Readers want to live and breathe your characters in a novel. They want to walk in your shoes in a memoir. But how do you make your characters become living, breathing people? Even if they only live on the page? Here are some tricks.
You've experienced or done things that can interest others. These things don't have to be earth shattering -- just incidents that others can relate to or may find meaningful. Of course, if the experience changed your life in a profound way, all the better for this type of article. Here's how to to write one.
If you do want to get published, a good idea is to look at what are publishers are actually looking for in their 2021 booklists. (pssst..... 2020 is already full).Here’s my take on it after a recent trip pitching some of my author’s books to publishers.
As an author you need to take a look at the current publishing market, and the climate. See if you can write one that is on-trend and you have a better chance of a publishing deal.
Do you actually have a clear goal? And if you do have a goal, then are you any closer to it?
Because I don’t want you to hang about too long before taking some action. You may be hanging around for years. So you need to mix the dream with some really practical steps to get your book down on paper and to start the journey to getting published.
What is an advance, royalties, a platform, self-publishing? Some concepts explained.
Structure is the architecture of your book. It is the way you are going to organise your information in a way that is entertaining and logical for the reader. What kind of structure you are going to hang your story on? Here are some of the larger ones for non-fiction books.
You all know I am a bit fan of lists and rules. So here are some of my own from years of working on books and placing books to be published. You may see this as a bit of a rant... probably true. But you know I love you all and just want you to end up with your BEST book.
Rule 1: Write with intent
So let me clarify something here... these Rules are for writers who want to get published. I have nothing against journaling and diary work. But I am talking to writers who want to end up with a book or a talk or a blog. That means you need to write with your end goal in mind. All pieces of writing need to have a view to be used in your book. I am not a personal fan of morning pages for serious writers. Morning pages are for therapeutic stuff. Write with intent and you end up with a book.
Intent also means you need to know WHAT you are writing.
Everyone has a book in them - or so they think. But what does it take to turn that killer idea into a publishable manuscript. Writing coach and literary agent Sarah Bullen gives us some tips on how to write a book that actually has a shot at a publishing deal.
You know what you want to say and it feels logical to you, but how do you present it to the reader in a way that is clear, logical and compelling? Enter the Big Idea. All non-fiction books need one, or they run the risk of being a mish-mash of all your thoughts, ideas and lessons.
It is closing in on three in the morning and sleep is the furthest thing from my mind. The night is electric as the relentless call of drums stretches out into the air under the African stars. In front of me dances an old African man Thembitongo - his back is bent, his eyes half closed as his feet tap out an ancient rhythm. He is old and in pain. It is hard and painful to watch him as he creeps along in a shuffle-dance. As he falls to his knees the drums stop their call.
By Sarah Bullen
The difficult thing about planning a book is working out how to break down the information; often it feels as if there is just this great mass of data swirling around in your head. Perhaps it is your story, or your decades of work experience.
The gap between having an idea (or a dream) and becoming a published author is a BIG one. I want to help you NOT to get stuck in this gap.
The really exciting thing is that there are really SO MANY options and ways to get published in this day and age. The two most common ways are traditional publishing and self-publishing so I want to unpack how both of these work - as this is one of the most common questions I geat asked.
What do you want to write about? Well my life of course (writers say). And I nod because of course that is right. But it has to be about something more and bigger than just your life.
The hard thing about writing about yourself / life / job / expertise/ trauma / journey is that you have to step away from writing to please or express yourself. You have to shift into writing for a reader.
Do you have a burning desire to publish a book? Cape Town-based writing coach and literary agent Sarah Bullen offers simple and practical steps to getting those words onto paper
So many of us have this deep heart desire to write, but don’t know how to act on it. So you want to write – but you don’t do it. And all the time a quiet voice whispers in your head... you have a story to tell.
Self-publishing allows you to get your material printed and out into the world and spread your message. But before you launch yourself off into the world, take a note of the costs. There are production costs and printing costs.
I am going to give you the costs of some of the books I worked on recently.
Here's a good list of questions to ask your hero
A year ago I had a full and busy life. I was the group editor of a publishing company, mom to two young kids (eight and ten) and busy training for a 10km run. My husband of 10 years was also dying of brain cancer. I was emotionally exhausted and I simply had no reserves. On Wednesday I went for a 5km run during my lunch hour. That is the last thing I remember for over a month.
* This article was published in Women's Health SA under the title A Year On
Carina Press is taking submissions. Hurry hurry. Closing date: December 3, 2018 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)