Writing tips

Birth Order

Birth Order

How birth order affects your characters

We all know the cliches of the spoiled baby of the family or the tyrant older sister.  Why not use this information to drive your characters through your story?

In “Birth Order, Adding Depth to the Characters You Write,” I examine the strengths and flaws of each child of a family’s hierarchy (now grown for your plotting purposes). If you’ve wondered why your hero is a leader, a clown or a negotiator, the answer might be in where his birth order lies.

The last section looks at the romantic relationships between the different birth orders.  Do you want your hero and heroine to clash?  Make them both first-borns.  If your heroine has older brothers, how does her status affect her relationship with the hero, who is the youngest of his clan?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C681D3Q

A truncated version of this information was presented as a workshop to my writing group, Grand Rapids Region Writers Group.

Happy writing!

 

 

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Hook Your Readers with These Tips

Hook Your Readers with These Tips

Start Your Book the Right Way-How to Hook Your Readers

Even if you’re new to writing, you know the importance of writing a hook for your novel. It grabs your reader’s attention and convinces him to buy. A good hook raises questions, piques curiosity, and draws the reader deeper into your story.
Without a compelling, question—producing opening, your reader isn’t going to buy. You only have a few sentences to make an impression. Nowadays, no one has the luxury of time. You have to hit them fast and hard.
Your reader wants to be drawn into a believable world from word one. He expects to be entertained. Don’t disappoint him. Continue reading Start Your Book The Right Way

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The Internal Editor

The Internal EditorI met with someone the other day who brought up an interesting point.  What do you do when you can’t turn off the internal editor?  When she/he is ruining all attempts to get words written?

Here’s what I do:

  • Black out your computer screen.  If you can’t see the words, you’ll be less tempted to go back and correct them.
  •  Use XXXX.  Whenever I’m stuck on something–the perfect word, the fact I should research on the internet, I type in XXX.  Later, I can do a search and replace the XXX’s with what I thought I needed.  In most cases, the story is fine without it.
  • Set a timer.  Set a timer for a short amount, maybe ten minutes, then give yourself permission to write as fast as you can, ignoring punctuation, word choices, etc.  As a reward, you promise your internal editor free reign after the slotted time period.
  • Give yourself permission to write dreck.  Even if you think you’re writing dreck, it’s good dreck.  Not every building can be the Taj Mahal.  Sometimes you have to start with a straw hut and make a lot of improvements.
  • Throw your internal editor in a closet and lose the key.
  • Participate in a Book in a Week challenge or National  Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November.  My writing group typically holds a Write a Book in a Month contest between the February meeting and March meeting.  Participating in such a challenge automatically gags the internal editor.  There’s no time to stop because the focus of the task is word count, word count and nothing but word count.

Try one of these tips the next time your internal editor starts screaming at you.  You’ll get more written than you think.

Blessings!

Cheryl

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