Category Archives: Writing Tip

THE ROAD TO LAUNCH – PART ONE: CONCEPTION

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These days, a lot goes into publishing a successful book. This series of articles discusses the stages of writing from conception to launch.

BEFORE THE WRITING STARTS

The Benefits of Getting Organized

As a writer, you may know all too well the disappointment of a project that has gone awry. Without a clear plan of attack sketched out from the beginning, it can be easy to lose your initial momentum. Writer’s block may occur from a simple lack of knowing your next move. Without some sort of map to guide you, your writing could drift, losing clarity and effectiveness.

Knowing what comes next is helpful because it gives you a list of manageable goals and provides you with direction. Planning ahead can help to keep you focused and strengthen your writing. Breaking down your project with an outline is the most efficient way to accomplish your goals and meet your expectations.

There are many steps in any writing project and taking the time to address them beforehand can get you to the finish line in a timely manner – knowing you’ve done your very best.

Build a Community Around Your Ideas

Nothing great has ever been built alone so the community you build in this initial stage will serve as your first buyers, your first reviewers, and your support system throughout the entire process. Find your potential readers and ask them questions. Tell them you have a product to launch and you want to share some of it with them to get their opinion and maybe they might buy it. But in any case, it would be great to have their help while you’re putting it together. Over time it will build you up as an expert in your niche.

There are many steps that go into building excitement and interest for your project before the process of writing begins. It’s a good idea to create a schedule to tackle the following objectives while at the same time, creating a writing strategy.

  • Talk to Your Potential Readers
  • Research Similar Books
  • Practice Strategic Networking
  • Build an Email List
  • Document the Journey
  • Build a Launch Team

Depending on your goals, it may be a good idea to become even more involved with your community. Here are some other options to consider:

  • Join Facebook Groups
  • Join LinkedIn Groups
  • Message Group Members Directly to Create Authentic Connections
  • Do Some Market Outreach
  • Attend Local Meetups
  • Join Relevant Forums

Not only will these methods help grow your network, but they will grow your knowledge base, your understanding of your audience and your genre, improve your skills, and will help expand and refine your ideas.

Create Yourself a Schedule

I know first-hand how overwhelming things can get when you start to take your business of writing seriously. The best way I’ve found to keep it all in perspective is by creating a weekly excel sheet that lists all of my goals for each day.

I record my time spent on each activity to manage my time, stay on task, and reach my goals that much quicker. Like most others, I manage a day job, family, fun, and other responsibilities as well as my writing career.

Prepare a Writing Strategy

For your best chances of success, whatever your subject matter, start with an outline. An organized and detailed plan that tells you what to write about and when. A strategy that can be broken down into manageable parts that can be written each in one sitting.

By creating your outline, you tackle the difficulties of theme, character development, and plot from the beginning. Breaking down your writing goals into smaller sections or scenes makes it easier to tackle one piece at a time. This enables you to know exactly what to focus on at any given moment. Knowing what is needed and when helps keep your writing focused without the stress of the entire undertaking weighing you down or misdirecting your train of thought.

Outlining works with all genres. Keeping pace with an outline that has proven successful in your genre can help you captivate your audience and keep them reading. Although there’s no rule that you have to go with any particular style, so feel free to create your own. Be mindful that it’s a good idea to know what has worked for others before you get started.

Focus on the Task at Hand

Always refer back to your schedule and focus on the task at hand. It’s best to start with the most difficult tasks first and limit your time spent on each. It can all become overwhelming without some degree of discipline.

Consistency is key. Relationships are formed over time through participation. Knowledge is gained by being open to the ideas and insight of others, questioning and commenting on what you learn along the way.

Taking time to create your outline and flesh out your story will make it that much stronger when it comes time to write.

Reward Yourself

Reward not only feels good but reinforces behavior and helps create habits. Create a system of reward for accomplishing your goals, like an espresso or something else that feels good.

Take a Break

As you embark on your journey there will be much to accomplish, all of which requires some hard work on your part. Be sure to take days off on a regular basis to rest and rejuvenate so you don’t run the risk of becoming burned out.

I set a stop time each day no matter what. If something doesn’t get done, it moves to the next day’s schedule. I try to accomplish the most important things first, so critical items don’t get overlooked.

When my weekend rolls around I leave the business of writing on the back burner and give my mind a couple of days to recover.

Making the most out of your off-time will keep you happy, healthy, and more productive.

🙂

 

 

 

Is Your Writing Fueled by Passion?

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If you are a writer you know the difference between creating content and inspired writing. Creating content is a process while inspiration is an explosion of passion. You can feel it when the words you write spill onto the page as if on fire.

