Posts Tagged story development

A Series Dilemma

When should a book be part of a series? For some authors, it seems like the more appropriate question is when shouldn’t a book be part of a series? Everybody and their uncle has one these days. You know what I’m talking about. It seems like half the books on Amazon have the parenthetical A Bobbaloo Buttkiss Mystery or the like. And then there are the trilogies. Hunger Games, Insurgent, Fifty Shades, etc., etc.

I don’t think it’s a secret that this is a marketing technique for many authors. Not all, but many. If people like the first book in the series, then guess what? Chances are good that they’ll buy the second book, the third book, all the way up to the eleven-teenth book. It’s a little hard to fault this logic if your primary goal is to increase your sales. After all, book marketing occurs over the long haul. Very, very few authors can earn a living off a single book.

But this does raise a question. Is it a bad thing to write a series? Even if the logic is sound from a business perspective, we’re authors. We make stuff up for a living. Is it wrong to take the easy path and produce a bunch of sequels? Read the rest of this entry »

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Free Writing Solves World Hunger

If you’ve been following my posts, you may have noticed that I bring up free writing a lot.  And I do mean a lot.  Like as in almost every post.  I do that because I think it is probably the most powerful tool in a writer’s toolbox, except for maybe the Internet.  Free writing is the writer’s multi-tool.  It can help us develop compelling storylines, flesh out characters, find solutions to dire situations, and even figure out how to create the situations we need solutions to.  And, after we’ve done all this, it will still be sharp enough to slice a tomato (two points to anyone who gets the reference). Read the rest of this entry »

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When Character Meets Story

Getting a character into your story can be tricky business. You’ve brainstormed and free written like a crazy person and you’ve learned what your characters’ voices sound like. You’ve used those people to help create an engaging story that will suck your readers in and refuse to let them go. But, now, you have to figure out how to bridge the gap and actually put your characters into that story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Characters are People too

I said before that picking the right ideas was the single most important thing that would make or break your story, and that was true. If your story doesn’t flow well or isn’t believable, it’s toast, no matter what you do. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things that can wreck your story almost as easily. One of those is character development.  Believable characters can draw your readers in and make them interested to find out what happens next.  Unbelievable characters can send your readers to find a different book. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Suck Draft

I’ve debated a lot about where to go next.  I think there is more to say about idea generation and I know there is more to do before you get to the rough draft, but I thought I might jump forward a little bit for a minute and do something different.  After all, the suck draft, ahem, the rough draft is where everything happens.  It’s where all those idea seeds you’ve been nurturing get to grow into beautiful plants.  It is what you have to start before you can actually say you’re writing a book or even a story. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Snick

There is a whole world of possibilities in front of you.  You can take the story anywhere you want.  You can put any obstacle in their way, or you can give them the key that unlocks untold mysteries.  Each element is an idea – where to go, what to do, how your characters react, all of it.  And picking the right ideas will almost certainly make or break your story more than any other thing you do.  It is more important than character development or writing style.  It is more important than your descriptions, and it is more important than the words you select.  Read the rest of this entry »

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