HOW TO CREATE A GREAT TAGLINE

Someday the years of struggle
will strike you as the most beautiful
SIGMUND FREUD

Why use a Tagline for your latest Novel?  Because it gives your reader more information about you and about your book.  It is different from the short synopsis you place on the back cover. The tagline is a great way to hook the interest of readers who have little time, and the online surfers, who usually allow ten seconds to read it, become interested and buy it.  Authors use Taglines for their books—Advertisers use Taglines for marketing products, and Movies have had Taglines since the early 1900’s.

These marketing slogans have proven their worth by lasting years and years, without change. Here are a few advertising Taglines still in use:  “KFC’s “Finger Lickin’ Good”, Wheaties, “Breakfast of Champions, and the one for the Army: “Be all you can be”.

The first movie released with a tagline was a Poster designed by Jules Cheret, a Frenchman, promoting a short film in 1890.   In 1895, they depicted an actual Train Scene from the film “Arrival of a train”.  In 1910, the studios produced their own, with special border art, titles, Studio logos, and “slogans” or Taglines.  Did you know the Number One Tagline from all Movies is 1979’s “ALIEN”—“In space, no one can hear you scream.”   

    To continue,—you need a Tagline for your novel. Let us assume your novel is a love story. Here are a few thoughts that will make a tagline effective.

  What is the conflict or basis of the story (love or career)—what is the meaning of your story (can she do both?)—Emphasize an important quality of your character (Determined, stubborn)—Highlight something distinctive about the novel (does love win?)—Inspire the reader’s curiosity, by not telling all, but just enough to interest them—the genre of the novel? (Romance, Young Adult).

  Start each word with the same letter: Example, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.

Rhyming:  Love came to her in a dream…but was it all a scheme? The tagline tells you it is a love story, with a mysterious character, and it may not turn out well.

Try a short, dynamic tagline like: “Love hurts.”  Sometimes the shorter the tagline, the more interest in your book, and the urge to buy it.

If you quote something in the novel, maybe what your character says, use it as a Tagline. Your fans will recognize it and the result will be an increased enthusiasm for your book.           

Because of the importance of your Tagline, you may want to enlist the help of someone.

However, whatever you do, keep trying new combinations until the right one is found.

Here’s to a successful TAGLINE, Paula

THE FINAL CHAPTER

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Want to Leave your Readers Hungry for your Next Novel?

The final chapter, of your novel is written and you believe it will be satisfying to your readers, with no loose ends and unanswered questions.  But, are your readers hungry for your next novel? If there is any doubt in your mind, below are some useful suggestions before you begin the Final Chapter..

1.Leave room:  for your readers’ imaginations and allow them to picture what happens next, without being told: “They lived happily ever after.”
 
2.Foreshadow: Plant seeds in advance—small clues that will make the end seem natural.
 
3.Build-up Mystery:  A good mystery needs a build-up toward the climax with lots of twists and turns during the telling of the story.
 
4.Pace: To create a mystery, write shorter scenes, sentences and chapters to increase the momentum.  Save the largest scene for your last Chapter.
 
5.Reveal:  Show how your characters changed in the story.
 
6.Romance:  For romances, the above are still important. If a romantic mystery, use the same pace as #4..  All romances need a build-up- but without many complications, either  between the lovers, or the events that get in the way of a happy union.
 
7. Similar Book endings:  Check other books similar to your story, and review how the author ended the final chapter.  Try several options—put them aside—then read again, later, and see which one makes the most sense for your story.

In my opinion, one of the best storytellers of mystery and suspense was the late Alfred Hitchcock. His television series always had an unexpected ending—one I never anticipated, and although it was not always a happy ending; but always satisfying. Each of his stories is a lesson for mystery writers.  His movies, too,  are well worth seeing. ( Shocking, Frightening, and deliciously, wickedly Amazing.)

Happy Ending,Paula

 

 

WHAT IS NEW ADULT FICTION?

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In preparing my new book for publication I ran into a dilemma when asked: What Genre is it?

I thought it could be a Young Adult contemporary romance, or maybe a paranormal romance. It has the content of a paranormal romance in that it is an unusual story.  It is set  in the modern world, with the protagonist a Twenty-Two year old  female college student, with issues focusing on leaving home; developing as a woman; becoming independent; considering different career choices, and could be classified as “ New Adult”  for aged 18-25.

I asked Google, and found that there is much on this subject.

In Molly Wetta’s Newsletter, she says New Adult was first  marketed by St. Martin’s Press in 2009, after asking for submissions similar to young adult but focusing on the 18-25 or 30, group still discovering who they are and what they want. Some believe it is the step between young adult and adult books. Some like it. Others think it is a foolish and absurd category.

Blogspot.com also addressed this subject. They say the YA target audience is teenagers.  The NA target is older and living in the present, trying to be independent after leaving home for the first time. They are juggling new adult experiences and attempting to  handle life in the present, and at the same time deciding how they fit into the adult world.

Goodreads lists New Adult fiction as focusing on the period in life where you are becoming an adult. The contents are more mature in that they may face a serious relationship and heartbreak.