Why You Should Write Inspired

Writing that’s inspired gets us hooked. It sells us things we wouldn’t otherwise buy. Inspired writing motivates us to take action because it ignites our own passion. It can create burning desire, need and want. It pulls us in and feeds us something we’ve been craving.

Content can be methodical, sometimes appearing as reworked copy that’s been sold to us from many other sources. Writing that’s inspired packs a certain punch that ordinary content just doesn’t provide.

As writers, we are faced with the challenge of creating content that grabs the reader’s attention, selling them whatever brand, book, or service that we promote. From our bios to our sales copy we are put in the position where we must entice, enchant, inform, and sell.

Writing inspired is fueled by our true voice, it has a magical element within it that readers devour. The simple truth all writers face is that they need great copy, and inspired writing creates exactly that.

Where to Find Inspiration

Read copy that inspires you. But where do we look for inspiration… if you are a writer of any kind, the best place to be inspired by copywriting is at Crayon.co. You’ll find thousands of useful examples of inspired writing and you can use them to fuel your own writing.

You can also try new things as often as possible which often gives rise to inspiration. Learn new things every day. Recall an event or a moment that fueled your passion for writing and practice capturing that moment.

These are all great ways to become inspired to write from the passionate place within.

How to Write Inspired

When you have an inspiring idea, give yourself a moment to soak it in, allow it wash through your mind and your senses and begin to unfold to you. Take what’s unfolding and write with purpose, just to get the passion down on paper. You can organize and edit later so don’t let trivialities get in the way of the moment.

Just let yourself write. Pay attention to the small details that are developing from your initial inspiration. Use them to continue writing or to make a list of bullet points you’d like to cover. These details will expand upon the inspiration that got you started and deepen its meaning.

All the time, remain aware of the inspiration you were hoping to capture, that one idea, the thing that sparked you and got the writing rolling. You want to capture the main essence of what your writing, the big picture. You can do this by being descriptive and including examples that the reader can relate to.

The Payoffs

The payoff for practicing inspired writing is content that is better appreciated and additionally shared more often by readers. This is a good practice to help acquire your voice in writing as well, because it’s content that comes from deep within you and has a different feel, often expressing your voice more freely. Inspired writing may also come across as more personal to your reader as if they’re getting to know you through your writing style because you express yourself freely through this writing process.

You will improve your writing and content creation abilities and therefore stand to gain a greater following. The benefits of writing inspired are substantial with regular practice and will help you grow as a writer.

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Generate Clients with this Non-Fiction Book Layout!

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Have you ever thought of writing non-fiction? Do you offer products or services? Do you think you might like to in the future?

As a writer, there is a system for reaching your earning potential.

Here are some hot tips on writing non-fiction to generate clients!

I’ve included a book outline to help you get started right away.

Having an outline makes it easier to write your book. Breaking it down into chunks or separate topics gives you the opportunity to sit down and do focused writing, one subject at a time.

The Generate Clients Layout is designed to do just that, make you money off the additional products and services you provide. It’s perfect for anyone who coaches, consults, accepts speaking engagements, provides training, or offers courses or webinars.

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INTRODUCTION

If you’re planning on using your book to generate clients, then this outline is for you.

In order to generate clients with your book, you’ll need a layout like the one that you’ll find here. It’s structured to keep the reader focused on the content of the book in the order that it’s presented.

Many readers will skim the contents of a book to grasp the key concepts, it’s the way of today’s busy world. If you want your audience engrossed in your book, soaking up its content, word for word, then this layout will accomplish that for you.


PERSONAL

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to write down your idea of success. This will give you a clear vision of what possibilities you will want to explore using your book as the foundation.

Remember that you are looking to build your business with your book, not just earn a residual income from it. Your audience is your sustainable business profit. Your mark of success is your active network, the people that will purchase your products.

RESEARCH:

Research your topic on amazon, YouTube, and Reddit. Look up popular material that relates to your topic. Study the way the content is structured.

Read through viewer comments and look for trends in what the readers or viewers are wanting – questions they have, likes and dislikes.

Then list the top ten questions or problems and intertwine them into your book. Be sure to take notes as you go.

VOICE:

The voice of your writing should be a conversational one. Tell, don’t sell until the final chapter.

You want your reader to feel as if you are talking with them. You want them to be compelled to talk back to your book.

NOTE ABOUT TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Many writers make the mistake of having boring chapter titles, or worse, descriptive chapter titles. The table of contents is a tool to entice the reader into reading, to draw them into starting from the beginning and consuming every chapter.

If your chapter titles are too descriptive, they’ll give the contents of the chapter away. If they know what the chapter’s about, chances are they’ll stop reading. If they assume they grasp the contents of the book, they won’t feel compelled to read on. They will skip over sections, or not read the book at all.

