel:
This page was last updated: January 20, 2013
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How to write a book...
14 Secrets to help you write the Great Novel