How to get the most out of travelling as a writer

Travelling is wonderful. As a writer it can provide you with a new source of inspiration and help to avoid the use of stereotypes and clichés in your novels. Below we’ll examine various categories of travel inspiration Landscape/ Wildlife Regardless of genre, all writers must describe a story’s landscape at one or several points. You could simply set all of your books in the area that you live in, or do all of your research via books and the Internet. However, if you’re lucky enough to travel then pay attention to the… Read More

Story lines of your secondary/minor characters

Developing your protagonist’s story is relatively easy. After all, his or her storyline is the core of the story itself. However important it is not, on its own. Even if readers don’t get a day-by-day account of your secondary/minor characters, as a writer it is important to know their timeline. The reader should be aware of the key events occurring in the life of your antagonist, the best friend of the character and so on. This way the reader doesn’t feel that the secondary characters show up a bit too conveniently and… Read More

Writer’s bible

Today’s post will focus on what a writer’s bible is and what information should go into it. Also known as a story bible or a master file, it’s a place, such as a folder, where you keep track of everything that happens in or underlies your book. Personally, I prefer to create a digital folder for the book I’m working on and then create sub folders. Below are the sub-folders I normally create: Characters – For each character I try to answer some basic questions (for more information please view my character… Read More

The secret life of your characters

Readers want to get to know your characters in an organic and natural way, which means learning slowly about who your characters are by the way they handle challenging situations. What readers don’t want is the author telling them straightway all the secrets of a character, what a character is feeling at a given moment and why. Most people enjoy being challenged. They want to read between the lines and work hard to uncover hidden information. Backstories need to be built in carefully. A reader shouldn’t be overwhelmed by large chunks of… Read More

How to put a fresh spin on a well-known concept

As writers we often find ourselves in situations where every story has already been told, every concept has been used before, and in most cases it has been regurgitated countless times. So what do we do? We need to put a fresh spin on something well-known and bring uniqueness to it. Today I’m going to illustrate how this can be done successfully. I have chosen the YA vampire fantasy novel and the example ‘Vampire Academy’ by Richelle Mead.  Warning spoiler alerts below When I’ve first heard of ‘Vampire Academy’, I became immediately interested… Read More

Ebook pricing

There are a few common misconceptions about EBooks that are being sold via Amazon. The main one being that only the cheapest books priced at $0.99 sell. In order to illustrate my point, I have analyzed the price points of the bestselling 100 EBook YA & Teen Fantasy on Amazon. This list features traditionally published and self-published books. Amazon bestsellers YA & Teen Fantasy pricing * Unusual pricing e.g. $7.09 was rounded up (in this case to $6.99) ** Table does not include bundles where multiple books are sold together, thus number… Read More

Analysing Titles – YA Fantasy Amazon top 100

Today I’m going to talk about YA Fantasy book titles. Whether you are a traditionally published author and have to discuss your title choice with a group of people from your publishing house or a self-published author, who gets to make the decision all by herself, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The first thing a potential buyer sees when they walk into a physical bookstore is your title and the spine of your book (cover if your book has been deemed worthy enough of a prominent display). In an online store it… Read More

Chapter endings

Let’s talk about chapter endings. The chapters in your books should be like links in a chain. Each of them should have a unique purpose and move your story forward. Chapter length in self-published e-books tends to be between 1,000 to 2,000 words. Traditionally published books tend to have longer chapters (depending on genre). As an author your goal is to end a chapter in a way that makes it hard for the reader to put down your book. Ideally you want your reader to carry on to the next chapter or… Read More

Revising your novel. Questions to ask

Revisions are a necessary part of writing. No matter how much you have outlined before actually writing your first draft, I am sure you will find that some aspects of your story aren’t making sense or that your transitions aren’t as smooth as they need to be, when you start editing. After you have polished your draft, you will need to get a second opinion. I would suggest asking someone, who has the time and the will to invest into reading a whole novel and someone, who you think might be the… Read More

The dilemma of the protagonist

Conflicts are essential to a good novel, and dilemmas are an excellent and exciting form of conflict. Dilemmas also emotionally involve your reader and ensure that they turn page after page. The dilemma the protagonist faces should create internal and external conflict. It is supposed to produce discomfort and dissatisfaction and force the main character to take action under pressure. These pressured choices do not only increase the tension in your novel but are also a great way to reveal the true nature of your characters. Therefore, the dilemma can’t be easy… Read More