How were your Holidays? Mine were not at all like previous years. Two in my family had Covid-19, thereby necessitating we zoom them while opening gifts and eating our Christmas dinner without parts of our family. Many items ordered did not arrive in time for giving—and selection in most stores was poor. Even Amazon delivered in two or three days, instead of their usual overnight.
The best thing about the Holidays, this year, is that 2020 would soon be gone, and with the vaccines, we hope to see the end of Covid-19, job losses, businesses closing, staying home, virtual learning, and more, allowing us to look forward to a NEW DAWN AND 2021.
What is your next step? Is it Editing, finding an Agent, or a Publishing House?
Do use a professional Editing person or company. Writer’s Digest offers a second Draft Service, you may consider. After reading your first ten pages, they will suggest how to improve your manuscript, to make it saleable, at an affordable price.
Next:… HOW TO SEARCH FOR, AND FIND THE RIGHT AGENT.
I have a question: Did you ask a family member, friend, or maybe a few fellow authors to give you an honest judgment of your first ten pages of your new story? If you did, — “ HURRAH TO YOU!’’ I am certain it convinced you to continue. That judgment was a short Critique.
Now that you are finished, are you considering a final Critique: If you are not… allow me to explain why I feel a Critique of your finished novel is necessary.
Write the Story you’re anxious to write
Be is sad, scary, romantic, or light
When all is done never fear
A final review is always near
Read Below and you will see
Why a Critique is Important to me
First: WHAT IS A CRITIQUE?? It is a report that reviews and examines you finished story, essay, or any important art, and evaluates it seriously. Today, Book Reports analyzed by students and the analysis and critique of stories or novels carry on, a Greek Tradition
1.STYLE: Whether it is family or professional, the person doing the critique, probably will read it first before analyzing if book is worth reading your style and pacing.— Is it a typical romance, mystery, or historical novel? What is the novel’s major argument and is it saleable? What are its strong and weak points. How effective is the author’s ability to move the plot along.
2, CHARACTERS: Who are they…how do they react, will they be different at the end or not. Do they add tension to the story.
3. POINT OF VIEW: First, Second, or Third person Does it remain consistent throughout the novel.
4. SEASON:: what season is it, winter, summer, fall or spring. Is it set in a country atmosphere or city or a foreign country..
5. DIALECT: Do your characters speak contemporary, formal, archaic, and do they too remain consistent?.
6. PACING: Do your mix sentences—some short, some long? Do you reveal character thoughts and feelings; for example: anxiety, emotion, fear, love, and do your characters change at the finality.?
7. CONCLUSION: Will the ending be satisfactory to your readers, and does it solve all the question and situations occurring in your novel.
.NOTE: Your final Critique will allow you to make any new changes, to your story, prior to editing and publication
What is foreshadowing, and would you
want to use it?
Foreshadowing is the popular way many
authors give the reader an advance hint of what is to happen later in the
story. There are numerous ways to use foreshadowing. One way is to have a
lesser character foreshadow an event —or, use it during a conversation between
characters. Many writers find it a great addition to the plot, adding suspense,
and expectations of what is to come. Mystery authors use it by implying that
one character is acting suspiciously, when, in reality, another committed the
Some authors like to give an early warning at
the beginning of the novel. Others use
it as major events unfold throughout the novel. There are examples of
foreshadowing in the “HARRY POTTER” novels like students hearing something in
the walls, preceding a monster they discover later. To foreshadow an event, you could mention it
by name with a warning that something is going to happen.
“LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD”- told not to stop on
her way to grandma’s house.
“STAR WARS, DARTH VADAR’S”- shadow is behind
Anakin, foreshadowing who Anakin will grow up to be.
“PETER RABBIT”- told by Mrs. Rabbit
not to go into Mr. MacGregor’s garden.
He does and gets in trouble.
EVERYDAY PHRASES: “Curiosity killed the cat.” —for-tells
“It was a dark and stormy night”—
for-tells an unfortunate event that will occur later.
ways to Foreshadow:
Language can create a visual picture of what to expect.
A contradiction between what is expected and what actually happens.
One I particularly like is a Flashback, telling something that
happened in the past— as a clue about what might happen later in the story. You
could plant little clues throughout the story hinting the story’s outcome. For
authors who outline, you could add foreshadowing or a flashback to your
outline. For those who do not, and that
includes myself foreshadow or flashback can be inserted as you write.
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.
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.
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
Because of the
importance of your Tagline, you may want to enlist the help of someone.
whatever you do, keep trying new combinations until the right one is found.
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.)
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.
The final draft of your book is done. Now you get to relax?. No, you can’t.!
The next step is to self-edit—the edit you, as author, should do. After all, it is a Draft , and only you are familiar with the story, and can easily correct all self-made errors , like noticing where your story wanders away from the scene being played out. Or when characters are not clearly defined ,and how about incorrect spellings, punctuation errors, and poor word choices.
First print all the pages of your book. Then as you read, correct the errors you find on the printed page, and then on the computer.
A FEW SUGGESTIONS:
Use words your reader can relate to—Simple words and not words needing the use of a dictionary. Remember, the more the reader stops, the less interest he or she has in continuing.
Show don’t Tell.— Use an action word to show, anger, instead of saying : He is angry. Example: He slammed the door behind him
Do not use the word almost. Example, She almost cried. The character either cried, or did not.
Don’t sermonize or preach to your reader.
Try reading your novel out loud. You may find areas where improvement is needed
Omit Clichés and use “said” for dialogue instead of “explained, declared, etc.”
After you complete your self-edit, then retain the services of a professional Editor so your book is finally ready for publication, and, at long last, you can either rest, or begin another story.