However, there is a need for books about characters aged 18-25 . Many of the new novels are fast-paced, focusing on experiences in life beyond the teenage years, and the publishing world reports that more and more titles are being marketed as New Adult. A reason could be because they found that NA fiction is reader-driven, and popular with readers who prefer e-books.

This is such an interesting topic— you may want to read more. As previously stated, there are many opinions on this subject and I could not cover all the information I found. Listed below are the internet addresses of those I referred to.

Goodreads:           https://www.goodreads.com

Blogspot:   http://avajae.blogspot.com

Ebscohost.com: MollyWetta:https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/what-is-new-adult-fiction-anyway

 Happy Writing, Paula

LET’S TALK ABOUT ROMANCE

”The course of true love never did run smooth”—-SHAKESPEARcple with heart                                                                        On Valentine’s day everyone thinks of Love and Romance.  Whether young or old, the day invokes memories.

If you are a Romance Writer, you are always interested in learning more about how to move your readers from a first kiss, to a breakup and finding a new love.  As an author, you try to find a new approach to an old story.  Boy meets girl.  Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back and they live happily ever after—End of story.  Or is it?

Most books, regardless of genre have an attraction somewhere on the pages, even if it is a sub-plot. As a writer, it is your job to make your readers care about your characters, their lives, and their relationships with others.  Only in fairy tales do the characters live happily ever after.

Boy meets girl.  She is beautiful, smart, and well endowed.  He is handsome, brilliant, and successful. Perfect!—Right?   NO! Everyone has faults, problems, and dreams. So must your main characters.  Give her some quirky habits. Allow him to have secrets.

There are subtle techniques to keep your readers interested.  Special words help your readers turn the page (She heard his footsteps advance toward her and her heart jumped with excitement) Or, whisper into your reader’s ears to trigger a memory.(He heard a familiar voice and a pit formed in his stomach).

But, let’s talk about writing an actual romance.   We can convey love without saying a word. That is where the “show, don’t’ tell” comes in. A touch, a look, the memory of a shared experience, can say a lot. There is no need to say the magical three words.   Writing about Love is difficult. You have to work harder to convey it without saying it.

Another question:  How to create suspense through flirtations?  To be a good writer, one must learn to be both a seducer and a lover.  Begin with flirtations, luring the reader into your world.  Is she a teaser, promising much but giving little?  Is he not what he seems? Learn to master the art of dangling a carrot before your reader.  Plant the idea and your reader will crave the answer. There should be tension, and anxiety between both characters.  Without it, your reader will not experience any pleasure at the end of your story.

This is a condensed version of a wonderful issue of Writer’s Digest, for February, 2018.  If you do not already have a subscription, you are missing a great magazine.

Happy Writing, Paula

COULD ALGORITHM PREDICT SUCCESS OF BOOKS?

 

book-rose-smlDEFINITION OF ALGORITHM: A logical step-by-step computer program —a flow chart— a system—a set of rules…

What if, in the near future, a computer program can predict your book’s success or failure?

An article written by Joel Shurkin awakened me to such a possibility.  Scientists at Stony Brook University, in New York, think a computer program might predict successful books and recently, using the computer Algorithm, found that the program had about 84 per cent accuracy when applied to published books.

In a paper published by the Association of Computational Linguistics, “the writing style of books was correlated with the success of the book”. They used a process called statistical stylometry, a statistical analysis of the literary styles of several genres of books and identified characteristic stylistic elements common in successful books.

Some of the early finds by the scientists amaze me because they found journalists tend to use more nouns, pronouns and prepositions than other writers and in doing so, are more successful. ——– Both Hemingway and Charles Dickens began their careers as Journalists. To further excite me, a computer scientist at Israel’s University developed a program that tells whether the author is male or female 80 percent of the time.

Is it possible, Editors will now use an algorithm program to determine a books success or failure before they print?  Wow!

There are  more  findings and observations in Mr. Shurkin’s article—too much to elaborate here, so give it a read. I think you will find it as interesting as I did.

For reading, go to “American Institute of Physics”

Happy Algorithms,

Paula

DO YOU MAKE DECISIONS WITH A ROLL OF THE DICE?

 FIdiceRST PERSON OR THIRD PERSON


 

A question asked often and answered just as many times

Why do we face such a dilemma every time we sit down to write? Because, it all depends on whose point of view you want.  Each will create a slightly different story, both good— but different. How do we decide whether to write in the First Person or the Third Person? They both work. Is it better for the author to look through the eyes of the character?  Or should the author tell it through observers, narrators, or something else?  Let’s start with the difference between the two.

With FIRST PERSON, you are looking through the eyes of your character, and have access to that character’s thoughts and feelings. Writing in the First Person is more intimate, and you can dig deeper into the character’s personality. Usually this is the main man or woman (the Protagonist). There are times when the person telling the story is an observer; as in the Sherlock Homes novels, that are narrated by Doctor Watson.  Sometimes, the character whose eyes we are looking through is not human…like a Dog.