You want to approach naming your chapters as if you were creating headlines for content – what will make the reader investigate further.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION

There is an expectation of your readers that you, as a writer, are an expert on your subject, that you have special knowledge of the concepts which relate to it, that you have a clear idea of the aspects which should be addressed.

You want to introduce who you are, what you are addressing in the book, and what the reader will come away with. This sets the pace for your reader and creates anticipation.

Identify the problems – promise a solution: demonstrate to the reader that you understand them and that your book provides the solution to their problems

How is your approach different from others? Why will people think you have the right answers for them?

Don’t give away the key concepts.

In the chapters immediately following this one, you will approach your readers top concerns, one by one, and use metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions. If you need to add additional key concepts (solutions to concerns), feel free to do so, or, save the new key concepts for a second book.

What is your purpose? Your book should be able to transform into other products.

What are the main ideas you are trying to get across? What will this book enable your audience to do?

2. KEY CONCEPT A

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

3. KEY CONCEPT B

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

4. KEY CONCEPT C

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

5.  KEY CONCEPT D

Using metaphors and analogies to explain your solutions on a conceptual level.

Focus on tangible, quantifiable, measurable, concrete messages.

  • What: state the problem the reader is experiencing or how they relate to the key concept – why they should learn and apply it. The reader needs to feel as if you understand them. That you know what they are doing now may not be working – that you have the solution.
  • Why: give the reader the reasons why they should continue to read. Motivate them to read on. Tell them why they should keep reading, reinforce how this concept relates to them.
  • How: explain the solution to their problem conceptually, using metaphors and analogies.

6. STEP-BY-STEP METHOD

What if: here is where you want to lay out the step by step actions your reader can take to apply the solutions.

These steps should be tactile rather than conceptual.

Go through each step one-by-one. You can put all the steps in one chapter, or spread them out, one step –  per chapter.

7. SUMMARY

You want to end your book with the same momentum you started with, giving the book a proper ending.

Motivate and inspire: it’s important to use the right language, you don’t want to leave the reader feeling overwhelmed. You want them to feel satisfied and motivated to tackle the steps you provided.

You also by this point have earned their interest in any future work from you.

8. CLOSING

This is your opportunity to direct people to contact you to purchase your products and services. Your call to action. This chapter should be half the length of your previous chapters.

Who you serve: who is your specific audience? Your niche? Age? Financial status? Job description? Who are you selling to? What are the attributes of the people who will purchase your services? Express this to the reader so they can see that they are exactly the type of person who should be hiring you for personal help through one of your services.

How you serve them: keep them fascinated, tell them how you have solved problems for other people and how you can do the same for them. You want them to wish they had you on their team. By now you’ve created value with all you’ve given away within the book, so they should feel a bit compelled to repay you.

What next steps do you want your reader to take? Should they inquire about your services, give you a call, consult with you, go to your website? What body of knowledge do you possess that will make your audience take the next step?

You want people to hire you, that’s what your book is about – trying to make the phone ring.

Influence them – get them to buy into what you’re saying.


Have you thought of expanding your brand by writing non-fiction? Tell me about it in the comments below!

I’m open to any questions or comments you might have!


Please Like and Share!

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Writing Chapter One – Tips from D. Wallace Peach

by D. Wallace Peach

I’ve wanted to write about first chapters for a while, primarily because they’re so important. After all, they’re the gateway to Chapter 2 and getting a reader to Chapter 2 is a fantastic idea.

I did some research and almost instantly the rule-resistant rebel in me kicked in. She’s the writer who scowls at formulas, who insists that form has to fit the story, not the other way around. She’s the reader who doesn’t want to read the same story over and over with different titles.

Well, I suppressed the first-born smarty-pants part of my personality and learned a few things.

First, I learned that there are actually a number of perfectly legitimate types of first chapters. Writer’s Digest has a great article by Jeff Gerke that describes 4 approaches with examples (summarized here):

  • The Prolog – A prolog is an episode that pertains to your story but does not include the hero (or includes the hero at a time well before the story proper begins, when he’s a child). It might not be “Chapter 1” per se, but it can serve as a legitimate opening—if it works.
  • The Hero Action Beginning – In a hero action beginning, the hero is onstage, doing something active and interesting related to the launching of the core story (it need not involve explosions and car chases, but it certainly can).
  • The In Medias Res Beginning (in the middle of things ) – With in medias res, you start at a point deep in the story, show a bit of activity to intrigue the reader, and then you hit the rewind button and spend some or all of the rest of the book catching up to that moment.
  • The Frame Device – The final major way of beginning your first chapter is to use a frame device. In this, your story is bookended on the front and back (and usually a few instances in the middle) by a story that is outside the main story. The primary tale is framed by this other story.

