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

TOO MUCH ADVICE?

                                                                       

                                               IS IT GOOD OR BAD ADVICE?

In the latest issue of “Writers Digest” is an article by Jeff Somers, I had to pass on to my readers. I can only cover some of his topics due to the length.

As writers, we carefully edit our manuscript, correcting any mistakes, and pay special attention to correct punctuation, wording, etc. before releasing it for publication.  Many of us, including myself, seek the opinions of friends, family, authors, and volunteers willing to read the novel, as the last check before submission.

In addition to the opinions of my family and friends, I read everything I found by those I considered authorities, but I was confused and conflicted about different interpretations of the same advice. In the back of my head was the same question until I read this wonderful Article.

QUESTION: When is it okay to NOT follow the advice given you by others, Read below what Jeff  Somers wrote about “THE RULES’.

  1. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW:  Write what you know was not meant to reject your imagination.  You can write about stuff you know nothing about— just write a story you want to read.
  • SHOW DON’T TELL: When showing injects unnecessary verbosity, don’t.  That rule implies that “telling” is Lazy, while showing takes real talent. You need to balance the showing and the telling, 
  • WRITE EVERY DAY:  The discipline of working regularly is good and stops you from being one of those who talks about writing but never does. But, not all can write every day.  Think of it as a goal, not a requirement.
  • KILL YOUR DARLINGS:It is probably the most misunderstood and misapplied piece of writing advice in the history of writing. Don’t delete writing you like and never look back.
  • INVEST IN A THESAURUS: Having a large vocabulary as an author is great—but it’s only half the battle. You need to feel comfortable, and your word choices should fit your characters.
  • NEVER WRITE A PROLOGUE:The implication is that you are an amateur. In reality it is possible to pull off a prologue, but you need purpose.
  • AVOID THE PASSIVE VOICE: Yes, it is grammatically correct, and we are told it is lazy writing. However, there are forms of passive that are acceptable and necessary.

 I hope the above encourages you to subscribe to this wonderful magazine and read the entire article.

Happy writing, Paula

GREAT AUTHORS RECEIVED REJECTION LETTERS

EVEN GREAT AUTHORS RECEIVED REJECTION LETTERS

Some of the great writers at one time or another received that dreaded rejection letter and went on to enjoy successful careers.

              Did you know? Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone with the Wind”—was rejected 38 times before publication.  And the great author Stephen King submitted “Carrie” 30 times and was rejected 30 times. I found it interesting to learn that many of the authors we admire received NO’s on their creative work before finding a publisher.

WILLIAM FAULKNER:          His novel “Sanctuary” was considered unpublishable

VLADIMIR NABOKOV:         Did you know he received a rejection letter after submitting “Lolita”, which later on sold Fifty  Million copies?

TIM BURTON;                        Did you know his first illustrated book, “The Giant Slig” received a thumbs down from Disney?

ANN FRANK:                         “The Diary of a Young Girl” was rejected 15 times.

BEATRIX POTTER:                Published “The Tale of Peter Rabbit:” herself.

J.K. ROWLING:                   “Harry Potter and “The Sorccer’s Stone” was rejected 12 times, and she was told not to quit her Day Job.

A few quotes I hope you will find amusing and encouraging:

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM:  “There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately no one knows what they are.”

MARK TWAIN:                       “Substitute the word “damm” every time you are inclined to write very.  Your editor will delete it and the writing will be as it should be.”

ERNEST HEMMINGWAY:     “The first draft of everything you write is Poop.”

RAY BRADBURY:                  “You must stay drunk in writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

ROBERT FROST:                    “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.  No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

TONI MORRISON:                  ”If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

.*… A special Thank You to “Buzz-Feed” for the informative article on Pinterest.

                        “EVERY DAY IS A NEW BEGINNING”—PAULA  

HOW TO CURE WRITER’S BLOCK

At one time or another, each of us has sat in front of the computer, hands positioned over the black keys— ready to begin our next story—anxious to put down that important first sentence. Did you sit, as I did, before the bright blank screen, daring you to deface the void, by typing one lonely letter? And, how long did you sit, staring into space, surrounded by silence, before you gave up?

I have always used music as my cure, playing softly in the background ,where my brain can escape from today’s world, into a calmer, nicer place. There my characters patiently await my typed word.  Sometimes it does not work, and I’m forced to seek another remedy.  I close down my computer, and take a nice long walk, stopping for ice cream, before I return home, to sit again before a bright blank screen.

 I was curious as to how others cured writer’s block and asked google. Never in my wildest dreams could I begin to imagine the endless responses available to me, especially when youTube popped up. There were videos after videos—with advice on how to cure a writer’s block. 

One suggestion was to purchase Vanadinite crystals because they are magical and have the ability to stimulate the mind.

  • Search the Calendar for some big event that happened many years ago and write about it.
  • Walk– which I usually do
  • Find a Motivational Phrase such as:          “IT IS EASY TO WALK AWAY – AND MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO STAY”
  • Read– it is a known fact that reading inspires the writer.
  • Headphones– get rid of them and listen to the world around you;
  • Do Yoga or Tai Chi;
  • Write something different, like a Song or a Poem, or a Scene from another story.

I thought using prompts a good idea. For example, someone gives you a word and you write about it. If the word were” Mystery” you would think of a murder that needs to be solved. Or, Romance, and you think of a love story that may or may not end happily ever after.

I especially liked the suggestion to create a new Character: Make up a name, what does he or she look like? How old is the character?  When did he or she appear, and what part does your character play in the story?

Here’s to the end o f WRITER’S BLOCK, 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

 

 

REMEMBERING THE FIRST HALLOWEEN

 

 

Raven In Moon

In 1978, a low-budget horror film opened in Kansas City, named “ HALLOWEEN.”

No One, least John Carpenter, thought the movie was  the kind of movie that would draw crowds. It was advertised as a county-fair haunted house movie, about a babysitter killer.

However to the surprise of many, it changed the horror genre for years to come.

The budget was a mere $300,000 split between the producer—John Carpenter, the creator—and Debra Hill who co-wrote the script. In choosing the cast, they used mostly unknown actors, except for Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh.

Most critics dismissed the picture and called it just another maniac on the loose suspense.

Only a few critics saw Halloween for what it was. One of the critics was, Roger Ebert, who issued praise saying:

“Halloween is a visceral experience.  We aren’t seeing it—we are experiencing it.        It’s frightening.”

Today, a new Halloween film is making its way to the theatres, again with Jamie Lee Curtis.

Will you go to see it, or will you stay home giving out candy to the neighborhood children?

As for me,  I haven’t decided yet, but I am certain it will be an experience to remember and  frightening.

For a more complete story, about the original,  go to www.vulture.com by Jason Bailey

Happy Halloween,

Paula