With THIRD PERSON, you, as author, are the viewpoint of the character, speaking through the eyes of the Protagonist.  In Third person, you create the events your character must deal with, and how to solve the problems as they occur.  You are the Supreme Being; the Creator, the Omniscient, and the one and only decision maker. If there are other characters in your story; once again, you, are speaking and creating the viewpoint, with your words, and actions. Some think it easier to always write in the Third Person.

My Fifth Novella is almost complete, and for the first time I am writing using the FIRST PERSON’s Point of View. I did that because I wanted to allow my readers the opportunity to know my Protagonist, her feelings, desires, goals, and most inner thoughts.   When she thinks silently, I use ITALICS so the reader can listen to her private thoughts and reactions, as events unfold. This is done only when the Character is the viewpoint character.

Note: I have not mentioned Second Person writing which uses the Words YOU & YOUR. This is limited in its use.  One way is by speaking directly to the audience (an Example, you will find in the FIRST PERSON and THIRD PERSON paragraphs).  Other uses are: In Video Games, Self-Help Books and Magazines, Travel articles and Informational Guides.

FIRST PERSON:  l/me/my/we/us/0ur

SECOND PERSON: Y0u/Y0ur

THIRD PERSON:  He/him/his/She/her/It/its/They/them/their     

Happy Writing,  Paula

 

 

 

 

Steps in Plotting your Story

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STEPS IN PLOTTING YOUR STORY

It is said to write well, one must read a lot. Why? Because in reading, we learn. I definitely agree… but many times it is prudent to learn another way.

Just recently, I read an article by Glen C. Strathy advising what compiles a well-planned plot. I found it a valuable and beneficial guide in assuring future stories had all the elements for a compelling story.  In a shortened version, I relay his advice on how we should apply the following “A through H” guide.

In what way does the author present the Protagonist (the main character involved in a conflict), and Antagonist (a character or group of characters who oppose the main character).

            How should authors create and execute a compelling plot?

                        A…What is the Goal of the story?

                        B…What situations will occur resulting in the difficulty obtaining the                                                      Goal?

                        C… What is done in order to achieve the Goal?

                        D… What events occur during the story to show the main character is                                                closer to the Goal?

                         E… What is the Protagonist forced to endure in order to achieve the                                                      Goal?

                        F… What reward will the main character receive or learn as the result                                                 of his/her situation?

                        G… What events must happen before the main character is in a                                                 position to receive the reward?

                        H…   This is similar to “B” in that the main character has to face a                                                 precondition that can make it difficult to achieve the Goal.

The ending is most important.  You have a progressive plot.  You have written the events that must happen in order to create an emotional impact.  There is a crisis, and now, the final resolution—the ending.  It should be a satisfying ending, so the reader feels the main character resolves his/her inner conflict.

**To read the complete Article go to www.glen-c-strathy.com.

Happy Writing!    Paula

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Success:

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A 12 YEAR OLD’S ANSWER TO WHAT IS SUCCESS

“No one knows what he can do till he tries.” Publilius Syrus (1st C. B.C.)

Success is measured many different ways.   Is it the ability to convert ideas into things? Or, Is it the enjoyment of achieving your goal after years of failure? Does having wealth  insure success? Is success greedy or is it insignificant? Can we measure success  knowing that when we go to sleep each night, we are confident that our talents and abilities served others? Is it the ability to live your life your own way? or make your own rules?

The above are the thoughts of famous people. They are all different.  For me, success will be completing my fifth Novel and finding a Publisher who wants to print it.

Yes, I have written four  novels and still do not consider myself successful. I am grateful for the opportunity to self-publish the four novels, and I would not trade the happiness and satisfaction I felt when I saw the words I created in printed form.   Yet, I still strive for the success of other authors I admire, Like James Patterson, Terry Brooks, Mary Higgins Clark, Diana Galbadon, and so many others. I strive to write as well as they do– to make my characters personalities stronger and more stimulating and my stories so interesting my readers can’t wait for me to publish another.

I would like to share with you what my Grandson, aged twelve, believed Success was when his teacher asked him to write down his thoughts:

         SUCCESS     

What is success? Is it to grow up and become wealthy or is it too become intelligent and smart. Is it something you earn in a day or something you earn in a life time of hard work. Is it great or is it a word to describe a joyful person. My meaning of success is someone who has no regrets and goes for the touchdown every play even though it may be a hundred yards away. It’s a person who strives to be the greatest he could be, not how someone else can be. Success is when things go right and you have the answer. It’s like going into a test, are you going to be prepared or are you not ready for what’s going to happen. Success could be the aftermath of something amazing or a new song working its way up the charts. Success all starts with the preparation. You need to be tough. You need to go to a good school and not party all the time. You need to prepare to be successful to be someone who changes the world, someone who is a leader not a follower, a person who doesn’t quit and fights to the last second even though they are down by 50 points and they know deep inside they can’t come back. Success is many things but is mostly being smart and having a good out come in life. That’s what success means to me

By  Max Runyon   (10/15/14)