With that out of the way, I went in search of tips that apply to Chapter 1’s regardless of the book, tips that I could apply as I conceive of, write, and edit my stories. As usual, there are exceptions to these tips, and the list is not exhaustive.

Context: Backstory, Setting, and Detail

  • Avoid backstory. Include the bare minimum necessary and trickle the rest in as needed.
  • Don’t overdo setting. Give a smattering of strong, vibrant details to establish a sense of place and time. Then fill in the rest later as the story unfolds.
  • Connect the character to the setting so it isn’t just a backdrop. You might show how the character interacts with the setting.
  • There’s no need to skimp on details that serve the story. If your story is about snipers, give sniper details. Make sure they’re sharp and interesting. Avoid being vague. Write tight!

Structure: Theme, Mood, and Plot

  • Start the book as late in the story as you can. Does your story still work if you start with Chapter 2? If so, Cut chapter 1.
  • Write a great first line. A great first line grabs the reader’s interest.
  • The theme is the argument that the story is making. The first chapter should hint at theme.
  • Establish your mood. Ask yourself how you want the reader to feel while reading the book.
  • Think of every chapter as a short story with a mini-plot and conflict, especially Chapter 1.
  • Avoid telegraphing. Let the immediacy of the action carry the chapter to the end. Keep your pov tight.

 Character

  • Most writing experts will recommend introducing your protagonist in the first chapter. Some recommend introducing your antagonist as well. Avoid opening with other characters talking about the main character.
  • Make your reader care about your character. How is the character at risk?
  • Have your character engaged – active versus passive.
  • Not absolutely necessary, but dialog is a great way to reveal character, and conflict and manage pace.

Conflict

  • Have some sort of conflict – physical, emotional, or mental. Conflict disrupts the status quo. Conflict is drama and it’s interesting.
  • You don’t need to spell out the stakes for the entire book in chapter one, but hint at why the conflict matters.
  • A note on action: Rip-roaring action might be fun, but it’s best if the reader cares about the character. Without an investment in character and context, an action scene can feel shallow.

Hooks

  • End your first chapter and each chapter with a moment of mystery, an introduction of conflict, or a twist of the tale. It doesn’t have to be a huge one; it just needs to be intriguing enough to propel the reader forward.
  • Mystery. While action needs context, one of mystery’s strengths is that it makes the reader wait for context. It’s okay not to explain everything. At the same time, mystery does not equal confusion – find the balance.

Happy Writing!

Thanks for the Tips D  🙂     Source: Writing Chapter One – Tips

My Latest Project – A Writer’s Guide

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My Most Recent Project

A Writer’s Guide – Volume One

Working as an author consultant puts me in the position of helping many writers discover their author brand. It is typically the first exercise we address because knowing your brand enables you to create a comprehensive author platform that will work for you – a good platform will serve as your base where all of your efforts begin. It will successfully promote your talent and product. An author’s platform must be developed first – before the details of the packaging- before the creation of the content – before the writing of the book. An author’s platform is ann essential key to their success.

Defining your brand is the first step for any author or writer.

Setting up your author platform properly is crucial, and understanding your brand helps you do it right.

I follow the same process every time I approach author branding, and it works!

I am creating this guide to make the process of branding easy and fun.The results will be awesome for creating or improving your platform and growing your network.

Completing this workbook will help you to:

  1. Improve your platform or begin creating a brand-new one.
  2. Grow your network.
  3. Create exciting new content.
  4. Effectively market your books.
  5. And … set some new writing goals.

Who Needs This Workbook?

This workbook is for all writers who are ready to start their blog or website and it has tons to offer those who have already established their platforms.

  • The exercises in this writer’s manual are simple to follow. When you’re done with them all, you will have a refined view of your brand and all that it has to offer.
  • When you’re done with them all, you will have a refined view of your brand and all that it has to offer.
  • You will also have crucial information that can help you rapidly grow your network and market your books or products.

I Need Your Help!

  • I am looking for some people to join my launch team. There will be some awesome prizes!
  • I am hoping for some early reviewers that can help me make sure this workbook is perfect!
  • I would like to organize a blog tour. I will be contacting some of you in the near future, or you can contact me if you’re interested in hosting the tour – I’m launching the last week of July! I’m also happy to accept guest posts on my blog if you’re interested.
  • Any input or feedback you have to offer would be much appreciated.

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I am so thankful for anyone who’s willing to participate in whatever way they can. So please, contact me if you’re interested.

If you have any tips or advice for me at all, I’d love to hear that too! 🙂

Thank You!